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.
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!
Czech Republic is a land that has history dating back as far as 870 AD. It’s an old place with old buildings and things, but the one thing that impresses me about Czechs is how they clean they can keep things. For the most part I find that they like their houses very tidy, clean, and well kept. This would include the yards too. Our landlord is no exception. Just the other day, we saw a cleaning lady out in the driveway meticulously sweeping the bricks and with a pickaxe she was scraping in between each individual brick removing dirt and moss!
Today our landlord left a note about the window sills on our place needing to be cleaned. Amazingly, Bethany actually had that on her list of things to do and had started on one side of the house today. She was halfway through cleaning them when she found the note on our doorstep (shown above). I’m positive our landlord using Google Translate to write us and it’s just funny how they sound. Bethany told me later that she took a photo of the window sills because she wanted people to see just how large they are (photo below). You can practically sit on them like a bench and they are definitely a chore to clean. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen anything like them in the States, but we’re happy to make sure they look nice.
My teammate John and I went to a little restaurant near the Josiah Venture offices today for lunch. Its a great little place that I’ve shared about before and we like it because for $4 you can get hot soup and a lunch entree. Only one time have I ordered anything but pizza there because I think it’s amazing. As we were doing our best to translate the menu today the waiter came over to us and motioned with his arm like a chicken. He was trying to tell us that the third item on the menu was chicken wing, but for some reason I was said, “Chicken breast?” and he nodded and smiled in affirmation. I don’t know what I was thinking and I definitely don’t think he understood me. A few minutes later he came over and in broken English said, “chicken?….” and was motioning with his arm like a chicken. Then I heard the words, “chicken breast?” come out of my mouth again and he got excited and ran over to another table and told them “Chicken breast.” There were some other native English speakers at a nearby table (which is rare) and our waiter was excited to speak English to him, I guess. Nevertheless I felt like a failure but his one-armed chicken wing motion still makes me giggle.
Speaking of chicken, Bethany made amazing chicken and dumplings tonight. She was really excited that she was able to get all of the ingredients at the store by herself and the meal was wonderful. Now she’s in the kitchen reading on how to make her own chicken stock! She tells me those are her chicken stock ingredients in the above photo. This girl has gone true Pioneer Woman and I like it! Watching Bethany adapt here is actually really fun and I think she’s risen to the occasion of being a foreign missionary, engaging newer things with a willing and able attitude.
Tomorrow is another early day for me but I’m hoping to spend the latter half of the day with Bethany and the kids as I’ve been plowing pretty hard this week with projects for Josiah Venture. God has been gracious with our health and energy during some busy days. Praise the Lord for how He continues to show his kindness to me and my family.
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):
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.
Also, he must’ve gotten ahold of Bethany’s phone because we found this photo on it tonight.
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!