Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's Take a Break

This picture is one I took with my laptop's camera.  It is what my poor computer has to look at while I am doing my French lessons each morning.  The lessons are going well but grammar and spelling are killing me.  I had to repeat one session three times before I made a passing grade.  If you make less than 80% it asks you to repeat the lesson. 

Break time use to be my favorite time at Lebus Mfg. Company.  It was time to stop working and to rest.  I use to go and get a cup of coffee and maybe a snack at break time.  When I first started to work in the Die Shop at Lebus they had me sweeping the floor and cleaning.  Come break time I was ready to rest.  I use to get a package of peanuts out of the vending machine and would take them home for Janie to enjoy.  It use to make me sad when she would finish eating them but that is a whole other story I will have to tell here some time.

Right now I am taking a break from sermonizing.  I am working on a new sermon for Sunday morning.  It is an exciting text and very convicting. The text mentions the sabbath which was a day of rest.  It was to be a day unlike any other normal week day.  It was a day, a whole day, you gave to God.  After I blog I am going for a walk. We had a big fresh homemade salad for lunch that was really good.  I talked to my oldest daughter while I was grocery shopping this morning.  I had to go to the bank and the post office so I  while I was out I went by Brookshire's.  I talked with my youngest daughter while I ate lunch. I took a break from blogging and talked with Jason just now. He has joined a basket ball group in the town there and that is looking like a really good way to build relationships with people there.  Arianna has gained two pounds and she sure looks cute even on Skype. 

Well break time is over.  I better get to walking.  God bless you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What a productive day

Me and Elijah, grandchild no. 9
Computer problems: Fixed! Church Bulletin: Done! Sermon for Tuesday night: Done! Sermon for Sunday Night: Done! Visit Nursing home and meet newest pastor in town: Done! Meet with new Meals on Wheels director: Done! Local minute files: Ready! Daily French lesson: Done! Sunday School lesson: Studied!  I love having a productive day.  I did not get my walk in but will go twice as far tomorrow.  Blog: Done! God bless you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Out And Out Fun

Enjoying Pomegranates at the Taylor house
We had a good visit with our grandkids on Friday and Saturday.  Elijah is six months old now and has really grown a lot.  I went walking with the grandkids and I introduced them to pomegranates.  I had to show them how to eat them and they enjoyed that.  I am not sure that Jonathan, the nearly three year old, got the hang of it.  He would put the seed in his mouth then spit it right back out. He seemed to have fun with it and as far as he could tell that was all that the others were doing. I just love spending time with grandkids.  There is so much that I could teach them and tell them.  They are just fun to be around.
We had a good crowd at church today. The services went very well and choir practice was just out and out fun. I have a very busy week ahead with the local association meeting at our church on Saturday. I have to get ready for that and get sermons ready for Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  I am running behind on so many things.  I am way behind schedule on my thesis and as soon as I get the local minute book ready to go I have to work on the database for the State association meeting.  I have a meeting tomorrow morning and one tomorrow afternoon. Two meetings on Tuesday and one on Wednesday.  We need to go to Canton on Thursday, Henderson on Friday and back to Hillsboro for the meeting on Saturday.  Busy Busy. God bless  you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Concert

Connie, Susie, Lara, and Charlcye
A private concert for the Taylors

Tom Peveler, Lara, and Janie at the concert
Last night Janie's sister, Connie, Tom, and Susie sang for the Taylors.  They sing really good.  Susie played the guitar some as did Tom.  They really should make a CD they are that good.  We all enjoyed it.  The pictures above are ones I took while they were singing.
We must leave in about an hour to head for another doctor's office.  I am taking my father-in-law to Longview this time to see a doctor there.  I got up early this morning and worked on my French lesson.  Janie and I took her parents trash off and visited with her uncle Trenton.  We had a good visit with him and returned home and I cooked some eggs and bacon for Janie and her mother for breakfast.  I talked to my daughter, Stacie, for a while and will be seeing her and family tonight.  We have not seen them in a long time.  We will head back to Hillsboro tomorrow afternoon.  God bless you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall

