Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Few Treats...

:: I don't know the actual name of this dessert, but it is like a homemade Reese's Peanut Butter cup or a flat version of a "buckeye"!  So delicious and soooo easy to make.

Here is the basic recipe~
Melt 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of peanut butter over the stove top.  Add about a box of powdered sugar and stir until the lumps are all out.  Pour into a 9x13 pan and let cool a little bit.  While that is cooling, melt THIS yummy goodness (I actually used 2 of the Glasur containers) and then pour over your peanut butter mixture.  Let this harden and cut into squares.

And if you don't live in a place where they have Dr. Oetker products , then I am sure you can melt some chocolate and cream to make a nice glaze.

:: And we can check off *make cinnamon rolls* off of our summer list!
(even though our youngest kiddos still have one more week of school left)

You can find the recipe HERE

Hope you all are having a good weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saying goodbye...

When you live a life overseas, it is normal to get "good" at saying goodbyes.  I am not saying it is easy~ but I am saying that we try to make a big deal of it.  Make it special. Eat a meal together. Give hugs. Pray for one another.  Share memories.

Tonight was one of those nights where we had to say many goodbyes.  Some folks are just gone for the summer, while others are headed back to the States for good.  So sad. It certainly has been fun sharing our lives together for this particular season...

until we meet again :)    

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Opera...

Here are Erin and Abby, with their matching braids...all ready to head out to the Opera, "The Magic 

We arrived about 80 minutes before the performance started, and waited in line for the standing only/ cheap tickets.

While they stood in line, I snapped a bunch of photos of Levi as he did his own winning performance...
Act 1:: dancing, singing and having a great ol' time running around

Act 2:: Enough waiting already and a meltdown...


Family Night...

Along with the interns regular responsibilities, once a week we get to get together for "Family Night"~ where lots of eating, story telling, laughing and games are played! :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Die Schöpfung (the Creation)

A few weeks ago, the kids had a program at school featuring all they had learned about Creation. Here is Abby with a few of her friends in masks they had made.

Levi was a giraffe

This is Levi's teacher, Mrs. Ulli leading the songs

After the program was finished, we walked around the school and saw the projects that the students had completed on the theme of creation

Levi's class drew pictures describing what they wanted to be when they grew up...
lo and behold, Levi said he wanted to be a Pastor!  Gotta love him standing at his "pulpit" overlooking his congregation...with the sun shining none the less :)

They did a great job and it was fun to see lots of their hard work come together.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meet our Interns...

Eva, Allie, Alli, Brie and Amanda :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

A little crafting and a Flower Friday...

I am glad it is Friday!  It has been a busy week, but I don't have many photos to show for it because Abby and I were hit hard with a stomach bug :(

But our 5 interns arrived safely with goodies in tow (Thanks Mrs. Kimball!) and we are glad they are here to help us this summer! (pictures to come soon)

Earlier this week, Levi came home with some crafts that he made it school...a cute hedgehog and a "garbage" man

And today after school Abby worked on this craft

AdOrAbLe!  Thanks Memoo for sending me the butterfly stamp :)

And here is my Flower Friday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


:: that my hubby is home and recovering nicely from hernia surgery!

:: that our good friends (and old next door neighbors) from Florida are here visiting!

:: that we can watch break dancers in the 1st District

:: being able to watch my friends sing on Kärntner Straße

:: my yellow flowers from Hofer

:: my new polka dotted pinwheel for our terrace

:: my new stack of People magazines that Memoo sent me

:: how Milka pooch watches me cook in the kitchen

:: that my house smells like fresh baked brownies

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Father's Day (sort of)

Father's Day is celebrated today in Austria.  The kids were hopeful that Brad would come home from the hospital and they could shower him with the gifts that they had made in school...
unfortunately, the Dr. wanted him to stay one more night at the hospital, so we brought the celebration to him!

We love you! And look forward to celebrating some more when you get home! :)

Sometimes a hug really does make eveything better...

After a long day at the hospital yesterday, my cell phone rings last night at 10 pm.  It is my friend who is watching Levi.  She sweetly tells me that she thinks Levi needs to come home (instead of spending the night with his buddy as originally planned).  She tells me that he keeps talking about needing a hug from his mom.  Oh my sweet boy!

I apologize for the inconvenience of her husband having to bring Levi home, and she says it is no problem.  I wait for our buzzer to ring- and meet Levi downstairs.  As soon as we get into our building he says to me, "the covers were itchy and I didn't know how to tell her that in German, and when you said goodbye to me, you only gave me a kiss and I needed a hug too!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A day spent at the hospital…a few thoughts from an “Auslander”

We arrive at the hospital a little after 8 am.  The sign out front says “seit 1901”.  It is a posh hospital with marble floors and leather couches.  A case in the lobby is filled with fancy good luck charms that can be purchased for gifts.  The man at the front desk is friendly, but seems to apologize frequently to whoever he is speaking with.

