Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Caving for Our Anniversary

Gary and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on July 15th.  Often it seems that people like doing something special for their 5th, 10th, 15th, etc. anniversaries, but we broke the norm and decided to do something special for our 7th!

The couple who did our pre-marital counseling knew that we wanted to go caving and that there weren’t many kids around this summer to babysit, so they offered to watch our kids while we went.  And they told us to go out to eat afterward (thus, making it about a 6-7 hour babysitting day for them).  Al even brought a change of clothes, thinking that they would do some outdoor water activities.

There was a place in the Buda hills in the city where you could go caving, so we made reservations for one Saturday (actually a few weeks after our anniversary).

IMG_8177The cave was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Considering that it was over 90 degrees outside, it felt great!  We had to wear overalls, and now I understand why!IMG_8184It was constantly climbing up and down rocks, crawling on our knees, stomachs, etc.IMG_8182You can’t really tell by this picture, but I’m having to lean against one rock with my back and hold myself there with my foot on another rock.  It had a crack/open space between the two.  Then I scooted down on my back and held myself between the two rocks, then reaching down with one leg could get a foothold in the rock.  Then I had to put one hand down where my foot was and kind of jump down to the ground.

IMG_8186My camera didn’t take good pictures because of all of the dust particles in the air, but here everyone is having to climb up rocks and straddle them with one foot on different rocks half way up.

 IMG_8198Not everyone made it through this hole (there was another way around it).  But Gary and I did, though not easily!IMG_8200

IMG_8167Thankful to be married to this man for these 7 years!  He is such a gift from God, and I wouldn’t want to be married to anyone else!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Time in the City

A former teacher from ICSB contacted me to ask if I could show someone around the city a little.  Her friend was from Pakistan and taking a class for one week in Budapest.  So we met this woman downtown after her class and showed her around some.  Neither Gary nor I have actually ever spent time talking with a Muslim woman who was fully covered, so we enjoyed our time talking with her.

DSCN6548We took her first to the Covered Market, behind Ethan, so she could get some touristy things before they closed.  We brought dinner with us and ate outside while she shopped (she was fasting due to Ramadan.) 

DSCN6539We are rarely in the city, so the kids really enjoyed this time, especially getting to play in a small fountain across from the Covered Market.DSCN6545

Afterward, we drove her to a few other places.  One of the places is my favorite view in the city, especially at night—the Citadella.DSCN6571DSCN6566 Since we were here last they added these blue telescope-type things.  Unfortunately, it made it difficult to take good pictures without including one.

We ended our time with showing her the parliament building from across the river. DSCN6578I’ve included a few “tourist”-type pictures in this post since I rarely do that for our own city and in case someone reading this hasn’t seen these.  I’m actually not even sure if my own mom has seen the parliament building during her visits!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1st Time to Pool This Summer

We hadn’t been to the pool yet this summer, so we decided to go the week before we took our vacation.  Actually, our plan this year was going to be to do several day trips, including the pool, since we were taking only a few days for vacation.  But, up until this point, we only did one thing.  One day of our vacation was going to be at a water park, so we knew we needed to expose the kids to a pool and deeper water before going.

IMG_8126We got this swimming suit from a consignment shop in the States and realized that it’s probably not the best thing for Sienna at this age.  We thought the top being like this would be great and help her float, but it actually caused her to be forward, face in the water, a couple of times.  MANY of the little girls in Hungary don’t even wear a swim top; they only wear something on the bottom, so Sienna REALLY stood out wearing this.

 IMG_8129The Custers also joined us.  The kids played together some of the time.  I think William was trying to show Ethan how to fill this water gun with water.

IMG_8142Since last summer, they have added this palm tree in the kiddie pool.  Ethan enjoyed shooting it with the water sprayer. 

IMG_8161Ethan tried his goggles for the first time.  I’m actually not sure if he kept his eyes open or not when he did this.  But he was pretty proud of himself for putting his face in the water (which he doesn’t like to do).IMG_8162I’m also not sure if I had the goggles tight enough to keep water out of his eyes.  I was never able to tighten my own goggles when I used to swim laps weekly.  I guess it’s about time that I figure this out!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sprinkler Time

We don’t have a sprinkler (thus, we do have some brown grass), but the Strellmans have a sprinkler and have invited our kids to join their kids while playing in it.  DSCN6681 This was Ethan’s first time to play in the sprinkler.  He had a blast!DSCN6687  DSCN6682Sienna didn’t like it so much, so she ended up staying up on the porch watching the boys.

DSCN6696Kevin must have gotten bored and decided to just pick the sprinkler up and aim at people.  Ethan didn’t mind at all.

DSCN6691Ethan is blurry in this picture, but I still thought it was pretty cool looking.  The water almost looks like snow.

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Neighbors

The neighbors who lived behind us were from the States.  I actually taught their high school son when he was in first grade.  They moved back to the States in June, and some colleagues of ours moved into their house.  It’s actually a family that spent last Christmas with us.  They have 3 boys: one turns 3 next month, one just turned 5 and one just turned 8.

DSCN5171We invited the boys over one day while their parents were moving things into their house.  I figured that it could be helpful, especially since they probably didn’t have toys unpacked yet to play with, etc.  This is probably one of the only times they have all played inside. 

DSCN7472 Since they moved in I think our kids have wanted to play with them every day, as much as possible.  During breakfast, Ethan is already asking if they are outside.  We often have to ask our kids to come inside to eat lunch or get ready for bed.  It’s not like they are all outside ALL day long, but they kind of come and go throughout the day.

This has been a very different experience for all of us (probably for the Strellmans too).  The other family had two adult children in the States and two high school students, so our kids were not so enthusiastic about going over to their house.  All houses in Hungary have fences around them, but we have a gate in the fence between our houses.  Our kids would go to their house to play on the swing set, but they never went anywhere else around the house.  Now we have to think about things that we never thought of before such as telling our kids not to walk out their front gate (to the street), not to pick up rocks and throw them (which they never did before, but have now started doing), etc.  I’m sure this will be a learning curve for us and the Strellmans with figuring out boundaries and what works best for each of our families.

DSCN7489I’m thankful that our kids have other kids so close that they can play with, and especially enjoy being outside with.  They play with some Hungarian children who are neighbors, but not as often.  It will be interesting to see how Sienna ends up doing with even more boys to play with now as she gets older (our team has 6 boys ages 11 and under and only one other girl who is 5 years older than Sienna).