My Father-in-law at the doctor's office Today
It is the first day of fall if I am not mistaken.  Our Wednesday night services were exceptional. Justin and Sarah came to stay the night at our house last night and got there in time for us to visit with them briefly before we headed for Henderson.  We gave Sarah her birthday present and then headed off.  When we arrived it was after 1:00 in the morning and the moon was full and beautiful.  Janie and I lingered outside for a bit to enjoy the moon light.  I took my father and mother-in-law to Tyler and Janie remained at the house to get some work done. My Father-in-law's doctor's appointment when well and his blood work was normal.  When we got back to the house we ate lunch together and talked about old times.  I asked my mother-in-law a bunch of questions about her early adult life. Janie and I took a long walk and that is always enjoyable. I had a long talk with my older brother and he is doing well.  I always enjoy are conversations.  I have interrupted Janie's work to finish this blog so I better let her have the computer back.  God bless you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Sermons


Bro. Paul, preaching at the nursing home
I like new sermons.  It is not uncommon for me to preach sermons I have preached before.  I have thousands of sermons and some I have preached only once others I have preached a half a dozen times or more.  By far I like preaching new sermons.  I enjoy studying a text and learning and discovering new and exciting things in God's Word.  When I do I can't wait to get to a pulpit and share it with people.  I spent about four hours studying the text I preached this evening.  It was new and fresh and exciting.  I really enjoyed preaching it.  The problem with new sermons is that they take more study time and there are times that I am busy with other work for the Lord and just don't have time to work up a new sermon.  I decided this evening that because I enjoy a new sermon so much that I am going to do as many new sermons as I can.  I had planned to preach from Matthew a sermon I had done before but not here at Walnut Street.  I have now decided to preach a new one Sunday morning and will share the one I did this evening with Walnut Street Sunday night. Tomorrow night I plan to preach a new sermon from the book of Leviticus chapter 14.  I have not worked it up yet but just thinking about the text has me excited.

Touring Carcassone with the grandkids
I have much work to do for the upcoming association meetings both the Local and the State.  I am going to tackle that next but thought I would blog first.  The ladies Bible study was really good this morning.  They ask lots of questions on and off the subject at hand.  I love these sessions and they really keep me on my guard.  I have to be instant in season and out, being ready for any question from Genesis to Revelation.
The French lessons are coming along better than I had expected.  I am using RosettaStone software and it is very effective.  They say in their advertisement that you don't have to memorize anything and I could not understand how that could be.  How else will you remember what a word means if you don't memorize the word and put it with its English counterpart.  Well it is true to its claim.  The software has thus far not yet spoken one word of English to me. NOT ONE! Yet when I hear the French word for cat, "chat", I don't translate the word I think of a cat. The software makes you think in French.  I can see how this is going to work very well for me. I started to translate the words and caught myself.  You don't translate you put the word with the action or thing that it represents.  The part that is giving me problems is grammar.  I score well on knowing what things and actions are but when you put them into sentences and you must match gender and number and such I score very low.  I get upper 90's and 100's on speaking and knowing the words but 60's and 80's in putting the right words with those nouns and verbs.  The learning process is just begun but it is looking good. 

Well its back to work. God bless you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Next Thing

Bro. Paul leading the singing at the nursing home
Janie and her mother heading for the beauty shop
French lessons were the first order of business early this morning.  That took about an hour and then the nursing home visit was the next thing. It was not my turn to preach but I did enjoy the services and getting to see friends.  Mowing the yard was the next thing on the agenda for the day.  The lawn mower needs a new battery and some day it will get one. Its friend, VW Jetta, gave it a boost and it ran like new.  The lawn mower cares nothing for fire ant mounds.  It shows no fear as it sends ants running every which way.  The tree in the front yard needed a hair cut really bad and it got a good one. The ladies auxiliary meeting time arrived quickly and so it was time for Bro. Paul to vacate the premises.  Things were quiet at the office.  The church bulletin got all the attention instead of the thesis.  The copier at the church no longer has a room of its own.  It got moved next to the computer which is used for publishing the church bulletin.  The driver for the copier/printer was installed and now the bulletin can be printed out directly skipping the printing and scanning steps.  This will save on ink, and money saved is money earned.  The next thing was to give the hiking shoes a work out.  Three miles and nine chapters in Proverbs later it was time to put the shoes away.  Blogging, news, and bed is all that remains of this really good day which the Lord has made.
The church in Lorena voted to have services every Tuesday night.  I love to preach and am excited about having more opportunities to do so.  I have not completely decided what to preach for them but am leaning toward the book of Proverbs.  The Holy Spirit has been silent as far as I can tell about what I am too preach this Sunday.  If He remains silent I will take that to mean that He intends for me to proceed with the plan to preach from the book of Matthew.  Well its time to move to the next thing.  God bless you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Parlez-vous fran├žais? Not Yet

