it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: Easter (page 1 of 2)

Our First Easter in Czech

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

“Mom…Dad…” whispered a little voice from Bethany’s side of the bed as we were asleep early this morning. The voice continued, “…it’s Easter!” And with that proclamation we were awake. The voice was that of Titus and he was pretty excited because he knew today meant a “party” at our friends house after church. We got out of bed and made our way to the living room. I looked out the window when, “what to my wondering eyes should appear,” but freshly fallen snow (minus the sleigh and reindeer). Yes…snow on Easter Sunday. Such was the start of a really fun and joy filled day.

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

Bethany had put together the kids Easter baskets last night and set them out for the kids to discover them this morning (shown in the photo above). Inside each were a few eggs with some candy and just a few small presents that Bethany had picked up, including new placemats for the table, shoes, socks, and some stickers. Other than the candy and stickers, I think the other things were mainly just those things you know you need so you turn it in to a present and everyone wins. The kids really loved opening everything and discovering what was inside the eggs (gummy bears and chocolate).

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

We made it to church this morning and were dressed for the occasion. Bethany had the kids all dressed up with Avery in a dress and Titus in a suit. I had actually ironed different clothes but when I saw Titus in his suit I decided to do the same and made a wardrobe change. At church there was a lot of special music, a lot of which was done by this women’s singing group. They were actually really talented and sang a bunch of different songs, including an old Stephen Curtis Chapman tune that had been translated in to Czech. Someone actually brought us a translation headset so we got to listen to the message in English, which was a great blessing because the message was really good and focused on Christ. There wasn’t any Sunday school for the kids, but we enjoyed having them with us. Here’s a photo of Avery and Bethany–Avery’s face is classic.

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

Church actually ended early to our surprise which was the Lord’s blessing because we needed to get back to get the food prep done for our lunch with friends this afternoon (which was at the Yorman’s house). Mostly, the party and lunch consisted of a bunch of Josiah Venture families getting together. Bethany made a green bean dish, deviled eggs, and fresh salsa! They were all delicious. Everyone brought different appetizers and parts of the meal so it was one big potluck. Here’s a couple photos of some of the meal. We ate like kings!

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

We enjoyed sweet fellowship this afternoon together with the other missionaries and even had time to talk about Jesus with all our kids, as well as enjoyed a time of singing worship songs. Casey and Kristin asked if I would be able to bring my guitar and sing some songs which turned out to be a really fun time. Our friend John actually brought a small hand drum and his accordion, so we had a small band. While we were singing it started to snow pretty good outside, so we ended up singing two Christmas songs. Why not celebrate Christ’s birth and resurrection in the same day?!

The women had planned to do a egg hunt for the kids, so everyone pitched in to put eggs together and hide them. This was probably the highlight for the kids so we I got a ton of photos of it. They are below and I’ve put captions beneath ones that need more explanation.

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

This is Titus deep in thought over where his eggs might be. All the eggs were divided up by kid and Titus’ were “sports” themed while Avery’s were all pink in color.

Easter in Czech (4/5/15)

Easter in Czech (4/5/15)

Easter in Czech (4/5/15)

Some of these hiding spots were pretty tricky.

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

There’s a pink one under there for Avery!

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

And another one!

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

When it was all said and done every kid had ten eggs. There’s was a little confusion for a bit because everyone thought they had hidden eleven eggs, but we think it was just a miscount. Each egg had either a sticker or a little toy inside. In the photo above Avery is enjoying discovering each little toy and you can even see on the ground that she lined them up as she opened them. Great times! What a fun day celebrating the risen Lord, Jesus Christ (even though the snow made it feel we were celebrating His birth)! It stayed pretty cold all day, but we definitely felt the warmth of friends and fellowship all day.

Finally, here are a few shots I got of the kids in their Sunday best. He is risen!

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

A Chocolate Lamb

Rain/Snow/Sleet/Hail Today from Shay on Vimeo.

