C.

Cold Water and Czech Spa Wafers

“Daddy, the hot water is gone!” Avery exclaimed to me while I was in the middle of an important phone call this afternoon. I heard her, but I wasn’t listening. It’s one of those classic dad moments where I heard the words but I didn’t take them to heart and continued my phone call. A friend tried calling my phone, but I declined it because the call I was already on. I also heard Bethany’s phone ring and still ignored it (lets just pause here and thank the Lord that nothing dangerous was going on because no amount of warning would’ve alerted me unless I was actually on fire or something). Fifteen or twenty minutes later I hung up from my call and Avery said again, “Daddy, the hot water is gone!” Confused still, I said, “Where’s mommy?!” She pointed to the bathroom and that’s when I heard Bethany’s voice, “I’m in here!…There’s no hot water!” As she was showering the hot water went off and now she had been stranded in the shower for at least twenty minutes with soap in her hair. That explains what Avery meant!

Water and Food (3/12/15)

Why was the hot water off? Well, that’s a story in a story. Last week while the plague swept our house we got a notice regarding the gas meter being replaced. Mostly we understood it but were a little confused about the times and day they would come. I guess the gas company people did show up but our doorbell is broken so we didn’t hear them. Yesterday we got a phone call that was completely in Czech and I was so confused and did my best to understand. Could this be the gas company trying to call? I thought I understood the man on the phone asking me when we would be home, but my Czech just isn’t good enough to respond and I was already unsure what was going on or who I was even talking to. Finally, after a few minutes of frustration, the caller said “goodbye” to me in Czech. This morning Bethany got a phone call in Czech. Was it the gas company? Just like me she was confused and the caller hung up when they couldn’t communicate either.

Fast forward back to the cold shower. I ended up boiling hot water for Bethany so she could rinse off and no longer be stranded. I checked the hot water boiler we have and I could see the pilot wasn’t lit. It’s not a hot water heater, and doesn’t store hot water in a tank like most places in the States; it kind of heats water when you need it. That’s when I called back our friend who tried calling me while I was on the phone. Basically, she told me the gas company talked to our landlord and replaced the meter this morning thus turning off our gas while Bethany was showering, and she added they weren’t happy about all the miscommunication. She also told me that the water heater would be off and need to be relit which of course we already knew at that point. I was thankful for the clarity. I did finally get the boiler pilot light lit again. A little Googling and a lighter got us back in business.

Water and Food (3/12/15)

We continued working on language stuff with Jenny and Landen this afternoon and they brought us a special Czech treat that we had never had before. It’s called “Kolonada” (shown above) and they said it’s a pretty traditional treat that Czechs give as gifts when visiting your home. It’s like a thin wafer with sugar and hazelnuts inside and it was delicious! Here’s another picture of it.

Water and Food (3/12/15)

As for language, it’s coming along albeit very slow. We are putting together sentences and doing a ton of listening but it’s not fast and it’s not easy. Every day I’m amazed at our progress and continually am asking the Lord for His grace as we learn Czech!

Water and Food (3/12/15)

T.

Tired, Cold, and Wet

Mid-Day Bath (11/20/14)

Sleep was limited last night. Not only did I have some kind of insomnia, but Avery coughed for at least an hour from around 2-3am. We were up early and out the door this morning so I think I only got around four hours of sleep. Needless to say I’m just plain old tired right now.

I’ve written for many days now that sickness has just absolutely plagued us. Every day seems like a battle for better health. Today Bethany gave the kids a mid-day bath (photo above) because they were just really congested and the warm water and steam helps give them some temporary relief. Their smiles are proof positive that, for at least a little bit today, they were feeling good.

Cold and Wet (11/20/14)

It was cold and wet today. Gray skies have stuck around for a few days now and I’m left wondering if the bitter cold is approaching. Every day I’m a little surprised that we’re not quite below freezing here yet. We heard the news about Buffalo New York and the massive amount of snow that came in just a couple days, and in my mind I just kind of expect that to happen here. The funny thing is I really have no idea what the weather is like here so I think I’m just planning for the worst weather and anything else is a surprise.

C.

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)

C.

C is for Caterpillar, K is for King

We were back in full swing today after taking a few days away as a family. I returned to the Josiah Venture office to begin working on new projects. With conference over, we’ve got a few projects that have backed up. But during conference we showed clips of young people from this year’s summer ministries. Since the conference was so focused on higher level leadership training, we wanted a way to bring people back to the “why” of ministry. One of those videos that was shown before one of the sessions is probably my personal favorite. It’s short, to the point, and I love how this young man talks about his faith in simple and plain English. This particular student is from Czech Republic, not far from where we live. Watch and enjoy this short, but clear testimony of a changed life.

Back at home Bethany treated today like Monday because we were on vacation so the kids did “school” in the house. They painted the the letter “C” and made little caterpillars. Bethany tries to have some organized time with them and do a craft which is great or days like today when it was pretty gray and rainy. Here are the kids working on their craft.

C is for Caterpillar (10/1/14)

Here’s the final result. They are looking great!

C is for Caterpillar (10/1/14)

Tonight, after dinner, we played a little flashlight tag in the house. Titus and I were a little better at hiding than the girls because every time we would get remotely close Avery would start to giggle, thus revealing her and mommy’s location. Still we had a lot of fun and I got this photo of Titus heading down the hall to find the girls.

Flashlight Tag (10/1/14)

We’ve had quite the battle today with getting our radiators working in the house. As the temperatures begin to drop outside, and we begin to prepare for colder days, I wanted to make sure we can get the heat working. I’ve never had to use radiators, and they are a lot different than central heating (like what most people have in the States). Today our landlord came over really early and it was kind of frustrating to communicate the problem. Eventually she got it working and it was great. However, tonight as I was writing about it, the radiators stopped working again and then one of the handles popped off the radiator in the living room. I’m pretty bummed at the moment because this is not an easy process with the language barrier. Please pray for us that the heat would work and we would get this issue resolved. I am trying to have patience, but being cold is not my thing!

One last thing that’s much better than being cold is that another spot opened up for Titus in the local preschool. We’re not holding our breath because of what happened last time, but Lord willing he’ll be starting on Oct. 13th and will go a few days a week. We’ll be sure and keep everyone posted on that as we get more info. Thank you for praying for this! Goodnight.