Tag Archives: Czech Republic

Brussel sprout soup and a concert to remember

One day, we walk along the heights overlooking the Vltava river enjoying the sun glinting off the water, the boats and the bridges.





Hurrying down and across the river to find a place with Czech food, we take in the sights quickly on our way to dinner and a symphony concert we’ve booked in this famed capital of music.  The restaurant celebrates the nostalgia for Soviet days with the sparse decorations of a train depot restaurant and the fact that its staff are advised to act professional, but gruff, in their service.  It is recommended in the guidebook and represents a rare sit-down dinner for our clan as we are certainly watching the budget for such a long trip! 


The restaurant is huge, but every table looks booked for a party of six.  A few “reserved” signs mark off the handful of empty tables.  One waitress encourages us to move along but another learns that we are only in for a quick meal and plan to be long gone by the time the table is reserved.  They finally award us a table and we order quickly.  Our food takes a while to come despite the efforts of the wait staff but we decide it is too late to cancel our order and run for the concert.  The trout and brussel sprout soup are simply fantastic.  The Czech beer fits beautifully with the meal.  We eat as fast as we can and run for the seats we’ve booked at the back of the concert hall for Mahler’s Second Symphony. 




We are about 7-8 minutes late to the concert hall.  Uh-oh.  No significant problem, we hope. 

I’d seen the website had mentioned there would be no break in the performance.  And, as you’ve likely guessed, the hall staff refuse to let us enter late as we would disrupt the performance.  We’d thought we’d have a chance as our seats are on the end of the very last row.  Ouch, my bad.  (we’d booked them there in case the kids had decided they’d had enough and we had to depart early). 

We are directed upstairs to a stand-up balcony.  A few unfortunate incidents occur including me spending an inordinate amount of time trying to speak with a manager since the website did not mention that latecomers would not be seated. 

Lisa’s view–Lisa admits to anger as she tried to process the balcony, not understanding we would never be seated. One child was entranced by the music.  One huffed and puffed at standing at the late hour of 19:30 and reclined in the corner on a rustling jacket.  Another child had many whispered questions.  A fourth had to go to the bathroom.  How does that work?  Will they let us back in the balcony?  Brent was still talking with the manager. (Would they even let Brent in?  He’s been gone awhile, are they keeping him out?) We couldn’t all five go to the bathroom, that would be disruptive.  A child couldn’t go by themselves when they don’t speak Czech, and people had not been overly friendly here.

The kids are quiet by kid standards but not to the standards of the tense music lover standing next to our family. He complains about our noise several times. We struggle to reconcile the thought of this scheduled musical inspiration that we’d planned for a few weeks prior and the reality of our family now passing our weight from foot to foot.  Lisa sits, listens, and prays Romans 8:28 that  “for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose” but she’s not “feeling it.”     

Then the doors are opened behind us into “our” balcony and stands are brought in with musicians.   Several members of the orchestra will be playing trumpet and french horn within arm’s reach.  Their play is responsive with the orchestra and choir on the stage. The experience, volume and proximity to the live music is far better than what we’d have had in our seats downstairs.  Not to mention our proximity to the ceiling gave us an upfront view of the ceiling artwork and sculpture.  The conclusion was beauty deep enough for tears.  Even the uptight neighbor relaxed.



Upon reflection later that night, the experience exemplifies the travel analogy to Lisa and I.  I had messed up by bringing our family later to the performance than we’d planned.  We wrestled with our own disappointment at not meeting the expectations we’d set up for the performance.  But then once we embrace the new, we meet with a better experience than we’d hoped. 

What an analogy too for the Christian life and the expectations we wrestle with when life’s curveballs come our way.  Travel is a condensed way of living that is teaching us much.  No one knows when an illness may strike or a loved one may face a real challenge yet I know I am often so tempted to be caught up in the frustrations of the moment and to surrender my joy without a fight.  Apparently, I need to be taught the same lessons again and again.  The human condition, I suppose.  Thank God, His unmerited grace leads us back to the path of joy. 

To their credit, the manager advised that the “latecomers would not be seated” blurb was written only in Czech but the next day he offers us discounted seats to another performance.  We have other plans but sure appreciate his efforts. 

Castle Hill stands high and proud over Prague and the walk up to its vistas is a good climb.  Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world.  The “Hill” holds the official residence of the Czech president, romanesque St George’s basilica, a courtyard and the gothic St Vitus cathedral. 



