Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Goodness

I love Christmas...there's no way around it!

I love thinking of Mary giving birth to Jesus, and what that birth has meant to me.

I love buying gifts and giving them to people I love in honor of Jesus' birth.

I love spending time with family and friends when life is slowed down a bit.

And I love feeling warm and cozy at home, with pretty Christmas lights and decorations around me, as well as sweet scents that only come at this time of year.

Yes, yes...truly for me, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tyler's Home!

For those of you who know me well, you won't think it's too strange that I waited outside of customs with my camera "on" for a full 40 minutes, hoping to get that first perfect shot of Tyler arriving from the States! It paid off...I got it!

I had no idea what a big deal it is to have your college son come home for the first's wonderful!!

He arrived on Sunday into Prague, three hours late from Paris...but with all his bags! Paris is notorious for losing bags - honestly, I think this is the first time one of our family members has come through there with all luggage intact!

It's great to be a family of five again for a few weeks...we're all soaking it in and looking forward to celebrating Christmas together!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One of Those Funny Things

A couple of days ago Caleb's youth group leader called and asked him if he wanted to be on a "brigada".

Basically that's a work crew that can get hired here in Czech for around minimum wage, without being "employed".

Lots of young people do it because it's basically one of the only ways they have to ma
ke money (few have jobs like American teenagers do. By the way...minimum wage is about $3 an hour, which is more than I made when I started working at McDonalds back in 1977 for $2.10 an hour!).

When I asked him what he'd be doing, he said, "Boža says we'll be running lights at the 'Disney on Ice' program at CEZ arena".

"WHAT??" I exclaimed! "I can't imagine that you'll be running lights! He must mean you'll be helping some guy run his lights".

You know...I'm figuring that they have a whole tech crew and just need some grunt workers to do any leftover work. he goes to CEZ arena last night. And what does he do???

RUN one of the huge spotlights from up in the rafters...trained on Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie, the Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch, etc, skating around entertaining those who've paid good money to attend the show!!!

They had five untrained guys working lights for Disney on Ice!!!! Funny! After about 15 minutes of instruction on how to run the spotlight, they were "on", getting instructions by headset throughout the show from an American with a Mexican accent!

About halfway through the show that man said, "Hey Number Five (Caleb had spotlight number 5), where are you from?" Caleb replied, "Oh I've grown up in Czech and gone to school here but I'm an American". To which the man exclaimed, "Well man! You sure have good English!" LOL!

Caleb said it wasn't much of a is, after all, his mother language!

He's back there tonight running light number five for two of which is being attended by our good friend Petr and his little girl, Lia!! They waved at Caleb from just below where he was with his big spotlight, ready to be part of making 'Disney on Ice' sparkle for Lia and thousands of other little kids who are there!

Wow...the things we get to do here are just funny sometimes!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thoughts and Moments of the Day

Outside my's totally dark at 6:15 PM - actually has been dark since 4:40. I know because I was picking up Claire from the tutor at that time.

I am thinking...about what time we'll have dinner after the kids get home from their worship evening - Caleb leads this event on Monday nights, every other week, for kids in the youth group.

I am thankful...for the good doctor's appointment I had today - finally I understand the thyroid disease I've lived with for 18 years thanks to a new doctor.

From the kitchen...Chili, cheese and chips...almond flour chocolate chip cookies for dessert. YUM!

I am favorite black sweater, favorite Orsay jeans, my fuzzy Crocs

I am reading...a book called "A Journey to Victorious Praying" by Bill Thrasher - it's rockin' my world.

I am hoping...that Dave and the Slovenia team have an awesome time together these next three days as they study spiritual healing.

I am Poland tomorrow to Christmas shop, talk and drink coffee with my friend, Sharon.

I am creating...Christmas 2009 at our house! Hope to get some more decorating done this week after the painter leaves (he's painting our ceiling after part of it fell in late one night in that's a story I haven't told yet!)

I am hearing...quiet, quiet, quiet. Dave is downstairs in his office prepping for Slovenia, kids are gone, Lily (the dog) is sleeping on her little rug in t
he kitchen. It's peaceful.

I am praying...for Tyler as he begins to study for his first final exams at Moody next week.

Around the house...are big sheets of plastic hanging in the living room, thanks to the aforementioned painting activity going on.

One of my favorite daily hom
emade latte, with pumpkin spice syrup. Mmmm, so soothing and comforting.

A few plans for the rest of the week...get kids to bus station at 5:30 AM tomorrow morning for a school trip to Vienna, see Dave off at 7 AM for trip to Slovenia, greet painter at 7:30 AM and hope he finishes by 10, find perfect Christmas tree tomorrow so I can decorate asap, Bible study Thursday morning, watch Biggest Loser Finale sometime this week...anyone else watching??!! Don't tell me who won!

A picture I am sharing...of Claire and I on her birthday this year with the gluten free German Chocolate Cake that I baked for her. You can't imagine how yummy it was!

Idea taken from:

In a Rut

I'm sitting here at my desk looking out the window at this view. While it's beautiful and at times inspires me, I feel myself in a little bit of a writing rut. Ever been there?

Oh there are plenty of things going on around here...never a lack in that department!

But unfortunately...there are a lot of things that I just can't write about. It seems like so much of what we do here is just not shareable.

I wish I could...we see God moving around us EVERY SINGLE DAY. It often astounds me.

And yet...I can't write about it so much of the time because it involves people's lives and stories that are not for me to share.
So...what to write about?

Just today I came across a post on someone's blog that inspired me. It was about capturing the simple moments and thoughts of a day.

Now that's something I can do!
And maybe it will help me get out of this rut. So...on to some simple moments and thoughts...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving at Malenovice

Our JV team from Poland, Slovakia and Czech (and Brittney from the Ukraine!) gathered Wednesday night through Friday morning to celebrate Thanksgiving. What a great time it was!

Good food, wonderful connection with friends, and a great talent show Thursday evening to cap it all off. Wow...such a rich time.

This was our 17th consecutive year of celebrating Thanksgiving with our JV team...hard to believe it's been that many! Sometimes it just doesn't seem possible that we've lived here that long!

It was also our first holiday without Tyler. He spent it in Wisconsin with a
friend from Moody. So thankful that he gets to come and spend Christmas with us though!

Some of the things I'm most thankful for? God's continual goodness, kindness and mercy on me each day. For His faithfulness and daily provisions. That He is always near.

Oh, and how thankful I am for my precious family...Dave and
the kids, my parents and brother, my in-laws, our JV team, and my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Ah, I am a rich and thankful woman indeed!