it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: shopping (page 1 of 2)

“I Gotta Go Work on the Blog”

We had lunch this afternoon at home and Titus was the first one done. The kids know they need to ask to be excused from the table to take their plates and silverware to the kitchen sink. As Titus got down from his chair, he said, “I gotta go work on the blog.” I began laughing hysterically, but Bethany missed what he said the first time, so Titus repeated himself and then we were both cracking up. It was in that moment that I realized just how many times he has heard me say that since we moved here. Actually, it’s possible he’s heard that a few hundred times.

The 300th Blog Post (4/19/15)

Today marks our three hundredth day in Czech which means there have been as many blogs. Although I don’t usually start working on the blog until we’ve put them to bed, not all nights are the same so no doubt the kids have heard me say, “I gotta go work on the blog” more than once. It has become such a part of our lives that even this morning I said to Bethany, “Wait?! Did I write a blog last night?!” I genuinely couldn’t remember. It’s like when you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth or put deodorant on (maybe that only happens to me?). It is just part of the routine and some things get some routine you have a hard to remembering if you forgot to do it! We ended up letting Titus go over to my computer and “work on the blog,” so I got this photo of him in front of the computer this afternoon (shown above). This is spot where the blog happens every single day. It’s a joy for the whole family!

We’re preparing for Titus’ birthday this weekend and we needed to go to the store to get a few supplies and try to find out if they have cupcakes. Instead of shopping in Czech, we actually went to Poland because they have a big store there with a ton of variety, and we also knew they had party supplies. Titus has been really in to Hot Wheels for some reason, so we tried to find some themed items there. They did in fact have Hot Wheels plates and even some of those noise makers that you blow air in to so we picked those up. Unfortunately they didn’t have cupcakes, but we’re going to try to figure out another solution to that problem. We’ll be joining up with our friends, the Stephens, whose twin boys turn four the day before Titus. All of us are going to the zoo on Saturday and hopefully some other people will be able to join us!

The 300th Blog Post (4/19/15)

As we walked in to the Polish store late this afternoon all I could see were people holding ice cream cones. You would’ve thought they were handing them out for free by the sheer number of people eating ice cream. Then we saw the line! There were a ton of people waiting for ice cream at this little pop up style store just before you walk in to the store. I told Bethany we needed to see what all the excitement was about when we leave the store. We did just that and above you can see the photo I took of the place, complete with American flags. It was called “American Ice Dream” and I have no idea why it was named that. We were trying to figure out the Polish words for vanilla and “mixed” when the guy behind us said, “Do you need some help?” We were very thankful for him and we chatted for a few minutes in English which was nice. In the end we spent $2.68 (USD) to get all four of us ice cream! It was awesome and check out my “large” ice cream (below).

The 300th Blog Post (4/19/15)

Since we didn’t want to eat in our car we settled down in a bench near a little kids play place in the mall and enjoyed them as a family. The kids wanted to play so we let them for a few minutes, but right next to was this little merry go round that Avery was excited about. I’m guees I’m a bit of a softy when it comes to Avery, so I ended up spending the fifty cents to let her and Titus ride around. She loved the fish she chose to ride and when they were finished we left for home.

The 300th Blog Post (4/19/15)

It’s gonna be a full week with one of our pastors from our sending church and his wife coming to visit, Titus’ birthday, a doctor appointment for Bethany, and final preparations for the upcoming Josiah Venture spring conference. I’m excited for whatever the Lord has in store for us this week and look forward to telling you all about it right here on the blog. It reminds me of the classic line from Pinky and the Brain. “So Brain, what do you want to do tonight?” “The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try and take over the world!”

Church and Exploring Poland

Poland for the Win (2/22/15)

Everyone was up early this morning to get read for church, including these two rascals you see in the photo above. I was enjoying a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee before church and we were having fun hanging out in the kitchen. “Dad, take a picture of us!” Done.

Poland for the Win (2/22/15)

We had a good morning at church. It was the first time we have all been as a family in three weeks and the kids did pretty well in their classes. Bethany went with Avery to her class and I stayed with Titus in his. Titus’ class read from a book which was an illustrated version of the parable of the lost coin. Both teachers in his class could speak English so they would ask the kids questions in Czech and then turn to Titus in English and ask him. They also celebrated one of the kid’s birthdays and sang to him “Happy Birthday” in Czech. Then I heard the kids saying, “Anglicky!” or “English!” They sang “Happy Birthday” again in English which was fun for Titus…and me!

