Monday, April 30, 2012

Theater and Sports

Arianna playing with her brothers outside.

Before the play starts.

You may have to click this picture to make it larger,
Caleb is wearing the red vest.

Caleb is stealing the ball, or getting it stolen, Micah
is in the background.

Things continue to go well.  We have had strange weather lately.  Friday I was able to go to the market, but the wind starting picking up.  Saturday it was full force and caused some damage in other parts of France.  I saw some video of planes landing in the strong wind west of us, and it was frightening just to watch.  There was a chance of rain all weekend long, but we did not get any.  Saturday I planted an little in our garden.  I had to pick and choose some items that would do well while we were gone and that would not give the fruit until we returned.   I planted some watermelons, onions, canteloupe, squash and chives.  I do not expect a big harvest because  I do not have a green thumb, but I enjoyed the work.  Angie was preparing for a ladies prayer meeting, so Arianna and I did the work ourselves.  Friday evening, Caleb was in a school play.  Now, this was not an ordinary school play.  The city spent in the neighborhood of 40,000 euros, and involved 500 students, live band and orchestra.  It started at 8:00 Friday night and didn't finish until 11:00. Thankfully we had gotten a babysitter for Arianna.  The play was about Jules Vedrine, an aviator who lived in the early 20th century.  He was the first to fly a plane at over 100 mph, and set several distance records.  He also is the first to land the plane on a roof of a building.  He was almost elected mayor of Limoux.  Caleb played two acting parts in the play and did a good job.  We hope to by the DVD eventually.  Sunday services were good, afterwards the boys had a basketball tournament.  They played with another team because there teammates were not there.  They did a good job, Caleb scored a couple of times.  I missed a great picture opportunity because our phone froze.  The boys had finished playing a game and came to meet us in the stands.  We noticed that they had left their water bottles and asked where they were. I looked down to the court were Micah was sitting with them, and no surprise, he had stacked one upside down on the other.  They looked so funny stacked like that, and it shows that Micah was not really paying attention when I wasn't his turn to play.  Arianna was well behaved at the tournament and even entertained others with her cuteness.  Today I am working on the monthly report.  Hope to have it done soon.  Tommorrow is a holiday and I am thinking of something fun to do with the boys.  God bless, JASON
Lilia helps out in the nursery Sunday Morning.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The strong and large part

Arianna under our apple tree which is now blooming.

A bay tree in our side yard, with a fig tree behind it.

To the untrained eye, this might look like weeds, but it is
actually, sage, parsley, and two types of mint.

There is a bee hive station behind our house, and I guess all
the bees come to our house to drink out of our rain catcher.
Lilia working on her homework, which I never have
to tell her to do.

One of our "ceps" in the back yard.
We had a good weekend.  There was the threat of rain almost every day.  Thankfully the weather was nice Saturday morning when I helped some good friends or ours move.  We had a good time and got everything moved before the rain came in that afternoon.  Sunday at church I did the kids lesson on the True Vine, John 15.  I enjoyed the lesson and it was made even richer by the fact that we live in the largest grape producing region in the world and every one is well familiar with the "Cep" the strong large part of the vine that remains, which the vines grow out of.  You can see in the picture some of the "ceps" that the boys and I pulled up while clearing a vineyard with a friend. We replanted them in the back yard, looking forward to having some grape jelly in the fall, something that you have trouble finding in the stores over her.  Sunday afternoon we got a baby sitter for an hour and went and visited with some friends.  We enjoyed the time together and a little break from the children, it has been over a year since we had a moment to ourselves like that.  The kids are back in school this week, I stopped by the mayors office to get the paperwork filled out to have them transfered to the school closer to us next year.  The boys have no problem with it, because they all have friends in that school as well.  The rest of the week has been preparing for the Bible study, doing a few odd jobs around the house for Angie, and working on getting a internet page set up for a friend.  I am setting up this internet page for him, not only to help him out, but also to force myself to become more familiar with how to do it in hopes that I can make a site for myself by then end of this year.  We still have been getting plenty of rain here and there and the temperature has remained cool, jacket weather.  We almost had a visitor come over, a friend that went to high school with Angie made a business trip to Spain and was held up waiting, so he was about to schedule a trip to come spend some time with us, but ended up being freed up to return to the States. ( I had a bried interuption that you were not aware of, had to chase a mouse out of the house.)  We have a busy few days ahead, check back for more information soon.  God bless, JASON 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Work ethic

Working in the fields.

We stopped by a bookstore in Carcassonne, the boys sat
down to read.

Arianna playing blocks with her brothers.

