Sunday, January 20, 2008

Caleb Has a Birthday

Today was Caleb's birthday...he's 15!

We celebrated last night with some friends at a medieval restaurant in Frydek-Mistek...a very manly restaurant where we had big platters of grilled meat. He loved that...what guy wouldn't?!

Tonight I made his favorite meal (a Rachel Ray Greek dish...yum!), we gave him a few presents (he'd already gotten his main present which was a bass guitar he got while we were in the States - he sounds amazing on it!) and Dave read from Psalm 139. It was such a nice time as a family honoring our Caleb!

I'm not sure where time has gone, but I still remember that cute little guy that used to live with us! Now in his place, there is a big, strong, healthy, muscular, fun, smart, happy, funny, warm, loving young man.

We're sure glad to have him in our family!

Just in case you ever knew him in his younger days, this other photo will remind you of who he used to be. We're glad we don't see as many band-aids, bumps and bruises these days!

Happy Birthday Caleb!! We sure love you!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One More Today

A couple of months ago I made a "Meez" figure and put it here on my blog. It was supposedly me at the Chicago airport.

We didn't make it to Chicago during our travels this Christmas, but just before we flew out of Prague I had Tyler get this photo of me in honor of the Meez I made a few months ago!

Didn't have any sunglasses to put on, and the clothes are a bit different...but you get the idea!

Looking Back

Years ago when we were living in Germany, before we even had kids, we were visiting one of our chaplains and his family at their home one evening. While there I noticed something on the wall that caught my attention.

He and his family had lived in Germany years before when their daughters were just 2 and 4. At the time, their mom had taken a picture from
behind of the dad holding the girls' hands as they walked up the hill to the Heidelberg castle. Now that they were back in Germany, they had recently gone up to the castle and taken another photo doing the same thing in the same spot...only the girls were 13 and 15!

Those were such captivating photos. I stood there mesmerized by the changes that had taken place in the girls (and their dad!) over those years, and how it was captured in those two simple photos.

I kept in mind that someday I'd like to do that with any children we might have. And so when the kids started coming, I did just that!

It started with a photo from behind of Dave and Tyler in Colorado when Tyler was just one year old, and has continued on since then at many locations throughout the world. But instead of just a couple photos like the chaplain had, I could cover a whole wall with backward photos of Dave and the kids! Tells you a little about me and how much I like taking

I don't take them as often now as I did when the kids were little but snapped one of Dave and them when we were in the Atlanta airport on our way back home to Czech last week.

Tonight I dug up one of our early photos and scanned it...that's the first one you see (taken in Krakow, Poland in 1995). And of course this is the most recent one!

They've all changed a bit, that's for sure.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A New Year

I keep wishing there was a way to go back and post date things so that I could write about all the things that have happened in the past months, but didn't. I asked Tyler about that and he said, "That's not the point of blogging". Thanks Tyler! I'll try to be more timely and prompt about my blog posts this!

We just got back from three w
onderful weeks in the States for Christmas. My mom and dad gave us the gift of flying to be with them for the holidays this year. It was the first time we'd spent Christmas with them since 1994...Claire was just 2 months old then! She's a lovely teenager today, and I must was ever so much nicer to fly with all three teenagers than it was 13 years ago with babies and toddlers!

Dave joined us a week later and we had an incredibly special time in Oregon over the holidays. It's hard to say what was best or most do you compare a Starbuck's Gingerbread (non-fat!) latte with a DQ Hawaiian blizzard (uh...not so non-fat...)??!! I mean...there are just so many different tastes, let alone experiences, to be had in America - especially at Christmas!

But some of the highlights were:

  • Of course, time with my mom, dad and brother, Mike! It was wonderful to be with them for three whole weeks!
  • Christmas shopping in the mall (complete with great classic Christmas music!)
  • Starbucks...and did I say Starbucks?? Ahhh...the lattes were wonderful! Thanks Dad for the gift card!!
  • A Charles Dickens tea with my mom at her friend's Victorian house (five courses of incredible food along with a reading of "A Christmas Carol"!)
  • Picking out a Christmas tree at the lot, just like my family did when I was little!
  • The Nutcracker ballet with my mom and Claire
  • Taco Time (an Oregon have to eat there to know how much better than Taco Bell it is!)
  • Papa Murphy's do-it-yourself it!
  • Driving around to see Christmas oh my! It's an art in America!
  • The kindness of the clerks, waitresses, nurses, doctors, flight attendants and people of America!
  • Parties with relatives...went to a family Advent evening that has been taking place in our family for 45 years! It'd been a few years since I'd last been maybe, 30!
  • Starbucks on the University of Oregon campus...oh, did I already say Starbucks??!!
  • Being at Laurelwood, my home church in Vancouver WA, having lunch afterwards with many dear people
  • A beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service on the 23rd at my friend Michelle's church in Portland - one of the most moving services I've ever been to
  • Red Robin after that service and time with Michelle and her parents, Jim and Jan - long time friends of ours
  • Doing ceramic painting with Claire and my mom
  • After Christmas sales!!! Nobody does 'em better than in the States!
  • Going to the movies for $.50! Yes, that's fifty cents!! Awesome price! Saw "The Game Plan" - highly recommend it! Cute movie!
  • New Year's Eve at my mom and dad's watching "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve Party"! I've been watching that since I was a little girl!

Of course there are loads of other special memories from this Christmas, but as Tyler reminds me...blogging is not writing about all the details, just the highlights, the tidbits, and snippets of life along the way!

It feels nice to be back home with all of these memories tucked away in my heart and mind as we roll into the New Year!