Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surgery Update

During my pregnancy, I experienced  tachycardia after about 24 weeks. My heart rate would often go above 200 beats per minute. It was very scary and very uncomfortable. We heard so many possible reasons from so many doctors: you body has twice the amount of blood due to pregnancy, it could be a birth defect, you are over stressed, hormones, etc. All we knew was that my heart was having to work even harder. You heart is a muscle and it can become fatigued. What were we to do?

After a night in the hospital, an ultrasound on my heart, and some other testing, it was decided the best course of action was medication, and then re-visit the issue after the baby came.

During all of these appointments, we were assured the baby was safe. The only issue that could arrise would be delivery. If my heart was fatigued already, would I be able to handle the stresses of delivery? Needless to say, we prayed. We prayed, our family prayed, our friends prayed, our church prayed, and our team prayed. God was with us all along, constantly letting us know He was in charge.

Our delivery went well. During and after the birth, my heart beat remained strong, slow, and steady. It was a miracle! But to be on the safe side, there was a cardiologist on speed dial. I was tested afterwards and my heart rate has remained perfect. Since I experienced the issue during pregnancy, the question became, "will it happen again during pregnancy?" Because we will be leaving for Africa in less than a year, the possibility of being pregnant in Africa is very high. We decided to investigate some options in order to reduce the risks in Africa. Our decision was a Cardiac Ablation.

I was scheduled for surgery the Wednesday before Christmas. The doctor worked for 2 hours attempting to replicate the rapid heart rate, but no matter what he tried, my heart remained strong, slow, and steady. There was nothing to fix. Once again, God remined us that He was in charge! We feel grateful there is nothing wrong with my heart and the possible culprit appears to be pregnancy related.

Now the cardiologist is going to write a prescription for medication right before we leave for Africa (just in case). That way I can self-medicate if the problem happens again. In the meantime, we are trying to eat healthier and exercise more to strengthen my heart, hopefully preventing a reoccurrence. Thank you so much for your prayers during this time!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

First Semester....COMPLETED!

Has it really been a month since our last update? Wow. Where does the time go? But hey, we did it! We survived our first semester of French Language school.
 Going back to school after years of not studying was very difficult, especially with a baby. But we worked hard, studied a lot, and adapted to our new Canadian environment.
We have made great friends and we will dearly miss those who have left for the field. We praise God for having the opportunity to be around so many missionaries, people who have dedicated their lives to the glory of God!
So where are we now? We made it back to East Tennessee for the holidays to celebrate with the family. We will head back to Canada after the beginning of the New Year for our second semester of language school. We look forward to sharing more of our adventure with you guys as we go.

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Raising our Children in the Way They Should Go

Check out my full guest post at Intentional by Grace. Here is a sneak peak.

As a parent, it is so exciting to imagine what the future holds for our daughter: Will Adah have my height? Will she be sporty like her father? Will she become a missionary or a doctor? Will she have kids of her own one day?
But for every happy moment of day dreaming, there is usually a thought that snaps me back to reality: Will she be stubborn like her dad? Will she be nosy like her mom? Will she repeat the same mistakes we made growing up?
We were all rebellious children in some way. I am sure we have uttered at least one foul word in our lives. I am positive we disobeyed our parents at least twice. And I am more than certain that we told a fib or five. But how can we use this to help our children?
Check here to read the rest!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Halloween in Pictures

Knowing this Halloween might be our only opportunity for Adah to celebrate in a western fashion got me all excited! I found a cute, warm and cozy costume on sale! We took lots of before-hand pictures and got her all excited! Our little flower was ready to shine! So, we dressed up the munchkin and went to hang at a local church.
We met some of our language school missionary families and one of them has a son Oliver who is 6 weeks older than Adah! They like each other (much to Kevin's dismay)!
We played some games (in French)!
We made others smile!
Then we took our basket to go knock on one door! (Adah didn't need the candy but mama needed the pictures!)
"Cogner" means "to knock"! And you say "Halloween" instead of "trick-or-treat"! Also note, you say "Halloween" with a French accent (Owl-oh-win!)
YAY! Another day practicing French, enjoying the culture, and being a silly family!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5 Gifts You Can Give Your Children

5 Gifts You Can Give Your Children is a contributor blog I wrote for Intentional by Grace

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

As a woman and mother, do you realize you are in your own at-home ministry? In the book “The Ministry of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson, she explains that children need an unwavering spiritual compass to lead them through life, one that we mothers provide as part of our ministry.

