Thursday, October 11, 2018

So Much For That Idea!

With a day left before heading to the States for this year's JV college recruitment trip, I wanted to go to a beautiful spot (since fall is gorgeous here right now) and pray outside while in our online Josiah Venture Prayer Room.

I couldn't think of a prettier spot to go than this.

This pretty reservoir in the village of Baška is only a ten minute drive from our home. But it always feels like I'm a world away when I'm here.

I headed up to that bench to overlook the reservoir as I prayed.

I felt like I was touching heaven as I sat interceding for my JV family from that spot.

And happened.

This man rode up on an old-time motorcycle, complete with leather hat and goggles.

He got off his bike and walked directly over to me and asked, "Do you mind if I set out all my things here? It's not problem to me if you stay. I won't bother you at all."

He then proceeded with a one-sided conversation as he pulled out his fishing gear, piece by piece, telling me about fishing here in this spot.

I didn't know whether to be mad or laugh! His presence was definitely NOT conducive to a holy moment of communion with my Father, nor what I'd planned for this hour!

So while everything in me wanted to be there in that spot, I just couldn't make it work so got up off my bench and politely said goodbye.

As I walked towards the parking lot to my car, I'm not kidding when I tell you I could still hear him talking to me saying it was okay if I stayed!🤣 🤣 🤣

Aw well, so much for that good idea!

Goodbye for now beautiful fall in this part of the Czech Republic!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Coffee and Friends

Is it just me or does anyone else wake up in the morning, look outside and immediately start singing, "Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day"?!

My high school musical days come to mind whenever I hum that tune from "Oklahoma!"

But it couldn't have been more appropriate today as I left home for a few meetings.

Eventually I ended up back here, at the same coffee shop Claire and I discovered over the week-end while visiting the vet with our dog in Ostrava-Poruba. (by the way, she turned the corner today and is feeling much better!)

But this time I had a different partner to enjoy coffee with!

Geri is a JV missionary who lives and serves with her husband in Olomouc, and is one of my main working partners on the Josiah Venture Prayer Room.

Since she's getting ready to go to the States for six months, we had some catching up and planning to do. And where better than this cute place on a warm fall afternoon?

We lingered over coffee, enjoying every snippet of conversation as the warm fall air drifted in.

After we'd been there for a couple of hours, and were starting to think about lunch, a friend of ours happened to walk in! When I told her that I was trying to remember the favorite restaurant of a JV friend, who is her friend too, she just picked up her phone and called to ask her!

We ended up at one of her suggestions just down the street, but I didn't get a picture there. We were too busy enjoying the sunshine, good food and each other's company to take pictures!

But if you want a good coffee shop, COKAFE is a sure a good one!

I'll have to savor the memory of my sweet morning there with Geri today. I'll miss her like crazy in these next six months, and look forward to when we'll be together again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Birthday Celebration

What's a girl to do on her birthday but hang out in the garden on a cool fall evening, eating tomatoes from the greenhouse with her nephew?! 😉

We celebrated Claire's 24th birthday yesterday, with Tyler, Lara and family here at our house. The boys certainly made the birthday a happy event...they love their Aunty Claire!

Anyone see the little dancing man in the background?! 😉

The garden and greenhouse have been an endless source of entertainment for the boys ever since May. They love going out there every time they come to Papa and Nonnie's house, to see the next thing they can pick and eat right off the vine!

Today it was tiny red and yellow tomatoes from the greenhouse, and peppers from the garden beds! What a gift it's been to have a garden again.

While we were outside our neighbor lady stopped by and wished Claire a proper Czech greeting for her birthday!

Ashe wasn't quite sure what to think about that!

Meanwhile inside, Tyler and Lara were cooking up a storm for Claire's birthday dinner!

On at least one of her birthdays while they were all living in Chicago, they made her an Israeli dinner, so she had requested that again, and they were happy to do it. I was happy they did it too!

And what a good feast it was! Israeli meatballs spiced just right, tomato and cucumber salad with mint, rice pilaf with raisins, pumpkin seeds and Israeli spices, and tzatziki to dip it all in. I could seriously have that meal every week.

Earlier in the day I'd made cake for Claire's birthday, this flourless fresh tangerine cake.

It is one of the simplest, yet most creative and delicious cakes I've tasted! Claire discovered the recipe a year ago and had baked one for us. Now I got to return the favor!

The boys were very much in to Claire having a birthday! In fact, Judah picked out a present for her all by himself...and did a fantastic job! He's got good taste in earrings.

They both were very enthusiastic "present openers" and joined in whole heartedly with finding out what Claire had received for her birthday.

Tyler and Lara planned to spend the night, so we went upstairs to play in the room the boys sleep in before it was bedtime. Judah took another one of his famous photos (sorry Asher!).

After the boys were in bed, Caleb and Haley called from Albania to join in on our tradition of "giving words" on a birthday - saying what we love, appreciate, notice or enjoy about a person. It was sweet to feel like they were right in the room (as they had been just a few weeks ago when here for JV conference!).

What a sweet evening with family, celebrating our Claire on her 24th birthday!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Sunshine Birthday Girl

Our Sunshine Girl turned 24 today!

