Magdalena's Family Blog

31 July 2007

Minna and Matouš

We started off our day with a visit to Minna and Matouš's apartment. It's been a full year since they returned to Finland and I have missed them terribly! Emails and text messages cannot take the place of seeing a friend face to face.

It didn't take long before the kids were wanting to take a bath since the tub is in the kitchen - something that Matouš finds extremely funny. :) Even though it's not a warm day, water in plain sight is just too tempting!

Then we ended our day with them coming over to our apartment for dinner. We really enjoyed spending time together after such a long separation. I'm looking forward to seeing them a lot in the next few weeks...

Just cus she's so cute... are a couple pictures from the same day as her silly video. She really was quite pleased with her shorts on her head! And was up for some more "heady" experiments - pigtails!!
She looks like such a big girl in this picture - what happened to my baby?

Hrad Kokořín

Project Antioch went on a retreat a couple of weekends ago but I'm just now getting around to blogging on our castle visit while we were there. We stayed in a pension in the same village as the castle Kokořín. Zdeněk (Czech) and Basia (Polish), fresh back from the COG Theological Seminary, are the PA pastors in training. They are fun-loving (as you can see in this photo), very caring, and always willing to have a chat. Plus they're prayer warriors! We are all super excited to see what God does through them here in the Czech Republic.
Mirka (PA's translator, financial adviser, activity coordinator, and etc.) and Krýštof (her super cute and sweet son) often are at PA services but we were extra blessed and happy to have Matouš (Mirka's husband/Krýštof's dad) with us too.
Here's a family shot just before we crossed the moat bridge into the castle courtyard. The weather was a bit drizzly but Magdalena didn't care because she could sport her flowery raincoat!
And, finally, for my Momma because she said she likes seeing me too: here I am with the great castle! We climbed to the top of the non-spired tower behind me...and I almost got sick coming down the stairs because I could see down several flights through the stairs' openings. Good thing that Petr carried Magdalena up and down the tower!

30 July 2007

International Beauty

On our way to Project Antioch yesterday morning we followed this vehicle part of the way...Notice what type of nails they are??? Look even closer at the rearview mirror. If you can't see it, I'll tell you that when they stopped in front of the shop a Vietnmese lady got out and the fellow in the shop doorway was also Vietnamese! I don't think you can get any more international than Euro Nails, American style, by a Vietnamese artist!!

27 July 2007

Silly head

Magdalena awoke from her nap in such a funny, silly mood today! It was her idea to put the shorts on her head...she just needed a bit of help to actually transform them into their new role as hat.

25 July 2007

"A-zooing" we will go!

Our zoo adventure began in Nadrazi Holesovice where we met Emily, Eloise, and Lillian to catch the bus to our desired destination. Magdalena got the munchies while we were waiting since we got there a little bit early.
This Polar Bear paced back and forth, back and forth over and over again but all the girls enjoyed watching him saunter nonetheless!
During our lunch break, Eloise picked flowers for her Mommy - such a sweet girl! Lillian and Magdalena joined her to look at the animals on the other side of the log fence.
Of course, no outing is complete without a self-portrait of the mommies!
Our day at the zoo was the 3rd play-date with the Stone girls since their return to Prague. Magdalena and Lillian are just 3 months apart so Emily and I were hoping they'd be good friends. It looks like they're off to a good beginning!

23 July 2007

...and even more water

It seems that Magdalena takes after her Mommy in loving water of all sorts. Whether playing in or drinking it, Magdalena loves good ole H2O! This shows her first attempt, beginning to end, to drink water from a non-sippy cup. Previously, one of us has always held onto the cup with her...and, of course, as soon as I finished recording she dumped the rest of the water on her outfit and the floor!

More water

Pool time! Splish-splash taking a "bath" on the balcony in the little wading pool. It may be tiny, but it produces a huge success of pleasure for Magdalena.

