Saturday, July 28, 2007

Quartier du Petit Champlain

Every weekend we pick a new area to go and explore. After all, that gives us a chance to use our french in real settings and enjoy the beautiful place we are living in for 7 months. I also love Saturdays because it is my only morning to sleep in and then enjoy quiet time with Arielle while Paul wakes up early with bennett and they go out and do stuff and enjoy dad-son time. It works great. I was so touched today when Paul and Bennett came back from their 23km bike ride with a big bouquet of beautiful lily's for me. They went past a big farmers market and Bennett saw all the flowers and all by himself he asked Dad if we could buy flowers for mommy. He picked them out all by himself (he had no money so dad had to pay) and brought them home. My little man was so proud to run in and give them to me and I had tears in my eyes. My kitchen smells so wonderful like fresh lilies now. I couldnt get bennett to pose for a picture with the flowers. he doesnt usually like having his picture taken so Arielle, who was enthralled with the flowers, opted to be a stand in model for you all.

So we packed up water bottles, snacks, diapers, backpacks, and all the other paraphanelia you need with two small children and headed to Quartier de Petit Champlain. It is in the lower Old Quebec City along the river, below the cliff walls and fortications that make up the upper city. Again it reminded me so much of all the architecture when I used to live in Europe. Fantastic. I love the rock buildings and flowers and sidewalk cafes. Here are some pictures to help you appreciate the culture and style we walked amongst.

Arielle was in the carrier pack and she loved it as always. This time she held on the Paul's ears a lot, which made us laugh. We are teaching her the names of body parts so she was all proud to keep repeating EARS! And then we would get this big smile. She chatters the whole time she in in there.

We took the riverside route back to the truck when we were on our way back after it had just rained. Next to a big cruise boat there were a few puddles, which of course Bennett simply couldn't ignore. He was having so much fun and it was quite warm out that we sat back and watched him jump and laugh and make big splashes. After all, isnt that what little boys are supposed to do? We didnt care he was getting all wet. His huge grin was more than enough incentive to sit back and enjoy his little show.

This time of learning the language is so crucial to our future success in Niger, to be able to converse with the government on projects and schools etc, as we also learn a tribal language. We are so blessed to be able to learn it in such an interesting place.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mont Sainte-Anne

Today is Saturday and Paul doesnt have french classes. My sanity rejoices (not because of the french, but because im usually alone all the time with two transitioning toddlers!) We went to Mont Sainte-Anne. The biggest hill outside of Quebec. I say Hill because an Albertan like me cant bring myself to call it a mountain. But it was a very nice and big hill :)

We went up the gondola and saw some great views of the city of Quebec way in the distance. the hills were all rounded and soft and lush green. The St Lawrence river was flowing softly in the haze and we could see more of how huge it is! It was sunny and humid. We also saw the sled dog camp up at the top, which both kids really loved.

We have a new GPS so we tried to find a geocache at the top, but we were not successful. We haven't quite figured out the new mapping and arrows etc. oh well. We will try again later.

Overall a great day, beautiful place and fun as a family!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Introducing Arielle McIver !!

"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands."

We have the most wonderful news to share. On Thursday, July 6th we got the official news that the little girl we have grown to love and cherish while caring for her is part of our family forever. The adoption has gone through and our daughter and Bennett's little sister is finally here. I know so many of you walked through this process with us and cared for us and prayed with us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Arielle Teresa Joy McIver - born March 28, 2006

(Ive made three posts today, so read down to see them all, i've been slow!)

Vive la Quebec!

We made it! Well Paul got here 5 days before me and the kids and paved the way, but now we are all here together again. I am so proud of Paul. While I was still out picking up the kids he went and got a haircut, set up all our utilities, arranged things with our landlord, went to church, made friends, etc ALL IN FRENCH!! I’m thrilled by the way he is being fearless and he said he just looks up key words he knows he’ll need and writes them in a little notebook before he heads out, then uses his dictionary and people help him along as he goes. The people have been really friendly, especially when they hear he is here to learn French.
So I flew here with both Bennett and Arielle, and my Mom accompanied us to keep me sane. The flights went well, and Bennett only had one little melt down. I am thankful to have mom here for a few days to help me unpack and shop for the things to set up a temporary house for 6 months. Today we went to historic “Vielle Quebec”. It’s old city style that honestly made me feel like I was right back in Europe. I love the old architecture and cafĂ© lined streets and hearing French all around me. Even though I’m rusty, my French is all coming back to me quickly.

We have a great huge park right across the street from our new place and I’m looking forward to many afternoons spent there talking with other parents and kids and getting to know people. I’m sure you will hear many more stories about where we live and what we are doing!!

Pre-Field Orientation

So what is there really to say about the 12 days we spent at a camp 3 hours north of Toronto for Pre Field Orientation? A few adjectives come to mind, so Ill share them with you since stories and words won’t do it justice. Peaceful. Uplifting. Encouraging, transparent leadership, Caring for each other, Prayer, Loads of teaching. It was such a great place to relax with 14 other people, both couples and singles, who are going through and doing the same things as us, albeit to other far reaching corners of the world. We made friends that we will follow along on their journeys for decades to come. We felt better prepared when we left than when we came. I guess that was the point. Here are a few pictures. And to all of my fellow PFO’ers, thank you for the amazing fellowship.