Thursday, April 26, 2007

Our friends in Germany

Our good friends Dave and Daniela left Vicenza to live up in Germany. They also took our favorite German American kids (Liam and Finn) with them. But we forgive them because it is so fun to visit them.
Jim gets fatherhood practice tickling Finn...

...and takes some lessons from a pro.

Friends and hot chocolate, how can this be better?


He's random, but we thought he was blog-worthy.

Liam shows his brother the finer points of being an automobile.

I know which stuffed animal I want to squeeze.


Feeling like we were due for a trip, we went to the little town of Dingle in February. The town is known for their traditional music pub scene, fish, and beer--much like the rest of Ireland. It is also a haven for the Gaelic language which is the first language for many in the area.

What cute Irish style!

Jim announces our news to the Irish before we told any friends locally.
(Side note: He wore this shirt around the high school and most of the kids just thought he is the kind of guy who might wear a shirt like this without any good reason. And they just might be right.)

You can still see the plots of land (in the upper hills) where the potatoes were left to rot in the ground during the great potato famine of 1845-1849. There were never again as many people in Ireland after the population dropped due to starvation and emigration and thus, no need to re-cultivate the land.

Gallarus Oratory: a 6th -9th century monastery church.

A fun pub scene with interesting instrumentation.

The apostle's creed on the wall of a church.

Strength, anyone?

We don't know what he is saying but he is smiling at us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Christmas 2006

We spent this Christmas with family on the Richards' side. Jim's mom, sister (Jenney), brother (Jason), and brother's girlfriend (Amber) all came to hang out and see Italy together. To add to the fun, Amber went from girlfriend status to fiance status on the trip. Che romantico!We always love Venice shots.

The tired crew on the steps of a Venetian bridge.

A German Christmas Market

Quadruplets from the neck up.

Glorious Lake Bled, Slovenia

Family shot in the Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia
The master at work:if anyone thought Jim takes a lot of pictures, you should have seen his brother!

Seefeld, Austria

For my (Amanda) third birthday in Europe, we did our third Ausrtian Christmas Market.

And holy cow--did it snow!

We stayed at a deserted B&B and had to wait for the owner to come by to tow our little car out of the powder.

Little Austrian Angels.

Yeah, marching band!

Horses, horses, horses, horses...


We went to Budapest, Hungary over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is a town with old-world charm, interesting communist era relics, and stories of the struggle for freedom.

This is a museum which shows the old style of living with one main room in a house where cooking eating and sleeping take place for the whole family.

We got to see a folk dance and music fest.

We always think the communist era trains are interesting.

Lunch! Hungarians are known for their use of peppers. Locally they are just known as 'paprika.'

We think the theme in this restaurant was, "If we own it, we hang it from the ceiling."

Milano - Trains

Florence with Club Beyond

This fall we took a group of students to Florence for a retreat. To kill time we played a game where you got a point if you could make it in someone else's photo. Two points if you had your finger in your nose. You gotta love high school.
Student Spotlight: Andrew is the one slyly looking at the camera. He regularly wears a bathrobe.
Even around Florence.

Student spotlight: This is Chris. He plans to be the president of Mexico.

He currently doesn't speak Spanish.

Burton and his wall climbing prodigies.