it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Month: October 2014 (page 2 of 7)

Time Is (Sort Of) On Our Side

Every year, twice a year, my dad calls me around the day we adjust our clocks forward and backward. We always have a good laugh because I think we’re both a little unsure how this little tradition of him calling me about it started but it’s fun nonetheless. Sadly, I didn’t get that call toady because my dad, I’m sure, is unaware that Europe changes their clocks at a different date on the calendar. Today was that day here in Czech and we “fell back” one hour, giving us a little extra time in bed today. The whole day felt a little weird, almost like an extra long day. America will join the time change fun in a week so we’re actually an hour closer to the States this week which is great for talking to family. So maybe I can expect an earlier phone call from my dad next weekend? C’mon dad, we’ve got time on our side!

Sunday With the Kids (10/26/14)

This morning at church I stayed in Titus’ room with him again just to make sure he’s adjusting and also to watch his progress. It wasn’t my plan to stay but I really was curious. The language barrier is definitely tough and I think it’s really easy for him to get distracted and I had to really push him to stay with the rest of the class. In the photos above and below, the kids are drawing pictures and I honestly don’t know what exactly they were supposed to draw. All I know is that the other kids drew one person while Titus drew at least six. He told me, “I drew everyone!” He needed help with the ears but he was pretty proud of his rodina (aka: “family” in Czech).

Sunday With the Kids (10/26/14)

We went to the store after church to get a few groceries and I was a little disappointed that I missed a good language use opportunity. While checking out, the lady said to me “Kolik?” I know the word, I’ve studied the word, but the only thing I could think of in that quick moment was something about time. Is she asking me what time it is? Time just wasn’t on my side, even though it was on my mind, and I stared at her in confusion. Then she started counting my croissants. My brain made switch and I said out loud, “Sedm…eh…Shest!” Which is, “Seven…eh…Six!” I was happy that I figured it out, but a little bummed I couldn’t nail it right away. Such is the life of a foreigner just trying to buy a few croissants. Hey, they’re cheaper than time. See what I did there?

Playing Outside and Making Apple Pie

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

The gray skies lifted today and the sun was shining so we went to the park for a few hours this morning/afternoon. It wasn’t only the sun that brought us outside, but I had told our friend Rachael that I would snap a few photos of her so she can send an updated photo to her ministry partners (one photo is below). For at least the last three weeks, I’ve been taking photos for friends so they all can can update their prayer cards and email newsletters. What’s funny is it’s almost identical to what I was doing in the States with family photos right around this time of year. Everyone is sending out family photos for the holidays and I usually would schedule shoots during October/November so it kind of feels like that only in a different part of the world.

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

Photos didn’t take long today so we just hung out at the park and played with the kids and talked to Rachael. It’s been a pretty full week of ministry things at JV so spending some time focused and outside the kids was really nice. Here’s a little video of us playing on the slide and some more photos I took since I had my camera gear with me.

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

When we were about to leave I notice Titus’ rain boots (which he uses almost daily right now) have a hole in them. This is bummer because it’s the only pair he has. We may have to go see if we can find another pair tomorrow because they’re important for him to have at school.

After the park we invited Rachael over to enjoy some Swedish pancakes for a late brunch. You would think that a late brunch would actually just be lunch, but things are just different in Europe. OK, I’m kidding about Europe, but I digress. Rachael was an extra blessing today in helping us pick up the house a bit. Bethany was working on the food and Rachael helped unload the dishes while I vacuumed. I had really hope we would get some time to clean today and so that was really nice to have some extra hands to help! Thanks Rachael!

We continue to struggle with sickness as a family. I have a been coughing pretty hard this past week and today was feeling really tired. I laid down with Titus and we took a pretty long nap today which is just rare anymore for me. I’m hoping this sickness doesn’t last too long.

Tonight we made apple pie! I bought a big thing of apples a few days ago and we finally had time today to have a good ol’ American class apple pie. It was a family effort and we served it up with a little vanilla ice cream. It was delicious if I do say so my self and here’s a few photos and a video to end our blog tonight.

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making apple pie tonight. Yum!

A video posted by Shay Thomason (@shaycam) on

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Casing the Grocery Store at 3 Degrees Celsius

Today marks four months of us in Czech. It’s been a wild ride and our lives have dramatically changed in a short amount of time. For instance, I went again tonight to do the shopping at the grocery store. I’m getting pretty good at finding my way around the store and I’m making less phone calls back home to Bethany asking, “What, what does sour cream look like again.” Don’t get me wrong, I still made a few calls tonight, but they are decreasing in number. The one thing that isn’t getting better is remembering to grab a 5 cent or higher coin to get a grocery cart. In order to get a cart you need a coin to release the chain that holds them all together. Usually we keep a coin in the car, but lately I haven’t had one and because of that I’m pretty it looks like I’m casing the joint.