*To check out the rest of the story, click here

Monday, October 29, 2012

On a break...and on to adventure!

Sorry for the delay in posts, but last week was our fall break - we survived midterms! Hooray! So we celebrated by taking a break - from blogging, from school, and from Canada. We traveled back to East Tennessee to visit family. (Please do not be offended if we do not get to spend time together as this trip was mainly for the grandparents to have some one-on-one baby time, and seeing us was a mini-bonus!) Without further ado, here are some of our adventures from last week.

We had plans to fly to Tennessee on Friday evening so that Adah could sleep on the flight.
Super Baby Spann
We took our exams early during the week and had all day Friday to pack our bags and empty our refrigerator. At 6 AM on Friday morning, Kevin received an automated wake-up call from the airlines telling us our flight has been cancelled. What?!? Now being awake, Kevin called to speak to a human being in an attempt to try and get some more info on our flight. It was indeed cancelled, with no explanation; but they were happy to accommodate us. Our next flight was Sunday. Not later on Friday. Not Saturday. But Sunday morning. Kevin, being the ever patient pilot/mechanic, tried to find out about other options: departing from Montreal, departing from Vermont, arriving in Knoxville, arriving in Nashville, arriving in Atlanta, arriving in Charlotte, arriving in Lexington, etc. Nothing could connect us to a location near Tennessee anytime before we would arrive Sunday on the regular flight. So, Sunday was our only option with an 8 AM flight. Luckily, they put us in a hotel in Montreal Saturday evening so that we wouldn't have to drive 2 hours with a 5 month old at 4 AM.
Sleeping in between flights
We had a 5 hour layover in Chicago, but baby cooed her way into many people's hearts. She did great on the flight! She nursed a little and even took a pacifier for the first (and only) time! Some people even commented  they didn't know a baby was even on the plane!
Sweet baby, even after missing all her naps!
After arriving in Tennessee Sunday evening (flying and waiting all day), we spent the next week in a whirlwind of family visits and cleaning up our old house (which is on the market). We have no idea where the time went.
Four generations: Me, mom, Great Aunt Ruby, and baby
The following Sunday morning, bright and early, we headed to the Knoxville airport to fly back to Canada. Unfortunately, the airlines had other plans....again...  The baby was not registered (even though we registered her in Canada for the flights and payed her taxes).  We waited while airline personnel worked hard to find the problem. Three agents, one phone call, 10 printed-off ticket mistakes, and one hour later, we rushed to make out flight. We arrived at the gate with 2 minutes to spare!

After grabbing a quick bite to eat during our layover in Chicago, we settled down for a short wait for our next flight (30 minutes)...until it was announced that our flight was delay due to mechanical issues. Kevin knew right away that we were on the same airplane we were on before, coming from Knoxville. During the flight, he noticed the anti-ice system wasn't as it should be, causing a loud noise during flight. 2 hours later, the mechanics deemed the airplane to be airworthy and we were on our way. Adah was a trooper! She nursed and slept happily while Kevin and I began to watch a movie on our laptop.

Halfway through the flight, Kevin noticed that the airplane made a very long turn and was heading back towards the sun. He gave me a look that said, "oh no." Sure enough,  a few minutes later, the pilot announced we were headed back. The anti-ice system issue was still not fixed and we had to turn around before we got into an area where ice had been predicted. (For those of you unfamiliar with flight mechanics/travel the plane is equipped with the anti-ice system to prevent any possible ice build up on the aircraft in order to keep the weight down/improve visibility and proper airflow over the plane).
Sleepy baby is trying to play
So, after a one and a half hour scenic tour over Michigan, we arrived back in Chicago. Luckily, by the time we walked back in to the terminal, the airlines had already arranged for another plane to take us to Canada. We waited an hour for them to clean it up and fuel it and we were on our way! We touched down in Canada (bags and all!) at 6 PM and slipped through customs and baggage quickly (Canadians love children and you get to cut to the front of the line)! We made it back to our car and drove home and had Adah in bed by 10 PM.

