Wednesday, February 27, 2013

my third little sister

You know about my younger sister Lindsay (best high school French teacher there is), and about my youngest sister Shorty (about to become the best nurse there is), but do you know about my third little sister, Mallory? 

We may technically have different parents, but we have a lot of very important things in common: 

1. our parents are staff with the same organization 
2. we were raised in french speaking countries
2. we went to French school
3. we speak "franglais" and often switch back and forth between French and English
4. we love karaoke. oooooooh how we love karaoke! 
5. neither of us can answer the question "where is home" with less than 1 paragraph-long answer

She comes over every once in a while for a sleepover, which always includes making our own pita pizzas, singing and dancing to karaoke songs, lots of good "girlie talking" :), and a lot of picture taking!

Isn't she beautiful? She deeply cares and loves people. She is very intentional and remembers specific things that people like and dislike.

In August when she came for a sleep over, we had fun with the timer settings on my camera. She has been asking me for mooooonths to put these pictures on my blog so Mallory, here you go! :)

It's going to be hard to be long distance from all 3 of my sisters next year... sooooo thankful for these memories and pictures we can have together!

And just so my stud of a brother doesn't feel left out... look what I saw in Rome, Ando! I miss you!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

a carnival-themed shower and making cinnamon rolls

My sweet, loving, encouraging little sister Erika told me that she was no longer going to click on my "blog tab" as there hadn't been anything new in so long. Awww fail... but I'm changing that today!

Ahhh my sister Erika. She truly is sweet, loving and encouraging. I am so proud of her! It's been 6 months since I've seen her and I miss her!! The same is true of all my siblings! So blessed with such "missable" people in my family! 

Right after getting back from Rome, literally, the next day, I and several other ladies hosted a baby shower for Emily (who is going to have her baby any day now!!!). She wanted a vintage carnival-themed shower for her little girl. 

Halle created this really cool "alphabet book" station. Each guest could take a letter of the alphabet, illustrate it and put it in a scrapbook for the baby girl. 

Emily made this beautiful rose cake that took her 4 hours to make! She did a great job! 

It was a really special time, and lots of people came to celebrate Emily and her new little girl! Congrats, Em!

The week-end after the shower, I stayed at the Kellum's house while the parents were away for the week-end. It's always so fun staying at their house, and Saturday morning, I taught Mallory how to make cinnamon rolls. Good morning, Mallory!

Her very first pan of cinnamon rolls! Didn't she do a great job?

Memories memories!!

They were yuuuuuuummy! Grandma Dorsch's roll recipe (best EVER!) and Aunt Florene's maple frosting recipe. 

When Rick and Lisa got home, there was only one small roll left for them to share! Mallory has two brothers and one of them had a friend over so you can imagine how quickly they went! Yum. Makes me want to make some more right now!

Soaking up these memories with my little sister! And her brother, my brother, is flying to Seattle for soccer tryouts this coming week, with hopes of making it on SPU's soccer team! I'm sure he'd appreciate your prayers!

Monday, February 4, 2013


I have been in Rome for the past week, taking a class (with Halle and 22 other American staff from Italy, Ireland and Germany) and it has been soooo good. The class was incredible. It went by way too fast! We took our final exam on Sunday and then had 1.5 extra days in Rome before heading back to France. So we toured the city! Saying there is a lot of ancient history in Rome is an understatement. There are ancient Roman ruins everywhere. In fact, the city only has 2 metro lines because each time they dig, they encounter other great "things" underground like ancient civilizations or something, and have to go around it. Legit.

Sunday we went to St. Peter's Basically at the Vatican. (They still had their Christmas tree up...) 

A lot of it reminded me of the basilica in Yamoussoukro (for those of you who know it). Yamo is still my favorite :)

They had a whole village scene set up, with a nativity.

I don't remember reading in the Gospels about the man playing bagpipes

Or the Italian painter

The church is beautiful. Thank you, sir, for sticking your head in my picture.

The latin inscription around the dome says "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church...I will give you keys to the kingdom of Heaven"
My latin obviously isn't up to scruff and when I saw this, my first thought was "super Hank" :) Just for you and your brother Aunt Terry!

Beautiful mosaic and lots of "keys" everywhere.

I personally liked the cherub's foot the best. It's huge!

Tickle tickle

So, 551. Yup. That's how many steps Halle and I climbed to get to the top of St. Peter's. There are columns at the top, and you can see a railing with people standing and that's where we wanted to climb to.

We heard it was cheaper to climb than to take the elevator (free would have been nice), but we wanted to climb! 

And climb we did. 

Shorty, you would NOT have liked it. It got narrower and narrower. And the roof slants (for obvious reasons, as it's a dome...)

Then the last little bit, oh man!! The picture isn't super, but can you see how narrow the staircase is? And we had to hold on to the rope as we climbed! A ROPE! 

Halle was fearless. 

I, on the other hand...

But we made it. And the view from the top was amazing. And it was a perfectly clear day! You can even see the mountains in the background! 

Even the gardens had intricately shaped keys. Key-shaped bushes?  

As you know, the Vatican City is an independent country. Their own mailboxes and all!

And, their own guards: the Swiss Guards. Or as Halle likes to call them, "the Pope Guards". Aren't they colorful? And smiley? We wondered what one had to have on their resume to apply to such a position. But it is not actually open to just anyone. You need to be male, single, catholic, Swiss, between the ages of 19-30 and at least 5"8. Also, you have to complete training with the Swiss military. 

As we were watching them, a Sound of Music nun came by!!! Doesn't she totally look like Sister Berthe? Are you singing the song? "...Maria...she's always late for EVERYTHING...."

Mega statue of curly-haired Peter with the keys

It was all quite impressive, and definately worth the 551 stairs we had to climb! 

Oh, and just for my dear French friends. Look who we saw in the streets!!

More Italy pictures to come!