Friday, December 28, 2007


This has been a super awesome Christmas this year!! Vinson loved having the carp stand outside our apartment. Czechs eat Carp for dinner and they pick the carp from the huge bucket. If he didn't want to go outside all we had to do was remind him that there were "fishies" there. Our upstairs neighbors the Vondorskovi's got 3 big carp and had them in their bathtub. Vinson loved torturing . . . I mean petting them in the tub.

We had Turkey and Ham for Christmas Eve dinner. We went to the Glenn's house and they, the Wicker's and us potlucked a huge Christmas Eve dinner. Enough to feed us, some inlaws, 10 missionaries and 2 couple missionaries (one was the Mision president and his wife). Dinner was great! After we exchanged/stole white elephant gifts. Vinson managed to get 3 presents. Once when Dan was going to trade his present, because it was a stuffed animal, Vinson cried. In the rules you can't make kids cry, so Dan had to keep it:) After that we acted out the Nativity story. Vinson made an excellent cow! The Slovaceks were Joseph and Mary. Then Vinson climbed into the manger and the Glenn girls Elly, and Anna pushed him around in the manger. It was probably Vinson's favorite part of the evening.

Dan and I were so excited about Christmas!! Vinson wasn't quite sure what was going on, but he would figure it out.

He loved opening the presents. Mom and Dad probably made him jump from one present to another too quickly, though because all he wanted to do was play with the last one he opened. In the end he got a great stash! My favorite present was the tractor. I found the tractor in a garbage can, but it didnt' have a steering wheel. I made one out of a back scratcher and a frisbee, but unfortunately it only lasted about 5 minutes before it broke. We tried again with string and he still plays with it. Now we just need to reattach the frisbee :) His favorite was probably the train set and the man that climbs down the ladder. . . well he liked everything!

Dan's favorite was the book of Prague buildings that have cut out drawings and drawings of the cool paintings/sculputres etc. int eh building. The funniest one was probably 101 Regions of the Alps text book in German. Even thought he loves it, it was an accident :)

My favorite gift was the game Thurn and Taxis, which is a post office route game of Eastern Europe. It was the German game of the year for 2006. Those Germans sure do make some good games!!! We have played it every night since Christmas and everytime Vince has had a nap.

For some post Christmas festivities we went to the Wicker's and made ginger bread houses!!! It was so much fun. Dan is holding Vince weird cause he wants to eat the house. I bet you can guess which house is mine and who did the crazy extension. I think he just wanted more gingerbread to eat ;)

P.S. I did two posts today, so don't forget to read the next one

Shout out for Anna

I love Anna!! My sister Anna is absolutely amazing. She's one of those crazy talented people that are good at EVERYTHING! She's crazy smart and an amazing artist. Our favorite wedding present is a picture of Kolab canyon that she painted. I have to tell everyone it's a painting and not a picture, though because it's SO GOOD!! A little while ago Anna compiled some of her pictures on a website, and I thought everyone should know :) Here are two of my favorite and you can click on the link to see more.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Vesele Divadlo

Around Halloween one of the girls in our branch (Magda) asked Dan and I if we would be willing to be Joseph and Mary for the Christmas Divadlo (theater). Magda organized a nativity theater last year for her YW project and wanted this years to be even better. I said, "we'd love to" and dragged Dan to all the practices. I never did Drama in High School and thought it would be great fun! I also was flattered that Magda thought my Czech was good enough that I could do it. It wasn't as much as you would think. Four lines and "Mary's Lullaby" in Czech.
Dan was an awesome Joseph! Vinson hung out at a friends house and was great until he saw Dan. Apparently he didn't recognize me, but when he saw Dan he said, "Daddy!" happily and then was restrained when trying to run to the stage, and that's when he cried. It was pretty cute. Poor Holly missed the whole thing.

Here is the whole cast. It went really well!

Friday, December 14, 2007

December Fun

While my friend is in America, we borrowed her zoo passes and all went to the zoo. The main reason for our visit was to do some Christmas shopping. Unfortunately the zoo was all out of their "Jsem Prase" and "Jsem Gorilla" I'm a pig and I'm a gorilla T-shirts, but we still had a lot of fun at the zoo. Vinson liked sitting on this tiger more than watching the real tiger cubs. We also got to hang out with the "people animals."

December 6th is St. Mikulas, but it's celebrated on the evening of the 5th. Dan had to work until late on the 5th, so I called some friends and Becca, Logan, Vinson and I went to old town square. St. Mikulas is the Czech's version of Santa Clause and he's always accompanied by an angel and a devil. If you say a poem to Mikulas they will give you a candy. Sometimes they go to homes and if the kids are good they give them a present, but if the kids are bad, Cert (the devil) gives the parents a whip to keep the children in line. I guess you could say that happens as often as kids get coal in their stocking. Vinson was sick, but I still dragged him out in the cold . . . hrmm . . because I wanted to see Mikulas. We didn't stay out too long.