We are thankful to be back and are ready to finish up our first semester of French. We were grateful to everyone along the way who helped us through the airport, the kind airline service people who worked hard to get us where we needed, and all the random strangers who did not complain when our tired baby refused to take a pacifier on the flight home! God is so good!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sanctuaire de Beauvoir

Friday was field trip day. What an exciting day for us! We had the opportunity to go with our fellow classmates to sight-see Quebec while testing out our French skills! We got to visit an historical Catholic Church, Sanctuaire de Beauvoir
This beautiful little church was built in the 1920's (we think that's what she said anyway) and was built completely out of stone...The view isn't bad either! It sits atop a big hill, looking out at the beauty of Canada!
There is a quaint little path behind the sanctuary full of beautiful statues. We only took a few pictures, but I linked a website with some more pictures on this page.
Brrr!!! It is cold!
The "tour guide" was a sweet woman with a beautiful testimony of faith. I did not take her picture but we did enjoy getting to know her better over lunch. Though our teachers requested the woman speak only in French during the tour, she spoke English quite well so during lunch we got to use our native tongue to make sure we got the correct context of what she said.

Here are some pictures of inside the little sanctuary:
The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue
The wall is lined with crutches given up after a miraculous healing!
Beautiful stained glass window!
We had such an great day learning about the history and some of the culture here in Quebec! The school has us go on these outings for several reasons. Firstly, it re-enforces the French we do know. Second, it builds up our courage and faith in our abilities to be able to communicate in another language. Third, these trips help us to understand more about the culture so we can be more effective in relating to the people here. We are not just focused on the future ministry in Africa, but ministry where ever we go so we can be servants of Him. Fourth, they are fun. That never hurts either.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Pray on Words

Pray (verb) \ˈprā\: to address God with adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving

My nightly prayers have become a ritual. I have had years of practice. I usually start off with my childish, “As I Lay Me Down to Sleep” poem mostly out of habit; then go into something with a little more theological pomp, usually “The Lord’s Prayer”. Next, I go through a daily list of things to thank God for: thank you for my husband, thank you for my baby, thank you for my family, thank you for MAF, thank you, thank you, thank you, etc. And last is the good part, where I begin my list of prayer requests – be with me God, guide so and so, watch over such and such, give my friend strength, etc. But lately, I feel a lacking in my quality time with God. Sure, I give God thanksgiving. I am truly grateful for who and what I have in my life. Yes, I confess certain things that have been on my heart and ask God for forgiveness. And I definitely spend a lot in supplication! But what about adoration, praise, honor, and affection? I have to say 99.9% of my prayers lately are full of “requests.”

When I first truly understood what it meant to be a Christian, I never asked God for anything. When most people said the word “pray” they were using the word “need” synonymously and avoided the whole part about praise. I did not want to be “that” person who simply “used” God as a big cosmic Santa Clause. It took years and a lesson about the Prayer of Jabez before I understood that it was OK to ask God for help. That is what is so special about our relationship with God. What kind of relationship do I have with the maker of the universe that I didn't feel comfortable asking him help – do I not trust Him to help me or that He would even care when I ask?

But over the years, I feel my prayer life has turned from 99.9% adoration to 99.9% requests. I feel so guilty about my prayers! I have been focusing on what He does and not who He is! I have not been focusing on God! There are multiple parts to prayer, so why am I only doing half of them? No, I am not saying I am going to stop praying. And no, I am not going to stop my prayer requests and supplication. What I am doing is I am vowing to praise God more, which also means spending more time in prayer (Good thing!).
Why have I gotten lazy in my prayer life when we have such great examples of prayer in the book of Psalms? I have my instruction manual; I just need to apply it!

Do you have a part of your prayer life that you feel you need to work on?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Le Gros Pierre

