Thursday, March 31, 2016

the little Dorsch caboose

The baby of the Dorsch family is celebrating her birthday! I can't remember if she likes being called the little caboose or not, but I am thinking yes...HOPEFULLY this blog post will be meaningful to Shorty and not the contrary! #risktaker

I talked with her as she was on a shopping adventure with her husband and our dear Mom earlier this afternoon. They were going to meet up with Dad and Linds for a birthday dinner tonight after their fun shopping in KC. "It's pretty awesome celebrating my birthday with so much family" she told me on the phone today. It made me smile. She is someone who does not take her family and relationships for granted. Given the fact that the majority of the year, every year, she lives with an ocean separating her from half of her family (quite literally), the birthdays with "extra" family around are ever more special. And she recognizes it, and chooses to be thankful for it, not just take it for granted.

Look at how thankful she is to be with family!

Another thing I love about my littlest sister, is how much she loves Joel and how she has accepted him wholeheartedly into our family. I would say the same is true for all my siblings, but I was particularly thinking about ways that the birthday girl does it well, and rightfully so, as it's her special day. She's a nurse, he's a doctor-in-training and the nurse vs doctor banter is quite entertaining. She has always taken an interest in what he is studying, which clinical rotation he's on, what he's learning, wanting an update on how much he loves the Dorsch family, etc. She has made it such an easy transition for him to be a part of the family. I am so grateful for that!

Love you Shorty! Wishing I was one of the "extra" family members with you today! You are so special to me!


Friday, March 11, 2016

discipline, perseverance and a poor 75 year old man

This is a unique time for Joel and I. Medical school, as anywhere is incredibly hard, and demands so much discipline and perseverance. With how the system works here in France, Joel has his final big exam in June; 3.5 months away!

So much to know and learn, memorize, practice, understand. 

It's not always easy; having to say no to a lot of activities and opportunities for ministry, fun, friends, family, etc. But we are also really enjoying this phase and chapter in life. We have so much to be thankful for. We feel so encouraged and cared for by our family and friends. 

I snapped these pictures of him studying, and loved looking at all of the reminders on his desk of how God cares for us, like his little doctor figurine that his Grandma gave him, the thoughtful corn candy that his sister brought back from the US, the ever-true words of a hymn Mom framed for him, and many more. 

This week was especially long and tiring as he had a practice exam, preparing him and his classmates for the real deal coming in June. The practice exam is a big deal... they grade your exam, give you a score which helps you see if you are on track, or what you need to work on more. 

I asked him at the end of this 3-day exam what had been the hardest question he had come across. Want to know what it was? Better yet, want to try and guess what the answer is? :) You can work on your French skills at the same time! Here is the story of the 75 year old man: 

Un homme de 75 ans vient vous voir pour une éruption cutanée apparue il ya 15 jours. A l'examen, vous retrouvez des lésions érythémateuses des grands plis, non prurigineuses, surmontées de vésicules claires. L'examen cytologique du liquide vésiculaire retrouve une cellularité importante à 1800/mm3 (78% PNN). Qu'attendez-vous à retrouver à l'étude histologique des biopsies de ces lésions ? 

A) dépôts extra-vasculaires de protéine C3
B) dépôts d'IgG à la limite derme/membrane basale
C) dépôts de protéine C3 à la limite derme/membrane basale
D) prolifération extra-vasculaire leucocytaire
E) dépôts de protéine C1 au niveau de la paroi vasculaire 

And the answer is? Winner may receive a prize! But think carefully about which answer you choose, French professors are known for their trick questions! 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

craft day for the staff girls!

One of my favorite activities each month, is having all of the little staff girls over to my house for a craft. It started out with just Mallory, years ago, and now 6 little girls come over regularly. I love it! For our February craft, each girl got to make and decorate her family with little wooden people I got at Hobby Lobby several years ago, and finally found a good use for!

The girls were so excited! Well, mostly.

Lydia didn't quite know what to do with the creativity Halle was using to make her Daddy's hair. I thought it was awesome.

 Lydia actually loved this craft, and did an awesome job painting on her own face and picking out the colors for her family's wardrobe. Her baby sister obviously couldn't stand yet, as she is only 4 months old.

I loved watching each girl as they carefully drew on faces, carefully placing each eye, smile, and being attentive to details true of their siblings and parents.

The short hair was killing me, it was awesome! 

This little girl gave her baby brother a red sweater, "just like the one he wears at home," she said.

Julie made herself into a princess. I mean, if you can transform a little wooden peg person into yourself, why not represent yourself as a princess! Look at the little bow on her baby sister's hair! :)

It was an extra special craft day because it happened while my parents were visiting, and while Dad was off having a good French coffee, Mom helped out with the crafts. And of course Halle. Craft times wouldn't be the same without Halle! We are always amazed at the difference in noise level when all of the girls have gone back home! We love it, but we are so tired after! Can't wait for the next one! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

from Niamey to Rennes

Guess who came to see us in Rennes for a few days? Joel and I were overjoyed to have Mom and Dad stop in a for a few days on their way back to Kansas. Rennes has fairly mild weather, though we had a lot of rain and wind while they were here, but we told them it was a good transition from really hot Niamey to really cold Kansas! 

One of the days they were here, we went to the Mont St Michel, an incredible abbey built on top of a rock on the northern coast of France. They had never been, and it is a must-see if you are in the area! So many great memories came flooding back as I remember going there with lots of different visitors over the years! Such great times! 

Did I mention it was cold and windy?

It is a lot of stairs up to the top!

There is so much history in this place, the oldest part of the abbey dating back to 966 ! Amazing. We decided to get a couple tour guide listening devices to share, and were so happy to have the anecdotes, the "imagine all of the..." stories, and everything historic.

Lindsay, I thought of you so often because there was a tour guide (a real person, not a listening device) who was explaining all kinds of interesting things, and Joel and I discretely tried listening in as much as we could. Remind you of our castle exploring days? :) It was a really great and fun visit. 

The rest of our time was spent visiting and playing lots of pinochle and other games. I don't think I won a single game, though my partners changed each time!  

Joel and I both love playing, and haven't found anyone in Rennes who knows how to play, though we have tried to teach our friends! If you live in Rennes, and want to play, let us know!!! :) We'll provide free popcorn! 

Sunday afternoon we had Joel's family and my family over for Sunday lunch. So much pressure cooking for both Moms! But what a sweet treat after lunch when our parents washed all of the dishes and cleaned up our kitchen so beautifully! 

Can you tell it was windy on our Sunday afternoon walk?  

We had some of our dear friends over one evening for dinner and to teach them hand and foot! Another great game that we would love to teach you! 

Our time with Mom and Dad went by so quickly, but what a treat and a real blessing to have had time  with them! 

Thank you for hauling your suitcases all the way over here to our little apartment! We can't wait for the next time!