Karen's cookie-decorating colors
Santa Claus brought us a new toilet seat!
The lid on our old one had been broken
for months (or more?).
Doug did the artwork on these gifts for Karen.
We are extremely blessed to have a family of
kindred spirits in our town. We got together
on the day after Christmas to celebrate together.
Joelle and Eliza
Shannon (photo taken by Joelle)
Jarrod (photo taken by Joelle)
Doug is not quite sure what to do
with a 1-year-old kid standing over him.
And on a non-Christmasy subject:
Yesterday Doug and I went for a walk at twilight,
and we were astounded to find a public bar
located in one corner of the local prison!
Today there are three sets of pictures:
1 - The Youth Group White Elephant Party (Friday night);
2 - Lea's high school Christmas program (Saturday morning);
3 - Karen's flute concert (Saturday afternoon).
Here Norbi is about to open his gift, a potato from Karen.
He said he liked it, which was good, because no one
stole the potato from him. Go figure.
Kato chooses her gift.
Shannon helps Joelle open hers.
Karen rejoices over her gift—a pot lid from Andris.
Poor Caleb has to give up his Floppy Flyer.
We've been saving our tubes of Oreos
for four months, just so we could have Dirt!
Next event: One of my favorite classes was responsible
for the school Christmas program this year.
Fanni (in green) and the angel Enikö discuss
what love has to do with Christmas.
The rest of the program is an explanation of love.
Andris recites his part.
He's in the youth group, but I didn't get
a good picture of him Friday night.
The last event before my camera battery ran out:
Karen's Christmas concert at the music school.
These are all students of one teacher.
Friday night was Karen's "senior" dance at her primary school,
where most kids in the class participate in a choreographed waltz.
Here are before and after pictures:
Karen with her class mistress (faculty leader), Éva Kovács,
who has been with the same kids for the last four years
Karen and her dance partner Boldi
Dancers from the class, after the dance and after the group photo
With American missionary friends (family of the heart):
David, Doug, Karen, Shannon, Caleb
On Sunday evening we took care of a couple of young friends
so their parents could go on a date. Here are Karen and Eliza:
We went to visit our long-time friends the Georges
in Szeged this past weekend. Szeged has a Christmas
market, including a very large Advent Wreath,
in front of the basilica.
The basilica at night, a little fuzzy but still grand
Our two families
While waiting for our train in Budapest,
we walked around the small Christmas market
in front of the West End Mall.
The inside of West End mall:
On Monday we received a LARGE box, which was
brimming with 524 real, American candy canes!
They were total surprise— a gift from the Snoddys,
Slate Hill Baptist Church, and God.
We plan to use these to tell the story of Jesus
to folks at the Deaf school, Lea's high school,
Karen's elementary school, and our church's
annual Ladies' Christmas Tea.
Karen before her flute recital
Karen and her friend Kato during the youth girls' retreat
The view of Downtown Budapest from the girls' hotel room
At the ninth-graders' Thanksgiving party,
during which they drew hand turkeys and wrote
on each "feather" what they were thankful for.
For one of Karen's six academic competitions this month,
her group had to know about our city of Vác.
Karen's group got second place in the first round
and in the final competition. Here are
some pictures she took during the first round.
The Hermit of Vác provides one theory about how
our city got its name.
Karen's classmate Dávid looking across the river
A bakery sign
A statue in a nearby park in honor of World War II soldiers.
The bike path next to the Danube
This past weekend, some missionary girlfriends
met together in Györ for encouragement and joy.
One of the girlfriends was only two months old!
Keri, Laura, and Donna; Petra is hiding in the stroller.
Donna, Laura, Lea, Keri with Petra
Györ, as well as Miskolc (see pics from last week),
had a place where lovers could put locks engraved with their names.
Donna tried the Popcorn ice cream, and she liked it!
This past weekend we went on a short vacation
to Miskolc ("Meesh-kolts"), a city in northern Hungary,
with our friends Jarrod, Shannon, Joelle, and Eliza.
Here are 23 of my favorite pictures, with people
near the beginning and scenery at the end.
First, a schematic drawing on how to pack a cat.
(He did eventually get out of the suitcase.)
Joelle, Jarrod, Shannon, and Eliza
Our one family photo
Joelle and Karen
Karen, Eliza, and Doug
Eliza developed quite a crush on Doug!
I think Doug found it flattering, but a little embarrassing.
Joelle, Shannon, and Eliza
This past weekend included Day of the Dead, November 1,
when Hungarians go take care of their relatives' graves.
Cemeteries were crowded, and the graves were
decorated with candles and flowers.
