Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Time

We saw a pretty sunset on our walk.

The town's Christmas lights.

Arianna drinks without getting her dirty hands on her cup.

Caleb's birthday party.

Christmas morning.

Arianna got a slide.
Last week did end up being busy, but not as bad. Wednesday, Caleb had his birthday party, and Lilia had a swimming competition at the same time.  I went to Lilia's competition, where she did good, even beating some of the kids in High School. Our guests were not able to make it on Thursday. We did have a good visit on Friday afternoon.  Friday, Angie and Lilia went to the youth meeting and so the boys, Arianna, and I took a walk at dusk.  We enjoyed a nice, and the 70 degree weather was nice as well.  Services went well Sunday, we had a guests from Limoux go with us and attend the services.  The afternoon, we decided to take the kids to McDonalds, were they had happy meals and nine piece nuggets on sale for 2 euros.   That's right our whole family ate for about $18.  Christmas eve, Angie finished up some shopping.  Arianna has a full blown cold.  She had a little fever, cough, and runny nose.  Christmas eve, everyone went to bed ready for Christmas day.  I slept poorly, having fever myself during the night.  At our request the kids did not wake us up until 7 am.  We read the story about the birth of Jesus.  Each person took turns opening gifts.  Everyone was spoiled.  I felt poorly, but had a great time, and even took a nap.  We had a nice talk with our families.  The food was great for the day as well.  We always do a large breakfast about mid-morning.  Everyone had a great day.  I am still recuperating today, but also getting a little work done and a little play time in.  God bless, JASON   

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas dinner

Spiderweb frozen in the back yard.

Good food at the Christmas dinner outreach.

Arianna enjoying a snack with her friends at church.
Things have continued to be busy for everyone.  We have not had anyone for the Bible Study for a couple of weeks now because everyone seems to have things come up at the last minute.  We know that most will be gone during the holidays and so it might just be us.  Last weeks highlight was we picked up our visas, so we are good for another year.  Another good thing is that we have finished our Christmas shopping.  That is unless Angie thinks of other stuff that she wants at the last moment.  We have been having a good time watching Arianna recently.  She is growing taller and smarter. She was sleeping in church Sunday and started to wake up, when she noticed Andrew was sleeping next to her, she would reach out and rub his cheeks every now and then.  It was cute.  Lilia had a cross country run last week with her school.  She finished 26th out of several grades going all the way up to high school age.  I was shocked that they still had the race, being that it was rainy and cold.  But they did, and Lilia did a good job, a couple of the other students passed out.  It warmed up by the weekend to a nice 65 degrees, but I should be cooling back off today. Angie has continued to have a good time in her French class. She had a lunch last week with her class and had a good time visiting. Angie is by far the youngest in her class, and everyone is real impressed when she pulls out our cell phone to look something up.  One of our friends car re-broke down, so we took her to the train station on Wednesday.  Friday night, I had a practice with a choir group.  I am playing the piano for them, they sang at the Christmas dinner outreach at the church in Carcassonne.  We have been practicing together son Saturday mornings for several weeks now.  They are a nice group, most are from Madagascar and Mauritius.  Speaking of the Christmas dinner, we had a wonderful time.  All Saturday was spent getting ready for it, preparing the food.  We invited our neighbors and another family that we have had good contact with.  We almost did not invite this other family, but Angie ran into them at the grocery store on Friday and we asked and they said they would love to come.  They are a real sweet family and real open to talking about God and the Bible.  The dinner was real good, well attended.  The boys sang a special with the children's choir, Lilia sang with the young people's choir, Angie sang with the adult choir, and I sang and played with the other choir.  We had a great time.  Even the mayor attended. Sunday we were out all day.  We left for church Sunday morning, I was leading the services and doing the kids devotional.  After services we treated the kids to McDonalds as an early Christmas gift.  We then took them for a little shopping.  A church in the states had sent our children money, and we decided to let them exchange names and buy gifts for each other. Angie took them into the store one at a time, while I stayed in the car and helped the other finish their homework. It was the only time we had available to do it.  At 4:00 we attended the English (British) Carol service that the church in Carcassonne puts on every year.  We enjoyed the service and even knew most of the songs this year.   Snacks were served afterwards and someone made brownies with peanut butter chunks.  Wow!  Caleb's birthday is today. Ten years old already.  He is so excited because he can ride in the front seat now.  His party will not be until Wednesday, but he did get some Ramen noodles for lunch, his favorite, and we bought him a Dr. Pepper.  I need to get some yard work done while the weather is a little warmer.  Angie is taking a friend to the grocery store.  She will have her French class tomorrow morning.  I need to get visit some people tomorrow afternoon.  Tomorrow night will be the Bible Study, possibly.  Wednesday, Lilia has a swimming competition, Caleb will have his party, and I have my kids basketball group, followed by my practice with the guys team.  We might have some guests arriving on Thursday, so better get some other things finished today.  Blessings, JASON

