Travel with our family as we learn about, live amongst and embrace the people, culture and country of Hungary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


We went to Croatia with our friends the Alderman's to stay for three nights. It was a lot of fun. The first day was driving.....and driving...... and driving.......did I mention driving? When we finally got there it was about 12.00 pm. So we did some hiking, we hiked and hiked and hiked. Oh and forgot to mention we hiked. All of the kids,( and the Alderman's kids, Matthew, Joshua and Anna) went home with the dads, Jeff and Patrick. While the moms Tania and Charlynn, continued the hike. We still had to walk to the bus that would take us to the parking lot. And all the way to the bus I had to carry Anna( who was 5). She LOVED ME so much she would follow me every were I went. I didn't mind at all. When we finally got to the bus we went home and had ravioli for diner. And that was day 1 of our trip.

Yours truly


Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday America

It's July 2nd, who's birthday is getting close? America's!!! It's 3.20 here in Hungary, we just got back from the grocery store. And no we don't go to the local market, to crowded. We just got back from TESCO, kinda like a Hungarian Walmart. We saw some beutiful gipsies there. And no gipsies are not bad, they just dress like the traditional gipsies dress but there not bad. Well then we got back and are still finishing up home school. And yeah it ROCKS!!!! Well that's all that's going on here. P.S sorry about the spelling I mean Im only 9.

By  Rachel

Friday, June 29, 2012

A little catch up on whats going on in Papa Hungary.

Its June 29 of 2012. Im Rachel, the second oldest child. Sorry we haven't posted in a while. Things are busy around here. Rebecca and Sarah just had birthdays so I haven't posted in a while. Ok, so were should I start. We moved to a new house and and spent Christmas it was woulderful. But we really need to focus on what Christmas is really about. Well now its Spring, still cold but its here! In January and Feb we got some snow fall, but not a lot. Only about three inches over all. After that it got warmer and there were a lot (when I say a lot, I mean A LOT!) of flowers. My mom would have said "ohhh this is soooo beutifullll!" In my case its not that big of a deal, but my mom says its so beutiful about every thing, so im used to it now. Well on Easter we got tiny, tiny flakes of snow. It was kind of funny. And after that came, Sarah's birthday on May 9. She had some of her freinds come over and had some cake, cupcakes and icecream. It was a lot of fun. And right after that came my other sister Rebecca's birthday. On June 7, we had a lot of fun (I was a little jelous myself) but we had a lot of fun. We also went to Karate camp and meet are friend Cheyene, She's not a Christian and we had been talking to her about Christ a little bit, but not a lot. Well thats all for now and try to keep you updated.

Yours truly,

Rachel E Daniels

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birthdays, surgeries and friends (old and new)!

- Almost three months since I last is full, busy and blessed here in Papa, Hungary!!!

- We celebrated three birthdays these past three months - Jeff on Sept. 20 (had Chinese food in Gyor), Tania on Oct. 3 (had Hungarian food in Papa) and Grace who turned 10 on Nov. 9 (took a friend and went downtown for some shopping and lunch). We're thankful for every new year the Lord gives us!!!

- I have discovered a wonderful way to spend an evening...watching Jane Austen movies with some of my friends and sharing a yummy dinner!

- Went to see the ruins of a Roman villa. Amazing that so much of the structure, mosaic floors, and items found in the villa still remain after more than 2,000 years. I think the kids enjoyed seeing it and also eating at McDonalds.

- I've had to take the kids to the pediatrician here in Papa a few times...usually only have had to wait 30 minutes...not bad. Here, at the Dr and the vet, there is no waiting list to sign up on when you just sit down and everyone just goes in based on the order that they arrived...seems to work well

- Jeff was unfortunately gone a lot these past three months...back to the US for training, to Germany for medical tests (everything is fine) and various other trips. We are happy to have had him home for the past three weeks!

- Have enjoyed eating and cooking some yummy recipes from my friend, Sevtap, who is Turkish!

- In early October we were so excited to have our friends, the Alderman family, visit us! Thermal bath, jump castle in Gyor, stork restaurant, walking street...we enjoyed showing them all the sights, tastes and sounds of Papa and the surrounding area! But best of all, we got to talk lots and the kids got to play lots!