Justin and Sarah's new home
We had five first time visitors in our services today. We love to have visitors.  Janie and I were invited to lunch and one of our first time visitors was also invited to join us. I had much in common with him.  He works for a steel company of which I was familiar.  He is a millwright and I was a machinist.  He is a very likable young man and says we will be seeing more of him.
This afternoon I began my first French lesson.  It is a very long journey but I shall be patient.  I am resolved to learn this language and have set aside time each day for this purpose.  Tomorrow while the Ladies Auxiliary meets at our house I plan to work on my thesis.  I am anxious to return to that labor and shall do so with much delight. I have too few index cards to begin the sorting process so the actual setting down of the words of the thesis is still far away.
Yesterday we visited our daughter and got to see there new home.  It was very nice indeed.  If it were located in the middle of a 200 acre farm I believe they would be most content.  They have cows on one place, pigs, turkeys and other fowl on another, and chickens on yet another place. God truly has blessed them.  Its off to bed now.  I plan to do my French lessons first thing each morning so had better get a good nights rest.  God bless you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sewing in the Morning

Mother's new sewing machine
I went over to my mother's house while Janie went with her mother to the beauty shop yesterday.  I had to stop at 2 different drug stores before I got to mother's.  When I came out of the first drug store there in Henderson I got into my car and the battery was dead.  I called my brother-in-law and he just happened to be in town and was there at my side in less than 5 minutes.  He had jumper cables and got me going. He followed me to the auto parts store just down the street where I bought a new battery and they installed it for me.  Once back on the road I finished my drug store run and got to mother's house about 1 o'clock.  We had a good long visit.  I showed her the 309 pictures I had of our vacation.  We went outside and sat in the shade for awhile.  It was 100 degrees.  Mother's sewing machine had quit on her and she had bought a new one from Wal-mart but it was broken right out of the box so she returned it.  She told me she was going to go to Longview and shop for a new machine. I offered to take her to Longview and she was hoping that I would.  We went to a real nice sewing center.  This place was amazing having everything a sewing person could want.  We looked at the sewing machines while waiting for someone to help us.  They sell a brand of machine of which I had never heard.  It is company called "PFAFF."  I gather from what mother said and the sales lady that it is a very good brand.  The lady showed mother three different machines and mother chose the best of the three. I interrupted her and the sales lady saying "hold on not so fast, what about these over here."  They had some with computer screens with USB ports and software.  I felt as though the lady and Mother wanted to slap me at the same time.  The lady said "Those are not for you mother this is the one she needs." Mother completely agreed not wanting anything that remotely resembled something digital.  We bought the machine and the lady opened it up  and showed mother how to use it and made sure it was working properly.  I put it in the car and off we went.  I told her when I left her house not to stay up all night sewing
Mother checking out the book on her new machine
with that new machine.  She was excited about it I could tell.  She assured me that she would wait until the morning.
Janie and I will head back to Hillsboro this morning stopping to see our daughter's new house in Palestine.  I preached the sermon that I am going to do Sunday to my in-laws last night.  It made me anxious to preach it Sunday morning.  God bless you. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Irons In The Fire

Lilia's collection of pet toys, Janie & Arianna behind her
Janie and I stayed up until midnight stuffing 286 envelopes.  They are all stamped and ready to be mailed to the churches of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas.  I am going to run them over to the post office here in a bit.  It is my hope that most churches will fill out their church letter forms Online at www.baptistville.org for that will be a big help to me and the enrollment committee.  I am one of the two clerks for the M.B.A.of Texas.  It is good that I do not have to do the State clerk job alone.  Hopefully the State minute book will go to press before the end of the year.  This year I am going to see if I can get everything for the State minute book on my computer also.  Normally I only have on my computer my notes of the meeting but this year I want to be able to back up the other clerk's work and be able, if needed, to publish the minute book myself should something happen, God forbid, to the other clerk's computer. 
Our local Association meeting will be at our church on October 2nd.  I am the clerk/treasurer for our local association which means I take care of the money and have the minute books printed and mailed out.  I plan to have the local minutes printed out and ready to go before the State Association meeting in November. That is an ambitious goal but one I think I can achieve.  
I have often thought about taking some irons out of the fire.  I sometimes think that at 57 I should start winding down a bit.  I could give up both clerk jobs and the camp registrar's job and the tech support for sullivansupply.com and that would give me more time for other things.  I have even considered not pushing for the doctor's degree and just write my book on the Song of Songs without the pressure of a deadline.  A friend just asked me to consider taking on another task/responsiblity and I am praying about that.  My health is good and I seem to have plenty of energy.  There are somethings that I would like to spend more time doing like, visitation, woodworking, hiking, learning French, learning Biblical Hebrew, and gardening.  The thing is this.... I am going to always have Irons in the fire.  I know myself well enough that for every one I take out I will but another in.  It boils down then to what Irons do I want in my fire.  I think, Lord willing, I will just keep the ones I have in there for now.
God bless you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Forgetter Works Good

