A.

A (Mon)Day of Rest

With a full week of conference behind us, my family and my team took today off for a little rest. It was nice to sleep in a bit today (whatever that means with little kids running around the house) and just spend time together as a family. I did my best to stay away from email, but I must admit I had a few things to take care of and made sure I wrote some people back that had been waiting on things from me all week. Mostly we lounged today, did some laundry, cleaned the house a bit, and I began reading a new book I got called Gospel-Centered Counseling by Robert W. Kelleman. We even had time this afternoon to watch Wall-E and that’s just a great movie. It was a nice Monday of rest.

A Day Off (5/11/15)

This morning Titus came to my desk where I was sitting and reading and said, “Dad, you gotta see this” and grabbed my arm to pull me towards the other room. Upon arrival to the living room he said, “It’s a battlefield!” That’s when I saw what you see in the photo above. Like a scene from Braveheart, all of his toys were standing on the floor ready for some kind of fight. I’m pretty sure I heard Olaf yelling “Freeeeedooooooooommmm!!!” Titus really should’ve been in school today, but he’s sick right now which is a bummer. I think it’s just a bad cold, but he’s got a cough that’s bad enough that it caused him to throw up today which is a bummer. Avery had the same thing yesterday so we’re pretty sure it’s just something that’s going around but hopefully won’t last too long. We’ve been so blessed with good health for the past 6-7 weeks so we’re thankful for that.

A Day Off (5/11/15)

Late this afternoon after we all had taken naps, Bethany made the comment, “I could really just go for a Starbucks today.” In the States that may have been a normal comment, but since Starbucks is about a 30 minute drive from us it’s a pretty rare treat. But something in me just thought, “let’s do it!” and I told her, “Yes! Let’s go and we’ll just have dinner out there.” So this evening we decided to take a little drive and head in to the big city that is Ostrava and enjoy some family time there. With such a full week and with me already feeling guilty about the lack of Mother’s Day celebration, it seemed like a fun thing to do and I knew it would bless Bethany. When we got there the kids somehow convinced Bethany to let them get “shakes” (aka: Frappuccinos) from Starbucks. To my knowledge this is the first time they’ve ever had them (editors note: they only ordered the non-coffee based ones…we’re not that dumb!). After take her first sip Avery said, “This is the best treat ever!” Here’s a few photos of them guzzling.

A Day Off (5/11/15)

A Day Off (5/11/15)

After enjoying our family Starbucks, we went over to the play place that the kids love so much. Since it was a Monday, it wasn’t very busy which was nice and the kids just love going up and down the huge slide. Next to the play area is a little store where you can get cosmetics and other things that you can’t get at a regular store, so Bethany went in and got a few things that are not easy to find. I was glad she had a little time to do that and more glad that she was able to find a few fun things for herself. I think it was a fun night for everyone.

That’s all for this Monday!

S.

Saturday is for Strollin’

Often on Saturdays we find ourselves trying to catch up on house work and errands. Today we spent the morning and early afternoon focused on cleaning up the house. Bethany worked with the kids on getting toys put away while I helped get the kitchen cleaned up. We have what I’ll call a half-size dishwasher which means we just can’t do large loads. One large pot or pan in that thing and it feels full. This means if we even delay one load we’re backed up. I’m happy to report we’re back on track and things are nice and tidy.

Strollin' on Saturday (2/21/15)

After the housework we decided to go out and just spend some time in our town. The weather was in the high forties and we had clear skies, so it was a nice day for a walk. We headed to the town square where the kids like to run around the water fountain. They were sad that it’s not running right now, presumably because of winter, but we had fun chasing each other in circles around it. Below is a photo of Avery on the big concrete pillar things that line the square and beneath that is a shot of Bethany with Avery in our big stroller in front of the town hall.

Strollin' on Saturday (2/21/15)

Strollin' on Saturday (2/21/15)

While we were out Bethany remembered our friends telling us about a little cafe that we had never been to. A lot of stores and shops are closed by noon on Saturday in our town, but we decided since we were just walking and having fund we would go see if they were open. Amazingly, they were, and we went inside. It was a fun little place and they even had a little play area for kids inside. Below is a photo of Titus beginning work on a puzzle he found among the books and toys.