- Just finished up a Beth Moore study on the life of David with my ladies' Bible study. Such a wonderful study...biggest lesson learned - God is looking for a heart that loves Him absolutely and wholeheartedly more than He is looking for perfection.

- Here is an article that talks about Jeff's squadron here in Papa and all the work they do...I am so proud of him and all the folks here! C-17s in Hungary

- In October we had a nice time at the Chestnut Festival in Velem (about an hour west of here). People performing on stilts, eating roasted chestnuts, jump castles, music and vendors...a very nice time. What a pretty area of the country with the hills and trees! Here is a picture of all the kids watching a puppet show.

- Had some highs and lows when it comes to friends...high - our good friends, the Hobbes, get to stay in Papa for a few more months...bad news, our good friends the Comptons who were supposed to come to Papa in Dec will no longer be coming :(

- We had a wonderful week in Italy when we went to Aviano Air Base for medical appointments. We got to go to Venice one of the days. Venice was beautiful!!! And it was a perfect day weather-wise...thank you Lord! Fav parts about Venice in the minds of each kid - Sarah - climbing everywhere, Nathan - getting mask, Rebecca - wearing mask, Rachel - holding wild pigeon,
Grace - feeding pigeons. Looking forward to returning there with visitors in the future.

- The weather in Hungary for all summer and fall was absolutely beautiful! Now it is getting cold and I do not like thankful for a warm house!!!

- On November 4th we were all thanking God that He sent His angels to protect Nathan and we were so  thankful to the bus driver who saw a little boy run right in front of his bus and stopped in time. So loving our precious son and our precious Jesus!!!

- Our little dog Molly, that Jeff and I first bought in Okinawa almost 16 years ago, passed away in early November. She has been lovingly taken care of by Jeff's parents for the past 7 years (she didn't do too well with kids). Thanks Dad, Mom and Karen for all the TLC. I know she will be missed!

- I got the opportunity to share with our home church, the plight of the persecuted church throughout the world on the International Day of the Persecuted Church Sunday. I hope to do more work with Voice of the Martyrs and Gospel for Asia in the future!

- We moved houses a few weeks back...bigger backyard and bigger living areas. Whew! I am still unpacking! Hopefully we won't be doing this again for at least another year or two.

- Had a wonderful visit from our friends, the Smerz family! Budapest, thermal baths, shopping, yummy restaurants and Thanksgiving!!! They have been such faithful friends to visit us in Texas, California, Charleston, Korea and now Hungary!!! The laughs around the table and the children enjoying each other were so good for my soul!

- A few days before Thanksgiving, two other American moms and I put on a Thanksgiving celebration for the kids at Nathan and Sarah's Ovada (Kindergarten). We told the story of Thanksgiving (with translation), had food, made crafts and even had pilgrim hats and Indian feathers for them. It's funny how even Hungarian kids can run around, whooping like Indians. Here is a video of a song that the Hungarian children sang for us, at the end of the celebration. It's about a turkey.

- What a nice time we had for Thanksgiving! We had our friends, the Smerz family here, and then we invited our neighbors on either side from our old house. Jeff told the story of Thanksgiving and our Hungarian friend Peter translated it. It was so neat to share this special holiday with old and new friends!!!

- We finished up November and into December with a week-long trip back to Aviano AB, in Italy. This time it was for both Jeff (planned) and Rachel (unplanned) to have surgeries. Both are doing well...Jeff for hernia and Rachel for an abscess in her throat. What a whirlwind three weeks we have had! I'm looking forward to slowing down a bit! But PTL, everyone is fine, we have a warm home on a cold night and it's Christmas time!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goulash, Lake Balaton and windmills

- Szia (Hungarian for hello) family and friends! I'm trying to get back into Hungarian. We were taking lessons every week for the first few months, then we stopped over the summer, but now we are back with our teacher, Csilla, twice a month. We are also working on other languages...Jeff is brushing up on his German (he has spoken quite a bit around here as well as in Austria, Switzerland and Germany) and Grace is learning German (thanks Rosetta Stone) while I am getting refreshed on my Spanish and Rachel and Rebecca are also learning it.

