Monday, November 29, 2010

The Ultimate Vacuum

This morning, we had Aron, a Hungarian, over at our house helping us with some things. He noticed that Cade had a runny nose, and commented that Hungarians use something that attaches to your Hoover. At first, I thought he was kidding.

He wasn't kidding.

Larry followed him to the local pharmacy (you have to get anything medical related at the pharmacy, even what we think of as over the counter drugs). He came back with this:

I'm not sure why this baby is smiling. Not much smiling going on at our house.

Next, we got out this.......

Aron showed me how to attach the handy tube to the vacuum......

And we were ready to go! I was a little afraid it would suck out Cade's brain, but Aron assured me it wouldn't. I held down Cade, put the plastic part in his nose, and started the vacuum. It was awesome. He really didn't cry very much, and it was amazing how much crud came out. I'll spare you a picture, although it was tempting to share.

I'm pretty sure he will hate the vacuum forevermore.

If anyone in the States wants one, let me know - we'll be back next week!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

We have deliberately chosen to not get out all our Christmas decorations this year.  We leave in a week to head back to the US for the month of December.  We really would not get to enjoy the decorations very much (and we'd also have to find them first).  But this morning, we woke up and looked out the window (and what to our eyes did appear) but...


 Some of us had more fun playing in it than others.  For example, this one didn't think it was so fun.
"It's cold.  I'm dressed like a marshmallow.  And I can't even walk right in these boots!"

This one, however, enjoyed it thoroughly.  Thankfully, we convinced her to put her coat on before she went out.  She didn't think she would need it.

"Sitting doesn't make it any better.  I'd rather take a nap."

Chelsea met a friend.  He turned out quite a bit better than our Houston attempt at a snow man earlier this year.  I'm assuming you get better with practice.  I hear we'll get quite a bit of practice here in Hungary!

We're guessing we had 5-6 inches standing in the yard.  It was very beautiful.

I thought about how thankful the moving company was that they didn't have to move the grill up the hill to put it on the patio today.  It was bad enough without snow on the ground!

Quick game of tackle was thoroughly enjoyed.

Mom, aka conehead, also got to participate.  We'll be looking for a new hat for her Christmas present!

I made Chelsea a snow cone.  She didn't think it was that good.

And I end with this picture -- just to remind us how beautiful this is.  We may need to refer back to this post in about 4 months when we are tired of shoveling the driveway!

Merry Christmas everyone!  We even played Christmas music on our stereo today.  Hope you're Turkey Coma is beginning to wear off.

Gig 'em Ags!

A Hungary Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Hungary was a little different than in the States. Chelsea was out of school, but Larry had to work. Boo. The kids and I made the most of our day, making a thankful tree (in which Chelsea was thankful for herself), and we made this little guy....

Thanksgiving food is hard to find here, so we let the Marriott do most of the work. I made a few sides that we love at Thanksgiving. Larry requested a corn casserole, and, to me, it is not Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes! They are also hard to find here, but we finally found a few. It was $5 for 3 tiny sweet potatoes, and another $5 for a bag of marshmallows (don't have those here, either!) to go on top. It was worth it!

Our nice turkey dinner showed up in a taxi, gift wrapped in this nice box.
We had a nice spread,
and our sweet friends the McLendon's came over to celebrate with us. We were thankful for friends to share the evening with!

Cade was thankful for his pumpkin pie......

Chelsea and Claudia had a dance party after dinner....

We are thankful for our little family!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Picture This

There are some things that happen in our daily Budapest life that must be documented. I want to remember the little crazy stories. Today was one of picture this.

It is about 40 degrees outside. People here have their kids covered head to toe when it is about 70, much less 40. I am not so paranoid about the cold weather. It is Thanksgiving, but it is just any other day to the Hungarians. However, Chelsea is out of school. She wants to dress herself this morning and I let her. She comes downstairs in her red, sleeveless Christmas dress and a pink belt. Whatever. She is happy.

