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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Family Visit - Part 3 (more Schladming!)

We went up to the top of another mountain too, Dachstein - this one had a glacier and you could ski on it- in July.  The views were amazing and the cold weather was even rather pleasant.

Thrilled to throw make snowballs

On the way down, Chris & Henry rode above the carriage in the open air.  See their blog post for a cool video of that experience.

Family Visit - part 2

The second week of their trip we took a mutual vacation to the Austrian Alps to an area called Schladming.  It was one of the best vacation trips I've had - great company, perfect accommodations and lots of adventure at our fingertips.
no doctoring on this pic - it really was THAT beautiful

We took chair lifts up to the top of the mountain.

Worthy on the really high swing with a great view
There was a great playground up top  All the kids were having a blast on it - including the cousins.  Chris & Charlotte were remarking how it has been ages since their kids played at a playground.  In Austria, playgrounds aren't necessarily for little kids.  They usually have a risky element to them - zip lines, swings you could jump off and break a leg, really fast slides, etc.  So it was fun to see the kids have a blast together.
 One of the reasons we went up, apart from the view, was to do a ropes course.  Our kids especially the younger two haven't had much exposure to ropes.  There were a few different levels of courses and the training course was also a ropes course that little kids could do.  Since Christian was on my back, I was just a watcher, but everyone else got suited up.

The instructor was great and spoke English too.

And off they went to learn the ropes (pun totally intended!)

 Our kiddos were content on the low ropes.  Worthy tried the intermediate ones, but quickly decided to turn around.

Our older nephews really embraced the adventure.  Henry did fantastic.  He got a little afraid at one point and Chris talked him through it.  He finished the course and even did it again.  
Sam on the difficult course
This is a quick video of Sam on one of the may want to turn your volume down.

yep, we saw these too... can't make this stuff up
So we really tried to get some pictures of the kids together.  This is not easy.  Usually someone is not having a good moment.  This time it was the Baby.
Notice Dan's arms holding up Christian...
a lovely, lovely day!

Family Visit - part 1

My brother, sister-in-law and their three boys came and spent about 3 weeks with us and it was amazing to have them stay.  We stayed very busy together while they were here and had a grand time just hanging out together.  For a better more comprehensive recap - please visit their travel blog here.  
The boys (minus baby)
Christopher Aaron & Christian Aaron - The Meet
The first week they were here was filled with doing stuff in Vienna. 
Getting around town, we sort of stuck out.  
Our Troup
 We went to Schonbrunn Palace and split up.  Some of us touring the Palace and some going to the Zoo.
Our 16-year old nephew, Sam
I've been here a number of times, but this was the first that I saw the roses in bloom.
it cracks me up at how unimpressed kids are with places like this
much more impressed with the zoo...
and the water toys 
I love that Calvin immediately took to them.  We talk often and Skype periodically, but he still doesn't have memories of them from when he was younger.  Calvin would call Aunt Charlotte "Other Mommy". 

Chris & I at one of the many palace fountains
Another thing we did fairly regularly was go to the doctor and/or hospital.  I think we made 4 different doctor visits in their 3 weeks here.  The first one was to the main hospital here in Vienna.  It was a Sunday so not much else was open.  Chris has a staph infection on his forehead that thankfully oral medicine was able to take care of. 

Thankfully they had a Starbucks on site where we awaited blood work results.  Honestly, despite the circumstances, it was great to sit and catch up with my big brother one-on-one.  :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

School is Over (about a month ago...)

Worthy finished 3rd grade and we couldn't have been more pleased with his development and experience there.  They did a simple awards ceremony for the elementary grades.  Worthy was thrilled to receive some awards - Honor Roll (for all A's & B's this year), Bible Memory award and Math award.
The final award (and one he was most excited about) was his "Most Improved" in Phys Ed. I don't think that saying the kids at school idolize the gym teacher is putting it too strongly.  I think they were actually chanting "Mr. Maples" when he went up to give awards.  It's the closest thing I've seen to a Justin Beiber concert.  So Worthy was thrilled to be singled out by one of his heroes!
Forgive the bragging - just trying to keep you informed :)