Friday, August 1, 2014

July 7-11, 2014-Vienna, Austria

We have been on the ICE train a lot this year and here we are on our final train trip of the year.  It is a 7 hour train ride from Göttingen to Vienna.  
We are in Vienna.  So thankful the kids are great helpers.  We couldn't have managed all of this luggage without their help.  Luke pulled 1 carry on.  Seth and Brooke each pulled 2 heavy carry on suitcases.  Joshua pushed 3 and I had 2.  We were quite a caravan.  We got 2 taxis to take us to our apartment.
Right outside our apartment in Vienna.
This is the beautiful Rathaus in Vienna.
Another picture of the Rathaus.
While Joshua has been attending International SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) and presenting 2 papers there. (So, so proud of him), the kids and I have done some exploring and found a couple of fun parks.

Vienna is a beautiful city. I haven't seen any trash on the streets.  It is very clean.
Another picture of the huge Rathaus.  They are hosting a film festival this summer so there are lots of great places to eat outside too.
This is the iconic ferris wheel that has been here for over 100 years. 20 people can sit in each car on the wheel.
St. Stephens Church
Another fun park we found.  This seesaw for 4 people is really fun.
On the streets of Vienna.
Just around the corner from our apartment.
This is what Luke and Seth think is cool in Vienna.  I mean it has black and gold!  Take a picture Mom!!!
Vienna University where Joshua's meeting was held.

Everywhere you look in Vienna there are big and beautiful buildings!
Vienna State Opera
St. Charles's Church
Hundertwasser House
And for the finale in Vienna....a ride in the ferris wheel overlooking the city.
We left our apartment at 4:30 a.m. to head to the Vienna airport for our 2 1/2 hour plane ride to London and then we waited there for a few hours before heading to America on our 10 hour plane ride.  10 hours means lots of tv time!  The kids definitely enjoyed the ride.  I have a myriad of emotions. I don't want to live in Germany for a year again, but I sure do want to continue spending time with our friends.  I would love to bring them home with us!  It was also so fun to see so many things we had never seen before and spend time in six European countries.  I am so proud of Joshua for pursuing his dreams and leading our family on this great adventure!

Teeth...Seth lost 2 in Texas, 2 in Germany, 1 in Vienna, Austria and 1 in the London airport.  The tooth fairy is having a hard time keeping up!

July 4, 2014-Happy 10th Birthday Brooke

I made a treasure hunt map for Brooke to find her birthday gifts and chocolate chip cookies in the forest.  The boys were as excited as she was.
Reading the map and headed toward the "treasure".
Best surprise-Ethan and Emily were there waiting for us!

This was also Brooke's last day of school.  She was very, very sad.  She was so sad to leave her friends.  I am thankful it was such a great year for her.  Joshua and I are so proud of her!  Humbled to be her parents.

Good-bye Kevin

I was so excited when I discovered that Kevin speaks English.  He works at Rewe which is the grocery store where we shop most often.  His last day to work there was the week we left Germany.  We gave him a good-bye /thank you gift and exchanged emails.  They are also closing the store for renovations soon after we leave Germany.  

June 29, 2014-Good-bye Party at the Schiller's

Our friends the Schiller's hosted a BBQ for us Sunday after church.  We felt VERY loved this day!  Lots of friends were able to come.  I honestly never imagined we would make such good friends this year.  Another example of God's goodness and faithfulness to us.

Robert, a friend from church thought Luke was pretty special.  He often gave Luke gifts.
My friend Olga.  It was all her idea to give us a good-bye party.  I love this friend so much and it makes me sad to think about not seeing her.  She told me that before we came she had had two good friends move away.  She prayed for a friend but wasn't really wanting to take the initiative to make a new friend.  So when I asked her last summer to come over and read the Bible with me once a week she never thought that we would become special friends.  God answered her prayer!

June 28, 2014-Rastiland with the Wagners

Rastiland is an amusement park in the middle of what seemed nowhere about an hour from Göttingen.  The Wagners went a lot when their children were smaller.  They thought it would be fun for all of us to go.  They were right!
We were so excited to do the ropes course.

One really wild roller coaster, at least Joshua thinks so.  
This was my favorite ride.
Helmut and Corinna have become such good friends from church.
Their youngest daughter Delia is 13.
Their oldest daughter Leoni is 15.  We can't wait for her to stay with us this summer in Texas! 
You had to work, but it was fun.
And at the end of the day.....rain.

June 26, 2014-Afternoon Tea with Herr and Frau Schmidt

Herr and Frau Schmidt live in the same apartment as we do.  We have adopted them as our German grandparents.  We were so excited and honored when they invited us over for afternoon tea.  Those strawberry tarts are sooooo delicious!
They have a beautiful view of Göttingen from their balcony.
Seth is showing Frau Schmidt his gifts that his class gave to him.
Herr Schmidt and Joshua communicating in German.
We will definitely miss them.  They were so kind to us.