Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More visitors!

We were so excited to welcome our second round of visitors last week! Matt and Kayla and their friends, Nick and Holly, came for a long weekend to visit and explore our city. We had a great time!

We began with the hop on - hop off city tour. I had not done it before, but I would highly recommend it, especially for visitors who are only here for a short time. It was great and hit all the highlights of the city.

The city tour included a boat ride on the Danube. It was nice and relaxing!
Chelsea and Holly enjoyed their popsicles!

A Budapest trip is incomplete without a trip to the baths!
Ready for a swim!

We also went to the bear farm to visit the friendly bears - they liked the apples we brought and gave the carrots mixed reviews.

We made a quick stop at Godollo Palace on the way home from the bears.

Of course, we ate lots of gelatto over the course of their trip. Cade was quite happy with that!

Thanks for coming, Matt and Kayla! We loved having you here!

Friday, May 27, 2011

House Hunters International Budapest

Time to provide some thoughts back on the show.
  • It was a lot of fun to do, surprisingly.  This was Carey's deal and neither of us really thought it would happen, but they kept emailing back and forth and finally we signed up.  We're glad we did.
  • We're told they film about 100 minutes for every 1 minute that makes it on the show.  So for the 21 minute show, they likely filmed 2100 minutes (35 hours)!  That feels about right as we filmed 1.5 days in Houston and 4 days in Budapest.
  • We did not get to see it before it aired.  If so, we might have asked that they change a few things, which is probably why they don't let us see it before it airs!
  • The rock star house had carpet from Michael Jackson's villa in the master bedroom. We're surprised they didn't mention that on the show!  The owner of that house was present during filming. Larry asked him to play the drums for us and he said he only plays for money. They played pool together instead.
  • We are very excited to have a DVD documenting our adventures.  Cade especially will not remember much of his time in Budapest, but we can prove he was here! 
  • We are extremely thankful that they kept adoption as part of the story.  We love our agency, New Life, and highly recommend them to others!  Their education is the reason why we believe in open adoption!
  • We also love our families and apologize greatly that they did not make the final cut.  You would have been there if we were editing it!
  • Our Texas-sized needs have changed.  While we've got the home, we'll certainly enjoy it, but it's been refreshing to see how "needs" are so different here.  
  • It's really scary how many people watch this show!
  • We are serious about having guests... if the guest room is open and we know you or you come recommended from someone we know, you're welcome to it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Roll Call

"Let all nations call him blessed."
       Psalm 72:17

It's been a while since we blogged about our struggles finding a church home.  Thankfully, we feel like we are at the place God wants us to be... International Baptist Church of Budapest. 

The church recently celebrated its 20th year anniversary.  Pretty amazing when you think that 20 years ago, Soviet forces were just withdrawing from Hungary!  During the Sunday morning service that wrapped up a full weekend of celebratory activities, we learned more about the way the church began.  The church started with a pastor and one other person.  After preaching to that one person for a number of  weeks, the "audience of 1" confided that he was giving up.  The pastor begged him to come back one more time and thankfully, a few more people showed up that Sunday!  Now, on any given Sunday, IBCB runs between 150 and 200 people, best I can tell. 

One thing the first permanent pastor did on a regular basis was to have a roll call of the nations represented.  He concluded his sermon this 20th anniversary Sunday with that roll call.  As he called off these countries, those that were present from those countries stood up.  All below were represented:
  1. Bulgaria
  2. Cameroon
  3. Canada
  4. Croatia
  5. England
  6. Estonia
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Ghana
  11. Hungary
  12. Indonesia
  13. Kenya
  14. Malaysia
  15. Netherlands
  16. New Zealand
  17. Nigeria
  18. Philippines
  19. Russia
  20. Scotland
  21. Serbia
  22. Singapore
  23. Slovakia
  24. USA
  25. and likely others I missed
It took over 6 minutes to get through these 25 or so countries.  How wonderful it is to know that one day, Jesus Christ himself will conduct that roll call.  I don't know exactly what that day will look like. With the latest prediction of the rapture having come and gone recently, I am more confident than ever that none of us know with certainty.   Best I can tell from Scripture, it won't take 6 minutes when Jesus does the roll call of nations In fact, best I can tell, it will happen in the blink of an eye.  Even more amazing to me, is that regardless of nation represented or religion claimed, there will come a day that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying worshiping with many nations at International Baptist Church of Budapest.  May we all be found faithful, no matter where we worship or who we worship with, to tell the news of Jesus to those we come across.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Autographs on Request

