it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: IKEA

Making Progress on Sundays

We’ve been sharing how hard Sundays have been for us the past few weeks. I’m happy to write tonight that today seemed like we made some progress, especially as it relates to Titus. It was just he and I at church this morning because Avery has had a horrible cough causing her to throw up in the middle of the night. Bethany stayed home with her today in hopes of not getting any other kids sick. I ended up staying again with Titus in his class, only this time I just tried to be more of a fly on the wall and observe him than be actively involved in the class. We are really trying to see how he does on his own, with just the teachers and kids talking to him in Czech.

Sunday Progress (11/16/14)

By God’s grace, I really feel like Titus did a lot better at obeying and listening today. I know this is really hard for him, as it is for us parents in all of life here, but I’m excited to see him progressing and adjusting. I’m not sure if it helped, but all of his classmates today were girls and at one point they were dancing and playing with streamers. Honestly, I have no idea what was going on but I got the video below.

Sickness continues to plague us. Both Avery and I have had bad coughs for weeks now and I probably should’ve seen a doctor a while ago. This is definitely not something I want to last much longer. Tonight was the first night that Avery hasn’t had a bad coughing fit while trying to fall asleep, so we’re thankful for that. Unfortunately, Titus has been sneezing and coughing today which is a sure sign that he may be coming down with something. This has been a challenge for our family. Please pray with us for our health and for the proper care in the days ahead.

Sunday Progress (11/16/14)

On a whim tonight we made an IKEA run. We were still in need of some storage items and so we took an evening drive and headed out there. For our kids, IKEA is not their favorite place because we spend a lot of time walking through it so I brought the iPad along to give them something to play with and I got the photo above of them holding hands and laughing at a little game that they thought was absolutely hilarious. It’s always a joy to see the kids loving each other and having fun.

Sunday Progress (11/16/14)

Lastly, we had heard that IKEA sells Christmas trees a while ago. This is something I have been thinking about since we landed (not kidding). I’ve been curious as to how we would be buying a Christmas tree and if we could even get a real Christmas tree. As we were leaving IKEA tonight there was a sign right as you exited (photo above) advertising Christmas trees. Apparently they will be selling trees on December 3! For those of you who have followed our family over the years, you know we have a little tradition of shooting a Christmas tree video of us getting our tree (click here to see the last five years). We’re just getting excited about Christmas and it’s nice to have a little tradition that we can continue here in Czech!

The November Envelope and All Souls’ Day

Sundays are not easy. At first they were really fun and the experience was so new and exciting, but I feel honestly that today was harder. Nothing big happened and we didn’t have any issues, but as we were making the short drive to church I realized I wasn’t excited about going. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I love the local church. But sitting through a 90+ minute service in another language week in and week out is getting tough. Always feeling like you’re behind and not knowing what’s going on is just simply hard, and it’s not just me. Bethany struggles too, and so do our kids. Today I stayed with Titus again in his Sunday school class (photo below) and I wasn’t encouraged. He’s struggling with paying attention and he’s almost aloof because I think the language barrier keeps him from focusing on what the class is doing. Again, it’s just hard. Every week we are encouraged by our Czech brothers and sisters, but we just wish we could do a little encouraging of our own. Pray for us and for our kids if you think about it.

Church (11/2/14)

After church this morning we made another trip out to IKEA for a few organizational things. We’re continuing to try to improve where we store things and get our kids stuff more organized. We bought a few shelves and some plastic bins that I think will help a ton. We spent most of the afternoon/evening cleaning up and organizing the kids room. It needs more time but we’re excited about the progress we made today.

Tonight we opened our November envelope from our Bible study at our home church in the States. Each month for our first year here they have blessed us with these large envelopes that we get to open with fun presents inside. Pack inside we found coloring books, birthday cards, customizable gift tags, make-your-own card supplies, and taco seasoning! Here’s a few photos of the kids diving in. Thank you, friends, for blessing us each and every month!

Opening November (11/2/14)

Opening November (11/2/14)

Check out this taco seasoning! They got us two pouches and we are STOKED!

Opening November (11/2/14)

Avery’s birthday is at the end of the month, but we let her open this little birthday card that was included in this month’s envelope. This was her reaction.

