Sunday, October 12, 2008


This week was homecoming and we've spent a lot of time making preparations for the week. They've never heard of mums, so it was fun watching them put it all together. They also bought dresses for the homecoming dance and we spent yesterday fixing hair and getting ready for the dance. It was definitely an experience for them!

Last week Joe got them sideline passes so they could take pictures and experience the game up close. They really loved it!

So far things are really good. We are all exhausted from the week...with shopping, haircuts, more shopping, and mum making, we are pooped! So today we went to church and we are relaxing the rest of the time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Latest Update

I know I haven't been keeping up my blog very well, but I'm going to try harder now! Since I last posted, we've done a lot!


The girls have had their first taste of Blue Bell, which Michelle says is the best ice cream she's ever had in her life and I would agree. They tried Krispy Kreme for the first time, bought their first cowboy hats, went to their first pep rally, football game, and ate cajun food to name a few.


Since they've been here, we've taken a few little trips. The first weekend we went to Fiesta Texas in San Antonio with a small group of exchange students. Hanna is not really into rides, but she was a trooper and tried to keep cool by watching some of the shows in the AC. Michelle and I rode as many rides as we could. We had a sweet girl with us from Tajikistan who had never ridden a roller coaster, so we had a great time scaring her to death on the rides! She had a blast. It was long day, but we all had a great time!

We've been going to church at Austin Stone in downtown Austin which is right by Lady Bird Lake...awesome! The girls have really enjoyed church...the music is great and the preaching is too! After church one Sunday, my friend loaned us her kayaks and we kayaked on the lake. We went up to Barton Springs and Michelle and I raced...I'm sad to say she kicked my rear. Afterwards, we went to the Bob Bullock Museum and checked out a little Texas History. It was an eventful weekend as we had family in from hurricane Ike. The girls were so excited to meet the family...and I was excited to have mom and dad cooking for us! Thankfully everything was okay with our families' homes and they were able to go back after a few days, but we were sad to see them go...especially me because it's back to me cooking every night. :-)

Last weekend I took the girls to Fort Worth where we met my friend Kelli and her niece. On the way we stopped in West where there are a lot of Czech people. Michelle was so excited when we stopped at the Czech Stop and bought kolaches (which she said were Americanized...imagine that!) She took tons of pictures and said it was the best thing we'd done yet. I guess when you are totally away from your culture, it's nice to have a little taste of home. That night we met Kelli, had dinner and crammed into the hotel room for a little rest. The next morning we went to Cracker Barrel (YUM!) and then on to the Fort Worth stockyards where they bought cowboy hats (made in China...ha!), saw a longhorn, armadillo, possum (yuk!), horses, mechanical bull, and who knows what else! It was a beautiful day and we just walked and looked and took pictures. After the stockyards, we drove over to Dallas where we checked out the place where Kennedy was shot. We walked around the West End, took some pictures and had dessert! Do you see a trend? Blue Bell, Krispy Kreme and dessert? I may be in trouble! We also drove around Fair Park...I'm hoping I can take them to the State Fair, but I'm not sure if we'll make it or not! Hopefully...

This weekend is a little quieter. Last night Hanna and I went to our local park where they show a movie on a huge screen and everyone sits in lawn chairs or blankets. It was a gorgeous night...nice and cool. Michelle had a sleepover last night with her swim team girls and Hanna is going to the lacrosse practice this morning to check it out. I plan on cleaning the house and running some errands and taking it easy this weekend. They want to go shopping tomorrow with two other exchange students from school for dresses for the homecoming dance.

The girls are really getting involved. Hanna writes for the newspaper and is in the knitting club...she's knitting a scarf :) Michelle is on the swim team and had her first meet yesterday which she couldn't compete in because she's on varsity and they have to get all her UIL paperwork done. They've both been going to Deepend which is a youth group bible study with my friend's church. They really love it. Michelle has never been to church and Hanna only goes occasionally, but they have really enjoyed the bible study and our church worship service. Their youth group leader bought them bibles. They were so excited about that.

So, I'm sure I've forgotten some of the exciting elements of our adventures...that's what happens when you don't update your blog regularly...but you get the idea! We've been busy!

Monday, August 25, 2008


As many of you know, Joe and I are hosting two exchange students for ten months. One is from Germany and the other is from Slovakia. We are so excited about the opportunity and can't wait to spend time getting to know them. We will be sharing pictures and stories of our many adventures.

The First Day

We picked Hanna and Michelle up from the airport on Friday, August 15 after many delays. Hanna was exhausted, but Michelle was geared up and ready to go. I think we finally went to bed around 1:00 that night. The next few days we spent time shopping, hanging out, resting and running around town a lot. They both wanted to buy American clothes for school, so we've done quite a bit of shopping. We went to church Sunday and they were so shocked at the casual atmosphere and band with the drums, guitars, etc; they just couldn't believe how different it was from their experiences back home. I'm hoping it will become an important part of their experience here.

The Lake

Probably the most exciting day we've had since they've been here was our trip to the lake. My friend offered to take us out on her boat and we spent time just driving around looking at the huge lakehouses and then anchored the boat and swam for a while. It was really beautiful! On the way back from our swim, the girls decided they would try to use the knee board which was hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing. They both had the biggest smiles on their faces! But I have to say the best part was on the way back when it started raining. We pulled into the dock just before the bottom fell out! The rain was coming down horizontally and the wind was crazy. They didn't know what to think about the storm. Michelle asked if we were in a hurricane! If I hadn't known better, I would have thought we were in one judging by the wind and rain. We laughed so hard! What is it about running in the rain that's so fun?