Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Adah!

Our sweet little one turned 1 today! What a joy she has been to our lives. We have had sleepless nights and lazy days. We have enjoyed laughter and tears. We have enjoyed jokes and giggles. We have watched her learned to sit up and roll over and crawl. We have held her in our arms and rocked her to sleep. We have watched those tiny teeth pop through and shared in her pain. We have enjoyed hearing little babbles and helped her learn your first words. We have wrested and rolled in the floor with her and kissed her many bruises. We have played games and read stories. We have sung many songs and shared many prayers. We have shared many food messes and lots of snuggles. She is such a wonder and enjoyment who loves to smile. Our lives would not be so enjoyable without her in it! We are truly blessed.
Balloons in her pack-n-play
Many gifts from so many loved ones!
Puppy from one set of grandparents
Money from other grandparents
New romper from great grandparents
So many cards from the folks at Sulphur Well Church!
New shoes and onesie from aunt and uncle

Saturday, May 18, 2013

La Cathédrale Saint-Michel

Last week, we had the privilege of having a field trip day. As a class, we toured Saint Michael's Basilica and Cathedral. The cathedral is home to the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sherbrooke. The Pope Pius IX created the diocese of Sherbrooke in the late 1800s making St. Michael's a cathedral. The building was completed in 1957 and in 1959 the cathedral was given the distinction of being named a basilica.
The church is filled with over 105 stained-glass windows, each crafted by master Parisian artist Raphaël Lardeur.

The building is filled with a variety of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and mosaics.

The cathedral is laid out in the shape of a Latin cross, with the points to the east where Christ was born.
There is an organ located in the lost that has more than 2,000 pipes and 35 stops.
There is a crypt below the basement that was once the original chapel. The crypt is currently in use and you can purchase your spot for a mere 3,000$ (CAD), which is actually quite costly for a burial spot in Canada (this information is what we deciphered from our admittedly limited knowledge of French funeral vocabulary heard in a very echoey location).

We spent the day in awe of the beauty of this landmark. But I think the kids were not as impressed with their surroundings.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I recently tried to read an article about Mother’s Day, but I absolutely could not get past the first paragraph. In the article, the author stated that “a mother’s job is a thankless job.” I was appalled! Just because our significant other or child does not verbally express their affirmations of appreciation for our jobs as mother’s does not indicate our job is a “thankless” one.

On the contrary! I can't begin to express the non-verbal forms of thanks I get daily, but I will try.

My daughter thanks me with extra water on the floor from bath times, because she appreciated all the fun we had playing together.
My daughter thanks me on her super whiney days by showing me that I am her comforter by clinging to me.
My daughter thanks me by throwing some of her food on the floor during meal times, because I have fed her well.
My daughter thanks me by giving bites of her pre-chewed food to me, because I provided her with such a tasty meal, it is best shared.
My daughter thanks me by leaving her toys scattered on the floor, because she was too grateful for the interaction to think about anything else.
My daughter thanks me by crying out for me in the middle of the night to show me that I am who she leans on when she is frightened (or hungry…mostly hungry)
My daughter thanks me by fighting her bed time because spending time with me is much more important than sleeping.

No, my job is not a thankless one. In fact, I thank God everyday for this job. Let me tell you some of the many things I am thankful for:

I am thankful for broken necklaces. My sweet baby loves to tug on them while nursing. They will always be a reminder of our special bond.
I am thankful for not owning an article of clothing without stains. They will always be a reminder of all the fun things I did with my baby girl.
I am thankful for poopy diapers that remind me that I have been able to provide my daughter with enough food.
I am thankful for metal pots and pans, even on the days I have a migraine. They will remind me of how creative my daughter is to figure out how to have fun while spending time with me.
I am thankful for the many little crumbs of food I find inside my shirt at night, because my daughter has a sense of humor and finds it funny to drop food down my top.
I am thankful for little fingers under the bathroom door. It is my daughter’s way of letting me know she is worried about me being alone in the bathroom.
I am thankful for hand and face prints on the window glass. It is a reminder for me that sometimes outside is much more important than inside.

No, my job is definitely not a thankless one and I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Abundant Blessings

We are so blessed! Thanks to the efforts of our friends, we were partially moved in the Thursday we planned our move. By Friday, everything was out of the old apartment and in the new. By Saturday, the new apartment was clean and everything was in place. By Monday, the old apartment was cleaned up and the keys were turned in (gotta rest on Sundays).
Our apartment is the top  left one. 
We adore living on campus! We have a beautiful deck with a gorgeous view.
Sunset from our deck
There is a large open area of grass for Adah to play on and many new friends to play with.
Adah with her buddy Georgi
There are many missionary families right next door, so we have people to enjoy an afternoon BBQ with!
Adah and her buddy Oliver begging for corn niblets
There is even a swing set for our little monkey!
We have been blessed to have someone who has agreed to keep Adah during the day that Adah enjoys spending time with! Now, instead of opposing schedules and little time to study, we have matching schedules and more time together. I suppose we be spending more time reading!
Our schedule looks the same on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. We have class from 8:45-12:15, divided up into three classes. 8:45-9:45 is "culte personnel" ("culte" means worship) where we talk about our personal devotionals, in French. It is great practice using Bible words and reflexive verbs to talk about how our daily readings are applicable to our lives. From 9:45-10:15 is "les informations" where we talk about the news and culture in the local area we will be living. This is great practice for utilizing less often used terms such as those used in business, government, and military. Plus, it helps us to stay up to date on the current events in the Congo. We have a coffee break from 10:15-10:45 that is the same time as the Bible students. Since Adah will be elsewhere, both Kevin and I will have the opportunity to practice French with the other students, checking off one required French conversation for the day! Finally, we have "orale et grammaire" where we work on our techniques and fine tune our grammar and review what we learned in the past semesters.

The only exception is Wednesdays. We have school wide "culte" in the mornings with all of the language and bible students. It is from 8:30-9:30. Then, the missionaries ladies meet together separately from the missionary men. This is the time we have set aside each week to pray for one another. It is from 9:30-10:30. At 10:30, we begin our classes with "les informations" and then from 11:30-12:30, we have "orale et grammaire." We have a one hour break before we have our bible class or singing class (depending on the week) from 1:30-2:30. Adah is welcome to hang around during that class, so we will pick her up during our lunch break.
All of our language learning opportunities are made so much better by being on campus. We are exposed to French daily, whereas in our old apartment, we were exposed to Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Portuguese, and English on a daily basis. We have more study time (and a bit more free time) because of our schedule and Adah has somewhere to play. God has blessed us abundantly!