it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Month: December 2014 (page 1 of 7)

The Last Day of 2014 and the Best of the Blog

Even though it’s the last day of 2014, it felt very much like a normal day here in the States. It definitely doesn’t feel like New Year’s Eve, but I’m thinking that’s mostly because I’m getting old. But here’s a few highlights from the day.

First, Titus shaved. Yup. He got a little kids shaving kit in his stocking and he was really excited about trying it out. The razor is just plastic, but it comes with foaming soap that we had fun playing with today.

The Last Day of 2014 (12/31/14)

The kids played dress-up in their new Buzz Lightyear and Jessie outfits. We ran around the house for an hour which was also a lot of fun.

The Last Day of 2014 (12/31/14)

The Last Day of 2014 (12/31/14)

Later in the morning we went out and did a little shopping and ran some errands. We came back home for lunch and then took a nice afternoon nap. When we were all awake again we went out for more errands which included getting Avery’s dress for the upcoming wedding tailored. We arrived at the shop at the exact time they were closing today but they were kind enough to let us in and get Avery measured. Avery was a little scared and cried, but the lady who did the measurements was really nice and sweet. Here’s a photo of it.

The Last Day of 2014 (12/31/14)

The Last Day of 2014 (12/31/14)

Finally, I thought it would be fun to include some of the “best of the blog” for this last year. All the blogging began back on June 24, but here’s the top 5 posts from the blog in 2014 (based on views):

1) Applying for Visas and Paying for a Ticket in the Middle of the Freeway – July 8, 2014

2) From Sour Milk to a Spaghetti Meal – June 26, 2014

3) Literally Stuck in Frozen Czech – December 1, 2014

4) Driving East and Foreign Police – June 25, 2014

5) Hanging With the Millers in Poland – October 10, 2014

Christmas in Yakima

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

Today we celebrated Christmas in Yakima with Bethany’s side of the family.

I’ve been writing for the past few days that there’s been a bit of a delay with Christmas as we’ve been waiting to get the entire family together. Everyone was here this morning bright and early, and we enjoyed breakfast and cinnamon rolls on the floor by the tree. Bethany’s dad read Luke 2 and we enjoyed opening presents and giving gifts to each other. We had a great time together and we were blessed to receive lots of new books, clothes, and toys as a family.

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

We alway start the present opening time with stockings and work from youngest to oldest. The process takes a few hours, but it goes quickly and is great to watch all the responses. Everyone in the family keeps a wish list active that the rest of the family can pull ideas from, so it’s always fun to open presents and things that you may have added to your list a while back. I’m especially excited about the new books that I got this year. Everything from new Bible commentaries to business books to poetry, all of these will keep me busy for years to come. The kids were also blessed with books, along with a Buzz Lightyear costume for Titus, and a Jessie (from Toy Story) hat for Avery.

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

After presents we took a break (and naps!) and rested in the afternoon. Besides some snacking, we skipped lunch and planned for a big meal out together at a local restaurant in the late afternoon early evening. We reconvened about 3:30pm to take a family photo together. For all I know, it’ll be a few years before we get to do another photo like this again.

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

Dinner tonight was incredible. We haven’t had a big, American style dinner out in six months. I was so excited to eat a cheeseburger with real American cheese! We had fun being loud and enjoying the family time out. The restaurant is a new place that’s only been open for a few weeks here in Yakima (shown below). The food was delicious and I ate way too much. On the bright side, I shouldn’t need to eat for a couple of days!

Christmas in Yakima (12/30/14)

Our time here has been sweet, restful, and fun. For me, I think this has been a recharge and a God-ordained trip to just think and rest. Czech is not the easiest place, but I’m so thankful for what God is doing in that part of the world and how he continues to stretch and grow us in order to use there. Tonight as we were driving home from dinner I actually missed Czech. It’s our new home and even though we have had a lot of fun here, I look forward to being back there and continuing to pursue all God has for us, good or bad.

Small Town Fun

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

We woke up this morning to what I was calling powdered sugar snow. There was the lightest dusting of snow overnight that was still on the ground when the sun came up, but it was mostly gone by the afternoon. For the kids it really didn’t matter–it was snow, and as Titus put it, “It’s Christmas time!” Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating Christmas here at Bethany’s parents house in Yakima so that meant we were doing some last minute Christmas shopping today. I realize this is December 29, but we’re doing our Christmas together on the 30th because of work schedules and everyone being able to be together.

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

As has been true all week, we were up early with the kids this morning and out the door by 8:00am ready to hit the stores. What we found out quickly was that most stores aren’t even open until 9. After the third place we tried to go to was closed we decided we would try and get some breakfast out. Bethany’s dad directed us to the place in the photo above, but when we arrived we found out they had no power. Apparently the wind hand blown down some power lines nearby so all of the part of town we were in was without electricity. At this point the morning was a bust, but we trekked on.

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

We ended up finding a classic down with power down the road a bit and enjoyed a really great American breakfast. Just being able to order biscuits and gravy was ministering to my soul. Titus got the kid’s pancake and when it came it out was a happy face with a piece of bacon for a smile (shown above). They also had classic car benches that the kids thought were great. Here are they are playing on one that was near our table.

