Monday, November 27, 2006

Another JV Thanksgiving

What a wonderful JV Thanksgiving we had!

This was the 14th Thanksgiving that we've celebrated with our JV family! The first one was over in Poland in 1993 at Dan and Laura Hash's was just us and them that Thanksgiving, and the first time either Laura or I had ever cooked a turkey! We've come a long ways since then!

For many years after that we had Thanksgiving at our house in Havirov, but moved it up to Malenovice when we outgrew our house. I think this was our 7th year there!

Over 70 of us gathered this year to spend the week-end together enjoying good food, sweet fellowship, and a few football games thanks to my brother-in-law, Josh, who figured out how to get a satellite hook-up so the guys could see games from the States. Way to go Josh!

Becca, our JV Kid director, had prep
ared all kinds of fun things for the week-end - she is so creative and fun! FROB (Fun Room of Becca!) was a hit as always, as was Family Frenzy, a happy time where we have workshops that we do as families...painting clothespins (no end to glitter, glue and paint!), dipping spoons in chocolate and decorating them (YUM!), basketball games, X-Box games, dancing with Leah (you'd have to be there to see that!), and a big Narnia puzzle time to work on! So fun!

One of the best highlights though was our annual talent show on Saturday night. The kids plan and prepare for this all year! Some recite poems, some play instruments (the picture is of Caleb playing sax with his teacher who came for the occasion!), some do gymnastics, some sing and some dance, and some even juggle cool things! It's always such a beautiful time to see how God has uniquely and specially gifted each one of these kids. Tyler put toge
ther a cool video that I'm going to try to put on my blog if you want to take a little look at the talent show! If your internet is slow, let it load before trying to watch it.

Another one of my highlights is seeing my nieces and nephews! Can't resist putting in a few pictures of them! These are Josh and Kristi's kids, Blake, Becca, Kendra and Luke, who all live in Slovenia and serve there with JV. Tyler and Luke were the oldest and youngest kids at Thanksgiving this year so we had to have an official photo of the Patty men!

And we couldn't resist having one of the "Patty women" too!!

Sweet memories of a happy, rich time together! Thank you Lord for our JV family!

And here's a short video summary of this years Josiah Venture Talent Show! Enjoy! (made by my very talented son, Tyler!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Precious Grandma

I know...I know! It's been over a month since I updated my blog! I posted a comment on Tyler's blog just yesterday telling him I wished I was as good at updating my blog as he was...and could he please do my update?!

One of the reasons I haven't written on my blog is that Dave and I were in the States for three weeks visiting supporters, friends, churches and family. Each one of our interactions during those weeks was just precious - so rich, so good, so like God to give us those tastes of heaven!

One of the most precious ti
mes was being able to visit my Grandma in Oregon. At 94 years old, she is one of the happiest and most cheerful people I spite of a body that she says is showing its age. While she doesn't get around like she once did when she was 80, she is living well for being 94. I admire her so much! We had a wonderful day together, telling old stories, laughing, telling new stories, and laughing some more. What a gift that day was!

One of the best parts came at the end though. I left for a couple hours to do something with my brother, thinking that it would also give her a little chance to nap, or at least rest, after having talked and listened for hours that day.

But when I came back to see her in the evening, I was greeted by the smells of "grandma's house" from long ago. Though she hasn't been baking for a long time, she managed to make some of her "good for you", chock full of yummy things, bran muffins. I couldn't believe the smell that hit my senses when I walked was like going back to my childhood!

Not only that but she had boiled eggs, gotten out the crackers and cheese, and put on a kettle of water to make tea. We had ourselves a regular feast at little TV trays as we ate and watched the election returns (with her winking at me and saying, "How 'bout those Democrats?"! A little funny joke between us!).

I don't know if I will have many more visits with my Grandma, but I'm sure thankful that I got to have this one!