[Castle Hill dominating the Prague skyline]


[on Castle Hill]


We duck into the St Vitus cathedral to glimpse the stained glass window done by Alfons Mucha.  St Vitus was under construction for over six centuries. 


It’s hard to resist a picture with the castle guards.  Meanwhile, a lone man is waving a sign and protesting a government policy of some type.  Unfortunately, no one pays him much mind and I wonder if everyone outside the castle is from somewhere else. 



[Will and his stone crown]


[L is for Luke!]

A podcast we’d enjoyed explained an American family’s connection to Czech properties.  The Lobkowicz family is a Czech royal family and owned many castles before all was seized by the Communists.  The family lived in the Boston area and one of the sons went to Harvard.  After the Wall came down, it was all returned to the family in 1990.  Their wealth includes original manuscripts from Beethoven and Mozart but the family could not afford the taxes and upkeep on all their castles and properties.  One of the family palaces is here on Castle Hill.  The son moved back to Prague after the fall of the Communist government to receive, restore and display the family’s ancestral holdings.  Nice work if you can get it!

The peerless Charles Bridge awes with its thirty statues and its crowds.  It was the only bridge across the river for centuries.  The first stone was laid in 1357 by the Holy Roman Emperor who was into numerology.  Czech legend declares he laid it at 5:31 AM on 9 July so that the beginning of the bridge would be 1357 9, 7 5:31.  This mathematical bridge was thought to provide strength to the bridge.  The Charles bridge was the only means of crossing the river until 1841.  We cross it with the sun low in the sky illuminating the caricature artists’ canvases as they call out for tourists to have their likenesses painted.  This is the bridge where St John of Nepomuk was thrown to his death from a bridge parapet in 1393.  Supposedly, St John had taken the confession of the queen and would not violate the seal of confession despite the interrogations of her husband, King Wenceslas.  The king then had him killed.  We have seen this saint’s courage celebrated in statues and reliefs in Vienna and in Germany.   The statue of St John and his fate has turned bright bronze from the many hands rubbing his commemoration to pay him homage.  We join in.  

And the one with the cute dog on it for the peeps.  



[great internet image showing the upstream ice guards]




[at the train ticket machine for the subway]

One night back in our suburb of Tursko we are invite up to Jan & Jolana’s upstairs for a beer.  Jan’s college-bound daughter and her friend also sit at the table while Jolana stays on her feet hosting.  We walk into a table loaded with meats, cheeses, and pickles amongst other appetizers.  Jan has a guitar and we interrupt the Czech songs.  

Lisa keeps slowly finishing her glass and is surprised when Jolana keeps refilling it.  Jan and I are into a few Czech beers. 

After asking how old the home we are in is, we ask about the oldest structure in the village.  “How old is the number 1?”  Jolana asked.  They discussed it and we just wondered, “What’s the number 1?”  We hear of how the houses are numbered in the villages.  The oldest house in the village will be a prominently displayed #1—generally the church or the priest’s house.  The other numbers are added in order of age. Our home for the week was #66.  Sometimes, for instance in Prague, an additional physical address building number helps with location.  In Prague, the same thing occurs, city block by city block.  So an apartment building will have two large numbers by the door in different colors. 

Jan and Jolana are wonderfully gracious and open hosts.  They are both highly educated professionals with strong English skills they use frequently in their occupations.   When you name your child here, you must pick a name from the enormous list of approved names.  If enough people want to add a name, it can be approved over time.  But it is interesting how foreign this is to the American ear and our idea of individual freedom.  Another interesting fact is that the Czech Republic is largely atheist.  One website quotes a guide describing it as about 20 percent Christian.  Jan and Jolana believe it is closer to 95% atheist. 

They tell us how successful the Soviet propaganda campaigns were in the schools as they grew up.  As soon as the Cold War ended, the Czech kids stopped having to learn Russian.  If I understood it correctly, the Czechs also began to have to work harder instead of having the job security that came with the Soviet presence.  They grew up largely unexposed to Western music, movies, or culture. 

Their family loves to go camping just like ours and they get together with other families to camp and play games.  We wish we had our tent and could go with them!  They are doting parents to Vojta and we are thrilled to be at their place. 


Without meaning to, we stay up late nursing our drinks and talking of college and Czech history and music and America.  They are so kind and welcoming that we don’t seem to notice how late it is and the next morning Jan & Jolana will be off to work early. 

