Monday, November 30, 2009

My "Back-Burner" Blog

It seems that my blog has been put on the bottom of my checklist as of late. I have great intentions of keeping it up-to-date, but it seems that "higher priority" things have gotten in the way. But, that is going to change. When Kate passed away, 2 of my dear friends put money towards having Kate's blog printed in book-form. This meant so much to me and I was so excited to get it done, especially fearing that there could be a glitch on blogger and I could lose all of those precious memories forever. However, it was harder and more emotional than I ever thought it would be. Having her sweet life documented meant the world to me, but it was so difficult for me to click on that link and re-visit those emotions. A year and a half later, I was able to muster up the courage to do it and here is the end result.......Ta Da:So having this tangible reminder of our Angel Kate, it became clear to me that I need to be better about documenting our lives not only for us, but for our posterity. In the past I've found myself questioning whether I should post certain things, not wanting to broadcast it to the entire blogging world. These things are an important part of our lives and, therefore, I want to document them. With that being said, I have decided to finally go PRIVATE!!! It probably won't come to pass until the first of the year. So in the meantime, please send me your e-mail address in a comment or e-mail me at:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

May I Please Introduce To You.....

.....Senorita Mia!!!This year for Halloween, all Mia wanted to be was a Spanish dancer......and a darn cute Spanish dancer might I add.

She is at such a fun age right now and this Halloween was so much fun with her. Although she didn't quite understand the whole "trick-or-treating" bit, she definitely loved the candy part and was on a sugar high all day long. We went and visited great-grandma and grandpa Christensen and also grandma and grandpa Rosenvall.

Blowing kisses

Grandma has a little stuffed squirrel that Mia adores. Every time we go and visit, Mia goes straight for the squirrel and mauls it. Grandma knew how much Mia loved it and wanted so badly for Mia to have it, but it was a gift from Grandpa and was very special to her. When we went over on Halloween Grandma had bought this little kitty and put it in the place where the squirrel normally is. Mia, of course, went right for it. She took the kitty, hugged it, threw it on the floor, laid on it as it were a pillow and wouldn't let it go. I think she liked it just a little bit. Her new favorite word is "Eeeeow."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roper/Rosenvall European Vacation!!!

8 Crazy American Tourists + 6 Countries in 10 Days = Good Times!

This was our sweet ride the 8 passenger Peugeot.

Check out the double decker cargo space. It's a miracle it all fit.

We took the direct flight from Salt Lake to Paris and after 9 LONG hours, it's amazing that we can manage those BIG grins!

Day 1

Paris, France

The Louvre

We spent the first 2 days in Paris. Our first destination was the Louvre. It was incredible. After spending some time there, you sure gain a greater appreciation for art.

The Mona Lisa

It was hard getting a good picture of the painting as it was enclosed in glass. Hmmm...who's she "really" looking at!

The architecture of the inside of the building was quite interesting. There are hallways upon hallways of paintings and statues.

The Eiffel Tower

We rode the elevator to the very top. It was bitter cold and the wind was blowing like crazy. However, it was absolutely beautiful. I took some pictures from the top but because of all the lights from the city, it turned out a blurred mess :(

Day 2

We stayed in a darling little villa right outside of Paris in Bailly-Romainvilliers.

The second day we spent seeing the French country. Dad is a HUGE fan of old presses {apple presses, grape presses, you name it}. Let's just say that there's definitely not a shortage of them in "wine country."

You would not believe the rows and rows of vines. I can only imagine the massive amounts of wine produced.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention the PASTRIES!!! Oh My......were they ever so divine? These particular ones were my favorite.

This is exactly what I envisioned the French country to look like. I just love the window boxes with the fountain of flowers.

Asking some locals for directions. They were so sweet.....and helpful too.


Louis the thirteenth's successor, Louis XIV, had a great interest in Versailles. He had grown up during the disorder of the Fronde, a civil war between rival factions of aristocrats, and wanted a site where he could organize and completely control a government of France by absolute personal rule. He settled on the royal hunting lodge at Versailles and over the following decades had it expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world.It's like looking out the backdoor at my courtyard.......oh wait!