Me and Marie, a long time member of Walnut St. Baptist
My forgetter works real good.  I was suppose to attend a meeting today at noon and I forgot all about it.  I got a phone call about 12:15 asking if I was coming.  I got to the meeting late and got in on the last little bit of discussion.  I had a lot to do today and got a lot done.  The 286 letters that I have to mail out are all printed and ready to be folded, stuffed, licked, and stamped.  One year my grandkids helped me with that task and I paid them for it.  It would be nice if they lived closer to us.  I plan to watch a movie tonight after church and while the movie is going I will stuff the envelopes.

I have typed the exposition of 7 of the 10 verses I will be covering in the Sunday sermon. I will try to finish that off in the morning.  I went by the bank, Post Office, mission treasurer's house, and the church. I am suppose to be walking right now but thought I would blog first before I forgot it.  You know, I never forget to eat.  I never forget to sleep. I never forget to go to church.  I did forget to pick Janie up from work once but not twice.  Forgetting is a common malady.  I just wish it would happen less.  I have a funeral tomorrow afternoon and then its off to Henderson.  We really want to go see our grandkids in Moss Hill, its just a matter of picking a day. I suspect we will go to Henderson on a Thursday and then to Moss Hill on a Friday morning.  That would probably work best for us.  Well I better get to walking.  God bless you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jet Lag Over

On the way to school in Limoux France
I think the jet lag is over now.  My sleep routine has returned.  I got up at 6:30 yesterday and again this morning so I think 2 days in a row of normal means its over.  We have ladies Bible study this morning and I am going to discuss with them the doctrine of Amillenialism.  This seems to be a popular doctrine in Europe.  I read a long article last night that defended the position and then another long one that refuted it. 

We have a lunch engagement with a friend today and then this afternoon at 5:00 we will head down to Lorena for services there.  They had listened to a recording of one of my sermons in their Sunday morning services and I had run out of time and announced that I would finish that sermon in the evening services.  I got a phone call requesting that I come prepared to finish that sermon so as not to leave them hanging.  I have that sermon out and will preach that for them this evening.

The bulletin is ready for Sunday and today I will get the sermon for Sunday typed up.  I am going to attempt to preach through the book of Genesis on Sunday mornings and will start that series most likely in January.  I had planned not to do a series like that until I finished my thesis but the LORD had other plans for me.  I just can't seem to keep Genesis off of my mind so I will yield to His leading.  I am planning to preach on a Christmas theme each Sunday in December which is not that far away.
Ok its off to study now, the ladies will be here in 2 hours.  God bless you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Untitled Hymn

When I woke this morning,
the Holy Spirit came.
He told me "son your life is not a game."
You need Jesus,
You need Jesus,
You need Jesus, to live.

We went before the throne,
He waited at my side.
I praised the Lord, for me it was He died.
Thank you Jesus
Thank you Jesus
Thank you Jesus, I live.

For some things I asked Him,
I confessed my guilt of sin.
I felt so undeserving deep within.
I love you Jesus
Love you Jesus
Love you Jesus, you live.

I lingered just a moment,
When amen I'd said.
I got upon my feet and rose from bed.
I'll live for Jesus
live for Jesus
live for Jesus, He lives.

Thankful for my breakfast.
Thankful for my wife.
Thankful God has given eternal life.
Now go serve Jesus
go serve Jesus
go serve Jesus, and live.

