Monday, March 31, 2008

some love for Lukie

With all the hectic vacation stuff, we never posted about Luke's birthday party. It was so much fun. He was excited for months about his Star Wars party and especially his R2D2 cake. We had lots of fun finding old school star wars plates and decorations, as they only make the new stuff now(thank you ebay) And the entire house was filled with black, gold and red balloons and hanging stars. I tried to hit on the outer space part of it all rather than what its all really about... shooting, light sabers and all things related.
He celebrated with about 10 of his friends and their Parents, he especially loved the jumpy house, which I never really did get a photo of. This year was a great party for Luke. He opened all of his gifts and didn't seem to get over-stimulated. Such a huge difference from last year when he could only get through one present. I am so proud of his growth and know that 4 is going to be his best year yet!
My attempt at Chocolate R2D2 sucker's. I was having a pretty hard time with some of the chocolate so the end result was not as I wanted. Luke thought they were perfect though!

One of his gifts, he loves these "Olivia" books and we read one of them each and every night.

So excited about his new DVD, "flushed away". Check out Ella, breathing down his neck, wondering what "they" were getting.

blowing out all 4 candles, much more work then last year!

ella and her cupcake... or whats left of it.

It taste's much better when you throw out edict and just dig in

Sunday, March 30, 2008

a few Paris pictures

There are so many cool pictures of all of the wonderful places we went, saw and ate at! But these big ones will do for here, I may put a link up soon to the rest for those of you who'd like to se them. 
We had such a great time in Paris. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I couldn't have imagined how beautiful it all was. We could have taken pictures around every corner at all of the wonderful things we saw. And the people were so nice, all of those rumors about mean Parisians, I don't know where they come from.
It was a dream of a vacation and we will remember it for the rest of our lives. It did get pretty hard to be away from the kids towards the end especially. I would see a little boy or girl and start to tear up. The last leg of the plane trip was so long... just because I was so excited to see my babies. And when I saw them it was more exhilarating and wonderful then seeing all of Europe combined. And the whole ride home they kept hugging and kissing us, telling us how much they missed us and how much they loved us. Luke said, "never go to France again, ok guys?" And Ella was so excited she was crying. In those moments I felt like the luckiest and happiest person in the world.
Thanks to all who contributed anything to us going on this trip. Babysitters, both big and small, play dates and loving friends and family who were so great with the kids. And thanks to Mom and Dad Wirthin for all that they did to make the trip so memorable and such  fun. It was so great to see what they have been doing and seeing for the last year. 
So, here you are... Paris.

Moulin Rouge... clearly. The best part about this stop was the walk through Montmartre. It was a super cool area and we ran into the cutest French, children's boutique. They had some of the cutest clothes, we got a few things for Ella.... I wanted to go crazy but the Paris prices kept me in check.

The breathtaking Sacre Coeur. This was so beautiful inside too, unfortunately we could not take pictures though. All of the steps were well worth the incredible view of the city. Next time we'll have to do this at night. I almost passed out going up all the steps of the Metro stop here, it was honestly insane. 

Notre Dame. We took a lot of pictures here, it was amazing and definitely one of our favorite places in Paris. Just incredible.

Dave in front of the Arch de Triomphe. 

One of our favorite sights. This is a view of the top floor of the Sainte- Chapelle. The stained glass here surrounds you from all sides and literally takes your breath away. I could have sat here for hours. Thanks to Sarah for this recommendation... it was simply gorgeous.

In front of The Louvre ..... this place was so much bigger than I even imagined. 

Even in the very early Spring the Tuileries Garden's were beautiful. These are the sorts of things that would have been really fun to see in warmer season's as they would have been even prettier.

I loved the tower at night. Every hour on the hour at night the sparkles were so cool.

Im bummed it was so bright in this picture. Im sure there are ways to change it up... but I'll need a while to get photoshop down, im such a rookie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just a Teaser

  Too busy to say much. But it must be stated, this city is amazing!!!! I can not express how incredible everything is.... I am in heaven here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A little R and R in Switz-R-land

The last 2 days have been full of lots of rest and relaxation. We got to spend lots of time chatting with Mom and Dad, which has been so nice. Poor Lee was sick all day, but it was good timing due to the fact that I was feeling a bit nauseous for the first time on this trip. We were really happy to be low key before the long, busy days in Paris start tomorrow... I cant believe we are going!
Easter was really nice. It was so fun to see the Wirthlin's ward and meet so many wonderful people. We have really loved all of the people we've met here and its been so fun to put so many faces to the names we've heard so often. It's no wonder Mom and Dad love it so much, its a beautiful place filled with fantastic, kind people.We are so grateful we are here experiencing some of it with them.

Our native Swiss dinner. It was one of the best dinner's I have had in a really long time. You take potato's and cut them in half. Then you melt raclette cheese in these little pans, like I am holding, under the raclette grill. When its melted you pour it on your potatoes and eat them. You also grill meats on the top and eat them with lots of different dipping sauces. I could eat it everyday.

