Sunday, December 26, 2010

Celebrate! A wonderful year has passed, an exciting year is ahead. --Q

Last week I worked at the Country Rest Home for a few hours because of the snowstorm. Its been a while since I've been at the nursing home and there were quite a few new faces, including one of the nurses. Suddenly this nurse asked me if I had just had a baby. I said, yes, eleven months ago. She was a student nurse at that time and she was at the hospital around the time that James began having seizures. She even wrote her clinical paper on his case. "How is he?" she asked. I felt a surge of gratitude to God as I told her that James was doing extremely well and had no developmental issues. I don't often think about the trouble that has come my way but last New Years was a difficult time. Thank you Lord for bringing so many good things into our lives this year; we commit the coming year to you.
A few pictures of our Holiday:
My cousin Adam and his girlfriend Megan came for our Christmas celebration. We had our Christmas the day before because our flight was on the 25th. Buttery Cajun Shrimp might be a new tradition! Wow, it was tasty! Adam and Megan live less than two hours away from Dallas--we look forward to more good times with them.We got to the airport about two hours early and ate a wonderful lunch of sushi, shrimp gumbo, and corn-dogs. Does anyone have a great caption for James' expression?
For breakfast on Christmas Eve day Ethan decided to make Nuns Puffs. Dorie wanted to help, and while her daddy left the room for a minute she "liberally greased" the pan. I don't think this was quite what Betty Crocker had in mind!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday we mailed over a hundred Christmas cards to our friends and family. On them were the words, "We have to say, we are excited for Christmas this year." If you are one of our friends who are wondering what we are looking forward to this season, let me tell you a little about our holiday plans!
Dorie and James are going to take their first plane ride on December 25. My parents bought tickets for us to spend Christmas in Delaware! We will also be traveling to New York for the annual New Years celebration with the Masts.
For those of you who are going to be in Delaware on:
Sunday, January 2, 2011We would like to invite you to join us for Greenwood Mennonite Church's Sunday evening service. Ethan will be giving a Monolingual Demonstration, which is supposed to show how languages can be learned and analyzed without English. It's supposed to be a lot of fun to watch!

I'd like to end with a few pictures that show some more reasons for our excitement about this year's Christmas.
As much as I love receiving gifts, seeing Dorie and James' excitement over our gifts to them is way more fun! This picture is from December 6, St. Nikolaustag. Dorie was on a sugar high all day; she asked for her "candy shoes" for a week afterward. The kids will open their gifts on the morning of Christmas evening; I can't wait for Dorie to open her 'Beginners Bible' and for James to start chewing on his new plastic food. I want to use this time of gift giving to show gratitude for God's extravagant gift to us--a relationship with him through his son, Jesus.
Here we are celebrating one of my favorite traditions, our Sunday evening Advent service. We light the candles, read some scripture, and sing carols together. Our candle stand isn't quite orthodox (its a cardboard box with holes poked in a circle) but it works!

Children make Christmas so much fun! -Q

Our friends Claude and Lotus Nelson came over for supper with their two children. What fun, and our living room exploded
Dorie and James have a special talent. They can turn a tidy living room into a tornado disaster area in about five minutes. They also can turn the holiday into an opportunity for their parents to revisit their childhood. I like to make a mess too sometimes, and I was ready for a session with glue, scissors, construction paper and pipe cleaners. Besides, our tree was in sore need of some tacky homemade ornaments! Here is what we made together:

Here's the inspiration for our creation--I found a camel to make out of cardboard tubes and tissue paper from a library book.
Ethan has spent long hours these past two months analyzing Arabic. He seemed ready to figure out how to make little paper boxes for our camel to carry.

Here is the end product! Do you think the camel will last until next Christmas?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

T minus three days . . . . -E.

Well, the Lebanese Arabic grammar sketch that my colleague and I co-authored (and turned in today!) clocked in at 47 pages. Add it to the phonology paper, and Jeremy and I churned out over 80 pages of technical linguistic writing in less than 8 weeks. All based on our own primary research. I have to say, there's a sense of accomplishment that comes with that.

And yet, it's not about what I can do. None of this project has been possible without the help of God Himself. There has been a strange absence of stress surrounding this grammar sketch. I know that He has been paying attention to us and watching out for us here in Dallas.

Now. Oral presentation tomorrow, finished lexical database Thursday, and class evaluation forms on Friday. After that, CHRISTMAS! If you're in Delaware, you may see me and my family over the holidays.

Friday, December 10, 2010

God Answers Prayer

When Ethan and I joined the GIAL campus last July we quickly began using the services of The Boutique and of The Warehouse. These facilities act like thrift stores, except that they are free for members of our community. One of the first things we acquired was an old, dilapidated two-seater stroller which we grew to love. Last week I rolled over a bump and the front wheel snapped off. The ancient pram is now in a landfill somewhere and I've been letting Dorie trot along behind me everywhere I go, while I push James in our umbrella stroller.
This morning the children and I went for a walk and I found myself heading toward The Warehouse. I told Dorie she should pray for a new stroller but I seriously doubted that we would find anything. I'd recently looked and, besides, there are a lot of young families here--surely anything nice would quickly be snatched up! Look at the new arrival that I saw when I walked through the door! Dorie's prayer was answered and my faith was strengthened as well. Seeing his faithfulness in small areas makes me feel secure about larger ones. Finding a place to serve, tuition money, computer problems--God is our provider, and I don't need to worry.

Monday, December 6, 2010

'I see that the girl is sitting.' -E.

The following tree diagram illustrates the constituent structure of the sentence 'I see that the girl is sitting' in Lebanese Arabic. Syntactic constituents are in red, phonological representations of words are in blue, and glosses are in green.

Yep, this is what my day has been like today. And not a bad tree diagram, if I may say so. My current class has had me working on Arabic like this for the last six weeks. It can get tiring, but I like this stuff. Can't help it. And I remind you all (as I remind myself) that this is not pointless. Analyzing a language well improves the quality of any translation of texts into that language. Wouldn't it be something exciting to be a part of quality translation? I'm hopeful.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We have so much to be thankful for this Holiday Season!

Our time with family was so good; we miss them a lot. Even though we were far from our family--Holly traveled home for Thanksgiving--we had such a relaxing time with each other and with friends. Scott and Christa Dysart invited us to their house for Thanksgiving supper; Dorie was just thrilled spend time with her friend Edward. Our friends Jeremy, Danielle, and their two girls spent all of Saturday here playing games. Nothing makes me feel like the holidays more than a whole day of board games!

I love putting out the nativity! I've had mine since I was fourteen or so. My parents also gave Dorie a toy nativity last year. She loves playing with the sheep, the wise men, and baby Jesus.

This picture is so dear to me because when I was Dorie's age I used to sit on the back of my mom's sewing chair. I'm not much of a sewing girl at all, but maybe Dorie will be, if she takes after her Grandma!