Some of the costumes were pretty ornate, but a lot of them were cute home made costumes. Next year if everything works out we'll dress up. Hold your thumbs and cross your fingers!
Some other fun things we did was go to the foot exhibit in the Museum. It was right up my alley! There were shoes from all over the world. Vinson and Laurence (see picture below) had a lot of fun hiding behind the drapes and having races through the exhibit, and Melinda and I were pointing out cool shoes to each other. Among the exhibit was Neil Armstrongs space boot, Shaq's boot, some famous Czech olympian shoes, and other fun things like the tiny Chinese shoes, and eskimo shoes.

Melinda and Laurence at the entrance of the Foot exhibit

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Choo Choo!

I thought you might like a translation for this one. "Pojd" is one of Vinson's latest Czech words. It means "come here." He used to say "meam" meaning "come" of course.

Vinson "Pojd'" "Come here"
Dan "Kam Pojdu?" "Where should I go?"

Little Angel?

I love this video! I laugh everytime I see it. Vinson looks so angelic, almost like he is praying and then all of a sudden. . . well watch you'll see!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Prague. In fact if you tell a Czech you celebrated Thanksgiving they won't know what you're talking about. But we pulled off another American holiday with all the trimmings! Twice! First, Ed Barner invited us to go the Obecni Dum (one of the nicest restaurants in Prague) with ALL the missionaries in the Czech/Slovak mission (which would be between 100 and 150 missionaries!) and some of Ed's American friends. Even though the invitation was extended to Vinson too, unlike last year, we decided to get a babysitter and relax. This year was A LOT funner than last year, probably because we knew people. Dan is the branch mission leader - so we get to know 14 missionaries at a time and it was fun to see all the old missionaries in Prague and catch up. Some interesting details about the meal was that the turkey was 20 kg (over 40 pounds!!!!), everyone got rootbeer (something impossible to find here) and the first thing the resturant ran out of was zely (the only czech dish provided). Are those missionaries really missing home cooking?Here is a picture of us in front of the Obecni Dum.

Friday I threw a Thanksgiving party at our house. I invited some people and kept inviting until I had to start stressing as to how they would all be able to sit down. The final plan involved seating people on the couches and borrowing two chairs. Come Friday mornin I thought I had everything under control. Pies were cooked and in the fridge, the house was clean, our table and desk (which functioned as a table) were in place and the table was set . . . and we only had six sets of silverware, but I was going to cook the turkey at the church and borrow silverware from there. Dan convinced me to call the church to make sure the kitchen would be free. What! There's a meeting there?! Oh for those of you that don't know, we don't have an oven. We have a toaster oven to handle all of our cooking needs. Not going to work with our turkey. Thanks to Melinda, who kindly let us use her oven, we were set . . . and Sister Nelson who brought some silverware. The tricky thing was getting the turkey home. Dan helped me by carrying Vinson and the stroller carried the turkey. We covered the turkey up with a blanket on the tram ride home. People must have thought we had the best smelling baby in the world!

It was our first turkey ever and I must say, we did a great job. (tips: I stuffed it with celery and an onion and stuck, or more like molded a stick of butter on the turkey) SO GOOD!!! Becca and Logan brought rolls, the Wilcox's brought Jello, the Nelson's brought scalloped potatoes, Chris and Marketa brought stuffing, and Melinda, Britt, and Laurence brought mashed potatoes! YUM!! Dinner was amazing. I went back for seconds on JELLO. It was the first time I'd had jello in more than a year and I can't believe how good it tasted. Marketa (the only Czech joining us) wouldn't touch the stuff :)
In the picture is Brother Nelson, Sister Nelson, Chris, Marketa, Becca and Logan.
Brother and Sister Wilcox, Dan, Vinson, Me, Britt and Melinda. We had a great time eating and chatting. Thanksgiving was a success!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"I LOW" Vinson!

