Tuesday, September 23, 2014


The past few weeks have been exhausting with our return to Vienna and the start of a new school year.  We are finally settling into a routine and the pace is slowing a bit.  Fall is in the air today as we awoke to temperatures in the 40's.  Throughout the past few weeks God has graciously provided others to encourage us and breaks for rest and refreshing.  During the first week of staff orientation we were treated to a wonderful luncheon prepared by several of our student's parents.  

Billy and I have been walking home from church on Sunday afternoons.  It provides the perfect opportunity to get a little exercise and then enjoy some ice cream!  The weather has been lovely and the flowers beautiful.  One Sunday we enjoyed a free "open house" at the Rathaus (city hall).  The interior was beautiful and it was such a treat to see inside the building we pass each Sunday on our way to church.  We only stayed a short time as it was very crowded.  Once outside and in front of the building, it was funny to see a circus tent and palm trees.  Of course as the weather cools, the palm trees will be stored away for the winter.

Mitchell and Lydia are staying busy with school and enjoying time with friends.  Lydia is playing volleyball this fall and also has a part in the high school musical, Fiddler on the Roof.  Mitchell is back to playing soccer along with being part of student leadership and high school praise band.  

Recently we have had the opportunity to spend time with friends from near and far.  Ada's friend Julie and her husband were in Vienna for the night last week and we enjoyed a perfect night walking in downtown Vienna.  We got to see many of the historic sights at night while catching up with each other.  The conversation flowed just like always.  This past weekend was especially relaxing and refreshing!  Friday night we enjoyed dinner with close friends and their new baby.  Saturday was spent with friends relaxing and sharing a meal. Then on Sunday we had friends, Ted and Mary Lou Strawbridge from Ocala, show up at our church!  What a surprise!  That evening we got to have dinner together before they left town the next day.

Lydia with Baby Mateo

We were so encouraged from this time spent with friends.  As I texted to say "good-bye" Sunday evening and thank Mary Lou and Ted for dinner and the encouragement, she responded "God is so kind!!  Yes, yes He is, most gracious and kind!  May you experience the rest and refreshing that only He can give!

Love and Blessings from Vienna,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Very Full Week!

It’s Saturday and the first official day of our Spring/Easter Break!  We have had an unusually busy week so I’m looking forward to a little down time.  Last Saturday, Billy left at 6:00am to fly to London until Thursday.  He spent Saturday through Monday sightseeing in London before heading to Oxford for school related training.   Lydia headed to volleyball by mid morning while Mitchell went to show choir practice and then met up with friends.  Mitchell’s friend Josh was staying with us for the week and he had a Romania mission team meeting along with chores to do at home.  I got up early to see Billy off and then get the required grocery shopping done so I could spend a leisurely afternoon with a girlfriend sipping tea and visiting the Easter markets.  Later, Lydia joined us and we had a girl’s night out for dinner!

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I worked from home while  2 repairmen fixed our leaking shower.  We discovered it was leaking into the downstairs apartment about 5 weeks ago, not good and have not been able to use it since then.   Thankfully we have a second shower, just in case you were wondering.   I’m pleased to report the shower is now repaired!!  

Lydia had 2 volleyball games this week. So Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon I enjoyed watching the games and visiting with her teammates’ parents.  I’m pleased to report that they won the game on Tuesday, but were not as fortunate on Wednesday.  Following the games, I hurried home to fix dinner for 3 and some days 4 hungry teenagers.  In addition, Mitchell and I ran errands to prepare for his France mission trip.

Thursday after school I had a staff meeting and then headed home to cook dinner and help Mitchell and Josh get ready for their trips.  Mitchell would be leaving Friday morning for France while Josh wouldn't leave until Saturday morning. The family room was filled with suitcases, clothes, and a drying rack full of laundry.  We double checked packing lists and made sure they had their important travel documents.  Everyone stayed up until after 11:00pm to greet Billy when he arrived home that evening.  

Click here to read more about the France Mission Trip

Following a late night, 5:00am Friday morning came early to get Mitchell up and to school by 6:15am.  After getting him off, the rest of us headed out to school at our usual time.  That evening, Billy and I helped with the International Family Fun Night (IFFN) at ICSV.  For IFFN, our student’s and their families wear international dress and bring food common to their home country to share.  There are various “country” rooms set up for everyone to visit and learn about the specific country.  After visiting the room, the children get their “passport” stamped.  It was a fun night visiting with our school families and a great way to learn about the different countries and cultures represented at the school.

