5.30.2009

Vamos a bailar!

Last night was a Spanish-speaking party at Blanca and Michael's! So fun! Colombia, Guatemala, Cuba, and Mexico (they called me the mexicana since I studied there :) were represented. And we only spoke Spanish, which was the best part of the evening! Even though our Spanish isn't perfect, it is still so much better than our French!


A little bit of Texas crept in, too. Don't you just love to see a bunch of Belgians crowded around a bowl of Rotel queso? They were all asking about this mysterious "special cheese" that was used, and were VERY disappointed when I told them it was purchased in Texas. Here I am living above a gourmet cheese shop, and what the people want is Velveeta!!


Their backyard is so cool. It just keeps going on forever. We lived with this family when we first arrived in Belgium, but it was winter then, so this was our first time to enjoy the backyard. I think their dog enjoyed the company, too.


In true latino fashion, there was dancing. Unfortunately I couln't hide well enough and they kept pulling me in! I kept trying to convince them that I DON'T DANCE!, but no matter. I have never been swung around so much in my life! :)


Clay got swept away as well. We laughed a lot!


So, an evening of friends, Spanish, dancing, avoiding dancing, and ridiculously good latin food (can you say plantains and lots of them?). We had a blast. I am honored to be their mexicana :)

5.27.2009

Friends!

We went home from language school today with some new friends for lunch!! Ali and Nada welcomed us into their home for some amazing food and some good time just relaxing in their home.


The boys barbecued outside. We really enjoyed their peaceful backyard. Behind the trees there is a river that you can hear bubbling the whole time you are outside. It is awesome.


They cooked the most amazing lunch for us. They asked us before if we had ever had Arab food, which we hadn't, so they said they would make a good introductory meal for us. We are still talking about how good it was! They sent us home with leftover meat pastries, and we left them with some chocolate chip cookies. Two families sharing their culture's finest- I like that :)


I brought their daughter a Cadbury Egg, which she promptly gave a thumbs up! I feel kind of bad for initiating what will be a lifelong obsession, but how can you not share something that good??


We had the best day with this family! God is so good to provide new friends!

5.26.2009

2 things to celebrate

Sunday night was a fun one. The last game of the national soccer championship (basically the Super Bowl for Belgians) took place, and Liege was represented! We joined a bunch of folks in the grand place to watch the game.

Here's a video right after Liege won!

video
It was so fun to be there for such a big moment. Cars were honking and people were singing/yelling long into the night celebrating. There were people still at the pub across the street still singing when we got home from SCHOOL the next afternoon! So fun!

Yesterday was a big day for us: we got closets!!! This has been a much anticipated event. It took us a long time to find just the right armoire, since most of the options were big and heavy. We didn't want to have to go through this again, so we were looking for a lighter, less bulky option. We found what we wanted at a store in town, but had to wait over a month for them to come in. Well, yesterday, the came!

This was my closet up until yesterday.


And these are our closets now!!

I am so happy. This morning it was amazing to not have to bend down to the floor to get dressed. It also had the strange effect of making me feel more "at home" to be able to actually put my clothes away. So, all around, armoires are magnificent!

Feeling organized and put together, Megan

5.24.2009

Random

Huy is beautiful lately! And it's been warming up too. The sites of this town haven't gotten old, and I hope they never do.


So, we found a bag in the street with our name on it. That doesn't happen everyday. Clay bemoaned the fact that it was filled trash, and thus we couldn't bring it home. I, on the otherhand, was completely fine leaving said bag of trash in the street where we found it.


This afternoon, Clay is at a race in another town with his running team. 10 miles! I am very proud of him :) He has been running so much lately!

Oh! A funny thing happened. We said good bye to Adam the other night only to have him return again! Yesterday as we were walking home from the store, we got a call from Adam saying he was sitting in front of our apartment with his friend John. They had rented a SmartCar in Brussels to take to Prague and wanted to stop over in Huy for the night. As we said goodbye to them this morning, it felt more appropriate to say "I guess we'll be seeing you tomorrow!" :) Fun stuff.

Happy Sunday!

