i'm sorry so much time is passing between each post, but we seem to be getting even more busy and having even less time for blogging and such. i'm not complaining at all, i love being busy and feeling needed and useful, i'm just apologizing for the lack of multiple detailed blog posts.
anyway, here is what we have been doing lately...
last friday and this wednesday the mayor of scandicci has had lunch with us and the bible school. he is studying english with david because he is coming to the states in december with mona and robbie for their "30 years in italy celebration". he will be speaking in harding's chapel sometime during the first week of december, and then at some of the celebrations for robbie and mona in other cities (i can't remember where). he is so nice and we have really enjoyed having him!
mario (a sweet man that has been going to the church of christ in florence since the 50's) and his dog nancy (pictured here) took us to lunch at his favorite restaurant last saturday. he ordered a fantastic seafood spread for all of us and it was absolutely wonderful. what a kind and generous man! he has already invited ryan and i to his house for christmas.
last sunday after church our friends danielle and luli (ex avanti worker and her albanian husband) wanted to go eat with us and they led us here... yes, they wanted to eat at burger king! don't judge, man those onion rings were good!
after our meal at burger king, ryan and i went into downtown because this week was florentine culture week and there was an exhibit at the duomo and baptistry that we wanted to see. this exhibit was real grass covering the ground all around the baptistry and we wanted to see it sooooo badly. it was supposed to look like it did when it was first built, and we saw it in the newspaper and it looked so cool. well, the exhibit was only there friday and saturday and they had already removed it when we got there on sunday. however, we arrived to find this renaissance parade and stayed to enjoy it. these men were dressed in historical (obviously) costumes and marching and playing instruments. they marched all through the city and ended up in the piazza of the duomo where there is a plaster copy of "david" right now. this plaster david was also part of the florentine culture week, because for thursday and friday of last week, this copy of the david was placed about half way up on the facade of the duomo. yes, it was amazing and we did get to see that but we didn't have the camera at the time.
so after the cultural celebration downtown on sunday, we headed over to the church for a concert by "quartetto metamorphosis". one of the members of this quartet is friends with a friend of robbie and he had them come play for us. we invited all of our english students and everyone we know in florence and scandicci, and there was a really good turnout; there were probably 100 people there! the quartet was awesome, they were kind of jazzy and just so unique. it was so much fun! after the concert we had a chili and cornbread dinner with everyone there and it was a great time for fellowship and getting to know people better. after dinner, we joined again to share italian and english church songs together. different people took turns leading songs and everyone was so enthusiastic and seemed to have a great time, i know we did.
since sunday, we have had a pretty typical week. david has been sick with kidney stones but he seems to be doing better now.
tracy "patterson" and eric kee and their son caden are here in florence visiting and i am loving having them around. tracy was the HUF assistant when i was here 5 years ago and i have so many fun memories with her.
we are busy now preparing for our thanksgiving feast which is next saturday. i think we will be cooking for about 60 people here and we're really excited but there is a lot of preparation. we are doing a presentation for the guests of our feast about what thanksgiving is and why it is especially important to us as christians. we might have some of us dress like pilgrims and indians but you never know.
it has rained every single day this week and is raining now as i type so i still haven't been able to plant the flowers that we bought 2 weeks ago, but maybe one day this week the sun will come out when i am actually here and we can.
tonight we are cleaning and relaxing because we are having a lot of guests this weekend. tomorrow morning early, eric, jessica, emily, ryan and i are going to vicenza for the weekend. there is a church of christ and an avanti italia worker there, lindsey walle. we are going to hang out with her, go to a soccer game of our friend, marco, go to church there sunday, and visit with the members there. it will be fast and furious but i know we will have a lot of fun. we are staying with a family at the church there and i'm excited to meet them!
all in all, things are going very well here and everyday still brings something new and usually wonderful. we are learning a lot about ourselves (good and bad) and why we have been lead here. i see god's love in so many things and am encouraged by family and friends everyday. this time of the year will probably be the hardest because we are thinking of all the fun things we usually do with our families at thanksgiving and christmas, but it will be fun to see what christmas is like here. we also get a 2 week vacation to do whatever we want, and my sweet grandparents have made it possible for us to travel. we feel so blessed and as always feel very grateful for the prayers and sweet words of encouragement. thank you all for everything!
oh, and in the free time we do have, i have started painting. i think since i don't have my sewing machine here and haven't been able to sew or make things with felt, i needed to do something creative or i was going to explode. watercolor seemed like the most feasible thing because there are so many beautiful things to paint, so many art stores here with cheap supplies, oh and i live with an artist so i have a personal art teacher. here is the view from our balcony, and i think you'll recognize the other one. let me know what you think, i'm obviously a beginner and open for critiques.