Monday, March 26, 2012

This little piggy, Vigipirate

Andrew dressed up for the carnaval.

Here I am playing the piano at church.

Lilia put Arianna's hair up.

All the almond trees are in bloom.
What another great week that we had.  We had a few days of rain, but Friday ended up being beautiful.  It rained and was windy on Wednesday and Thursday, so much that while we were at basketball practice some insulation fell from the gym ceiling.  Thursday night, after our Bible study, I had not planned on going to the market on Friday morning because I felt that the weather would not be good.  However when I walked out of the front door on Friday morning to take the kids to school, I was greated by a clear sky and no wind, with birds chirping.  So I joined one of those little piggies and went to the market. We had a great time with several people showing up at the same time.  Friday afternoon, Angie had a doctors appointment while I had my language session with my language helper Eric.  Eric and I worked on writing a formal letter, a request to have Arianna's name corrected on her French birth certificate (it only has one "n").  Formal writing is always a good excercise because you end up using totally different vocabulary and style.  Angie's doctors visit went well.  Her blood pressure is high and she had an infection, so an antibiotic and some blood pressure meds will be in her diet the next few weeks.  Arianna had a doctors appointment as well on Wednesday for her 18 month checkup.  She is doing good.  She is now at the middle of the average size for her age.  Up until now she had been on the lower end of the growth curve.  The boys had the carnaval this week and dodged the rain and the "vigipirate".  As a result of the shootings in Toulouse, an hour from here, the terror alert level was raised to level "vigipirate on Wednesday.  Meaning all public school events were cancelled and there were barriers and officers posted in front of the schools.  Thankfully they caught the person responsible.  Caleb seemed touched by the whole situation, he was keeping up with everything at his school, and even asked to make sure I locked the door at night.   Saturday was a busy day, the kids cross country run that morning was cancelled (vigipirate) so I helped a friend pick up some utility poles he plans on using as fencing.  Saturday after lunch we had a family over with two boys, one is in Micah's class.  We had a really good visit with them.  The moved here about the same time as we did and are originally from Paris.  I read in the newspaper recently that this is the fastest growing region of France.  I thought that was due to the amount of retired people who settle down here, but retirees only make up 14% of those moving in.  So many are young families.  Late saturday afternoon we had tea with one of my basketball teamates (who also moved here from Paris a few months ago).  Thankfully we remembered to advance our clocks on Saturday night.  I played the piano at the church in Carcassonne Sunday morning.  Which despite my lack of experience, went well.  Lilia went to a swimming competition in Wednesday and on Sunday morning.  She did well in both.  Wednesday she won bronze in the relay.  Sunday she won first on the 100m backstroke, and 2nd in another type.  Since she was a the competition, we had an extra place in the car to give a teenager a ride to church.  Her parents recently bought a bed and breakfast nearby, the Domaine Michaud, that they are re-doing,it was amazing, if you have the means I would definitely suggest a stay there.  We stopped by after church for a quick walk thru tour.  Today we are enjoying beautiful weather once and again and getting some work done.  Hope you have a blessed week, JASON

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hand me another sack

This picture makes we smile.  Micah thought that Caleb was
keeping the rock from falling by using "the force".

At a friendly game of UNO, looks like
someone just got skipped.
Last week went well.  I helped out a friend finish up some concrete.  After we did 1,200 kilos liquid, on Saturday we finished up with 41 bags of dry mix.  I enjoyed the work and fellowship.  Last weeks had a few low points.  I invited someone to chuch on Sunday and in their reply they hinted that that would never be possible.  I hope that I didn't offend them and that I can continue to have a good friendship with him.  At the market on Friday morning  I met a couple of ladies from another church in town.  They asked what my plans were for Limoux, and after  I explained, they gave a response that I have heard before, "But there is already a pastor working in Limoux."  Even though I had heard it before I was still shocked at the response.   In a town of over 10,000, I think that there is enough work for several dozen pastors.  I always try to emphasize when I meet people from other churches in the area, that I am not in competition with anyone but Satan.  My desire is to see people come to have a relationship with Jesus, and grow in that relationship.  Last weeks was busy as well with visits, we had someone over for dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night.  Wednesday was busy as well with family activites.  Thursday night was the Bible study, and Friday night Caleb had a friend over.  Saturday I helped out a  friend in the morning, while Lilia rode horses.  After lunch,  Micah rode and Andrew had a birthday party to attend.  Sunday, I led the services at the church in Carcassonne, and the boys had a basketball tournament that afternoon.  It was a busy week, but good as well.  This week will be more of a office week.  We have a doctors appointment for Arianna and Angie.  We need to go to Carcassonne to pick up Arianna's birth certificate with the correct spelling of her name.  I need to met with our house agency to find out about a key that is missing to unlock our upstairs storage.  I noticed in the news this past week that three military personel were killed by a sniper near Toulouse  over two days last week.  Angie just saw reported on the news that three jewish children were killed at a school in Toulouse, also by a sniper. I pray that they catch the person who is doing this.  God bless, JASON