This is the last day of our kids two weeks spring break.  Oddly I think we had better weather during their winter break in February.  We had a good weekend.  I made a slight mistake last week not checking the messages on our answering maching and found out Friday that I was needed to play the piano in church on Sunday.  I practiced for several hours Saturday and did "okay" on Sunday.  I should have practised a little longer.  Last time I practiced a little too much and this time not enough, so I should know exactly now what is needed :)  The kids have been spending a lot of time inside.  Caleb did spend the night Sunday night with one of his friends.  Sunday Lilia and I went a visited with some friends.  Tuesday we got out of the house some and went shopping and playground hopping in Carcassonne.  After we got back home, I took the boys to help a friend clear out a vinyard.  It was good work for the boys.  My boys needed a few lessons in work.  They tend to complain about the size of the task at hand, and about their fellow employees, and about the pay. So this was a good occassion to explain to them about being a good worker.  We spent a couple of hours at it and by the end they had gotten a good rythym.  One of our good friends is moving this weekend and so I have been stopping by to help them out as time permits.  The big move will be on Saturday.  Bible study was good last night.  I did not go to the market this morning because of the cloudy skies and chance of rain.  I will make a trip to the dump this afternoon with some of our stuff and some from the family that is moving.  I like working, and it seems not to matter what I am working on.  I have just finished running through the tutorial of the Dreamweaver web-making software.  Intersting stuff.  Other than that, I wanted to mention that Andrew has not sucked his thumb for a good while now.  He does a little while he is sleeping but that is far better that before.  I am not sure what exactly motivated him to stop, I just explained that it probably is the reason that he is getting sick more than the rest of the family.  The rest of the family is doing well.  We still have moments of un-ending laughter, which is great.  The kids all seem to have a good sense of humour.  I always enjoyed cheering people up and getting people to laugh.  That was a tough part of moving to France, I couldn't communicate, therefore it was hard to be funny.  ThankfullyI communicating better now.  We pray that you have a good weekend.  God bless, JASON

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Castle on a hill

Looking at Queribus

Panoramic view from the top.

Lilia presents Queribus from the parking lot.

Looking into the gorge.


Easter egg hunt.

Time has gotten away from me again.  Last week passed well.  I do not remeber much now of what happened.  Arianna has been really cute.  Angie felt a little under the weather at times.  Most people here blame that on the change in temperatures on almost a daily basis, and sometime it even changes during the day.  One day this week it started out cold and rainy, then changed to sunny and warm and before long, it was cold and rainy again.  Bible Study and the market on Friday went well. Our Easter weekend went good as well.  Saturday, the girls went to do some shopping and so I took the boys on a bike ride.  It went well, they all learned a little.  Caleb learned not to wander in front of others.  Andrew (who was acutally on his scooter) learned not to go too fast, and Micah learned that it is not a good idea to look down to watch how your bike works while you are actually riding it.  Services went well Sunday, we did get to visit with several visitors at the church in Carcassonne.  We missed hearing most of the services with our sending church because the internet connection was poor.  We did take time for a brief easter egg hunt and had good discussions all day long about the meaning of Eastser.  Monday and Tuesday I helped a friend work on his ranch.  I am planning to help him get a internet site up and running.  This will be practice as well for when I get my own site up soon.  While I was helping, Lilia was riding horses, which she was happy with as well.  Caleb has school in the mornings this week, even thought they are on their two weeks spring break.  He is getting a little extra help in French.  We are enjoying all the Spring flowers around.  We almost lost them all a couple of days ago, and storm rolled through and we had a downpour of pea sized hail.  The boys were impressed.  Angie had gone to pick up Lilia from a friends house and missed the majority of the storm.  Yesterday I took our oldest four, and one of their friends to see Queribus, a castle high on a hill (click it if you want to know more).  On the way we stopped and looked at a gorge that was beautiful as well.  Today I finished up the Bible study and had a quick session with my language helper and am getting ready for the Bible Study this evening.  Enjoy the pics, God bless, JASON
Grab a quick family pick.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sick in the Spring

Arianna falls asleep on the floor.

I made a carrot cake Sunday.

Arianna models the summer gown series.

Another week is passed and this month looks like it will fly by like the last one.  Things went well again last week.  We got a lot of work done in the yard this week.  It had gotten run down and needed a good overhaul.  Everyone enjoyed working on it, the boys liked the work and the thought of earning money, Lilia liked the boys not bothering her, and Arianna just liked being outside.  The cherry trees have bloomed in the back yard and they look beautiful.  Angie had a few doctors appointments this week.  She visited the doctor, the radiologist, and the lab for a blood test.  Her blood pressure was high and she is now on medication again to lower it back down.  She had been having some pain in her neck, and had a lot of cricks in her neck over the past year.  After an x-ray it has been confirmed that she has a abnormal curvature in the spine due to an injury in the past somewhere.  It is called cervical kyphosis, literally the curve in her neck is leaning the wrong direction.  With some anti-inflammatory and some massage it should work itself out.  Angie has not complained at all at the thought of getting a few good massages  Thursday night after the Bible study, Andrew got sick to his stomach.  He just kind of layed around all weekend.  He was feeling better Sunday, but Sunday night he got sick again.  Arianna got sick also on Friday and Sunday.  I stayed home with the two sick ones while Angie went to church on Sunday.  It is rare for her to get to go to church without any little kids.  Currently working on first of the month paperwork, the Bible Study for this week, and some stuff for this summer.  We finally got our key for the attic and have been storing stuff here and there.  There is some really old stuff up there and I have asked permission to be able to use it of throw it away.  We also got Arianna's official name change requested.  We went to the office to get it done and they told us that we could not do it in person, we have to write a letter :(  What are the odds.  We are working with Andrew to get him to stop sucking his thumb. I think that is probably why he gets sick and spreads it to the rest of the family.  So far his thumb has remained dry all day.  We will see how long it stays that way.  Thanks for you thoughts and prayers.   Continue to be in prayer for us this week and for this month.  God bless, JASON

Just my size.