Fast forward to this afternoon. A man from Eurocar is coming to pick up our rental car. He calls and says he is on our street, but he can't find the house. I tell him I will walk outside and look for him. I grab Cade and put his jacket on. Chelsea yells that she wants to come, too. I tell her to find shoes and a jacket, and then she can come out. I head down the driveway with Cade, but I don't see anyone. I call the man back and now it sounds like he is at the corner. I tell him I will walk that way. Meanwhile, Chelsea comes running down the driveway. No jacket. No shoes. No socks. Sleeveless dress. The guy is waiting for us, so I decide to just let her come like that. Needless to say, we get some interesting looks on the sidewalk. Some Hungaran teenagers stop, stare at her, and laugh. Then, a car stops and I think the lady was asking if we need a ride. She was speaking Hungarian, so I just said thank you and waved her on. Still, I cannot find this poor car man.

At the end of our street, there is a small street that is guarded 24 hours a day. I have never spoken with the police officer, but I decide to go for it. The car guy needs directions, preferably in Hungarian. The police officer looks at me, looks at Chelsea, and then gets on his radio. He doesn't speak enough English for me to tell him she really does have shoes and a coat. :) I hold out my phone to him and he calls someone else, who does speak English, and finally they tell him he can talk to the car guy on my phone. I guess he has to get permission to deviate from his duties. He gives the guy directions and the guy finds us. Success! I am going to take something to the police guy to tell him thank you - he is a good guy to be friends with on the street!

Happy Thanksgiving to all - I am off to cook and will share pics of Hungarian Thanksgiving later! -

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AISB Thanksgiving

Today was the Thanksgiving lunch at Chelsea's school. It was fun to eat with her and her friends!

They made "Native American" hats and necklaces....
She carried her tray like such a big girl....
and we enjoyed our time together! I am so thankful for her!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Million Dollar Cars

Okay, well, maybe not million dollar, but we did spend a few million forints. A big difference! We have purchased 2 cars. We have a house and two cars. I guess we pretty much live here now, in case I hadn't realized that yet!

We were fortunate to buy a car from Larry's coworker when she headed back to the States.
This little Yaris is a good back and forth to work car for Larry.....

My only requirement when we moved here was that I have a car with an automatic transmission. I tried to learn how to drive a standard in college. The lesson ended in tears. Larry was confident in my abilities to learn to drive one here. Ummm... hills, kids in the back, watching a GPS, traffic....not gonna do it. I told him I didn't care what kind of car it was, I don't need new or fancy, just an automatic. Thankfully, we found one! A nice little used Honda CR-V.

It was raining when we test drove it, so I let Larry drive and I just drove down 2 small streets. We were with a translator/helper and the Hungarian guy selling it and I would rather practice without an audience of Hungarians in the car! We got it checked out by a Honda dealership and we will pick it up on Wednesday.

We have come a long way from our Texas life of a full size truck and a minivan!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Moving Mysteries and More Pics

We're back to blogland now that we have internet again! It is temporary internet, but should last until we leave for the States for the holidays.

We are getting settled slowly but surely. My goal is to have everything in place before we leave. Today our plan is to hang pictures, and that should make a big difference. We discovered, upon trying to nail something into the wall, that the walls are concrete. Our nice Mr. Attila hung a few big things for me, and today Larry is off to Praktiker, the Hungarian version of Home Depot, to find some concrete anchors. Here a few pics - more to come.

Dining area

Living room

Cade's room

Chelsea's room

Chelsea's room - hard to tell, but her rug is purple. She was excited to pick it out.

Play room

Play room

It is pretty amazing that our stuff made it here with only minor damage to a few things. The journey it took is as follows - boxes loaded onto a shipping container in Houston, container loaded onto boat somewhere, sailed across the ocean, landed in Germany and placed on a truck, driven to Hungary, shipping container unloaded somewhere, stuff loaded onto smaller trucks and driven to our house. Whew! The movers were great and took away a few things to get fixed - a dining room chair, one rug needed cleaning, and the plasma TV stand broke. A few other small things broke as well. Our biggest mystery is this:

We have no idea what happened to the middle cushion. The whole couch was wrapped together in moving paper, pillows and all. Somewhere between Houston and Hungary, a pillow jumped off. Chelsea's theory is that it fell into the ocean. Maybe someone along the way needed a couch cushion. Who knows?? The company is placing a trace on it - not sure how that works, but they say in about 30 days they will know if it is located or not.