- So happy that we have found a home for the little bird we rescued. "Alex" was doing great but couldn't fly due to an injury to its wing and foot. We couldn't keep Alex because of our dog Jake who is a hunting dog. Called the local vet and they found a home for Alex with a family who raises birds...yeah!!! It was such a neat experience to watch this birdie develop! We'll miss Alex.

- Rebecca lost her first tooth. She was so excited. Now she has a second that is a bit loose...keep in wiggling it!

- Sarah has decided to use the potty, almost every time. Yeah! That is a big excitement for Mommy who has been changing at least 5 diapers a day, or more, for 9 years. Way to go Sarah!

- Here is a short video on Papa, Hungary. It gives you a good idea of what the town looks like. I still drive around town and get a smile on my face when I think that we are living in Hungary and in such a quaint town

- We discovered, thanks to some friends, a really fun jump castle facility...just
like the ones in the U.S.

We went there for some friends' birthday party and then turned around and went there two weeks later for Rachel's 9th birthday. With pizza and cake back at the house, Rachel had a great birthday!

- The weather this summer has been absolutely beautiful! A much cooler summer here in Hungary than most of our friends in the US were experiencing. Overall, since we've gotten here, the weather has been great! I sure do like sun!!!

- Went back to the Dobronte castle ruins. Had a wonderful time with the family and Jake! Anyone who comes visit us will get to see it!

- We had a wonderful time over dinner with our Polish friends a few weeks back. We even tried blood sausage (actually, not too bad). My great-grandparents from Poland would have been proud! What a great group of people!!!

- We went to a great outdoor museum complex in Budapest in August with some friends. It's kind of like a Williamsburg for Hungary. Not expensive either. I posted a bunch of photos on my Facebook page but here is one of the windmill.

- Later, in August, we spent a lovely afternoon hiking in the Bakony hill area, about 20 minutes from our home. So beautiful!!! The kids did great on the 2 1/2 hour hike and Jake really liked it to. Why don't we do this more often? Only drawback...while we were starting out, a big pit bull jumped on Jake three different times. The owner finally reeled it in. As we were on our way back and later on in the car, Sarah kept talking about the "pickle." We had no idea what she was talking about until we realized that to her "pit bull" is "pickle." So now, any time we see a pit bull, it is a "pickle."

- We got invited to both of our neighbor's homes, on either side, at different times for a traditional goulash meal. What a wonderful time! And so yummy! We are truly blessed with wonderful neighbors. We hope to repay their hospitality soon!

- More and more. we can play older games with the kids. Recently we played Rummikub, Pictionary and Catch Phrase...I so enjoy that they are older and I can play games like these rather than Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders!

- In early September, we had a great time at Lake Balaton (our first time there). It's the largest lake in Central Europe and is only an hour away. Think -  beach town mixed with mountain town. Lunch, a boat ride, walking around and ice cream. What a neat place! We definitely plan to return!
I posted a bunch more pictures on my Facebook page.

- Sarah started attending morning Kindergarten/Pre-School at the local Hungarian/International school...the same one Nathan has been attending since January. She is having a great time! She and Nathan are in the same class...Lavendar. Her little symbol is a sunshine. Here Sarah is at the table, drawing with all the other little girls. There are about 6 girls in her class and 12-14 boys. About half of them are from international parents.

- With the two little ones at school in the morning, it is so much quieter at home. We are going on our 10th week of school and homeschooling is going great! Grace and Rachel are in 4th grade and Rebecca is in 2nd. Nathan does Kindergarten work with me when he gets home. Daily I thank God for the freedom to homeschool and a supportive husband. Very few people in Hungary, in fact, in all of Europe, homeschool. So, I often get to answer questions about it when I talk to the ladies here.

- Grace, Rachel, Rebecca and Nathan have started karate class. They go twice a week. They are the only English speakers amongst the students but a couple of the teachers speak English and they seem to be doing fine. They really enjoy it, it's a great workout and should be good for them. Jeff did karate for years so it should be fun for him to watch them progress in martial arts.

- Last Saturday night Jeff and I had such a nice time going to the Papa Wine Fest at the palace grounds,  complete with Hungarian folk dancing and music and some comedy show which would have been funny if I could understand it. We even ran into our friends which made it even nicer! I so enjoy living in Hungary!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Time sure flies

Has it really been more than two months since I blogged? Time is flying by. Life in Papa, Hungary is settling into a normal, predictable routine, interspersed with interruptions here and there. I will speak of the interruptions.

