Thursday, February 28, 2013

Traveling Again

The alarm went off at 4:30 this morning.

It wasn't for me (though I did wake up), but rather for Dave. He had to leave at 5 AM to head for Vienna by train, and then a flight on to Latvia.

He's speaking for a conference that our JV team is leading there this week-end on the Father Heart of God.

Though I can't read this poster, I can see his name there and that it's in Riga!

After that he's heading to Estonia for a few days with our JV team there, and then back to Prague for meetings on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

But his travels won't be over quite yet, even though he'll be back in Czech.

He'll jump on a train Wednesday afternoon and head to Leipzig, Germany where he'll meet with the new JV team that is slated to open ministry there in the near future. He'll be in meetings with pastors and churches there (busting out his German, which he's still good at!) to determine where God is leading this team to serve.

He won't be back home until Saturday the 9th of March. More mom and daughter time for Claire and I!

Pray that God will use Dave effectively to teach, bless and encourage those he comes in contact with in the coming days.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

She's Official

Claire picked up her driver's license at the "uřad" today!

It's been nearly a month since she took, and passed, her driver's test, but apparently it takes quite a while to produce that valuable little card.

No matter...she can DRIVE NOW!

And drive she did! After months of practice in the driving school car, this was her first time to drive mom's car! Here we go...

She did a great job, shifting, using the clutch like a pro and looking both ways! I was proud of her.

I needed gas so she drove us to the station to get it. By the time I went in, paid and came back out, I'd forgotten she was driving and honestly, it shocked me to see her sitting in the driver's seat!

But I happily got into the passenger's side and she drove us home.

It's nice to have another driver in the family!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Claire's Wedding Gift

You didn't know Claire was getting married???

Well...she's not. At least not any time in the near future!

But our neighbor lady, who I've written about often, has already given Tyler and Lara a wedding gift so wants to make sure that Claire gets a gift from her too (Caleb got his at Christmas this year!), so has been working on it for the past month.

This was waiting for Claire when we got back from Croatia late last night.

Another one of her beautiful needlepoint "Jesus Pictures", as we call them!

She came over to chat this afternoon (as she does most every day). Of course she wanted to know what we thought of the picture, and wanted to see Claire's reaction to it.

We were both happy to praise her skills and let her know that these pictures she's made for us (I think this is the 6th one altogether) will remind us of her for years to come.

She lives on a limited income, but insists on even framing each picture so that it's a completed gift. What a precious gift.

She left with a happy smile, and a little spring in her step, satisfied that she'd made our day.

I don't think I've mentioned it in a while, but her last name is "Angel".

Sometimes, you just have to wonder.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Glorious Day

After a wild night listening to the storm outside, the wind calmed down and the sun came out today.

It might still look a bit on the wild side, but it was truly a glorious day on Hvar!

 We walked and walked and walked, soaking in the beauty today...especially these two beauties!

And loved having family time in the sunshine.

Oh yeah! What's better than sitting on a bench in the sun with my bestie, sippin' on a Coke?! HA!

Hmmm...or is it sitting on a bench eating my favorite cherry pastry??

Here's the real winner. On a bench, with my bestie, and we're BOTH eating pastries!

That's the view from the bench we were sitting on...and where Dave stood for quite a while, soaking in some of his favorite sights and sounds.

Claire soaked it in too. We know we have snow waiting at home for us, so for this moment we all were reveling in a warm day with sunshine and blue sky!

What a happy Sunday on Hvar. Thankful to the Lord for giving us such sweet days down here.

We head home tomorrow, full and happy with good memories from these days.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Like a Typhoon!

It sounds like a typhoon outside here on Hvar!

The wind is gusting up to 60 mph, with rain beating against the apartment we're staying in. Dave and Claire went out just to see what it was like and came back soaked! Have never seen it storming like this.

But that's not how the day started...

Dave went on a nice run this morning, with the sunshine peeking through.

And later on, we saw this guy (referring mostly to the donkey!) passing by on his way in from the fields.

But then...the weather started to change, as evidenced by Claire's shock at the waves crashing down below.

During the summertime this is a favorite jumping spot...but not today! It was WILD there...and scary to think of anyone even daring a thought at jumping in.

Claire tried to brave the wind and do a little studying outside in that pretty spot, but didn't last too long as the wind whipped around her.

 We headed over to the campground that we spent many vacations at...

Recalling those sweet memories of happy days with our friends and family. Even got to talk with the man who runs the campground...and he remembered us. (Then again...who could forget the three crazy American families who moved in like the Beverly Hillbillies four years in a row??!!)

But the winds starting picking up so we headed back towards where we're staying, stopping for just a few minutes to let our dog out - but the wind even proved too much for her!

Have had a fun evening inside tonight while the storm raged outside...having dinner, watching a little "American Idol" that we downloaded, and talking on Skype with Caleb at Moody...even got to say hi to Tyler who was there in the library! No matter that the internet kept going in and out, and the electricity even blinked off...was still fun to connect for a few minutes.

Thankful to make memories in all sorts of different ways this week!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Trains, Planes and Automobiles...

I love Dave for many reasons, but one of those is how he goes to great lengths for his family.

Here's what I mean.

Several months ago when we realized that the JV Advance conference was during Claire's spring break, he suggested that Claire and I drive down to Croatia early, and that he join us when his conference was finished.

Easier said than done!

Here's where the great lengths come in...he not only took a 27 hour trip with multiple means of transportation, but also documented it for me to blog about it, as he made his way down here to Hvar to join us!

The only picture he missed was the first one...a VAN from Malenovice to Maribor, Slovenia. Next up:

TRAIN: from Maribor to Zagreb, Croatia. After a seven hour van ride, he arrived just 40 minutes before the train left.

 Whew! Made it for the next leg of the journey...the two hour train ride.

BUS: from the train station to the end of the bus line.

I get the giggles thinking about these people trying to figure out why some guy is taking a photo of them on their late night bus ride!

CAR: at the end of the bus line, he called the lady at the apartment where he was spending the night and she came to get almost midnight, in the snow!

WALK: the apartment was just 200 meters from the airport so walked to the airport at 5:15 this morning.

PLANE: took a 50 minute ride from Zagreb to Split

TAXI: from the airport to downtown Split

CATAMARAN: a one hour ride over the sea from Split to Hvar on a fast ferry.

He stepped off the catamaran on the wharf of Hvar where Claire and I met him this afternoon!

CAR: a short car ride to the apartment we're staying in here.

He's a good man who definitely goes to great lengths to care for and engage in life with us. We're glad he's here and that we have these next three days to spend all together!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Hvar

It's not especially warm here on Hvar, but the sea air is fresh and walking on dry roads is glorious in comparison to the snow that's at home!

When you round the corner and see this, you definitely know you're not in Czech! It just makes me smile. Love that view, even in winter.

In summer this place is bustling with boats, tourists and people from all over the world, but it's nice and quiet in February.

If Claire didn't have her winter coat on, you'd hardly know it was winter here!

The sun peeked its head out just as we sat down at a cafe on the square...a little taste of heaven in February to feel sun on our faces, even if we did have to keep our coats on!

 I've always tastes better outside!

While Claire studied for a bit, and I enjoyed having coffee, I started writing a text message to Dave. We must've been thinking about each other at the same time because suddenly the phone rang and it was him calling from home! Fun to connect for a few minutes.

Kaylee, my faithful companion, wonders why mom's attention is not on her??

After an hour at the cafe, it was off to walk to the grocery store to get food...

 ...for a picnic lunch on a bench looking over the harbor.

Peaceful view as we ate our lunch...

...with a little Coke!

Ah are good for the soul. Soaking in our time here!