We also have some "naked" lamps, as Chelsea calls them. We assume the lamp shades ended up in storage. Hopefully, they will be able to find that box and get it to us. We will wait and see!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home

After 6 weeks of hotel living, we finally moved in to our new home in Budapest. It was so much fun to see the movers arrive with all of our belongings. Truthfully, we didn't miss much other than our bed and some kitchen stuff. That is a post for another day. But, having our own furniture and stuff makes it feel much more like home.

The Lord has been so gracious to us throughout the whole move. Moving across the world with two small children is no easy task, but overall things have gone extremely well. We are amazed at the wonderful home God has provided for us. The house hunt was an interesting journey. We looked at a lot of houses before narrowing it down. Ultimately, we decided on a location that would be halfway between Chelsea's school and Larry's office. At that point, there were two houses we were strongly considering. One we had seen the first day, and the other came in on the last day. The second was newer, larger, fresher, and had walk in closets (unheard of here!). I loved it. Larry was fine with which ever I wanted.

We were ready to negotiate the lease on that one, but suddenly we both didn't have peace about it. We both felt like God was leading us to the first one. It was older, had smaller bedrooms, and we were not sure if all our furniture would fit...still plenty large and plenty nice, just not as nice in comparison. But we both had a peace about it, so we proceeded with a lease on house number one.

God has continued to confirm this is the house for us. We feel so blessed. The landlords agreed to all of our requests in the lease. The maintenance man for the house comes by weekly, and he speaks English! That is a miracle around here. :) All of our furniture fits just fine. We have a great backyard and a long, flat, gated driveway that the kids love to play on. There is a park down the street. In coming to Hungary, we desire to serve the Lord wherever He places us. Just today, I realized that about 3 houses down is some kind of children's home for young children with special needs. Coincidence? I think not. Pray that the Lord will overcome the language barrier and I can find a way to serve there.

We are overwhelmed with God's grace to us!

A few pictures of our home sweet home -
Front yard
Back patio and yard
Living and dining areas
Kitchen. The refrigerator is the upper cabinet on the right! Thankfully there is a US fridge in the laundry room
Bottom floor with jacuzzi/sauna/exercise/play area
Guest room - bottom floor
Guest kitchen - bottom floor

Laundry room with fridge, washer, and dryer! Having a dryer is a luxury here!

Top level has 4 bedrooms - all similar to this

We are getting settled slowly but surely - will post "after" pics once everything is in place!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fa La La La Jézus

Yep -- we went to a Hungarian church today. We got to sing praises to our Savior in Hungarian today. It was kind of fun to be sharing with others, knowing we were all singing to the same God. We were just thankful they had the English translation at the bottom of the screen also so we knew what we were attempting to say.

The preacher taught in English and someone else stood next to him and translated into Hungarian. It was fun. We got to laugh at his jokes before everyone else did as most of the audience only spoke Hungarian, it seemed.

Chelsea and Cade were in the same class as birth through 4 years were all together. At age 5, they start having their own class, but we're not sure if it is taught in Hungarian or English.

So this brings our church count here to 3 so far. We have 3 weeks left before we come back to the US for a month-long visit so not sure if we will decide which church we want to join before then or not. Until then, szia!

Vienna - Day 3

Last day in Vienna! We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, and then headed back to the palace.Schonbrunn Palace offers a children's palace tour, showing kids what it was like to be a child living in the castle. The tour was great. It was self paced and had hands on activities in very room. It was lots of fun to try on the wigs,
set the table,

and sit in the fancy chairs.

The highlight was at the end of the tour, when everyone could dress up in palace clothes. Chelsea loved this, of course! Cade wasn't as enthralled, but tolerated a couple of outfits. We were going to all dress up and take a family picture, but then a kid took Larry's outfit. Oh well.

After the tour, we ate some of the famous apple strudel made at the Schonbrunn bakery before hitting the road. It was yummy! We enjoyed our time in Vienna and look forward to going back someday.