19 July 2007


The past two days we have played in Stromovka park with some of our friends. Both days Magdalena played in the water and got drenched! But, hey, she kept cool and happy. This playground is super cool - it's by far the greatest playground I have ever been to. It's got a plethora of toys, rides, and climbing apparatuses in 5 age-appropriated sections, all of which are embedded in sand making them all a hit with my little girl.


Guess we've got our work cut out for us to prepare Magdalena for living with Abigail (my cat in the USA). She's certainly enthusiastic about communicating with our neighbors' cat, but we've definitely gotta work on the volume level and energy exhertion!

17 July 2007


"Magdalena" I called, and she looked up. This is her "huh?" expression.
Seconds before she dumped that sand on my leg and foot!
It's still super hot here and without air-conditioning, I am complaining! But, we've beaten the heat a bit by playing in our neighborhood playground before 10am. This morning was still hot. Magdalena's hair was very wet when the wind blew her hat off her head on our way home. But, she didn't seem to mind the heat so I smiled and bore it for about, oh, half an hour. :)

Jana and Hana

All of last semester Magdalena and I met with Jana and her daughter Hana for English conversation. Since we're not meeting officially through the family center during the summer we decided to meet up today for some fun in the park. Both girls got completely wet playing in the water spigot. I was almost tempted to stop Magdalena but then decided she was already soaked from sweat, what did it matter if she got a bit wetter - and cooler - while playing? Of course, that meant she was also completely dirty afterward from playing in the sand with wet clothes!
After we were all tired and super hot from playing and chatting our hearts out, we sat down (sorta -as you can see Magdalena stood on the bench) for a nice snack and lots of water to drink. Thanks, Jana and Hana, for a wonderful afternoon!

Stories of Her Cuteness

While we were in Moravia, Magdalena awoke one morning quite early (5:30!) so we put her in bed with us to play in the covers while we rested some more. After a little while I felt a presence near my head. When I looked up, Magdalena was sitting on my pillow directly next to my face and was flapping her little arms. I asked, "Are you a little birdie?" to which she immediately strained her head up and forward and declared, "eep-eep" (her version of tweet-tweet).

As I recently posted, Magdalena has really taken to the rocking chair. A few days ago she crawled up there with one of Petr's childhood books and opened it up (upside down). As she turned the pages she said, "maw-maw...moo-moo...duckie!" I glanced over the book's edge to see what she was looking at and she was making the appropriate animal noises for a kitty, a cow, and stating when she saw the ducks!

Day before yesterday as I prepared our morning tea, Magdalena reached up for me so I explained that I couldn't pick her up because I was making hot tea. She replied with great enthusiasm, "ooh, tea!" and went for her empty cup to get it filled.

14 July 2007


Last night Sunny and I had another of our great adventures. We started off with dinner at Lehka Hlava (Clear Head) Vegetarian Restaurant and had a GREAT meal in a very cool atmosphere. Then we walked over to the Lucerna off Wenceslas Square and experienced the Bodies...The Exhibition. I could not better describe this display any better than Sunny, so check it out!

13 July 2007

Playin' in the park

Yesterday was our first nice day in about 2 weeks. The high was 63 and we took advantage of that sunshine! It rained on us while we were walking home, but we had been warmed by the sun's rays and it didn't matter that we got a bit damp.
Magdalena was running so quickly that she nearly ran out of the camera's view! Can you tell she's excited to be back on the playground?

A little video peek into the life of Magdalena when she's playing at her favorite play spot...

Castle Helfštýn

Helfštýn is about 45 minutes from Petr's home village. All of the walls are intact, but the windows, doors, and roof are missing. The original fortress began being built in the 10th century, but it continued evolving and growing over the centuries until it's completion in the (I think) 18th century. Anyhow, it has been open for visitors since the end of WWII and since we visited on a national holiday (Cyril and Methodius Day) entrance was free! Petr was holding onto Magdalena as she played with the pebbles on this ledge, so don't worry, Gigi!
A view of part of the castle from a tower we climbed. Magdalena got very excited by the sight of stairs - walking in a stairwell or uphill remains her favorite exercise!
The height of Helfštýn's influence was during the "blacksmith era" (that's translated from the Czech...don't ask me) so there are iron statues all over the premises. Magdalena shares her Mommy's fascination of chairs and found a miniature iron one just her size. It took a lot of persuasion and eventually bodily removal to get her to leave her lovely perch...