Strollin' on Saturday (2/21/15)

We had fun trying to figure out how to order hot chocolate for the kids and coffee, for us but the woman running the cafe was very gracious with us. They didn’t really have hot chocolate in the traditional sense, but they had this kind of hot chocolate pudding stuff. I can’t really describe it, but it’s thick enough to eat with a spoon. It wasn’t expensive, and you could order lots of different flavors. We ordered chocolate/banana and chocolate/strawberry for the kids. Titus and Avery weren’t really into, but Bethany and I loved it! I’m so glad we got to enjoy that little shop and hopefully we can go back some time.

Strollin' on Saturday (2/21/15)

The kids enjoyed a little video chat time tonight with Nana and Papa (Bethany’s parents). Papa was kind enough to read them a book over the computer and the photo above is them just enthralled with the story and Papa’s storytelling abilities.

Immediately after we finished with Papa and Nana we headed to youth group at our church. It was a special night where they were inviting friends and doing an extended music time. There were a lot of students there and we were a little late so there weren’t really and places for us to sit. It probably wasn’t the best night to bring the entire family, but the kids had fun listening to the music and they were a little sad when we left early. It was fun to be there and I like that the students are getting more familiar with us being around.

All that to say…it was a great Saturday!

M.

Making Progress on Sunday

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

We’ve already shared before that Sundays in church have been tough with the kids. The summer months are especially hard in Czech because our church (photo above) doesn’t have Sunday school for the kids so we’re taking them to the main two hour service. We do our best to have them draw in a coloring book or even (yes, I’ll admit) play a game or two on the iPhone so as not to distract the service. In that past weeks we have ended up outside at some point just because they weren’t staying quiet enough to not disrupt the service. Today, by God’s amazing grace, was the first week we didn’t go outside! Friends have already told us they are praying for this and we saw that prayer answered today. It wasn’t perfect and there were moment’s of frustration, but the kids stayed the entire two hours and we definitely praise God for this little victory. After church we let the kids play in the church yard for a little bit and the photo below is of Avery and Titus walking around with huge branches. Avery’s face kills me in this photo.

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

Since we had Jonny with us at church we treated him to a pizza lunch in our time. I ordered three pizzas thinking they were small but they ended up being much bigger than I thought. Providentially our friend Rachael happened to be walking home from church and saw us eating so we asked her to join us and help us eat some of our extra slices. What’s amazing is we were able to feed six people for $24 and that included water (which you have to pay for) and a Czech favorite, Kofola soda. Not a bad deal!

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

This afternoon I drove Jonny over to the train station in Ostrava where he was catching his train to Prague. He and three of his friends are headed to Norway for six days to enjoy some camping and European exploration. While I at the station I saw another JV missionary, Jonathan Rosen, and he asked if I wanted to grab a quick cup of coffee before heading back home. I agreed and off we went to a little coffee shop in downtown Ostrava. Jonathan was actually the intern leader at the very first camp Bethany and I served at in 2012 so it was fun to catch up with him and see how ministry was going. He introduced me to a great little coffee shop and hopefully I’ll get a chance to take Bethany there some time.

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

At church this morning we were invited by a young Czech couple to hang at a river side park around 4pm. Because of my coffee with Jonathan I made us a little late to the park and it was a new park to us (one we hadn’t been to before) and we just couldn’t find the couple when we arrived. I was bummed, especially since it was really my fault we didn’t make it there by 4pm. Bethany wrote them on Facebook to apologize and hopefully reschedule and we literally just got a message back a few minutes ago saying that we actually didn’t miss them, but that we just didn’t walk far enough on the path to another park along the river. There are a lot of different parks along the river path but we just didn’t need to head further down…bummer. They said they’ll most likely be back there next week to so hopefully we can catch up then. That couple is due with their first child in just three weeks and it would be really fun to get to know them and catch up with them before the busyness of having a baby.

The little trip to the park wasn’t all bad because the kids got a little time to play and swing at the park we did find. We didn’t stay long because we needed to hit the grocery store and make dinner at home so off we went to the local Tesco. Bethany made another great dinner and we immediately did bath time with the kids when we were finished eating. We’re trying hard to get back into a rhythm with bed times and routines and it’s so nice to have a more settled home to do that.

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

It’s been a great past few days and Bethany commented tonight how much fun it’s been having so many different people in our home of late. In fact, both of us our a little worried we might start getting lonely here come fall because there’s just no one left to come and stay with us! I guess that’s just another reason to dive in and get to know the many people here, Czechs and other missionaries, and continue to build relationships right where we are. That’s really one of the main reasons we’re here and Lord willing we’ll be able to do just that in the months and weeks to come.