Monday, March 15, 2010

Cooking with the Pastors

Our pastor and his wife, who also is a pastor, have offered to teach us to cook traditional Slovak cuisine from time to time. This past Friday they came over and taught us how to cook delicious soup and sweet fruit dumplings. They are a wonderful couple who graciously give of their time to help us. They speak to us in Slovak, in order to help us practice conversation, but Jon also speaks fluent English, which allows us to know what the conversation is about! They also keep us laughing, as they have great senses of humor. We enjoy our times with them.

We also showed them the delicacy of good old American chocolate chip cookies! It is funny how many of our friends here have commented on how "perfect" these "koláčiky" are!

Two months and counting

Well, we've hit the two month mark, and while we've had our share of adjustments, I'd say we are still doing fine. Some of us are definitely able to relax more than others. I'll let you guess who's who. We each have our times of frustration, for sure. The boys seem to be doing well in school, but sometimes I wonder...While asking them before bed last night if they were ready for another week of school, one burst into tears and said that he doesn't want to go. He said he likes meeting new friends, but just wishes he could talk to them. Jaylin often talks about wanting to go home. Today it was "Grandma Klaus's" pool that she missed. Gage often misses fishing off of Grandpa Jim's dock, and everyone misses friends!

The two snow pictures here are included to show just how long we have been enjoying winter this year. The first snow scene is from our training time at MTI in Colorado where we celebrated the first snow of the season in October! Now we are still "enjoying" snow here in March. Needless to say, our family is ready for Spring!

We are so appreciative of the prayers of all of our family and friends. Thank you for praying for our continued adjustments. The frustrations often come in little, random situations, that are too small to even write home about. Funny how they seem so big as we are experiencing them. We are extremely thankful for the many blessings that God has graciously given us throughout this move. It is amazing to look back at the details of the past year and be in awe of God's miraculous provisions for us time and time again. Thank you for praising Him with us for these blessings!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Important vs. The Urgent

Growing up, I heard about the difference between the "important" and the "urgent", how so many things demand our attention, and we tend to give it to the "urgent" matters first, because, well, they need us. Now that I am grown up, and am "the mom", I have come to realize first hand what this really means. Every day I have high hopes of accomplishing the "important", but most often, early in the day, I find myself being sidetracked by the "urgent." My question do we prioritize the important where it needs to be, when we are so distracted by the urgent? Let me give an example...or two.

Jaylin and Gage LOVE to be read to and I enjoy reading to them. This is important, for me to take time away from my household duties and sit down and read to them. So I do it, but suddenly the urgent creeps up and pulls me away...Shaylee has made it to the top of the staircase, the rice is burning in the pan, the doorbell rings, etc. So I deal with the matter that has drawn me away and return to our reading nook, but often they have gone on to do something else by then, and the opportunity has been lost.

As for our role here in Slovakia, these two categories are a bit harder to separate. It all seems so important, as ministry always is: language learning, youth group, camp planning meetings, small groups, hospitality, Mom's clubs, school events, Bible studies. I'm sure you all can relate to the difficulty in discerning between the two. So many opportunities in which to get involved, how does one choose which ones to devote time and attention to...before they are lost? This is our prayer, that the important will be obvious and the urgent will be able to be taken care of later, and that we would have the wisdom to discern and act accordingly.

Speaking of urgent...I have just returned to my laptop to finish this "important" post, having been pulled away by the lovely sound of a child vomiting. :-( Many of you know that sound...and why does it always happen in the night??? Nevertheless, everything is as it should be, everyone is back to sleep, and I am signing off so I can get to sleep, too, and wake up ready for tomorrow's important tasks...the list is long! Somehow, I think I will just brace myself for the urgent that is bound to come! Blessings!

Jayce is 9

Jayce enjoyed his ninth birthday with a little party with two of his new friends, all of us, and our fellow missionary friend, Mike Sullivan. We ventured out for pizza in the town square, and then home for dessert. Mike taught us the traditional Slovak birthday treatment. We threw Jayce into the air 9 times, much better than the "9 spankings and a pinch to grow an inch." And yes, you guessed it, Jelka came through again with another one of her prize-winning birthday cakes! This one came complete with the birthday sparkler. Her husband and daughter also joined us for the celebration.