Janie and I overlooking the Aude river in Limoux
At the funeral yesterday a young man sang the song "Untitled Hymn."  It is a beautiful song written by Chris Rice.  Google it on youtube.com and check it out.  That tune was stuck in my head this morning.  The lyrics above came to me this morning and so I have shared them with you.  
God is moving in my life and I am just following His lead.  I woke this morning with my mind full of the things that I needed to get done.  All of a sudden the Holy Spirit called me to the throne and a chill went down my spine.  I obeyed and began to pray. Now don't think me crazy.  I do not hear voices in my head.  The Holy Spirit speaks to my heart.  I would never pray at all if the Holy Spirit did not move me to prayer.  My spiritual ears have been cleaned out it seems and I am more aware than ever of the actions, and the voice of the Holy Spirit of God.  
Today I will preach at the nursing home, visit some of our shut-ins, and prepare the bulletin for Sunday.  Tuesday I will teach the Ladies Bible Study and preach in the services down in Lorena. Wednesday will find me meeting with 3 other pastors in Corsicanna and I will preach our evening services.  Thursday afternoon I have a graveside service to officiate and then its off to Henderson.  All of these tasks have been given to me by the Lord and I will, in His strength, do my best.  Well it is time for Bible reading, and I need to review my sermon for this mornings service.  God bless you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Desynchronosis

Our grandson, Andrew beside a tractor in France
Desynchronosis is the medical term for what is commonly called "jet lag."  I have a good dose of it this morning.  Yesterday I took a nap even though I had had a long nights sleep.  It is 4:14 in the morning as I am writing this blog.  I woke up about 3:00 and had a long talk with God.  After that prayer my heart was so full of joy I could sleep no longer.  I love the LORD.  I was praising Him this morning in my prayer.  His Spirit moved me to remember the moment when He took my sin, my sorrow, my shame and made them His very own.  He took that burden to Calvary and suffered and died alone.  In a moment of time God the Father took the blood of His dear Son and right there at the foot of the cross he washed me and cleansed me from every spot and stain of sin.  He took away my silly, foolish apron of fig leaves and covered my nakedness and shame with a garment of white; A garment that was washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb of God.  Thank you LORD for saving my soul! "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."  (John 17:3) Do you know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom God the Father has sent?  That journey begins with God the Father drawing you with His Holy Spirit by conviction of sin.  It continues when you listen to that conviction and repent of your sins.  That glorious journey continues on when you believe that Jesus is the Christ, The Savior of men.  The journey goes onward and upward when you seek through prayer His mercy and forgiveness.  It is a glorious moment when you are forgiven of your sin, and one you will never forget! 
Janie and me with our 5 grandkids in France
This morning I will preach from Matthew 11:28-30 "THE GREAT INVITATION FROM JESUS."  I love to preach God's Holy Word.  Jason was telling me about the counsel that a man who is very very good at helping preachers during difficult times gives.  He advises that preachers ought to take 3 Sundays off a year and get away.  The only way that I can see that as a good thing for me is if I can preach somewhere else those 3 Sundays or by not preaching it renews my hunger for preaching by showing me what life would be if I could not preach.  The LORD has blessed me this week with 9 opportunities to preach His Word.  Since I only preached once in the past 2 weeks I am very hungry for preaching.  My fast is over and I am going to feast this week.  God bless you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We are Home

Janie with our new found friends in France
We made it home safely from France.  We were up a total of 43 hours from the time we got up at Jason's house until we went to bed after getting home in Hillsboro.  We had a good nights rest and have hit the ground running this morning.  Two of our church members died while we were on vacation.  A former pastor, Bro. Billy Daniels held the first funeral in my place but the second one I will do this Sunday.  I will need to get that sermon ready today and the sermons for Sunday along with reviewing the Sunday School lesson.  Tonight we will go to family visitation and tomorrow afternoon I will preach the funeral.  Monday I plan to do some visitation and then get back to work on my thesis. 
Jason, Me, and Hicham, the pastor in Carcassonne
We really enjoyed our trip to France.  I plan to stay in touch with the pastor at the church in Carcassonne and will enjoy discussing Bible doctrines with him.  We were sent home with several gifts from our new found friends in France.  I opened a jar of homemade fig preserves that was given to us.  They had walnuts in them and tasted very very good. One lady gave us several handmade things which we are anxious to show everyone.  I will try to take some pictures of these and show them here on this blog later.  Justin and Sarah picked us up at the airport and spent the night with us last night.  They left after breakfast this morning.  They have moved into a new house and we are going to try to go by there to see it the end of next week.  It is good to be back home.  God bless  you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are We There Yet

