F.

Father’s Day in Prague

Happy Father’s Day!

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

In another incredible adventure we have made our way today back to Prague. I never thought we would end up here as much as we have, especially in the past few weeks, but it’s been really fun and crazy all at the same time. Just like we did a few weeks ago, we made our here today via the train station right by our house. We walked there this morning, caught an 8am train and got into Prague about 20 minutes after noon. Below are a few photos from the train ride, including the one above. In the photos below we walked to the “kids car” and played for a bit. These aren’t are actual seats (those were in a different car), but the kids made a little friend while we were in the there.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

When we got in to Prague we made our way down to the Metro (subway) and accidentally got on the wrong side of the tracks, took the elevator back up and over, and finally got to where we needed to be. We packed really light this trip since we’ll only be here one night so it wasn’t too bad getting around with all five of us. The Metro took us to a transfer station where we caught another Metro headed towards a lunch place that we made reservations at. There is a burger joint in Prague that supposedly has the one of the top five burgers in Europe and a friend had recommended it. Since burgers are my favorite thing on the planet and they are not super common here, we had to go for it. I’m STOKED we did because it was amazing and my Father’s Day belly left full and happy! Here’s a photos of the kids and Bethany as we walked.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

What I never understood as just a tourist, but now understand so much better, is if you’re going to stay in big European cities…rent an apartment. Tonight we are staying in a literal castle view apartment that is about a stones throw from the U.S. Embassy (which is why we’re here this weekend) and it’s costing us less than you’re cheap Motel 6 in the States. Not only that, but this is a large 2 bedroom apartment with a full kitchen! Check out this view from one of our windows.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Here’s a few more shots from around the building.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Here’s a view of the American flag that we can see flying above the embassy from the other side of our apartment (small flag in the upper left).

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Tonight we (unbelievably) had dinner on a boat on the river, in Prague, with a view of the Charles Bridge and the castle. I’m not kidding you. I never in my life thought I would ever get to say or write that, but it’s another recommended, affordable restaurant that was walking distance from our apartment. The only issue we had was that the kids kept asking why the boat wasn’t moving! Here’s a few photos from the place and then a shot of it from the bridge.

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

The restaurant is in the middle boat (dead center) next to the wall (in the photo below)

Father's Day in Prague (6/21/15)

Our appointment for Karis’ U.S. citizenship, passport, and social security card is tomorrow at 9:00am so we’ll be up early to get packed up and make sure we get to our appointment early. I’ve tried to check and re-check every document that is required and we’re really hoping the process will go smoothly. I no reason to doubt that it will, but I’m always weary of government things like this, even ones that only involve the U.S.! Pray for us as we go tomorrow that things would be in order and go smoothly so we can get Karis’ documents and then take the next step towards getting her a visa.

Well, that’s not a bad way to spend a Father’s Day and not a bad way to end this post. Good night!

C.

Clean and Plan

I spent about twenty minutes today peeling Disney Cars stickers from the floor in our dining area. I honestly can’t remember when Titus started sticking them there this week, but I realized just this morning that it had gotten out of hand. There were at least twenty stickers lined up near our table and as I started working on them Titus said, “Dad, this is how you get to Cards Land.” At first I started with my fingers only, but that was leaving the sticker backing on the floor so then I upped my game and went for a razor blade and that “Goo Be Gone” stuff to give me some help.

That’s really just my long intro to say we spent a lot of the day today cleaning the house. When we had help here the house seemed to stay a little more tidy, but this past week we just weren’t keeping up. Now I want to be clear I don’t think we’re slobs, but like any family with a new baby we’re adjusting things in our home to accommodate her and her feeding schedule. But it was nice to pick things up, clean some dishes, get some laundry done, and even have the kids do “jobs” around the house. They helped take out the recycling, did some vacuuming in, and Titus even “watched” baby Karis for a bit (and by a bit, I really mean he told me he was watching her for mommy and then quickly went outside to play in the yard). Here’s a photo of Titus holding Karis the other day.

Titus and Karis (6/18/15)

I also spent some time today trying to plan out our quick trip to Prague this weekend. We’re headed there for an early U.S. Embassy appointment on Monday. This will be the first meeting to get Karis’ passport, U.S. citizenship, and social security stuff started. We’ve spent this week getting everything in order and are hopefully all ready for Monday’s meeting. I have been studying the metro and tram maps to make sure I can get all five of us around the big city safely and quickly. We tried to plan out where we would eat and made reservations and some places friends recommended, but it will still be a trick to get us around on public transportation. Like most men, I’m pretty confident I can do it but I guess you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow night to find out how I did!

A.

Another Wild Day in Czech (In Photos)

Somehow I ended up with a ton of photos from today so I thought I’d just tell today’s story in photos (with captions beneath each). Let’s do this!

