Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

I'm writing from Oceanside, which means Zach and I made it here safely - praise the Lord for that!

We got to Las Vegas in the morning after driving through the night, and spent the day there today with some friends.
We had a good time - thanks Chris and Jeremy!

Here's a picture we took with some nice people from India :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

All Kinds of Randomness

Here are some uncategorized random thoughts.
  • I spoke at Whitefields Community Church in Longmont today, where our friend Pete Nelson is the pastor. Its a great body, and it was great to be with them.
    I spoke there once before in March, and I was talking to one of the ladies from the church before the service, and she said - "Are you the missionary from Hungary? Yea, there was a missionary from Hungary here back in March, but he was fatter than you!"
    Yea, well the person she remembered was actually me - but I guess I've lost some weight since then - praise the Lord for that!
  • I got to go snowboarding twice here in Colorado, which was really great. The conditions were amazing.
    Friday we went to Winter Park, and had knee-deep fresh in Parsenn bowl, and were getting face shots in the powder. It was a blessing :)
  • Nate can say a few words now. After a few weeks with cats, he learned the word "kitty", and he likes to call all cats "Duchess" - the name of one of my parents' cats.
  • The Denver Broncos just lost to the San Diego Chargers. They got killed.
    This was a big game - the winner goes to the playoffs and the loser's season is over. Stinkin' Broncos know how to choke, and do it well.
    Since I'm from Denver and Rosemary and her brother are from San Diego - well, it will be hard to be around them for a while.
  • Rosemary and Nate flew out to San Diego on Saturday, and I'm driving out there tonight.
    I'm getting in the car in about half an hour, to leave. We will make a stop in Vegas to visit some friends.
    I will have some company - April (who worked with us in Eger) has a brother named Zach, and he is going to make the drive with me, which will help.
    Please pray that we'll have a safe drive!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Revenge of the Kitty

Nate is having a good time here in Denver, for many reasons, but one of the main ones is: Kitties.

We don't have cats, and as far as I know, until our trip here, Nate had never even seen a cat up close.

Nate is a kitty lover. He is also a kitty hunter, a kitty terrorizer and a kitty harasser.

He spends all day every day chasing the kitties around. When he finds them sleeping, he likes to bring them gifts, and place things on top of them.
He also enjoys pulling on their tails and ears. He tries to pet them, but his fine motor skills aren't quite there yet, so the petting usually ends up more like slapping...

So, the other day, one of the kitties had enough and left Nate with a nice scratch on his nose :(
Its like the old saying goes - mess with a bull and you'll get the horns; terrorize a kitty and you'll get the claws...

Anyways, after a short break, Nate has shaken off his injury and is back at confidently chasing kitties around the house :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kissing Cousins

We went to a birthday party the other day for Nate's cousin Isabella, and got to meet with lots of other cousins and family members.
One of Nate's other cousins - Sara - was quite the aggressive female; and she was very insistent on kissing Nate, even though Nate wanted nothing to do with it!

At one point she actually tackled him on the ground and laid on top of him, so she could give him a big kiss.
In fact, she kissed him so much that it left a mark on his face, because she used her teeth! Aggressive female kissing cousin...
For now its cute, but I hope these cousins stop kissing pretty soon. Its true that we live in the mountains, but we don't intend to raise them up as hillbillies!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in the City

I love Colorado, and I love Denver; its a great city.
Here are some pictures I took of Denver at night, lit up with lights for Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold in Colorado

This is the first time that Rosemary has been in Colorado in the winter.
She has always told me that the reason she would never want to live in Colorado is because it gets too cold in the winter, and I always try to explain to her that it doesn't actually get super cold here, and that the winters are quite mild in Denver.
I tell her stories to try to convince her of this, like about how I've played basketball in a t-shirt on Christmas day before in Denver.

Well, now there's no chance that she will believe that CO winters are mild. This past week there has been a lot of snow, a cold snap, and record-low temperatures.
According to this article in the Denver Post, on Monday the low temperature was -15F/-26C. Tuesday had the lowest recorded temperature for that date since 1897.

All across the city school buses couldn't start, and kids didn't have to go to school - the all-time greatest feeling for any kid in the winter!
Here at my parents' house, the water pipes froze in the garage, and we had to use a propane heater to thaw them out.

Before and shortly after I moved to Hungary, Colorado had a drought for 5 yrs. There was no snow, the winters were warm, glaciers were melting in the mountains. It was bad; everyone was talking about global warming.
But for the last few years, there has been a lot of snow and cold temperatures.
So, it's cold here - but at least its back to normal!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Fun with the Budapest Airport Strike

We're in Denver right now - we were able to make our flights on Friday, but just barely.

I wrote on Wednesday about the strike at the Budapest airport, which was causing flights to be canceled and delayed. We weren't sure if we were going to be able to fly out on Friday.
On Thursday we checked the website, and the airport reported that "all flights were departing on schedule." Although that is true, what they weren't saying was that although all flights are departing on schedule - many of them are flying out without passengers!
When we arrived at the airport on Friday, there was a line of at least a thousand people waiting to go through security (they are the ones on strike); people were fighting and yelling. There were cops walking around carrying AK-47s, with the big banana clips on them. It was crazy.
The other airport in Budapest was closed and only one terminal was working at the main one - so everyone had to go through this terminal - but no one could go through security until 8am, because of the strike.

