Friday, August 31, 2007

The kids' vacation highlights

By far, his favorite highlight was fishing! After jumping through a few hoops to get a fishing license, it was well worth it! He caught over 20 fish! Most of them were released, but we kept 5 and took them to a local eatery and they cooked them up for us for dinner! Can't beat that!

We rented a small, electric wooden boat for an hour. This way we really got to see more of the lake. As you can see from the joy on her face, Abby loved being in the drivers seat!

Of course all of the kids enjoyed their ice cream...but no one quite as much as Levi!
(Memoo, we miss you cleaning up the cone after him!)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rested and ready...

Well, we are at least more rested than when we left for vacation...and the kids are definitely ready to start school on Monday. (Mommy still has reservations) We had a great time in Hallstatt, Austria. It is just a 4 hour train ride from Vienna and then a 10 minute ferry ride. The town was absolutely gorgeous and very quiet and quaint. We spent some time exploring a salt mine, visiting an ice cave, doing lots of fishing and swimming in the lake and eating our share of eis (ice cream). We had a great time just relaxing, not having an agenda and enjoying the views of the mountains for a few days.

Now it is back to reality though, and tomorrow we head off to get our school supplies and passes for the kids to ride public to school. We did a trial run last week and we think we will need to allow an hour to get to school...yikes. We are hoping this goes smoothly, once we get in the groove. Now I am off to unpack our bags and start the laundry...oh the joys of coming home from vacation!

Friday, August 24, 2007

My little helper...

Today as Abby was helping me put our multi-colored plastic IKEA dishes away...she casually commented ,"Mom, why aren't you putting them in RAINBOW order?"...if only I had enough energy to think out ROY-G-BIV

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not far from the Kingdom

Brad writing:
Tonight I arrived back at the apartment at 6:30pm after a long day (hopefully one of the last of such) spent at IKEA. Speaking of spent, that's how I felt. Actually, I felt like I had been pretty jerky to my family, and in a generally sour mood. On the tram ride home, I began to pray that God's power would be made evident in my weakness, as a Ukrainian man was coming over for dessert. He was introduced to us through a PCA pastor from the States who was in Vienna last week, and who got to know him and have some degree of spiritual conversation with him, but the US pastor didn't know German and had to return to the States and asked me to pick up with him. It turned out to be a rich two hour discussion, and I was able to share both from the Word and from my own experience MY need for Jesus...not just 28 years ago when I first professed faith, but TODAY in IKEA when I wanted to curse loudly and unashamedly. (Note: the Spirit and my wife restrained me!) I sensed great receptivity from him. In his own words, he is spiritually restless, feels distant from God, and he is searching for faith, peace with God, and a Christian community where he can grow. PLEASE PRAY that God would rattle our conversation around in his mind and sink it into his heart, that the Gospel would begin to make sense and take root.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Please pray...

Please join our family in praying for this 2 year old little boy, Jude. He is the nephew of Tom and Vicki Gilliam, World Harvest Missionaries serving in Ireland. Here is his story.

What I HATE...

Not that anyone asked me, but I HATE broken glass!

We awoke to find that our glass book shelves had shattered...literally glass everywhere. Big shards and little microscopic pieces that have the potential to shred little bare feet. Of course it had to crash onto all of my scrapbooks...which then had to be looked through page by page to check for glass!

Just in case anyone cares...I HATE broken glass!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another Week-in-review

It has been so hard to keep up with blogging since our internet connection is never a sure it is easier to just give you all an overview of what our week has looked goes...

Monday- Participated in "Serve the City", an event that brought together ministries and churches from Vienna and throughout Europe to serve in various ways, such as cleaning out the YMCA attic, prayer walks, random acts of kindness, and more.

Tuesday- I (Brad) had an appointment at the University and was given an acceptance letter into the PhD program in Sociology. Interestingly, as I was unpacking boxes, I came across a book "One New People: Models for Developing a Multiethnic Church", and just happened to read on p.73 "Sociology by itself can describe what is happening but cannot provide direction for change. Theology can provide purpose but by itself does not connect very well with the real world in which the church is living. Together they make a strong partnership." That is our hope for Vienna: connection with the culture with hope and direction for change.

Wednesday- Dali came to babysit and bring her cute puppy Dolce for the kids to play with while we actually had a date night, our first in Vienna! We went out to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary at a Mozart concert in the Musikverein and then at TGIF's for a little Oreo Madness.

Thursday- Unpacked boxes, tried to get organized, went to the market as per usual and probably did a few loads of laundry...boring everyday stuff.

Friday- We had some American girls over for dinner who teach at the Vienna Christian School. The kids loved having people over, so they could show off their new rooms and play games with. Anne and Cindy were good sports, as it was evident that the kids were wanting some fellowship!...It was also fun to ask them about things to do in the city, where they liked to shop and fun events to attend etc...