5.22.2009

Adam's Visit and Bruxelles!!

When Adam came he brought Texas with him in the form of Tex-Mex!! We have been enjoying it all week! Can you believe how much stuff he brought?!!

Here are the boys enjoying some queso. As I was melting the Velveeta I felt like I was getting ready for a super bowl party or something. It just felt so right :)


Yesterday was a holiday so we didn't have school. The three of us decided to explore Brussels since none of us had ever been there except to fly in and out of. It was an awesome day!

We thought it only proper to sample some waffles. Wow. I admit I broke my diet to partake, and it was amazing.

Can you tell that I was happy?


We checked out the Grand Place of course. Just as grand as expected.


We sought out the Manneken Pis, though I think it is gross. It is one of those things that you visit just to say that you've been. Well, world, I've been.


This house says that it is the smallest one in Brussels, and I want it! So cute!


We found my restaurant.


The boys and their candy store.


Such a fun day!


A sign of a good day in Brussels... a bowl full of empty mussel shells.


Adam appears to be enjoying his last day in Huy. I spotted him out of our apartment window. Belgian life is pretty awesome sometimes :)


We have so enjoyed having Adam visit us. He leaves tonight to meet up with his friend in Prague. Safe travels, friend, and thanks for coming to see us!!

5.18.2009

Bonjour.

Last week, Rob called us and said, "I wanted you to know that I just finished college." Way to go, little brother!! His graduation ceremony was Saturday in College Station. I am so proud of Robbie. Not many men have his sweet, kind heart or his depth of character. I love you, Rob, and am praying for whatever God has next for you. Remember to seek Him first!!

Clint called during the ceremony and let me hear "Robert Louis Pasche" being called out as he walked across the stage. They also called later to let me talk to the new grad. It was awesome, and it meant a lot to me that they all thought of me way over here :)


Today was business as usual. Mondays are language school days, so I packed up my backpack (which totally labels us as Americans, by the way. No one else carries them :) One of our classmates drove by as I was walking and told me class was canceled! It is funny that even though language school is different from "regular" school, and it really IS beneficial to have class when you are trying to learn French, there is still that schoolgirl in me that thinks canceled class is the best thing ever (besides LOST). So I trekked back to our side of town and settled into a table at the Grand Place to do a little studying on my own.


Tea, a French-English dictionary, beautiful weather, church bells, and a nice waiter to help me sound out words= a great morning.

You may notice Clay's absence in the ramblings of my morning. He left early this morning to go meet Adam McQueen in Brussels! Adam will be visiting us this week on his way to Prague, and we are so excited! I love guests :)

Have a wonderful beginning to your week!

5.15.2009

Today was a truly great, encouraging day.

1. It started out with some really good, solid God time. Sigh. I love mornings with him. I am reading the book "The Spirit of the Disciplines" by Willard, and I was challenged by what Paul said in Philippians: "So, whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead."(Phil. 3:10-11 LB) I want that newness of life! It was an awesome morning.
2. I was able to do laundry, which literally takes all day long. The wash cycles are really long for some reason, and then Clay was kind enough to walk all the clothes to the laundrymat to dry everything. He is such a helpful fellow :)
3. After lunch I ran some errands to the post office, the grocery store, to this special store to buy towels, and did some random window shopping. Just doing these routine things that wouldn't seem like so much back home, makes me feel productive and like I did something today, you know?
4. I had several "conversations" in French. "Conversation" means that I spoke atleast one complete sentence. It is seriously the best thing ever. One funny thing happened. "Foie" means liver, but "fois" means time, as in "next time..." Two meanings, one word. As I was saying goodbye to a clerk, and said "until next time," I felt my hand moving to my stomach and point to my liver. What is that all about?! My brain is so confused. When I say "time" I point to my liver! Great.
5. I made these cookies, and they turned out pretty good. Kind of biscuit-y (since I had to omit the honey) but they were bread-like and that was something to celebrate.
6. We went to a birthday party at the church.

So, a productive day. It was nice to have a day off from school to get some household stuff done. I had been feeling kind of backlogged. I am so thankful when God gives me days like this. He is so good to me. I am thankful to be his today!

