it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: school (page 1 of 2)

Friday Fun

Friday Fun (5/29/150

“Dad, we went to a puppet show!” said Titus after I picked him from school today. As always that was news to me. He was saying this as he was showing me the “puppet” he made with the help of his teacher. From what I gathered from Titus they walked somewhere in town, saw a puppet show that “wasn’t too loud” (in his words) and they shook hands with the puppets, gave them high fives, and laughed. I’m glad he had fun, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the random things the kids do in school here without our knowledge. He must have really enjoyed though because when I arrived to get him today he was in the middle of making that paper puppet and said, “Just a minute, Dad.” We waited as he finished up and off we went. Below is a photo his teacher helping him.

Friday Fun (5/29/15)

This afternoon we went in to Ostrava (a nearby, larger town) and did a few errands. Bethany was doing a little more nesting and wanted to get Titus some new school pants and was hoping to find a headband for the new baby. We were quite successful actually and it really helped to have Papa and Nana come and watch the kids at the play place while we shopped. I like to think of it as a “mini-date,” but I don’t know if Bethany agrees (note to self: maybe I should ask her?). We also got a few things at the grocery store there, including this huge cabbage for the coleslaw that Bethany, Papa, and Nana all made tonight. Here’s Bethany displaying the cabbage. She’s glowing (the wife, not the cabbage)!

Friday Fun (5/29/150

Bethany was actually displaying the cabbage out the window because she was asking her dad a question about how to cut it up while we were all outside playing baseball in the yard. It’s kind of nice to have a few extra players on the field, like Papa who has been playing outfield for us while I pitch and Titus hits. Avery even joined in on the fun tonight and played a little outfield with Papa. Here’s a quick shot of them with their game faces on, ready for any hit coming their direction.

Friday Fun (5/29/150

A little later Avery became “Umpire Avery” because she found a car wash sponge we have in the garage and began putting it in her jacket. We were laughing and tried to get a picture of her behind home plate. We did our best and this is Papa trying to help her call a strike. C’mon Blue!

Friday Fun (5/29/150

After the game I found Papa and Avery lounging in the garden swing enjoying the sunset.

Friday Fun (5/29/150

The sunsets the past two nights have been so beautiful. I guess absence (of sun) makes the heart grow fonder. Here’s a few more shots from the garden.

Friday Fun (5/29/150

Friday Fun (5/29/150

We did get a little sad news tonight. While we were playing in the yard our landlord came home and she had been gone almost a week. Normally she is away at her other house in Prague, but she told me tonight in broken English that she was in the hospital. I couldn’t figure out what exactly happened and she looked really tired, but I’m hoping it wasn’t too serious. We asked Bethany’s parents to bring something from America so they brought a little taste of the Northwest (Chukar Cherries) so we’re hoping to give that to her with some notes from the kids that we hope she feels better soon. If you think of her, please pray.

I’m doing a little work tomorrow with Josiah Venture as I’ll be at the summer intern training event in the late morning. I’m doing a little talk on social media for our interns so that should be fun. Until then, I hope you had a wonderful Friday!

What Happens At Czech School Stays At School, Unless Of Course Someone Speaks English And Tells You All About It

Today was a very beautiful, sunny day. It was a very bright spot (pun intended) in an otherwise sickness filled week. Titus was back in school and I was back in to work even though we both still have congestion and coughs. As I dropped Titus off at school I heard other kids with similar symptoms as his so two things ran through my mind: 1) I’m glad it’s not just us and 2) I don’t feel so bad bringing my recovering kid to school. I thought for sure he would be sad after another week out of school and he was for a moment, but he was quick to jump in to the class and play with toys. Bethany called me around lunch time after she picked up Titus from school and told me all about his day. Apparently the class walked to the fire station (which is literally across the street from our apartment) and got to play with the fire hose. Titus said that they “pretended the big tree was a fire and squirted it with the hose.” Sounds like fun if you ask me! He said he enjoyed it so that’s definitely a bonus.

Sunny Day (5/18/15)

Later this afternoon Titus and I had an appointment to get hair cuts which we did and Bethany ended up walking over with Avery to meet us for ice cream. We’re glad it’s both warm enough for ice cream and the little shop that we like is open. We ended up just staying outside in the sun for a while and enjoyed our ice cream and just hung out on the benches in the town square. The kids love running around the big fountain there and since other kids were around playing they just ran around with their “friends” (any kid that’s in Titus’ vicinity is his friend). While out and about we ran into the English speaking mom I met a while back at Titus’ school and Bethany had never met her before. They were introduced and we were talking for a bit near the town square while all of our kids were playing.