We love us some arches…and a fancy clock

We are learning, bit by bit, about how to tour.  Every guidebook—or Trip Advisor post— has its own perspective.  We’ve found Rick Steves’ books to be spot-on with what he covers.  But he has little interest in kid travel, or animals.  His books excel in the arts, music, history and architecture.  But sometimes certain people want to know about those Lippizaners in Vienna or just where the great playgrounds are.

We also have to resist—and that’s the royal ”we”—the urge to be entranced by the locally famous fill-in-the-blank and feel the need to see everything recommended by the guidebook while I am nearby.  Lisa has caught me out on this one many times and I’m getting better…  This trip emphasizes a microcosm of our personalities as Lisa is often happy to be home while I can be gripped by the wanderlust and the yearn for adventure.  We are often such grace-giving counterpoints and balances to each other, aren’t we, in our loved ones?

I am of those who do not want to go to bed early.  I was reminded of Hemingway’s short story “A Clean, Well-lighted Place”.  I think we read it in high school. 

“I am one of those who like to stay late at the cafe,” the older waiter said. “With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.”

Anybody else like that?

So we’re getting wiser at sightseeing. Even I can learn slowly.  I tend to jot down the list of the maximum possible highlights of a location.  Then we pick only some of these rather than have each of us become seduced by the 87 “can’t miss” sights of that area.  Here’s a rough example of one.  Now, I’ve moved it onto Evernote so maybe Lisa can actually read my chickenscratch.  Our main focuses are the education of the small people and our family’s experience.  Thus, we are light on the sit-down restaurants and far more into the hiking, museums and music and climbing up the high points to get the view.  We are doing a lot of schooling and writing on the road but really there’s only so much you get done in a given day, especially with little attention spans and our own energy levels that can only take so much consecutive touring!


Alfons Mucha was an influential Czech Art Nouveau artist and contributed to a rising Czech nationalism in the 1930s.  As soon as the Nazis invaded in 1939, Mucha was one of the first people the Gestapo grabbed and interrogated.  He fell ill to pneumonia during the interrogation time and never recovered.  His twenty enormous paintings are called the Slav Epic and were kept in a warehouse on the outskirts of town for years.  But they’ve now been brought into a great museum in the city and are an immersive experience.  We wander through them and try to guess, as a family, what is going in each painting before we read the synopsis.  I suppose, it’s a kind of Fisher-Price art appreciation course.  His canvases are something like 20 feet by 30 feet and tell the various stories of the Slav people through the centuries.  In each work, the eyes draw you in.  The history is difficult for us to place in context but his images are unforgettable. 






Prague is today a city of 1.3 million people and justifiably famous for its beer.  The city is well known for escaping WWII relatively unscathed.  The result is a Central European city with a rich heritage of architectural styles on display from the centuries.   

We wanted to take in some of Prague’s architecture and learn from a local pro.  Once again, Trip Advisor came in handy as we discovered Rob’s Free Architecture Tour.   Free city walks populate the touring marking in many European cities (and some in the US as well).  We’d never heard of them before this trip but they are a great way to learn about the city you are visiting from a real-life, local expert.  The tours are often outfits that employ college students.  To supplement their income or just to enjoy a career switch, some of these pros put out their own shingle and wield their expertise gained through years of edutaining travelers. 

We were thrilled to find Rob and set up a tour with him.  Our family was his largest group of the season.  He kept the whole family engaged, even the smaller people, and knew when to point out a bench for sitting.  Our hours with him just ran by and he was a complete pro.  Prague is Central Europe’s richest city.  The city, like Rome, continues to be built upon slowly rising sedimentary layers of itself.  Today’s basements were often original first floors in the oldest parts of the city.  Ancient windows are now at or below street level. 

I am tempted to scare you that I will break down each style in dry, painstaking detail but we know that just isn’t going to happen.  For one thing, I’m far too impatient, and your knowledge likely exceeds mine.    

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”                                      —Where the Wild Things Are

So, let the wild oversimplifications begin!



We learned to look for:

Romanesque—meaning “descended from Roman”…starting anywhere from 6th to 10th century and in use until 12 century…dead giveaway is the ubiquitous rounded arch…massively thick walls and low arches employed to support weight…simple, sturdy, low-technology design

Gothic—grew out of the iterative approach to improvements achieved by the end of the Romanesque period…officially begun in France in 12th century…an architect rebuilt an Abbey in Northern France for the French King and successfully employed the structurally supporting methods of pointed arches, ribbed vaulted ceilings, and flying buttresses with the purpose of supporting high ceilings and huge windows to suffuse the interior with light…others saw this design and its influence spread throughout Europe…classically seen in the four-pointed towers of cathedral high towers…teenagers who love black


[early Gothic ribbed ceiling.  This is actually a floor that has slowly raised over the years so that we are standing near the top of what used to be a high ceiling.]