The second night we spent back in Paris. If you look closely, you can see the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Day 3

We packed up and headed to our next destination.......Frankfurt, Germany.
Along the way, we stopped in Reims, France and attended Sacrament Meeting at a small ward building. A few people spoke English, including the missionaries, and the whole meeting was in French. Even though we didn't understand anything that was being said, the Spirit was so strong. It was confirmed to me that the church is true regardless of where you are in the world. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. This was such a neat experience for us.

After church we hit the road for Germany. It took us almost the entire day to drive to Frankfurt. We got there in the early evening and went and got a bite to eat. I can't believe I didn't take one picture. I must say, however, that the food in Germany was awesome!!!

Day 4

Prague, Czech Republic

The best part of the trip is that we had no plans (this is how the Roper's vacation). We had talked about spending the majority of the trip in Italy, but decided to visit Prague. I'm so glad we did because this was probably one of the biggest highlights of the trip. The city was magnificent. We stayed right in the "Centre" and spent the evening walking around and admiring the beauty of the city.

We dined at some fabulous restaurants. One great thing about Europe is their pastries and desserts {as mentioned above}. Check out those crepes!

Most every hotel we stayed in charged around $20 for Internet service. I was very grateful for Bryan's "Man Purse." He was able to take his laptop with him and connect to the WiFi in the restaurant so we could call home through Skype.

Day 5

The dollar was very weak in Europe. We had some breakfast at McDonald's one morning and it cost us nearly an arm and a leg.

We decided that we wanted to take city tour of Prague. Doesn't this picture scream "Tourist??"

The main stop on the tour was the Prague Castle. This castle is the only European castle that houses any government entity.
This little quartet sat and played outside of the castle. The music just added to the ambiance.

Couldn't leave Prague without having a famous "street" frank!

After the city tour we hopped in the car and headed for Innsbruck, Austria. The drive through the Austrian Alps was absolutely beautiful.Here we stopped in a little ski village. Not enough snow yet to hit the slopes.

Day 6We had the most picturesque view from our hotel room.

We got up early and drove through the Austrian Alps into Bavaria, Germany where we visited the Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular castles in Europe. The castle was about 1/3 complete when King Ludwig II was killed in 1886. Seven weeks later, the castle was open to the public.

Jordan looks like he fits right in.

The interior of the castle was amazing. All of the walls and ceilings were hand-painted.

This picture was taken from the very upper level of the castle. How would you like to have that veiw?

This picture doesn't do the kitchen justice. This would definitely be my dream kitchen!

Another shot from the top of the castle.

This castle, Hohenschwangau, is located just below Neuschwanstein and is where King Ludwig II grew up.

Day 7

Italy {Venice}

This is exactly what I pictured Venice to be like.
It had been raining quite a bit and so the water level was really high. It was crazy to see water flowing into the various businesses and homes. I guess they just have to get used to it.

Milan, Italy

We got a chance to visit Sister Wilcox. She's a family friend serving in Milan. It was so much fun to see her and visit with her. From what we were told, she is an amazing missionary.

Later that night we stopped at a little pizza joint and had the opportunity to have some "real" Italian Pizza.....Mmmmm!

Day 8


We headed up into the Swiss Alps on a winding little road, tunel through tunel, in hopes of making it to Interlochen. We never made it, as the road was closed because of snow. However, the drive was totally worth it. These pictures don't do it justice.

We made our way into Lucerne, Switzerland later that afternoon. Lucerne is know for its famous wooden bridge. It crosses the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne, is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

I think I have died and gone to heaven!!!

Bryan scoping out the local fruit stand.

Day 9

Approaching the end of our trip, we started making our way back to Paris. We took the country roads into Germany and stopped in a little village {can't remember the name}. Anyway, there was a festival going on with vendors selling homemade jams and jellies, wine, apple cider, etc.

It's amazing how 10 days can come and go so quickly {actually 11}. We missed our flight home, causing us to spend another night in Paris {long story}. Anyway, 24-hours later and $4,000 in change fees we were on a plane back to Utah. This was such an awesome experience and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity.