The sun doesn't shine here much in the winter,
so we get very excited when we see the sun—
or a beautiful sunset, even from inside the school!
We met our new friend, Michael Stachofsky!
This week my kids studied U.S. holidays.
Here are a few of the activies and tables:
Some of my kids made Valentines.
When we discussed Memorial Day, we had a moment
of silence in memory of someone who had died.
They reviewed the story of the Declaration of
Independence, heard the story of the Star-Spangled
Banner, and had a parade around the room.
For Labor Day, the kids played with a beach ball.
We talked about Santa Claus and Jesus at Christmas.
The kids were very surprised that Jesus doesn't
bring gifts, like he does here in Hungary.
We had a Thanksgiving celebration for two of
Karen's classmates and a few other people.
Delaney, left, is an exchange student from Alaska.
Virág, center, has lived in Ohio the last
14 years, and moved to Vác in October.
Seniors in high school have a special event
called "Szalagavató" (sah-lah-gah-vah-toe),
in which they are pinned with a ribbon (= "szalag")
and do skits and dances—especially the waltz.
My friend Kata invited me to her special evening.
Here she is with her brother Gergö and her grandfather....
...and then processing with her dance partner.
Our friend Lili invited us to her recital.
She is an amazing pianist.
On Saturday, our colleague Kathryn and I spent
a few hours together at the Christmas market in
Budapest. Our first stop was for coffee in the
Gerbeaud coffee shop, one of the
landmarks of this fair city.
Here's a reflection in one of the store windows:
Anyone want some stew?
Saturday evening, our Váci church had our
annual Christmas Carnival. Each kid gets a bag
and then fills it with crafts that they create.
Karen worked with kids at the modelling clay table.
Before the Carnival started, she sculpted the eye of Sauron.
Our friend Lili and I worked at the food table.
On Sunday we went to the wedding of Dalma,
one of our long-time Hungarian Deaf friends.
The groom, Johnson, is a Deaf man from Kenya.
They were married at the hearing
Baptist church where Dalma grew up.
Here's the Deaf choir singing a praise song.
Johnson's family couldn't be there, but his father
sent a prayer that was translated and spoken.
When spoken Hungarian was used, it was translated
into Hungarian sign language for Dalma, and then
Laci, a Deaf pastor/translator/etc. translated
from HSL into American Sign Language,
which is more familiar to Johnson.
When Hungarian sign laguage was used, it was
translated by one person into spoken Hungarian
and by another into ASL for Johnson.
The scripture they chose was the same as the one
God used to tell my mom to marry my dad. :-)
The pastor of the church asked who had been married
the longest. Dalma gave a bouquet to this couple
who have been married for 69 years. Then they
blessed each other in their various languages.
These are all the Deaf folks who came to the wedding.
The photographer was also Deaf, so he's not in there.
These pictures are from Karen's school trip to Erdély,
the old Hungarian part of Romania—also known
as Transylvania. Here's Karen with Delaney,
our school's exchange student from Alaska.
Quite a fancy place that isn't quite finished.
They climbed mountains. Here's one...
...and this is from the top of another.
One of the many switchbacks that they travelled on.
This church was designed and built by
Makovecz Imre, one of the most interesting
architects Hungary has ever produced.
Here's a wider view of the same building.
Look him up on Google images. He's amazing.
Inside the church.
This is a memorial for fallen soldiers.
Autumn colors at St. Anna Lake
The class Karen and Delaney went with are
some of my kids. I love 'em all.
Thanks to Jason Atkins, Flat Stanley came to visit us!
Karen took him around the school and then to
youth group one Friday:
This is what our coat rack area looks like
when the youth are here. Makes me happy.
Every year, believers in Hungary have a
celebration that they call "This is the Day."
This picture shows Karen's youth group and
a few others that they hung out with.
Doug and I went to this big event
because Philip Yancey was speaking.
We also got treated to rock bands. It was an
interesting cultural experience for us old people.
The womens' softball team started up! Karen was
chief recruiter. She is having a lot of fun, and
she is proud to have something athletic for her resumé.
On Saturday, Karen went to a festival in the
village of her friend and classmate Ildi (below,
with her little sister). They dressed up in
traditional Hungarian clothes and participated
in the parade and street dances.
Here are Zsófi, Karen, little sister, Ildi,
and Dóri. They are all pretty special people.
While Karen was doing all that, I was at the wedding
of our church friends Tomi and Márti.
Doug couldn't go because of a cold, so
Éva and Orsi were my dates.
Karen's girlfriend Anna (aged ~15) caught the bouquet.
The way things are going, pictures will be put up
monthly instead of weekly. Life is flying!
Baseball pictures come first:
Every year Vác has a "lecsó" (LEH-cho) festival.
Lecsó is a wonderful concoction of onions,
tomatoes, and peppers—with paprika, of course.
We hosted a shower for Kata, a lady from our church.
Her baby boy, Peti (Peter), was born a week ago Sunday!
Karen had us all laughing in the "Busy Mom" game.
Our new downstairs neighbors came up for dessert one evening.
Doug gave Grandma Rózsa an introduction to baseball.
During the last month, we've had the joy of
several visitors from the States: first Shanna....
...then John and Sandi....
....and now Cynthia!
Our friend Grace hosted a lovely tea for us: