Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_3710-3thanksgiving card 2015 collage-004

Wow, I’m thankful to have made it through today!  Thanksgiving is SO MUCH WORK!  And then at the end of the day there is  big mess.  But it’s all work that I love.  I tried to soak in a few moments today with each between all the complaining and chaos.  Working together to pull off a big meal isn’t entirely beautiful, but there are some excellent moments for real connection.  I tried to cherish those today.  

We’ve had quite a year.  So much to be thankful for.  We’re trying to make this a year of more gratitude.  I think thankfulness is just the antidote that we need around here to shift from this culture of scarcity that we somehow have created (maybe more on this soon). 

I love this quote that we’ve been memorizing:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2015

last days in Vienna

IMG_3233On our second to last day in Vienna I got to go with these two lovely women to the Belvedere Art Museum (think Gustave Klimt 'the kiss').  I love museums that are small enough to really see everything and where the art is housed in such beauty and this museum fit the bill.  And the grounds were lovely.  I was also pretty happy that Hazel chose to come with Mary Ann and me instead of going with dad and the other kids to the natural history museum.  Dad usually wins those ones.  I love my little artist.  IMG_3231IMG_3235IMG_8341IMG_3237IMG_3239meanwhile, these people got to go to this other awesome museum where they walked through room after room filled with natural history artifacts.  IMG_3242IMG_3244IMG_3249After our museum runs we headed to a street market where we got some killer donar kababs and ate them in this very off the beaten track park.  Rob and Mary Ann pretty much know all the cool stuff. IMG_3251IMG_3252IMG_8440IMG_3254Then the big kids all headed off in different directions.  R and MA's older kids own Vienna and were able to show our two big kids around while we stayed and played with these three little ones.  IMG_8443Hazel and Maddie took off to a very quintessential cafe and read some books and drank hot chocolate.  The boys (who didn't bother documenting their adventures) went to the armory museum (naturally) and talked about weapons and war tactics. IMG_3260We grownups walked more of the city with these cute kids who played some imaginative spy game the entire time we were walking.  It kept them happily tagging along for a few hours while we got to explore more of the streets and gardens of that city.IMG_3262IMG_3266IMG_3267IMG_3269Peter couldn't even suspend his role as shooter in the cathedral.  He was blowing up the whole place.  IMG_3272IMG_3273IMG_3278IMG_3280IMG_3285IMG_3286IMG_3292They were SERIOUS about this game.  It was way too elaborate to try to follow.IMG_3295IMG_3302IMG_3303IMG_3304IMG_3308IMG_3311IMG_3312IMG_3315IMG_3317IMG_3327IMG_3336we all met up for the most delicious gelato.  I will dream of that creamy apricot yumminess forever. IMG_8372we got the kids settled down for the night and then those big cousins (bless their hearts) babysat while we went on a little double date to the fanciest cafe and did what Rob said was the viennese thing to do - order cake and sit and eat it slowly until late into the night.
IMG_8357IMG_8359We then wondered the streets until well after midnight.  I love being in old cities late at night with mostly empty streets and such beautiful buildings.  It was one of my favorite nights ever.  We wondered in and out of buildings that were somehow left open and Rob told us all kinds of interesting facts and history.  IMG_3339On Sunday we lazed around for the morning.  Emmeline colored some cut outs of Maria Theresa.  Then we went to Church.  I love going to church in other countries.  Their ward there was so great and welcoming.  IMG_3344IMG_3354Church was right next to the most incredible park where we ate a picnic lunch while the kids played.  They were so delighted by everything there.  Why can't we get playgrounds right???IMG_3362IMG_3368IMG_3372Peter probably slid down this slid 138 times, with his wild hair whipping behind him.  IMG_3382IMG_3384I even went down this slide, and man was it fast.  IMG_3389IMG_3396IMG_3400IMG_3413On our way home we stopped at the Hundertwasser House.   I love this artist, kind of like an Austrian Gaudi.  IMG_3416IMG_3420IMG_3422IMG_3425IMG_3430The kids weren't quite as excited about stopping here, but I think they thought it was pretty cool too.IMG_3435IMG_3438IMG_3451IMG_3455IMG_3460We took one last walk along the river before packing up for our long train ride to Switzerland the next day.  IMG_3464IMG_3467IMG_3469IMG_3471Before bed we sat on the McFarland balcony and sang old Shumway songs.  So happy to call these guys family.  IMG_3473


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