T.

The Sunday Shredder

Sunday School (3/15/15)

Today was a another great Sunday at church with our kids. I think it may be one of the last Sundays that I stay in Titus’ class, and we’re trying to figure out what to do about Avery and her class. In the States we would normally just let her cry a little when we leave the room, but it doesn’t seem to be allowed that much in her class here. However, we’re having fun spending time with each of our kids in their classes.

Below is a photo that I took of a board game that Titus got out during the play time after they had their Bible lesson. I have no clue what the game is, but the kids gathered around Titus when he started getting the pieces out and helped him set it up. It’s always fun to see him playing with other kids, even if they have no clue how to talk to each other.

Sunday School (3/15/15)

Traditionally Sunday is a day of rest, but today our shredder was working over time! This past week Bethany and I realized the amount of paperwork that we have just lying around has gotten out of hand and we wanted to make space and clear out old files. So this afternoon we spent a few hours just separating the recycle versus shred piles and let the kids go to town putting paperwork through the “shrinker” (as they were calling it). Spring is only five days away, so we really felt like we were getting some Spring cleaning done! As I type Bethany is still going through files and I think we’re going to have a few days of this left, but it end we should have cleaner desks and a little more space.

That’s all from us today. We hope you had a blessed Sunday!

M.

More Visa Applications and Making a Million Mistakes

Unbelievably we’ve already been here long enough to begin processing another round of visa applications. Our first set of visas are for six months so technically they don’t expire until the end of January. But with all the holidays and time it takes to process things here we have to get started earlier to make sure there are no hangups. Today we spent most of the afternoon just going through the paperwork and trying to make sure we have got all the information correct. These new visas will be good for two years and give us simpler identification (something other than our passport). We’ll be working this week with the team here to help get it all moving forward. Most likely we’ll be headed to the Foreign Police in the next couple days to begin processing them so that’s a point of prayer for us this week.

Filling Out More Applications (11/23/14)

When we were at missionary training last year, one of the language teachers said, “In order to learn a language you have to be willing to make a million mistakes, so start now!” Today I took that instruction and butchered Czech about as much as humanly possible. I had a conversation today with our landlord about the light not working in our garage. I felt terrible because I couldn’t understand much, but basically she was trying to tell me that she got it fixed and that the light was actually on now and we needed to turn it off. This took me about four minutes of conversation with her until she finally just pointed for me to come outside with her and she showed me the light. I remember asking her “why” and just getting a blank stare. Who knows what I was asking her because I sure don’t!

Then tonight at the grocery store Avery left her Hello Kitty coloring book in the store and we didn’t realize it until we got home. Titus and I went back for it and I was trying to explain to two different store clerks that this was my daughter’s book and I wanted them to know that before I walked out of the store with it. What they were understanding from me was that my daughter had left a book like the one I was holding and that they didn’t have it. Finally we had to walk over to where I found the book and try using my phone to translate the whole thing and when something finally clicked they just started laughing. Thankfully, they did understand and were very gracious, but that doesn’t change the painful interchange that went on for ten minutes. Only 980,854 mistakes left to make before I learn Czech!

Titus is a Big Help (11/23/14)

On a parenting note, a friend from the States asked me yesterday on the phone about Titus and how he was doing. It was a timely question because I’ve been thinking a lot about Titus lately. As a dad, especially one of a boy, I’m really trying to process how to be intentional with Titus and train him well. Yesterday before the party I asked him to help me take the recycling out. He was really excited and carried “the big box” down the street all by himself. It may have only been a few minutes of time but I was really enjoying watching him grow and mature, even in things like helping with work. Lately Titus has been showing a lot of mature answers to questions and really starting to put things together. We see him asking lots of questions and just engaging more. It’s fun to watch him change and grow.

Tonight after we got Avery’s book at the store, Titus and I had a funny little conversation in the car which I sent out on Twitter. Here’s how it went:

C.

Containers and Visas and Paperwork! Oh My!

Paperwork Day (7/3/14)

Let’s be honest: not every day is fun and games and trips to Poland. Sometimes you gotta have an admin day. You know the days I’m talking about. Pay the bills. Run some errands. Or like us, wake up in a panic because your kids accidentally read your email on the iPad and you missed an email dated 2 days ago from the container company telling you to send a pile of a paperwork or they’ll start charging you a small fortune to store your stuff at the port! You know, one of those kind of days.

Honestly, it was a stressful morning trying to pull together a ton of documents from powers of attorney to foreign police documentation to get our container released at the port in Germany. The last thing we wanted was to be charged a daily rate for storage at the port. By God’s grace, we have lots of support here with Josiah Venture and everyone is chipping to help. If I’ve understood the emails correctly, I believe we have everything in place and paid for to clear customs this week and maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a date of arrival for our container in Czech!

Paperwork Day (7/3/14)

Along with our container paperwork, I spent a lot of time today working through the documents we’ll need next week at the embassy. Our long-term visa appointment is at 9am on Tuesday (July 8). Obviously, when you’re applying for a 2 year visa there’s a lot that goes into setting that up. With that, I took my first trip into the Josiah Venture offices (pictured above). This is a place that I’ll be spending a lot of time with the communications team, but I just really needed a printer and scanner today to get everything in order. We’ll be getting our visa photos tomorrow with a Czech girl who is helping us so I’m sure that’ll be a fun little outing.

Paperwork Day (7/3/14)
This photo (above) is of a little brick archway/window next to the Josiah Venture offices. I just thought it looked cool so I grabbed a shot of it.

Paperwork Day (7/3/14)

Today marked a bit of a milestone for the kids. Both Titus and Avery woke up around 5am (still too early, but much better than 1-3am), took normal naps, and even woke up from their naps on their own! This might seem trivial, but it’s been a challenge to get our kids on a normal schedule with such bad jet lag. We have had to wake them up so they don’t sleep too much during the day. In general the kids have been happier today and that’s why I wanted to post a photo of Avery playing with her lunch. She loves her chicken hot dogs and now she has found it entertaining to put the pieces on her fingers. It’s a joy for all of us to begin to adjust back to some kind of normal sleep pattern. We’re praising God for these little victories we get, even when it’s just an admin day.