Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frohes Neues Jahr!

New Year in downtown Vienna is quite the event.  We walked through some of the major thoroughfares of the downtown area while making our way to the Rathaus to see fireworks, although there were plenty to see and hear on the way.  There wasn't an organized fireworks show, instead people set off their own fireworks whenever they felt like it.  There were some pretty nice fireworks and since so many people participated, it was quite a nice show.  Some of the areas we walked through were very crowded, filled with people milling about, drinking gl├╝hwein and taking in the sights.  But it wasn't nearly as crazy as I'd been told to expect.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We're finally working on fixing up our hand-me-down couch.  We are planning to recover it somehow so we went to this material warehouse where there are literally thousands of bolts of cloth.  This was just one row out of twenty rows!  Just slightly overwhelming.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm home!

After a week in Germany I'm back in Wien.  I had a great time in Mannheim with Leslie and her family, but there's just something about the comfort of one's own home that is so appealing.  When we arrived at Praterstern and I saw the silly paintings of circus performers on the walls I really felt like I was home.  It was so nice to finally be done traveling and to look forward to my own bed.  Speaking of which...

Friday, December 26, 2008

On the Occasion of a Five Mile Run

Running is a silly task
Even on a sunny day
Sun may wear a cheerful mask

But I found to my dismay
Though the sun does soar and shine
To my Father I do pray

"Let me see the ending sign
To the steps of the Kidd's house
There I rest these feet of mine"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas should be sunny!

So I know everyone thinks a white Christmas is the way Christmas is supposed to be but for this Californian Christmas doesn't really mean snow.  I've never seen a white Christmas so I really could care less about snow or not.  

I believe Christmas should be sunny!  The sun is amazing!  It's cheerful!  And Christmas should be cheerful and sunny and happy!

I was so grateful to see the sun this morning even though it only for a short time.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Today we took a trip to Heidelburg.  Apparently it's a touristy place to go since we heard lots of English.  We walked up this main road with many many stores and many many people.  It is 3 days till Christmas after all.

The Germany Crew

Heidelburg has an old castle that we walked around.  We weren't interested in paying the 3 Euros to see inside the walls so we took pictures from afar.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Market in Mannheim

Tonight we went out on the town.  Mannheim, Germany.  We took a walk around the Christmas Market in front of the water tower.  

A Holocaust memorial

A game of hearts at a local cafe.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Advent Candles the Pyro Way

We're quite fond of large tealights in our apartment, in fact we burn them most nights...Whitney claims it helps one sleep better.  At any rate, there's always a couple of millimeters of wax wasted at the end.  I thought it would be a great idea to melt the wax and pour it into another tealight; the wicks are long enough.  I proceeded to place two candles on our electric stove and when the wax started melting I congratulated myself on a brilliant plan.  Little did I know...

I left the kitchen for a moment and when I looked back to my surprise I saw the wax had spontaneously ignited and there were flames on my stovetop!  After knocking the candles off the stove (electricity and fire seemed dangerous to me) with a towel that may or may not have briefly caught on fire (I can't remember) and spilling hot wax all over, I decided that water might be an effective solution.  I can't remember if this was the point where I took a minute to open windows and send a quick email to the sister I was chatting with, or it was after the water caused a higher flame and a puff of smoke that I mentioned I had a minor emergency.  Since the water didn't seem to be the greatest solution I figured I'd just let the flame burn out.  It couldn't last that long, there wasn't that much wax.  I was thinking maybe I could clean it all up and conveniently forget to mention this diaster to anyone, but the wax I left burning caused a huge blister in my countertop and a couple of burn marks on the type countertop one usually find in apartments...Oops.

Like Whitney said...there goes backup plan:  Recycled Candles by Montoya

If only I had had the presence of mind to take a picture while it was burning!