Picture this: a huge tall guy (me) is walking around like a crazy man with his empty shopping bags hoping to find a cart that might not be chained up. So I’m in the parking lot shaking carts to see if one will come loose and repeat the same process inside. Desperation sets in when no cart comes free, so I go to the ATM, pull out cash, go and buy gummy bears, do a self check out, walk back to the car with my purchase, return to the store, get a cart and begin my shopping for a second time. All this while wearing a huge black jacket because it’s freezing outside.

While shopping I found a HUGE jar of Nutella with Santa on it. I didn’t buy it, but I took a photo because I couldn’t believe the size.

3 Degrees Celsius (10/24/14)

Speaking of freezing, it was 3 degrees outside…celsius. I checked the temperature from early this morning and all through out the day and it never changed. On the way to school this morning with Titus (shown below) it was cold and windy. While walking with Titus, he said, “Daddy, it’s too cold. I don’t like it when it’s cold.” He said that while wearing long johns under his clothes, snow gloves, a thick coat, and a warm hat. The walk is not far, but we were cold when we got to the school. I don’t waste too much breath talking about the weather, but the change is definitely dramatic but we’re thankful for big, warm jackets!

3 Degrees Celsius (10/24/14)

Before putting the kids down to bed tonight, Bethany told Titus, “Daddy wants to have a relaxing day tomorrow (Saturday).” Then he put his hands behind his head and said, “I love relaxing” which she took a photo of. There’s a few things on the agenda tomorrow but it’s been a busy week and I am truly hoping for some rest. Only time will tell.

3 Degrees Celsius (10/24/14)

The End of the Indian Summer

Hanging Fall (10/23/14)

We have been hearing for the past few weeks that we’re experiencing an “Indian Summer” in Czech. They have another name for it like “Grandmas Summer” or something like that, but it’s the same thing: warm weather in autumn. The weather of late has been very warm and nice, with only a little rain. That was until yesterday and today. Wow, can things change fast around here. A storm blew in and it got cold and wet. Even though it’s not really freezing temps just yet (the low tonight is supposed to be 34), the contrast makes it feel like it is.

Since the weather is a little damp, we have to create things to do in the house. Tonight Bethany decided we should hang the fall decorations we were sent from Nana and Papa. They sent us little sheets of sticky leaves, acorns, and pumpkins that go on the windows and glass surfaces.

Hanging Fall (10/23/14)

Hanging Fall (10/23/14)

The kids had a great time with it and I thought did a really good job. Hats off to my wife for the idea and thanks to Nana and Papa for the gift!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to get some time to get our winter tires put on our car. I have no idea how it’s going to play out and honestly am a little concerned that I won’t be able to communicate what I need to. It’s hard enough getting car repairs done in the States, but I have a feeling it’s going to be ten times more difficult in another country and another language.

Lastly, I took a few photos with a new app on my iPhone tonight of the kids. Here’s a couple portraits of these little rascals.

Hanging Fall (10/23/14)

Hanging Fall (10/23/14)

A Slow Jog and Stories That Stick

Ding–early this morning I get a text message from an unknown number. It’s all written in Czech. Just then a Czech friend walked in to the office and I said, “Can you help me read this?” “It’s your gas company…you need to pay your bill.” I promise I’m not irresponsible, but I just can’t win at the whole bill payment thing in Czech. A few more minutes online and my friend was able to help me pay the gas bill, but it’s definitely embarrassing and confusing. That company sent us a letter that we showed to another Czech friend who said they would automatically debit those things from our bank account. I guess that wasn’t the case, so tomorrow I’ll setup a regular online payment. Even as I say that, I have a paper sitting next to me to pay for Titus’ preschool which requires an online bank transfer. If I figure this without losing my mind I’ll turn up “We Are the Champions” and slow jog around the house in victory.

Read the Kids' Bible (10/22/14)

Every night we read the kids their Big Picture Story Bible. We just finished our seventh or eighth time through and have restarted again this week. Tonight we were reading about the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As I opened to the chapter the title read, “A really sad day” which I read aloud to the kids. Avery immediately said, “They ate from the tree…” and followed that with “Adam and Eve disobeyed God and He disciplined them.” She remembered the entire story and I hadn’t even started to read! Now I know kids are sponges, but Avery (who’s almost three) surprised me. I guess it’s the beauty of repetition and stories. Both are so powerful. Like a song chorus that gets stuck in your head, repetition provides an easy way to secure something in your mind. Stories have the same effect with their powerful word pictures and emotional connection. It’s so fun to see it all at work in the lives of our children, and better still, that it’s the truths from the Bible that are sticking.

Read the Kids' Bible (10/22/14)

At the end of the chapter tonight there’s a page about God giving Adam and Eve a glimpse in to how He would one day defeat Satan and sin. Titus saw Jesus standing on the snake and said, “Jesus!” and the kissed the book. Then he said, “He killed the snake!” Yes, He did and by His grace Titus will have a full understanding of what exactly that means in his own life some day. Until then we’ll continue to read to him and Avery the big story of God and trust their view of God will grow too. That’s not just a hope and prayer for the kids, but for Bethany and for me.

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