Awana camp

When the boys brought the flier home for this weekend away in a cabin in the mountains with their Awana group, Casey and I both got excited but were rather uncertain. Caleb would go but would Beni have a meltdown at the mention of it? Well, Beni did have a meltdown because it was something new, at the time he did not enjoy going to Awana (because he felt like he had no good friends in the group), and he did not want to be away from us. So, we prayed. We asked friends to pray. We prayed some more.

The weekend before they would leave for the mountains, Beni had a great time playing in and after church with a few boys that are also part of his Awana group and like that, he was good. He was excited to go, looking forward to it, and was happy about it. And there you have it. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God.

We arrived at the train station a little early, so we went out for cookies, coffee, and tea before meeting up with the group. This is us walking to the train station from the coffee shop.


Below: Our boys ready to go.

Andrea (one of the leaders) getting all of the kids in line at the train station to tell them what the plan was and then they left for their platform. I did not shed tears but I thought that I might. This was the first time that both of our kids left home for the weekend. I asked lots of people to pray again. Thank God we have such a great community in our lives that pray for us and our kids. Good thing to because I imagined all of the bad things that could happen and had to keep praying. Casey prayed over me too. He did not want our weekend to be wrecked by his worrisome wife. I did not worry once I let it all go. But I might have been very attentive to my phone. You know…just in case :).

And…they loved it! Praise the Lord.

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Caleb’s 2018 Karneval

Yep, Caleb was Leonardo Da Vinci. He wanted to be someone well known and he loves that ole’ Leo was an inventor, artist, and a man before his time.  Aside: I pretty much have him interested in watching “Ever After” because Leo is in it. Hopefůly we’ll watch it soon. I love finding ways to make chick flicks seem cool to my boys. My attempts do not always work, however.

Right before we headed to Karneval, two of our boys’ favorite friends (neighbors) showed up and wanted to play so they went with us too.

It was a really fun event with loud music, lots of junk food/candy, and people on stage leading all the kids (1-6th grade) in dances and games. Then, all the kids went on stage to announce who/what they were dressed as….

Caleb’s classmate was Einstein (Caleb is standing next to him)Some of the more notable costumes were unicorns, a robot, a fly, a cupcake, several pirates, police officers, monsters, etc.

Caleb did not place this year (I could have predicted that with our main costume-maker in Bulgaria) but he had a great attitude and recognized that the others had great costumes. Caleb’s attitude made him first place to me :).

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Caleb’s Karneval was in the news

One of our Czech friends just told us that Caleb’s Karneval was in the news. When you go to the webpage for Cesky Tesin Minuty (link below), click on the picture dated 21.2.2018. Since it is a news channel of the town of Cesky Tesin, they are reporting on multiple things. We are in the clip at around minute 6 and Caleb is the one with the white beard.  To watch it, please click here.

 

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Concluding the Bulgaria trip…


Casey was very pleased with his time in Bulgaria. He said it was lots of work but he is so thankful for how everything went. Marc, Casey, Fanny, Gabe (JV Bulgarian country leader) and Tsvetan (Bulgarian JV missionary that did most of the translation) worked together really well.

The coaches were very engaged in the time on the field as well as in the classroom, they were attentive and enthusiastic when Casey was training on how to do short devotionals during soccer practice, and they were all super jazzed about their new JV Edge football gear. 

It was obvious that Gabe and his family (JV Bulgaria country leaders) have put a lot of time and effort in to developing relationships with the churches that these coaches were representing.

Praise God! We are excited to see what kind of fruit that this coaches training will bring! Please join us in praying for the young athletes that will be joining these teams. For those that do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we pray that the Lord would draw them closer to himself. For those that already do have a relationship with Christ, we pray that the Lord would also draw them closer but that He would also give them a heart for their friends that do not yet know Christ. To serve them and show them Christ’s love.

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Benaiah’s Karneval 2018

Every Spring, kids celebrate Karneval in Czech schools. Sometimes children just dress up in costume at school for a day. Other schools have big celebrations where the whole family is invited. This year, Beni’s little village school decided to do a big celebration where the whole family was invited. 

The boys helping out with set up…

Beni (George Washington), Caleb (Starlord mask) and friends at Karneval. They did not have a costume contest at this Karneval but there were loads of games and candy so our boys were satisfied.

The kids got to “fish” for prizes.Caleb has Karneval in just a few days and Dad (the great costume-maker) is in Bulgaria. Caleb has received first and third place for his costumes the last two years…so much pressure! We’ll see how Mama does in Dad’s absence :). Stay tuned….

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Bulgarian football training days 2 and 3

Mark teaching strategy (above and below)I am not gonna lie…Casey is good at this. I am not there but I know these things. Wifetuition.Coffee breakIsabel (below) helping carry balls. She is the daughter of Gabe and Melissa (JV Bulgarian country leaders).Every day that Casey has written, he has been really happy with how everything is going. He’s exhausted but really happy. 

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I took my Czech driver’s test

In Czech, you need approximately 40 hours of theory and driving to be able to take your Czech driver’s test. Don’t I have a California driver’s license, you ask? Why yes I do. According to the Czech law, however, after living here for a certain period of time (and I have already lived her for that period of time), you technically are supposed to get a Czech driver’s license. I went with a friend to see if I could just hand in my CA driver’s license and get a Czech one. No go! I had to take the whole class. So, I took the class.

I am actually glad that I took the class because I learned that there are a lot of differences in the laws for EU driving than for U.S. driving. Where an American driver would never yield to cars crossing their road from the right, EU driver’s must yield unless there is a sign specifically stating that they do not have to. You cannot ride a bicycle with any alcohol in your system or else. It is also illegal to ski with alcohol in your system. So many laws and rules. They make sense to people here and I suppose as long as everyone has the same understanding of things, it does make it safer. Some of the laws were written because many of the roads were made for horses and carriages, not cars, so where we do not need as many rules in the States to know what we need to do, in the EU, it is necessary.

On test day, I barely passed the theory test (I swear with all the practice tests I took, I never saw anything like some of the questions that I had). I also barely passed my driving test. I did everything well except for I treated a two-way lane like a one-way lane and got in the lane of opposing traffic to turn left. Not long before I made that turn, my lane was a one-way lane but I did not notice the intersection that I passed (negating the previous sign). In my defense, I took my test in a big city with bus lanes, tram tracks, varying speed limits, one-way and two-way roads, very odd intersections, narrow roads, construction sites, lots of distracting people, and signs. Oh Czech driving. I will learn….maybe.

But I passed!!! After 24 years of driving with a CA driver’s license and 40 hours of instruction, I passed by the skin of my teeth. I prayed a ton on the day for the test. God helped me out….a lot.


On the left is Aleš (my translator for the test) and next to him is Lukaš who was my one-on-one English-speaking instructor for the course in Ostrava, Czech with Autoškola Šimáček. We took this picture right after the driving examiner said I passed. The visor is in the picture because it kept falling down in front of me and eventually fell out of the car ceilng on to my lap during the exam. Lukaš felt so bad about it but it actually calmed me down during the exam because I thought it was funny and it made me laugh.

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