Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 2 of Driver's Ed

Today was day 2 of drivers ed. 7 more hours of sitting and listening and staring at pictures of signs and intersections. Now that I know how much I don't know about driving here, it is a wonder we have made it thus far. There are blue signs and red signs and black signs and arrows and yellow stripes and's all a blur. I do know you can't overtake (pass) a guy pushing a wheelbarrow in a railroad crossing. This is valuable information, people.

We did meet Mr. Translator (Mr. T for short), who will translate for our exam. He will sit across from us at a table and we will sit next to the examiner. We learned how to, ahem, communicate with him on some questions. If the question involves a picture, he cannot see the picture so our communication may be a little, ahem, hindered. The pictures are the hardest part, so I am a little nervous I may be seeing Mr. T more than once. We probably have a month before we can actually get a test date, so hopefully all of this info will stay in my brain for that long!

Here are a few example questions, in case you want to see if you could pass.

  1. If your brake light comes on in your car, what is the problem?
  2. Daily, what are the 5 things you need to check on your car before driving?
  3. What liquid do you add to your car battery and, how full does it need to be?
  4. If you are turning, do you have to yield the right of way (give priority) to someone crossing the street? (Note: the answer is different, depending on whether the pedestrian is on the street you are turning from or the street you are turning on to)
  5. Can you pass a motorcycle without changing lanes?  What if the motorcyle has a side car?
Answers another day.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

16 again

This is probably the most exciting weekend we have ever had in Budapest. We are taking Hungarian Driver's Ed. It doesn't get any more exciting than that!!  As we understand it, in the past the law stated that you had to get your license after a year of being here. No one really cared though, and the few people who tried to take the test failed it. We have been told that most Hungarians don't even pass the test. Recently, the law changed and states that you must have your license after 6 months. It is enforced more, and we know someone who had their car papers revoked because she didn't have her Hungarian license. Other people have gotten pulled over many times and never had a problem. You just never know.

I was all for let's just wait and see what happens, but I lost the battle. So, this weekend we are hosting driver's ed at our house.  It is more fun since there were several of us doing it together, but today it still felt like we were 16 all over again! At one point, we had to go through 100 slides and state who had the right of way and in what order amongst 3 vehicles. My brain shut down at about number 55. The actual exam is oral with a translator since we do not speak Hungarian. Tomorrow, the exam translator will be here.  The teacher said that we can discuss "how to communicate with him". We are hoping that means what we think it means!

So what is the process for getting a license?
1. Submit your US drivers license and college diploma to be translated.
2. Wait to get permission to take the class.
3. Take driver's ed
4. Take the written test, except it is oral with a translator since we don't speak Hungarian. There are about 55 questions.
5. Take a driving test, no matter that we have been here for almost a year and haven't had a wreck! Shouldn't that count for something?
6. Along the way, pay a lot of fees to a lot of people.
7. Get a medical exam.
8. If you pass, surrender your US license. They say that they mail it back to TX or wherever it was issued, and you will get it back when you return. I'm not thinking that will happen.

We will be eligible to take our written (oral) test in a few weeks....we'll let you know if we pass!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Someone in our house is getting taller....and today reached his favorite food. 
Apparently, he can also unscrew lids....
                          He enjoyed some blissful moments alone with the Jif until he was caught.

                                                                        So happy!
                                       So happy until Mommy took it away.....then so sad.

                                                      If you come visit us, bring Jif.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to Reality

A week ago today we left Houston and came back to Budapest.  Houston was a great - so much to do and so many people to see. It was like a month long party!  We loved staying with my parents and I am so thankful to have parents that enjoy having us there for so long and that we enjoy being with for so long. But, the party is over and we had to get back to reality.  The travel itself is always challenging, but we are getting used to it. On the flights, Chelsea is excellent and entertains herself well. Cade falls somewhere between excellent and get me off this plane now.

We came home to a refrigerator full of fresh berries, cut watermelon, fruit parfaits, and a yummy chicken dinner. We have the best housekeeper and she was so sweet to have all of that ready for us.  While we were gone, she also cleaned out all the drawers, cleaned out and reorganized the garage, organized all of Larry's ties by color, washed the couch cushions...did I mention we love her?!! I spent the first few days back unpacking and putting everything away.  I think we set a new record - all suitcases were put away in the first 2 days back - that has never happened before!! The kids were so happy to play with all their old toys and Cade's new birthday loot. Lots of trucks around here now!

Before we left Budapest, I was used to all the "systems" and had a routine. Funny how quickly you forget...and how quickly the culture shock comes crashing back down when you return.  Today, I finally went to the grocery store for the first time since being back.  On the way out this morning, I remembered why going to the store is such a pain....first, I had no change. You have to have the right coin in order to get a shopping cart. Second, you have to remember to take your own bags, or pay for them at the store. Third, the shopping carts have no seat belts for little people, therefore Cade constantly tries to climb out. There are no fun car baskets here!  Fourth, the baskets are all wheel drive, so they go all sorts of directions and are challenging to maneuver, especially with a kid halfway out.  Lastly, you have to bag your own groceries. So, Cade is climbing out, I am trying to put put groceries in bags without losing a kid, I don't have enough bags, I'm holding up the line, my cart is get the idea. Fun times!

The housekeeper and the grocery store...these are the opposites that embody our life here. The ease and fabulousness of having great household help, and the frustration of how challenging simple tasks can be.  Just like anywhere, there is the good and the bad.   Our goal is to enjoy the good and learn to be content with the frustrations that come up along the way.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthday Boy

Our baby boy turned two last Sunday, the day before we came back to Budapest.  We celebrated with a family party at the Little Gym. We were blessed to share the day with many members of Cade's birth family, as well as my parents and Matt and Kayla. We all had the best time!! 

Chelsea made him a Build a Bear puppy for his birthday. She was so excited to give it to him and they had a sweet little moment together.

It has been fun to see the changes in Cade in just the last week.  His vocabulary has increased exponentially, he copies everything Chelsea does, and today I caught him climbing a set of bookcases. He is so much fun and we love him so much! We are so thankful the Lord blessed us with a precious little boy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Fun!

We have relished our time in Texas! We have all enjoyed our favorite foods, Target, outlet shopping, our church, our friends, and our families. The kids have loved having spending so much time with family and swimming and swimming. Cade strongly disliked swimming when we first arrived, and now he jumps in from the side of the pool over and over again. I haven't taken as many pics as I should have, but here are a few....
Me and my girl

Her first time to run through the fun! 

Uncle Matt is lots of fun...he can jump all the way over Chelsea! 
Future Baseball star

Cade says "baseball" very cute!

We got to ride a tractor with Farmer Burns!

Fun times!
"I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor" - got Chelsea singing that song on the way to meet up!

Yesterday, Cade saw a picture of our Budapest house and said, "home." While there are still friends I wish I could've seen, after a month it is time for us to go home. We will head back on Monday with thankful hearts and anticipation of what God has in store for us in Budapest.