Lilia, Caleb, and me at the summit marker mount Pic de Brau
The kids are out of school on Wednesdays.  Our morning started off with the police surrounding the house next door and arresting the man who lives there.  They pulled him, handcuffed, out of his bedroom window.  One of the police officers came to Jason and Angie's house and told them what was going on and that it did not involve them.  There was no sleeping after that. 
Lilia, Me, and Caleb about 1/3 of the way up the mountain.
Jason and I took Lilia and Caleb with us on a hike.  We walked by road to the trail head and then started up a mountain.  It was very steep with no switchbacks.  I stopped at least three times to rest.  I walked very very slowly up the steep grade.  After about three hours I reached the top.  Jason and Lilia went ahead of me and Caleb getting to the top way ahead of us.  There was a row of electric generator windmills at the top and it was very windy.  My left leg was hurting by the time I reached the summit.  We took some pictures and Jason called Angie to come and pick us up.  We started back down the mountain and Jason went quickly to the bottom to meet Angie.  Lilia and I brought up the rear coming down the steep grade very slowly.  We made it back to the road without any problem and then walked a ways down the road before being met by Jason, Angie, and Caleb in the car.  It was a sight for sore eyes.  It only took us an hour and a half to make it down the mountain.  I enjoyed visiting with Caleb on the way up and with Lilia on the way down.  I was singing hymns on the way up and with Lilia's help I was singing a French song on the way back down.  It was all in all a great hike.  The view from on top was amazing.
This evening we took the kids to a carnival in town.  They had a really good time.  They were so excited.  We returned home and Jason and Angie cooked us another outstanding meal. 
Caleb, Andrew, and Micah at the carnival
Tomorrow is our last day in France.  I will attempt to print our boarding passes in the morning and pack our suitcases.  We want to pick up a few things in town so will do that in the morning.  The Bible study tomorrow night will be a good time to tell everyone good bye.  About midnight we will head for the airport in Barcelona.  Though we have had a really good time these two weeks I am looking forward to being home.  God bless you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Castle

Micah, Jason, Caleb, Andrew, Janie, and Lilia in front of the castle
Sweet Arianna, her feet are ticklish
Another good day in France.  I did have a headache today and took a couple of short naps.  This afternoon I was feeling much better.  This morning we went to the village cemetery and discovered that they bury family in the same grave.  We had a visit from one of the ladies from the church at Carcassone this afternoon and enjoyed her visit.  We went to pick up the two boys from school and then went to the Castle in Carcassone.  It was very interesting and we took a lot of pictures.  There were gift shops there and we picked up some souvenirs.  We took the kids to eat at the French version of McDonald's called "Quick."  It was very good.  Tomorrow we are going to go for a hike up the mountain and that should be a lot of fun.  Just two more days in France. The time has passed quickly.  God bless you.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Vacation

Publish Post
Now that's what you call a yawn.
We kind of took the day off today and stayed at home.  We just took it easy all day.  The kids went to school and Jason went to take care of some business which did not go well as it turned out.  We watched a movie and just relaxed.  Janie rocked Arianna several times today and she enjoyed that.  The baby seems to have her days and nights mixed up a bit.  Jason is talking about taking a hike with me up to the top of the hill across the valley.  That sounds like fun to me.  There is a carnival in town and the kids want to go so that may take up our Wednesday which is the kids day off from school.  Lilia and Andrew will not have school tomorrow due to a strike.
We went grocery shopping with Jason this afternoon.  Supper consisted of fish sticks, mixed veggies, a baguette, and some pasta.  It was very good.  For dessert we had Panna Cotta that was really good.  Everyone has gone to bed but Janie and I so I guess we should head that way. God bless you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fait Le Bise