Many of you have asked and we promised we would tell you when we knew...

We haven't seen it yet...

But we're (sort-of) excited to announce our television premiere. Of course, it could be preempted by the end of the world, but we're pretty confident that that won't happen this Saturday.

We're very interested to see how naive we were (and still are) about what to expect. We also suspect we'll find that our "oversized ideals" have changed from when we filmed. Perhaps we'll have a blog post about that after the show airs...

Needless to say, we're happy here and are thankful that this is where God has us for this season of our lives. We still miss our friends and families in the USA. Thankfully, we have met some great friends here and some of our family has already visited or has plans to visit soon.

We hope that this episode will be something special for us. We hope that, in the future, it will help us look back on our time in Budapest with fond memories. We hope that it will give each of you yet another glimpse into our life here in Hungary.

Viszontlátásra (See you soon) from the television...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Christmas in May

We were all sad that Larry got to go to the US without us this week, and we were so happy to see him when he returned!
Chelsea wrote him a book, The Story of Daddy, about all of our activities while he was gone.

We knew there was lots to look forward to when he returned. He took an empty suitcase and it was quite full on the way back! Christmas is May is..... chocolate chips, barbeque sauce, marshmallows, salsa, peanut butter, brownie mix, kids shoes from Target, Lucky Charms, ranch packets, taco seasoning, syrup, and more.....

He was also able to bring back Chelsea's birthday gift from us...and the airline didn't even charge him the over-sized bag fee!
Happy day in our house!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011






Happy Birthday, Chelsea Reese! We love you so much!

The Little Mermaids

10 little mermaids visited our house for Chelsea's 5th birthday party.

They had their faces painted....
and did some dancing under the sea.
Later on, the mermaids turned into fairies and went on a hunt for their wings.

It was a fun day for all...a fun day of celebration for the big 5 year old!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Hills are Alive

Back to the Austria trip...After 2 days in Vienna, we loaded up the clown car and headed to Salzburg, aka Sound of Music land. It was our first trip to Salzburg, so we were all excited to see something new. We arrived after a 4 hour drive and immediately headed out to see the city. Our hotel was near Mirabell gardens, so we began our tour there. The flowers were gorgeous and Chelsea loved the unicorn.
Mr Unicorn is next to the Do Re Me stairs from the movie.

After walking through the gardens, we crossed the bridge into the Old Town. Old Town is just as you would imagine - narrow cobblestone streets, cute little shops, flower markets, and lots of people!

We are fans of the Rick Steve travel books, so we followed his recommended tour. We were all getting tired, but we came upon the funicular to visit the Hohensalzburg Castle. It is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe and almost 1000 years old. We decided we should go ahead and see it while we were there. Larry hiked up with Chelsea on his back...the rest of us took a quick ride to the top.
We were all rewarded with lovely views! There are several museums on the castle grounds, but we decided to take a break and let the kids play instead.
Chelsea enjoyed building a castle out of blocks...
Cade enjoyed running around and climbing things.....
and daddy enjoyed knowing that his Blackberry still worked high over Salzburg.
We headed down from the castle and finished our walk around Old Town before heading back to the hotel. We were all tired and we had two tired kiddos....
It was Cade's first time in a big bed and he did great!

The next morning brought the official Sound of Music Tour....stay tuned!