Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It seems like our time here is flying by...
We have lived in Massachusetts for seven months tomorrow... we have five left. I'm sad to think about that.

The weather has changed dramatically since we moved. Back in May it was 70's-80's, the summer brought warmer temps not rising above 95... ha ha ha- I still am amazed. October 27th we had our first nor'easter- how do I know the date? B/c it was Jonathan's birthday. A nor'easter is like a hurricane mixed with snow... aka a wintercane :)  The weather has been fluctuating between 55 and 28 since- with a nasty, cold, bitter wind. This weekend the low is 30 during the day and 16 at night. Helloooo Jack Frost.

Enough about the weather... since moving in May, Jonathan lost 40 lbs and I've lost 33 (I still want to lose more).

July |  My wonderful little sister came to visit us for the weekend of July 4th! We had a marvelous time beginning with an impromptu drive to Maine for "lobsta".

I had the "lobstah roll" - it was delicious. 

Jonathan had a "lobstah dinnah". This is where you follow the "how to eat me" directions listed on the tray, but your tray is so messy and full that you have to read it off your neighbor's tray. 


We chose to eat outside.
 We dined between two lighthouses. This area is known as Cape Elizabeth, Maine. 

This is how I dreamed living in Maine to be. 

July 4th in Boston...

After enjoying a day in Boston, we followed the crowds of people down to The Esplanade.

Lionel Richie was supposed to be the entertainment of the night, but due to vocal cord straining
he was replaced with Martina McBride. 

We chose to sit in the lawn b/c the fireworks are not visible from "the oval".  Next time... I choose the oval.
This is two hours before the show begins... 

Sarah had to get back to NYC before the show began.
She was able to enjoy the show 2 yrs ago when she was spending the summer in Boston. 

We had a French lady on my left, and a Chinese couple on Jonathan's right - This is America!
Watching the fireworks over The Charles River.

Happy birthday, America!

July continued | Jonathan and I spent the last two weeks of July in Szigetszentmiklós (St. Nicholas Island), Hungary. Our trip was not a "missions trip" but a trip for us focus on the direction we being led to take, and to soak up as much knowledge and wisdom as we could from missionaries David and Linda Fannin. The Fannins have spend 18 years in Africa and 12 years in Hungary. The time we spent with them was absolutely priceless. From the moment we arrived to the minute we left they poured their wisdom and guidance into us. We went looking for confirmation and God gave us much more. Dave and Linda's friendship/mentorship is a blessing in our lives. 

While in Hungary we were able to take a train down to Pécs to visit our beloved friends from last year. We took a 8:00am train from Budapest to Pécs. This ride was supposed to take 2.5 hrs... it took 4. Since we only speak English and we didn't have a cell phone we ran into a few snags. 1) We did not know how to read our train tickets...therefore we sat in the wrong cart on the train. *First class* We did not pay for 1st class seats, luckily we were not sitting in someone's seat (we later heard we would have been yelled at). One could compare riding in a train in Europe to flying... you sit in the seat you paid for. But, we did not find this out until we got back on the train to Budapest, thanks for Richie. Needless to say, going back we sat in our assigned seats. This explained why our train attendant punching our tickets was so addled with us. 2) We scheduled to meet our friends at 10:30am in the middle of the city.. but due to the train sitting on the tracks for extended amounts of time we would not make this appointment. I was in tears. The attendant kept coming by and writing a new arrival time on our papers... 11:15, 12:30, 11:50. We made it! Got of the train and there was a new hurdle... 3) we needed a map. We had to get to the center of town. As we were asking for directions... Richie rides up on his bike! All was perfect- they knew the train would be late and they WAITED for us! We were overwhelmed with the hugs and kisses. It was the best day! It was sad leaving, I wanted to bring them back with me. I'm so thankful they are in our lives. 

Pictures from the train ride...

Arrived in Pecs!

Richie, Jonathan, me, Szilvi, Krisztina, and Laci :)

Budapest adventures...

Jonathan was asked to speak on Sunday morning at Szigetszentmiklós.