Today was our first school field trip in literally 14 years. We visited a local apple orchard with the language school students from Parole de Vie Bethel!
What does that have to do with French language school? Parole de Vie Bethel asked all the families to get together to practice their French knowledge! We were not allowed to speak in English (exceptions were made for the more than occasional beginner slip-up and minor-crises). It was fun just being together as a huge group of missionary families! We come from all sorts of groups (Pioneers, SIMAIR-similar to MAF, Church of the Nazarene, MAF, etc.), but we are all here for one common goal - to learn French so we can spread God's word!         
These are just 3 of the families. Side note, the kids outnumbered the adults almost 3-to-1
There is a baby in there somewhere
After a brief buggy ride through the fields, Clement taught all of us how to pick the apples. He only spoke French to us and the children. Mariette (left) translated for the children. He told the kids they had to ask for permission from the apples to pick them. So they asked for permission and then greeted the apples! We found out these apples are named "McIntosh". The kids were giggling! He was so good with them (kids and apples alike).
Then, we all gathered enough apples to fill a 3 lbs bag. We were also instructed to pick one extra to eat. 
Baby even had her first lick of an apple! 
After the outing was "fin", we went home to enjoy the spoils! We made applesauce, apple chips, apple muffins, and just ate regular apples by themselves! Also, we found a "forbidden" treasure - raw milk cheese! It is "illegal" to purchase in the states, per FDA or USDA regulation (can't remember which).  The same goes with regular raw milk, but we have not found that for sale here. Kevin says the saltiness of the cheese goes really well with the crisp tartness of the apple.YUM!
What's your favorite apple recipe?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post: How to Play with Your Infant

Motherhood is so much more than I expected! It is rewarding beyond words and my heart grows every day, but there is one aspect that is not what I planned – interaction! I never realized how alert a two week old baby could be! Adah started sleeping less and less and became more awake and alert, craving interaction! What does a new mother do with a baby that is too young for toys and is easily overstimulated?

Please head on over to Intentional by Grace to check out the rest of the story!

Monday, September 17, 2012

AXE 21 and Canadian Christianity

The historical theater was crowded. The room was dark but you could still make out the shapes of the stone wall figures. The stage was dimly lit with colored lights and the fog machine jetted a steady stream of smoke.  The people in the crowd all stood up when the band walked out. The drummer began his steady beat and the bass and electric guitar picked up. The acoustic guitar player began to sing as the two back-up singers held harmony. A trumpet player in the background kept time with the pianist. Everyone was swaying in time to the music and sang harmoniously as the words were displayed with a projector on the background behind the band. Some hands were lifted with enthusiasm as more people filed into the theater to enjoy the music. English or French, the words are the same: alléluia (Hallelujah)!
AXE 21 is a local "Urban Church" in an area known for being uninterested in anything Christian. This church stands out with their ability to introduce Christ to people of all ages. When I look around, I can see elderly people lining up for communion as well as teens. Their children's program is so popular, some have to wait in line or can't even get a spot because there are not enough teachers (for insurance purposes, the children's ministry must follow the same guidelines as a daycare allowing only a certain number of children per adult). The Children's program is a few buildings down the street housed in an old bank that has been remolded for the cause (the vault is still there, and no they don't use it to keep the unruly children... Kevin asked).
In the services, we can make out words here and there, and with a little help from the other MAF family, we can understand the general idea of the sermon. At the same time though, we feel very comfortable here. We have spent time with believers in several different countries but typically in a multi-cultural context. This was the first time that we were in a service not performed bilingually. For some reason Philippians 2:10-11 really hit home:

"At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

There are very few churches in this area, and even fewer that are not Catholic. We heard one story from several years back of a minister being imprisoned for preaching the Word! Really?!? In North America?!?!? Some have even said the area was over-saturated with certain religious traditions and that some words used in those traditions have become derogatory. Evangelical Christians are only 0.5% of the population - half of one percentage point!!! There does seem to be some movement though with church plants like AXE 21, with most of the believers being brand new converts. 

Our school Parole de Vie Bethel is working to strengthen and encourage a new generation of Christians. Many of these students (typically 17 and 18 years old) came here against there parents wishes. They postponed their academic studies for a year to instead spend time in the Word. The language school students (the majority of whom are missionaries) are paired with bible school students. We get together and just read the bible, allowing the bible students an opportunity to help us with our French. Ministry does not start once we African soil - ministry began when we first became followers of Christ. 

With this in mind, what is your ministry?

Monday, September 10, 2012


I know I have written so many posts before about similar topics - control, trust, God's plans, being tested, etc.What is the theme? Sitting back and allowing God to work His will in our lives! So often we find ourselves trying to thwart our goals ahead of God's intentions. Well, let's add one more to this pile of lessons!

Thus begins our story.

We are at language school, in Canada. We are here to learn French via total immersion as well as attending classes/school.

Class Schedule:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday - 8:45-11:50
Wednesday - Chapel 8:30-10:30/Groups 10:30-12:30/Lunch 12:30-1:30/Bible 1:30-3:30

"WHAT?!? How could you say such a thing!?!," exclaims everyone reading!

