...a blog for the friends and family of dan, jen, worthy, william, calvin & christian

Friday, April 26, 2013

Marathon #3

About 5-6 months ago, Dan decided to train for the Vienna Marathon.  On April 14th he ran his 3rd Marathon.  
He got all his gear ready.  
(If you don't know what the Vaseline is for... don't ask...)
He ate a rather small breakfast.  He didn't want to get sick on the course.
The boys were really excited for him and we prayed for him before he headed out to the start.
By the way - the tape on his knees is just tape... no bionic implants or anything.  He had been having some knee issues and the tape plus some exercises made a big difference.
(I tried to convince him to take the baby & stroller along to no avail!)
So with Dan out running his marathon, the boys and I prepared to do a marathon of sorts of our own. 
I escorted 4 boys (including stroller) through the city to a few locations to cheer Dan on. Believe it or not - this was a surprisingly successful outing.
Our first stop was a short bus ride from our house at Pilgrimgasse.  At this point the marathoners and half-marathoners were running together so it was really crowded.  You can see in this pic below people running on the sidewalk.  It was a bit unsafe to stand on the sidewalk.  I saw one girl get clocked by a runner.  So I decided to cushion our location, by standing behind a telephone pole.  

The boys enjoyed our location.  They watched the U-bahn zoom by regularly.

And soon enough, Dan came zipping by.  We passed him some water and a energy pouch (I have no idea what the correct term for energy pouch is!)

Our friend Paul caught these great pics!

Our next stop was near the Rathaus.  We caught him there too.
We met up with some other friends there and they joined us for a little picnic.  The boys played some football/soccer and then we played on the playground.  It was a gorgeous day.

As you can see - this playground was in a really rough part of town.

After this our plan was to meet up with Dan at the finish line.  Surprisingly, we both made it to the finish line, but with the mass chaos and confusion, we couldn't locate each other.  The cell phone towers were overloaded and we couldn't get texts or calls through.  I knew he hadn't brought a house key with him and I was worried that he had went home and was laying on our apartment entry way waiting for me.  We still had church later that evening and he needed to get ready and lead worship.

For this reason, I don't have any great Post-Race shots with the boys lifting him in the air, cheering Daddy, Daddy or any great shot of Dan giving his medal to William (which thrilled him immensely!). 

He had a great race.  
His official time was 4 hours 6 minutes.  
And we had a great race too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kinder Race

Last week was super busy.  A lot of running around (pun completely intended).  Worthy expressed interest in wanting to run the Kids Race.  They do this race on Saturday before the big marathon.  Worthy had his first baseball game before the race (on the other side of town) so it involved some logistic cartwheels on our part. We made it work.  

I took the other three kiddos down to the race start to pick up Worthy's shirt and number.  We had about an hour to wait around and William and Calvin made the most of it.  This place was swarming with kids ready to run a race, but somehow everyone seemed to stay out of our little triangle in the park - so from the pics looks like no one else was there.
Really enjoyed finding bugs
Here's a montage of them picking flowers for me.

Tree climbing
Then our racer finally arrived.  
Ready to run and hoping to "win".

Then the chaos ensued.  The parents are allowed to run with the kids and Dan ran with Worthy.  During the race, they began to separate kids & parents.  Some Idiot's decision.  Dan still had Worthy in his sights and was on way to reunite with him when a kid in front of Dan began to have serious trouble breathing.  When Dan stopped to help, he lost Worthy.  I was at the finish line waiting and I saw Dan run through, without Worthy.  He quickly explained they got separated and he was running back through the race to locate him.  Meanwhile, there are all kinds of kids finishing the race that have been separated from parents and can't find them.  They're in tears and crying.  Good job Idiot Race Coordinator.  It was just chaos.
Thankfully, we met up with some friends and they stayed with our other kids while I went back through the race and looked for Worthy too.  I found him near the end in about 15 minutes. I've never been so thankful for his blond hair before.  He was rather unfazed.  Thankfully, he hadn't come through the finish line - I think that might have scared him.  I, however, lost about 3 years of my life due to worry.  He was thrilled to get some Fanta and a Medal.

Afterwards, I took Will & Worthy out for ice cream to recover celebrate.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The boys that play together... get hurt eventually

Our boys play great together...usually.  They're loud, rough, adventurous, creative and have hilarious super powers.  I love to watch them interact - especially when they forget that I'm watching them.  Thought some of you might enjoy a glimpse into one of their romp-fests.  It's longer than most videos I link.  Welcome to our silly morning. No one gets hurt... this time :)

Random Cuties

A couple sweet pictures of our kiddos.

Check out those front teeth!

