31 October 2009

Happy Birthday Karen - Parte Zwei

I promised there would be more Karen-Birthday Party posts, it just took awhile for the party to take place. Yesterday, we finally had the party of the century (or at least the year).

Our friends Om and Sarita came over to help us make Momo. Yum. I want some momo. And they gave Karen her very own Momo pan for her birthday! Now we just have to learn their secrets, which they seem hesitant to share. At one point we had about 10 people in our closet of a kitchen making Momo, tortillas, whipping cream, and chopping lettuce & onions. Good fun!

You might think that's a cake. But not in this family! Instead of a cake, Karen got a 4 pound pile of chicken and lamb kebab meat with candles on top. The best part is, if you look closely Mia is getting ready to blow out the candles too. It's great how whenever you look at pictures of kids near birthday candles the expressions on their faces tell you exactly what they're thinking!

Here's Everton (from Chris' class) and Karen posing with their Kebabs.

We had a lot of people over. Usually when we invite people, half of them don't show up. This time almost everyone showed up and we had 19 adults and 9 kids in our very small european apartment.

The evening was made even more exciting by the addition of American soda that Bindi brought us from the U.N. commissary.

Elder Bailey was really excited to carve pumpkins, so he searched all over Vienna to find a large enough pumpkin to carve. Since Everton is from Brazil and has never carved a pumpkin, we made him and his wife Andrea carve one.

Here's Elora helping out Andrea trace the shape to be carved into the pumpkin. Andrea actually did a better job than we've ever done in our lifetime of pumpkin carving... Looks like America needs to outsource our pumpkin carving to Brazil!

Here's Elder Burgoyne playing a fun game I invented called Trifle Pong. It's pretty much like the college-frat-guys-who-drink-too-much game called Beer Pong. Only we used dessert instead of Beer.

Jason was by far the most photogenic Trifle Pong player.

"Chris perfecting his patented 'claw throw' Trifle Pong technique."

Om was definitely the best Trifle Pong player. He had this reverse soft-ball pitch style that yielded consistent results.

The birthday girl, true to her form, tossed the ping pong ball like a girl and missed by a mile. But she still got to eat some Trifle anyway.

In keeping with the stereotype of frat boy games, the men seemed more interested, while the women mostly gathered around and watched while eating Trifle.

Our first attempt at a group photo. The lens wasn't wide enough to fit everyone in so we had to retry.

Just barely!

One more try to get all the kids in the picture. Elora refused to comply. Everyone agreed that Momo is the best thing in the world, and we're now going to expand our future Kebab restaurant into a Kebab & Momo Hut.

28 October 2009

Zoo with Friends

We went to the zoo yesterday with some friends. It was their first time to the zoo, and Elora had a great time showing everyone around. We are enjoying this awesome Fall weather, and hope it lasts!

We went to the Hippo house, and this Hippo would go under the water, pop up and spray water out of its nose, and go back down. Over and over. The kids were fascinated for a long time. Eventually it came out of the water, and opened its HUGE mouth, all the way. Wow. Big mouth. And teeth. I am so sad, I missed the picture, I was chasing Oliver who figured out how to open the doors and run away...

The lions were next, and they were still in a smaller pen, while their habitat was being cleaned. They were pacing and pretty mad looking... Fun for the kids though, they were excited to see the lions so close. Here are the girls posing on a lion statue - Elora, Ellie, and Hannah.

Near the Cheetah exhibit, Elora proudly scaled this tree, and did NOT want to leave. Ever. So she informed me.

This picture is awful, but I just thought this was pretty crazy. Elora stood right up next to the glass while the Cheetah growled and clawed right in front of her. She didn't even flinch, she would just run back to the glass whenever she saw the Cheetah was coming, and it would start growling at her again.

We were having good luck with the big cats, and saw all of them up close. Here we are at the leopard habitat, where the kids stayed awhile to watch the cats walking around, bathing each other, and playing together.

Beautiful! And creepy with the glowing eyes...

We headed over to the penguins, and the kids all thought it was fun to hide behind the penguin pictures. Oliver was hiding back there somewhere, I couldn't get them all looking at the same time.

Here are the giraffes, all out to eat the trees around their enclosure. I mostly put this pic up for those who know my nieces who are twins... Elora looks so much like Amy when she was younger in this picture, I thought it was kind of funny. My friend Becky said when she moved into our ward that she recognized me (though we had never met) because I look like my sister's twin daughters. Funny how that "All Chapmans look alike" statement still comes up in my life...

Elora found this big tree at the park in the zoo, and was so excited and proud of herself for climbing it. Until she realized she couldn't get down... then it was "Mommy, Help!!!!"

Here he is! Oliver liked going to the zoo with lots of friends, and had a great time running. Everywhere. He just goes and goes, and waits for me to chase him, so I got plenty of exercise chasing after him.

26 October 2009

Free Museum Day! Roman Museum in Vienna

We found out that there were a bunch of free museums today, because it is Austria National Day. I meant to go to all the actual "Austrian" stuff, like the military exhibition at the Hofburg and the swearing in of new troops and all that, but... we took a nap and missed it. Instead we headed out to the Roman Museum in the late afternoon with our friends Krista and Jason.

