Ten Year Journey

My Dear Laura, on September 20, 1997, we were married in Blacksburg, VA.  Today, Sept. 20, 2007, we have a wealth of wonderful memories, and I love you more than ever.

In the mountains of Virginia
We fell in love, and
Our journey began

We couldn’t have guessed
That before too long, we’d
Be driving a family van

It began in a kitchen
After Ané’s Turkish meals
“Innocently” washing dishes together

Remember the music room?
Wind Rock?
The drive-in theater?

You drew me in with your beauty, your sense of purpose, your depth of character.

And you couldn’t resist my pick-up truck, my guitar, my fancy beard.

We have shared the journey, traveling into unknown territories.
As citizens and sojourners, the destination has become clearer and clearer,
And we’ve been in it together.

You have been my companion, my treasure, my best friend.
And your faithful, gentle love has made me a better man,
continually pointing me toward the love and grace of God.

We’ve been given three gifts along the way
Who have taught us
The value, the quickness, the thrill of life. 

 

 

I just cannot imagine the past ten years without you.
Laura, you are more beautiful, more wonderful,
more precious to me than ever.

I love you!  Happy Anniversary!
-Mark

visitors!

Uncle Dan and Joanna arrived today from the US!  It was so good to see them.  When we reached home from the airport, Seth, Jake, and Nathan were sitting in front of the house watching for us, and you should have seen the smiles on their faces. 

The boys quickly introduced them every feature of the house, and within minutes, Dan, Seth, Jacob and Nathan were having races in the backyard.  They thought Dan was pretty fast, but he couldn’t really keep up with their rocket legs.  I’ll put some pictures up soon!

camp

Seth finished his first day of tennis and swimming camp today.  I got to watch him for a short while when I came to pick him up, and that was really cool.  I was blown away.  He can really nail the ball, and he has a pretty natural motion!  But what blew me away even more was watching Seth communicate Hungarian tennis terminology.  I could hardly understand what the coach was telling him to do, but Seth was completely with it.  Crazy. 

success

Hooray!  We received our residency permits this morning.  We only had to wait 3 hours, and though two of the boys are a little sick, they were all very very patient.  Hallelujah.  Now we can rest at ease for another 10 months until we start the process over again.  🙂 

We’ve had some really busy and awesome weeks recently.  A lot of long days, and we’re a little tired.  But summer is here, the boys have finished kindergarten for the year, and some exciting plans for the next couple months.  We’ve had a great time with a group of friends from Charlottesville VA, and they are preparing to run an English camp next week in Szeged.  And my brother and Joanna arrive in about two weeks!!!

by foot

So, last week someone tried to break into our car.  Car theft and radio theft are an issue here, but not like 5-10 years ago.  Anyway, they tore up the driver’s door pretty bad, and it needs to be replaced.  What in the world.  I’m grateful for insurance, but there’s still a $150 deductable.  Sigh. 

So for this whole week, the van is in the shop.  We use public transportation all the time, but with three kids the van also comes in handy everyday.  So we definitely feel it when hauling the kids to kindergarten and bringing a load of groceries home from the élelmiszer. 

BUT, losing the car for a week has a real positive side to it too.  It slows life down, makes us more intentional, and gives us opportunities to ask for help.  Besides, the kids LOVE riding the buses, trains, trollies, subways, and trams.  They can never get enough of it. 

booboo

So, our boys are pretty active, to say the least.  And they love being physical….climbing trees, wrestling, running, etc.  Of course they do know when to be gentle and calm and orderly…..I think.  🙂  But every day seems to have its share of collisions, accidents, and booboos.  For example, yesterday Jacob and Nathan were riding their bikes and ran into each other (just for the fun of it), and both ended up with skinned knees.  Experience is the best teacher, I guess.  So, I decided to count the number of bruises and scrapes on their legs.  Total count (including all the little ones) for all three boys = 19 bruises and 11 scrapes.  What in the world!  Of course they found some sort of pride in counting all of these scrapes and bruises too.  Badges of honor perhaps.  So I’m thinking about opening a training camp for professional extreme sport athletes (parachuters, rock-climbers, cliff-divers, etc).  They could come to our house and just watch our boys play, make notes, and attempt to implement the new techniques in their various sporting events.