Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Twenty and Thirty

When we first vacationed as a family in Croatia back in 1997, I never would've imagined we'd still be vacationing here 20 years later!

But, here we are, still enjoying the beauty of this magnificent country.

It's also crazy to me that it was nearly 30 years ago that I first came to Croatia, though it was Yugoslavia back then (I came on a youth group trip with military kids when we were working with Malachi Ministries).

I sure never thought I'd be vacationing here THIRTY years later!

While our early vacation years led us to the beaches of northern Croatia, we have since discovered the beauty down south so now come here in the summers for rest and refreshment of our souls.

Our favorite thing to do in the summer now is get on our little Bayliner boat, and go out to the island of Lastovo where there are few people and lots of beauty.

We pull into little coves for the day and rarely see anyone; it's perfect for time with the Lord and each other!

I love coming upon gems like this in the middle of nowhere! It looked as if it was ready and waiting for us! 😉

We both have a stack of unread books that we've collected throughout the year, but haven't had time to read. For hours a day we enjoy the sound of crickets, water lapping at our boat, and the quiet of our little boat as we read, sleep, swim and soak in this beautiful place.

We also cook all our meals onboard too! Last year Caleb pointed us towards freeze-dried meals so we now enjoy something different every night from all the pouches I've collected throughout the year. It's like reading a menu every night to see what we're going to eat!

The frying pan is for eggs in the morning, complete with bacon! We've got a small solar powered refrigerator on the boat, so can keep bacon in there, along with drinks that stay cold on hot days.

All of this allows us to rest deeply and enjoy time with each other!

There's no one I'd rather hang out with, and no place I'd rather be for vacation!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Extravagant Kindness

At this time in life, our kids all live in different parts of the United States.

Tyler, Lara and their boys are in Chattanooga, Tennessee as they raise support to come serve with Josiah Venture in Czech; Claire is living in Chicago as she does the same.

Caleb and Haley live in Fort Collins, Colorado, where their Charlie was born a few days ago.

In the Lord's extravagant kindness, he brought Tyler, Lara and the boys to Caleb and Haley at just the right time!

Tyler, Lara and boys have been in Colorado the past few days, brought there by one of our long time supporting churches, Bethany EV Free in Littleton for a mission's summit. The timing of this event perfectly coincided with Charlie's birth.

And thus, these two families had the joy of connecting right after he was born!

The two families had not seen each other since before Asher was born, so it was a double celebration of baby joy! Caleb and Haley getting to meet Asher...

And Tyler and Lara got to meet Charlie the day after he was born!

The kindness of the Lord to allow them this privilege of time together perfectly overwhelms me. It delights me that he cares about even those details, of bringing siblings together for such a time as this.

And just in case you haven't gotten enough of Charlie, I leave you with a perfectly delightful grin from him about it all! 😊

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Very Special Delivery

With the greatest of joy and delight, I have a little special someone to introduce to you all!

This morning, August 25th, at 1:10 AM Colorado time, our newest grandson was born to Caleb and Haley!!

Knowing Haley was in labor, I was awake off and on through the night here in Croatia, getting updates by texts and praying. It is definitely hard to sleep when something so important is going on!

We finally woke up about 8, but there was no news, so Dave and I continued to pray for all of them, trusting them into the Lord's care.

An hour and a half later, this incredibly beautiful photo of mama and baby arrived!

So much emotion flooded my heart to hear this news! It's always such a relief to know a little life is safe and that all is well with baby and mama.

But at this point, we didn't know baby boy's name. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long before Caleb and Haley FaceTimed us to share all the news.

"In the midst of everything that was happening, THANK YOU Caleb and Haley for calling us right away!!!!"

Caleb and Haley have known their boy's name for several months, but wanted to surprise us all after he was born.

So...with as much anticipation as I was feeling at that moment, I introduce to you....

Charles Salem Patty...who will be known as Charlie!!!

Oh precious boy! You are already woven into our hearts!!!

They chose Charles because it means strong man, and they chose Salem, a biblical name that means "peace". Their heart for him is that he would be a strong man of peace for the glory of the Lord.

There were a lot of tears in our boat (mine, not Dave's!) as we talked with them for a few precious minutes...hearing how the birth was, exclaiming over Haley's strength through all those hours, and of course getting our first look at our dear Charlie.

Meeting a grandchild, even through the internet, is SUCH an amazingly wonderful moment!!!

Truly, I'll never forget where I was when he was born, nor the joy that flooded our hearts to know we have another precious grandson to love and adore.

We love you so much dear Charlie, and can't wait to see you, hold you, love you and cherish you forever!! See you in a few weeks! With lots of hugs and kisses, Papa and Nonnie 😘

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Picking Up Passengers

After a night's sleep in our boat on land again, it was so nice to go into Hvar town this morning.