I don’t want to spend too much energy describing the weather, but it has been pretty wild the past few days. Today was no different with rain, hail, sleet, and snow all falling at different times. Again, the sun only shown through the clouds for a few minutes this evening, but mostly it’s been overcast and dreary. Bethany took the video above today of the snow and rain falling, but even tonight we had a lot of hail coming down. What’s weird is that at the Josiah Venture offices today it was mostly dry and I may saw a snowflake or two, but the weather didn’t do much. It’s amazing how much different the weather was at home versus there and they’re really not that far from each other geographically.

No Fooling (4/1/2015)

Tonight we enjoyed eating our “lamb cake.” I put that in quotes because I don’t know what else to call it. It’s a lamb shaped cake covered in chocolate (which you can see above). It even had two little icing dots for eyes. I did a quick Google on the subject and here’s an excerpt from one site about this Easter tradition,

Even before the days of Christianity the symbol of the lamb was widespread in Mediterranean culture, with its long pastoral tradition. For Christian churches the lamb came to symbolize the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ. In the southern Czech Sumava Mountains there used to be a tradition that blessing a lamb would help wayfarers to find their way through the forests. These days lamb is rarely eaten in the Czech Republic, but this does not mean that lamb has disappeared completely from Czech Easter celebrations. It still appears in the form of a cake.

No Fooling (4/1/2015)

Above is a photo of us sacrificing our lamb. It seemed appropriate during the Passion Week.

No Fooling (4/1/2015)

Finally, today Bethany and Avery were counting plastic eggs. This weekend we were invited to spend Easter with some other missionaries and their kids, and we’re going to combine our eggs for a little fun. Bethany said she separated the eggs by color and then Avery lined them up. I’m especially proud of our baseball eggs which you can see in the bottom of the photo.

But more than plastic eggs, Easter is coming Sunday and I’m excited to think on the cross and our resurrected Lord. I know it will be hard to not hear the sermon this week in English, but to join the saints in worship here and around the world to proclaim the gospel will be a great joy. I can’t wait!

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies

Today was day two of just daddy an the kids and thankfully it was about as uneventful as yesterday. Titus struggled a little bit today going to school, but I think Mondays are generally tougher for him since he’s had the weekend off and then goes back. I never thought this would happen in preschool, but Titus tried to convince me today hew as sick and said, “Dad, I’m sick…see!” and began fake coughing. Of course, I’m not OK with him lying so we dealt with that, but in my heart I was kind of laughing because that’s one of those classic “I don’t want to go to school today” things. I mean, John Hughes even made a whole movie about it. In the end we did get him off to school and I think he did alright.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Above you can see a photo of Avery outside of Titus’ class when we picked him up this afternoon. Hanging on the little bush outside were plastic eggs which I just assumed were from the kids. Titus told us as we left that his class had done that and I asked him which one and he picked red (no doubt that choice is because he loves Lightning McQueen). In the photo below Avery is touching the blue one, but the closest red one is the one Titus said was his. He also said they colored eggs and played outside, but I honestly never really know if he’s telling me about something that happened all today or compilation of a few days.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Speaking of Easter eggs, we have a box of plastic eggs called “Resurrection Eggs” that Bethany made a year or two ago. This afternoon the kids really wanted to go through them and they walk through the story of Jesus during the Passion Week. Each little egg has something inside like nails, thorns, rope, etc. that all relate to the verses regarding Jesus’ death. I had a really good time talking it through with them and even using the Bible we read them every night to show them pictures and relate the story for them even more. I’m amazed at how much the kids can remember and I also love that when we get to the last egg it’s completely empty! Avery knew what was coming already and said, “See! Jesus is alive!” Just that simple exercise of walking through the gospel with my kids was a blessing to my heart and a reminder of what we will celebrate this Sunday. I really am thankful my kids are hearing about these things at such young ages.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

