December 11, 2009
Summary: Cat on leaf pile, boy on xylophone, table on fire?
Let me explain. No, it is too much. Let me sum up.
(wow, lots of people use that movie quote, as I find from a quick search; you know it, right?)
Fifteen Points and Eight Photos to Answer my cousin's question: "What is going on?"
- The kids raked together a nice leaf pile and we put the neighbours' cat in it. She didn't like it much, and carefully held her tail away from the silly leaves and summarily figured out how to get out. We sort of have a front yard cat ("Tiger" aka Simba), and a back yard cat ("Cub" aka Sheila). They both enjoy almost daily petting, though they belong to other people, who feed them and all that.
- We had a nice visit from David's mom and her fiancé (they have a wedding date set for June in Colorado, a small affair with just the kids and grandkids). We took them to the Rheinfalls on a cold, rainy day and they were very good sports. It is the "largest plain waterfalls in Europe." We also walked around Stein am Rhein, a cute town in Schaffhausen, with a "well-preserved medieval centre." This visit allowed us to check off the cantons of Thurgau and Schaffhausen, bringing our total to 24 our of 26 visited since we moved here last year. We only have the two Appenzells left to stop by. We're happy with that accomplishment, even if some of them were checked off only in driving through them to get elsewhere!
- I finished an evening study of the Book of Esther (or, as Beth Moore differentiates it from the other books in the Bible, the "Book of Estrogen"). I enjoyed meeting some new ladies and learning more about the history behind the account. Xerxes, Artaxerxes, Vashti, and all those royal Persian people with interesting names. However, this was definitely not my favorite Beth Moore study so far. I much preferred Living Beyond Yourself (very applicable to daily life), and Daniel (lots of history and explanation of prophecies fulfilled and yet to come). I found this Esther study too fluffy. Not that the book itself is fluffy, just that the study took too many detours into American stereotypical distractions that I couldn't identify with. But other ladies got a lot out of it, so to each her own.
- God brought together first 4, then 5, then 6 (and maybe 7 next month) mothers from Jason's new school, who wanted to pray together for their kids and the school. So we started a new Moms in Touch International (MITI) group over there. Exciting to see this idea grow. When I moved here there were no groups for these two schools, and then there was one, and now two. Last year at Emily's school, there were 3 ladies all year. This year there are 7. I'm thankful to the Gatherer of hearts and the Master Planner. Our motto is "What is prayed in the group, stays in the group" - confidentiality is paramount, as you can imagine. Each meeting starts with us all reading a few verses from the Bible highlighting one aspect of God's amazing character (e.g. Love, Hope, Light, Fortress, Refuge, Wisdom, Shepherd, etc). We then praise Him for that, flow into silent confession, then thanksgiving. After a short break, we pray for one child per mom, and then for teachers and school events and concerns. It's such a burden-lifter and peace-giving time. Not to mention bonding and friendship-forging.
- Emily played the part of Freya (of Norse mythology) in a small community production.
- Jason started practicing for the "Cinderella" pantomime which will take place at his High School this Sunday, Mon, Tues. "Panto" is not to be confused with "mime" - it includes singing and dancing, silly verbal and visual jokes and audience participation such as cheering and booing. Pretty much every weekend day has been consumed with this for a while, which has precluded any pre-Christmas ski outings, much to Jason's chagrin. Hopefully we'll get a lot of alpine skiing in after Christmas. And we are sure looking forward to seeing him perform in the play (as the Prince's right hand man, who is also the King's personal secretary). In the classic British pantomime tradition, the Prince is of course played by a girl, and the nasty stepmother and stepsisters by guys. Jason does, however, get to play a male role. And Cinderella is played by a girl.
- Emily participated in the cool "Operation Christmas Child" program at her school, bringing a shoebox filled with gifts for a needy child in Eastern Europe. It's not too late if you want to participate through a drop-off location near you.
- I got to meet some local Swiss-German praying mothers at the MITI Arise! Cry Out! event in November in a neighbouring town. My friend translated for me as necessary. We sang some songs I knew the tune of, with Swiss-German words. Fun!
- David went to Korea and China on business. Korea was a new country for him.- We celebrated Thanksgiving on a Saturday with 25 friends or so, including my brother and niece from Geneva. They brought along a big chocolate Escalade marmite so we could introduce these Zug/Zurich friends to a Genevois December tradition. Please do not confuse a French-language marmite (marMEET - a big soup pot, in this case made out of tasty chocolate with colorful marzipan vegetables inside) with anglo Marmite (MARmyte - a brown salty spread from the UK or New Zealand). Quite different.
- My German class at David's office changed completely - new teacher, new book, new methods, new classmates, new time, and now only once a week. Same classroom, and one solitary student in common with my old class. Still enjoying it and learning.
- I've been having fun with Jason's 11th grade schedule; it means we can have lunch together every Wednesday. Great way to have dates with him, with time built-in for good conversations.
- I managed to keep up my annual tradition of NOT going to the local Handel's Messiah Sing-A-Long and wishing I COULD have. Some year I will break my streak and be able to enjoy it to my heart's content. I have successfully missed it every year in California, England, and now Switzerland. I am an international Messiah Sing Misser. It always seems to happen at a time that just doesn't work for me to get there. I did get to sing it with my high school choir way back when, and I'm still living on that memory.
- Jason played drums, tambourine, and xylophone with his new high school's jazz band in a Winter Concert. How fun to be in the audience and see him up on stage doing his percussive stuff. Made me want to join the band.
- David made some another Grand Marnier crêpe and flambéed it in our dining room, prompting one Facebook reader to comment that it looked like the table was being flambéed. I opted for banana-Nutella, as usual. This was after our main course crêpes, which don't require dimming the lights: ham, goat cheese, fresh basil, sautéed mushrooms, potatoes...
- And life continues. Off to Colorado for Christmas this year, after having 14 family members at our house here in Zurich last year, as wonderful as it was. Variety is the spice...
December 11, 2009 | Permalink
Beautiful photos, and it's good to read about how God is working in your life.
Posted by: Martin LaBar | Dec 11, 2009 4:06:57 PM
Thanks for the catch-up, Katherine. It's wonderful to read what is going on in your world. Merry, Merry!
Posted by: Suzanne | Dec 21, 2009 4:41:35 PM