Friday, June 24, 2011

Family reunion

Here we are, in Sunriver, Oregon, having so much fun together as a family! There's nothing like long days full of hikes, shopping, visiting new places, or swimming. Just to give you a picture of what this week has been like...

I hope all of you are having a great week as well! Enjoy the summery weather! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baseball in Trinec

Back in January, one of my close friends from school (Magda) asked me if I would help her out with a baseball retreat that would be in June. She was going to plan the whole thing, and use it as an outreach/ get-together event. I said yes back then, and on Friday, it finally came time for it to happen! 

Over 40 people came!

One of the planned "perks" were "surprise" (sorry for all the quotation marks) Americans who would come and be a part of this = Hayley, me, and our brothers. It was actually really nice going there and getting to be the "fun" Americans! It's not very often that I get to have that position, because usually I'm on the Czech team when it comes to planning events. I definitely have some Czech sides to my personality, but I have American sides too that don't come out as often! 
All four of us drove to Trinec on Friday afternoon. We had quite the adventure getting to Trinec (got lost on our way and accidentally drove into Slovakia- oops!), but we got there all right in the end! The guys helped out with baseball, while Hayley and I met some of the girls and got to know them a little better. Those girls are amazing! They were so sweet to us, and made us feel so welcome. I could totally feel God's love shining through their lives, and it made me so happy. 

Doing this baseball thing (even though I actually didn't play...hehe) made me realize even more that this is the kind of work that God has prepared for me. It gave me such joy to talk with the girls- about their hobbies, school, movies, but most of all, to share with them the love of God and how it has changed my life.

I pray that each girl there, and many more in the Czech republic (and in the world!), would feel God's love every day-- His true, unfailing, incredible love; one that will never leave them or disappoint them. 

There was a lot going against this retreat, and it almost didn't happen. It was a spiritual battle. Things weren't coming together. People weren't able to help. The space we were going to be in almost fell through. It looked like it was going to rain. But, it was God's plan for it to happen, and it did. And I think He used it to bless many people... including me! 

*And thank you Magda for everything you did to make this event happen. It would never have come together if it weren't for your vision, obedience and perseverance. I'm so glad that God put that idea into your head a couple of years ago, and that you never let that idea go. 

My dear friend Magda and me earlier this month

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Soft-serve style

It's not quite officially summer, but it's sure starting to feel like it to me! Warm humid days are here, along with those wonderful afternoon thunderstorms and rain showers. Either way, there are definitely days when we all need a little pick-me-up....soft-serve style.

As most of you know, I'm lactose-intolerant. That means no ice cream for me! *Sad face*. I had to figure out something that would satisfy that craving on hot sunny days. Here's a simple, delicious, healthy alternative to ice cream (and it's dairy-free too!). Let's give a round of applause for...

Banana strawberry soft-serve ice cream

Frozen banana slices
Frozen strawberries
Sweetener of your choice (optional)

1. Slice up as many bananas you would like into about 1-inch rounds and freeze them in a plastic bag.
2. Place all ingredient in your high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
3. For firmer ice cream, put in freezer for 30 minutes or more, stirring the ice cream half way through (or every 15 minutes).
4. Serve and enjoy!

Claire's tips:
- I piped mine with a pastry bag to make it look the way it does in the picture.
- Add whatever fruit you would like for different flavorings: raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupe...
- You could even add chocolate chips or cocoa powder for a change!
- This would be really good with a dollop of whipped cream if that makes you excited. :)
- Have fun experimenting with this! The possibilities are endless.