Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Life




Barca has been in our lives twelve out of the fourteen years that we've lived here in Czech. She was a nanny to one of our JV families, a babysitter at JV conferences, an intern in our internship program, Dave's secretary for a couple of years, and someone I've loved and invested in throughout all of these years.


Five years ago she married Jakub, and three years ago they left the Czech Republic as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators to Indonesia.

Since September they have been back in Czech on furlough,
and Barca and I have been meeting weekly for prayer and Bible study...and talking about babies! Yes, as you can guess by the picture, she has been pregnant and waiting for their first baby!

That precious girl, sweet little Sara, arrived at 4 AM this morning! I got to visit them in the hospital just twelve hours later which was joy upon joy for me. I felt a tad bit like a grandma, holding Sara, since Barca is like a daughter to me!

We're off to Slovenia in the morning (kids have Spring Break), visiting our family and JV team there, as well as down in Croatia. Will be back home on Saturday the 1st of March!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Phone Call Every Mother Dreads...




"Uh Mom...I think I might have broken something..."

That's how the phone conversation started with Tyler at 11:25 AM this morning. I was driving back from another city, a good 30 minutes away from where Tyler had been snowboarding with his school up at Malenovice.

After asking what it looked and felt like, I was pretty sure it needed immediate attention. But I also knew I'd never make it back in time to drive up and get him, then hurry down to our doctor who closes at noon.

Thankfully Petr, our hotel director, was available for a quick trip to town and I met him at the doctor's office just five minutes before she was closing.

She took one look at it and said, "It's broken...needs an x-ray right now". Unfortunately the x-ray department in town was closed (On lunch break? Vacation? Who knows!) so she sent us into the nearest hospital in Frydek Mistek.

Our good friend Katka came along with me to keep me company (and keep me from freaking out at such a thing...still not a big fan of crises or trauma!). She was also the photographer since she "happened" to have her phone in her purse...good thing! Sure don't want to miss pictures of such an event!

After going here and there trying to get to the right spot (why did the admissions lady send us to nuclear medicine??), Tyler finally got in for the x-ray which confirmed the break. He then went through a grueling process of having it set (I imagine he'll write about that on his own blog...too much trauma for me to write about on mine) and casted.

After another x-ray to make sure everything was okay, and a little trip to the finance department to pay our bill (I must say, that was a pleasant part of the adventure...who knew it was a bargain to get x-rays and a cast in Czech?!), we were headed for home...just three hours after the whole adventure had started.

Four weeks with the cast...no guitar playing...no snowboarding...no wood chopping...plenty of sympathy. Not too bad of a diagnosis!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentine's and a Wedding




We celebrated Valentine's Day this year with some fun treats...and a wedding!

Dave's assistant for the past two years, Lucie, and one of our JV missionaries, Brad, were married in Frydek Mistek (about 15 minutes from our house) on Thursday...Valentine's Day! Their wedding was beautiful, Christ centered, joyful and lovely! It was really special to share the day with them, ending with a great reception up at Malenovice for all 150 or so wedding guests!

That's unusual here...normally you only invite a few friends and family to your recep
tion. But Brad and Lucie know a lot of people (including students from the ministries they've been involved in, classmates of Lucie's from high school and college, many friends and co-workers from JV and KAM, as well as Brad's family who came from the US and of course Lucie's family from here in Czech) and wanted all of them to share in the reception.

So they served strawberry
dumplings for dinner (not your typical Czech wedding food, but so fun to have on Valentine's Day!), had an entertaining program for everyone (with games for the bride and groom to see how well they knew each other!) and dancing afterwards. What a great time!

And what a memorable Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Jet leg, Thank you's and other things

jet lag –noun; a temporary disruption of the body's normal biological rhythms after high-speed air travel through several time zones.

Yep, I'm feeling the effects of that high-speed air travel through several time zones! It's good to know it's temporary, as the definition in "Dictionary.com" so encouragingly states. I was up most of last night, wide awake. I guess my body thought it was in Chicago...or maybe Dallas. I kept telling myself that I was now in Czech, but to no avail...my body wanted a cup of tea and a magazine at 3:30 AM. Oh well, hopefully this temporary disruption will be over soon.

I arrived safely back home on time Monday morning with all my luggage in tow. Dave wasn't so lucky. His flight was delayed out of Chicago on
Monday, which caused him to miss his connection in NY later on. After getting re-routed through Amsterdam, he arrived into Prague six hours later than planned...and with no luggage. That was actually to his advantage though - he rode the train home with just his briefcase and computer bag, minus the three pieces of luggage he was hauling back! That should all be delivered to our door later on today from the local airport where it's now being sent. We're glad for that service!

There are two very special people who made this trip possible for me to make...Becca and Katka. Both of them stayed here at our house at different times with the kids, making sure life went on as usual. I am so thankful for their willingness to be here, and their great care for our kids while we were gone! Thank you dear friends!

This is not the first time they've done this...back in 2001 when I had to make an emergency trip to California with Claire to see doctors, Becca and Katka stayed with the boys for 35 days! None of
us knew it would be that long when they came to stay...which was was probably a good thing! But they all survived back then, forging a deep and lasting relationship with our family that continues on to this day! I bet they're glad it was only twelve days this time though!

Lots of things going on here as we jump back into life. But the most notable event is the wedding of Dave's assistant next week on Valentine's Day! Lucie Vavrova will marry Brad Kaspar, one of our JV missionaries. We are happy and excited about this! Will post pictures of that event next week!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dallas!




Just a quick post tonight before packing to leave in the morning for Czech.

I made it to Dallas Friday night, despite lots of canceled and delayed flights out of Chicago. My friend, Michelle, and her
dad met me at the airport - happy reunion with them!

Today was Michelle's doctoral graduation - such a joyful celebration of four years of hard work!

We had a great day attending all the various functions...professional photos, watching her get the cool cap, gown and doctoral hood, receptions, graduation ceremony, and Gilley's in downtown Dallas for the post graduation party (anyone remember Gilley's from the movie "Urban Cowboy"?!!).

What a fabulous, memorable day! I am so thankful the Lord worked it out for me to be here with her parents to celebrate this special time - congratulations dear friend!!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Chicago





What a sweet time this has been for Dave and I here in Chicago. We have enjoyed fellowship with many friends, connection with our JV team here, and been "treated" to a good old Chicago snowstorm!

Last week-end we were at our home church here, Grace Church of DuPage, where Dave spoke on how to practically walk in the Spirit. You can go to their web site and download his talks and powerpoint if you are interested. It was a really powerful time of teaching and I think you'd enjoy it - it's one of my favorites of Dave's teachings! The link for that is: http://www.gracechurchofdupage.org/conference.aspx

I am on my way to Dallas, TX today for a long-time friend's doctoral graduation. Then I head for home on Sunday...really looking forward to seeing the kids again!

What a gift from the Lord to have so many blessed, rich days here in the States!