It's easy to stay in the house, doing homeschool (we had 7 weeks off for summer break but have now started our new school year) and forget that we live in a foreign country. But I don't want to do that. I want us to embrace this new culture and its people...this wonderful country that is Hungary.

I'm going to go back all the way to May, which is when I last blogged. I'm thankful for Facebook to help me remember all that has gone on.

- We had a nice dinner with some friends from Norway. It was interesting talking to them about their country and its politics and comparing that to America. They deal with some of the same issues with immigration, socialism, etc., that we are seeing in America. They brought us a beautiful dish from Norway. The tradition of gift giving when one visits someone else is so nice. I also like the tradition that some European countries have of a kiss on both cheeks in friend from Romania greeted me that way when she saw me yesterday. I am very sorry to hear about the shootings that just took place in Oslo, the youth camp and in their government buildings. The people of Norway are in our prayers.

- Jeff and I attended a military ball with members of his flying squadron. It was so neat to share a table and dance floor with people from 12 different nations, all committed to peace and freedom in Europe and the world. One thing I have to say for our European friends...they sure can dance! I am looking forward to next year's ball! of the neat things about being married to a military guy is that you get to dress up in ball gowns yearly and go to big dances. I don't know how many professions out there still do this. Here's a picture of us and our friends.

- Celebrated 15 wonderful years of marriage to thankful for his love, friendship and partnership!

- We have two wonderful babysitters for the American and one Hungarian. Nathan got called something that none of us has ever been called before..."cheeky." It came from our Hungarian babysitter who speaks British English. I tried not to smile when she said this because he had definitely been "cheeky"...he lost Wii for two weeks for his behavior. But, I just enjoy the differences between British and American English. :) We have another good friend who is British who points these differences out sometimes as well.

- We all attended a local Hungarian church in May, Faith Church. It's one of the 25+ satellite churches that are related to the large Faith Church in Budapest. The main pastor of Faith Church in Budapest was imprisoned and gave his life to the Lord and then started an underground church in Hungary during Communist times. It is quite a can read about it by clicking the link above. At the Faith Church in Papa there was an awesome worship time (we recognized some of the songs and for those we didn't, we did our best to sing along in Hungarian). The sermon was translated for us by two of the church members. This is the church that our neighbors go to. The kids had a great time in their meeting and surprised me by wanting to stay longer even though the service was 4 1/2 hours long. It grew me as I got to worship with Hungarians. What joy filled their hearts! Quite an experience!

- In the beginning of June we went to the local park by the palace, our favorite park, and Rachel gained quite a few fans there. She fixed the zip line rope that had been broken for a few weeks. After tying on the new rope that we brought with us, she was surrounded by about 20-30 kids who then spent the next half hour happily using it. When they left the park, one boy ran up to her and said "I love you, I love you." So fun to watch! Unfortunately, when we returned a week later, that rope had been stolen and so no more zip line. Why do people do that?

- We are wanting to learn all that we can about the city of Papa. I recently finished reading a book (online) about the Jewish population here in Papa (largest outside of Budapest) and what happened to them during WWII. Out of the 2,565 Jews deported from Papa, only 300 returned home. The number of murdered children was 671. Absolutely tragic! Here is a link to the book Papa's Jews  There is a synagogue in Papa which is now abandoned...since WWII. We have looked inside and it must have been beautiful at one time. Here is a picture from the outside.

- Nathan's Preschool had an end-of-year picnic. The kids had lots of fun. He has done really well there and we have been very pleased with his teachers and all that they do. Sarah will be joining him just as soon as she decides that she wants to be potty-trained. I have tried everything I know to get this little girl out of diapers but so success. Here's a picture of our happy boy at the picnic.

- We all had the opportunity to attend a horse demonstration in a town not far from here. The program included archery and swordsmanship on horseback. They wore traditional Hungarian costumes. It was really neat to watch. Afterwards, all the kids got to ride around the ring. This was the first time for Nathan (I think) and Sarah. Both of them did a great job. Fun afternoon for everyone followed up by a traditional Goulash lunch...yum!

