21 March 2012

Vienna Driving

I've made some uncanny realizations when it comes to driving in this country.  One I have not experienced in Czech Republic or Spain.  I never drove in Russia.  Now that is craziness I never wanted to attempt!!
Expectations of drivers who DO NOT have the right of way!  It is insane to me!!

Let me explain.

Let's say you are on a one lane road (one lane in each direction) and you stop at a light.  I understand that it is polite to stop at a parking lot entrance when stopped at a light to allow cars to come out in front of you or to cross into the other direction.  I get that!

I got honked at the other day because I blocked a car from coming onto the road.

In my defense, I didn't see him coming, plus MY LIGHT WAS GREEN!!!  I was only waiting for the cars in front of me to begin moving.  He honked and threw his hands up at me.

What did I do?

Looked at him and threw my hands up at him!!!

Good, Christian like come back, isn't it?!
 Said parking lot entrance.
How long did he actually wait after I got by?

All of 2 seconds before he could come onto the roadway!!

Come on people!!! 

And this whole politeness feels as if it almost extends to giving complete right of way to non-right of way traffic!  Yes, if I have the right of way I feel as if there is an expectation there for me to SLOW DOWN to allow those coming into my lane!  I'm not kidding!  It is weird!  I am always watching to make sure someone isn't going to turn into me!

Don't get my started on motorcycles like this one that zip in and out of traffic and it's hard to see them coming, then the sound of them freaks you out and almost causes a wreck from being startled!
Then there are roundabouts.  I don't think there are many roundabouts in the US, but they are common here.  The law is that you watch the traffic on your left.  Those already in the roundabout have the right of way and you must yield to them.

Well, the POLITE thing to do in Austria is if you are in the roundabout, you slow for those coming on to enter in front of you.  However, this is not the law!

 I GOT HONKED AT for not allowing a lady in a roundabout in front of me!!  Excuse me?!  I'm IN the roundabout and have the right of way!! 

Had she hit me, by law, she would have been in the wrong.

Culturally I was wrong.  What?!

I even watched another car get honked at that was in a roundabout and didn't slow.  What I thought was funny was that the car in the roundabout, who wass doing as the law states, actually stopped in the roundabout and proceed to point at the yield sign to the honking car to show he certainly did have the right of way (did you follow that?)!  Good job!!   Slowly they are figuring this law/cultural thing out!

I just have to remember why I'm here.  It's not about fighting over the driving rules, now is it? Ha!

19 March 2012

Signs of Spring

I stood gazing out the window into a part of the yard I don't normally pay attention to.  Far off I could see these little pretties!
 I couldn't resist stepping out into the yard for a closer look!
 Looking around I found more flowers blooming in the yard!!
 This was a kind of bush.
 If you know what any of these are I'd be interested in knowing, although I probably won't remember.  Ha!

The nicer weather has found the kids in the yard more!  They are loving their bikes they got for Christmas.  Karis & Brennan pretty much self taught themselves to ride their bikes in the yard.  Those two are quick learners!
They've even mastered stairs!

 Crazy kids!
Reegan is a bit more cautious and still uses training wheels.  She has no desire to take them off at this point.

Last week the kids had spirit week at school.  There was a pj day, wacky tacky day, twin day, cartoon character & book character.
We made good use of our dress up clothes this week!

Iron Man & a dalmatian puppy for cartoon character day!
For book character day Karis dressed as Herminia in Harry Potter, Reegan was Angelina Ballerina & can ya guess who Brennan was dressed as?!  Ha!
Reegan placed 2nd for her costume in her class.

We've sure had our share of sickness again this year.  I had 2 stay home today with fevers and cough.  I'm hoping this warmer weather will take these germs away!!

Have a good week!!

16 March 2012


 A famous German rostbratwürst, or as we know it, sausage, from the town of Nürnburg, Germany.
 My little man who is going to turn into a Nürnberger, he loves these things so much!
I have never been a big sausage link fan.  They always smell good, but the taste never appeals to me.  I'm a big bacon eater!  But, I'm always curious to try them thinking I'll like them "this time." 
Soon after arriving in Vienna, we had a brunch with our team and some Nürnbergers were brought.
I was turned off by their whitish color.  Just looked kind of "eww!"
Right on the package, straight from Nürnberg.
I took a bite and fell in love!  Ok, a little over dramatic, but it was definitely good!  I couldn't believe I liked them!
I keep thinking they are going to lose their appeal.  So far, they haven't.  And they show up for breakfast about 2-3 times a week!! 
In reading through the link above,  I learned that Nürnbergers are protected by EU law!  Which means the Nürnberger can only be produced in the city of Nürnberg.  Interesting!

So come on over and we'll be sure to serve you up some Nürnbergers.

