10 September 2012

First Day of School, 2012

September 10, 2012 0
Several months ago I'd pondered what we were going to do for the kid's schooling while in the US.  My first thought was to homeschool so that I could reduce some stress on picking them up in the middle of the school year to move to England.  I think God knew that wouldn't be a wise decision and used Brennan to tell me "Mom, they speak English in America!  We can easily go to school!"

Thank you son for freeing me from the idea of homeschooling!!  Ha!

Homeschooling is a great thing for some families, but not this one.  Especially at this time.  I think we all would have gone bonkers!!

My concern was putting them in school only to pull them out to travel to Alaska and Virginia for a month as well as in February for our big move.  So, I decided to call the Ennis ISD and see if they could work with us.  I considered it an answer to prayer when we were told it wasn't a problem at all.

Upon arriving, we learned from some church members that Ennis has a uniform policy.  We made good use out of tax free weekend to buy uniforms and school supplies.

People told us to be ready for it to be a zoo at the stores that weekend.  What's funny is that a tax free day was nothing like shopping in Vienna on a normal shopping day!  Ha!  It was a breeze for us!!

We got the kids enrolled in their school. It wasn't actually the school we were zoned for, based on our address, but the secretary asked "Are you the family that lives in Europe?" we answered "yes" and she said, "never mind, you'll go to school here."

I have no idea why that allows us to attend the school, but hey, we're glad!  I'd love to know the reasoning behind that and if I get to know the secretary better I might just ask!

Breakfast on the first day of school!

Heading out.

They've had a good 2 weeks!!!  And now, we're off to Alaska!!  Woohoo!!

Our flight was cancelled, scared me to death!!!  Luckily, we were able to get on a later flight.  We get into Anchorage at 12:30 am!!!  Yikes!!  It will be 3:30 am Texas time, so we are going to be one tired bunch.  But, we'll be in Alaska!!

I will try to update from there, but I can't make any promises!!

09 September 2012

Battleship Texas

September 09, 2012 0
On the way home from Galveston we decided to stop by the location of the Battleship Texas.  It's a fascinating naval vessel, having run a long stint from 1914 to 1948.  It seems very well preserved.

Sitting in the gun seat.

The bunks.  Talk about claustrophobia!

The barber!

The soda shop.

The whole things was just fascinating!

After the ship we headed north of Houston and had lunch with some friends.  I realized I got a picture of the kiddos and not one of me and Cindy!!  Oh well, we had a fun time with Cindy and her girls.  Cindy's sister, Julie lives in Czech Republic and we met Cindy the last time we were in the States.  This was the first time our kiddos had met and they hit it off!

Silly girls not wanting their picture taken.

 So much so that Kendall hopped in our car, determined to go with us!!  Her mom later told me she was crying in the car on the way home!  So sad and sweet all wrapped up in one!

It was a good trip, but nice to get back and get in the swing of things.

08 September 2012

First Days in Texas

September 08, 2012 3
It's always a bit surreal coming back to the US.  I call it an "out of body experience."  The drinks are bigger, the vehicles are HUGE.  I get a little overwhelmed (although giddy at the same time) at the grocery store and people talk to you in the grocery store!!  Ha!!

Then there is the adjusting to Texas.  I still remember a few years ago while at a conference about Central & Eastern Europe.  We were living in Czech Republic at the time and I had traveled with Jerry (pre-kids of course) to Texas to help.  We were at a church in Houston and a couple from the midwest had come to attend.  While washing hands in the ladies room the wife said to me "It sure is a different world down here!"  I giggled a bit and said "Yes, yes it is!"

Things like filling up your gas tank while you stop for a bit of Texas BBQ!!

Not only is there the adjusting to Texas life, but I am having to adjust to SMALL TOWN Texas life.  We were spoiled with our last time stateside by living in Fort Worth.  Things like Panera Bread, Super Target, several Wal-Marts and just about any restaurant you wanted was in easy reach.

We're staying in Ennis, southeast of Dallas.  We are enjoying the house (isn't it pretty?).....

The sunrise, looking out from the dining room window.

......any kind of clothes shopping or specialty restaurants are 45 minutes away.  This urbanized girl, Jerry too, really, are having to adjust.  The grass is always greener on the other side, eh?

We're doing great though!  We hadn't been back in Texas a week and decided to take a last minute trip to Galveston.  We spent 2 days at Moody Gardens as well as the beach and just enjoyed ourselves.

The view from our rental house.
On the beach.  What you can't see are the dead fish laying around.  Oxygen levels in the water had changed, suffocating the fish.  Karis was grossed out!  Ha!

We spent 2 days at Moody Gardens.

The aquarium.  Seahorses are so cool!

Three people in scuba gear were cleaning the tanks.  I love this shot!

 We watched a couple of 3D and 4D movies.

Rode on a paddle boat.

Enjoyed the view and the playing at the Palm Beach area of the gardens!!

And walked through the rainforest.

We had a fun time and enjoyed being by the ocean again.

03 September 2012

Last Moments in Vienna

September 03, 2012 0
Boy, do I need to catch up.  I can't believe we're approaching 4 weeks  in the US.  It's been busy, but first I want to write down and put up pictures before I forget details of those last few hours in Vienna.

The Saturday before we left, we spent a few hours in the Hook's World!  I say that because that's the name of their website.  Ha!  My kids love these people!  And the Hooks love my kiddos!  Special times!!
Me & Kellye

Our kiddos, minus Sarah Beth who is in college.  

Hannah, Reegan, Karis, John & Brennan.  Cute bunch, huh?!

Sarah Beth lived with us in Prague for about 6 weeks, I think, when my babies were not even a year old.  She has fond memories of babies crawling on her head first thing in the morning on our living room couch.  Luckily, we got to see her when she visited Vienna this summer.

The kiddos with Uncle Marc & Aunt Kellye

We'll miss these guys, but we know we'll see them again! 

Our last day with our church family at Crossway in Vienna.

This picture above cracked me up.  Take a look at Jerry's belly!  The way his shirt was pulled gave him a slightly pregnant look!  Ha!!

Chit-chatting after church.  We'll miss all of them!!

After church we headed to dinner for one last meal at our favorite Italian Restaurant, Vapiano's.
Lots of girls amidst our bunch, so Brennan escapes for some pondering time.  I love this photo!

Karis & Libby!

Daughter (Libby above) like mother (Christina, below)!  Ha!!

A difficult goodbye was to Samson the cat.  Samson has been with Jerry & I since we got him on my birthday in January 2001 in Moscow, Russia.

Samson really was not much of a kid's cat, but our guys loved him anyway and were sad to have to leave him behind.  He first was staying with the friends who moved into our house.  He has since gone to an Austrian family that lives close by.

Brennan looses his first tooth right before leaving Vienna.

Celebrating!  Or really just using up the leftover sparklers we had.

Tuesday morning we were up bright and early for our flight.  Just a few of our 11 bags!

We could not have asked for a smoother check-in and British Airways treated us right!  Even let us board the plane first!  I think we had the only kids on the flight from Vienna to London.

The last leg of our 2 flights, London to Dallas.  The kids were so excited to have their own tv screens on the chair in front of them.  Apparently, Reegan is very excited about her free toothbrush too!

I've not done very well at taking pictures since we've arrived.  I guess you could say I've been enjoying the company and our surroundings more!  Don't worry, I'll share more soon!


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