She has two kids, a girl and a boy who are both very close in age to our kids. Her son and Titus are actually in the same class and he speaks English! This turned out to be very interesting when I walked up to him and talked with him and he said, “Did you know that Titus hits us at school?” Oh boy…come again? “Yeah, it’s not all the time but he hits us.” Of course I looked to Titus when the boy was sharing this insight and he denied it, but then began to say that they boys hit each other. “They hit me too, Dad.” This turned into a longer chat with Titus and then of course with Bethany as to how to process forward with this new revelation. Pray for us. I don’t say this jokingly, but we always need prayer as parents in regards to wisdom and handling situations and these are new for us. Like any parent, you don’t love to hear your kid is hitting other kids and you definitely don’t want to let it go un dealt with. Things just get a little more complicated when you add a language barrier between us, the teachers, the other parents, and the other kids.

With that I’m off to bed. I’ve got a bit of sinus pressure that won’t go away at the moment and it’s causing a headache. On the bright side, I was able to taste that ice cream this afternoon which is the first thing I’ve been able to enjoy for a few days now. Sadly, my taste went away again around dinner…oh well. Such is life.

School Photos and Friends From Afar

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

What a day! It’s just before 10pm here and I’m sitting her with a smile on my face. I’m looking over some of the photos I got from today and am just thankful for God’s grace and excited about the next few days. Here’s a little summary of the day:

First, we had to divide and conquer this morning because we found out yesterday that it was picture day at Titus’ preschool. Bethany had a doctor’s appointment (baby check-up) this morning at the same time that picture stuff was going on at the Titus’ school, so I stayed home with Titus and Avery while she went to the doctor. I got the kids all dressed and we walked to Titus’ school around 10 to get ready for pictures. I didn’t know if they were doing just a class photo or individuals, but we were ready for anything! It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside, and they ended up doing just a class photo outside under a beautiful blooming tree. Here’s a few photos:

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

I spent some time watching the other boys interact with Titus and also watched Titus’ reaction, but I can confirm that language is still a battle. The other kids are trying to talk to him and he’s still confused about what they are saying. I also noticed that they were kind of copying him, but I don’t know if they were being mean or just playing? It’s so hard to tell. At one point Titus hand his arms out like an airplane and was spinning around. The other kids joined him and were saying, “Ja jsem Ty Ty! Ja jsem Ty Ty!” which I understood as “I am Ty Ty! I am Ty Ty!” (the kids call him Ty Ty, not Titus). I just assume they were being silly? Speaking of silly, here’s Avery walking home today staring at her own shadow.

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

This afternoon we finished cleaning up the house in preparation for our friends, the Severances, arrival! Steve and Judy are from our sending church in California and Steve is one of the pastors. They actually flew to us from being in Israel the past week or so. They had a flight from Israel this morning, a cab ride from the Prague airport to the train, a 3.5 hour train ride to us, then a short car ride back to our town. Needless to say, they are troopers! We picked them up from the train station around 5:30pm tonight and it was such a joy to see them. We ended up taking them to a nearby mall for dinner and coffee and just had a sweet time catching up with them. It’s seriously such a joy to see them and we’re so thankful to Placerita for sending them to us for the next few days. Here’s a few photos from tonight. The first is of Avery and Bethany playing a little clapping game while we were waiting for the train to arrive, the second is one that Titus took of us with Steve and Judy at the mall, and finally there’s one of the kids playing at the mall’s play place.

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

Friends From Afar (4/23/15)

Tomorrow is Titus’ 5th birthday! The smell of a baking cake is wafting through the house as I type and we’re excited to a do small celebration with him tomorrow. On Saturday we’re headed to the zoo for a more formal party, so we’re all looking forward to that. I’m excited about what the next few days hold!

Titus’ Hardest Morning at School

I always have meetings on Monday morning and today I was running just a few minutes behind so instead of walking Titus to school I actually drove the car around the block. It’s ridiculously close to our house, but I just wanted to leave as soon as I dropped him off. On our way he kept trying tell me that “there’s no school today, dad.” I said, “Yes, there is.” Then when we parked he said, “See dad, the lights are off.” I looked up in to the second story window and indeed the lights were off, but I told Titus, “Bud, the sun is out today so they are probably not turning the lights on right now.” I didn’t really know if that was true, but based on the number of cars around I was pretty confident there was actually school today. When we got inside, sure enough, all the kids shoes were in their boxes and school was in session. Titus looked around almost bewildered and just began to cry…a lot.

Of course I did whatever I could to calm him down, but he just wouldn’t. I don’t know what was going on his mind exactly but he had at some point this morning decided that he wasn’t going to school if he had anything to do with it. I took him upstairs to the room where he puts his jacket and he wasn’t calming down. A grandma dropping off her grand daughter tried to console him, but that only made it worse. She said something in Czech which I didn’t understand but I just smiled as if to say, “Thanks for trying.”

