K.

Karis’ First Doctor Visit

This is it. We’re in our last week of our first year in Czech Republic. A week from today is June 24, the same day that we landed in Czech and when our lives were completely changed. For those that have followed along, it was also the start of a blog that has been published every day since we’ve arrived. I don’t want to get ahead of myself (I gotta save something for the blog next week!), but it’s kind of momentous and exciting.

This morning as I was taking Titus to school I stopped him and said, “Let me take a picture of you, pal.” He might be five years old but in that moment I felt like he was fifteen. I think it’s mostly just the clothes he’s wearing and how he’s walking with his backpack, but he just seemed really grown up. Here’s the photo he let me take.

Teenager Titus (6/17/15)

Today was Karis’ first post-hospital doctor visit. You might recall that we tried this on Monday, but had just missed the opening time that the doctor was seeing people. I think it was the sovereign hand of God because we didn’t have anyone to translate for us on Monday, but our friend Martina came with us today and I’m so glad she did. When you’re speaking about medical issues and other things, I just think it’s a lot easier to translate it than to try and catch things in broken English. Below is a photo of Martina, Bethany, Avery, and the nurse before we saw the doctor.

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

Minus the part where Karis pooped all over the examination table, down the doctor’s leg, and on to floor, I thought things went great! Karis is definitely growing. Her measurements today were 9.28 lbs and 21.45″ in length. As the doctor said, “She takes after her dad in height!” Awesome. The doctor only found one issue and that was that Karis’ belly button had gotten a little infected. We have been cleaning it daily with alcohol, but I guess we weren’t being rough enough in there so she prescribed a little antibiotic cream to take care of that. Otherwise, the doctor said Karis is healthy and looks great. This is always a joy to hear and we’re thankful for God’s grace. Here’s a couple more photos from the appointment.

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

After all that, she was a little sleep. Here she is in mommy’s arms.

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

I returned back to the JV office after a few weeks of enjoying family and working from home. I also had the chance to meet our interns for the first time who have been here since the last part of May. They have been traveling around Ukraine the past week or so and just returned back in Czech over the weekend. We all enjoyed a nice lunch together and worked at the JV office. It was a fun time to have a big team again and to be plowing ahead with projects this summer.

Back at home our friend Rachael was so kind and made us dinner! I picked up a big back at her house tonight that was full of great food and a yummy dessert. She had told us a few weeks ago about her desire to gift us a meal when we no longer had family in town and I think tonight was perfect timing. I’m pretty tired, Bethany is tired, the kids are not tired (in any way whatsoever), and when you mix all that up in can be a challenge. Needless to say we were very thankful for the meal! Thank you, Rachael! You are a blessing to us.

Box Girl (6/17/15)

Finally this evening I spent a little time outside with the kids playing in the yard just to get some energy out of them. Avery brought a box from a desk fan we bought for their room recently and was playing in it. I got a couple photos, but this one (above) was my favorite.

That’s all from me. I’m heading out for a late night store run because we’re apparently out of toilet paper (as announced by Avery yelling about it down the hallway while sitting on the potty) and we also need milk. Have a good night!

T.

Thirty Eight

As of Today Bethany is 38 weeks pregnant with baby #3 and she got a good report today during he second to last check-up. After next week’s appointment, she’ll be transferred to the care of the hospital who will see her for week 40 should that be required. Things work a little bit different here in Czech for these kinds of appointments, but I would say overall it’s been a pretty similar experience as to what we’ve had in the States.

Outside Sillyness (5/12/15)

Following her appointment this morning, we headed over to our friend Lauren’s house because she’s the one helping us with all the details at the Czech hospital and will be Bethany’s doula as well as translator. She just wanted to nail down all of the details and make sure everything was ready to go in regards to paperwork and the birth plan. There are still a few things left to fill out and seems that there’s always a lot of paperwork to do in Czech, but we’re excited to be nearing the finish line and meet our new daughter!

Since Lauren and her family live near the JV office, I decided to just go in and work for bit even though the office was mostly closed today. Usually everyone takes the two days following the conference for a little time off because of just how busy things are and the big push leading up to conference. It was nice and quiet there today and I had about an hour to get some emails out and follow up on a few outstanding items from the week. Everyone should be back in tomorrow and we’ll keep rollin’ with projects and all the other things going on.