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We'll work

We found this large earthworm while planting roses.

Arianna and Lilia give eachother a look.

The kids playing ping pong next door.
We were blessed with another good week.  We had a few visits the beginning of the week, but most of the time was spent on paperwork.  I got our tickets for our trip to the states this summer.  I got our state-side taxes done. Wednesday, I fixed the kids bikes, again.  We also planted some roses in the flower bed and trimmed some trees.  The weather has been absolutely wonderful with it warming up into the 60's during the afternoons.   Thursday's Bible Study went well, we stayed and visited afterwards for a while.    Friday morning's market was a little better attended, but still not many people stopped by, besides the regulars.  Friday afternoon, I helped a friend put on a new porch.  I hauled 800 kg of concrete to him, over the course of the afternoon (or at least so I thought).  Saturday, while Angie was taking our neighbor to pick up some groceries, she met a friends that invited us over that afternoon.  We stayed and visited with them for a while in their new house that is not too far from ours.  In fact, the kids went on bicycles.  That evening Angie and Lilia attended the youth meeting in Carcassonne.  They had a good time and even met the parents of a new attendee who is Dutch.  Sunday afternoon, we had some visitors after church.  Lilia and Caleb watched the rugby match on TV at a neighbors house and played some ping pong as well.  France was beaten by England by 2 points.  Today I did work in the office, and received several calls.  This afternoon I helped finish putting down the concrete. We found out that they misunderstood last time and had given us only 400 kg on Friday.  So today we had the real 800 kg.  We did manage to finish before dark.  We also invitied him to eat with us afterwards and had a good long visit.  Today the kids have a dress up carnaval at school.  We will be taking several trip to see them.   This evening one of my teamates will have dinner with us along with his girlfriend.  Looking forward to this week.  God bless, JASON

Monday, March 5, 2012

Horse riding in Limoux

Micah was not sacred to walk right up to the horse, must
be his Texas roots.

Caleb's turn.

We had a beautiful view looking over Limoux.

I took this picture a few weeks ago, when the snow had recently
started falling.  (this blogger does not suggest or support the use of a
cell phone to take pictures while driving in the snow)

The boys in the huddle with their teammates at their last game.
We had another good week.  The weather was lovely and we have had a lot of good contact with people.  I took the kids on Wednesday and on Saturday to see some horses.  Our friend, Philippe, teaches horseback riding and leads trail rides as well.  He is in the process of expanding.  We enjoyed hanging out with him and several of the kids got to ride.  We had a wonderful visit.  Micah missed out on most of it because he had a birthday party to go to, but he did get to come pet them some before we left.  This will be a little busier at lunch time for us.  Andrew will start a special time with the teacher (and a few other students) helping him work on his French.  He does well fo his age, but confuses the masuline and feminine of some words and mixes up some phrases.  Otherwise the week passed without incident.  On Wednesday I had a repair day for the kids bikes and scooters.  The boys are hard on them and they needed some maitenance.  We were able to ride bikes to the boys basketball practice.  Wednesdays (my "day off") usually end up being my busiest day of the week.  Angie got to visit with the neighbors for a couple of hours on Wednesday, and she took a few walks with the neighbor throughout last week.  Bible study was good on Thursday with four who came.  We are still going through the gospel of John.  I had some good contacts at the market on Friday morning, even with  some English people.  Services went good on Sunday in Carcassonne, we had lunch with the church and I stayed for their yearly business meeting.  We were unable to catch the services at our sending church because of internet connection problems.  Looking forward to this week.  I am finishing up travel plans for this summer and looking forward to spending time with friends and family in the States.    God bless, JASON