On Saturday, several folks from our Váci church
took a canoe/kayak trip up (2 hours) and down (1/2 hour)
the Danube River. Between trips we had lunch and hung out
at a small beach across the Danube from Visegrád
("VEE sheh graad"), the ruins of a medieval castle.
We three Coppages and our friend Jarrod were in one canoe.
The other canoe held Laci, his fiancée Adri,
Viktor, and Adri's brother Norbi.
After lunch, Doug and Karen tried out the kayak.
Dalma and Peti kayaking downriver.
Tamás had his own kayak.
He knew what he was doing.
Last week, Joelle, almost 3, took pictures with our camera.
Lea with Joelle's mom Shannon
Lea and Joelle
Joanna came up to visit on Monday.
Here she demonstrates new toys!
Today the repairman came to fix our tub faucet.
Pascal, always interested in water, kept track of his work.
The last three days Karen and I have been in the village of Kosd
helping with a Vacation Bible School there. The theme was
COURAGE, and the kids studied the stories of David and Goliath,
Daniel in the Lion's Den, and Joshua's battle of Jericho.
Three of our esteemed leaders: Jarrod, Viktor, and Norbi
The little kids, and a visitor dog
The medium kids
A couple of the big kids making lions from cupcakes.
Singing and story time.
Jericho before the wall fell down ...
... and after!
Karen and I help Melinda fix a huge fruit salad for snack.
Melinda and her family live in Kosd.
The game "Over Under" using a very, very ripe banana.
Shannon, my good buddy and the director of VBS,
prepares a water balloon for the next server.
At the end of the game, everyone got to throw at once!
A big bonus for me: Miki, one of our favorite Deaf kids
that we worked with 2002-2004, happened to drop by last night!
He was very patient with my horribly mixed-up sign language(s),
but he said he remembered the Joshua story from before.
Katie came to visit us for a few days!
It was great having her here. She has been
living in the States for two years, but her
Hungarian is still quite impressive!
The Vác Stars played the Jászberény Stinky Sox;
Coach Coppage watches intently from his perch
on a batting helmet.
Karen and I tried an excellent new recipe:
Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Although they weren't as "fat" (= tall, high) as I expected,
the cookies were great, even two days after we baked them!
(And yes, a bit of cookie ended up on the
thumb of the oven mitt.)
Here are a couple of summertime shots of Pascal,
who continues to bring laughter to our home.
I'm still celebrating my birthday! Here's the cake our friend
Ildi brought over after we returned from England.
It's an ASL "I love you" hand!
Last night three couples and our two kids celebrated
mine and Adri's birthdays. We've been married
way longer than Adri has been alive!
Here's the brownie cake/pie Shannon made for us:
Joelle, who turns three next month, got hold of the camera
and took tons of pictures, several of them pretty good!
In back: Jarrod & Shannon, Karen, Doug & Lea
In front: Adri & Laci
And so you know what the photographer looks like,
here's a picture of her with my mom a couple of months ago:
Here are a few sights and events from our two-week,
once-in-a-lifetime vacation to England with Lea's
sister's family. Family pictures follow.
At the back of York Minster, we found semaphores!
There was a guide sheet, so people can determine what
these figures are saying. Just in case you want to
decipher it yourself, we'll wait to tell you
until the bottom of this week's pictures.
You can find a key for flag semaphores at
On the left...
...and on the right.
Next to York Minster was a small church with a lot of life!
A huge team from St. Michael's church and elsewhere spent
the previous week serving and surveying the people of York.
Several people decided to follow Jesus the night we were there.
Here is the band that played before the service began.
In London, our family gathered at St. Paul's Cathedral
and then attended Evensong. We got to sit in the quire,
which is where the choir usually sits. It was amazing to
be a part of something so old and meaningful—
at least to some of us. The kids, however, fell asleep.
In Bath, we got to attend Christ Church,
where our friend Hugh is in the choir.
Hugh and Rebekkah, whom we greatly enjoy
Also in Bath is the Pump Room, where Jane Austen's
heroines often "took a turn about the room."
Here are family photos:
Doug and Lauren studying letters
Noah and Lauren in the National Railway Museum
We all went out to celebrate Lea's birthday,
thanks to a generous donation from our parents!
Solution to the semaphores: CHRIST IS HERE
Last Friday evening, the youth of our church
played a game called "Bigger and Better."
Each team was given a paper clip and one hour
to trade it for something bigger and/or better.
They came to our house afterwards for
judging and snacks.
Even when people are older,
the girls often sit on one side of the room....
...and the boys on the other.
Doug and our pastor Tamás were the judges.
