Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Dear family and friends,

21011 has been a big year for us!

Dan passed his final geography exam for Charles University and just has to finish writing and defending his dissertation to finish his PhD. This made the prospect of moving back to the US more realistic and he found a job advertisement that was pretty much describing him: a degree in geography, experience using GIS, knowledge of Eastern Europe, and the ability to read Cyrillic alphabets and experience living abroad. Of course, he applied and after several Skype interviews was offered a job with FamilySearch, a across the pond. Dan is now working in Salt Lake and we are living with his grandmother in Kaysville.

Our second miracle this year was the birth of our daughter Charlotte Lucie Reeves in July. She was two weeks late, but born early enough to see Grandma and Grandpa Reeves who traveled to Prague to help our transition to a family of five. Charlotte is the easiest going baby who gets lots of love from her two brothers. She loves to growl, squeal and slobber on anyone lucky enough to hold her.

Benjamin turned three and is finally potty trained! He is quite the talker and loves to play imagination games with Vinson, some of which he leads. He enjoys going to parks and watching Backyardigans.

Vinson has had a big year starting school. He started the school year in a Czech školka (kindergarten), before we had any idea that we would be moving. It was difficult for him in the beginning but he made friends and was learning all kinds of Czech. His transition to kindergarten in the US (no changing clothes/shoes, walking to public parks, etc.) has gone more smoothly than we had anticipated and he has made several friends. The other day he told me he loves America because everyone understands him. J

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Dan, Val, Vinson, Benji, and Charlotte

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who looks like who?

We are a happy family. (In front of the LDS Church after Charlotte's baby blessing.)
When I look at Charlotte I can't believe how much she looks like Vinson to me. What do you think? Here are the kid's passport photos. Charlotte is a few weeks older since it took a little longer for her to get a passport (her first birth certificate said her name was Charlotte Lucie Reevesova). But it's still fun to compare and have the pictures back to back.
Charlotte's passport photo:
Benjamin's passport photo:

Vinson's passport photo:
As for other news, Charlotte's blessing was absolutely beautiful and an amazing experience. Here is Benji "giving" Charlotte a blessing.Charlotte in her blessing dress looking like she's at attention:
Benjamin before he was blessed at church:Vinson before he was blessed at church:Update on školka: Vince is picking up Czech so quickly. He even says some words in Czech at home because it's what comes to his head first.
Funny story: A few days ago Vince pointed to his but and said, "Mam velky zadek." (I have a big but) Now I know he didn't learn that from home - what are they teaching him at school ;-). BUT was too pleased that he was speaking Czech to give a more appropriate response and said, "Wow Vince! You're speaking Czech so well!"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vinson in školka

Vinson started školka (Czech kindergarten) last week. He's been really excited. We made sure that he knew that all the kids and teacher would only speak Czech so he wouldn't have any surprises. There are 27 kids in the class. Vince said, "There are so many kids, even so many that I can't count them. . . but the teacher can." Good thing huh? When we got there some other kids were crying and having a hard time. It's a good thing for me that he had no problem and went straight for the toys. Benji had the hardest time because he wanted to stay. Vince likes school. He might not understand everything but it sounds like he's understanding more than he realizes and everyday he says he liked it. I'm really hoping he can make some good friends. He's going to learn a lot this school year.Cultural differences: Kindergarten in the Czech Republic is focused more on social skills so there is more play time and less structured lesson time. We're doing some reading lessons at home so he won't be behind when we move back to the states. Czech kids spend a lot of time changing their clothes. When they arrive they change into their indoor clothes and put on their indoor shoes. They change into pajamas for nap time. The main meal of the day is lunch so they have warm meals. Vince is having a hard time getting used to having soup and meat for lunch everyday. There's a lot of things he is getting used to - but he likes it! Horray!
I'm so proud of my big brave boy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Charlotte’s Photo Shoot

My friend, Anička Piškova, offered to do some pictures.  They turned out so great!  Here are some of my favorites:


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Friday, July 29, 2011

A little late but worth the wait!!

Our little girl has finally arrived! Val gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby just before noon today. Mother and baby are doing fine and we hope to bring them home from the hospital soon.P1020259

After being with Val for the delivery, I brought the boys some cool new footwear. Vince was quick to add a face mask so that he could be more like a real doctor!


Later, we all got to go and visit Val and Charlotte (new baby’s name).

P1020266P1020268 Vital stats…

height: 48 cm weight: 3.17 kgP1020275

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stories by Vinson

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell the people to repent. He got on a boat going the wrong way. There was a bad storm and he was thrown into the ocean to save the boat. Jonah got eaten by a whale.

Here he is inside the whale. He’s not very happy. There is smoke coming out of the whale.

The whale spit Jonah out and he went to Nineveh. The people repented.


Once there was a pirate that had a huge hat.

And the hat got smaller.

And smaller until it was just the right size. And they saw a door in a tree and they went down the stairs and they saw an X and they dug up treasure!

Vince has been going through 5-10 pieces of paper every day drawing. He's gotten really good. It's fun to see what he comes up with.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trip to Venice with Emily


We wanted to let Emily see a little more of Europe than just Prague and went on an awesome trip!  Dan made this map that shows what we did.

We stopped in Hallstadt for a lunchbreak.  It’s a beautiful mining town on a lake in the Alps.


Then we drove to Lake Bled, Slovenia. 


It’s another beautiful city by a lake.  There’s a castle and a church on the island in the lake.  Our favorite part of Lake Bled was our hike in Vintgar Gorge.  The river was so clear, and the foliage was so green and to top it off the hike ended at a waterfall!IMG_1395IMG_1396

IMG_1404The next day we drove to Punta Sabbioni where we camped on the beach.  The drive there was beautiful!


The boys liked the beach the best!  The water was great!beach5IMG_1424

The next day we took a boat to Venice.


Then we drove to Nevegal where we camped.  On the way there were biker names painted all over the road.  We missed the Giro by 4 days.IMG_1509IMG_1522

Finally we drove home taking our time driving through the dolomites (Italian Alps).  So incredibly beautiful!