Saturday- We discovered Bobby's! (thanks to the girls) It is a British/American shop that imports Oreos, A&W Rootbeer, cake mixes, vanilla, chocolate chips, and even American brown sugar! All the staples we Americans think we can't live without:) It is walking distance from our apartment!

Sunday- Went to church at CIG and Tabea shared with us the FANTASTIC news that she and Daniel got engaged! We are sooo happy for them! Then this afternoon, we had a knock at the door and it was our neighbors from downstairs inviting us over! We had a great afternoon of getting to know each other better and letting the kids just play with their 2 small boys (3 & 1). We are so thankful for very nice neighbors!

So, as you can see, a week full of activity and full of blessings. Thank you for your faithful prayers for us!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Official!

We found out yesterday that Brad got ACCEPTED into the PhD program at the University of Vienna, in the Sociology Dept. Brad will explain more of the details soon, but it really was totally of God! Thanks for praying for us and rejoicing with us!

Tonight we are going out on the town, to celebrate our 10th wedding Anniversary! (one day early) Dali is bringing her doggy over and is going to have a movie night with the kids...they can hardly wait!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week Wrap-Up

What we have been up to this week...

*unpacking boxes

*putting together IKEA furniture still!

*Stacey took a humbling German placement exam at the Deutsch Akademie
(let's just say I'll be in the beginner's class;)

*unpacking more boxes

*found a fabulous Mexican restaurant (yes, in Wien)

*still unpacking boxes

*been memorizing Luke 6:27-31 with the children (because they can be both best friends and worst enemies)

*yes, still unpacking boxes

*spent a "girls day" with Dali

*unpacked and broke down more boxes

*had a playdate at the park with our neighbors who live directly below us. They are an Austrian family with 2 small boys. We had a great time!

*did I mention unpack boxes???

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


We still cannot upload pictures because of our slow internet I will wait and post about our time with Dominic, Kathryn and Tamara when I can put some pictures up. Until then, since I can't seem to keep up with my in box, I thought I would answer some of the "Frequently Asked Questions" that you have been sending our way...

1. What is your new address?

Wiedner Hauptstrasse 108/11
A-1050 Vienna
Austria (EUROPE)

2.What goodies can we send you?

Whatever you do...try to keep it light, as it is very expensive to send are a few suggestions

*handwritten mail (esp. for the kids)
*drawings or photos from their friends
*fruit snacks/fruit roll-ups
*Kool-aid (the kind you add sugar to)
*gravy packets or any sort of sauces in the small packets
*Twizzlers (Abby's favorite)
*cream of tartar
*cake mixes
*jell-o boxes
*pudding boxes
*Kraft Mac&Cheese
*brown sugar

(A big THANK YOU to Shannon, Amy, Dede and the Glam Grams for already sending yummy treats and needed toiletries!)

3. When do the kids start school?

The first week of Sept. I also will be starting German 3 hours/day, 4 days a week when they start school.

4.Does the church you attend speak German?

The Pastor preaches in English and then it is translated in German. (That is most likely what we will do once we start public worship)

5.Do you have a phone yet?

NO! Unfortunately we are waiting for our internet to be hooked up, and then we will hook up our Vonage (then you will be
able to call us like it is a local number)

6.Do we have our Visa's yet.

Nope...hopefully that will happen once we get Brad registered for University officially (that begins in Oct.)

7.Is the grocery store getting easier?

Yes! Everyday I get my staples and I use my "trolley", which is a little cart on wheels that you load your goodies up in.

8.Are you settled yet?

No! There are boxes everywhere still...trying to do a little bit everyday:) but we love our apartment!

9.Who is having the hardest time with the transition?

We all have our moments...but lately Abby seems to be missing her old house, friends and family back in the states. She can be pretty moody and swing from happy to very sad in an instant. She also is still very clingy to mom!

10.When can we come visit?
ANYTIME! We love guests! Some of you have already planned trips in Oct., Dec. and March. We can hardly wait!

11.How can we pray for you?

*our adjustment with school
*that we would make friends quickly (there are some very nice families in our building)
*we would live out the Fruits of the Spirit...toward each other and those around us (even the mean ladies at the grocery store)
*Brad's entrance into the University of Wien

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Christmas in July

This morning Abby said, "It feels like Christmas! We got all of our toys, and it's cold outside." While our Floridian kids don't really know what cold is yet, they do know toys. After 3 lean months living out of suitcases, our container officially arrived yesterday, and we've spent the last 40 hours unpacking. So we're tired, but very happy. Stacey will be glad to see me wear more than 3 t-shirts I've been rotating as of late.

Tomorrow Dominic and Kathryn and their kids Emily and Andrew come to visit us. They have been strongly considering joining the team for several months, and now they're here to experience Vienna up close. Please pray for their time with us. Abby has been busy making pictures and crafts for their visit.

While you're praying, please pray for our friends Brian and Wesley Wilcox. Their infant daughter, Amelia, is undergoing cranial surgery this Friday. You can read more HERE.