- At the beginning of June our good friends from Charleston, SC, the Compton family, came out to visit us for a couple of days. We had a great time with them touring Papa, going to a local fair in Papa, visiting Sumeg Castle and Tapolc (where we went boating on an underground river) and out to eat for some yummy food. The kids had such a fun time together. I posted a bunch of pictures of all of these things on my Facebook page. I finally got some good pics of Papa and the surrounding countryside thanks to LaKrisha Compton and her camera. The town of Papa looks very pretty now as there are flowers people's gardens, from their window boxes and hanging from pots on every light pole downtown. The only place there are hardly any flowers is in our yard. I like the inside of our house but the outside is lacking in flowers and other pretty plants.

- While the Comptons were here, their daughter Kiersten was about to celebrate her birthday and so was Rebecca, so they got to have their birthdays together. Rebecca turned 7. What a sweet, lovely girl she is. She definitely brings much joy to her family...just as her middle name of Joy suggests.

- Our neighbors brought us two big bags of cherries off their trees and some honey she sweet! We made a chocolate cake and brought it over to them as thanks.  Later the same week, I took the kids to a local strawberry patch to pick strawberries. They were very good and I was so glad to continue our yearly tradition of picking strawberries. Now I just need to find a blueberry patch. Many of the houses here have fruit trees everywhere.

- Jeff continues to fly a few missions per month...some of them go to Afghanistan and Iraq with supplies, some are for airdrop training in various locations and some go back to the US. He instructs the pilots from other countries. He's such a good pilot and provider for his family.

- We started our new homeschool year on June 13. Grace and Rachel are in 4th grade (I've moved them online for some of their courses and they seem to be enjoying them), Rebecca is in 2nd grade and Nathan does Kindergarten with me in the afternoon when he gets home from the Hungarian kindergarten. The first couple of weeks have gone well...very busy!

- On June 16th, Jeff's grandma Beulah went home to be with Jesus. We were able to fly out to Fayetteville, NC and spend time with his family. She was such a wonderful lady and blessed so many people with her life. After leaving Jeff's parents' home, we spent a week, unsuccessfully, trying to catch a military flight back home. We finally ended up buying airline tickets, thankfully at reduced rates because of Jeff's American Airline ties. The bright spot in that week was seeing friends in Charleston and getting to stay with some friends in Dover. Here is a picture of Jeff's family at the luncheon after Beulah's funeral.
- While back in the US, the best parts were seeing family and friends, the restaurants (since Papa is a small town, it really pretty much has Hungarian food restaurants) and being able to break out of my "bubble of silence" and speak to people when I am going to the stores. I was reminded of what a small world it is when I took my broken Macbook to the Charleston Apple Store...the guy helping at the counter spoke Hungarian, of all things...his daughter is adopted from Hungary.

- Two days after we got back from the US, we rescued a baby bird (only about 2 days old) from the jaws of the dogs next door. As of today, "Alex" the bird is 2+ weeks old and doing well. We think it's a Song Thrush. Here's a picture.

- The day before that, Grace, Rachel and Rebecca chose to have their hair cut to give to Locks of Love. We were very proud of them...Rebecca's idea. This is the second time for Rachel. Here they are with their new sweet!

- Whew...that about sums up the last two months in Hungary and the US. God is good, family is a blessing and we are enjoying our adventure in Hungary!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pony rides, castles and beautiful countryside

- Such a nice morning in Papa...we finished our school year last Friday so today, Tuesday, after cleaning up the house we went to a park downtown, close to the palace (no one lives in there now and it's under renovation. I will talk more about it when we tour it later this month). After playing at the park for awhile, a man came along with two horses pulling a wagon. The horses had their pony next to them. He took all of us for a ride around the park...for free. So neat!!! And riding with us was a Hungarian dad who spoke some English and ends up knowing some friends of ours...another pilot family...what a small town. Then, after the park, we walked a few blocks down to get some ice cream. What a wonderful morning. I think we will have to do this every week this summer!

