Monday, October 13, 2014

Mom and Dad here again!!

Wendi's parents (Jim and Kathy Heiniger) blessed us with their third visit to Slovakia since the time we moved here in 2010. Their first two trips were during the summers of 2010 and 2011, when their time with us included being/working together at a week of English camps. This time they came during the fall, when we weren't in the middle of our crazy summer schedule. Where we loved having them at camps with us those two summers, this trip was a nice change, because we were able to spend more time together in our normal daily life, where they were able to see our world over here as it normally is 3/4 of the year.

One first for us this visit with them, was that we were able to have every morning together as just adults, while the kids were at school. This time with us four (or three when Ed had to work), was an incredibly sweet time of conversation, connection, and laughter. I personally (Wendi) treasured up these times with my parents, appreciating these times for their fellowship and depth and truth. We went to a coffee shop almost every morning during the first week, and then came home to be ready for the troops to return home from school...because once they were home, our quiet times of conversation were lost! :-)  All kids came straight home to see what Grandpa and Grandma were doing, and were always ready for some time with them.  Grandpa and Grandma kept plenty busy these afternoons: going to watch the kids in their extra-curricular events, playing games at home with the kids, reading with them, teaching them how to knit, doing magic shows for them, OR heading up to the town square for our (almost) daily afternoon ice cream treat! I love watching my kids interact with my parents! There is such mutual love among them all, and sweet relationships are continuing to grow! We are so grateful for this.

A really fun thing that happened this trip, was that my Dad was asked by our kids if he would be willing to come into their classes to do a magic show for their friends. Dad was willing, so Ed talked to the teachers and on a Wednesday, it was arranged for Dad to do two shows, one to Jayce and Tate's class of 7th graders, and the other to Jayin's and Gage's classes of 4th and 3rd graders. My Dad, as an amateur magician, knows many tricks, always learning new ones, and many of these tricks have the Gospel message tied in, where he uses the tricks as illustrations of Biblical truths. So, he planned his routine for these two performances, and included some of his tricks that clearly give the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ed had previously told the teachers about these tricks, asking them if it would be ok that he shares this message in these classes. All teachers agreed! It was a really fun morning, and all four of our kids took turns translating Dad's words into Slovak, so their classmates could understand. The classes all loved this, and listened well. An article was even written on the school website about "The Magician who came to school".

All-in-all, these two weeks with Dad and Mom (Grandpa and Grandma) just FLEW by, as we knew they would, but left us with amazing and unforgettable memories of time spent with them. So, thanks, Dad and Mom, for your travels to us, for all you brought in your loaded-down luggage (loaded down with gifts and treasures for us, of course, including three 2-liters of Root Beer!!!), for the time you invested into our lives, both into Ed's and mine, and into our kids'! We grew spiritually because of our time with you, and we grew deeper in our love for you also! :-) We are blessed by the way that you genuinely show your love to us seven Rumbolds! THANK YOU!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our kids…back in school

Well, we have finished an amazing summer…and the kids are all back in school for another year. We enjoyed incredible interns, traveled to many English camps to check on things and visit with the teams, and experienced a very successful first JV Slovakia Sports camp. Then we journeyed to Croatia to send our kids to JV Kids' camp (all but Shaylee attended this year).  During their camp, Ed and I vacationed with Shaylee and with other dear JV friends whose oldest children were also at this Kids' camp. I'm not sure which group had more fun: the older kids at their favorite event of the year with the other JV Third Culture kids aged 8 and up, or the parents vacationing poolside with the younger kids, enjoying good food and fellowship together. It doesn't matter who had more fun, because we all came home refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for the next school year ahead.

The parents and the "littles"

JV Kids' Camp 2014 "Wild and Wacky Day"

Every year seems to get easier sending our kids into the public school here, probably because things are quite familiar to us now, and to our kids who all went back into the same school, same teachers, and same classrooms as last year. Only Shaylee had a change in her preschool, as she is now in the official Kindergarten class and had a change of teachers and room. But, she is adjusting nicely, and happy to go and be with these new kids and new teachers. Her comment yesterday about the new situation was that these new teachers don't yell, and they even allow the kids to get up out of their beds during nap time without even making them ask permission first! Two improvements from last year, according to Shaylee.