I try to keep a book with me when I’m out and about, just in case I get a moment or two where I’m waiting or have time to read. When I went to pick up Bethany her meeting was going a little longer so I ended up reading in the car which I had parked in the shade. I’m really enjoying this book Gospel-Centered Counseling and it’s focus on how the gospel changes how we help people. There is one quote in particular that stood out to me today that I think is just helpful. Bob Kellemen writes on pages 34-35,

Typically we ask God and seek help from each other to change our feelings and our circumstances. God is in the change business, but a very different type of change–heart change, Christlikeness–presenting everyone “perfect,” or mature, in Christ (Col. 1:28).

Listen to the song of eternity–it’s about celebrating Christ’s victory and the Bride’s purity for God’s glory! We look at our lives and want instructions or explanations. What we need is imagination and vision to see life today in light of eternity..

I quoted more for the context, but it’s that last sentence in particular that stood out to me. We do need to be able to see our life today in light of eternity. That takes work to do, but if we look at each day through the lens of the gospel narrative we will begin to see our story as part of the greater story that the Lord has written which started with Creation and ends with Consummation. When we view our lives as part of the greater story we get a bigger picture of what the Lord is doing and can see His hand more clearly in the details in our lives. I need to take those truths to heart and remember that God is working in all the details of our lives in light of eternity. That’s a wonderful truth and a great reminder to me today.

B.

Better Health Through Blogging

Czech Doctor (3/5/15)

I saw a Czech doctor I’ve never seen before at the recommendation of another missionary friend. Her office is about 35 minutes from where we live and since I really wasn’t feeling great, Bethany drove me and we brought the kids. While I was at the office Bethany and the kids went to the store so I could just focus. I walked into a small building near some high rise apartments (photo above) and I wasn’t sure if it was the right place so Bethany waited in the car while I went inside. Sure enough, it was so off she went while I waited to see the doctor (photo of the waiting room below).

Czech Doctor (3/5/15)

After seeing the nurse who took down my information from my passport, I walked in to where the doctor was. Here’s how the conversation started (I’m leaving her name out intentionally):

Doctor: “Hi.”
Me: “Hello.”
Doctor: “You’re Shay?”
Me: “Yes?” (a little confused as to why she used “Shay” when all my paperwork says “Sherman”)
Doctor: “I know. I read your blog.”

She went on to tell me that she reads our blog as well as Connie’s blog because as a Czech it’s interesting for her to see how we see Czech culture. She added that it’s also an “English lesson” for her as she reads. She told me that she was reading our blog last night and I mentioned that I would be going to a new doctor and she said, “That’s me!” We continued to talk and she was telling me that because she reads our blog she understands our health situation and that we have been sick a lot since we moved. This was actually a huge help to diagnosing what might be going on with us a family.

No doubt about it, she said I have a sinus infection and prescribed me some antibiotics. But we ended up talking more about our situation and what she thinks might be going on. As I gave her some medical history on me, she had some ideas on my allergies and how there may be new allergies here that we didn’t have in the States, along with different strains of sickness. We also discussed just the dramatic change we’ve made in moving here and how that too could be wearing down our immune system. In the end, I really appreciated her thoughts and insight in trying to really help us get back to better health overall. It was such a blessing, and Doctor, if you’re reading, thank you so much all your help and kindness!

Czech Baseball (3/4/15)

If having a Czech doctor read your blog wasn’t surprising enough, I found a baseball stadium here in Czech! Amazingly, it is right next door to the doctor’s office. When I finished up I texted Bethany that I was done and had just a minute to walk over to it and take a few photos. I couldn’t believe my eyes because baseball is definitely not a sport you’re going to see much of here, but there it was in all it’s glory. It couldn’t be better timing as my beloved Dodgers begin spring training games today in Arizona. The stadium was pretty nice and even had an American flag flying in the wind. Behind the stadium is a restaurant called “Original Baseball Restaurant” (at least I think that’s what it’s called) and I got a photo of that as well (below). I wonder if they have Dodger dogs? Play ball!

Czech Baseball (3/4/15)

When we got back I just wanted to rest, but the kids wanted to go to the park since the weather was nice. Bethany felt up for it and took them later this afternoon. Here’s a few photos of their little journey.