Our sweet, photogenic William

Baby Steps

Christian is starting to take steps.  I've only seen him do it 2 times and the second time I happened to have my camera IN my hand!!  Woohoo!

Flat Stanley

This past weekend, we did a Flat Stanley for some good friends in Annapolis.  It was Worthy, Christian & I.  Fortunately Christian was asleep in the stroller for 90% of the time.

Here's what we did (please forgive the juvenile nature of the content... it was written for a child!)

Our first stop was getting on public transportation.  Here is Vienna, we ride the Strassenbahn.  (We don’t even have a car!)  The public transportation takes us anywhere we need to go.  

The first place we took Flat Stanley was to the Opera House.  The Opera House is a world famous opera.  Some of the greatest classical musicians and singers in the world play here.  Many people even take children to the Opera here.  They feel it is an important part of their national identity.

Our next stop, just a couple of blocks away was the Hofburg Palace.  This is Austria’s version of the White House. It is a building that has seen many significant events throughout history.  Adults may be interested in this article by Rick Steve’s.  Every winter there are many Balls here, where men dress up in tuxedos and women wear ballgowns and waltz until 4am.  Right before you pass through the arch to exit there is a Guard box.  Worthy thought Flat Stanley would like to see inside.

After the Hofburg we walked down to the Rathaus.  (pronounce Rat House… really!)  This is where the city government meets.  This building and the plaza in front of it act as a community venue.  During the winter they turn the plaza into an ice skating rink.  And at Christmas time, there is a wonderful Christmas market.  We didn’t get too close because there was a bike convention.  See all the people?! 

Then we walked to a famous memorial here in the city.  It’s called the Pestsäule.  (I didn’t even know the name of it until now…). It’s a memorial to many people that died from an old disease called the Plague. 
Right around the corner was our final site.  

It’s called Stephansdome (or St. Stephen’s Cathedral in English).  It’s a beautiful church in the heart of the city.  Outside you find street performers and impersonators.  Although it’s a tourist attraction, it still functions as a church and so you will often see people praying inside or the church holding a service.  If you walk up to the top of the steeple, you can get a great view of the whole city.  We had the stroller with us, so we had to settle for a view from below.

Our last stop was to get ice cream as a thank you to my wonderful son and assistant (despite the frigid temperatures).  He decided Flat Stanley should get a taste of the gelato too J.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Day & Night

Easter was fantastic!  
It was full of joy, friends, treats and worship.  

We started bright and early with our Daylight Savings time going into effect.  Then we switched our church worship time to the morning.  (We usually worship together at 5pm.)  We had decided to wait on Easter Basket eggstravaganza until after church, so we could really enjoy it together as a family and not rush through it.  I must say that was a GREAT decision on our part!

Church was wonderful.  We had a huge turnout and afterwards we shared a lovely brunch together.  I love our church community.  It was delightful to spend time with familiar friends and also to meet new visitors there as well. (Pics courtesy of Stacey!)
 The kids always have a great time at church.  
I love that they don't complain about going, but on the contrary get excited for it.

Dan with a tired baby
After church, we did our Easter Egg Hunt.  Instead of a hunt, we do more of a Treasure Hunt.  We give them clues around the apartment and they need to go find the next clue based on the message in the egg eventually leading them to their baskets of goodness and sugar.

Worthy is the designated "Clue Reader" and he did a great job of letting the other two find some of the eggs. We were all over the apartment building (not just our flat) - the bike storage room, entrance way and our storage cubby.

in the elevator...

oh yeah - I found Jelly Belly beans... Yummers!
 After all that crazy-ness, we had many from our small group over for Easter Dinner.  I made lamb, potatoes, green beans and chocolate cream pie. Others brought food as well.  It was definitely a group event.  It was a really, really lovely evening and completely worth the effort and work involved. 

He is Risen indeed!

Bogi Park

This past week I took the three youngest to Bogi Park.  We go here probably once or twice a year - usually in the winter to avoid going stir-crazy indoors.  And this trip was especially a treat because William's old preschool class was going to be there as well.  This past December, we pulled him out of preschool due to the grueling public transportation commute.  We loved the preschool he was in and wish it was a more feasible option, but for right now he's home.  He is our social butterfly and as much as he loves staying home, he really does miss a few of his friends and teachers.  We're still in touch with his teachers and they told us they were planning a Bogi Park trip and so we aligned our calendar so he could spend some great play time with them.
Sandro is William's best buddy from school
They stuck together the whole day.  Trampolines, slides, throwing balls, push cars.

The other two had a pretty good time also...

 After William's class left, he gladly played with Calvin.
We headed home and they got to enjoy candy bars that our grocery store had given out for Easter.
 The moment we walked in the door. 
 Everyone was asleep... except me.