P.

Playing Outside and Making Apple Pie

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

The gray skies lifted today and the sun was shining so we went to the park for a few hours this morning/afternoon. It wasn’t only the sun that brought us outside, but I had told our friend Rachael that I would snap a few photos of her so she can send an updated photo to her ministry partners (one photo is below). For at least the last three weeks, I’ve been taking photos for friends so they all can can update their prayer cards and email newsletters. What’s funny is it’s almost identical to what I was doing in the States with family photos right around this time of year. Everyone is sending out family photos for the holidays and I usually would schedule shoots during October/November so it kind of feels like that only in a different part of the world.

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

Photos didn’t take long today so we just hung out at the park and played with the kids and talked to Rachael. It’s been a pretty full week of ministry things at JV so spending some time focused and outside the kids was really nice. Here’s a little video of us playing on the slide and some more photos I took since I had my camera gear with me.

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

Playing Outside (10/25/14)

When we were about to leave I notice Titus’ rain boots (which he uses almost daily right now) have a hole in them. This is bummer because it’s the only pair he has. We may have to go see if we can find another pair tomorrow because they’re important for him to have at school.

After the park we invited Rachael over to enjoy some Swedish pancakes for a late brunch. You would think that a late brunch would actually just be lunch, but things are just different in Europe. OK, I’m kidding about Europe, but I digress. Rachael was an extra blessing today in helping us pick up the house a bit. Bethany was working on the food and Rachael helped unload the dishes while I vacuumed. I had really hope we would get some time to clean today and so that was really nice to have some extra hands to help! Thanks Rachael!

We continue to struggle with sickness as a family. I have a been coughing pretty hard this past week and today was feeling really tired. I laid down with Titus and we took a pretty long nap today which is just rare anymore for me. I’m hoping this sickness doesn’t last too long.

Tonight we made apple pie! I bought a big thing of apples a few days ago and we finally had time today to have a good ol’ American class apple pie. It was a family effort and we served it up with a little vanilla ice cream. It was delicious if I do say so my self and here’s a few photos and a video to end our blog tonight.

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making apple pie tonight. Yum!

A video posted by Shay Thomason (@shaycam) on

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

Making Apple Pie (10/25/14)

M.

Making Progress on Sunday

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

We’ve already shared before that Sundays in church have been tough with the kids. The summer months are especially hard in Czech because our church (photo above) doesn’t have Sunday school for the kids so we’re taking them to the main two hour service. We do our best to have them draw in a coloring book or even (yes, I’ll admit) play a game or two on the iPhone so as not to distract the service. In that past weeks we have ended up outside at some point just because they weren’t staying quiet enough to not disrupt the service. Today, by God’s amazing grace, was the first week we didn’t go outside! Friends have already told us they are praying for this and we saw that prayer answered today. It wasn’t perfect and there were moment’s of frustration, but the kids stayed the entire two hours and we definitely praise God for this little victory. After church we let the kids play in the church yard for a little bit and the photo below is of Avery and Titus walking around with huge branches. Avery’s face kills me in this photo.

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

Since we had Jonny with us at church we treated him to a pizza lunch in our time. I ordered three pizzas thinking they were small but they ended up being much bigger than I thought. Providentially our friend Rachael happened to be walking home from church and saw us eating so we asked her to join us and help us eat some of our extra slices. What’s amazing is we were able to feed six people for $24 and that included water (which you have to pay for) and a Czech favorite, Kofola soda. Not a bad deal!

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

This afternoon I drove Jonny over to the train station in Ostrava where he was catching his train to Prague. He and three of his friends are headed to Norway for six days to enjoy some camping and European exploration. While I at the station I saw another JV missionary, Jonathan Rosen, and he asked if I wanted to grab a quick cup of coffee before heading back home. I agreed and off we went to a little coffee shop in downtown Ostrava. Jonathan was actually the intern leader at the very first camp Bethany and I served at in 2012 so it was fun to catch up with him and see how ministry was going. He introduced me to a great little coffee shop and hopefully I’ll get a chance to take Bethany there some time.

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

At church this morning we were invited by a young Czech couple to hang at a river side park around 4pm. Because of my coffee with Jonathan I made us a little late to the park and it was a new park to us (one we hadn’t been to before) and we just couldn’t find the couple when we arrived. I was bummed, especially since it was really my fault we didn’t make it there by 4pm. Bethany wrote them on Facebook to apologize and hopefully reschedule and we literally just got a message back a few minutes ago saying that we actually didn’t miss them, but that we just didn’t walk far enough on the path to another park along the river. There are a lot of different parks along the river path but we just didn’t need to head further down…bummer. They said they’ll most likely be back there next week to so hopefully we can catch up then. That couple is due with their first child in just three weeks and it would be really fun to get to know them and catch up with them before the busyness of having a baby.