Opening November (11/2/14)

Opening November (11/2/14)

Tonight I took a quick trip to a local cemetery around 9pm. I’m not usually one for visiting graveyards at night, but today is kind of a special day in Czech. They call it “All Souls’ Day” and even though it’s close to Halloween, it’s not really the same. From what I’ve read, it’s a time where people visit the grave sites of their loved ones and place flowers and candles on the graves. For the past few weeks we have been seeing a ton of candles at the stores and people have been buying them up. Out of curiosity I went out to a cemetery tonight and got a few photos. It was actually quite beautiful to see, even though it’s also pretty odd considering how nonreligious Czech is. There might be more meaning to it, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. I only spent a few minutes with my camera in hand and below are two photos I got. If you’re curious about All Soul’s Day, I found this article to be really helpful.

All Souls' Day (11/2/14)

As the Czechs remember their dead family and friends today, I’m reminded of how many of those same people are spiritually dead. They are the walking dead. This is exactly what Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-2 when he writes,
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…” He’s talking about the spiritual walking dead. That was me before Christ saved me and that is the state of everyone before Christ, the light of thew world, opens their hearts to the gospel. While the graves tonight flicker with candle light, my prayer is that the True Light, Jesus Christ, would shine bright in this dark place. When His light shines it’s so much more than a flicker and it doesn’t represent death, but life!

All Souls' Day (11/2/14)

John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

How Much is That Kitty in the Window?

A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

Both Bethany and I woke up today just not feeling that great. I think we’ve been pushing ourselves every night and we’ve been staying up late to get stuff done, but this morning I had a pretty bad headache and Bethany had the same and also felt achey and sore. So for the first time since we’ve arrived we didn’t make it to church. I made an effort to get up and get going but my head was just pounding so I took a few Advil and laid back down. Finally in the late morning we got going but it took a while for the Advil to kick in so we just rested at home.

I wrote about this in early July, but our Bible study in the States put together an annual project for us where we open a new envelope full of goodies at the beginning of each month. This afternoon we decided to open up August (photo above). Inside we found earrings and a scarf for Bethany, real fruit snacks for the kids, an iTunes gift card, and hand written notes from our friends’ kids! It was a treat to read the little notes and see the crayon drawings. Thank you to our Bible study for your kindness and for blessing us in this way!

A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

Even though we weren’t feeling great we had to make a run to IKEA today. It’s pretty difficult to make it there during the week because IKEA is about 40-45 minutes from our place so it’s not like we can just run down the street to pick up a few things. If we go we have a list and we try to be efficient while we’re there (especially with our kids). Thankfully, it wasn’t super busy today which made it easier to navigate and helped us get in, get what we needed, and get out. Now we have a shoe rack, a new light in our living room, a chair for Bethany’s desk, and some new storage containers for our recyclables. I’m hoping that we might be nearing the end of our “big” trips to IKEA. Here’s a couple photos from our IKEA run today:

A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

There is a mall next door to IKEA which we found out has a Starbucks! This kind blew our minds so we treated ourselves to our first Starbucks since moving here.

A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

It was sunny and stormy today. The weather can change so rapidly here so here’s an example in photos of what a day may hold in terms of weather. First this:
A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

And then this:
A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

From perfect sunny weather to deluge in no time. We are definitely still getting used to that!

A Little Under the Weather (8/3/14)

As were eating dinner at home tonight a cat jumped into our window in our dining area. I had been reading to the kids at the dinner table and the “Contentment” page had a picture of a cat so that’s the best photo I could use. The window the kitty came in is behind the book. Screens on windows are pretty rare here and our place doesn’t have any at all, but once the cat realized we were right there it scampered off. Later we were in another room as a family and then I came back into the dining area and found the cat on our table licking the plates! Again, as soon as it saw me it was gone. We may just have to keep that window closed or we might end up adopting a little Czech kitty.

Like that little kitty, I’m scampering off to bed. There’s a lot going on this week but I’ll save that for another day and another blog.

If You Build It…

Today was mostly a “building day.” By “building” I mean I built a lot of IKEA furniture. In fact, I did some work with the screwdriver that I have two blisters on the palm of my hand as souvenirs from today’s IKEA marathon.