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

After breakfast and after all the shops opened, we did finally get some shopping done. One place we went to is actually 114 years old and has been owned by the same family for five generations! It was a really fun store and the people who worked there were really helpful. It was full of paper goods and speciality office supply items, including some archival ink pens that I was needing for marking in my Bible. If you ever find yourself in central Washington, head on over to “The Bindery” (as the locals call it) and get yourself some small town charm and a nice pen for your Bible reading!

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

On one of our other stops, we hit a jewelry store to have my wedding ring sized down. It has gotten really loose and we finally decided it would be best to have it resized to fit more snug. When I bought the ring nine years ago, it was a little big and they were telling me that it would eventually fit. The jeweler said to me then, “You will get fat!” Well, some time has passed and it’s flying off my finger! So we found a place today that we resize it and when we were walking in the door I loved the hours that are listed on Sunday (photo below).

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

Tonight we had a fun and kind of wild dinner with the whole family. Mostly we were just eating leftovers, but the scene in the room with seven adults, three young kids, and two dogs running around was something out of a movie. Later, when things quieted down, “Papa” (grandpa) read The Night Before Christmas to our tired kids (show below). It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the whole story read and the first time our kids had heard it.

Tomorrow Papa will read Luke 2 before we open gifts and we’ll have a traditional meal on the floor by the tree. I look forward to celebrating with everyone and enjoying the time with family here. Until then, “Happy Christmas to all! And to all a good night.”

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

Church, English, Mexican Food, and American Football

For the first time in six months we attended church in English. I was struck by this reality mostly while we were signing this morning at West Side Church, the church that Bethany grew up in and where here family still serves. I think I’ve talked about this before, but there’s just something about singing worship music in your own language that ministers to your heart. I think that’s especially true for me since I have spent many years ministering in our church through the music ministry. Music is just a big part of my own, Christian heart as I’m sure is true for many others. No doubt it’s been important to Christians since the beginning of the church. I was especially blessed to sing “In Christ Alone” as the closing song today after listening to a message on God’s grace from Hebrews. I haven’t asked her about it, but I thought I saw tears coming down Bethany’s cheeks as we sang. Needless to say, we were blessed.

Although it’s not on the same level, we were also blessed today to do a little shopping at the grocery store. I say this because we secured two kinds of salsa and jalapeno chips! That kind of spice is not readily available in Czech and it was actually fun to have my nose running from all the spice I enjoyed lunch today!

Sunday (12/28/14)

This afternoon we have all taken naps and spent time watching the Seattle Seahawks play on TV. It’s funny to watch a live sports event since we don’t have this kind of television in Czech, and of course no American football. I’m not a huge football fan, but Bethany likes it, along with the rest of the state of Washington. As I write, the Seahawks have just won the game so I’m sure the good people of Washington are breathing a sigh of relief as they look for a postseason run.

Things continue to be restful here in the States which is nice. We’re happy to be spending time with family and just enjoying a little break from life overseas. I’m excited for what God has in store for us when we return, but we’ll enjoy the rest while it lasts.

Christmas (Part I)

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

“Go big or go home.” It’s a phrase I use often, mostly joking, to describe certain situations or even little things like ordering lunch. But I guess when it comes to Christmas it’s “Go big AND go home.” I only say that because today we celebrated Christmas 1 of 2 here in Yakima. That’s how we’re describing it to our kids who by Tuesday will have celebrated Christmas 3 different times. Today’s Christmas was at their great-grandmother’s house where we opened presents and shared a big meal with Bethany’s mom’s side of the family. I remember being at it last year and us saying goodbye to family with no intentions of seeing them for at least two years since we would be moving to Czech. Little did we know that we would be back this Christmas celebrating together once again.

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

The format is simple: eat and then open presents. Bethany’s grandmother always goes big on the gifts and I think she spend a certain set amount on everyone, though this still remains a mystery to me. I am pretty excited about my new pocket knife, shirt, and three more volumes that will be added to my MacArthur commentary set! Bethany was given a new necklace, salt and pepper shakers, and some clothes. Avery got some kitchen toys, including a working cash register and a stand mixer (think Kitchenaid) which she calls her ice cream maker. And Titus was pretty pumped about his big play ship thing that folds up. We’re definitely thankful for the wonderful gifts and kindness of our family!

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

Overall our energy levels were better today and we were all up at 5am. I think we’re gaining an hour of sleep every night. It’s such a bummer to have to turnaround and flip back to Czech time in just a few weeks, but that’s just part of the life we live right now. Christmas part 2 will be on Tuesday will complete the triple Christmas celebrations we have had. It brings excitement for gifts, but a little anxiety as to how exactly we’re going to get all of this stuff back to Czech!

Here’s a few more photos from the afternoon.

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

That’s Titus and Avery with their second cousin Savannah.

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

Christmas Part 1 (12/27/14)

Older posts

© 2017 it's all grace

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