We headed home after a fun evening to a slumber party with 3 girls and a boy doing his laundry and final packing.  Saturday morning Josh headed to the school at 7:30am to leave for Romania, while the girls all  slept in. We are thankful for a quiet day of rest and glad it is Spring Break! We hope  you all have a blessed and wonderful Easter!

Love and blessing from Vienna,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Missing Home

When we moved overseas, we knew things would be different and we would miss many things from home.  I remember someone saying to me when I shared that God had called us to Vienna that "Vienna is not a hard place to go."  And while this may be true, my response was that "our home in Florida is not an easy place to leave."   We miss many of the comforts, conveniences, and yes foods of our home country, but what we miss most are not things at all.  It's WHO we miss most, our family and friends, people!   We miss being there with them in times of celebration and times of difficulty.   The realization that there are people we will not see again this side of heaven is hardest of all.

This week has been especially difficult to be away from family.  Billy's cousin passed away this week and it's hard not to be in Florida to personally express our love and seek to comfort his family during this time of great sorrow.  We wanted to say our "good-byes" to Kyle in person, but that was not to be.  Kyle lived in a way that honored God regardless of his circumstances.  His faith, courage and unselfish love is an incredible example for us. Our hearts are heavy as we pray for his wife and children.  He will be greatly missed, but we find comfort in knowing he is rejoicing in God's presence.

We are grateful that in the mist of a difficult week, God sent one of Billy's second cousins and her husband to visit. Following their mission trip to Romania, Karen and Andy spent last week with us.  They were a delight to have visit! They are young newlyweds and soon to be parents.  We enjoyed sightseeing, sharing meals, and just talking and laughing together.  They were such an encouragement and blessing to us during this difficult time. 

We are truly blessed with a wonderful family!  As we watch and pray from afar, we witness the love and support of Billy's family as they celebrate the life of his cousin Kyle.  While we cannot be there in person, our hearts are there with them, crying, hurting, rejoicing, and loving!  In the mist of sorrow, we rest in the hope that we will see him again one day.

Love and blessings from Vienna,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Energy Break

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 
Psalms 62:1-2

The final sunset of 2013 along with the New Year's fireworks from our apartment

It's hard to believe it is already the end of February!   The second semester at ICSV ended in January and we are already in the middle of the 3rd quarter.  In January we had exams which means Mitchell and Lydia were studying, Billy was grading, and Ada was getting report cards ready. We also celebrated Ada's birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary.  There is always lots going on at the school and this semester is no different.  So far we've had the 8th Grade Sleepover (like a lock-in), Elementary Ice Skating, ICSV Talent Show for Romania Mission Trip, Basketball games, Coffeehaus, and a much needed Energy Break.

Mitchell and friends performing a skit..

Mitchell and friends performed a skit that won 3rd place.  He was thrilled to learn that the prize was "Dinner with the Wiisanens"!  We are looking forward to having his friends over for dinner!

Billy along with several teachers performing a song, no prize though, but lots of fun!

During Energy Break, Billy and Ada enjoyed a long weekend celebrating their anniversary in Venice!  It was beautiful!  Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Rialto Bridge

Burano, small quaint island near Venice.

We especially enjoyed seeing the sea and getting to walk on the beach if only for a short time.  Listening to the waves reminded us of home!

Adriatic Sea, the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea.

The last weekend of Energy Break we had a real treat.  We got to go the the IAEA Ball thanks to a friend from church who had access to tickets! This was extra special because it is at the Hofburg Palace. It was my birthday present from Billy! (He wouldn't have chosen to go to a ball himself). Between friends from church and school there were more than 20 of us all there together.   It was such a fun evening.  We enjoyed watching the opening dances and getting to dance in the main ballroom.  Balls are part of the Vienese  culture.  There are more than 50 balls scheduled in January - March.  Besides the main ballroom pictured below, there were 8-10 more areas with different music styles being played.  Sometimes the music didn't seem to go with the atmosphere of the palace such as when we were in the "60's" room and they started playing "See you later alligator"!  It was a very relaxing night and one we will not soon forget!

(Photo courtesy of Fi Ona) 

Thank you for checking in with The Wiisanens in Vienna!  We appreciate your love, prayers, and support!
If you would like to receive our newsletter with updates and prayer requests, please email us at billyandada@wiisanen.com and we will gladly add you to our email list.

Love and blessing,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)