IKEA furniture is great, especially in Europe. It’s pretty reasonably priced, they are designed for smaller spaces (like European housing), and for the most part they are easy to build. After a while you just get the hang of where to put the little wooden pegs and how things go together. Today I built 2 book cases and our dining room table. Here’s a few photos (please forgive the mess, we’re building for your future enjoyment):

Building Life in Czech (7/19/14)

Building Life in Czech (7/19/14)

While I was putting together furniture, Bethany was hard at work trying to clear a walking path in our bedroom. It looks great in there, but it’s not quite photo ready. Our kids have been doing pretty well playing in their room and enjoying their toys again. Titus liked “helping” me by poking holes in cardboard with a screwdriver. We’ve amassed large amounts of cardboard the past few weeks so I’ve been taking trips to the recycling bin down the street pretty often. Today I took two huge chunks down there and tried to get it as flat as possible. When the piles are in the house both Titus and Avery will play and jump on them.

Speaking of Titus, he took advantage of Avery’s nap to work on constructing a “snake” with his building blocks. Below is a photo of him. He was very proud of his creation.

Building Life in Czech (7/19/14)

Also, he must’ve gotten ahold of Bethany’s phone because we found this photo on it tonight.

Building Life in Czech (7/19/14)

The weather has been very warm of late. It’s been in the upper 80s, maybe low 90s, and it’s so humid you’re usually just dripping in sweat. They don’t have air conditioning really here, so we’re running fans and guzzling water just trying to stay hydrated and cool. That’s not always easy and I really felt it today. Bethany and I both found ourselves longing for winter which is really funny because the winters are long and cold here. I’m sure we’ll regret saying we want winter to come, but we’re just trying to adjust to this humid heat sans air conditioning.

We had a relaxing evening at our friend’s house tonight. They made chicken tortilla soup and it was really yummy. They have two young boys so our kids really enjoyed running around (literally) their house and yard. At one point they were running circles (again, literally) around the couch and then then the house. I’m really glad they have friends who they can play with already. That’s a joy and a blessing for sure. It was nice to work hard today and then rest this evening. I’m looking forward to our fourth Sunday at church tomorrow!

Your World. Delivered.

I think it was a few years back, but AT&T had a little tagline they were using in their marketing. It just said, “AT&T…Your world. Delivered.” For some reason it just stuck with me and it summarizes well what we did today.

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

We spent the morning outside with the kids. The weather has been warm, but very nice. We’e been trying to find a good balance with making sure the kids are getting good, focused time with us and then unpacking and setting up our house. It’s going slow, but we’re making progress every day. The above photo is of the little yard we have access to at our apartment. Every time we open the garage Avery grabs all of the chairs so she can “sit in the shade,” as she says.

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

Our teammates and new friends John and Erin just had their first baby, a little boy named Shade. But they are good planners and asked us months ago if we could spare a little room in our container to bring them an American baby crib. Once we knew how our space was looking we told them yes so they had it delivered to our house in California and we put it on the container. Today we had the privilege of delivering it over to John and Erin here in Czech. It took me a bit to figure out how to arrange the seats in our new car to get it to fit, but we got it in and I’m excited that their little family will be able to enjoy it now. If you look in the photo above you’ll see the top box has a number “3” and little hearts around it. It was box number 3 of our 200+ items and I think since Bethany loves babies it got the added hearts.

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

Sometimes when you drive you get stuck behind a tractor and a bike rider.

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

The last thing on the agenda today was to take a big trip to IKEA for a bunch of much needed furniture and lights. It’s been hard to know exactly what things we really need and how much space we have to accommodate those things. Tonight we got a lot of great things including our wardrobe, new lights for the kitchen, low wattage light bulbs to save money, and a carpet for one of our living rooms (yes, it’s like we have more than one…hard to explain). We had a few more items on our list, but we just couldn’t fit it all in our car.

We’re planning another trip back to IKEA which is about 35 minutes away from where we live, but we’re thankful to have the funds we need to setup our home and space here. Things are starting to coming together. Slowly, but surely we’ll have a home that feels like home and when that day comes we’ll definitely post photos! Until then, here’s a few from our time at IKEA today.

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

The sky as we drove tonight was just amazing. Czech is a beautiful country, and we love the clouds that roll through our part of the country. Bethany told the kids, “Look, it looks like heaven!” and Avery repeated loudly, “DADDY! It looks like heaven!” Yes. Yes, it does, Avery.

Driving Around Czech (7/15/14)

© 2020 it's all grace

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