Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Photo Shoot

I thought I'd post some of the progressions of pictures from the cold photo shoot. Sometimes those make the best memories, yet never seem to make it to the Christmas cards! CRAZY!!!

Merry Christmas!!

From Thanksgiving to Christmas...I guess that not many "blog-worthy" events have gone on in between there. We did get out and take some family pictures, though, so that is "blog-worthy" enough for me! We are enjoying a quieter December here than usual for our family. Yesterday and today (Christmas Eve and Christmas) have been just the 7 of us for the first time ever. It's a good thing there are plenty of us here to make it seem like a party, huh? It is fun to see the kids growing up, and becoming more conversational than before. Some of them are more "converse-y" than others (that's a new word, just for you, Kari)! We are enjoying many Slovak treats as our Slovak friends have brought cookies and coffee cakes to us...different than American Christmas goodies, yet still delicious! However, I do still miss all of those peanut butter and chocolate delicacies (you know, the buckeyes and the ones with the Hershey kisses, and the homemade Reese's bars...) that I always snagged off of every Christmas cookie tray that I saw! If any of you have any of those still hanging around, freeze them for me and someday I will come over and give you huge hugs for saving them just for me! :-)

We all hope your Christmas is filled with the best of family times, fellowship, and the making of great memories, as you celebrate the wonderful birth of our Savior and Messiah! Thank you to so many of you who went the extra mile to mail your Christmas cards to us over here! It is so fun getting those cards out of our mailbox and catching up with you and your families, knowing that you took extra time (and spent the extra postage) to be sure they got to us across the ocean!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011 to all of you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving in Europe

Our first Thanksgiving away from America meant that we got to celebrate it here in Europe. Since Europeans don't celebrate our American Thanksgiving, we took the kids out of school on Wednesday and traveled to Czech so we could celebrate this favorite holiday of ours with the other JV missionaries. As we were driving over the icy, snowy mountain passes, in the dark, without our snow tires on, we wondered if we would even make it. We noticed that the truckers weren't even attempting to go over those mountains in that weather, as they were all pulled over to the side, blocking lanes. We were all praying in the van as Ed drove, creeping slowly along. Arriving at the hotel, we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for God's protection for us, and went inside where it was warm and cozy, with dinner and friends waiting for us.

Thanksgiving morning, the guys played their traditional American football game, then we all sat down to a delicious turkey dinner, which everyone had contributed to bringing. After a relaxing afternoon of watching football (an old Monday night football game that someone had) and napping, we enjoyed the annual JV Talent Show, which all of the JV kids put on for us. It was really quite a show...fortunately our kids went first with their "Circus"; that way they didn't have to "follow" any of the other acts! :-)

So, it was a great three days, and we made our way home much easier on Friday afternoon. As our first Thanksgiving away from our family and friends back in America, we were thankful for this chance for all of us to be with other Americans who appreciate the traditions and festivities associated with this holiday, and who are also away from their families on this day.