The little trip to the park wasn’t all bad because the kids got a little time to play and swing at the park we did find. We didn’t stay long because we needed to hit the grocery store and make dinner at home so off we went to the local Tesco. Bethany made another great dinner and we immediately did bath time with the kids when we were finished eating. We’re trying hard to get back into a rhythm with bed times and routines and it’s so nice to have a more settled home to do that.

Progress on Sunday (8/10/14)

It’s been a great past few days and Bethany commented tonight how much fun it’s been having so many different people in our home of late. In fact, both of us our a little worried we might start getting lonely here come fall because there’s just no one left to come and stay with us! I guess that’s just another reason to dive in and get to know the many people here, Czechs and other missionaries, and continue to build relationships right where we are. That’s really one of the main reasons we’re here and Lord willing we’ll be able to do just that in the months and weeks to come.

A.

Another First: Dinner in a Czech Home

This is what I saw when I walked in to the Creative Communications office this morning. Water…and lots of it.

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

All over the desks, on the keyboard of one of the computers, and on the floor. How did this happen you ask? Our office is on the third floor and the ceiling slopes. There are no windows on the walls but they are ceiling windows that open. They were left open all night (not by me, but I’ll protect the guilty on this blog). It was raining pretty good this morning so when I got there you can imagine my shock. Thankfully and amazingly nothing was broken! But still… talk about an early morning heart attack. Yikes.

Earlier this week we got invited by Marcel and Silvie to have dinner at their house. They live in our town and had already invited Yorman family over (American missionaries) so they asked if we wanted to join them. Marcel and Silvie are part of our church here and Marcel has been helping me get our Internet upgraded at our apartment. They are a sweet couple and have two little ones, Dennis and Julia. Here’s a picture of all of us (minus me, of course):

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

We enjoyed a great time tonight just talking and enjoying the time at a Czech home. Believe it or not, this was the very first meal we have ever had in a Czech home. Silvie made a delicious dinner. I have no idea what’s it’s called but she hand made this piecrust-like bread filled with eggs, ham, cabbage, cheese…mmm, so good–I had 3 helpings! Here’s a few photos of the all the food and the amazing vine covered patio area:

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Before and after dinner the kids played in the beautiful back yard. There was a great swing set and lots of toys to play with. Behind their property were turkeys running around so I had to get a few shots of them too!

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Marcel thought everyone had eaten too much and suggested a walk to the nearby park with all the kids. We all agreed and off we went! For the kids it was more of a run than a walk, but I didn’t expect the incredible park we went to. One of the things we’ve loved about Czech is just how kid friendly things are and even how there are parks with lots of things to play on that you won’t find in safety conscious America. Merry go rounds, zip lines, teeter totters–this park had it all!

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Dinner With Czechs (7/24/14)

Here’s a video of the kids and me on the merry go round (I gave it an old-timey feel because it felt like a blast from the past):

It was a really fun night with Marcel and his family and the Yorman family. We’re so thankful for their hospitality to us tonight and for making us feel welcome here in Czech!

Y.

You’ve Got Mail

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Yesterday when we visited our landlord she gave us a piece of paper and we were told we had some mail already waiting for us at the post office. Why did the mail go the post office and not to our apartment? I have no idea. But out of sheer curiosity we went to see what might be waiting for us.

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

We were instructed by our friends to go in, find the shortest line, give them our piece of paper and then say “Ya Ne Mluvim Cesky…Promotz Mi” or “I don’t speak Czech…help me.” So that’s exactly what I did. Actually, I added the word “Prosim” which means, “please.” The lady laughed and said something to me in Czech which I assume was along the lines of “you’re speaking Czech now, aren’t you?” She motioned to Bethany and I asking who’s name was on the paper and it was Bethany’s. Then she stood up, walked away for a bit, and came back with a letter. She asked for Bethany’s passport which we gave and after a minute we were on our way. Who was it from, you ask? It was the shipping company confirming that our container would be arriving in Germany tomorrow (July 2). I’ve been working with a local customs agent here and we’re hoping to have our container within a week!

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

After our mail time fun we walked over to one of the local playgrounds since the weather was so nice. Somewhere along the line someone told us that if the sun is out the Czcehs are out and that was definitely true this morning. The park was full of families with kids playing. Bethany observed that there’s just something universal about the way moms talk to their kids. Although the moms were speaking Czech, we knew they were saying things like “Be careful!” and “Good job, you did it!” to their kids. Bethany also said she looks forward to being able to communicate with the other moms some day at the park. I hope she gets that opportunity someday too.

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)

We had homemade pizza for dinner tonight! Considering everything that’s quite an accomplishment and Bethany is a pro at the grocery store now. It was unspoken, but I think the pizza was our way of celebrating our first full week living in Český Těšín. It’s been a great week and we’re thankful to the Lord for His provision and care for us during this transition.

Walking Around Town (7/1/14)