Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Up for the Challenge

We have enjoyed a beautiful fall in Budapest. Around here, we encourage fall to camp out for awhile, as we know that soon winter will be knocking on the door. In this perfect fall weather, Chelsea's class took a field trip to Challengeland, a ropes course place up in the hills of Budapest. My parents had just arrived, so we loved that they could go watch her take the challenge.
Silly Mr. Cade. He is on an "exercise clothes" streak right now, and only wants to wear athletic shorts. This day, it was warm enough that I didn't fight the battle. Coincidentally, he is a great little runner and will run his little heart out when he goes "jogging." On a good day, he can run almost a mile. 
Chelsea getting suited up

My serious girl working hard. She loved it and had the best time!
We had to laugh at this ropes course - this place would never exist in the US. People who came on their own were flying down zip lines without anyone to worry if they were properly attached or not.  Our kids got a safety briefing and a practice run, and then they were on their own. They had to make sure their carabiners were attached correctly, etc. Of course, because it was a school field trip, there were school chaperones trying to make sure the kids were all safe. Even with chaperones, it was a great lesson for the second graders in following the rules and being responsible. Fun day at Challengeland!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Geneva Getaway

Last spring, a sweet couple in our church offered to keep the kids for us for a weekend. We never could work out dates then, but they made the offer again in September. This time, we booked flights before they could change their mind! We have never left the kids overnight, so it was a big step for me.  We decided to go big and took a quick flight to Geneva, Switzerland and stayed at the posh Four Seasons. 36 hours of luxury!!

A TV in the bathroom mirror

We enjoyed walking through the Old Town and having a fondue dinner. The fondue was fun, but the best part of the meal was watching some obnoxious Chinese students get chewed out by the waiter. After they told him that that is how they do things in China, he not-so-kindly informed them that they were not in China and in Switzerland they should not act that way. Fairly humorous.

Super fancy breakfast

Switzerland is super expensive ($8 for a small Starbucks coffee, for ex), so loved being able to splurge a little without the kids. Loved having this time, just us. Loved time to relax, rest, talk, and eat meals quietly and slowly. Love that my kids were having a blast with Paul and Erin, and not missing us one bit. Loved the coming home hugs, smiles, and stories from the weekend. Such a great getaway!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chef Chelsea

We have a new chef in the house! Chelsea loves cooking and has taken a couple of baking classes at school. She decided to take it to the next level and cook dinner. I decided this was a great idea, so now I have a little chef! She has proclaimed that I should cook on Mondays, Fridays, and the weekend, and she will handle the rest. 
Cooking is one of those areas where, honestly, it would way easier for me to just do it myself. But, she is so enthusiastic and proud of herself. It would be a shame for me to not use this time and enthusiasm to teach her. Soon, it will pay off! I enjoy having this one on one time with her, too, as the boys are usually off playing while we cook. 
So far, she has learned to use a knife (eek!), the stove, the oven, and the microwave. She has made chicken, pasta, and burgers. Not too bad for a 7 year old! I am the "kitchen manager" - helping her as needed and gathering supplies for her. She is the chef. I'm also the kitchen cleaner-upper, which she is quite happy about. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tiger Trek

I am all for experiences that we call "Only in Hungary."
So, when I heard about a zoo where you can actually pet baby tigers, I wanted to go. Good thing I have small children so that I have an excuse! Chelsea, Cade, and I drove about a hour into the Hungarian countryside to visit the tigers. Larry opted to stay home just in case the tigers thought Logan was a snack. Or so he claimed. 
At this little zoo, they bring the tiger cubs out twice a day. There is a presentation (in Hungarian), and then they pass the cubs down the line of people . So, the picture of my kids hands above is about as good of a picture as I got. The tigers were fairly growly, so they moved them quickly but they came down the line several times. 

I liked the tigers, but I think C and C enjoyed feeding all the other animals just as much.

Sad hippo area...poor guy. But well trained to open his mouth and catch food. 

Peacocks like Cheeto puffs - who knew?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Our 3rd Hungary-versary

3 years - wow!! When we first landed 3 years ago yesterday, life was such a blur. I remember meeting one person in particular that had been here for 3 years at that time. I thought, "How in the world has she survived here for 3 years?" It was such an eternity in my mind!

But, here we are 3 years later. Loving life. Feeling blessed. So thankful for our three years here. Have there been hard times, frustrations,  things we have missed out on at home, and sacrifices made? Yes. But, also so many blessings. We wouldn't trade these 3 years for anything. We won't go back to the US as the same people we were when we left. We will go back with a piece of Hungary in our hearts.

"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."