Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Obsession

Most who know me well would attest to the fact that I have only a few obsessions. Among them are hazelnut gelato, reading, politics, and THE OLYMPICS!

To say that I love the Olympics would be a gross understatement. Before the Opening Ceremonies, you could've counted the number of hours that I have watched TV this year on one hand, and you would've had fingers left over. Since the opening games, I have spent every possible moment glued to the Games.

I adore the swimming, the gymnastics, the diving, and the fencing; but, I'll even watch the handball, the judo, the ping-pong, and the water polo. I find all of it mesmerizing.

I enjoy watching it in French, I appreciate seeing their take on the whole spectacle; however, I miss seeing the Americans compete. The only time we get to watch Team USA is when they are competing against a French person or if they are in a medal round. On the bright side--the US makes it to a lot of medal rounds!

So, if you don't hear from me over the next several days, fear not. All is well. I am simply indulging in the pure joy of the Olympic Games. After the closing ceremonies, this station will return to it's regularly scheduled program random chaos.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Le Songe de la Nuit d'été

As an English major, I studied my fair share of Shakespeare. But last night I experienced Shakespeare in a whole new way! I met my friends at the Porte Jeanne d'arc at 9:30 p.m. The sun was just starting to set.

Together we walked up to the park just outside of the Donjon. We bought our tickets for le theâtre en plein air (outdoor theater) and found our seats.

The play was Le Songe de la nuit d'été, or A Midsummer Night's Dream. I was worried that I might not understand Shakespeare translated into French, but it's possible that the French was easier for me to understand than the original Olde English.

It was the perfect play to perform outdoors, as the whole thing is actually set in a forest. Seven actors played all 13 roles brilliantly. It was such a treat! It started at 10 p.m. and I walked home just after midnight.

My only regret is that I didn't drag the boys along. All three of them would have loved it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Missing Piece

Over a month ago we completed a 1000 piece puzzle of Le Mont Saint Michel. Well, we almost completed it. 999 pieces were snugly in place, while one rogue piece was no where to be found.

It wasn't a particularly interesting piece, just a small part of the clear blue sky. I wouldn't even call it an importance piece. But still...without it, the puzzle was incomplete. So, for weeks we searched. We left the almost-finished work out in our dining room, hoping to finally find the missing piece so that we could triumphantly place it in its spot. 

Anyways, this week David and I are doing some Spring Summer Cleaning. We are taking an hour each day to focus on one room--doing the things that get over-looked in my weekly attempts at housekeeping, like wiping down baseboards, washing windows, and chasing dust bunnies from under all of the furniture. Today we chose to clean the dining room and decided at long last to take apart the puzzle and put it away, along with the folding table that had been its resting place these many weeks.

David disassembled and boxed the 999 pieces, then he began to fold up the table. As he turned the table on its side, what should fall from its center crack but a small, blue puzzle piece.

Found, but too late!

And just then, a Richard Foster quote that I read this morning went through my head:

"How we need to be prodded out of the ruts of self-centered activity we call living!"

Are you a missing piece in the puzzle of God's kingdom? What will prod you out of your rut?

Monday, July 23, 2012

When the cat's away...

 took a nap
 in a bin of Legos.
 Meanwhile, downstairs in the living room,
a precious little puppy took a turn in the cat's throne.

Friday, July 20, 2012

In case you were wondering...

Gemma was a stellar little traveler--and she made bunches of new friends in Germany.

David is preaching in French this Sunday. The boys and I will be leading worship.

In Rothenbug, I bought a beautiful hand painted pewter figurine of a German boy and girl. Since I don't buy many souvenirs, I am very selective. Notice that the girl has blond hair and the boy has brown hair--we like it that way. 

French Rest Stops have squatty potties. Its like you exit the highway and enter a third-world country. Actually, most public restrooms in France have the ambiance of a third-world country. Like Newark.

It's Friday, so David is making pizza for dinner! Yea for Friday! Yea for Pizza! Yea for David!

I am almost finished knitting my purple shawl.

I am excited to start working on a baby blanket for a dear friend. 

We need a few more supporters--our monthly support has been lagging for the first time since we arrived on the field. Please pray about this--and if God is calling you to join our support team, shoot us an e-mail and we'll talk you through the process.

I've been reading through the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Good stuff.

I have no idea what the latest Beth Moore studies are about. It used to be my job to know about the latest Beth Moore study. Oh well. I DO know the difference between Champagne and Crémant. That should count for something.

Today I learned about a shooting in Colorado by watching a French news channel. 