Our first reminder that we are in fact “Auslanders”, occurs shortly after Brad finishes filling out his admission paperwork.  We do not have E-cards like most Austrians, instead we have private insurance.  Normally this is to our advantage, but today the insurance company has not yet arranged a payment plan with the hospital, and the man at the front desk explains to us that if something is not worked out, then HE will personally be held responsible for the balance.  Crazy. 

We provide 2 credit cards to cover the costs and put a call into our insurance company stateside, so they can confirm that we do have coverage.  We hold for about 10 minutes-which seems much longer than that- and Brad explains the situation.  He is careful to spell out the name of the hospital, as it is all auf Deutsch.  Of course with our American insurance company, “customer service” is of utmost importance. They explain that everything will be taken care of without question.  It is certainly in times of stress that we really can appreciate this. This is often not the case here~ and more often than not, the customer is not given the benefit of the doubt.

Thankfully our insurance company is able to confirm, and we can take the exorbitant amounts off of our credit cards, and the front desk man won’t need to take out a loan :)
He sends us on our way with directions to Brad’s room, and wishes us the best of luck.

The elevator smells of smoke- but that is not really surprising to us.  But what does surprise us, are the patients walking the halls with smiles on their faces…a good sign for us.

Once upstairs we are greeted with more smiles, formal handshakes and the exchange of names.  We are led to a room with 2 other patients.  Brad will have the middle bed.  It is awkward for me as the other men, who obviously have had recent surgery lay in their beds, just staring at us.  One can hear a pin drop and I am thinking twice about bringing Luke back with me later.

Brad changes into a gown, but not without first dropping his i-phone on the floor, cracking the screen.  Typical Hunter moment here.  We put his belongings in a locker and we sit in more silence.  Having once worked as a nurse, it is a bit weird for me that no one pulls their privacy curtains and everyone is exposed.  A reminder that I am used to the American way of doing things.

Everything is very white and clean. Each patient has a bottle of mineral water at their bedside. The window is open-as there is not air conditioning- and you can hear kids playing and trucks driving by. Everything appears to be very state of the art, but there are no vending machines to be found storing cold Diet Coke in the halls or access to the internet while you wait.

Soon the nurse enters the room and puts a sign on Brad’s bed stating “Nüchtern”-meaning nothing by mouth.  She takes down his health history and seems surprised when Brad says that he is a pastor.  She then proceeds to tell him that it is a good job to have.  I am thinking at this point that she may be an angel in disguise.

There are medications given, blood drawn and IV’s started.  I decide it is a good time for me to go and check on the kiddos.  Fortunately, they are all happily dispersed at different friend’s houses and I am back at the hospital in less than an hour to find Brad sleeping.

I spend several hours waiting in the hall- reading “The Prodigal God”, by Tim Keller, while Brad rests comfortably in his room.  I also watch patients walk the hall, cleaning ladies push their carts and call lights intermittently go on and off.  It makes me miss my days of nursing and my interaction with patients and their families.

Around 2:30 pm- nurses began passing out coffee and tea (with proper white cups and saucers none the less) to those patients that can have it.  No disposable dishes here. This time, a sweet reminder that I am living in another country.

About 3, Brad is instructed to put on his TED hose and told that it wouldn’t be long before they would take him down to be prepped for surgery.  I was told that it was best for me to just go home, because there is no specific waiting room, and they would call if they needed me.

I am home now~ and will head back to the hospital later this evening.

Thanks for your prayers and kind words.  I will write more later…

*an update at 21:30*
Brad's surgery went well and he was just moved from recovery back to his original room.  He is sleeping now and will most likely be discharged tomorrow.  :)  I am assuming everything went as planned, but I never did get to meet his surgeon.  It has been a long day and we are all tired, so I will say Gute Nacht. 

Much love to all of you that have called, prayed, texted, and took care of our kiddos!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Summer List...

Our list isn't quite as cute as THIS,
but the kids came up with some good ideas :)

(complete with some sweet spelling "wath" instead of watch)

Trying to stay cool...

Even though school has not quite finished, it definitely feels like summer!  We are doing our best to try and stay cool. According to the paper, there are over 40 places to swim in Vienna.  Check this site out if you are interested in learning more :)

Here are some photos from the Strandbad Alte Donau::

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Weekend wrap-up and a product endorsement...

It has been a busy and very fun weekend around these parts!

:: Friday evening we were invited to Herbert and Maria's house for some traditional Austrian food and drink.  Maria made a feast of Schweinsbraten (roasted pork), Semmelknödel (dumplings), lentils, Austrian potato salad, and 3 Austrian desserts!   Amazing!
Here is Dan loading up his plate

and here is Herbert, all smiles as he serves up drinks to the gang :)

:: On Saturday, New City Wien threw it's first baby shower! Congrats Mark and Karissa
Games, good eats and gifts summed up the afternoon!

:: and finally, a quick product endorsement after making a few treats for the shower...

Dr. Oetker is the man!  This glasur is awesome :)

Just melt it in a hot water bath and you can dip away...


or cupcakes!  Add some sprinkles and you are good to go.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend with good friends and good food too!