They used the computer to look at
digital photos of the team's trades.
Tamás and Doug announcing the winners.
This was the week for end-of-year school celebrations.
Last Friday at the Deaf school, Marika (left) and
Ildikó (right) escort their teacher, Rita,
in the graduation procession.
The ceremony at the Deaf School was oral, with an interpreter.
Notice that the speaker (at microphone in blue shirt)
is on the opposite side of the room from the sign language interpreter
(near doorway and flags). This is not good arrangement for the Deaf!
The next day we went to the graduation ceremony for Kata,
one of Lea's former English students.
The school building is a big, plain Communist-style block,
but in recent years they added a nice portico to the front.
Karen, Ildi (Kata's mom and my friend), and Kata
This is a scene from Karen's year-end ceremonies for grades 1-7.
She received a book as a prize for outstanding grades
and exemplary behavior —"except for the
last few days of school," she says.
As the teacher presents the students with their report cards,
she comments on their grades in front of the whole class and parents.
Lucky for Karen, she got her dad's brain.
The CEO Team is here!
On Sunday afternoon, the Budapest Deaf church
came to Vác to lead worship for (and teach) all of us.
Here everyone watches Szabi explain stuff.
Bertalan, Adici, Szabi, Zsolt, Kinga
Back: Jasmine, Karen, Adici, Lauren, Steve, Doug
Middle: Bertalan, Tom, Kinga, Zsolt, Szabi
Front: Lea, Dalma
Monday night we hung out with our Váci church's youth group.
During a game mixing "Telephone" plus "Charades,"
Tom Foley is tried to demonstrate an anglerfish
without knowing what he was doing.
Jasmine and Steve look on.
The three girls stayed with us. There was lots of giggling.
Lauren, Jasmine, Elizabeth
Lea's parents spent the last three weeks with us, mostly in Hungary.
It was a full and joyful visit, with lots of encouragement flowing
all around. It means a great deal to all of us
that they can see and experience our territory,
and therefore better understand our love
for this place and these people.
Our first trip excursion was to Szeged, to visit the George family.
Dad and Karen shared the family iPod on the train.
Dad, Rob, Donna, Mom, and Karen watch Sarah tell a story.
Dad and Mom; photo by Donna
The girls put on a play for us: The Princess and the Pea.
Right to left, Hannah was the princess, Sarah was the prince,
and Karen, who holds the pea in her right hand,
played the princess's future mother-in-law.
The rest of the my parents' visit, we celebrated Mom's birthday!
Our good friends the McGuires had us over for dinner,
and Shannon provided a birthday cake!
We had a family birthday dinner for Mom
at our favorite local restaurant.
Dad first came to central Europe as a Baptist emissary in 1996.
A few months ago, he told me, "I want to take your mother to Prague."
So they and I went for a couple of days.
This is the statue of Jan Hus in Old Town Prague.
Mom carries her birthday gift, beautiful porcelain mugs.
Dad points out something interesting from the tram.
Dad had hoped to see the Charles Bridge lit up.
We hung around and enjoyed listening to a jazz band,
but at 9:20pm, when the sky was dark and the bridge lights
still weren't on, we decided to go back to our room.
Our friend Ildi hosted a party for my parents and us.
When her daughter Kata started hunting for matches,
we figured that we were about to celebrate the birthday
of Kata's elder brother, Gergõ, who just turned 17.
But then they flipped the candles around, and we
celebrated Mom, too, who just turned 71!
Mom (visible) and Gergõ (pretty much invisible)
blowing out the candles on their tiramisu cake.
Mom and Gergõ
Here are 11 pictures from Karen's trip to Schärding, Austria,
and Passau, Germany. Schärding has miniatures of the seven wonders
of the ancient world. You can see the Colossus
in the second and third photos.
Our Váci church had a party this past Saturday.
Here's Joelle on the trampoline.
And the rest of these are from the water balloon toss:
Karcsi, with Zsuzsa and Karen looking on
Laci, just barely catching it
The timing for my trip to Virginia last month was
determined by Jubilate's 35th anniversary reunion.
It was great to see so many friends and sing
excellent songs, too! You can hear us on YouTube;
search for "Jubilate 35th".
Thanks to Ben Hallissy for the photo!
The adults we know don't change much, but the kids sure do!
Here are our nieces and nephews....
Noah and Lauren
Haylee, Bailey, and Courtney
The Lowrys and Brodies have been friends of the
Coppage family for eons, and they still look the same.
Another big celebration in April was Greg's
40th birthday party. Here is Glenda and her Lauren,
Laura and her Brynne, and Greg and his Noah.