After the adventures of the past couple of days, it was nice to have "normal" this morning, picking up groceries, running errands and going to our favorite cafe for breakfast and coffee.

One of the errands was to register our boat in Croatia. Yes, we finally got it! The paperwork from Czech was approved after the inspection we had yesterday, so we're legal and ready to head out!

This was where we spent the night last night. Yes, very classy accommodations! We parked here, right in front of the lift so that we'd be ready this morning when the lift operator arrived.

He and his son got the sling in place, and within about 15 minutes, the boat was in the water, ready to go!

We headed down the island to a favorite spot of ours.

This is the campground we spent four vacations in between 2008 and 2011. It was the place that made us fall in love with the island of Hvar.

But today we're not here to stay, but rather to meet up with some people who swam out to see us!

Two of our JV families are staying here at this campground on vacation this week! So we thought we'd stop by to say hi, and take them out for a boat ride with us.

Each of the families has an older child who is at JV Kid's camp this week, so they're here vacationing with their younger children. It was pure delight having them onboard with us!

We headed out to show them some of our favorite spots along this side of the island, including Sveta Nedjela above.

The kids were getting the biggest kick out of being on the boat, and I was getting the biggest kick out of watching them enjoy it so much!

These kids are so much fun!

We brought them back to the campground and got one more photo of all of them before they got off to swim back in!

"Thanks for letting us get in on a little bit of your vacation Mormances and Jenkins!!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

More Adventures

After's yesterday's adventure of finding out our boat registration in Czech had expired, Dave spent the day trying to figure out what to do.

Before I go on, I have to say that Dave is usually SO on top of these kinds of things! But with all the car troubles he'd been working hard to solve, plus a very full summer schedule, and no letter from the Czech boat registration agency to remind us (like they did last time), it was just one of those things that slipped through the crack.

But true to his nature, he persevered and figured out a way to do it all the way down here in Croatia. So this morning, bright and early we showed up here.

This is the largest marina in all of Croatia, located just a little south of the city of Zadar. There is a Slovak man here who is able to do boat inspections for Czech boats (who knows why?!), so we made our way here early this morning to meet up with him. After telling us that it would be at least an hour, we headed over to the marina restaurant for breakfast.

Oh wow! What a classy place to enjoy waiting for him to do his work! We ordered cappuccinos and omelettes, thoroughly enjoying the cool jazz music playing, not to mention the view!

When we got word that the boat inspection was finished, I wandered around for a bit while Dave met with him. If our boat wouldn't have passed, we could have picked up this sweet little used boat to spend vacation in.

It's "just" a little over a million dollars. 😂 As I walked around I definitely felt like I was in someone else's territory!

With news that the inspector would finish up the paperwork and have it to us by email later in the day, we happily got back in the car and headed for Trogir again, since that's where we still had to register the boat in Croatia.

We'd already explored the town yesterday, so decided to walk over to Čiovo, the little island connected to Trogir by a drawbridge. It was fun to see Trogir from the other side!

And the fortress that we'd been at yesterday! Felt a little like déjà vu, but nevertheless we were still enjoying ourselves as we waited for the paperwork to be finished.

Thinking that we'd be out on the water in our boat within a few hours was a happy, comforting thought.

We went back to the restaurant we'd been at yesterday to have lunch, talking about where we'd go tonight once we put the boat in.

But two things were still standing in the way at 3 PM. One was that the inspector stopped answering his phone. Dave had been calling every hour to check on the paperwork process, hoping that we'd be able to get to the Croatian office yet today to register the boat.

The second thing standing in our way was that we found out the boat registration office CLOSED at 3 PM! At that point I asked, "Do you want to just take the ferry over to Hvar?"

So, here we are on the ferry with our boat still being towed behind our car! Our original plan was to put in on the mainland, leaving our car and the trailer over there. But now, we're on to Plan D (since A, B and C are no longer possibilities!).

Honestly, I love being on the ferry to Hvar. It is oddly comforting and enjoyable.

And the best part? Another strong wind came up again this afternoon, which would have made it impossible for us to have gone out in our little boat! We'd still be sitting on land, spending the night in our boat hotel if we'd stayed in Trogir.

Instead, we're headed to our beloved Hvar where we'll be able to finish the registration process tomorrow (since there's offices there where we can complete it), providing that our inspector gets us the paperwork.

We'll still spend the night in our boat on land (for the third night in a row!), but at least we'll be closer to putting it in than before! And we'll be on Hvar, which feels a little bit like home.

Stay tuned for more adventures with Dave and Connie tomorrow!