If that doesn't appeal to you, how about a peanut butter cookie?!  I'll give you a whole one, not the half eaten one.  I promise!
Have a great weekend!!

14 March 2012

A Loser Day

We all have those days don't we?  An overly human moment.  A moment we're not proud of.

Tonight it was with my kids.  It seemed like not a single one of them was listening to me......not doing what I asked, showing little respect......lollygagging in the bath, not getting their toothbrush, and on, and on and on.  And I lost it.

I'm not proud of it, but I lost it!

I wrote a quick text to my friend Kristi sharing my outburst and exclaiming that I'm not winning any mother of the year award any time soon.  And she sent me an email she saved for such a time as this.  It was a blog post from Inspired to Action giving 8 verses to inspire us to be patient mothers.  It was just what I needed.  Definitely verses I need to plaster all over my house as a reminder.

As I got to the bottom of the email, it mentioned a post by Ann Voscamp, "Why is it so hard to be patient?"  Also some good content and things to remember as mothers.  Ann is a talented writer and has a way of sharing Christ with beautiful words.  I've heard so many wonderful things about her book, One Thousand Gifts.  I haven't read it myself, but I need to.  It's on the list!

I then decided to see what her most recent blog post was.  Today's post, "What to do when I feel like a loser?"   which inspired my blog title for today and spoke greatly to me.  Funny where a chain of reading can take you!!

In case you don't get a chance to read it, let me just quote a few lines that made me pause or spoke volumes after my very human moment.

"I do know there are parenting days when the terms of endearment can get confusing and it all feels more like the terms of endurement."

That made me giggle just a bit.

"Our arguing, it can go in circles. I don’t like it. What I like even less some days is me."

Ugh, amen!

"How could I have said those things and what part of this glorious child has my storm ripped off and how have words left marks?"

Probably my biggest fear! I don't want my kids to remember me as a tyrant, forever scarred by my words.  I want them to see Christ in me!!

"In one wild moment, my disordered desires can betray how quickly I can lose my God-orientation."

"Encircle us, Christ, us in all our dizzying chaos."

“It’s not that you aren’t going to blow it. It’s what you do with it after.”

Amen, amen, amen!!

"forgiveness is a river that sweeps everything away."

"The losers, the ones lost in the labyrinth of life, are the ones made amazing – by the One who solves the mazes of life." 

“In Him, you are already amazing.”
“In the flesh, you’re a mess.

In Christ, you amaze.”

Amazing!  I love that!!

Have you had those moments you are not so proud of?  I hope you'll find encouragement in this today too!!

My sweet boy did go to bed telling me I am the best mom he's ever had!!  How sweet is that?!

Right before that, I did tell him he could wear his new Iron Man costume to school tomorrow for Spirit Week that he picked out to wear for his birthday (that is not until June!). 

Maybe a little making up for a bad attitude on my part!

09 March 2012

International Family Fun Night

This past week has been a busy one!!

Monday & Tuesday the week started with sorting books for a book sale at the school.  Every year the Parent Teacher Fellowship puts on a book drive.  The class that brings in the most books wins a pizza party.  The is the PTF's fundraiser for the year and always seems to be a big hit.
The sale goes on for 3 days and finishes up at the annual International Family Fun Night on Thursday (it was only a 4 day school week this week).  This is one of the school's biggest events.  Everyone shows up for it!!  Families come in traditional dress and bring food that represent their homeland.  And let me tell you, it was all good!

We start out the evening with a passport activity.  The kids receive a passport and were able to "visit" 6 different countries!  Each room also provided food typical of their homeland.
Brennan's crumpled up passport...
Complete with stamps of his "visit" around the world!
We had a USA room where Mississippi and Alaska were featured. And you could try out some gumbo!
Mmmmmm, gumbo!
 One of our German teacher's (in lederhosen) trying out some gumbo!
A polish student trying out an Alaskan Eskimo yo yo!

We had an India room.
Some Indian food was featured along with their yummy drink, the Mango Lassi!  Yum!
An Austria room.
A South Korea Room.
An Ethiopia room.

And a Peru room, but I guess my hubby didn't make it to that room because I didn't find any pictures!

Face of our school.

 A classmate and Brennan doing some Tae Kwon Do!

After the hour long passport activity, we headed to our auditorium for a cultural performance.  We had everything from Tai Chi to the Star Spangled Banner.

Korean drums!  Very cool!!

 An African dance.

 Our MC for the evening.
 Me getting ready to announce the book drive class winners.
 Tae Kwon Do.  A bit fuzzy, but they were moving all over.  Ha!
It was a fun evening!! But I am wiped out after doing all the advertising, book sorting, fun night planning, setting up and taking down.  Whew!  Obviously I had lots of help, but today is a day of rest!!  Well, and grocery shopping!!!  Have a great weekend!!


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