Fellowship at the church in Carcassone.
We had another great day today.  We went to church in Carcassonne and I was given a chance to speak to the congregation.  I thanked them for their help with Jason and told them of the gift we had brought to them.  We brought them pecan pralines.  The singing was beautiful and the sermon was outstanding.  Their new pastor is a really good preacher.  I think he speaks something like 4 different languages. They closed the service with the observance of the Lord's supper.  Janie and I declined the offer to join them.  This church practices close communion and we practice closed.  After the services Jason passed out the pecan pralines and they all seemed to really enjoy them.  They moved the chairs and set up tables and about 20 people stayed to eat lunch.  They put the food on the tables and each table has different foods.  We first ate what was on our table and then those were moved to another table and new dishes were set before us.  We sampled each of these and again more and different foods made it to our table. The meal ends with cheese and then desert. The cheese was very good and the desert was chocolate birthday cake.  It was one of the ladies birthday. They sang Happy Birthday in English, I suppose the English was just for us. 
Last Sunday I was new to this culture but this Sunday I "Fait le bise"d like everyone else. Now for those of you who do not know what that is let me enlighten you.  "Fait le bise" is what you call the way they greet each other here in France.  It is to gesture a kiss to the right cheek and then to the left of the person you are greeting. Now most limit it to just that while others actually kiss your cheeks.  It was not as uncomfortable a thing as I thought it would be.  I have a son-in-law that would hurt you if you tried such a thing with him.
During our meal I got to visit with the retired pastor of the church at Carcassone.  We had a really good Bible discussion and I look forward to our email conversations in the future on various Bible topics.
The services at Walnut Street went very well.  I enjoyed the singing and the sermon.  I look forward to being back there next Sunday.  
The men washing the dishes after the fellowship
Jason cooked a really good supper tonight and after the kids went to bed we watched a movie.  During the movie three bats entered the house for a visit.  We had the doors open to let some cool air in and they came right in.  We turned the lights out and in a bit they left.   Janie was rocking Arianna and carefully left the room with her until our visitors were gone.   Well its off to bed now. God bless you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

She is Home

Janie in the back seat on the way to IKEA
They brought Arianna home today.  Janie and I took care of the kids this morning and afternoon waiting for Arianna's arrival home.  We took the kids for a walk after lunch into the center of Magrie.  There is a Catholic Cathedral there that was built in the 1400's.  After Arianna arrived and got settled in Jason took us to IKEA to shop.  We bought Angie a rocking chair and Jason bought a cabinet.  We returned home and Jason assembled the chair.  Janie is now rocking Arianna and both seem to like it.
We have seen three crops that grow here in southern France, grapes, sunflowers, and maze.  We have eaten locally grown strawberries and they were excellent. 
Arianna in a new outfit at home
I am looking forward to church services in the morning.  They are going to have a fellowship afterward and I am looking forward to experiencing a French covered dish lunch.  I plan to watch the services at Walnut Street tomorrow.  God bless you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shopping in France

Rabbits, eye balls and all, at a meat market Limoux, France
Now that is fresh Chicken
Janie wanted to feel of the river water, it was cold.
We got the kids ready for school this morning and Jason arrived from the hospital in time to take them.  We ate chocolate covered waffles for breakfast.  After dropping the kids off at school Jason took us for a long walk through town.  It was market day and we saw a lot interesting things.  Janie was able to find a couple of skirts and I got a couple of post cards.  As you can see from the pictures we saw some interesting sites.  We took a short walk by the river and even went into the large Catholic church in the center of town.  We went to a piano museum and it was interesting.  We walked up to a man that was playing one of the pianos and he looked up at us and said "Hello."  He was an American who split his time living in France and in California.  He recognized right off that we were from Texas.  I am not sure what it is about our speech that betrays our origin but it sure gave us away I reckon.  We stayed in town until the kids got out for lunch and we returned home for lunch.  I had a peanut butter and lemon jelly sandwich also a peanut butter and fig sandwich both were good.  After taking the kids back to school we went and visited with Angie and Arianna for the afternoon.  That little girl sure is sweet.  Janie and I took turns holding her while we visited with Jason and Angie.  We left the hospital in time to pick up the kids and one of the ladies from the Bible study had made us a casserole and we stopped by to pick that up.  We cooked it for supper along with some leftovers and it was very good.  We are going to watch a movie with the kids then head them to bed.  Our vacation has been a really good one.  Janie has been trying to figure out Andrew's problem with potty training.  No progress as yet but Janie does not give up easy.  God bless you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Escargot

Escargot, does not taste like chicken
Jason and I took the kids for their first day of school.  We parked by the river and walked down narrow streets about a 1/4 of a mile to the school yard.  We waited with a group of children and parents numbering about 400 or so.  A woman I had met yesterday came up to me and spoke a long line of French words and in a bit she could, no doubt, see in my expression that I had no idea what she was saying.  I could make out that she knew I was Jason's father and that I did not speak English so she bid me good bye and walked off.  Jason, Andrew, and I went back to the car and then to the hospital to pick up Janie.  We went back to the school and got the kids for lunch.  Jason took them back to school and Janie and I took a nap. 
The Bible Study group, Magrie, France