[St Vitus cathedral on Castle Hill]

Renaissance—from 15th to 17th century…grew out of the wealth of Italian plutocracy and a blend of religious and secular forces…emphasis on symmetry and revitalizing the designs of classical antiquity (Greeks and Romans)…bring on the columns and rows of windows!


Baroque—begun in 16th century Italy and evolved until about 1800…a product of the Catholic Church’s Counter-Reformation as it sought to illustrate the glory of the Church and to reform itself in the face of Protestant challenges…richly sculpted surfaces…includes 3D sculptures, people coming out of the walls or ceilings (we saw a cherub’s leg coming out of ceiling at Linderhof palace in Bavaria)…visual illusions where a sculpture leans into, or out of, a painted frame (gold on black)…onion domes…one of the favored elements is chubby cherubs


Art Nouveau—balconies with flourishes…designs of plants, flowers, leaves…dead giveaway—building exteriors with sculptures of disembodied, idealized women’s faces staring out at you


[a stange, pink iteration of Art Nouveau]


[one of the kids’ images they found for study]

Soviet-era (socialist classicism)—ugly as sin but functional…low ceilings for efficient heating and cooling…affordable and Rob tells us he (along with thousands of other Prague citizens) grew up in these type of communities


Much of these styles and designs start in Italy.  Does everything start in the Italy, or China? 

Rob points out the peerless Jewish quarter and its museums.  The Jewish museum is actually five different synagogues.  The Old Jewish cemetery rises 10 to 12 feet above the street.  The Prague Jews were required to be buried in the ghetto and the Jewish faith does not allow remains to be moved.  So they had to stack people in 12 layers.  This cemetery dates to the 15th century.  There are thought to be over 100,000 people buried here in a surprisingly small space.  Gravestones were installed to point toward the entry to the cemetery.  As it filled, the yard’s entry was moved through the centuries resulting in gravemarkers pointing in many different directions.  We learn of the tradition that priestly descendants, are not allowed to enter a cemetery because they would become unclean.  These tribes’ dead, including the Cohens and Levines, are buried at the fringes of the cemetery so that their loved ones can stand outside the cemetery to honor their forebears.  Some Jews would pay admission to the museum that overlooks the cemetery then enter the men’s room and open the window so they could be as close as possible to their family’s grave and pay their respects!  

The museum has a superlative collection of Jewish artifacts and history because Hitler sought to collect all Jewish history and communal objects in this city—in one place.  After a successful “Final Solution”, he hoped to put all the “decadent” history of the Jewish people into one museum.  We run out of time but wish for more time to take in the scope of Jewish history here. 


[pic taken from street level–below the headstones]


[online image showing the view from above]


After the tour, we let the kids’ minds unwind with a snack overlooking the river and a park of swans.


Suffice it to say that the kids have spent several hours drawing and researching various architectural styles for school.  Their knowledge of this subject is better than mine has ever been. 

We also found the famed Astronomical Clock in Prague’s Old Town Square.  The square is a potpourri of locals, food carts, street performers, tourists, newlyweds every 15 minutes, aggressive Segway salesmen and inspiring architecture. 


Who knew there was such a thing as a seven-person bicycle? 


The Astronomical Clock was installed in 1410 and is the world’s oldest working clock.  It doesn’t understand daylight savings time but it does list all the zodiac symbols and has scenes of agricultural life through the seasons.  The clock shows the time and the phases of the moon.  A smaller hand points to the Czech saint associated with each day of the year.  In Czech Republic, one essentially has two birthdays:  the day you are born, and the day of your named saint.  At the top of each hour, a skeleton representing death turns over a hourglass, pulls a chain and the show begins.  The apostles parade by in windows that open above.  Politically incorrect figures of Turks and Jews flank the motion or move themselves.   At the end of the show, a rooster crows.   We are meant to be reminded of the passing of time and the inevitability of death. 



[it is never a dull sight around the clock at the top of the hour]

A Portguese speaking couple observes your family and tells us we are blessed.  This was especially sweet because for three weeks we had been surrounded by challenging languages:  Hungarian, Polish, Slavakian, and now Czech.  Lisa doesn’t speak Portguese, but she understands it best of any foreign language.  And the simple words the couple used were fully decipherable.  The only language in the world other than English that would have been readily understood.

