Friday, May 2, 2008

Vianden, Luxembourg

Wow! Where did April go?

I know we experienced it! I have proof:

1) Our family is a shade darker from basking in the sun and building sand "fortresses" along the Costa Blanca of Spain.

2) I'm a year older. (36 to be exact!! Yahoo!)

3) I experienced a weekend of refreshment and encouragement at a women's conference in the Bavarian region of Germany in Garmisch.

And, 4) We greeted a long time friend at the airport on Tuesday and brought him home with us to spend the week!! (Our first visitor from the States!)

The next thing I knew is that we were putting our children to bed on Wednesday night when we heard laughing and carrying on in our front yard, (not unusual, but it catches me off gaurd anyway). We looked out and there was a crowd of people, half of them spectators, the other half putting up the May Pole. And I realized, quite suddenly, that it was April 30th!!

So yesterday Eli, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Kyler, and myself drove over to Bitburg to see how Germany's Labor Day is celebrated... I think we saw 7 other people in the entire town. All the stores were closed. No one was in the walkplatz (pedestrian-only zone). We shrugged our shoulders and decided everyone stays home to eat delicious German cuisine. Hm.

That's when I decided that we'd take a quick jaunt over to Luxembourg to see the castle in Vianden.

And I had a revelation. It occurred to me that in the last few months of typical American-style busyness, we've slipped into that rut of, "Oh we'll be here 3 years! We've got plenty of time to experience Europe!" What?!? (As August approaches, it will be one year since our arrival here!) Kyler being here for a mere one week has reminded me that everyday counts. That we don't know what tomorrow will bring. That today is a gift!!! (Thank you, Kyler, for bringing your sense of adventure with you and re-inspiring us!)

We drove up the narrow cobblestoned street and parked a little ways from the path to the castle. As we walked toward the castle, it started to rain petite drops, just a few, nothing to concern ourselves with. So we stopped to take pictures.

As we continued on toward the castle, there was a sudden cloud burst and enormous wet drops splashed down on us. There I was, suddenly lost in my own little dream world... sopping wet, running toward this ancient and beautiful castle! I'm telling you, I wasn't in the 21st century anymore. I was Princess Antoinette... (I don't even know if that's a real person. I made it up because it sounds perfectly dreamy.) But there you go.

Unfortunately, we made it to the entrance of the castle just as we needed to head back home in time for Israel to get off the bus. So we're going to try to squeeze in a visit to this castle once more before Kyler leaves. Next time we intend to take LeRoy and Israel! smile.

Kyler is the tall one in the picture... I suppose you figured that out. And then there's Eli, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. Do you know who Kyler is? This is so fun! I arrived in Spokane 16 1/2 years ago to be their family's new live-in nanny! Kyler was 4 years old at the time! So imagine how amazing it was for me to pick him up at the airport on Tuesday -- he's now 20 years old! Over the years their family has continued to encourage me, inspire me, and bless our whole family. What a joy to spend this week with Kyler!

Today Kyler and Eli went on the Trier Tour. And then tomorrow morning we plan on setting out early for Amsterdam, Holland (The Netherlands). We're hoping to tour Corrie Ten Boom's home, Anne Frank's house, Rembrandt's home, and the Van Gogh museum...

Ah! And pictures of Spain! Yes, well, I started working on that and got as far as the second day but then stopped because I narrowed the pictures down to 75 of them for the first two days, and, well... I think I need to narrow it down just a wee bit more...

Anyway, I'll keep you posted!

All our love to you! Blessings,


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