Monday, September 17, 2018

I Caught It

"Why have you been on the couch all day long Mom???" says a bored Kaylee today.

Because I caught the flu bug that our little grandsons and daughter, Claire, got last week.

Ever since Dave taught on Psalm 23 last year at our JV spring conference, when I'm sick or not feeling well and need to stay in bed, I think of the words in verse 2, "He makes me lie down in green pastures."

That's been my day today...lying down because He made me!

Hoping I regain strength and energy soon. But thankful my Shepherd knows me and has my best interest in his heart.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Thank you Michelle!

All things considered, it didn't take too long to get this package that was being held hostage in Prague! (see here for what I'm talking about!)

I picked up the package yesterday, a birthday present from my dear friend Michelle in Oregon. It got held up in customs, but not for the amount of its worth (which is another thing), but for its weight! I found out that any package over 2 kg (4.4 pounds) has to go through customs. Since I've now signed an official document saying that I always want my packages delivered to me, hopefully they won't get held up again!

I did have to pay something for customs so note to anyone out there thinking of sending a package to a missionary in Europe (and I'm not just talking about me!)...make sure that the value is under $50.

But it was, of course, all totally worth it to get the package!

My favorite Creme Brรปlรฉe coffee beans from Portland, Oregon were in there, along with dear cards from her and her mom.

And a summer dress that I'll love taking out next year!

"Michelle, you spoil me! Thanks for loving on me (especially when you'd already given me birthday presents in July!) and going the extra mile to express that love to me. You're my treasured BFF!!"

Happy Birthday Dave

Today is my dear Dave's 57th birthday!!! ๐ŸŽ‚ ๐ŸŽˆ ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿ™Œ ๐Ÿ˜

We met up in Ostrava at Starbucks with Claire...

I was trying to be sneaky and take a photo without them knowing...but I don't think I succeeded! 

And then with Judah and his family!

While they all went to get seats at a restaurant where we were going to celebrate Dave's birthday, Judah and I had some important business to take care of.

He brought his "Dyno" along to shop!

While I was taking care of him and Asher this week, we talked about Papa's birthday and what to get him. Judah thought about it for a moment and said, "Me get Papa dump truck!"

So we were in search of the perfect dump truck to give Papa for his birthday!

I can tell you that Judah is a very discerning shopper, and not just any dump truck will do for Papa. I showed him many possibilities and he had definite opinions about what he was looking for.

Thankfully, he finally found the right thing, along with a bag to put it in that he thought would be great for Papa.

He was so proud to carry the bag for Papa, from the toy store to the restaurant.

And of course, he wanted to give his gift to Papa right away!

After all that searching, he hadn't chosen a dump truck, but rather a TOW truck!! No explanation - just an intuitive decision made by a grandson for his Papa!

Then he had to show the other thing he'd picked out.

When I asked Judah what I should give to Papa, he quickly replied, "A race car!"

Knowing that Papa didn't really need the race car, I suggested in the store that Papa could have the tow truck, and it would stay at Papa's house. But that Judah could have the race car and that would stay at his house. He readily agreed!

But what I loved while shopping with him was that he never once asked for anything! It was all about Papa!

We all had a nice lunch together, giving gifts and gifts of words to Dave for his birthday.

"I love who you are Dave! I love how God put you together, and how you use all the parts of yourself to serve Him, and bless us. You are an amazingly kind, humble, strong and godly man. Those of us who get to live life up close to you are constantly blessed by you!! May this coming year be full of richness in life with the One you love so much, and with all the rest of us who love you! You're my favorite!!!"

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Connecting Our Worlds

Just a few minute's drive from our home, in the village of Malenovice, is a local restaurant that we love to take people to.

Six years ago the original pub in the village was torn down and this one was built to take its place.

And tonight it was our privilege to take our dear friend, Mary, there for dinner!

We met her and her husband at Gull Lake Ministries in Michigan, where Dave has been speaking over the past ten years, and where both Caleb and Claire worked during the summer during their college years.

Her husband has business in this part of the world, so she came with him this time to see us, visit some of our JV team in Slovakia and Poland, and to see if God would have them join our "A-Team", a unique opportunity for people to serve our team as "ambassadors" for JV.

What a delight to spend the evening with her and connect our two worlds together!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Down the Road

This boy gets up EARLY!!

This is breakfast at 6:40, after we've already been awake since 5:40!! I did manage to keep him in bed with Papa and I until 6:20 but then I got the "Me done sleepin'" message from Judah and we headed downstairs.

The funny part about this photo is he's having toast with honey...Croatian honey! I let him taste test a Czech and Croatian honey, and he chose Croatian. I thought it was cute that he had a preference!

Little brother "slept in" until 7 and was a cheery bundle of joy in the morning.

He thinks it's funny to climb into Kaylee's dog bed!

Kaylee is major entertainment around here, so off we went for another walk before his morning nap (I think it was our 7th walk since they'd arrived on Wednesday!).

While Judah was ahead of us on the road already, I turned around to see how far along Asher was and there he stood, looking so big and cute!

I think I need a picture of him every year like this to watch him grow up.

Love these little guys so much!

Asher was getting his turn at holding the leash (they're really good at it! And Kaylee is patient with the slower pace she has to go at when they're holding her) when all of sudden Judah cried out to me.

"Nonnie! Rain comin'!!" And sure enough...though I hadn't felt it before, all of a sudden, I felt the drops falling. He improvised and covered his hand with a homemade umbrella as we made our way back to the house! ๐Ÿคฃ

Good thing we weren't far away!

The rest of the afternoon we spent in good imaginative play.

Can you tell that's an elephant with Mrs Noah riding on its back?! ๐Ÿคฃ

Claire, who has barely recovered from the flu she caught from the boys, came over in the evening to help me get them ready to head back to their home in Ostrava.

With Tyler and Lara arriving into Prague late this afternoon, and taking the train home later tonight, we all thought it best that the boys go to bed at home so they can wake up to mommy and daddy in the morning.

While Claire got their bath ready for them, Judah tucked into a little snack before bedtime. He knew right where to find the dried cranberries back at home!

It's been a sweet three days with the boys, invaluable time investing in them and enjoying these early days of their life.

After putting them to bed (and honestly feeling a little sad that I wouldn't be seeing them in the morning...though who I am kidding? Getting to sleep in tomorrow will be wonderful...thanks Tyler and Lara for being such troopers at parenting kids who get up early!)...Claire and I hung out at their home until they arrived at 11:15.

They had a great time in England at For Mission, the organization JV is partnering with to bring theological education to the Czech Republic, a university degree program that Tyler will be directing next fall!

I'm so thankful to the Lord for all these touches with them and their boys. What joy to have them just "down the road" so to speak, in Ostrava!