One bridge in Miskolc was covered with locks,
most of which had lovers' names and a date engraved on them.
Near the "locks of love" bridge was this bench.
Stairs leading up to the TV tower
The TV Tower looks to us like an alien spacecraft.
The lake at Lillafüred
A very cool logo
Our guesthouse was near the Diósgyör Castle.
This castle was originally built in the 1100's,
rebuilt in the early 1300's, rebuilt again in the early 1500's,
and "used as a quarry" until restoration began again
in the mid-1900's.
Lajos (Louis) the Great, king of Hungary and Poland, 1342-1382
A view from the main level of the castle
Another view of the same church, showing some of the 32
buildings of panel houses (a.k.a. "commie condos")
that we could see from the top of the castle.
The first five photos are of friends; the last five show
bits and pieces of where we live.
Karen's friend Rebekah came up for the weekend.
Playing Barbies with our good friends Eliza and Joelle.
Yesterday CEO director Tom Foley arrived safely in Budapest.
To celebrate, we met for lunch at Laci & Keri's flat in south Pest.
Tom and baby Petra
Matt and Karen (who found a book she liked)
Laci and Keri's eldest daughter, Lea ("leh-a"),
also shown in the computer screen. When she
showed me her crown, I asked her if she was a princess.
She informed me that no, she was a QUEEN!
This is the newest bridge over the Danube River.
They had an on-line contest to name this bridge;
Hungarian hero Miklos Zrinyi was winning until
Stephen Colbert received 17 million votes.
Note that there are only 10 million people in Hungary.
See the Megyeri Bridge Wikipedia entry
for the rest of the story.
A weathervane sculpture that I passed on the way home from school
Feeding a swan
From our front balcony.
These clouds looked like an angel!
Here are a smattering of pictures from this past weekend.
Karen and I took Doug to lunch for his birthday,
and on the way home we got family portraits:
The flowers on the main square are beautiful!
Karen and I went
to Budapest with our girlfriends.
In the mall we saw a Virginia Shop!!!
After I took pictures, I told the proprietor
that I was a Virginian, and that it was exciting
to see a piece of Virginia in the middle of Budapest.
She smiled and nodded.
On the train back to Vác, Karen and her
friend Cili planned whom they would invite to
their birthday parties in January and March.
The night of Doug's birthday, after the Vác Stars
had barely won their game, the three missionary
families gathered at the ice cream parlor to celebrate.
Notice the matching sweatshirts...
...and the candle signifying another year for Doug,
who celebrated by eating five generous scoops of ice cream.
On Friday, my students begged me to end class early
so they could attend a sport competition for all
local schools. I acquiesced, then went with them and
took pictures with my cell phone—not the best quality,
but at least you can get an idea of what it was like.
Four of my girls: Zseraldina, Barbi, Gina, and Zsofi
The next day, Karen and I went out for a walk at sunset.
This past week, we had a delightful visit with
Sondra, Eric, and Luke Williams. It was delightful
to meet Luke and encouraging to be with his parents.
They are now back in Cairo, which is a bit warmer
than it was here in Vác!
At the ball game on Sunday, our friend Eliza
worked on this banana for quite a while.
And here's the latest picture of our cat, Pascal.
Eliza (ehLEEza), our good friend who was adopted last October,
is one year old today! Here she is studying a kitchen timer.
Our Váci hearing church is in our third rental space
since we moved here in 2005. Now a more permanent place
is being built for us, rent- and mortgage-free. On Sunday
after church, a bunch of us went up to see the place.
Tamás, our pastor, is in the white shirt
in the middle. Doug you probably recognize. :-)
Tibi, our building architect, music guy, and
resident comedian, is on the left.
Our dear friends Adri and Laci will be married next May 30!
Karen stayed down to talk with Tamás's wife Sára
and their son Márkó.
Besides a large-ish meeting room and Sunday school rooms
for the kids, the building will contain a small day-care center
(21 kids or fewer) and a caretaker's apartment. To get there,
we Coppages will either walk for about 45 minutes or take a bus
most of the way. The church expects to move in September 2010.
This past Saturday, Vác had a Lecsó Festival.
Lecsó is a cooked and often canned mixture
of tomatoes, sweet peppers, and onions.
Every family seems to have their own recipe.
We missed the main part of the day, but in the
afternoon there were several groups of people
milling about and cleaning up. A Deaf group,
dressed in traditional Hungarian costume,
As we left, they were giving out door prizes
from the grandstand:
The next day, Karen took this picture of the sunset
at the Vác ferry landing on the Danube River: