Sunday, March 29, 2009


We escaped from the big city and headed to the mountains of Zauchensee for the weekend.

The trip was relaxing, energizing and lots of fun! And just like their German skills, the kids have already surpassed me with their skiing abilities too. I'll post more photos after all the bags are unpacked and the laundry is under control again :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still waiting for Spring...

Yesterday we had rain, hail, snow, lightning and thunder, with breakthroughs of sun. The weather has been just plain weird. We are hopeful though, that Spring will arrive soon...

Monday, March 23, 2009


1. New In-line skates for Abby girl. She got them for her birthday, and every spare second she has, she is wearing them...

2. Brad's new coffee cup that Abby made him for his birthday. Every spare second he has, there is coffee in it...just kidding

3. New library cards. After living here for 21 months, I finally went today with my neighbor.

4. Milka has a new friend. His name is Sky. Look how adoringly she looks at him :)

5. New vocab cards for me. Thanks mom.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Levi and Ewan are buddies.

I love how they use their imaginations when they play,
giggle and laugh at each other
and sit close together when they watch a movie.

We are so thankful for the McMullen family, our dear teammates who partner with us in this adventure and also provide a good buddy for our Little Levi

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good things...

Brad and I enjoyed a date HERE this week

and after the show, we went HERE to listen to some Jazz

THIS is delicious

THIS is worth reading

and THIS is just cool

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"It's Helmut, remember me?"

A few weeks ago I (Brad) was on a flight from Düsseldorf to Miami.  I was spending time with my Mom and my Aunt who had a stroke.  I really wasn't in the mood to talk.  I just wanted to rest, watch a movie or two, read a bit... but I was sitting next to a retired man who struck up a conversation with me in German.  I recognized his Viennese accent, so I asked him where he lived, and to my surprise he told me the 5th district, the same district as ours.  

Helmut and I spent the next couple of hours in conversation about life and faith and Austria, and I invited him to our Easter service, which he said he would like to attend.  I gave him my business card, and he said he'd contact me, but after I had been back in Vienna a few weeks, I still hadn't heard from him.  Then two days ago the phone rang, and a voice on the other end said, "It's Helmut, remember me?"   

We agreed to meet at his favorite cafe, just three doors down from our apartment building, and so yesterday we picked up where we left off on the plane.  At the end of our conversation, I was struck by what Helmut said to me, "Thanks for talking me about faith and God.   I don't have anyone else to talk to about these things."

For all those who say that Europeans are unresponsive or even antagonistic to the Gospel--especially the older generation--don't tell that to Helmut.   Really, God has led us to more than a few people who are hungry for something, they just don't know what it is. Pray for Helmut and the many others who come across our paths, for us to be able to communicate the good news to them, and for ears to hear. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Celebrating all things Irish...

I just returned from Dublin, after spending the weekend with a friend who used to live there. I now understand why she loves it so much...

the people, the music, the scenery, the food and the fun!

Happy St. Patty's Day

Pizza Hut, the hunt continues

So for those of you who read my post about our failed attempt to find a Pizza Hut in Bratislava...
I told the story to our Austrian friend Tabea, who in turn said, "Why don't you just go to the Pizza Hut here in Vienna?"  
I replied, "What?  You're kidding!?"

So she told me the address, and I looked it up on the internet, and the kids and I headed there last night, only to find that there IS NO Pizza Hut at that location anymore.  After canvassing the area, I did find a typical pizza and kebap stand (kind of like gyros), and noticed that their pizza slices looked strangely like Pizza Hut pan pizza.  They confirmed that though the owner cancelled his Pizza Hut franchise,  he still buys all the ingredients from Pizza Hut.   

All of this is to say that we enjoyed the closest thing we are going to get to Pizza Hut here in Vienna, and enjoyed it so much that I had a leftover slice for breakfast!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"In Slovakia...Pizza no more."

We got back from Bratislava about an hour ago. (Bratislava is only an hour's drive from our apartment.)  It was a fun adventure with the kids and McMullens in search of a Pizza Hut for my (Brad's) birthday.  We found free parking, then walked through the whole Old Town, then walked a couple of blocks too far.  I asked a 20 something year old man where the Pizza Hut is, and he confidently proclaimed, "It used to be past the hotel on the left, but it's closed now."  I refused to believe him, because a friend just told us that she has been twice in the past couple of years, and I just checked out the website today.  So we walked where the guy said, and saw no signs of a Pizza Hut--open or closed.  We found another pizza restaurant, and asked if they knew where the Pizza Hut was, and they said, "It used to be right around the corner, but it's closed.  There's a KFC down the street, maybe they know something." So we all schlepped down the street to KFC, and I went in and asked the lady behind the counter, who told me in heavily accented English, spoken super slowly:

"In...Slovakia...Pizza no more."

I was so bummed.  We went back to the other pizza restaurant and had the exact same type of pizza we eat at every pizza restaurant in Vienna.

Oh well, at least we'll have a story to tell.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Team March...

This weekend three of my favorite people in the world are celebrating birthdays...

Happy Birthday Brad, Memoo and Abby!

Wishing you lots of fun and love on your special day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Party 1, a field trip and Party 2...

Do you like the title of my post? Really original huh? Well, since the weekend, we have had a whirlwind of activities and now my brain is just plain tired. We attended a birthday party for our friend, Christopher at the Kindermuseum of the Schloss Schönbrunn on Sunday. When we go to a party like this, it is just a great reminder that our kids are GROWING UP IN VIENNA and are being provided the opportunity to have such amazing experiences!
Here is Alice and Abby putting on their gloves, so they can serve their "guests". They got to use REAL china, glasses and silverware and then pick out "play" food. I asked if any dishes had ever gotten broken in the process and she said "LOTS"! :)
On Tuesday, Abby's class had a field trip to the Kunsthistorisches Museum
Some of the finest pieces of art in the world are held here, and Abby got to go here because she is studying "colors"... (and she just happens to live in Vienna!)

After the fieldtrip, we were off to celebrate Abby's 8th birthday! We headed to Dianabad for some fun in the water! The waterslide is definitely the best one I have ever been on! Here goes Abby...

Then we got to eat Daddy's yummy creation...and swim some more
the girls...Hannah, Abby, Alice and Magdalena

So much fun!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Workin his magic...

Brad's momma taught him the fine art of how to decorate a cake...
and we all love when he works his magic!

This is for Abby's party tomorrow. She turns 8 next Monday, but we are celebrating a little early HERE!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Grace in small things...Part 2

There are lots of little things to be thankful for everyday, I just usually don't have the time to keep up with blogging about all of them. Here is my second attempt to find "grace in small things".

1. It seems as though every time we have a visitor it takes a week or two to get our routine back. Not a complaint, just a fact. So, basically this week we were trying to get back in the groove of life. That "groove" this week also involved cleaning, purging and organizing. Thankfully, I have a helper when it comes to organizing! Here is Abby going through the markers and purging those that didn't work anymore.
2. Many of our friends sent American goodies with my mom when she came, and also back with Brad. We have enjoyed brownies from a box and Cracker Barrel pancake mix just to name a few things. The kiddos have also really enjoyed their new hats from Jason and Shannon! A big thank you to EVERYONE who sent goodies!
3. The organizer also was busy learning how to blow bubbles this week.
4. This afternoon we shared a true "Austrian" meal with friends...complete with yummy Suppe, Schweinsbraten, Kraut and Knödel.
5. And last but not least, we did get to see the sun this week. Only for a few short times, but it gave us hope that Spring is on it's way.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Vienna Details Take 2-Flowers

I am ready for doubt about it.

Vienna is absolutely lovely in the Spring and there are an abundance of beautiful blooms. These are just a few I captured last year.

Here's hoping Spring comes quickly, and we all can find the time to stop and smell the roses...

Monday, March 02, 2009

the big 13


we love and miss you!