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

It was raining and cooler this morning so Titus and I donned rain jackets and umbrellas while walking him to school today. I probably should have sent him to school with rain boots, but I was worried we would be late for some event they were going to be leaving for. But I found out when they got there that it had been cancelled due to rain. Go figure.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

The word “easy” in the photo above is a little misleading. From Titus’ school I walked over to this cosmetic drug store thing (so hard to explain what it is) that apparently has the only instant photo machine in our town. It was 8:15am and they had just opened. There I was in my black rain coat, looking really shady walking around the store looking for something I couldn’t find which was the machine you see above. I eventually left without saying anything and I’m pretty sure I saw the lady checking my hands as I grabbed my umbrella and walked out the door. Thanks to Rachael and Martina who I texted about this, I went back to the store about and hour later and was able to find the tiny machine.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

I had to get prints made for Karis’ passport photos and this was my best option. I finally figured out the machine while the lady tried to explain things to me in Czech. I did finally leave with 6 prints, all of which cost me about $1.25! I was stoked and left a happy man.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Here’s some of her mug shots, I mean, her passport photos.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Karis had a doctor’s appointment today so Bethany gave her a bath just before lunch. I ended up taking Karis in her towel and placing her in front our little heater because she was a little cold and crying. She calmed right down.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Bethany, Karis, and our friend Martina drove to the next town over to the hospital where they had referred Karis. They actually did an ultrasound on her hips/legs. They’ve done that in the States, but it’s just an internal check to make sure there’s no issues with her internally. I believe in the States they just do a physical check with the doctor’s hands, but here’s just a little different. While the girls went to the appointment, Titus and I walked over to the haircut place and I got a trim (no photos of that, sorry!). I did get to show some photos of the baby to my hairdresser lady so that was fun.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

When Titus and I walked to get a haircut we saw they they had set up a huge carnival deal in the town square. I believe it’s a big celebration for both our town and the sister city in Poland. I believe they are celebrating the founding of the city or something like that, but whatever it is, it’s important. They went big for this one with rides and tons of shops and food. Below are a ton of photos of what we saw.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

I love that the ride above has an image from Toy Story which is actually a sad part of the movie.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Sweet tooth, anyone?

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

The grills were looking good! I may be wrong but I think something on there might be pork knee (a Czech favorite from what I can tell).

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

The huge stage already had local dance crew performances going on.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

This “bowl” was probably 4 feet across. Sausage and potatoes…yummy.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

We ended up going back to the town square as a family this evening so the kids could play and we could get dessert as a family. It was a much different experience from when Titus and I were there a few hours earlier because the place was jumping with people and live music. We ended up getting some traditional Trdelník with cinnamon (it’s so yummy!) and then bough tickets for the big bounce house slide thing.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

This is Titus and me waiting for his turn to go up the big slide. I had bought a ticket for Avery to go up to, but she wasn’t “up” for it…get it, “up” for it… because it’s really tall. Yes, tall… like me as I stick out like 8 feet above everyone else in this photo.

Here’s a 30 second video I got of Titus enjoying the slide.

A Wild Day in Czech (6/19/15)

Lastly, here’s Karis as she rode around in the stroller tonight. She was awake most of the time and did great. We had to bundle here up pretty good because it was like 55 degrees out (dead serious).

There you have it–another day in the life of our little family. In the words of Porky the Pig, “That’s all folks!”

T.

Titus Goes to Work

I decided to take Titus with me to the office today to give Bethany a little break. She can definitely handle the kids on her own, but because the office is a little more quiet during the summer months I figured it would be alright to bring him and let him hang out. He actually did really great, spending most of his time playing on our iPad, but also playing with the dinosaurs and toy cars he packed in his back pack. Going to work with Daddy also included going out to eat with daddy and the rest of my team. We have been showing our interns a few fun places we like to go so Titus got to come along today and he really liked that. Later in the afternoon he actually helped Rachael with a little bit of work and below is a photo she got of him “helping” her. She said he actually did help and was sorting buttons for summer camps this year. I like that the little dude is getting some work done!

Helping Miss Rachael (6/18/15)

Speaking of Rachael, we ended up just having the same dinner she made for us last night again tonight. We had plenty of food, so it was just kind of nice to be able to not have to prep anything again because quite honestly both Bethany and I are really tired. Having a new baby is a little like getting over jet lag. You just feel really tired at weird parts of the day. Tonight I’m barely keeping my eyes open as I write this!

Making Snowflakes (6/18/15)

After dinner I ended up showing the kids how to make snowflakes with paper and scissors. I realized that it’s been way too many years since I’ve done that and I’m terrible at it. At one point I tried to cut out circles and ended up making these sweet glasses that you see Titus and I wearing in the photo above. The kids and I got better as time went on and more paper was wasted, so that’s good. In the end we were coloring pages and then making rainbow snowflakes which Avery thought was great fun.

Normally I do my Bible reading right after I finish the blog, but today I did it right when Titus and I got home and while I was holding Karis for Bethany. I had a feeling I would be really tired tonight and that turned out to be true. The clock is just about to strike 9pm, but my body might as well think it’s 2am. With that I’m signing off for the evening. As always, thanks for reading!

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!