Monday, July 30, 2007

Good News...

We have confirmation that our container will be delivered tomorrow (Tuesday July 31)!
That means plates, silverware, toys, clothes, garbage cans and what we all are missing terribly...our dining room table! I am not going to miss sitting on the floor to eat anymore!:)
Lately we have been having trouble with our internet connection, so that is why some of you haven't heard from us for a little while. Hopefully by the end of this week we will have our connection up and running and we will be able to hook up our Vonage phone too.
We'll keep you posted!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Es sieht so aus, als ob der Sturm vorbei waere.

"Es sieht so aus, als ob der Sturn vorbei waere."
That is our German phrase for the day on our calendar, and it means:
"Looks like the storm is passing."
For evidences that the Hunter house is returning to normal (depending on your definition of normal), here's a little glimpse into the conversation heard around the dinner table tonight:

Abby: "Why are there 6 plates out tonight?"
[Note: There just were 6 plates, no particular reason. Probably
one was going to have sour cream on it or salsa, who knows.]
Brad: "We're saving one seat for Jesus!"
Levi: "I don't see Jesus eating off the pirate plate."
Abby: "That's because he's invisible."
Levi: "He's not invisible."
Luke: "One theory is that He's so big you can't see Him."
Brad: "In His man nature, you can see Him, but His man nature is in heaven. In His God nature, He's a Spirit, so you can't see Him." Then, switching topics, Brad asks, "Have you seen a homeless woman on the street with a cup?"
Luke: "No, but are those people homeless who have monkeys who dance and do tricks?"
Stacey: "Where did you see that?"
Luke: "On TV. And did you know that chimpanzees share 79% of our DNA?"

So.......we are praising God that--
The record breaking heat wave has ended.
Luke's chicken pox are gone.
Brad, Abby, and Levi are pretty much over the stomach virus.
(Stacey seems to have a touch of it, so please pray for her.)
and that we actually had a conversation and a home cooked meal around a table (nevermind that it is our coffee table, and we were all sitting on the floor until our container arrives...hopefully next week!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sense of humor?

In the last post, I felt like was able to keep my sense of humor in the midst of losing my sanity. Today both are almost gone. It began Thursday eve. in an attempt to "cool" everyone off at the movies. We loaded everyone in the non-airconditoned public transportation and headed to the theater. It was hot...very hot. In fact, Austria is having it's hottest temperatures ever recorded...outside of Vienna it hit 103 on Thursday...and "only" 100 in the city! Levi had been extremely whiney and clinging, but I just thought it was the heat. Brad had just purchased the tickets and I had handed Levi over to him to carry him down the stairs. We were literally one step inside the theater and Levi had projectiles flying from his seemed like a bad movie where the person who is possessed just keeps spewing '"stuff" everywhere! For us, everywhere included all over Levi, Brad and of course the entrance to the theater! The lady at the entrance was kind enough to give us a towel as she covered her mouth with her hand to keep from gagging...

Friday, we thought Levi was on the mend from what we thought was just a 24 hour thing, maybe even a different strain of the chicken pox virus that Luke had, and our first luxury items arrived at our apartment...a washer & dryer! Praise the Lord! Things were looking up.

Saturday, our dear friend Tabea offered to take the kids swimming while we had one more opportunity to lose our sanity, sense of humor, and cash at IKEA. We did manage to get window treatments/blinds for all the rooms that needed them at the apt. (Note to self...when buying blinds at IKEA, they do not provide ANY screws or nails of any kind, so purchase those somewhere else or when you get home you can't hang your stuff up!) Later that evening, Levi started to act funny again. This time I thought he was just tired and overheated from being outside most of the day...

Shortly after we put him to bed, he awoke moaning and crying...then the projectiles began flying once again! What? We thought he was was just a 24 hour thing. Boy were we wrong! Then Brad started complaining of his stomach hurting. A few short hours later, he was experiencing the same fate as Levi. This afternoon Abby was the next victim. This seems to be a trend here recently. ONE of us just can't get it. Almost ALL of us have to get it! Most of you think I am sharing too much already...but, (no pun intended) there is more to this virus than just throwing up. Needless to say, my washer has already been put to good use, as every piece of linen we own has been washed!