Ummmmm.... I wish I was eating more right now. Its the yummiest cheese combo I have ever had. I guess the Swiss know their cheese. And how to use it.

the Easter Bunny brought us lots of little Swiss goodies... but my favorite was this cool, chocolate chicken.

Dave and his cute Dad. Poor Lee, he was not a happy camper on Saturday. He's doing much better now that he has his anti-biotic.

We got to rest and relax on Saturday, which is a part of this vacation that we really hoped to get in. But after a while we decided to explore the city of Ferney-Voltaire, where the Wirthlins live. This is just a pretty view on our way to the main street.

The cute Main street.

The reason why I am so happy is that inside the box I am holding is a fresh eclair from the pastry shop. I love this little city, it is so quaint and cute.

Dave feeding this poor, hungry mouse some of his fresh bread in front of the fromagerie, or cheese shop.

Dave in front of "his" boulangerie, bread shop. He got 2 loafs of this yummy bread! It was sooooo good.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The first day of Spring

we woke up to the first snow of Winter, on the first day of Spring.

so chilly. We love it though and were so excited.

Dave and his Mom, Dad was feeling a bit sick in the car.
in front of the beautiful Chateau de Chillon, the oldest castle in Switzerland. They think it was built in the 11th century.

just singing in the rain

I loved this little pathway

We were too afraid to go past this point.

A little outlook from the castle onto the huge lake

part of an amazing tapestry. There was a huge room covered with these, about 20 feet high.

Lord Byron, the poet, who wrote "Prisioner of Chillon" came here and inscribed his name in this pillar. Evidently its a big deal. The story he wrote was based on a true story of a prisoner, a Bishop, who was kept here unjustly  for 3 years.
Dave in one of the courtyards. This place was sooooo big.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An afternoon in Geneva

This is out of synch but its is Dave in the daffodil's.

This one is also out of place... blogger! Me in front of the Brunswick monument gate.

Rolex watches headquarters in Geneva. Its clearly all about the watches in Switzerland.... they are everywhere!

Jill, the lake, and Mont Blanc.

Beautiful Mont Blanc, the highest point in western Europe. The clouds had been covering it all day yesterday and today, until this evening.... it is pretty amazing.

in front of Brunswick monument. This guy was a Duke who spent the last 3 years of his life in Geneva. He left the city of Geneva all of his money under the condition that they build him this mausoleum. Its a replica of a tomb in Verona, Italy. Towards the top opening is the base of his tomb. 

This is in front of the St. Pierre Cathedral in old town Geneva. The roman columns were added years later.

Cathedral St. Pierre. This is the oldest cathedral in Geneva. It was once a Catholic church until the Protestants took it over. They added on a bunch of crazy architecture so that it would look more Roman. The result is many different types of materials and styles, its all so mis-matched. There are ruins underneath it that date back to the 3rd century. 

Jet D'eau. This fountain sprays 14o meters, 460 feet. Its in beautiful Lake Geneva.

Dave and I in front of a gazebo with Lake Geneva behind us... it was a cold day today.

Me in a bunch of pretty daffodil flowers.

The famous "flower clock"... so cool. Every season they change the flowers in it.

We finally made it!

What we saw when we got off the plane.... can you see Elder Wirthlin?

look at that tummy!

I can not describe how grateful I am to be out of the airport and off of the plane. But after a travel day of over 16 hours we have actually made it. 
It was so great to get off of the airplane in Geneva, Switzerland and see Dave's Dad waiting for us on the other side of the glass. We see him all the time as we ichat each week but there was something really wonderful about seeing him in 3D. 
After a great breakfast, compliments of Dave's Mom, we took a little nap before heading out to the Mission Home and on to the Bern Temple with Dave's Parents, a big group of Missionaries and the Mission President and his cute Wife. It was another hour and a half drive and then a 2 hour temple session but I am so grateful we went, amidst our bight red, tired eyes. Being around all of these French-speaking Sister's and Elder's, who were about to go home, was a treat. They only get to attend the Temple at the close of their Missions and it was a special thing to be there with them, you could really feel their love for the Gospel and their excitement. I would have thought that they'd be talking all about going home.... but no. It was all talk about their Missions, the people they served and the work they've done. I was very impressed.
The Temple was wonderful. The diversity was so neat. The session was in Italian and there were Spanish speakers, German, French, English and Dutch. I loved being together in that beautiful place with all of these Brothers and Sisters from so many different backgrounds. It was a special and beautiful experience that I will never forget.
We went to McDonald's afterwards and then back to more sitting. I have never been so excited to see a mattress in my life. We slept pretty good and are excited for a new, fun day with "our" Parents.

Baby Olivia

Baby Olivia
bright eyes

My funny Ella

My funny Ella

My handsome Luke

My handsome Luke