We are trying to think of something fun to do for our 20th wedding anniversary next month.

I just read, for the FIRST time, Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was, quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read. Unforgettable characters, engaging narrative, brilliant writing. If you haven't read it, it is available for 99 cents on Kindle. Why not add a classic to your summer reading list?

I still love comté. But that stuff you guys are buying at Costco is not nearly as good as the stuff I buy at market. I'm just sayin'....

I have been sleeping better. 

I did bunches of administrative things this week. I do not like doing administrative things. I felt like the life was being sucked out of me. 

None of us can stomach a grocery store baguette anymore. We have officially become bread snobs.

By the way, the stuff that they sell in the US called, "French Bread" is not like any bread that I have ever bought in France.

Eighty percent of the swimming suits sold in France are bikinis. Eighty. Percent. 

Exactly two years ago today we were on the Queen Mary 2 crossing the Atlantic. 

I wrote two e-mails in French today. Its getting a little easier. A little.

I am trying not to think about the 8 Magnum Bars in the freezer. I am failing.                                                                                                                                  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Details, details

Phone rings.

I'm driving, so I ask Chandler to answer it for me.

I hear:





 "Si, mais elle conduit maintenant."


"D'accord. Je lui dirai."


"De rien. Au revoir."

Speaking French on the phone still makes me nervous. Chandler was completely at ease. Calm; cool; confident.

"So," I ask, "who was that?"

"I have no idea," he replies, "but you are meeting her tomorrow at 10!"

Thank you, Chandler. That's really helpful.


PS: With a little detective work, we figured it out.

PPS: For the record, it is likely that the same thing would have occurred if the conversation had been in English. Because, you know, Chandler is not all that big on details.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


It was the final week of our study in the book of John--Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, making the well-known proclamation: I am the Resurrection and the Life, who ever believes in me will live, even though he dies.

So I asked her, "Marie, if you died tonight do you know where you would go?"

"Well" she replied, tentatively, "I hope I would go to heaven."

I reached across the table, took her hand, looked her in the eye, and said, "Do you know that you can be sure?"

Today, Marie is sure.

We prayed together, thanking God for the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Since then, we have begun a new Bible study together, called Spiritual Life Studies (Catchy name, huh?). For thirteen weeks we will examine what it means to be whole-hearted follower of Jesus and we will put into practice everything that we learn. The first week, for her homework, I encouraged Marie to share her testimony with at least one person. She shared it with two. Beyond giving her testimony, she has talked about Jesus with everyone from her grandchildren to her doctor.

Marie is sure.

Are you?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Post in Pictures

Because I am too tired to write words.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Easy DELICIOUS Salmon Recipe

I learned to make this salmon recipe from a friend who really does not enjoy cooking. It is amazingly simple AND incredibly delicious, which is why it has become a regular meal at our house.

Preheat oven to 375°

4 pieces of salmon
4 cups of frozen julienne mixed vegetables
2 cups of crème fraîche
1 lemon
salt and pepper

Place each serving of salmon on a square of aluminum foil. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on each fillet. Add one cup of the vegetables and 1/2 cup of the crème fraîche. Lightly salt and pepper.

Carefully fold each piece of aluminum foil so that all the ingredients are sealed inside.

Bake on a cookie sheet at 375° for 30-40 minutes.

We serve the salmon and veggies over a bed of steamed rice. With a green salad and a fresh baguette, the meal is complete!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Little Things that Make me Smile

A good book! Last weekend I read a novel by Anita Diamant entitled Day after Night. It is about 4 Jewish women who meet in a detainment/refugee camp in the Holy Land after surviving the Holocaust in Europe. It was tragic, well-written, and a tribute to the human spirit. 

Receiving a phone call in French! While talking on the phone in French is still scary for me, I do find  a certain delight in answering the phone and hearing a French speaking friend on the other end. It makes me feel like I live in France--which, you know, I do.

Pilates! I recently added Pilates to my weekly exercise schedule. I am still running three days a week, but I have started doing Pilates two days a week. I thought that working our 5 days a week would be tiring, but in fact I feel more energetic and I am sleeping better.

A date with my husband! Last Thursday afternoon, David (and Gemma) and I went to a café, where we sat outside and had a drink. We talked about everything and nothing, and when we finally went home my love tank was filled to the brim.

A road trip with my family! Tomorrow we load up the car and drive to Germany! We will spend the weekend in a medieval village called Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and then a week in the Black Forest where we are attending a GEM retreat for missionaries who are in their first term on the field.