Friday, August 30, 2013

Back in Wien...

As much fun as we had this summer, it is really good to be back in the city!
To walk down the street and see buildings with character...

Meet our friends at the park...

Worship at NCW...

Watch the sunset from our terrace...

and make cookies in our kitchen... 

Happy Weekend from our home to yours!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A few things I learned while traveling this summer...

We had a fun, busy, family-and-friends-filled summer, where lots of great memories were made! Brad  had dreamed about, and planned for this trip to America for at least a year. We made it to 23 States and drove over 7,000 miles and kept reminding the kiddos that this was a "trip of a lifetime" and that the "journey was the destination"! We were blessed to visit so many people and churches along the way:)

For 2 of the 9.5 weeks that we were in the States, we rented an RV out West and visited several National Parks. Our kids have spent the last 6 years of their lives in Austria, so we wanted them to see parts of America that they had never seen before.  It was out West that I started to put together a list of a few things I was learning and/or that were helpful about traveling and camping...

*Before you rent an RV or go camping for an extended period- ask folks who have experience with camping what supplies you really need and what parks they have enjoyed.  If you know someone with a motorhome, ask them for a tour of it before you rent your own.  We did this, and our friends gave us helpful advice on things like... what the best camping towels are and getting a mat for the front door of your RV.

*Add another kid in the mix if possible.  We had the privilege of having one of our nephews (Mike) join us.  With 3 kids, there is always someone who feels left out- this solved that problem and provided some extra bonding time for the cousins since we live overseas.

*Most motorhomes that you rent are NOT fully stocked. We had to make many trips to Wal-Mart along the way.

*Everything around a campfire is better!

*Tubing in Yosemite is awesome- especially if you bring your own tube and don't rent one of theirs.

*Squirrels in National Parks are NOT scared of humans and are EVERYWHERE waiting to get your food

*With camping, there is dirt involved.  Bring LOTS of wipes, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

*You cannot have enough zip locks!

*Always try to buy a bag of ice whenever you get the chance.

*Bring air freshener.

*No matter what the temperature is outside, someone will always complain.

*Boys don't care about taking showers, but girls do.

*A boy's best friend is a pocket knife.

*Have a secret stash of chocolate, as living in an RV with 5 other people might prove to be stressful at times ;)

*Keep your electronics charged, as you never know when an elk may walk in front of your car 

*head-lamps are essential (this is Levi's tough guy face)

*Laundromats can be particularly soothing when everything else seems chaotic and messy

*White water rafting in Jackson Hole, WY is fun until one of your kiddos falls off of the raft
*Stopping at the Bar J Ranch is totally worth it...real cowboys make your food!

*God's creation is AMAZING!  See for yourself below!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Day of School...

We arrived back in Vienna on Tuesday evening- which meant we had one day to recover from our summer of chaos before school started.  Smart parenting right :)  I think I last looked at the clock at 2:30 am this morning and the last of the kiddos had finally fallen asleep. Ugh.  At least it is only a half day!

I think they all are were struggling with jet lag, but I also think they were excited to start school today!

Luke is a freshman, Abby is in 7th grade and Levi begins 4th grade!  Wow time flies.


I know this summer I have neglected the blog- and I plan to document our crazy, fun, and exhausting summer soon! But here are a few recent finds that I thought I would share...

(As a result of all of the American treats, we are now trying to eat more salads...don't these look good)
Chopped Salad
Caesar Salad

Would your kids eat lunches like these?

What do you want your children to know?

Have you seen this video? :)