Poland for the Win (2/22/15)

We were thinking over dinner last night of what we might be able to do this afternoon and one thing we’ve wanted to do is check out a few stores we’ve heard about it Poland. One is a grocery store and Bethany also wanted to go back to “TK Maxx” (or TJ Maxx in the States) which she had visited back in August. The grocery store was amazing. It was kind of like a Super Wal-Mart, at least that’s the best way I can explain it. They had a wide variety of items and they are only store that we know of that carries flavored coffee creamers (a favorite of Bethany’s). Not only that, check out this meat selection (photo below)!

Poland for the Win (2/22/15)

Bethany and I were pretty focused on trying to scan and see all that the store had, but apparently Titus had a little time on his hands because at one point we looked down and he was applying tiny stickers to his face. Here’s a photo I got of him.

Poland for the Win (2/22/15)

After the grocery store we headed over to TK Maxx which wasn’t far away. That place turned out to be our golden ticket and we found a ton of things. Some of the best finds were two little books we got for the kids because most of the kids book they had were in English! This might not be a big deal to some people, but for us it was shocking. Another huge win was that they actually had shoes in my size which I haven’t been able to find since we moved here. I didn’t end up buying any today, but we plan on going to back at some point and spend more time.

We actually had a really fun day together even though we were most just walking around and exploring. There is so much to see here and we’re enjoying the search for new things.

Titus is off school this coming week because it’s “Spring break.” He’s excited he doesn’t have to go to school, except I’m concerned he thinks he never ever has to go back. One week feels like forever when you’re a kid, I guess!

Small Town Fun

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

We woke up this morning to what I was calling powdered sugar snow. There was the lightest dusting of snow overnight that was still on the ground when the sun came up, but it was mostly gone by the afternoon. For the kids it really didn’t matter–it was snow, and as Titus put it, “It’s Christmas time!” Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating Christmas here at Bethany’s parents house in Yakima so that meant we were doing some last minute Christmas shopping today. I realize this is December 29, but we’re doing our Christmas together on the 30th because of work schedules and everyone being able to be together.

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

As has been true all week, we were up early with the kids this morning and out the door by 8:00am ready to hit the stores. What we found out quickly was that most stores aren’t even open until 9. After the third place we tried to go to was closed we decided we would try and get some breakfast out. Bethany’s dad directed us to the place in the photo above, but when we arrived we found out they had no power. Apparently the wind hand blown down some power lines nearby so all of the part of town we were in was without electricity. At this point the morning was a bust, but we trekked on.

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

We ended up finding a classic down with power down the road a bit and enjoyed a really great American breakfast. Just being able to order biscuits and gravy was ministering to my soul. Titus got the kid’s pancake and when it came it out was a happy face with a piece of bacon for a smile (shown above). They also had classic car benches that the kids thought were great. Here are they are playing on one that was near our table.

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

After breakfast and after all the shops opened, we did finally get some shopping done. One place we went to is actually 114 years old and has been owned by the same family for five generations! It was a really fun store and the people who worked there were really helpful. It was full of paper goods and speciality office supply items, including some archival ink pens that I was needing for marking in my Bible. If you ever find yourself in central Washington, head on over to “The Bindery” (as the locals call it) and get yourself some small town charm and a nice pen for your Bible reading!

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

On one of our other stops, we hit a jewelry store to have my wedding ring sized down. It has gotten really loose and we finally decided it would be best to have it resized to fit more snug. When I bought the ring nine years ago, it was a little big and they were telling me that it would eventually fit. The jeweler said to me then, “You will get fat!” Well, some time has passed and it’s flying off my finger! So we found a place today that we resize it and when we were walking in the door I loved the hours that are listed on Sunday (photo below).

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

Tonight we had a fun and kind of wild dinner with the whole family. Mostly we were just eating leftovers, but the scene in the room with seven adults, three young kids, and two dogs running around was something out of a movie. Later, when things quieted down, “Papa” (grandpa) read The Night Before Christmas to our tired kids (show below). It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the whole story read and the first time our kids had heard it.

Tomorrow Papa will read Luke 2 before we open gifts and we’ll have a traditional meal on the floor by the tree. I look forward to celebrating with everyone and enjoying the time with family here. Until then, “Happy Christmas to all! And to all a good night.”

Crazy Monday (12/29/14)

A Sick Day and a Date Night

Don’t be fooled by the title of this post. Usually when someone says they had a sick day they really mean they didn’t show up to the office and laid in bed. That’s what I should’ve done today, but thought I could plow through the day despite my sore throat and lack of a voice. Now I’m sitting here tonight really tired and just not feeling well.