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lights out

At the awards ceremony.

Lilia and Caleb play Wii, Micah and Andrew watch, Arianna pretends.

Our car passed the 100,000 km mark.
Rainy and cold would describe the weather of last week.  There was just one person for the Bible study.  I decided against going to the market Friday morning as it was below freezing and windy.  We put some Christmas lights up on the palm tree in front of our house.  The only problem with outdoor lights is there usually is not a outdoor plug.  Doors and windows close tightly to keep out the cold, so it is not easy to string lights up.  We found some solar powered lights for a good deal and put up a string to see how they did.  They worked good.  Unfortunately Sunday someone stole them off the tree.  We have an idea that it could be a neighbor boy who has stolen from us before, but we have no proof.  They were nice while they lasted.  Friday  I was given special recognition for volunteering in the basketball program.  There was a big sports assembly to recognize all the volunteers and others who had contributed in different ways.  We had a good time, I enjoyed visiting with my teammates.  Saturday mornings, I have been helping a choir from the church in Carcassonne with their Christmas music.  I play the piano for them.  They sound really good, and I am glad to be able to help.  Angie and Lilia had youth group Saturday evening, and left a little early to do some Christmas shopping.  Sunday went well.  After church, I took some banana bread to Philippe, and afterwards Angie went and visited with a neighbor. In between we enjoyed hearing the services in Carcassonne with Skype.  Monday, I talked with a basketball coach in Arkansas.  I have been working with him for several weeks, trying to get a couple of players from here into college over there.  Angie had her French class this morning.  She ate lunch with a couple from the class who invited everyone to their house.  God bless, JASON 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Lilia is ready for school, Andrew is not.

Kids ready to put their ornaments on the tree.

Love the coloring in this picture.

It is amazing how the season has suddenly changed here.  Not just with the sudden arrival of the Christmas season, but also with the changing weather.  Last week ended up being rainy and cold, but it was welcomed, because, after all, it has to become winter sometime.  I went to the market Friday, it was just above freezing when I arrived.  The basketball group that I coach is doing well.  They played a good scrimmage last Wednesday.  There was a new kid last week as well.  The weekend went well.  Friday night (family night) we played Scrabble with the kids and had a great time, the Caleb & Micah duo won, but there was only 10 points separating the winner from the lowest score, so it was a tight game.  Saturday night, Angie wanted to make some brownies for the meal after church on Sunday.  We got all the ingredients out to make sure we had everything, we had just enough butter.  Wouldn't you know that when Angie was getting it out of the microwave it fell out of her hand and ended up all over the floor, the rug, and herself.  We had a good laugh about it and tried best as we could to get it cleaned up.  So, no brownies.  Monday we were going to pick up our new visas that we renewed.  We arrived and found out that we needed to have brought our old visas.  Since we were in Carcassonne and had some time we wanted to stop by the Trocante.  Found a parking spot and walked over to it, found out they are closed on Monday mornings.  Guess that was a wasted trip.  I remember not long ago, I would have gotten upset about the waste, but now it seems its no big deal.  God's still in control.  We got our Christmas tree set up last night.  Have I ever mentioned how much we laugh.  I would like to see a study done on how much families laugh together.  We have to be near the top of the list.  Arianna has been talking, singing, squawking. . .non stop.  She has this new expressing that comes out frequently . . ."That's mine."  She will say it as the weirdest moments.  When we were leaving Carcassonne, we saw a man on a bike, pulling a little trailer with a dog riding on it.  They both were wearing rain coats.  As we were telling the kids about it, we asked Arianna if she remembered seeing them.  She replied, "That's mine."  God bless, JASON
Took the scenic route home from church, and found this tree.