Fun at the Ostrava zoo

We love going to the zoo in any season of the year. The funny thing for us in Czech is that many stores are open on Easter but almost nothing is open on Easter Monday. Even though we have lived here for 7 years, we still did not prepare ourselves. As we were finishing breakfast and looking in our fridge to figure out what we could make for lunch, we realized that possibly our best bet for having a decent meal was to go to the zoo (thank goodness they are open on Czech holidays!) and buy lunch there. We were pleasantly surprised by some new things at the zoo…

Even though it was not yet open, we are very happy to see this diverting-looking playground for little and bigger kids. We literally have gone to the zoo before and done tour de playground without really looking at animals because there are so many playgrounds at the zoo.

Caleb’s favorite animal in a wooden bench formation.

I hate it when wooden spiders eat my children!

This (above) has to be my favorite picture of the day. The sign says “I am unique” in Czech. You got that right, Beni!

It was really nice to be outside, see new things, have a nice lunch, and get lots of walking in. Thanks Ostrava zoo for making a potentially hungry day into a very nice one!

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I went to warrior training…sort of

Yay for Spring! The weather is finally nice enough that some of our Warrior Training exercises and activities can be done outside. Even though I look lame in this picture, I wanted to post it to show proof that I actually was at Warrior Training  for the first time (light green shirt). I actually totally missed the beginning and the end when Casey did the devotional (due to dropping kids off at a friend’s house and picking them up again). My shoulders still hurt from the Farmer’s Carry I did with a 16 kg kettle bell in each hand.This is everyone doing broad jumps. It was really fun and I learned that I just really do not jump very far.Of course Casey is jumping very far.Warrior Training is so much more energetic and fun when we get to be outside. Thank you, God, for a real Spring!

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Caleb learned to ride his bike!

This last Saturday, Caleb just decided that he would learn to ride his bike. We had been trying to teach him for years but he just was not very interested. Kids learn to ride a bike very young here so 10 seemed late…I did not learn until I was 10 either. I remember being pretty wobbly on my bike when I learned. Caleb was probably wobbly for a half hour tops…

Beni feeling inspired on his bike with training wheels (thank you Caleb)!Haley anxiously watching the progress. She has serious fear of missing out but I don’t know what she expected to be able to do with a bike…ride it?We took Caleb into town for ice-cream to celebrate and to get a little more riding in. Caleb’s friend, Vojta, was in town and they immediately started racing scooter against bike. Now, I know that I was not racing on my first day to ride. He was so ready!

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Easter 2018

I think that my first day of culture shock once we moved to Czech was realizing how much family time I was missing at Easter. I remember the tears. When I was little, my brother, my cousins, grandparents, mom, aunts and uncles and I all wet camping during Spring break (always starting or ending with the Easter holiday).  As I got older, we would go to my dad’s house and have a big dinner, color eggs, and hang out.

From the beginning of our time in Czech, we decided that we would for sure celebrate Easter well and we have every year so far. This year, we started by finding a quality children’s story about the death and resurrection of Jesus on You Tube (oh yes!), opened Easter eggs, went to church, and did a potluck on Easter Sunday. We invited anyone that we could think of that did not have family in the area. We had lots of non-traditional foods (we made chili and there were scones, mac and cheese…) and some more traditional foods (carrot cake, pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes…) and the fellowship was grand.

All but the last picture were taken during our boys’ Easter egg hunt around our house (it was cold and muddy outside). Everyone helped hide the eggs while I went in the boys’ room with them. Its was a lot of fun.

Ok, so these are not in order (oh well). In the morning, the boys got to open Easter eggs with candy in them that were in their clothes nests (a tradition that we adapted from Casey’s childhood).

Thank you. Lord, for fellowship, friends, and good memories even though our families are far away. Thanks most of all, however, that we celebrate Easter as a day to remember that you died on the cross for our sins and rose again so that we could be forgiven from our sins and stand in the Father’s presence.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” Romans 5:8-9 (New International Version)

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Goodbye Winter

It never fails. Every year I learn at least one Czech tradition that I never knew about before. This year’s addition: Throw the lady in the pond to say goodbye to Winter.

A few years ago I learned about witch burning: schools and different communities will make images of witches and burn them to bless the Spring crops. Sometimes, the images are the size of people and they are made out of clothes stuffed with straw. Others are as small as a drawing of a witch on a piece of paper. And since they have the fire going, they have a sausage roast and dance around the fire to celebrate (at least Caleb’s school does that).

When I went to Beni’s school to pick him up yesterday, there was an Image of a woman (clothes filled with straw) in the hallway. At first, I thought maybe they made their witch early, then I realized that the image did not look like much of a witch. When I asked Beni, he said that she represented the Ice Queen (not like the nice Disney Elsa Queen…more mean and a much older story) and they were going to throw her into the pond in our village today. At first I thought it was just some random thing to tell the freezing cold weather where it can go (the lower temperatures came really late this year and we are all pretty much over it) but when I asked my neighbor about it, he said that it is an old tradition. So there you have it.


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Caleb’s art school…a place of peace

Caleb finds plenty of things to stress about in his universe…but when he gets to his Tuesday afternoon art school, the boy is peaceful.

These are some of his recent creations…

Caleb was asked to make a bed and he did. His version of a bed was complete with himself (the tan fellow with the blonde hair) and his blue angry bird stuffed animal. Of course no bed could truly be complete without rocket launchers, gatling guns, and missiles.

A few weeks ago, his class worked on birds. Of course his was “Pták-zilla” or “bird-zilla” in English (note the tiny trees below)

What the rest of his class created. I love what they teach these kids and how they give them the space to be creative in their own way.

This week, he came home with this beauty…

A two-story luxury home, complete with swimming pool, a dude laying in bed looking at his iPhone (LOL), a nature-terrace, and an outhouse by the pool. Thank God for this school that gives Caleb a place of creative peace.


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My little overachievers

Last week we had a big week in the Yorman household. Beni came home with a little sign around his neck announcing that he is “Šikulka” (skillful, handy, or smart). This sign goes from student to student throughout the week/month so they can go home and show their family that their skill in the classroom was recognized that day.

Caleb competed in a contest at school for financial literacy and I think that there was some math involved as well. Caleb and his partner Vojta got 4th place in a competition consisting of 31 pairs of 5th and 6th graders from different schools. Caleb and Vojta were the highest-placed contestants from his school. 

Way to go my boys!!!


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