Early Trains and Backyard Baseball

Sleep was a bit minimal last night as the kids were up a few times and I had that weird feeling you get when you’re supposed to wake up early and feel like you might sleep through your alarm. I needed to get up at 5:30am to help Steve and Judy catch their 6:00 train. But during the night I found myself rolling over and checking the time until I finally just got up before the alarm went off. It was cold and wet this morning as I walked over to where they were staying and helped them get their bags on the train and get them settled. I asked the train attendant if I could get on the train and she said it was fine, but the train almost left with me still on it! I ended up running to a closed to, forcing it open and then jumped off. A guy yelled at me in Czech and the train quickly pulled away. Yeah, I’m a rebel.

I’ve been away from the JV office for a few days with Steve and Judy in town, but I was back today and things were busy as expected with spring conference happening next week. There’s been a lot of printer deadlines to try and meet that our team has been working hard on. I’m excited about the stuff we’ve created and how it’s all turning out. Now we’re just hoping it’ll all be printed in time for everyone to enjoy!

Backyard Baseball (4/29/15)

It stayed colder today, but that didn’t keep me and the kids from doing a little backyard baseball tonight while mommy was making dinner. Lately Avery has assumed the role of “Umpire Avery” which I think is a mix of a catcher, umpire, and infielder. I say that because she’ll sit behind the plate like she’s holding a glove (catcher), then when Titus hits the ball she chases him around with another ball (infielder), and when he reaches home plate she always calls him “safe!” (umpire). Yeah, she’s really a utility player which comes in handy when there’s only three of you on the field.

With minimum sleep last night I’m ready for bed, so I’ll keep this post short tonight. Happy Wednesday!


Trains, Tolls, and Trusting Jesus in the Noise

There a lot sounds where we live. Next door is a Catholic church with bells that ring literally every 15 minutes. On the hour, a quarter passed, a the half hour, a quarter till, and then on the hour again. They ring when there’s a call for mass and I’m pretty someone just rings them out sometimes for the fun of it. They ring all night with no breaks.

On our container day these very loud horns rang out from the fire station across the street from us. Come to find out those horns were actually going off because of four fallen Czech soldiers in Afghanistan, however, those same horns will go off every first Wednesday of the month as an emergency test. Something to look forward to, I guess. Forgive my sarcasm.

Czech in 3D

Trains pass often and they are only about 200 feet from our place, just next to the fire station across the street. In fact, we can smell the diesel as they pass. Sometimes they pass every 2 minutes, like right now as I’m writing. Most of them are passenger trains and are short, but loud. Sometimes longer trains pass. Often we’ll just shut the windows, but if you have them open Avery will say, “too loud!” Even Titus came into our room the other night and said, “I hear the train.”

For those of you who know the story of our condo in the States, you know that noise is something we have dealt with. I remember during sleepless nights just wondering if it would ever end. But I also remember a few conversations with Bethany where we specifically said, “The Lord may just be preparing us for Czech.” Everything we went through with the HOA for years–taking them to court, winning the case, the HOA appealing, and finally losing the case–it was something God was doing with us, or for us. He was preparing us for noise. The trains, the tolls of the bells, and the sounds we hear are just something we have to live with and God has prepared us for it.

You might think I’m complaining about noise, and that’s not it. I’m saying that I believe God was strategically doing things in our lives before we came here to prepare us for this. We love our new place. No doubt we’re adjusting to everything, but we’re making it our home. It’s coming together and Bethany is doing a great job getting curtains, decorating and making it home…our home. It’s fun watching it come together! And it’s fun to see God’s hand at work in our lives years ago to get us ready for this new life. Praise Him for His faithfulness to us and for always providing everything we need and taking care of us. As the hymn says, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus…” He is worthy to be trusted with our lives, even the noise in our lives.

Now for some photos (captions below each).
Czech in 3D

Here’s a shot of my desk in our new place. I’ve got this corner just about square away and it’ll be my little office at the house. That frame in the window says, “Never stop learning” and I can’t wait until I can hang it some place prominent as a daily reminder.

Czech in 3D

Here’s us at the bank today trying to open a Czech bank account. Looks like it’s going to happen after we fill out some paperwork and get some things cleared. It’ll be nice to easily pay our bills (and rent!) online.

Czech in 3D

Czech in 3D

More Czech lessons today! We’re working on simple stuff but even that can be challenging. I better finish this post so I can get to studying!

Czech in 3D

I guess Titus is tired of building IKEA furniture?