Monday, December 15, 2008

You can't beat this

Christmas Shopping In Vienna

Christkindlmarkt at Schonbrunn Palace

Enjoying a cup of hot chocolate in front of a palace...this might be my favorite day of shopping ever.  Where else can you shop with a beautiful palace as the backdrop?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I keep thinking I'll reuse them...maybe this is the week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Week of Culture

Saturday 6 December:  Van Gogh Exhibit at the Albertina
Leslie was gracious enough to stand in a long line with me to see Van Gogh on his last weekend in Vienna.  At one point during our 2.5 hour wait we were all cramming into a tent and we were so close that I literally just leaned on the people around me without having to carry my own weight.  Talk about inside the bubble!  The exhibit itself was pretty crowded, but it worked well for me because I was able to go at a slower pace without feeling like I was taking too much time.  When I checked the time after seeing everything I was shocked to find I had been perusing art for two hours.  I really enjoyed seeing Van Gogh's work up close.  There were many of his drawings which I think were my favorite.  It was interesting to see how he used shorter lines in his drawings instead of long flowing lines like I would have expected.  Some of his drawings looked like black and white photographs which may be why I liked them so much.  I also enjoyed looking at the colors and actual paint on some of his paintings, but I liked the drawings the best.  Definitely worth the wait!

Friday 12 December:  Mozart's Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera
Last night Bekah and I went to the Opera for 3 Euro.  Granted we had to stand, but how can you pass up the opportunity to see a world class performance for 3 Euro?  I must admit to a moment of jealousy for those playing in the orchestra.  I've never been to the opera, but I really enjoyed it:  the atmosphere, the rich people in furs, the beautiful music.  I was wonderful to hear the perfect blending of the orchestra amongst themselves and with the operatic performers.  I'd definitely do it again.  
Sidenote:  While we were waiting in line we had the opportunity to hear a spontaneous "concert" from about 20 men also waiting in line.  They were in interesting uniforms with cowbells around their necks, but they sang quite well.  A great freebie.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of my boys just told me I'm hot

Of course it could be because we're discussing hot and cold.  We're cutting out pictures of hot and cold foods.  I don't exactly fit into that category, but one should accept compliments however they come right?

Here's my complimentary kid:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Making Cookies

Frau Gangl and Miss Kidd arranged for their German and English classes to make cookies in the kitchen today.  The kids were really excited and enjoyed the steps of making cookies.  I'm pretty sure they liked the sampling best...who wouldn't?

Each student had their own little circle of dough to cut. 

Then they decorated with sprinkles or almonds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Roommate's Famous

Our librarian loves her Mac.  During Christmas she makes an advent calendar for which she photoshops people's faces in famous or familiar pictures.  Whitney was Dec. 2nd.  I'll let you know if I make the cut.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


One of the advertisements on the way to church.  It's at least 15 ft. tall.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Elementary Christmas Concert

Tonight was our Christmas concert featuring two elementary choirs, primary through second, and third through fifth.  I was so impressed with the older kids; Sandi had them singing in parts!  Of course one of my students began the concert with a loud yawn while stretching his arms in the air.  He would have to be front and center where everyone could see him.  Well, thank goodness he's little and cute, otherwise that would have been a real embarrassment.  

Aren't my kids so cute?!  They look so good in their nice clothes.

This is the beginning of Happy Birthday Jesus.  There's just something about little kids singing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mom, you'd be so proud

I hemmed my own pants.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving @ Sandi Joy & Liz's

This Thanksgiving I was invited to spend the day with Sandi Joy and Liz, two teachers at VCS.  They prepared much of the meal and invited several of us from the school to join them.  Below you'll see a picture of our "turkey."  Upon carving the bird and coversing with family, they informed us later that it was most likely a duck that we ate.

Here we are right before digging in.

After we ate we took some time to share things we are thankful for and what we are trusting God for in the next year.  A few tears around the table, but what else can you expect from a room full of women?  Our evening even included a thanksgiving story, read to us by Liz.

Once our food had settled a bit we took the U-bahn to Karlsplatz and walked around the Christkindlmarkt for a while.  

Then on to RheaAnne's for dessert and games.  A fun, full Thanksgiving.