Jason cooked our supper tonight before the Bible study.  We had smoked chicken, string beans, corn and escargot.  Jason and I were the only ones to eat the escargot.  For those who may not know what that is I have place a picture of it here.  They are snails and they were not bad at all.  They really don't have much taste and are not as slimy as you might think.  We cleaned up after supper and got ready for the arrival of the Bible study group.  There were five in attendance besides us.  Jason played the guitar and led the singing of two songs.  He turned it over to me for the lesson.  Three of the five did not speak English so Jason started off translating and then turned it over to the retired pastor of the church at Carcassonne to translate the rest of the way.  It was hard to keep up with me though I tried to keep it slow and simple.  We closed the service with a chain prayer and then visited a bit before the five left.  It was a good Bible study time and all seemed to enjoy it. 
Jason has gone to spend the night with Angie.  Janie and I will get the kids up and ready for school in the morning.  Jason will return to carry them to school and to take us to the Friday market day in town.  It will be a good morning of site seeing and shopping.  We will probably stay in town until noon when the kids get out for lunch. 
Angie and Arianna are doing fine.  I don't know when they will come home but we are looking forward to seeing them outside of the hospital.  I am going to check my email and head for bed. God bless you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Qu'est-ce Que C'est Vomit?

Caleb, Lilia, Andrew, Micah on top of the hill near their house
Janie outside Curves in Carcassonne, France
I got up this morning to the sound of grandkids in the house.  I let Janie sleep in, which she did not do, while I took the kids out for breakfast.  McDonald's in France does not serve breakfast so we went to a store to buy some pastries to take back to the house.  Right before we went to the store Caleb said his stomach hurt.  I asked where and he pointed.  He was acting normal otherwise so I had him load up with the rest of the kids and headed to the store.  In the checkout line I paid for our breakfast goodies and the cashier pointed beside me and said a word in French.  I turned to see Caleb standing right beside me with a handful of goo that had a trail leading to his nose and mouth.  Beneath him at his feet was a puddle of gooie clear liquid whose source could only have been the same as that in his hands.  The cashier offered me a roll of paper towels and I began to clean him up and the floor as the people in line seemed to have an air of patience and deepest sympathy.  The cashier spake more words that I could not comprehend and Lilia said "she wants to know if you need more paper towels.  I indicated "no" and finished the clean up with what I had.  I took my change from the counter and led the brood to the car.  Caleb exclaimed in the car "I never threw up in Le Clerc before."  That was the name of the store as I understand it.  He laid down on the couch when we got home and Lilia gave him a bowl to hold.  We ate eclairs in front of him and they were outstanding.  After we were through with breakfast Caleb decided he was hungry now so he ate 2 eclairs and began to play with the others.  He seemed to be feeling fine and had lots of energy to play.  We loaded up and headed to the hospital later to let Janie take Jason's place with Angie and Arianna.  We got about 3 miles from the hospital when Caleb struck again. All over the carpet in the car.  I pulled over and Janie cleaned up the mess, bless her heart.  We loaded back up and completed the journey.  He has not vomited since but has had a problem at the other end.  Angie wants Jason to keep him home from the first day of school just to make sure he is over it.  He is going to hate that for He is really looking forward to being back in school. 
Janie with Curves worker next to the dreaded stretch machine
Jason took us to McDonald's for lunch and then for some site seeing.  We pass a Curves place and went back for some pictures.  Janie went inside and the lady there offered to let her go the rounds but she declined.  We just saw this as a photo opportunity and took it.  Jason went inside with her to take the pictures and to interpret.  After lunch we returned to drop Janie off at the hospital and then headed home where we took a walk to the top of the hill near Jason's house and then Jason cooked us a really good supper.  We cleaned up and Jason bathed the boys.  We watched a movie and then put them to bed.  I will head that way myself right after this blog. 
I will miss being with Janie tonight.  She will enjoy time with the baby and I am sure will be very tired tomorrow.  I don't know what will happen tomorrow if any of the other kids get sick they may call off the Bible Study.  Hopefully none of the rest of them or us will get sick.  I better head for bed quick to keep my resistance up.  It has been good to be here and I hope that we have been able to be a help to Jason and Angie.  The things we do on our vacation to the south of France is probably nothing like the things most people do when they vacation is such an exotic place.  I have studied the Bible today and I always enjoy that.  I have washed dishes today and cleaned up after a sick child.  How many vacationers to Europe can say that.  God bless you.