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

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!!!!