We sidestepped the newlyweds that marry at the nearby City Hall every 15 minutes or so and climb up to the top of the Clock Tower.  A beautiful scene but the kids are enthralled by a street performer wearing a kilt who is drawing a crowd with a bull whip show and dirty jokes.  Nice. 








An enormous statue and display of Jans Hus dominates one half of the square.  He bears several similarities to Martin Luther.  He also was a monk, a professor, inspired many followers including a religious order and prompted the Church to reform.  But Hus predates Luther by 100 years and his fate was to be burned at the stake.  His followers are called Hussites and still have churches in Prague.

We finish the day by departing the train and leave the station into a cool evening.  We cannot seem to find our car.  A few minutes into our search, Camille looks up at me and plaintively asks, “Dad, are we going to be okay?”  After a few false starts and fruitless leads of searching we put it together.   Parking was such a problem arriving at the station that we had driven further than we’d originally planned to find a spot.  We ended up entering a different station than we’d originally planned for because the stations are so close together.  We get back on the train, go to the next station and dash about to find the car in the dark.  Ah, much better.  Nice job, Dad!  Anybody ever done anything like that? 

You can’t do it all perfectly, that is for sure.  But, hey kids, who wants to talk Gothic arches?

City of a Thousand Spires

The farmhouse in Poland faded in our rearview mirror as we set out west across Poland and into the Czech Republic.  Drive time was about six hours.  Time to get rid of the Polish zlotys and cash in for some Czech korunas.  There are about 22 korunas to the dollar.   

We crossed the Czech border without realizing it and soon pulled off for a pit stop bathroom break.  We were hoping to find an ATM to get korunas but no such luck.  Europe does not take credit cards nearly as much as the US and strangely enough you don’t find ATMs (or “bankomats”) on every corner like we are used to.  So without korunas—and no way to get them— it was going to be a challenge to pay the turnstile to get into the toilet.  They did not take zlotys from neighboring Poland and no one spoke English.  I debated throwing a kid or two over the turnstile.  Necessity is the mother of invention (or is it desperation?) so, after we realized they would accept euros, we ran back to the car and found two errant euros from two weeks prior lurking in the cupholders.  We yanked them out into the light and triaged the bathroom situation—only critical people could hit the restroom then we’d get back onto the road ASAP.    

Our place was in Tursko, a bedroom community to Prague.  Prague, the “City of a Thousand Spires,” is said to have “made it” as a destination for international travelers.  We were drawn by the people we knew who raved about its beauty. 

Especially as a family our size, we’re tending to stay on the outskirts of cities we want to tour.  There are hardly any US hotel brands that have rooms for a family of 6.  In Europe, it is even more rare.  We scour sites like interhome, airbnb, home lettings, home away and trip advisor for apartments or whatever will work for us.  Staying on the fringes of a city generally provides friendlier neighbors, more green spaces, and a lower price.  The cost comes in the extra commute time to the City’s famous museums, culture, restaurants, arts, and transit points.  With our mixture of school days and travel days it is often a tradeoff we are glad to make. 

We find the small town of Tursko to the northwest of Prague.  Our hosts are Jolana and Jan.  They have graciously left a bundt cake for us in our flat upon our arrival.  In this place, we are staying in the bottom floor “apartment” of their house.  They are so friendly and welcoming and, of course, we love to see their 4-year-old Vojta (“Voy-ta”) wrestling his rubber boots onto his feet at the bottom of the stairs. 

We first arrive right into the helpful advice of Jolana in how to open the gate and park our car in their courtyard.  Then, when I ask her about the nearest grocery store she insists on accompanying me the 200 yards to the store.  She does her shopping along with me as I navigate Czech yogurts and try to figure out which dairy product is “coffeemilch”.  The store is tiny, maybe 15 feet by 30 feet and run by a Vietnamese couple.  There are plenty of German Haribo candies by the door and I later see school kids come in and scoop up quite a few. 

Lisa is out for a run and notices a piece of paper advertising some kind of local something, with a list of performers (she recognizes “Jam Dance Crew” in English).  We choose a word from the flyer to enter into the GPS, thinking it is the town name, Louka.  We look it up as best we can but are puzzled because several villages nearby list the name we search on.  What now? Jolana clears it up for us that it the festival at the nearby town, Velké Prílepy,  celebrating the joining of the two towns into one decades ago. We had been trying to find “field” on the GPS. It is a bit scandalous that the new town does not have a central square.  The party will be at the field near the center. 