So today has been spent lying around, doing laundry, finding "Turkish" crackers (as they don't have saltines here...and it was the only store open on Sunday, as all the grocery stores are closed), thanking God for the breeze and cooler weather, and watching movies that we have seen a million times (that is a hint to anyone who wants to send a care-package) :)

Tomorrow if I am not joining Levi, Brad, and Abby praying to the porcellan god, I will try to post some pictures of our new IKEA purchases. I'll leave you with a sentence that my German calendar of the day had on at least made me laugh!

...Ich bekomme um drei Uhr ein Manikure.
Translated means...I'm going to get a manicure at three.
Or maybe we'll save that for another day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who needs...

Who needs toys when your boxes look like castles...

Who needs a kitchen sink that actually works, when you can do the dishes in the bathroom and then dry them on your radiator?

Who needs a car when you can look this cute riding on public transportation (when it was actually chilly here)

Who needs air conditioning when you can almost fit your head in my freezer...

Who needs to go to language school when you have a cute husband who translates for you...JUST KIDDING!

Who needs sanity, when you can have a good sense of humor...Ha!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We officially have an apartment

We've actually been staying in our apartment since Sunday, but we officially signed the paperwork today! It is pretty surreal sitting in my new living room, listening to the sounds of the city outside as I blog! We have found a new home and we are thankful! We are looking forward to our container arriving hopefully in a few short weeks.

These are a few of the pictures from our time with the Prague team...

the girls putting together Abby's bed

Luke and Levi's bed coming together

Praying for our apartment, transition, the city and teammates

It was great having a visit from the Prague team! It was such an encouragement to us, and we look forward to many more weekend ventures!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Polar Express?

I know that I am falling way behind in updating you on all that is happening with the Hunters, but it is with good reason. We have been very busy moving into our new apartment (thanks to Daniel and his HUGE car) and with a visit from the Prague team and our friend Joanna from Budapest, who helped assemble ALL of our beds and sofa! THANKS to ALL!

And then our lives came to a screeching halt when we discovered that Luke has a case of the chicken pox. Not a bad case. (thanks to the vaccine he got many years ago I suppose). The other kids seem to be fine, and Luke has been handling it very well. Still, we have been secluded in our great, but very hot apartment (as the record high temps. are in the high 90's up to 100 all week).

We are making the best of it taking a trip on the Polar Express! (aka. bunk-beds). Can you feel the Arctic winds blowing? (aka. all the fans we own) I need to go, or I will miss the train...but I promise to fill you in on all the many blessings we have been receiving once things settle down here!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Numbering our Steps

Dan Macha from World Harvest is one of those guys you just want to hear pray. On more than a few occasions in prayer with him, I have heard him pray, "Lord, number our steps", a phrase I have adopted into my own prayer life. Yesterday and today, this simple prayer was answered in several obvious ways. Bear with me as I recount the past 48 hours.

Wed. 10:37pm Vienna time. After waiting at a coin phone booth for some 40 minutes to make an international toll free call to Wachovia Bank to get money from our US account wired to our new Austria account, and getting transfered 3 times, I finally get through to a voice mail message for the international wire transfer department saying to call tomorrow during their normal business hours, 8:30am - 4:30pm. Do the math, we're 6 hours ahead here in Europe. I was frustrated, to say the least, but for some reason I sat there and entered the toll free number into my cell phone's memory.

Thurs. 5:30pm. We've been at IKEA with all three kids ordering all our beds, sofa, clothes cabinet...since 11:30am, [note to self: never do this again] and I'm at the cashier for the third time when I'm told that my US Visa card was denied. The first two charges were allowed, but not this one! How can I possibly get in touch with Wachovia in America? I mean, where would I ever get the number? God help me! Oh, yeah! It's in my cell phone. Unfortunately, my Austrian cell phone can't make int'l calls, even toll free ones, so I've got to find a pay phone. The problem is, all of the coin pay phones in IKEA have been changed over to the phone card system, and they don't sell phone cards anywhere in IKEA. All the phones, that is, except one. So I call Wachovia US, using the number I saved on my cell phone last night, the problem was taken care of, we got our stuff, headed to the delivery desk, and set up delivery for Friday between 12noon and 3pm. Later on I get through to Wachovia again and initiate the wire transfer I attempted last night, but am told it might not get through for 3-5 business days.

