Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sunday

Sunday Mark preached, our small group lead worship, and I taught Sunday School so it was a full morning.

Small groups leading the worship time was an idea of Mark's. I think we told you that we just started having small groups a couple months ago. We had enough people interested to form 3 different groups (of 10-12) in each group. We have enjoyed ours so much (it meets here). We have been trying to find ways to connect what happens in the small groups to the entire congregation so that these groups don't operate in isolation and also to try to attract others who are more skeptical of this idea. Mark's thought was that each group could lead the worship time on a quarterly schedule. We took the first slot and dove in head-first. We all stood up in front (Sam and Jack included) and led the congregation in some 7 songs with Mark accompanying on the guitar and between the songs we had people come up and share their personal experiences with the various aspects of our group--fellowship, games, worship, prayer, Bible study, and community involvement. It was a great time. Following are some shots of our group.



We celebrated Mark's hard week (preaching preparations and class preparations took every minute of his time) by going to St. Hubert for lunch. After that we headed home for naps for the kids, quiet alone time for Mark, and a walk for me (I think I went about 3.5 miles).

When I got home, Blandine, Denis, and Louie came over to deliver a late birthday present to Joel. It was a bubble-making lawn mower. We all went out in the cul-de-sac to help him use it. The kids rode bikes (Louie went home and got his). I don't know how this happened exactly, because after quite some time I felt I should invite them to stay for dinner so I did, but we all ended up going over to their house for hotdogs and steak cooked on the grill. We didn't stay very late, however, because the kids had school the next day and Denis was starting a new job. Very nice to have friends like them that one can feel comfortable enough with to be spontaneous.

Saturday Fun

I got all my work done throughout the week so that I could just play all day with the kids and not have to say every few minutes, "I can't. I have to put the clothes away" or "I will after I get this letter done."

First thing, though, before the kids got up, I ran outside for the first time in forever. It was so peaceful and quiet and great to get out.

Then while Mark and the kids had pancakes I got cleaned up and puttered around on the computer for a bit trying to find some visuals for my SS class. They also cleaned their room like they usually do on Saturdays, and then we went outside together and shoveled snow off our cement patio so that we could use the basketball goal. We got most of the snow off and then spread the rest around on the part already cleaned off so it would melt faster. While we waited for the sun to do it's thing, we (the 3 boys, Laurent and I) went for a walk to the Campanile (shops near our home) for a couple items I needed. We also walked on to the kids' school so that Sam could show Laurent the system of rivers his class is making in the playground during recess. They wanted to have a picnic so I made them a lunch and they took it over to Laurent's backyard and ate with him (they had their picnic table out).

We finished reading The Princess Bride a few days prior, so we rented the movie and watched it in the afternoon while Joel took his nap. I really wanted to make a family night themed from the book, but I couldn't think of any particular food featured in the book that would make a good supper. At one point in the movie (and the scene is the same in the book) Fezzik feeds stew to Inigo. Sam said, "Hmmm that looks good." We stopped the movie right there so I could put some stew on the stove to simmer, and I was so glad to have a Princess Bride-themed supper. The beef stew was great (which we ate with Mom's unleavened bread) and then we played a little game with questions from the book and the movie. I LOVED this book. The author certainly has talent. All of our talk about the differences between the book and movie and our raves about the book convinced Mark to read it. We must have plugged it well. It was a full day that ended with baths and reading. We started They Called Me Mama. Sam and Jack didn't want me to stop with chapter one.

Quebec Hibernation is OVER

Friday turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day and everybody woke up!!! Here's what the newspaper had to say (and I'm translating, so it'll probably sound a little weird):

Nobody could have predicted that we would reach a maximum of 20 degrees (70 degrees F) yesterday when sticking his nose outside in the storm on Monday. But sometimes life has a surprise in store, like being able to put out patio furniture this weekend

We got out and enjoyed ourselves on Friday. I mentioned last week we hoped to get over to the track and ride and rollerblade and walk, but the track was still covered in snow, so we opted for the parking lot and a couple of basketball goals. Sam, Mark, and I played a game of basketballand then there was some football. Here's Sam going out for a pass. Notice the short sleeved t-shirt with the snow in the background.


Joel ran around and delighted in doing his own thing OUTSIDE.
And Jack rode his bike which he just learned to do last week. He is loving this new found freedom.
Mark can ride a bike too!!!
After a most wonderful time outside we parked the car a distance from our favorite grocery store and walked to it. We got a couple things to round out our supper and a 2 boxes of strawberries that were on sale for $1.00 each and went home to eat and to make this...
To be fair, it was Mark who made this dessert (from scratch) AND cleaned up the kitchen from supper while the boys and I wrote in the family journal and did some drawing at the table.

Lunchtime at our House

Because a lot of our "ministry" involves spending time with people in the evenings when it is that they are available, we don't always get to be together as a family after supper. So I'm especially grateful that we can usually all be together at lunch. For about an hour we are all in the same place at the same time, and it is nice. Here is just a glimpse of one day this week at lunchtime.

Sam has received a subscription of Kids National Geographic from Uncle Rich and Aunt Aracely for the past 3 years, I believe. On the day that it comes, it's very hard for us to get his attention. Here he is immersed in his magazine while "eating" lunch. By the way, thanks again, RAN, for the hours of delight. Reading is a popular activity, whether it is the newspaper, a book, or a magazine. Even Joel gets in on the act.
I came upstairs from the basement, and this is what I saw. Joel engrossed in a magazine too. And then I looked to the other couch and saw this...
Like father, like son.

In the minutes between eating lunch and heading back to school, the boys found some time to trade a few cards--or at least to discuss a transaction.