Looking at our wonderfully easy schedule (insert sarcasm here), you can see there is no room for baby girl, when there are two adults needing to take the same class. After our orientation on Wednesday, I found out the not-so-good news: there is no one to watch the baby. Ensue PANIC!

Here is where I did my typical control thing. I made calls, I asked questions, I bombarded total strangers, I tried to make new friends with potential babysitters, I made people feel awkward, I attempted French without knowing correct pronunciations, etc. All because I could not accept the fact that I was here to learn French and I HAD to do it just like everyone else!!! Here was the list of options I came up with...and with a heavy heart, crossed one after another off my list.

Option 1 - Daycare. Quebec options for daycare do not allow children under the age of 6 months (something about incredible maternity leave for their locals).
Option 2 - Sitter used by everyone on campus/prior MAF-ers.  She went back to school and is not longer offering services.
Option 3 - Nanny/Sitter. There is a whole language barrier thing but even if that were not an issue, it is not in our budget (our home has not sold yet and we are still responsible for payments).
Option 4 - One of the other students on campus who is in a more advanced class (in the afternoons). All others are moms with plural amounts of children (we are behind on our number!) and it would be hard for them to learn/study with a baby. Not to mention, the baby still won't take a bottle or pacifier. If she doesn't want to sleep, she would make for an uncomfortable situation.
Option 5 - Tutoring. There is only one tutor available and her baby is 4 months old. Her schedule is very limited and includes evenings. Kevin's classes are 15 hours a week which will put me behind at only 8 hours weekly.

What is our solution you ask? After much prayer, I ran across this Bible verse:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Sounds simple doesn't it, yet it is a mistake I make often.  Lean not on your own understanding. It made me feel better at heart after taking the time to lean on God and vent. A lot. And here is where I realized I needed to let go and trust in the Lord with all your (my) heart.

My (Tasha) only option is tutoring. After I resigned myself to this being my only option, I sat back and prayed. God knew my complaints and issues with the tutoring. After that, he opened another door for me! Originally, the tutor was only available Monday & Wednesday 3 - 5 and Tuesday & Thursday 6 - 8. This would have required me to finagle baby's feeding around the times I leave, since she won't take a bottle. Kevin would have to put her to bed twice a week without me...sigh. Fortunately, God took care of all.

Friday night, I met the tutor at a school event and immediately felt at ease. Her baby is four months old and won't take a bottle either (I could already feel God smiling down on me). After opening up to her, one of the other mothers in the class spoke to her as well.  "Our" (really it was God!) new solution is fantastic! I, along with two other moms, will go to class Monday and Tuesday from 1:30 - 4:30 and Wednesday from 4:30 - 7:15!!! Plus, I will have one-on-one time Thursday 4:30 - 7:15!!! I can't begin to tell you my relief! First, I am home before baby's bedtime. Second, I will have 9 hours of classroom time. Third, I will have 3 hours one-on-one time. Fourth, I was guaranteed that a class our size will be able to keep up with Kevin's class (as long as I hold myself to their class's standards). Fifth, she is an experienced teacher who has a baby and knows what I am going through! Wow! Just WOW!!!

P.S. Kevin had a great first day of class! (Insert cheesy photo of Kevin with a sign saying "First day of school)!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Food in Sherbrooke, Quebec

For those of you who know Kevin and me, you know we love good food (making it almost as much as eating it)! When we had cable television, it was always on the Food Network. Kevin and I own more cooking books than plates! We adore trying new foods! Not that the culinary culture is incredibly different from anything in the states, but we had to do a post on the food in Quebec and our experiences with grocery shopping as well as dining out. Also note, we have been here a week and a half and I am certain many of our observations and lack of ability to communicate beyond pointing and grunting could easily have led to cultural misunderstandings! (Please forgive us Canadian friends!)