Destino Needs Your Help!

Just over a year ago Megan and I got to spend a few weeks in Honduras with Rhonda Jackson and a whole slew of incredible kids at Destino Del Reino. Destino is now in it's forth year of operating a school for the children who live there as well as many of the kids from the neighboring villages. We've seen first hand that the school provides these children with an amazing opportunity and provides hope for poverty-stricken villages.

Destino is looking for people who can partner with them in this ministry by sponsoring a child's education to provide them with a chance of a lifetime. Check out this video to find out more about the school and how you can be a part of it!


5.14.2009

London= <3

Ok, last weekend took the taco (did I really just say that? Puh-leez tell me someone else out there has seen Ghostbusters 2). It really was awesome. Our Austin friends Treeta and Robbie made a special stop over in London on their way to Africa to see us!! They got to London Saturday morning but we hit the town Friday afternoon. Ah. English!!

We ate at a restaurant called The Embassy of Texas. What's great is that when I saw the place for the first time 2 months ago, I actually had to pause and think "Do we really have an embassy?" Yes, Texans are probably the only statesmen who think their own embassy is a realistic possibility :)

We really enjoyed ourselves.... I cheated on my diet a little bit, I admit :) They had Dr. Pepper, people!!


At one point the guy at the table next to us heard we were from Texas and started asking us questions, the best one being "What IS a tortilla?" Oh brother... where to begin on that one! We guaranteed him that his life was going to be a little more complete after he finished his meal. He and his friend (one from the UK, one from the Netherlands) also shared with us that most people view Americans as being very friendly, which I must say is a sweet relief after all of the bad press we have gotten in the last few years. Rest assured, there are those who really do like us out there! :)

One of the cooler things about the restaurant is the building. Ok, get this. The building currently occupied by the Embassy of Texas used to be owned by the same company who owned the Titanic! Right there by the front doors, under those trees in the picture, is where the company posted the lists of who were lost at sea. It was RIGHT THERE that people gathered to see if their loved ones were lost. It was kind of a somber moment. Such a big deal in history, and there it was.


Our hotel was amazing! Right off of Trafalgar Square, which is one of the most important and coolest squares of London.


Right after they got there on Saturday morning, we headed to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. We THINK we saw it, but we are not so sure. There were 1000s of people surrounding the palace, and we just joined in.


Here is Treeta being awesome. Friend, you certainly DO march to the beat of your own drum! I love you for it.
video

We also did one of those bus tours around the city. It was perfect for our jet-lagged friends, who did extremely well adjusting to the time change, by the way...


It was fun to just watch London whizz by. Such beautiful streets.


We saw Westminster Abbey.


Hey, we're tourists! Oh, how we laughed!


We checked out the Winston Churchill War Rooms Museum, which was AWESOME. I never knew much about that man, but I am impressed and greatful to him.


One of my favorite parts about exploring London is what you see when you make this one turn towards the Thames....

I love their reactions to it.

You just cannot get any better than this. The picture doesn't even do it justice. Big Ben is so huge! And just magnificent. To me, it is one of those rare things that exceed your expectations for it.


We also took a ride on the London Eye, this ferris wheel type of thing that gives you a wonderful view of the City and beyond.


Other activites included taking massives amounts of photos. The weather was so beautiful- the colors were amazing!! (I am going to make a plug to my photography friends and say you MUST get a polorizer. It changes everything. I promise.)


Some of my favorite shots from the weekend:








And some bird friends :)




Clay, Robbie, and Treeta had the obligatory fish and chips...


And a traditional English breakfast was served as well. Yes, those are baked beans. Very traditional, huh? :)


Thank you, friends, for coming, and for loving on us so well. What fun travel companions. We love you so!


And thank you, also, Austin friends who sent all of the goodies with them!! It was so overwhelming and wonderful! Seriously. I cannot thank you enough. We love you!


Oh, and P.S. Coming to the UK, late 2009... my dreams are being realized one by one :) I cannot wait.


Sigh. The weekend was amazing. Thanks for letting me tell you about it :)