Kids Are Ready For the Park (3/4/15)

To the Park (3/4/15)

To the Park (3/4/15)

And finally, some signs of Spring are coming up through the grass at the park (below). These little flowers were popping up all over and there were yellow and white versions. If anyone knows what they are be sure and leave us a comment and let us know! Let’s just hope I’m not allergic…

To the Park (3/4/15)

To the Park (3/4/15)

A.

Avery’s First Haircut and Another Full Day

Bethany had a “baby check up” early this morning that we took the whole the family to. Even though she wasn’t having an ultrasound today, they always do the little heart monitor on the baby which we had fun listening to. Titus and Avery thought the little “whoosh whoosh whoosh” sound of the little tiny heartbeat was great, and so did I. The next appointment we’ll be able to find out the sex of the baby which will be fun as well. Below is a quick photo of Bethany and Titus at the doctor’s office today while the doctor had stepped out for a minute. Everything happens in one single office from the medical side to the office side of things which is different than in the States.

More Adventures (12/18/14)

As we were saying goodbye to our very nice, English speaking doctor, we said “Merry Christmas” in Czech to her. Then she started to say that she thinks people don’t understand why they say that phrase. It was a little confusing what she was trying to tell us but I think she was making the point that culturally people say “Merry Christmas” without really thinking about it. She said she knew it was clearly religious which is why she questioned whether people realize what they’re saying. We told her that we say it because we’re excited about the birth of Jesus and she just nodded her head. It was kind of a strange interaction, but maybe it will lead to more conversations about Jesus in the future?

More Adventures (12/18/14)

More Adventures (12/18/14)

We have never done a family haircut session until today. That’s because Avery has never had a haircut in her little three year old life, but that all changed today. Avery got a little trim and did really well. Bethany was a good distraction for her, but she was still squirmy (Avery, not Bethany).

More Adventures (12/18/14)

This afternoon there was a special thing for families at Titus’ preschool that Bethany, Titus, and Avery went to. Everyone was supposed to bring an apple to decorate, along with toothpicks and “gummies.” When they arrived, they had candlesticks to stick through the top of the apple, juniper branches, ribbons, and cloves. With these they decorated their apples and ate cookies. Bethany texted me during it saying it was really full of people and that they were having fun at the party. Below are a few photos she took.

More Adventures (12/18/14)

More Adventures (12/18/14)

More Adventures (12/18/14)

More Adventures (12/18/14)

School is out now until the New Year which is great for us since we’ll be in states until the 13th of January. We’re getting clothes washed and ready for packing as we’ll be leaving on Tuesday to head to Prague. Our flight is early Wednesday morning so we’ll be staying in Prague one night to make sure we can get to our flight on time. Lord willing, all will go smoothly, but I guess you’ll have to wait until that blog comes out to find out!

A.

A Doctor Visit and Two Days Away

After much prodding on behalf of my teammates, I finally saw a doctor for the first time in the Czech Republic. When you can barely talk, that’s usually a sign you need to see someone about your health. The doctor I saw today was fantastic and he speaks great English which makes the entire process just a lot easier, not to mention lifting the burden of trying to find someone to come with me an explain the situation in another language.

Doctor's Office (11/26/14)

He asked where I was from and when I told him California he started to share how he visited the San Francisco area two years where his uncle lives. He was actually asking me because he was curious if the weather in Czech was affecting my health and there’s definitely some truth to that. But after a few minutes of discussion and listening to me breathe the doctor was sure I have an infection, probably a sinus infection. He graciously prescribed some antibiotics and I left with a smile. It’ll probably take a week to clear up but I look forward to getting my real voice back and feeling better.

Tonight started our mini getaway with some of the Josiah Venture family. Every year Josiah Venture puts on a Thanksgiving event for the missionaries and we’re invited to stay at the training center (in Czech), have meals together, and just enjoy the holiday together. Since everyone is away from their families in the States, it’s an opportunity for the JV family to be together and give God thanks for all we have and what He’s doing in our lives. Bethany made her family’s famous green bean casserole and some deviled eggs and other families brought their own traditional family dishes. I’m excited about the meals tomorrow and hopefully getting some time to rest and take a break. We’ll be here until Friday morning, so hopefully I can get some photos of where we’re staying and what we’re doing when the sun comes up tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be cold but sunny so we praise the Lord for that too!