The church meets in the town hall ... Christians were once questioned and persecuted for their faith here.

Sunday drive...

We visited with lovely sisters. Dave and Linda lived in their attic when first moving to Hungary.
Lovely hospitality and beautiful ladies.

 We also visited Romania...

my favorite picture

 The hotel we stayed in while in Romania...

Dave :)

Sunflower fields were everywhere... so beautiful.

as we left Romania.

Jonathan was asked to speak at Lake Balaton, Hungary.

 Dave and Linda took us to a Serbian village outside of Budapest.

Jonathan and Dave

Dave and Linda 

Roman Ruins

Jonathan's drink of choice... espresso :)

 August | We flew from Hungary to NC. Spent a week in NC.  
Sunni Skies! 
Jonathan was ordained.

Returned back to Massachusetts and enjoyed Thursday evening cookouts with our Graham Hall family.

WHALE WATCHING out of Gloucester... we rode out 35 miles, saw 20 different whales!


 August continues...
We took a bus down to NYC so I could take my North East Regional Dental Hygiene boards for MA in NYC at NYU (go figure). My patient was awesome...Uncle Charles. He flew up from NC and we all met Sarah in NYC- stayed with her in Hoboken.

While Sarah worked, Uncle Charles and I took the board,  and Jonathan toured foot.
Below are pictures he took ...

September | Jonathan started school. We had a huge clam fest on campus to start things off right.  We went on our first apple picking trip with friends/families from the seminary.

 Gordon Conwell's Annual Clam Fest- Kicking off a new school year!

I'm officially in love with New England Clam Chowder. (Campbell's Soup must have never tasted the real stuff)

Apple Picking @ Russell Orchards

Behold, the best apple I've ever tasted... Honeycrisp!


Went inside and enjoyed fresh apple cider and cider donuts.

October | On the 10th a dear friend and mentor passed away, Missionary Dave Fannin. It was a total shock. He will be greatly missed. Please continue to pray for Linda and family.  

Ms. Karron came for a visit! Jonathan enjoyed a week of no class. We love reading weeks!

Jonathan and Ms. Karron on a duck boat tour of Boston (I was at work).

We celebrated Jonathan's 26th Birthday! And we had our first Nor'Easter. 

This photo was taken on Bridge Street (st behind campus)
For Halloween they go all out here. This is an example- every year this house uses haystacks and
displays a different Disney movie. This year... Alice in  Wonderland. I was impressed.

November | I received my license in the mail certifying me to practice dental hygiene in MA!... after a long grueling process. 

Reading week #2: James and Emmy came to visit. We all went to see Noel Gallagher in concert 
at Wang Theatre in Boston. 

Christmas is coming to Boston!

James and Emmy

The Old North Church.. found in Little Italy

The beautiful Wang Theatre

This was by far the BEST concert ever. 

Thanksgiving Day | We spent our first holiday away from family.  Thanksgiving morning we went out in pursuit of watching the annual Myopia Fox Hunt. We were not disappointed. For lunch/supper we went over to Andrew and Amy's home with another family. We had a lovely day full of Thanksgiving.  
The crowd gathering... there as even more on the opposite side of the field.

Release of the Hounds...

Below is a link to learn more about the art of fox hunting...

No foxes were harmed in the event... they don't hunt for foxes, rather they follow the scent of anisette.
It doesn't make a lot of sense but it's tradition. A lovely site of tradition.

The first group jumped.... this is the second group. We followed them to another field and watched them parade around before meeting up with the rest of the hunt.

 More great pictures of past hunts. and Here is an article from Wicked Local news source= great article.

December | Celebrated with a baby shower for Alison (our sweet Aussie neighbor). Jen hosted 20+ people in her apartment down on first floor. We had a blast.

Baby Girl Gerber is due Christmas Day. I can't wait to return to MA and meet her :)


Jonathan finished exams! Only one grade back so far... and it's looking good :)

Next stop.... NORTH CAROLINA!   But, first... here is a little Christmas greeting from New England...
Lobster traps and buoys :)