A.

Avery Tried to Eat Money and Titus Broke Glass

Avery tried to eat a Czech crown today. Thankfully it was the smallest coin of the lot, but in her attempt to do so it caused her to throw up…all over our bed. Avery has been sick like the rest of us, and kind of like me, she’s slow to recover. I realize she’s only three years old, but when she gets sick it lingers. Today she found a little pile of coins on my night stand (I will often empty my pockets at night and leave coins there) and in the process just decided to see what it would taste like. As Bethany describes it, Avery immediately threw up and then told Bethany, “I ate the money! I ate the money!” and then it actually came out the second time she threw up just a few seconds later. Thankfully she didn’t swallow it and her body did what it was supposed to do–that is, reject foreign objects. Bethany gave her a bath afterward and she seemed to be feeling better. Crisis avoided, I guess. Well, at least the first one.

Later today, Avery was napping and Titus was having “rest time” after he had come home from school. Sometimes Titus will nap in our room while Avery naps in their room because it’s just easier for Avery to fall asleep. Titus doesn’t nap every day, but we still like him to have a little rest time even if he doesn’t fall asleep, which was exactly the case today. Bethany was in the living room when she heard a crash in the bedroom and upon arrival there Titus was sitting on the bed with a broken glass picture frame. It had begun to rain hard this afternoon and he got up to look out the window and when he did that he knocked the picture frame on to the floor, thus breaking the glass, but then he decided it pick it up (yes, even the broken glass) and put it on the bed. When Bethany got there he was crying, not because he was hurt (thankfully), but because he was sad about breaking it. He said to her, “Mommy, I’m sorry. I’m sorry!” She told him she didn’t care about the frame but wanted to make sure he was OK. He was and all was alright. I think it was just shortly after this event that I received a text from Bethany which read, “It’s been a rough day. Do you know when you’re leaving?” (as in, when I would be leaving the JV offices). I left the office soon after and came home.

Bethany is 39 weeks pregnant and she’s been pretty uncomfortable the past few days. Today was hard on her, but she still amazes me with her attitude in the midst of it. She wasn’t complaining when I came home, but just mostly tired and in need of help. I did my best to pick up the house and help get things cleaned up (including the glass) but my job was so minimal compared to hers today. I tried to explain this to Titus tonight when he wanted to play with me. I said, “Buddy, mommy has been taking care of you and Avery all day and now she needs our help. We need to work and help her and then if we have time we can do something else.” The kids did help me. They picked up different things and Titus helped me vacuum. They also recognize when mommy needs help, even though they don’t always know what that looks like.

Thank you, wife, for always being an example to me of godly character in the midst of life’s chaos.

E.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies

Today was day two of just daddy an the kids and thankfully it was about as uneventful as yesterday. Titus struggled a little bit today going to school, but I think Mondays are generally tougher for him since he’s had the weekend off and then goes back. I never thought this would happen in preschool, but Titus tried to convince me today hew as sick and said, “Dad, I’m sick…see!” and began fake coughing. Of course, I’m not OK with him lying so we dealt with that, but in my heart I was kind of laughing because that’s one of those classic “I don’t want to go to school today” things. I mean, John Hughes even made a whole movie about it. In the end we did get him off to school and I think he did alright.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Above you can see a photo of Avery outside of Titus’ class when we picked him up this afternoon. Hanging on the little bush outside were plastic eggs which I just assumed were from the kids. Titus told us as we left that his class had done that and I asked him which one and he picked red (no doubt that choice is because he loves Lightning McQueen). In the photo below Avery is touching the blue one, but the closest red one is the one Titus said was his. He also said they colored eggs and played outside, but I honestly never really know if he’s telling me about something that happened all today or compilation of a few days.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Speaking of Easter eggs, we have a box of plastic eggs called “Resurrection Eggs” that Bethany made a year or two ago. This afternoon the kids really wanted to go through them and they walk through the story of Jesus during the Passion Week. Each little egg has something inside like nails, thorns, rope, etc. that all relate to the verses regarding Jesus’ death. I had a really good time talking it through with them and even using the Bible we read them every night to show them pictures and relate the story for them even more. I’m amazed at how much the kids can remember and I also love that when we get to the last egg it’s completely empty! Avery knew what was coming already and said, “See! Jesus is alive!” Just that simple exercise of walking through the gospel with my kids was a blessing to my heart and a reminder of what we will celebrate this Sunday. I really am thankful my kids are hearing about these things at such young ages.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