Here we are in front of the museum. I had not spent any time in the Hoher Markt before today, and there are some really beautiful statues, buildings, and fountains... need to come back and explore!

Inside the museum there was a computer station. It was great, Oliver was so occupied with it that the rest of us got to enjoy all the exhibits on this floor without being worried that Ollie would run away!

Krista showing Elora all the different types of weapons artifacts.

Elora checking out the writing tools. This was super cool. They had little writing tablets that had a wax coating that they carved messages in, and then they could seal their little books with fancy ornamental seals. Very fun stuff. I could have bought my very own in the gift shop, along with a mosaic kit - I will admit I was pretty tempted!

We watched a very interesting video on the aquaduct and sewer system of the Roman fortress that was here in Vienna a long time ago. It was all very advanced, they had a complete underground sewer system, and wells that provided water to the individual homes, and a filtration system for the water that went through the aquaduct. The artifacts in the museum are all ones found locally, many were found after the city was bombed in WWII.

Elora liked this exhibit. There are a lot of hands on activities for children here - very nicely set up little museum. As you can see, Dirty Teddy also enjoyed this exhibit. Oliver came to play too, but he just picked up the action figures and threw them... so we decided to move on.

Another hands on exhibit - there were three different people represented, and you could spin the pieces to match the clothes correctly, then read about each person.

Here we got to practice putting together pieces of pottery. Elora took this job very seriously. Krista and I both tried the more difficult water jug one, and gave up - there must have been missing pieces, right?

I thought this was a very interesting little exhibit showing artifacts from the Romans, and matching them next to their modern counterparts. Check out the Roman safety pin!

This is a millstone that was carved out of a gravestone. Oliver just liked that he found a bench the right size for him to sit on. I was glad he was entertained by this - he was sad when we left the computer and spent most of our remaining time asking to go back to it, or just running away...

These ruins in the basement of the museum are the ruins of two houses that were inside the walls of the fortress. The military camp here was founded in 97 AD to protect the northern border of the Roman empire. They mostly existed here in times of peace, so many of the artifacts in the museum are items from every day life. The ruin above shows many columns that are part of an underground heating system for the houses.

Elora is having a little trouble adjusting to the time change... She took a little break under the map of the area where the Roman fort was located.

We decided to walk back toward Karlsplatz instead of getting straight back on the train. While passing by Stephansdom, a group of men dressed in armor started marching through the street. They stopped and let people take pictures with them. Krista told Elora to go near a knight so she could get a pic - I snapped this one, I will post Krista's once I get it from her. When Elora came back over to us she said, "He was nice! He was a nice knight here to protect the people from the bad knights!"

We also got some balloon flowers from one of the street performers. Elora was so excited to pick out a flower for herself and Oliver. When we got home the kids were excited to pose for the flashing red light, and I am surprised at how well our photo shoot turned out! This pic is so that Daddy can see Elora's balloon flowers that she will soon be planting in a balloon flower garden.

24 October 2009

Painting Leaf Collages

We collected leaves at the park and brought them home to make collages. Once we had glued all the leaves, Elora said she wanted to paint them.

We got out the paints, and as you can see, had a great time painting. I made one too, and now they are decorating Elora's room.

Oliver decided to cook while we were painting. He doesn't get to paint very often, because he usually decides to suck on the paintbrush after about two minutes... But he loves to cook with all the pots and pans.

Elora gets so excited to color and paint, and is very proud of all her creations.

Elora said I have to put this pic up too. She thought it was funny to make a sad face. This is her new game when we are trying to take pics... makes it slightly harder to get good pictures!

23 October 2009


Last week we went to the Naschmarkt with our friends Louis and Becky. We wanted to get there before the Hungarian pastry stand stops coming - we were worried that with the cold weather they might not make the trip over from Hungary much longer!

Elora was being a goober, and trying to dive into the stroller...

It was also flea market day, and Becky got a great deal on some purses. Becky and Louis were good sports about helping with our crazy monkey kids who kept wanting to run around and jump and climb on things.

I love the architecture on the buildings that surround the Naschmarkt. Need to go back on a nice day and get some good pics. This is one of my favorite spots in Vienna.

22 October 2009

Roter Berg

These pics are from a few weeks ago when it was still warm and I just keep forgetting to post them! Here is Ollie trying out the scooter. It is hard for Elora to get a turn because as soon as Oliver sees it, he climbs on. He already has great balance.

Here is me showing Elora how to climb this wall. It is hilarious to watch Elora try it. She just doesn't get it... She always ends up either hanging from the rope, or trying to grip the wood wall with her fingertips.

Ollie loves to swing!

The kids love these little teepees. When we have a yard again we will have to build one...

Elora loves to sit in the little house at the park and cook for everyone. Here she is serving Ollie some sticks and leaves.

This is such a weird thing to have at the park, but it is pretty fun.

Ollie wanted to try too, he thought it was neat to see the tires spin.

Elora cooking for me, with Ollie and Chris on the carousel in the background.