We went to check in, and they told us that there was no chance we would make our flight to London at 8:30, because waiting in the security line would take 4 or 5 hrs, and the flight would leave at 8:30, with whoever was standing at the gate at that moment.
They told us that we could take a later flight to London, but then we would miss our connection to Denver, and since it flies only once a day, we would be stuck in London, and the next flight with a free seat would only be on Monday, and on top of that, British Airways wouldn't pay for us to stay in a hotel, because the BP airport strike isn't their problem.
The other option was to come back on Monday, but then it would probably be the exact same situation all over again.
So our only chance was to get on the 8:30 flight by trying to push our way through the security line. We decided that Rosemary and Nate should go, and I would take the later flight and sleep in London until I could get a connection to Denver.
Rosemary started crying - for real - and begged the security guards to let her through so she wouldn't have to sleep for days in an airport with the baby. They decided to let all 3 of us through, and we were able to make the flight on time and get to Denver.

A few other cool things happened; one of our bags was way overweight, but they didn't charge us, because there were so many people waiting, and the other is that in the airport we ran into a guy who used to live in Eger and come to our church who is a professional wrestler (not WWF style!) in Germany.

So, praise the Lord for these things. We feel greatly blessed that were able to make it. It would have been really bad if it hadn't worked out, but the Lord took care of us.
Nate earned his stay once again by getting us to the front of the security line! He's worth his weight in gold :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Flying on Friday?

We have tickets to fly on Friday to Denver through London, but today a strike started at the airport in Budapest, and a lot of flights are being canceled - I've attached an article below.
Please pray that we'll be able to fly out on Friday, since we already have plans for Saturday in Denver!

The Associated Press
December 10, 2008
BUDAPEST, Hungary: Trade unions at Hungary's main airport are on strike, leading to the delay or cancellation of dozens of flights.

Dozens of afternoon flights at Budapest's Ferihegy Airport have been canceled. Malev, Hungary's national airline, says it has canceled all of its flights departing from the capital.

Destinations affected include Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Trade unions are striking because they have been unable to reach a deal on a new collective agreement with Budapest Airport Zrt., the airport's management company.

Budapest Airport is majority-owned by a consortium led by Germany's Hochtief.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Google Friend Connect cont...

I just added another gadget from Google Friend Connect to this blog site.
Its on the right, called "The Wall".
Anyone can leave a comment for anyone, start a discussion, ask a question, etc...

So, don't be shy! Join the site, and write on The Wall!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Google Friend Connect

I love Google's online apps more and more. I love the Calendar. I love Gmail. I really love Google Docs - I don't even use Microsoft Word any more.
They even have an online translator site: Google Translate.

Now, Google, in their efforts to take over the internet, and thus the World, are making a foray into social networking too.

I added one of their social networking gadgets to this site just for fun. You can join this site and any other that has this gadget on it, mark some people as friends, then they can mark some people as friends, then they can mark some people as friends...
You get the idea. 6 degrees of separation...
Anyways - check it out if you're interested; it seems pretty simple and pretty cool - like most of Google's stuff.

To find out more about it, or add it to your site, click here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

No Fear

At church last night, I watched Nathaniel during the prayer time, so Rosemary could pray with the others, and I learned something that freaked me out - he has no fear.

I already kind of knew that, in theory, but it really hit me yesterday when he tried to run down the stairs in our church building about 10 times, and would have seriously hurt himself if I hadn't been there to catch him.

Back in the day, everyone had those shirts that said "No Fear!" After seeing in Nathaniel what it looks like for a person to really have "No Fear!", I have to say that you'd really have to be an idiot to think its a cool thing to have "No Fear!"

As usual, the Biblical perspective is the most balanced:
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2.Tim 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov 1:7

In other words - we shouldn't be controlled by fear or let it cripple us from moving forward or doing right things, but we must have a healthy kind of fear, which keeps us from doing things which are destructive or stupid.

I hope Nathaniel gets this healthy kind of fear ASAP, because he's scaring me with those stairs!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wind of Change

Like the Scorpions back in 1990, we're feeling the Wind of Change here too.

Balázs moved in last week. Its been a really big change, but we're getting used to it. It many ways it is nice to have him around; he's a really good guy. Tomorrow we have a meeting at the gyám hivatal in Füzesabony as part of the process of us taking him in. He's really nervous about it - poor guy.
We also still need to find a place for him to stay for a few weeks while we are in America.
Please pray for these things!

This week our Wednesday Bible study changed locations - for the past year and a half we've been meeting in the apartment of a couple from the church, and now we moved it to our church building. Our idea was that more people might show up if it was in a public place rather than someone's apartment - which is what actually happened :)
We also changed the time from 7 to 6 - which is cool, because this way Rosemary gets to come to church and we get home earlier, but it also means I have less time to prepare on Wednesdays!
And we also started studying a new book. For the last 3.5 yrs that our church has existed, we've been studying the Torah on Weds, and last week we finished the last chapter of Deuteronomy. So today we started Hebrews, which I'm really excited about studying with the church.

Also, I sent in my application for a seminary this week. Its called the Open Theological College, and its part of the University of Gloucestershire, England.

And a good friend of mine moved to Budapest yesterday, for work, after getting laid off from his job in Eger.
Budapest is a black hole in Hungary. It sucks in everything around it.
I hope my friend will be able to return from the great beyond soon.

I wouldn't mind following the Moskva down to Gorky park...