Grocery Shopping
When moving, you tend to need the basics when you go shopping for the first time. Kevin and I decided to make a quick stop for some fresh produce, meat, dairy, and bread. Here is what we noticed:
1. Fresh produce. I mean fresh produce. Fresher than Fresh Market Fresh. Fruit stand fresh! Not only is there a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but in many cases the prices were the same or cheaper than the states! Plus, there was no tax on fresh produce! From what we observed, they have stricter requirements on their produce than the states does (bananas are not chemically forced to ripen and yellow, tuna steaks are not treated with carbon monoxide, no color added to salmon, etc.)
2. Meat is a better quality and again, fresh! Pictured is a turkey leg...we never saw those in our local markets in the states (although I am sure it is available somewhere)! To the right is veal sausage! We bought some salmon today that was about 11$. It smelled  like it came fresh out of the water (or rather didn't smell like anything = GOOD) just minutes before I (Kevin) was breaking down the whole side of the fish (about 2 KG). For you sushi eaters, we could easily turned it into sashimi - it was that good!
Salmon is a local product but some things are much more expensive here. For example, chicken and eggs. In the US, a whole chicken is typically very cheap and the cuts that require more butchering increase the price. Here, there is no difference except the whole chicken is EXPENSIVE! Like a small 1.5 pound bird was around 15$. The chicken breast (already butchered) was 14.51$ kg! Yikes! The only thing more expensive was the dozen eggs for 3.99$ or 18 eggs for 5.35$!!!
"Unique" were also available readily - including bison, horse, goat and many other game-y foods not commonly seen in the states.   
3. Milk can come in a bag! We couldn't find whole milk but we did find 3.25%, which tasted 325% better! Yum! It was about 6.35$ for three bags (4L). We did find that the yogurt was a big more pricey.

4. Cheese is a cultural favorite! There were two isles of it! (Sorry no picture, I got enough stares for the camera!) You can even get "illegal" cheese here! They have a soft, raw milk cheese that is unpasteurized that is a delicacy. It is made locally and you eat it before it hardens within 60 days. Totally illegal in the states! Can't wait to try it! Quebec has gotten many awards for their local cheeses and they even host cheese tours! Wisconsin, eat your heart out!
5. Fondue is popular! I wish we had brought a pot! I have never seen so many different things available for fondue in a store! There were fondue chocolates, fondue cheeses, fondue bouillon (pictured), fondue sauces (pictured to the right), fondue matches and sticks (pictured, but above), special fondue gas, fondue toppings, fondue EVERYTHING! 
6. For Canadians and many Europeans, wine is tradition for most every meal. Each grocery store we visited has had its own massive wine section (that is something you won't see at Food City!) Don't worry, you won't see me there...I will not forget that baby eats what I eat/drinks what I drink! We even saw a couple of guys bring their own wine to a restaurant.
Soda can recycle machine. 
7. Recycling is HUGE! When you go grocery shopping, you have to take your own bags, otherwise, expect to carry your food out in your hands. No bags! They even have machines like a CoinStar where you deposit your empty aluminum soda cans and you get money back immediately! We need those in the states! That would clean the streets up pretty quickly!

Dining Out (sorry, no pictures)
1. Because Quebec is proud of their French history, many dishes have French influence (Shepard's pie, meat pies and stews, and baked goods).

2. Dining out is a more formal experience. Etiquette and formalities are very important to the Quebecois! You never have to wait on an available table, so few people go out. Also, it is rare to see children in a restaurant. We were obvious Anglo-tourists with baby!
Okay, I lied. I had to sneak in a picture of this adorable baby!
3. Expect to wait. And wait. And wait some more. When you go into a restaurant, you will see a wide selection of periodicals (newspapers and magazines). They are for your benefit. You order your food and drink at the same time and then read. You get your tea or coffee and keep reading. Your wait is usually a minimum of 10 minutes! But expect excellent food!

4. Sip, don't chug your drink. Remember the whole French origin? Think etiquette-pinkie up! The Quebecois people will sip their single glass of what ever they are drinking for their entire meal. If you order a wine, you also get a glass of water, but I have yet to see anyone finish both.

5. Since dining out is a more formal experience, people will sit and eat for long periods. Also, you won't see anyone standing or walking with their food. It is bad form! So, no street car vendors here - slightly disappointing after our last street car vendor experience in Washington, D.C....or the delicious taco truck in Idaho!

6. Taxes and tipping. Dining out does not count towards the no tax rule, so you will see about a 15% tax. GST (Goods and Service Tax) and QST (Provincial Sales Tax) which combine for a grand total of 14.975%. But that doesn't allow you to skimp on your tipping here! Tipping is still customary when dining out:10% minimum, 15% average, 20% exceptional.

What do you think of the differences?