It was pretty cold and rainy today and it even hailed more than once. But the sun came out for about 15-20 minutes this evening while I was making dinner for the kids (oh yeah, I make a mean frozen chicken nugget). Since the sun was low in the sky it made everything golden and I ran out with my iPhone and took a few photos. From gray to gold is such a contrast so it’s always strikingly beautiful when that happens. Above is a photo of Avery being silly with the sun shining behind her. And below is a photo of the church next door when the sun was at it’s brightest. It looks like the storm clouds are rolling away, but only a few minutes later it was dark and overcast again. Either way, I’m thankful for just a few minutes of that wonderful sunlight.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Bethany called us from Poland tonight for a few minutes, but those turned into the the most exciting moments of the day. A few minutes into our phone call Titus knocked an entire cup of water on the table, chair, and floor in the kitchen and Avery dropped a little toy that has colored oil in it and it broke. Naturally this cut into our talk time and I had to hang up, but I think I’ll give her a call when I’m done writing this. She’ll be back tomorrow afternoon and I hope she has had a good time. She said it was stormy in Krakow today too and that they had been doing a lot of walking, but I’m sure I’ll get more of the details when we talk later. Overall, I think the past few days have gone fine and I’m thankful that she was able to get away. But…I really can’t wait for her to come back!

M.

Mr. Mom and the U.S. Military

Bethany left this morning for a Josiah Venture women’s retreat in Krakow Poland which left me and the kids at home alone. Today was an unfortunate day for this to happen because it just so happens that it was the day in which the Central European Timezone pushes the clocks forward thus meaning we lose an hour of sleep. Bethany was up early getting ready for her trip and even had time to go to the grocery store for a few more items so I would have food for the kids me (yeah, she’s awesome), but even she admitted she had misunderstood the clocks this morning thinking it was earlier than it was. With the time change, Bethany leaving, and church already being difficult enough I actually decided to not try and push it today with just me and the kids and we didn’t go. I was up and showered in time to make it for Palm Sunday, but the thought of trying take Titus to his class and then sit through Avery’s with her was just a bit much for me. Even Avery is still coughing a lot for sickness so I just thought we’ll see Bethany off and call it a morning.

America in Czech (3/29/15)

A little after she was picked up, I got a text from Bethany telling me she was still on the Czech side of the Czech/Polish border and that they could see crowds of people lining the overpasses and highway. If you follow the international news at all, then you might be aware that the U.S. is kind of on a parade right now through Central Europe as a show of force to the nation of Russia. I believe it’s part of a NATO deal, but the U.S. military has been driving tanks and military vehicles through Czech and other countries and I think they will eventually stop on the eastern side of Germany. Today, Bethany and the other woman happened to be driving the main highway where the military was driving and above is a photo Bethany got of onlookers. Bethany told me on the phone that it seemed most people were for the event (some even flying American flags), but she definitely saw the protestors. If you check the news, it’ll mostly be biased towards the voices who are against this show of force, but I’ll save the politics of it for another writer. However, it should be noted that the Czech government is supportive of this event as Czech and U.S. are allies. Also, here’s a few videos Bethany captured while they were driving.

U.S. Military in Czech (1 of 2) from Shay on Vimeo.

U.S. Military in Czech (2 of 2) from Shay on Vimeo.

My day alone with the kids actually went alright. Before lunch I ended up taking them to a local play place and letting them play for an hour. As we left our house I could lots of people walking towards the Catholic church holding branches (or “fronds”) in honor of Palm Sunday. Over the weekend we saw a ton of people picking up branches and sticks throughout our area and we wondered what it was all about and now I’m starting think it was for Palm Sunday.

I did manage to make both lunch and dinner successfully with the food Bethany was kind enough to provide (along with a little schedule!). There was only one blunder involving a hand mixer and a jar of peanut butter but my pride won’t allow me to write about it here. We did naps this afternoon and afterwards we headed over to the nearby park for a little fun outside. It was still pretty cool and overcast today, so we didn’t stay long before heading back home and getting dinner started. Below is a photo of Avery sitting on the bench at the park.

Tonight we did bath and Bible time together and even spent a little time talking with mommy over FaceTime video chat. Titus kept saying all day that he “missed mommy,” and then would ask, “What’s today?” (as in, “What’s the day today?”). I told him, “Sunday” and he said, “Then Monday…and what’s after that?” “Tuesday,” I said, to which he quickly replied, “And that’s when Mommy comes back!” Yup. She’ll be back on Tuesday, but I hope she’s enjoying a little time away with some of the other women in this ministry. I’m trying to do more than survive this, but actually enjoy it and I can definitely say today was a success. It was fun to spend focused time with the kids, but we’ll just have to see how tomorrow goes.