This week is a shorter week because the Josiah Venture family will be together at our training center for two days at a big Thanksgiving event. Lots of missionaries from around Central and Eastern Europe will come and we’ll celebrate together and talk about what we’re thankful for. All the festivities start tomorrow night so I figured I would finish up some work at the JV offices, but alas I should’ve stayed in bed. I guess I did get a few things done today but now I have my first doctor’s appointment in Czech scheduled for tomorrow around 4pm. Hopefully I can get some medicine to help figure out why I have been so sick for a few months now.

Bathrooms (11/25/14)

Despite being sick, Bethany and I had a date night scheduled tonight that we enjoyed together. Our friend Rachael came over and graciously watched our kids for the evening in exchange for some photos I did for her a few weeks back. Bethany and I enjoyed a quiet dinner at a local restaurant near our apartment and drove to a new shopping center to try and get some gifts for Avery’s actual birthday this Saturday. The photo above is of the bathrooms there…so strange. The night went relatively smoothly, but while we were in one of those stores shopping a lady who could speak a little English said to us, “We’re closed.” This after a few minutes of the employees trying to communicate with and us not understanding. We laughed and apologized and out we went. Thankfully we got Avery’s gift purchased before that so we’re excited for her to open something on Saturday when she turns 3.

Shortly after we left for our date tonight, Rachael texted us this photo (below) of Titus asleep on his bed (around 6:15pm). Apparently he cried after we left and went to his room to calm down (on his own) and a few minutes later this is how Rachael found him. I guess he calmed himself down alright.

Titus Fell Asleep (11/25/14)

A Reunion With Friends

I slept for eight hours last night. That’s a rare feat, especially this week when I was averaging around five of six. It was so nice to sleep in a bit today and Bethany blessed the whole family with another round of Swedish pancakes this morning. After breakfast we picked up Cory and Kristine Cramer (and baby Shiloh) and headed for the Ostrava mall. They have been in Czech this past week for the conference and are waiting on Kristine’s parents to finish up some meetings here so they can spend time together with them in Prague early next week. Life in Albania is much different than here in Czech, and I think going to the mall here was really relaxing for them.

At the mall we met up with Daniel Reimer and Jenny and Landen Llamas. Daniel and I work together on the JV Creative Communications team and Jenny and Landen literally just moved here a few weeks ago, but we have known them for some time now. We all had a fun time shopping and hanging out and even enjoyed an extended lunch this afternoon at a place in the mall. After lunch we all got a photo together. As we were taking the photo I was thinking to myself that it felt familiar. It wasn’t until later that night that Cory and Kristine realized we had taken a similar photo almost a year ago. Upon a little checking on Instagram I realized that it was almost exactly a year ago to the date that we all took a photo. Here’s the photos:

This first one was on October 1, 2013. We all had dinner together (minus Daniel) in Santa Clarita, California.

Reunion (9/27/14)

And here’s the photo from today (with Daniel now) in Czech Republic and it’s almost exactly one year later. Isn’t that awesome?!

Reunion (9/27/14)

While at lunch there was a helicopter literally hovering outside of the window where we were eating. The restaurant is on an upper level and outside some medical guys were doing drills jumping out of the helicopter on ropes. I grabbed a quick photo and even though it looks further away, this helicopter was so close to us.

Reunion (9/27/14)

We have been slowly trying to find more clothes for our family and so doing some shopping today was great. There were a few sales going on, and we found some warm things for winter, but Titus and Avery tried to sneak in some hats. Here’s a photo of how we found them today while they were doing some shopping of their own.

Reunion (9/27/14)

With lots of shopping and a nice lunch, Avery got a little sleepy at the restaurant. Here she is laying on the bench while we all were still talking and enjoying time together.

Reunion (9/27/14)

Our little reunion ended around 4:00pm today and we headed back to our town. Cory and Kristine are staying in a hotel near us so we dropped them off and all of us got a late afternoon nap. Tonight the Cramers came back over for some dessert and we said our goodbyes. It was fun to spend time today and last night with them and a privilege for us to call them our friends. If you think of it, pray for the Cramers as they return to Albania and begin to settle in. They have had a very full summer with ministry and lots of things going in their house so now will be the time where they can begin to find their new normal. We’re thankful for their friendship and will continue to trust the Lord to use them mightily in Albania.

Tomorrow is Bethany’s birthday! We have something special planned, but I don’t want to give it away now. I guess you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for all the details. Until then, from Czech Republic I’m Shay Thomason…back to you.

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