- We've done a lot since I last blogged! In mid-April we had our first visitors to our home, Jennifer and Gerald Jacobs. Had a great time with them!!! One of the days we visited Castle Hill in Budapest. Beautiful views of the Danube River and the church up there, Matthias Church, was beautiful! Here's one of us with the Danube and Parliament building in the background. You can see all the photos on my Facebook page.

- We were very thankful that the Lord protected Jeff's family in North Carolina as tornados in April came within a mile of their home. We continue to pray for all the people in the US who have been impacted by this horrible weather!

- April was a month of visiting European cities as we took a drive up to Vienna, about two hours northwest of us. We visited the zoo there and had a wonderful time!  A couple of differences I noticed between Budapest and Vienna...graffiti in Vienna and more ethnically diverse in Vienna with many Muslims and Asians. Once again, we were so thankful for our GPS...I can't imagine navigating these big European cities without them. The streets are narrow, street signs are hard to find or nonexistent and it's crowded. After the zoo we enjoyed some incredibly good Chinese food...some of the best we've ever had. Nathan said it was even better than that's some good food! I posted pics from the zoo on my Facebook page as well, with explanations where appropriate. Here is a pic of Nathan and Sarah enjoying themselves.

- We also have been spending some time at the local park...very pretty setting and lots of fun things to play on. Here are the girls playing with one of the other families we are close to.

- The day before Easter we visited Szarvasko Castle, an abandoned castle about 20 minutes away in Dobronte. It was built by the Hungarians in 1360 and destroyed by the Turks sometime later. We climbed up to it and had a great time walking all around the ruins. Sarah kept exclaiming, "Oh Mommy, the castle is broken." Then she would pile up little rocks to help rebuild it.This time Jake was allowed to go and he had a great time exploring. Jeff even let him off his leash at one time and he sticked close by. We're so glad we brought him with us to Hungary! I posted many pics on Facebook but here is a picture of the kids with the castle in the background. Some of the Christians held an Easter Sunrise service here the next morning but 5:30 am was a bit early to get the whole Daniels crew up, dressed, out of the house and up a hill. We celebrated Easter with some friends who have a house church here in Papa.

- Jeff made a couple of C-17 trips in the past being to Entebee, Uganda. He also went back to Altus, OK for his quarterly simulator training. He is looking forward to doing his next quarterly training in Charleston...he's looking forward to seeing family and friends on that trip.

- I've mentioned the storks before. Here is a picture of a Daddy stork in the nest that is on top of a restaurant we like to go to. I don't know the name of the restaurant in Hungarian but the English-speakers all call it, appropriately enough, the Storks Nest Restaurant. Had some of the best onion soup ever!

- We began the month of the May with the most amazing week in Germany and Austria. We first went to Garmisch, Germany to the Edelweiss Lodge. It's one of five or six hotels that the US armed services run throughout the world. We stayed at the hotel in Korea, The Dragon Hill Lodge, when we first moved to Korea five years ago.  The kids especially enjoyed the breakfast and dinner all-you-can-eat buffets and the pool. We also got to visit a commissary and I was able to get some flavored coffee creamer - I haven't been able to find that in Papa yet.

- This area of the world has got to be one of the most beautiful on earth. We visited one of King Ludwig's palaces - Linderhof Palace and his castle Neuschwanstein Castle, and they were beautiful but they paled in comparison to God's creation all around us. It was awesome!!! We also visited the Salzburg Cathedral which was very pretty inside, but taking hikes in the countryside brought me much closer to the Lord. We are definitely going back to Garmisch again! Here is a picture of the family in the German countryside. Once again, I posted many more pictures on my Facebook page. Jeff is an awesome photographer!

- The second place we visited was Austria, near Salzburg. We visited Salzburg and saw some of the places that the Sound of Music was based on. It was an absolutely wonderful trip!!! As we were driving back into Hungary from Austria, though, we knew we were headed home. We are so happy to call Papa, Hungary our home.

- We celebrated Sarah Catherine's 3rd birthday on May 9th. She had a party with some friends and got to open some wonderful presents from all her family back in the US. She is such a sweet, beautiful, funny, lovable little girl. Our family is absolutely blessed by her every day!

- We planted a garden and a bunch of flowers in the backyard. Our yard will not compare, though, to many of the beautiful gardens that our neighbors have. They do love their flowers in Papa...and so do I!