Monday, July 30, 2012

a little bit of Estonia

I have been in Estonia for the past week, and head back to France early tomorrow morning. It is such an interesting place. The "old center" of the city is beautiful and was really fun to walk around in. I was suprised at how many tourists there were, but then again, there were 1000 of us attending this conference from 15 or so countries, so... 

Here's a glimpse of what my week looked like. 

There is quite a mixture of old and modern. Doesn't this church look a bit out of place with the tall buildings in the background?

The Baltic sea is what you see in the distance

In front of the one restaurants, these girls got up and read something in Estonian and English -- don't remember what it was about. The girl in yellow had a tongue ring, which didn't seem to quite go with her historic outfit... :)

Different kinds of roasted almonds -- we tried some with cinnamon and they were yuuuuuummy!

Doesn't it look like an angry face?

One of the highlights of the WHOLE conference for me was listening to Franz Mohr. He was the master piano tuner for Steinway and Sons for over 30 years, tuning the pianos of Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, and Arthur Rubenstein. Can you imagine going with them to all their concerts and being THE piano tuner? He was the sweetest old man, and told HILARIOUS stories. I could have listened to him for hours. He was and is a faithful follower of Jesus and had the opportunity to share deep and meaningful things with these men.

I bought his book, which he signed, though he misspelled my name! Someone asked him if there was a difference with tuning a piano in your home and tuning one for a concert pianist. He said, "I'm a man of integrity. Each person is entitled to have a piano as well tuned in their home as the concert pianos on stage". He is an incredible person!

Because of all of the languages that people spoke at this conference, translation in at least 6 languages was offered through headsets. I helped with the French.

Map of France painted on the wall of the French Institute. Rennes!

My "not-so-little" brother Nicolas. When I left for the states 3 months ago, he was a lot shorter. He is now taller than me.

Have had a wonderful time in Estonia, and have loved reconnecting with so many dear people! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

early mornings and two favorite pictures

It is now 6h33 in the morning, and I've been up since a little before 2am with jet lag. I'm tired, but I can't fall asleep... I haven't had this bad of jet lag in a long time. I got a lot done though, and finally at 5 this morning I decided to officially get up for the day. I made myself a cup of coffee and was surprised to see that it actually starts getting light at 5h15 here!

I uploaded the last of my pictures this morning and the last two brought me much joy.

One day before Andrew went back to Minnesota, the 4 of us and Kyle went to see The Amazing Spider-Man! (Shorty, I hope you read it like Linds says it!) It was SO good.

I like this picture for a number of reasons.
1. All 4 of us are together.
2. Lindsay and I have a cup of starbucks in our hands. 'Nuf said.
3. It makes me laugh that Lindsay is holding a blanket and is wearing a jacket when it was like 100 degrees outside. That girl is always cold! :)
4. All 4 of us are together.

It was so fun having Kyle with us! He's great! Hey K, isn't it cool that you "toucan" be on my blog? (just for you short)

Tomorrow I leave for Estonia, and I'm looking forward to it! Especially seeing lots of fun people! But first, one full day in Rennes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

adventures with Abby

Abby and I have had a lot of fun times together, one of the highlights, of course, being her awesome visit to France with Molly a few years ago!

We've known each other for well, really as long as I can remember, as she grew up in my home church (I saw her every 3-4 years when I'd come back from Africa). She has a VERY special place in my heart.

And now she and her hubby are expecting their first baby in November!!

Last week, we went out to visit her parents at their house and to watch her Dad FLY.

I drove Abby out to the field on the 4-wheeler (it is my new favorite thing to drive and oh man how I'd love one in Rennes).

Yeah, so her Dad flies a powered parachute and it is awesome to watch!
Abby volunteered to help unfold the parachute, while I snapped some pictures. 

Her "help" was quickly put to a stop when her Dad saw what she was doing, and said "Don't worry Abby, I'll get it." :)

My ride with the sun setting in the background. Love.

It takes a little bit of time to unfold the whole thing and get it ready to air up during take-off. It's so pretty!

So while Stan continued working, Abby and I did some self-timed pictures. Abby doesn't look too confident in my flying abilities.

Then it was time for the flying! It's SO cool!!

With the sun setting in the background, it was so pretty! See that smoke in the distance? Yeah... there was a big fire. Curiosity got the better of us, and we all piled into Stan's pickup and went to check it out. 

Someone was purposefully burning their field, so all was good. It was a BIG fire, but really really cool. 

We sat in the back of the pickup and watched it for a while, and had a chance to visit with some of the neighbors who had also come out to check out the fire. James! :)

It was such a fun evening! Thanks Stan and Bonnie and Abby!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

family croquet game

It's been so much fun having the whole family together again. Lots of pinochle playing happening! Last night we had a big game of croquet. There were only 5 mallets and balls, so I was the official photographer.

Dad was ahead the whole game. He always wins.

That didn't mean that there weren't a few Mr. Dorsch vs. Mrs. Dorsch battles. Go Mom!

When it wasn't their turn, they decided to see how long they could balance the croquet mallet on their finger.

We all concluded that Dad won because he was playing according to the Dorsch rules, and NOT the Wiebe rules. :) Uncle Gordon, round up your troops and come over and play! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

a 4-wheeler, a hot shot, and a cool cousin.

My Mom, Lindsay and I went on a walk the other evening. Right when we got to my Grandpa's corner, we saw a 4-wheeler barreling down the road, dust billowing behind it.

It was our cousin, Taylor. 

We were carefully watching to see if he'd slow down at the blind corner.

He did, and also stopped to talk to us.

He had gone to the farm to get a hot shot. I made sure to stand far enough away from him while I took pictures, just in case he wasn't a fan of what I was doing. I mean, his Dad used to chase my Mom around with those things, and you never know what "skills" my ornery uncle passed on to his sons.

I'm sure going to miss seeing him around and waking him up from his naps. :) I look forward to all of your newsy emails, Tay.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

FINALLY something new (hi Aunt Terry) :)

I have gotten "a little" behind on my blogging, and I have a loooooot of pictures I could blog about, but I just have not taken time to do it. There are still some special ones coming (Abby!!) but in the meantime, here are a lot of pictures of the past few weeks, in no particular order.


Jeremie!!!!!!! special dédicasse! :)

Mira Soph! En la ciudad de Lindsay. Un café "granada". Un huevo de cool, no?

I can't believe that it's already time to go back to France. These 2 months have gone by WAY too fast. But there's a lot of fun stuff happening in the next 7 days, including Andrew flying in tonight and my Dad on Sunday! Our whole family will be together 4 days!!

And one of the best parts of being all together is that my parents brought us each back an African coke. This means that Monday lunch is rice and peanut butter sauce accompanied by THE best cokes ever. Oh man.