So, with 4 school years under our belt, you'd think that the mistakes we make in culture would be pretty much a thing of the past…you'd think…until we came home on the first day of school and realized that, in fact, it actually wasn't the first day of school!  The kids all got out the door this past Monday on time, early in fact, with their flowers for their teachers in hand, as well as plates of cookies they wanted to take; we said our good-byes and off they rode with Ed…only to come home 15 minutes later, still with flowers and cookies in hand!?!? "No school today!!" Huh???  How could we make this mistake on our 5th school year? Somehow we missed the knowledge of September 1st being a national holiday. We'll know for next year…I need to be making a spreadsheet of all the things we learn the hard way, that we'll for sure "know for next year", because I think the list is getting pretty long and we might be forgetting some of these important ones.

Oh well…the cookies and flowers were still fine for Tuesday's delivery that actually did happen, and the kids enjoyed an unexpected extra day at home!  :-) We are super thrilled for how our kids have adjusted to schooling here, and love it that they don't fear going, or dread it, except for the downers of having to wake up early AND have homework! Otherwise, school is a normal thing for them, and they are doing better in it than I would be!


This post got a little longer than I planned, but I do still want to add a link for you to read a post from our Josiah Venture president, Dave Patty, about the Third Culture kids of JV. We love his perspective on raising kids on the field, as he and his wife Connie have raised their 3 now-adult children in the Czech Republic. We also deeply respect and appreciate the fact that the value of family and our children is such a priority among this entire organization. So, if you have a few more minutes to read here, this article is a great view of how our kids are a huge part of our ministry here, and how they are missionaries themselves, not just the kids of some.

And, one more thing, since we are on the subject of children and our Third-Culture ones…here is another link…this one about a book called I Am Third that our 4 oldest children had a part in writing. This link is a post written by our friend and coworker, Amy Ellenwood, about the writing of the book, and how the kids of Josiah Venture wrote their stories, some more serious and deep than others, according to their age and ability. Our kids were thrilled to actually see their stories in print, so it was an amazing experience for them to become authors in this great way. See if you can find our kids in the group of crazy faces on the cover of the book.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Visitors from home!!

Our first term of camps has finished, and the US teams have already returned home to the states, including that amazing team from our home church in Tremont. The first week of camp was great, and we are thankful for each team member who came to serve. After camp was finished, and a few days of follow-up happened in the various towns, we had two special visitors at our house…Cory Juchems and Tyler Nafziger!  Tyler is our nephew (the son of Ed's sister, Sheri) and Cory is our friend…they both served on the Tremont NCF team, and scheduled their return trip home for a few days after the rest of the team, so that they could come to our house and spend some free days with our family!!!  WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!!!  Seth was also here…so between those 3 and our 7, we had a blast!!!  All 3 of them are AMAZING with our kids…and our kids wished they could all live here FOREVER!!!  But, Cory and Tyler have already left…they are flying home right now, so the party is over…but we are thankful that they spent the extra time with us, and were able to be in our world here. Thanks for coming, Cory and Tyler…we're already looking forward to the next time you can come!  :-)

Ed's parents have 34 grandchildren, and Tyler (age 17) is number 3.  Because of the great number of kids, and our living over here, we don't often have the privilege of much individual time with the nieces and nephews. So this time with Tyler was a blessing to all of us…it was so fun for Ed and I to get to know him better, and it was amazing for our kids to have such concentrated time with their cousin.  We were all encouraged by Tyler's presence with us.  He is an incredible guy with great musical talent and such a positive and joyful outlook on life.

And Cory is actually in the process of moving to Slovakia for at least 2 years to serve with Josiah Venture in a town (Levice) to the southwest of us.  She has developed friendships with many in that town, as she has served at the Levice camp for 4 summers now. We are thrilled to be becoming teammates with Cory, hopefully by this November!  Cory is actually one of our former junior-highers (she was in our youth group when we worked with JCFG at Northfield) and it is so incredible to now know her as an adult!  :-)  Both Cory and Seth interned with us during the summer of 2010, so it was fun to have both of these former interns together with us again. We love Cory and her family, and are very thankful for how the Lord is leading her to come and serve over here.

Here's the crew at the Bardejov square

Jaylin and Shaylee never left Cory alone…they LOVE her!!

It was quite obvious that Tyler, having 5 younger siblings,
is AMAZING with kids!

Seth and Ed having a running joke with Cory
about matching t-shirts…thus the picture

I absolutely loved this cousin time for our boys!

Hanging out at the city wall

Ed and Tyler preparing to grill

Haha!  They were actually posing here!  :-)

The cousins…AWESOME!!

Girl time!  (And for the record, I'm holding Jaylin's ice cream cone
while she takes the picture, I'm NOT eating two!!)