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!


Prepping For Baby

With the help of a Czech friend, I was finally able to get our winter tires changed over to spring ones. Sadly, however, the weather didn’t seem to get the message that it’s actually spring. This morning as I walked with Titus to school it was 46 degrees fahrenheit! I realize it’s technically still spring, but it’s the end of May. For this California native, wearing a jacket in May is like…actually, I have no comparison. I don’t know if I’ve ever worn a jacket in May. But I digress.

With a jacket on, I gave my father-in-law a quick tour of the town this morning. I needed show him where the little grocery stores are and how to get around just in case this baby decides to come soon and they are in need of food. We’re hearing that when she does go into labor she’ll be in the Czech hospital for at least three days so we’re prepping Papa and Nana for life abroad with two little ones while we’re at the hospital. It was fun to quickly walk the town and see Bethany’s dad’s reaction to walking around a European city. I remember that feeling well and every now and then it bubbles up which is really fun.

Playing and Having Fun (5/27/15)

Another friend, Romi, came over today to help Bethany fill out all the paperwork for the hospital. Bethany said it was a lot more than she had thought and she was very thankful for Romi’s assistance. During Romi’s visit, I drove Papa, Nana, and the kids over to the local grocery story, again, to give them the lay of the land in case they need to go to a bigger store for anything. We needed some groceries anyway so it worked out. There was lots of new fun things at the store today, including a bunch of Kellogg’s brand cereals. I was actually shocked because normally the cereal aisle is pretty limited. Needless to say we bought a box of “Frosties” (aka: Frosted Flakes) just because we could. Here’s a photo of Avery in the cereal aisle in her little car cart (if you look closely you can see a box of “Frosties” in the bottom left).

Playing and Having Fun (5/27/15)

When we got home from the store Avery wanted to park the car like Titus did the other day, so I let get some time behind the wheel while Papa captured video. Avery is clearly not as aggressive as Titus, but I think I like her style. Here’s what he got.

Playing and Having Fun (5/27/15)

After the successful car parking, Titus had started a pickup game of baseball with Nana so Avery, Papa, and I joined in on the fun. Titus eventually let me bat and after hitting what I believe was a line drive over the third baseman’s head, he chased me down and tagged me out. Papa somehow captured a short video of that as well and here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Finally we ate fast food tonight and went to a grocery store in Poland to find a baby bath sponge pad. We had tried different stores today but were unsuccessful and found one tonight in Poland which was a great. We got back kind of late so we quickly put the kids to bed and now I’m ready for the dream world as well. Good night!


Early Trains and Backyard Baseball

Sleep was a bit minimal last night as the kids were up a few times and I had that weird feeling you get when you’re supposed to wake up early and feel like you might sleep through your alarm. I needed to get up at 5:30am to help Steve and Judy catch their 6:00 train. But during the night I found myself rolling over and checking the time until I finally just got up before the alarm went off. It was cold and wet this morning as I walked over to where they were staying and helped them get their bags on the train and get them settled. I asked the train attendant if I could get on the train and she said it was fine, but the train almost left with me still on it! I ended up running to a closed to, forcing it open and then jumped off. A guy yelled at me in Czech and the train quickly pulled away. Yeah, I’m a rebel.

I’ve been away from the JV office for a few days with Steve and Judy in town, but I was back today and things were busy as expected with spring conference happening next week. There’s been a lot of printer deadlines to try and meet that our team has been working hard on. I’m excited about the stuff we’ve created and how it’s all turning out. Now we’re just hoping it’ll all be printed in time for everyone to enjoy!

Backyard Baseball (4/29/15)

It stayed colder today, but that didn’t keep me and the kids from doing a little backyard baseball tonight while mommy was making dinner. Lately Avery has assumed the role of “Umpire Avery” which I think is a mix of a catcher, umpire, and infielder. I say that because she’ll sit behind the plate like she’s holding a glove (catcher), then when Titus hits the ball she chases him around with another ball (infielder), and when he reaches home plate she always calls him “safe!” (umpire). Yeah, she’s really a utility player which comes in handy when there’s only three of you on the field.

With minimum sleep last night I’m ready for bed, so I’ll keep this post short tonight. Happy Wednesday!


Two Hundred and Seventy Five

By God’s grace our kids were feeling a little bit better today than they were yesterday. Both of them got good sleep last night and Titus will probably go back to school tomorrow. We were pretty concerned about Avery’s cough and congestion but that seems to have gotten significantly better today which is such a blessing. It’s always hard to hear your kids cry over their sickness which is exactly what was going on last night for Avery.

Spring Training (Titus 2015) from Shay on Vimeo.

Tonight before dinner I took them both outside to play. The weather has been staying in the low 60s and with the sunlight sticking around later in the evening it makes it much easier to do that while Bethany makes dinner. Above you can watch a little video of Titus hitting the baseball in the backyard. He was actually the one who initiated the play time outside. Earlier today Bethany took them to the park to play and he had so much fun outside that I think he really wanted to go out again tonight. Our kids are definitely enjoying being outside more of late. The rest of the week is supposed to be rainy and colder so it was nice to get some time outside tonight.

Play and Laugh (3/26/15)

275. That’s how many days we’ve been in Czech and how many blogs we have written since arriving. It’s really hard to believe that time has gone by so fast these past nine months. Life here has definitely been an adjustment, but I can’t help but be reminded how good God has been to us. Every so often I have to remember why we called this blog “It’s all grace.” Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people…” I didn’t deserve that grace, but the Lord saved me despite my sin and gave me the righteousness of Christ! And 2 Timothy 1:9 reminds us that God, “…saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began…” I couldn’t work for that amazing salvation, but it was simply an act of His grace. These are just two of many verses on God’s grace, but they are a sweet reminder to me that each and every day–especially the past 275 days–God’s grace has been poured out in a sweet and full way on me and my family. I hope you too can be reminded of the Lord’s grace today on your life.


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)