I think we all enjoyed this laid back "tour" better than a guided one in a furnished castle because we could take in the natural beauty at the same time, move at our own pace, and not have to worry about Magdalena's movements (or volume level!). And, of course, it was nice having Milan and Radka (Petr's sister) with us during our exploration.

Zoo Lešna

This zoo is the most beautiful I've experienced. A better description would be that it is a botanical garden with animal accents! Although, don't let that make you think this zoo is skimpy in the furry creature department - no, sir! There are animals abundant! Magdalena was convinced this zebra was a horse and insisted on saying, "nee-nee" to him as she does to pictures of horsies.
Ms. Lemur here is posing only an arm's length from me. If I'd reached out, I would have touched her. One of her companions hopped onto another visitor's shoulder allowing several children to pet him. This was forbidden according to the signs...guess these Lemurs were illiterate!
Milan, Magdalena's Dědeček, treated us to this zoo visit and snapped this family photo for us in "Asia" near one of the many fountained ponds. Magdalena is teething (6 big ones in-coming!), so she's got her hand in her mouth as a comfort.
Here is Magdalena with her "Deda," as she says, laughing at the funny Alaskan black bears (the Czech name for them is literally "eared bear" because their ears are quite bushy).
Ostrich Tall appeared to be the lone flightless bird in this area. Perhaps he jumped the fence to visit his llama friends. Whatever the case, he was quite eager to pose for me. :)

For you Georgians, doesn't this gorilla remind you of the gorilla statue in Zoo Atlanta? I almost felt like I was back home when we were posing for this one!

Strike a pose

Sporting her first rain-jacket, Magdalena is so ready to take on the world come rain or shine. In her opinion, this is the most happenin' jacket since their invention - it does suit her jaunty personality!

11 July 2007

The return of Magda Bunny

Magda Bunny hopped out of her burrow yesterday in order to inspect the "people house." Evidently, it didn't quite meet her standards. She immediately began rearranging the furniture and placing toys in more "appropriate" locations while chiding the human mommy on her domestic skills!

"Mimi" socks

About a month ago, Magdalena lent some of her toys to Owen when he and his parents (Emily and Aaron) came to visit Aunt Sunny. This week, a thank-you gift from Owen arrived - baby Strawberry Shortcake socks! Magdalena LOVES them! When she saw Strawberry on them, she squealed with delight and shrieked "mimi!" (Czech for baby) while simultaneously trying to take them from my hand and remove her slippers and socks in order to put on the new ones.
Here's an up-close shot of the "mimi" socks. Thanks bunches, Owen, Emily, and Aaron for the socks. They're a great hit!

Why the long silence?

From the first time I arrived in Petr's home village in Moravia - sporting a backpack filled with weekend necessities, toting a potted plant for my then future mother-in-law, and speaking about 5 Czech words - I have loved this beautiful and love-filled community. Petr's friends and family have always welcomed me and accepted me in the same manner they do Petr...the warmth they have shown me deepens at each visit and I fall even more in love with my husband and the environment that raised him.

This last week we were in Moravia for an 8 day "vacation"! (Being without internet there equals a long blogging break!) Petr took the week off work and we stayed at his parents' house. On our way there we realized that we'd left the camera at, on our many adventures we borrowed a 35mm point and shoot camera from Milan (a.k.a. Petr's dad). In a few days, after I've picked up the pictures in digital form, I'll post some of them. For now, I'm not going to tell too much about our excursions so that you can see and read about it at the same time.

As a little preview of what we did, I'll list some of the most exciting events:
1. Visiting a zoo
2. Hiking in the Malá Fatra mountains of Slovakia
3. Visiting the castle ruins of Helfštýn

10 July 2007

Newly found fun