Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Close Second

So, the second came first and the first came second...???  What I mean is, Ed's second brother Mike came first, and now, his first (oldest) brother Alan came second!  Yes, we've already had two siblings come for a visit!  Alan and Julie came after their work in Germany was finished.  We had a great 6 days with them!  As with all of our American visitors, we so enjoyed spending multiple days together, talking and laughing together, and exploring the town.  Like Mike and Rachael, Al and Julie came without their kids because of their work trip to Germany.  We again missed having the cousins around.  We're always thinking about how great it would be if the next trips included all the kids!

We took Al and Julie to a different castle that we had never been to before, and spent some time in our town too.  Shaylee always gets in on the daytime activities with our guests while the other kids are off at school, so she had a great week with four adults and her! Julie and I had some great times just chatting, in the kitchen, on the porch, or at the cafe in the square.  Alan and Ed bonded while fixing our 4-wheeler!  All in all, we agreed that spending a week together was really great for the family ties!

Thanks, Alan and Julie, for making the huge sacrifice to come visit us, taking time away from your busy family schedule, and from your great family, to extend your work trip to be with us!  We truly loved our time with you two...the late nights of talking were really fun!  Thanks also for the encouragement you were to us and to our kids!  They, too, loved you being here!  Our kids are so blessed to have such love and attention from their aunts and uncles!  It was fun to see them enjoying you and getting to know you better!  We miss you already, and are so thankful that you came!

Story time with Uncle Alan

Thanks, Debbi, for the clothes you sent with them for the girls!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The First of the Siblings

And the winners are...Mike and Rachael!!!  Ed's brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Rachael, gained the title of the first of our siblings to visit us over here!  What a great time we had with them!  Two of Ed's brothers, Mike and Alan, work together and have a client in Germany.  Because they had work to do for that client this month, they and their wives made a vacation out of their work trip, and extended their time in Europe in order to "swing by" our very out-of-the-way-from-Germany town of Bardejov!  Mike and Rachael came here before their time in Germany, and Alan and Julie will be coming after it.

We loved every minute of the time we were able to spend with Mike and Rachael, as did our kids!  Mike and Rach were not able to bring their three boys with them on this trip, and although we were all disappointed to not have the cousins along, our kids made the most of the time with their aunt and uncle, and were so blessed by the attention and love that Mike and Rach showered on our five!  You'll see from the pictures that the kids basked in the attention!  So, thank you Mike and Rachael for loving our kids so well!  Also, they brought an entire suitcase filled with goodies from both them and Ed's parents!  These treats are always so fun for all of us!

Mike and Ed accomplished quite a bit during our week together.  They built some easels for our English camps and made a batch of the most delicious yeast breads I have ever tasted!  Very impressive and diverse talents in these guys!  And Rachael and I enjoyed going out to coffee almost every day!  We all enjoyed great times in our town: touring the town, the square, the historic church and tower, and enjoying the town's coffee and ice cream cafes.  We also took a drive to a huge castle ruins just an hour from our house, and enjoyed a day there.

Some of our favorite times during the week that they were here were the late night talks and card playing!  We have great memories of many nights back in Morton and Tremont, when we would spend evenings at one of our two houses, doing just that.  So, to have a whole week of it was incredible!

Mike and Rachael, thank you so much for coming to see us, for spending the extra time and money to see our world over here!  We loved catching up with you, having such concentrated time with you two, and making some wonderful memories together!  We really hope that someday you can return here, and this time with your boys...what fun that would be!  Thanks for the many laughs and deep talks!  Thank you for the great encouragement you were to us.  We love you!