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and I am so Thankful I have such a cute little boy like Vinson! Vinson and I are best buds! He loves his Daddy. In the morning he makes kissing noises as he runs to Dan to kiss him goodbye. Then he'll give Dan a hug and say "I LOW" AKA I love you. On the phone it is always understood as "Hello" which isn't nearly as flattering as "I love you." He is the best house cleaner in the world. Even when I don't want to he'll run to the chair and pull on it- AKA mom, it's time to do the dishes! Then he'll be so helpful putting the water from the sink into a bowl and sucking on any dish rag he can get his hands on. Laundry has doubled since then because his shirt is wetter than the dish rag by the time we're done. But that's okay because he helps with the laundry too. He takes things out of the washer slower than I put them back in. If anyone wants a helper with vacuuming, Vinson can start the vacuum by himself! We love reading books together and watching Cars (we've seen it almost everyday.) I can't get enough of my little VINSON! I have so much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I know some of my posts are CrAzY long, and to add to the longness I have full sized pictures. Oh, well.
Dan's old mission companion Brian Hansen stayed with us in Prague a few weeks ago and offered to let us stay at his parents house in Vienna. His dad works for BYU and is living there for the BYU study abroad program. We couldn't pass up the offer!!
Things didn't work out so well for us: Dan had a project he had to do Thursday night, the busses in Prague were sold out to Vienna and the trains going to Vienna were all expensive ones. For the greater good: saving money and seeing Vienna poor Dan pulled an all nighter. We found that we could take a train to Brno and then catch a bus from Brno to Vienna which would cost less than half. So we caught the train to Brno at 1:00 in the morning Friday (after walking/jogging to the train station because we watched as we missed 3 TRAMS!!!) Then we got to Brno (see picture of Vinson fascinated by the listings of trains changing in the train station at 4 in the morning.) We waited for an hour in the train station and caught our pus to Vienna at 6:00 in the morning and arrived in beautiful Vienna at 8:30. Thankfully Dan and I caught a second wind and we were off!
In case you were wondering, Vienna is here:) We first wanted to see St. Stephensdome, but got lost and saw these great sights!

Dan and I love to see churches. And we saw this one, not so spectacular on the outside, but WOW on the inside!

Who knew Vienna has SO MANY HORSES, I thought Prague had a lot, but right outside St. Stephans there were at least 50 carriages waiting for someone to get a ride.
Isn't it amazing how no matter how high the cool thing is, strangers still insist on taking pictures with your feet in it!!!!

Vinson playing peek a boo in the church.

Afterwards we were FREEZING!! So we warmed up and ate a pizza. Mine only had 3 olives on it. What a jip!

Dan and I took a long time deciding whether we should go and see the library or not. We were glad we did! Wow! We could take pictures but only without a flash. I took 22 :)
Poor Vinson was too cold to continue. So we went to the Hansens two hours early (3:30). Thank goodness Liesl was home and let us in.

Day 2

Today we wandered around Vienna with a plan! Brother Hansen gave us a bunch of tips on how we could spend the day. We first went to "the Ring." Which is where a bunch of really cool buildings are in a circle. We saw this neogothic cathedral Votivkirche (it was built in the 1800's can you believe it!)

This is the Rat House (Rathaus) hee hee. In front of it they have set up a bunch of Christmas shops. One was open, but we weren't interested :)

This whole time our ATM card wasn't working even though we KNEW we had money in there. (Later we found out it was trying to take money from savings, and there wasn't money there :( Anyway, we weren't able to see the inside of Karlskirche
because they only accepted cash :(! So, since we were freezing we went to the Schönbrunn Palace, waited in line, and found out that their Visa system wasn't working either. So we walked around the gardens since Vinson fell asleep. It was georgeous even in the winter. It must be amazing in the spring.
Afterwards we decided to see if their machines were working. And yipee yeow they worked! So we got to see the amazing luxury that kings and queens lived in. Crazy!

We had seen a bunch of pictures of the Hundertwasser Haus and thought it was crazy enough we wanted to see it in person. Plus we got a tip that the cafe there had the best sachertorte (Thanks Liesl).
We ordered and had a sip of hot chocolate and then my heart sunk. What if they don't take cards. So Dan asked and . . . they don't take cards. So Dan left to try another ATM and like the last 20 times before that it still didn't work. Dan ran into a Czech lady at the bank and she dumped her change purse in Dan's hand. SO NICE! But we were still 5 Euro short. Dan (who is amazing!) explained to her in German that we didn't have enough money and she said to eat and bring money back later. It was SO YUMMY, so how come Dan and I had a hard time laughing and talking or anything? We went back to the Hansens and called the bank and fixed the problem. Sister Hansen fed us dinner, yum! and we headed back to pay for our food. I felt like an idiot. She offered to watch Vinson for us, and we took her up on it.
The extra effort was worth the amazing smile she gave us when we came in and gave her the 5 euros we were short on the meal. We took the scenic way home and took some great night shots. When we got back Vince was already asleep. I hope he was good while we were gone.

Day 3 We wanted to try to see Elder Schaeffner, who was an elder in Prague and had left for home eight weeks ago. Dan figured out which ward would be the one he would attend and Brother Hansen wanted to go to that branch too, to see a friend he hadn't seen since his mission. Before we left we took a picture of the Hansen Family. (Sorry Liesl)
At church Elder Schaeffner wasn't there, and wasn't there, and right before sacrement started he went up to the stand. Dan and I looked at eachother, wow, we're going to get to hear him talk. But we got to hear him give his homecoming address!!! It was really neat when he bore his testimony in Czech because all of a sudden I understood it and the spirit was really strong. He talked about being guided by the spirit, "not knowing beforehand what he should do." Wow!

Vinson on the train coming home. 5 hours, but he was good the whole time, well almost!