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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingerbread Houses and Packing? Again!

This year we decided to make gingerbread house fronts! The kids really enjoyed decorating their own houses without fear of them collapsing. Although, I'm pretty sure Joyanne and Wesley each ate more candy than actually made it onto their cookie house.

We are also entering the "packing" stage once again. It will be nice to settle for awhile once we arrive in Africa. However, there's something refreshing about purging and cleaning out areas of the home. It's so easy to accumulate things that we don't use anymore. Different plans have been made and changed and made and changed about getting our family and belongings to Montreal Airport, and I think we have the plan basically down pat now. Not only must we clear our own personal effects out of our apartment, but the appliances and furniture which were provided for us must also go to new homes. We are happy to pass along some of the larger items to somebody connected with our church. But we still need to sort out where the fridge and stove will go. Then there's the question of making do without beds and major appliances and for how long? Not only that, but we cannot fit our entire family in the van with all of our bags that will accompany us to Africa. Without boring you with details, unless of course I get asked about it :), I will just say that a plan has been drawn up, and I believe we will make it to Montreal with our things in tow, and the apartment will be empty upon our departure! Even if it means eating take-out or at restaurants for a day or so before we leave.

The days are ticking by quickly! It's hard to believe we only have 2 more French sessions with our amazing tutor. I have really enjoyed getting to know her over the past few months. I have promised her an email in July demonstrating how my French has advanced. I pray it will!

A few more things to get sorted out before we go: (in list format, since we are experts at "lists" these days)

  • Administer the children's final dose of Dukoral (vaccine against Cholera)
  • Move the fridge and stove
  • Sort what we take to Africa
  • Sort what we give away
  • Sort what to throw away
  • Purchase some sticker books for the airplane (Joyanne LOVES stickers)
  • Purchase headphones for the children
  • Stay on top of Laundry
  • Pack our Carry-Ons
  • Organize Calvin's food for travel
  • Organize clothing for our overnight in Montreal
  • Organize clothing for travel the next day
  • Deposit any Canadian cash/cheques we have
  • Give back borrowed items (school books, Christmas decorations, furniture...)
  • Make a trip to the thrift shop
  • Mail our internet modem back to Bell
  • Print out airline tickets BEFORE we do something with the printer that we aren't taking
  • Charge batteries in any electronics we are taking on the airplane
I'm sure some other things will come up or come to my mind in the next few days here. Probably when I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep. :)

Things are surprisingly relaxed around here. We are listening to a lot of Third Day Christmas, and spending much time watching the snow outside. It's really strange for us to see this much snow so close to Christmas. We learned that in Québec City, we have a 90% chance of experiencing a white Christmas. That's amazing for us BCers who spent our lives in the lower mainland/Vancouver Island area. Usually our snow doesn't arrive until mid-January or February. Christmas Day is usually gray with a bit of rainy drizzle. It has been lovely to see the bright white here! And our tutor is convinced Québec is experiencing an extremely mild November/December due to us being here. The temperatures have barely dipped below -12, which is apparently unusual. I haven't minded the mildness, let me tell you! We have managed to avoid buying boots for our entire family, and we are still surviving on light jackets with many many sweaters or shirts underneath.

Happy Christmas to all. Blessings to you during this holiday season - remembering Christ's birth and what He has done for us, and continues to do for us each day.

Merci Seigneur, pour Ton amour pour nous et ton fils qui est venu comme un bébé. Tu es Roi!


writewhatyousee December 21, 2011 at 9:21 PM  

whenever you write about things your doing "for Africa" i catch myself thinking to myself, "what in the world?! i thought they were coming to Madagascar!" haha. Did you know that Malagasy dont consider themselves part of Africa? In fact, many people who have been to Africa mainland say that Mada is more Indonesian. Whatever the case, after a bit of a think i get what you're saying. :-)

All the best as you sort out the final - and seemingly unending - details. We're sorting the details out for your arrival already and will be fitting your house today with beds and whatnot. :-)

I remember thinking that it was a dim metaphor of departing this life on earth for heaven when we left for Mada: wrapping up our "known" life and saying goodbyes while someone prepared a mansion for us in the unknown life we were moving to. :-) Good thing visitors are easily able to come by in this case.

We'll be praying for you all as things need to come together in the next few days. Already so thankful for your apparent peace and stress-free-ness. You are definitely better prepared in that regard than i ever was. :-)

Amanda December 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM  

I love this post with the details and the reality setting in. I'm so glad Jocelyn posted too about your arrival. You are anticipating and anticipated!

Safe journeys and happy Christmas!