It was pretty cold and rainy today and it even hailed more than once. But the sun came out for about 15-20 minutes this evening while I was making dinner for the kids (oh yeah, I make a mean frozen chicken nugget). Since the sun was low in the sky it made everything golden and I ran out with my iPhone and took a few photos. From gray to gold is such a contrast so it’s always strikingly beautiful when that happens. Above is a photo of Avery being silly with the sun shining behind her. And below is a photo of the church next door when the sun was at it’s brightest. It looks like the storm clouds are rolling away, but only a few minutes later it was dark and overcast again. Either way, I’m thankful for just a few minutes of that wonderful sunlight.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Bethany called us from Poland tonight for a few minutes, but those turned into the the most exciting moments of the day. A few minutes into our phone call Titus knocked an entire cup of water on the table, chair, and floor in the kitchen and Avery dropped a little toy that has colored oil in it and it broke. Naturally this cut into our talk time and I had to hang up, but I think I’ll give her a call when I’m done writing this. She’ll be back tomorrow afternoon and I hope she has had a good time. She said it was stormy in Krakow today too and that they had been doing a lot of walking, but I’m sure I’ll get more of the details when we talk later. Overall, I think the past few days have gone fine and I’m thankful that she was able to get away. But…I really can’t wait for her to come back!

Looking to Easter

Looking to Easter (3/22/15)

I sat by myself up in the second story of church this morning because everyone in the family is sick. With the kids having coughs, sneezing, and runny noses we weren’t about to put them in to their classes and Bethany hasn’t been able to stop coughing all day. It probably doesn’t help that it was rainy and about a high of 35 degrees today, but needless to say the sickness continues. I’ve had a sore throat all week, but today was my best day yet and I really didn’t want to miss church. I did my best to follow along with the message and all I can say is that I heard the word for “now” a lot. I’m not exactly sure what that was all about it, but I’m glad I was there with God’s people.

Looking to Easter (3/22/15)

Back at home, however, Bethany didn’t really want to lose the entire day so she spent some time with the kids decorating for Easter. When I got back they had hung up a big sign that our church in the States made for us which says, “He is risen” in Czech. It was up above our couch and now we get to see it and enjoy it. Also, the kids put up little sticky letters on one of our doors which says, “Happy Easter!” Above is a photo of the big sign and below is a photo of the kids with their door decorations, including the little egg basket above them and the little sticky eggs you can see behind them.

Looking to Easter (3/22/15)

It’s always a joy to look to Easter. Even though we won’t be celebrating the risen Savior in our own language, I’m looking forward to seeing how our Czech church will celebrate. And I had the added joy of listening to Avery today as she talked about how “Easter is about Jesus rising from the dead!” It’s such a simple truth coming from her lips. Jesus did rise from the grave. He has power even over death! It’s those truths that have changed the hearts of many and by His grace will continue to be proclaimed to the nations. I’m really looking forward to Easter Sunday. It’s one of the best days of the year and I’m thankful that my family was helping me prepare my heart for the celebration of remembering our risen Lord.

Czech Makes You Do Funny Things

Czech Silliness (3/11/15)

“You put the green book under the yellow head.” I think that’s the sentence that Landen was putting together in this picture. To the left you see his wife, Jenny, laughing because it’s hilarious how silly we look sometimes but how focused we are while we’re doing these things. You may not think that putting a green book under your chin with a color card would mean much, but for us it’s helping us understand adjectives and how those words change. In the Czech language the endings of words change often and that’s true of adjectives, like when you’re using a color to describe an object (e.g. “the green book”). So we’re building sentences from simple objects and trying to listen as Jenny tells us what we’re doing in Czech. Fun times!

Czech Sticks (3/11/15)

Another funny (maybe strange?) thing about Czech is an Easter tradition where boys use sticks to hit girls on Easter Monday (that’s not a typo, it’s the day after Sunday). Above is a photo Bethany got of those sticks today at the grocery and instead of trying to describe the tradition myself, here’s how one Web site explains it:

Young, live pussywillow twigs are thought to bring health and youth to anyone who is whipped with them. An Easter pomlázka (from pomladit or “make younger”) is a braided whip made from pussywillow twigs. It has been used for centuries by boys who go caroling on Easter Monday and symbolically whip girls on the legs. In the past, pomlázka was also used by the farmer’s wife to whip the livestock and everyone in the household, including men and children. There would be no Czech Easter without the pomlázka.

I guess I’ll make sure to keep Bethany indoors on Easter Monday!

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