Fri. 2:17pm. We're in our apartment now, but not officially and only temporarily, because we need to put a hefty deposit down on the apartment before they'll give us the keys for the weekend. The 2 IKEA delivery men are here as we speak, carrying up 5 flights of stairs all the stuff that couldn't be crammed into our very wee elevator. Our bank assistant told us this morning that the transfer process was in the system, but it hadn't arrived, and I quote, "experience tells me that 99% of the time it won't come through until Monday." So we have a ton of stuff that needs to be put together, 13 people visiting us from the World Harvest Prague Team and 2 friends from Budapest, all armed with screwdrivers and ready and willing to help, but we won't be able to get the key over the weekend!?! The phone rings at 2:17 (the bank closes at 3pm), and it's the bank assistant, who asks if I'm coming in, because the money we wired from the US just came in. I left the bank at 2:52pm with the deposit book in my hand, our realtor came by with the keys and to pick up the deposit book at 4:20, and we made it to the St. Stephans Cathedral (Stephansdom) to meet all of our incoming team for dinner at 5 o'clock sharp, the exact time we had set to meet there.

So if you're looking for some way to pray for us, keep praying...that GOD would NUMBER our STEPS.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007



This means, of course, that our prayers and yours for us have been answered for a new least we think! The process for renting an apartment in Vienna is almost as bureaucratic as purchasing a home in the US. We officially signed an offer, waited 3 days, and today we received an officially signed counter-offer. Now we wait a few more days for an even more offically signed contract, then have our realtor comb carefully through it, and only then do we sign and get to move in. Our realtor even mentioned something about an inspection, so we'll see what that's like. TOO much information, but for teammates and potential teammates reading this, it's good preparation.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I'm able to post pictures again...which is a great thing for those GlamGrams! Speaking of the grandmas, we started our morning with a package from them! New Pj's for Abby, Pokemon cards for Luke and some cars for Levi and enough EXTRA brand bubblegum for everyone! Thank you! Thank you! Hint... In the next package I need some hand sanitizer for all of our grimy hands after riding on public transportation!

As much as we have been grateful for this apartment...the space issue is starting to take it's toll on all of us. My kids think my new favorite word is SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
It is hard to keep 5 people quiet in a 1 bedroom place. They also are wanting their own space and toys! They have gotten really creative with papertowel rolls...but we finally had Luke make a reminder of things that cannot go in the living room...forts, food and drinks! Which translates to them...NO FUN!

So what do you do when it is raining outside and you are waiting for your realtor to call back? After you open up an account at the bank, you go to the Schmetterlinghaus! German lesson for the day...schmetterling=butterfly.

The Schmetterlinghaus felt just like Florida! Warm and muggy! We saw lots of beautiful butterflies and plants that must have been shipped in from Miami.

A fun time was had by all! Tonight we are going to make the "American" blueberry muffins, drink Dr. Pepper (which I found at the Spar) and watch the Sound of Music...wish we could invite you all over, but we really have NO room for any of you!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pictureless posts...

Today as I was trying to upload some pictures for the latest blog entry...Blogger had informed me that I used up my giga-bytes or something, and that I would have to purchase more if I wanted to be able to post pictures...well, until Brad figures out how to do that, I'll be doing pictureless posts for awhile. (which aren't near as fun in my opinion)
So a little update about our weekend...

Saturday Tabea offered to watch our children for the entire day...yes, the entire day while we went off the IKEA to look for furniture for our new apartment that we DON"T have yet. Didn't stop us from picking out beds, a couch for our (one day) new living room and even some things for the kitchen. We thought that if we go and pick everything out, then ONCE we DO have a new address, then life will be much easier! Hopefully we will hear something back from our realtor the beginning of this week.

On Sat. eve we had a lovely homecooked meal at Judy and Ron Avery's house.(Brian and Wesley Wilcox's aunt and uncle) They are Americans who have lived in Vienna for many years and serve at VCS. Great to have some sweet fellowship and great food...especially without the kiddos!

Today we started the day off with pancakes thanks to Tabea and Daniel! They went to the Hofer (a local grocery store here) and picked up some "All-American" brand pancake mix, syrup, blueberry muffin mix, marshmallows, jellybeans, bagels, a small package of Oreos and the biggest hamburger buns I have ever seen! All to celebrate the 4th of July. These products aren't always available, just the beginning part of July. It was so sweet of them and the pancakes were D-lish!
We worshiped at CIG and then Brad took the kids to a park so I could clean the apartment and have some quiet time. It was a pretty normal weekend...still just trying to get settled.

Friday, July 06, 2007


This morning we received our first real piece of mail from America! It was a card with the verse: "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you"...Deuteronomy 31:8. We were ENCOURAGED! We had asked you all to pray that the Lord would send some encouragement our way, and He was faithful. I have been praising Him today for the big and little ways He has encouraged us. Thanks for praying!