From the time she was born until now, she has been our sunshine - one who has brought light and life wherever she has gone.

In her early days it was just her endearing ways that made us call her "Sunshine". Her sparkly eyes, infectious giggle, and delight in the smallest of things made her such a bright one (which is actually the definition of her name!) who cheered our lives in so many ways.

But today, she is sunshine in deeper, richer and more mature ways. A woman who loves the Lord, she brings HIS light and life wherever she goes.

Even on an errand, on her birthday, going with me to take our sick pup to the vet!

I treated her to coffee to say "Thank you for going with me -and Happy Birthday!"

Claire, tonight when Caleb and Haley called from Albania to wish you Happy Birthday, Haley quoted from Psalm 1 saying those words of Scripture reminded her of you: "...whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who mediates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither..."

And that's true. With each passing year your spiritual roots go deeper, and the light and life you bring to the world around you, comes more and more from Him. And that makes you all the more endearing as you spread HIS fragrance to us and many more who get to enjoy life with you!

Happy Birthday dear daughter! I have loved you from the moment you were born, and that love just grows deeper as the years ago by! What a blessing you are to me!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Emergency Vet

This poor pup has been really sick for the past three days.

I've been up with her through the night for the past three nights, letting her outside her business over and over. Poor pup. It has not been pleasant in any way, shape or form. For either of us.

By last night, after three full days of this and no change, I decided to see if there was an emergency vet clinic open on Sundays. Thankfully I found one in Ostrava that was open for three hours this morning (our vet only works weekdays).

So off we went this morning, hoping for no accidents along the way, and answers once we got there.

Claire came with me and sat in the vet's office with us as we waited our turn to be seen.

She had called ahead to give all of Kaylee's symptoms to the vet so he was ready for us once we got into his office and was thorough in his examination and questions, trying to determine what was going on.

After taking blood to run a test, he took us to another room and gave her an IV to slowly rehydrate her.

Once the blood test results were in, and she'd gotten enough fluids, he brought us back to his office to give his diagnosis.

While the blood tests showed that it's likely to have been a virus, which can be treated by antibiotics, he gave us another diagnosis, something that is common in Cavaliers at this age: a deteriorating mitral valve on her heart.

He gave her several injections of medicine, and sent us home with more to give over the next days in hopes that will take care of the diarrhea (there, I said it!), lethary and lack of desire for food and drink. He's also going to put her on some heart medicine for now in hopes that it will slow the deterioration and bring some vitality back to her. We'll take her back in tomorrow for a check-up, and perhaps do a heart diagnostic to see exactly how she's doing.

I can't even begin to say what a relief it was to have someone work so professionally, yet compassionately, and be so thorough in his exam and diagnosis. We may just stick with this vet from now on.

This was in an area of Ostrava that I don't usually go to, so am not familiar with it. But Claire had been there recently and knew of a good coffee shop near by. I was happy to go treat us after such a hard morning (and night. I barely slept).

With probably the best Americano coffee I've had here in Ostrava, and a doughnut for breakfast, we enjoyed the relief of walking back to the car knowing Kaylee is okay for now.

These pets of ours..they are like family members! I'm so relieved that she seems to be responding well and was more peaceful as we left for home three hours later.

The vet kept the port in her paw in case he needs to infuse her again tomorrow, so she looks kind of pathetic as she lays here sleeping this afternoon. But I'm glad to know he has eyes on her, and will check her tomorrow to make sure everything he gave is working.

I've always loved this verse in the Bible, in Proverbs 12:10 - "A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal...". I do have regard for my dear little doggy, so hope that is credited as righteousness!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Claire texted me this morning to say that something was happening up at our little local airport, just a short walk from our house, asking if I wanted to go there with her.

I have literally walked this road hundreds of times over the years we've lived here, but this is the first time I've ever seen an event like this here!

Today is our town's "Drakiáda", which as you can probably tell has something to do with kites!

While in the States people are visiting pumpkin patches, apple orchards and corn mazes, here a popular fall event is Drakiáda - kite flying day. Our kids used to have it with school every year, so always needed a kite to go out with their class for an afternoon of kite flying.

But for the past three years the airport club at our little Malenovice airport has been sponsoring such an event for kids and their families. And today was the day for this year's Drakiáda!

It couldn't have been a better day weather wise - a nice fall temperature and lots of wind!

I was surprised to see how many people came out for it! But there were booths, a climbing wall and an open day at the airport for seeing the airplanes that are in hangars there.

We wandered out onto the airstrip, which is usually forbidden, to get a view right underneath all those kites flying in the air!

It was honestly one of the most endearing sites to see! Families flying kites with their children, people on the ground watching them, and sweet Czech folk music playing in the background. Kind of an epic and iconic type of fall day!

Claire and I couldn't resist sitting out on the airstrip too, watching the kites and admiring the 360 degree view from this spot.

You could see gorgeous views in every direction, including Lysá hora, the namesake of my blog!

Lysá hora is the highest peak on the right, with the tower on top.

What a perfect way to spend part of a fall afternoon. Next year I want to fly a kite too!