Saturday, July 26, 2008

J & J's new MINOR TOY

Well, not exactly our new toy but we couldn't resist posing by this MINOR 1000 when we saw it at a nearby village shopping area. [I think the Morris Motor Company in England manufactured the Minor 1000 from 1956-1971.]

Pretty sweet, eh?! (or as a South African would say, "Lekker, hey?!")

Friday, July 4, 2008

Last Day of School in Prague

Greetings to you all. I wanted to share a little of the excitement of the end of the school year.
After dropping Daniel and Anna at their schools, we had about 45 minutes to wait for Daniel to be done. Mark and I enjoyed a cappucino (and bubbly fruit drink) and croissants at a nearby outdoor cafe I've always wanted to visit. Even today, a week later, he's still talking about the croissants we had together at "that restaurant."

This is me enjoying Mark and our special time together. He took the picture.

See Daniel's grin of pride as he shows me his excellent report card from first grade? So different from the apprehensive smile I captured last September. The last day of school is very festive. Kids dress nicely (note the graduating 9th graders in the background wearing suits) and each brings a flower for his teacher, who needs a bucket to carry all the flowers home. 45 minutes later the students get to leave school, bringing their final report card for the year.

We thank God for Daniel's good experience in first grade, for how he's learned Czech, for a teacher who really cares and goes the extra mile to make sure kids are doing all they can, for friends he looks forward to seeing again. His seatmate was a bit of a bully earlier on, but they seem to be on somewhat friendly terms now.

Another happy grin, as Anna leaves školka (preschool) for the last time this year, laden with her inside clothes, sandbox clothes, slippers, and a treat. What a change from the first day of school, when I found her in her classroom, in tears because she didn't know where she was supposed to be and she couldn't communicate with her teachers. She has learned Czech eagerly and naturally. Now she and Daniel speak Czech together at least half the time when they play together. Anna has matured a lot too. Last fall she was still in that fantastical stage of childhood. She would come home with stories of swimming with ducks in a pond while on a walk with her teacher. Now she tells us about a playground they visited, and she shows us how to get there too. She told me that her teacher treated them all to ice cream cones on the last day of school. And I believe her!
Milan was working on the last day of school . We are thankful to God for providing him with a job. He works for CIEE, an organization that arranges semester abroad programs for college students. His office coordinates the logistics for students to take classes with professors from Charles University and FAMU, a film/broadcasting school. Milan is mainly involved in administrative tasks in the office: keeping the books, managing the library, contacting the professors, creating report cards, ordering books and materials. He is learning a lot and keeping quite busy. He hopes to soon begin a training program in psychotherapy which will better qualify him for work in his field in the future. Meanwhile, he's content with doing something he's never done before and getting a salary.
We just finished our first full week of vacation. I'm really enjoying having the kids home. It's going to be a fun summer.