I find it hard to believe that I haven't written anything since June. It amazes me how time goes so quickly. My intentions were good, truly. When we returning to Prague July 31, I thought to myself that I must include photos from the summer. So the summer continued, school started and life continued to be busy. Therefore, I will just summarize the last five months. When school let out on June 20, we headed south to Italy for 10 days of bliss. We stayed in a restored castle in the Chianti region for three days and saw the medieval villages of Tuscany, checked out Pisa and Florence for three days and met up with our friends the Arnolds. We toured during the day then broke bread with our friends each night. From Florence, we took the train to Rome and met up with our friends once again for some more family fun! Our time in Rome was truly amazing. We toured the Vatican, and every sight possible during the four day stay. Naturally eating our way through gelato and pasta.
We spent July in Atlanta at Bob's parents and we stuffed an entire summer of activities in one month with all of our friends from St. Jude, the neighborhood, and baseball. I also was able to go to Michigan by myself to visit my mom for a weekend. It was really nice. The day after we landed back in Prague, we went to go pick up our new dog, a vizsla puppy we named Bruno. If you have never heard of a hungarian vizsla, they are smaller and leaner than a lab, have short rusty fur, and are hunters with tons of energy. He is a sweet dog and the boys love him, and of course he follows me every where. He drives me crazy sometimes, but he's growing on me.
August 22 the boys went back to school to start second and fourth grades. Robby loves his teacher and so do we. Mr. Biebe makes learning an exciting journey and Robby's having a great time in his class. Both boys have made some really nice friends and are keeping quite busy. Robby played fall baseball on a Czech league, is learning to play the guitar, plays soccer on Tuesdays, continues to be a master lego builder and loves to draw cars.
Nicky is playing the piano, plays soccer weekly, and is learning kungfu on Fridays. He loves his piano teacher, enjoys playing around on the piano and hates to practice. Of course. Nicky has also decided not to get a haircut until we move back to Atlanta. I was a little worried that his hair would just grow out bigger and bigger, but it actually looks pretty cool and he loves it. Nicky is also quite an artist and loves to create lots of different things with paper.
We spent the fall digging into school life and I decided to get more involved in volunteering. Before I knew it I was over my head in obligations and wondered if I would ever learn to not over commit. The message was loud and clear this time...I got it God. Now I am stepping back and taking care of my family and me. I'm trying to simplify, I just wish it wasn't such a challenge!
The good news is we did do a good bit of traveling this fall. We drove to Munich and Salzburg in August. I was able to visit my mom's dear friend Gedel Bauer who is like an aunt to me during our time in Munich. She is so sweet! We loved walking around Salzburg too. it's such a pretty town. In September my mom came to visit and Bob and I were able to get away to London for a long weekend for a wedding. Lovely! Mom stayed until October 20 so we were able to celebrate her birthday with her. She also took the train to Vienna and Budapest with a friend of hers from Switzerland. After mom left, we headed down to Sicily for the week of fall break. We stayed in an incredible house in Scicli, in the southeast region. We shared the house with friends of ours from Prague/IBM/ISP, the McOmbers. We loved our time there, swam in the sea, saw the sights, and ate like kings. We returned to Prague with 4 inched of snow and lots of snowball fights! We capped of the month with the ISP Halloween party that I was in charge of for 350 students and trick-or-treating in an expat neighborhood called Mala Sarka in the freezing cold. It was fun, but the boys were missing Atlanta that week, that's for sure.
November brought warmer weather, the snow melted and more visitors arrived. Bob's folks joined us after their vacation in Italy, and Chris and Charlotte Franklin came over from Atlanta. The Franklins, Bob and I headed down to Vienna for a few days then drove over to Budapest and Bratislava. It was fun to be able to sit in a pub for hours or walk all over town and not hear any child complaining. We were all back together again in Prague for Bob's birthday and enjoyed having a nice party at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate.
Our company headed back to the states before Thanksgiving, but gratefully we were able to spend the holiday with our wonderful american friends from school. One of the mom's organized a fabulous menu and private room for us at a local restaurant, and we even got to take home leftovers! There were 50 of us that sat around a kiddy table and a grown up table. We felt quite blessed.
I will begin to post photos tomorrow, then fill you in on December and some of the more personal aspects of our adventure living abroad. God bless,