I carried him to the classroom where he kept saying, “Daddy, I’m scared. I want to go home. I don’t want to go to school. Will you pray for me?” We prayed, but he was still struggling. His teacher approached us and tried to console him too but he was still crying. Bethany told me tonight that he has been struggling more of late, but not this bad. Specifically, he has been asking us to pray for him every time we drop him off. Finally, this morning, I sat with him on the ground and started playing with some dinosaurs. His teacher brought over some little knights and army guys and he brightened right up. He started talking to his teacher about something in English and I just got up, said goodbye and he was fine. From start to finish the whole was probably fifteen minutes and I’m still kind of scratching my head about it. Bethany said he came home happy today and was fine, so I’m thinking it was just a morning thing.

As a parent I realize what we’re doing. We are regularly dropping off our kid at a place where he doesn’t speak the language and the people there don’t speak his. It’s not easy for any of us. We trust the Lord is working in Titus’ mind to both help with the language and the process, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. This week especially will be a challenge because he’ll be going on a little field trip to another school and staying for a longer day away. We’re going to see how this goes and would covet your prayers this week. We trust the Lord for our kids, even when it’s hard.

A Language Day

Language Day (3/13/15)

The last couple days have been wet and dreary. Even though the weather had warmed up a bit last week, it was really short lived and is currently just above freezing. Us southern Californians aren’t used to that because usually when it warms up it stays that way for a while. As I walked to Titus’ school this afternoon to pick him up I took the above photo to give a little bit of an idea of how it looked pretty much all day. The rain is like an all-day light mist and everything just kind of stays gray.

Language Day (3/13/15)

As I approached Titus’ preschool today I realized just how funny the entrance is (shown above from the photo I took today). After you walk through the gate and up the path you come to a large door that for an American is something out of a movie. The doors are heavy and loud and if you didn’t know that there were a hundred little kids running around inside you would think maybe I was entering some kind of castle. I like it.

When I got to Titus’ class they had just started the Lego movie (dubbed in the Czech language). Titus was pretty excited and didn’t want to leave so I let him watch for a few minutes. Plus, it’s always a bonus to hear kids movies in Czech because the language is usually simplified and I can try following along. I also liked that Titus had his hand on his friend Denis’ chair. Also funny was that it was basically almost all the boys watching the movie while the girls were in the other room playing.

Language Day (3/13/15)

We had our biggest language study day to date and it was absolutely wonderful. Our language teacher Tamara came to our house today because she had a car available and was already running errands (normally we drive to her place about 15-20 minutes away). For two solid hours we worked through our Czech language textbook, and we also had a little time to review a Czech tourism book that Tamara brought us (below). What I really enjoyed about our time with her today was that Tamara will just speak Czech while we do things. For instance, while we were looking at the beautiful photos and scenery shown in the book she brought, Tamara was just simply telling us about the places all in Czech. She was speaking slowly and helping us in English along the way, but it’s an exercise of just listening and paying attention to the words you can understand while picking up new ones along the way. Oh, and by the way, this is a beautiful country.

Language Day (3/13/15)

Between 2:30-4 we had a little break before our second round of Czech lessons started with Jenny and Landen. We also try to have hot water for tea and some snacks on the table (which you can see below). I took this photo today because I realized this has become the norm now and we’re well prepared to get into the Czech language!

Language Day (3/13/15)

Today was kind of special because Jenny and Landen brought a young girl from our church who speaks both Czech and English (I also think she speaks Polish!). Her name is Miriam, and she became a little bit of our “Czech helper” (it’s like a teacher, only she doesn’t have to prepare) and we had fun listening to her speak and laughing at all of our mistakes. I think this was the first week we have done five straight days of language time with Jenny and Landen in the afternoon so it’s been a really fun and full week. I can already tell that with how much studying we’re doing that things are starting to click in my mind much faster. By no means are we great Czech speakers yet, but we’re definitely making progress! Here’s a photo of all of us (minus me, of course) sprawled out on the table working on our lesson.

Language Day (3/13/15)

Since we had such a focused day of language, and because the kids did pretty well during all of it, we decided to take them out to eat tonight. It’s bit of a drive to find a place we can all enjoy, but it’s just nice to get out. We went to a newer mall about 20 minutes from our place and enjoy an easy dinner and just walked around a toy store together.

Bethany has been talking a lot lately about how much baby #3 has been kicking and hiccuping. I believe she’s officially entered her third trimester and she’s starting to feel a little more uncomfortable. In the next month or so we have to begin to figure out which hospital Bethany will deliver at and put together a “birth plan” with a Czech speaker to try to minimize the surprises when she does go into labor. You can be praying for us as the due date gets closer and closer and as we begin to finalize our plans of having a baby in another country.

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