Another encouragement, was a new apt. that we saw. We are holding on to this apt. loosely, but we are very encouraged by the size, location, and view. It is located in the 5th District, but it has a Streetcar stop right when you walk outside the front door of the apt. It is very easy to find...which is a good thing when inviting guests over who live in the city. It is bigger than the last one we looked at and even a little cheaper. We put in another offer and plan on hearing back early
next week. We are very encouraged and thankful that this might be a possibility.

The new apt is located on the top floor of the white building that looks like a tower

View of the city from the terrace

the kids in the "Tower Room"

As we look around the city for places to live, the kids have certainly enjoyed many new foods and the fun of the city! We have been encouraged by their new love of Vienna!
Was ist das?

Luke has "egg on his face"...and on his pizza

The kids playing at the many parks around the city

L & A posing with a lion at the Natural History Museum

Please continue to pray that we would trust the Lord to provide just the right apt. for us! Have a great weekend...and may you give thanks for the many ways the Lord has been encouraging you!

Snack time...

This post is for the Glam MeMoo in particular likes to see shots in sequence...this afternoon we took a break for some sweet strawberries! Looking forward to chatting tonight!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Three strikes and...

Today has been one of those days...we seem to be striking out!

1st strike: It started with a call from our realtor saying the the people who own and just renovated the apt. we fell in love with, now may want it for THEMSELVES! They will let us know on Monday. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to look at another apt. tomorrow morning...please pray for a clear answer.

2nd strike: As we headed out ( to one of the 3 parks we went to today), we all schlepped down the stairs, the 3 kiddos, snacks and enough drinks for the 1st District...we realized that we didn't have our keys! Unfortunately the door locks automatically when it closes...but fortunately we had the cell phone with the landlord's number in it and he called a locksmith for us! A mere 100 bucks out the window! Ugh!

3rd strike: After returning home from a nice eve. out at the Stadtpark, we came home to an e-mail from the advisor to the Sociology Dept. saying that Brad needs to pursue another subject for his Doctorate (like religion or politics). This does NOT mean he isn't accepted into the University, it just means he will have to pursue another department.

We definitely are feeling discouraged and a little defeated. Please pray that the Lord would bring some much needed encouragement our way! We appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

We're not in Kansas anymore!

Today was sort of a reality check for me. I know we have been here for over a week now, but today was the first day that I have felt like a bit of a stranger in this land. I guess I just needed an Oma to yell at me in German... on the Strassenbahn (that I should be sitting with Levi instead of standing)or at least that is what I think she said based on her gestures. There were about 10 people squished between Brad and I, so he was unable to translate for me!;)

Then came gracious husband offered to take the kids to the park, while I attempted dinner...dessert and all. The applecrisp went ok...and frying up the chicken wasn't a problem, but when it came to making the rice and the "special sauce"...I really couldn't read the directions in German or figure out the conversions of grams and liters for the water and the butter...UGH! Fortunately, Brad and the children returned and Brad was able to help me out. He even translated the actual meaning of the word "wisk" which literally means "snow broom" in German. I know, it was too much info for me too! In the end, dinner was good...but a humbling experience to not be able to figure everything out just the same.

my first attempt at baking in Austria...homemade applecrisp

Even though today was challenging on many fronts, we were able to sign an agreement on a lovely apt. in the 1st District. It is a newly remodeled apt. with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a terrace, and a living area large enough to entertain guests. Now we wait a few days to receive a formal contract and then hopefully move in later this month. Please pray that everything continues to go smoothly.

view of the city from Abby's bedroom

living room and stairs to second floor

I hope you all have a wonderful "Independence Day" tomorrow...please eat some All-American apple pie for us! (we'll make due with our applecrisp)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Laughter...the International Language

Tonight as the kids said their prayers, they were especially thankful for their new friends Sadi and Samuel. (They are Tabea's little sister and brother) We spent the afternoon relaxing on the Danube river, eating lunch, swimming and playing. Our kids don't know enough German to carry on a conversation and the other kids didn't know enough English, yet they played, shared and laughed...a lot! It was precious to watch them at times try to use the German words they did know, like "Grosser Fisch" which translated means big fish! Sometimes they sort of made up their own language by pointing or making arm gestures. I am so proud of them! They are really making an effort to make friends, communicate and become integrated with life here.