Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eventful week

Monday marked our 7 year anniversary of arriving here in Slovenia! Kathy Codanti came over and even made brownies! Then we recalled with the kids what those early days were like and how different it is now that we feel at home here.

We've become quite attached to American Idol. Every week we watch and revel in our American-ness, snacking on imported goodies like Oreo cookies or brownies. Christina, our co-worker has joined the hysteria and for our last week together with our American Idol family she prepared a special imported yellow-cake-from-a-box to celebrate!
Blake turned 12 on tuesday. And we celebrated him with his school mates on thursday. Johnny and Brooke Stevens loaned us Rock Band and the kids LOVED it! Blake has the best birthday parties through his youth worker connections. Good thing we had to give it back though. Josh and I sneaked down and played quite a bit after the kids had gone to bed. I was getting quite good on bass.

I need to figure out how to put a picture of David Cook right here, because after the party goers left the Jackson family showed up and we watched the American Idol finale. We had decided we'd be happy either way because we really liked both Davids. But in the end we realized that it was quite the opposite! We didn't want either one to lose!

Friday,we kept the party train going and celebrated Kendra's 8th birthday a little early. She had her school friends over for traditional cake and ice cream and party games. They wrapped up the night by watching Surf's Up in Slovene. It was a great encouragement to see our kids watch and laugh right along with the others. Their language abilities have grown over the years!

My new favorite recipe

My sister-in-law Connie made this recipe last time we visited them. I asked her to send it to me and now it's become something I make often. When you find those good ones you have to pass them on! It's especially great when you have family members eating at different times and want to keep dinner warm.

Chicken Escondido
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large can of black beans (or dry, soaked)
16 oz jar salsa
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 TB olive oil
2 TB balsamic vinegar
Saute tomatoes and garlic in the olive oil. (If the sundried tomatoes come in oil just dump the whole thing in and saute in that.)
Add chicken and cook until done.
Add salsa and black beans.
Simmer five minutes.
Serve over brown rice.

Also, just an update on our nephew Caleb. He and Connie flew back to Czech yesterday. After a very long 6 weeks away from Dave and the other children the doctors were able to determine (the short story) that Caleb's intestines have been over active and have complicated his system to the point of pain and irritation. He's now on a plan for calming them down and his pain level is down from a 9 or 10 to a 6 or 7. So he's on the path to recovery! Thank you for your prayers for them!

Friday, May 16, 2008

At home in Slovenia

For the last 5 years or so I have been driving by the village of Bizovik and praying that we might be able to live there. We've loved the house we have been renting but since we plan to live here for many years we have this longing to really put down roots. Imagine my delight when we stumbled on the possibility! I'm not sure where the Lord will take us in this but I am enjoying the process. Josh has set up a blog about the process if you're interested in taking a look. http://www.pattyhouse.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

JV Spring Staff Conference

Last week was spent with our Josiah Venture Family in the Czech Republic. Our kids had a week off from school so we took the whole family and made the 7 hour trek in our van. Don Christiansen made the journey with us. The weekend before he spoke at our church on finances, tithing and remembering it's all God's! It was a great time with him. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture. You'd have seen just how fond we are of him. One night Blake told him at the dinner table, "You're like one of those people who has changed our diapers or something!" I guess that's his way of saying Don felt like family!
We always try to take a team photo. This one is just of the moms and babies. Amy Woodard with her arms full of Abigail and Elijah. (Also known as "Beebee" and "Beebee" to Luke!) Then me with Luke, and Laurel with Landon. Brad and Laurel Jenkins, are transitioning from their work with Malachi to join us. They drove from Germany with their son Landon. Now we're just missing baby Caleb, Hondo and Trisha's son!
We've got a delightful team and really enjoyed being together. Our older children learned and performed Godspell with CYT, Christian Youth Theater. They were brilliant!

I know I've already posted this photo of Blake and Caleb, Dave and Connie's second son. Today is a big day for him and I thought you might join us in prayer. Caleb has had a history of intestinal pain but for the last 5 months it's been increasing. It's gotten so bad that he and Connie flew to the states for further help. This morning they will do a colonoscopy and endoscopy. If there are no results from those, the doctor wants to do a capsule endoscopy as well. It's been a real mystery for the past few months and Caleb has lost weight and been in a lot of pain. You can read more on Connie's blog if you are interested.

Couldn't resist this shot of Kendra!