All villages in Czech Republic have a town square and also a pond.  The pond originated as a fire safety provision.  Most are stocked with fish, albeit not yummy ones.  In the winter, the pond transforms to an ice skating rink for the village.  It doesn’t take long for the Czech’s to mention their hockey prowess.  Hey, Lisa’s from Dallas, she’s been known to brag about a sport’s team or two.

Stick bread is a local delicacy (at least that’s we call it when we’re out camping, thanks to our friends the Bulis family) we also try some type of delicious pasta dish and a bit of grilled sausage. How can you pass that up?  A local dance troupe has clearly been put practicing and they put on a show for all of us.  To round out the celebration, a few folks have put out jams, small plants and honey for sale. 

IMG_6929 IMG_6930 IMG_6932

[traditional Czech dancing?.  yes, those are Legos on their hats.]

Shouldn’t every bus stop have a lending library?


The nearly weekly search for a local church ends with the International Church of Prague.  We are thrilled to hear native English speakers.  Plenty of Yanks, Aussies and Brits attend this church. We even meet a wonderful US Air Force family, headed by Keith & Cheryl who are a godsend.  We join the expats for lunch after church in the food court of a local mall.  The modern mall feels familiar and the Greek place let’s us grab food from the other places and congregate in one spot.  Talking American sports with some real life ‘Mericans makes our day. 

Keith & Cheryl even invite us over for dinner and their wonderful family (with five girls and four of them still at home) is a joy to be around.  Out of his 20+ year career, they have spent nearly all of it overseas.  What a privilege to meet new people and see the fellowship we can have even halfway around the world. 


Prague is a welcoming city and as this family of six jaunts about, we are always on the lookout for the next city bathroom.  These signs greeted our arrival at the WCs (water closets, or toilets).   

IMG_6942 IMG_6943

So, are you a Ženy or a Muži? 

It’s probably a good clue that the more defaced sign likely had more vandals heading up and down the stairs.  Are there female vandals?  It seems like a male-dominated activity.  We got you beat on that one, ladies. 

Seeing your gender emerging from the downstairs restroom also helps.

To keep you from having to go to Google Translate as we often do—Muži are men and Ženy women. 

On this first foray into Prague we search out the paddle boats on the Vltava river.  The river is crossed by 18 bridges within the city, especially the famous Charles Bridge.  Paddle boating a great introduction to the views of the city, including the urban oasis island complete with city dwellers enjoying a snack during the day and views of Castle Hill and the Opera House.  It’s also good practice for Lisa to not be afraid the kids are going to fall in and drown.  But we are most excited to chase each other around the river. 








I drive the car to the slightly larger grocery store so I can stock up.  The store sells food and luggage, among other treats.  I can’t help notice a teenage girl shopping for clothes with her Mom in the middle of the store.  Of course, I can’t resist the “American” items but I decide to forego the toilet seat purchase.


I can run some mornings and get workouts when I can.  I wear an UP24 band to track my sleep and my daily steps.  They’re some of the ways I do what I can to be healthy.  I am quite aware of certain afternoons when fatigue sets in and I fight off the nap.  It seems to come about the days I get out for a run but there’s no obvious correlation.  Prayer, most of all, is how I know to fight.  That is where the power is.  He knows my days and I am kept. 

Friends, I thank you so much for your time in reading about our story.  Stories are so important, powerful, and potentially life-altering.  I believe our family—like every family—has a unique story to tell.  For us, our story has really changed in the last two years since that diagnosis came in. I feel I am just beginning to learn how to tell this story of our family.   

We are taking time to invest in our family and we pray it will be a worthwhile adventure for us.  It is a thrill to have you join us as we seek to chronicle this trip, to celebrate a time of being healed and together and to connect with each of you.  We are making it up as we go along on this new, grand adventure and every place and every sunrise brings a new set of opportunities to pick from.  We are surely being challenged and learning at every speed bump, every intersection, and every smooth road.  To me, that sounds like an analogy for parenthood.  And for life!  Lisa and I thank you from the bottom of our heart for taking time from your busy day and hope you are finding joy in your day today! 

These small peepers continue to show me how to find the joy in the day no matter where your parents have drug you to!

Sometimes, when it’s your turn to do the dishes you just have to get some good use out of all those bubbles!

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