Musings on Church Community

Today, Gregory and I helped lead our church in musical worship.  We haven't been able to do this together since Easter two years ago, when I was quite pregnant with our little gem.  This time, our friend Esther joined us in singing.  Last time, our friend Benedict played base.  I had a really special moment this morning, as we were at church running through the songs before the service.  I looked around and saw the people serving in various capacities, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  Something about it reminded me of serving in our church community in Boston, at Hope Fellowship and City on a Hill.  It made me deeply miss our friends and community in Boston, but it also was a moment that caused me to see afresh God's great faithfulness to us here in Vienna these past three years.  I am deeply grateful for how God has provided us with a church home and community, for the people which whom we are privileged to serve, for the children with whom our children are able to share life, for how God is drawing us all near to Himself as we share life and serve together.  I love Christian fellowship.  Spiritual community is a great passion of mine.  I am greatly thankful to God to be a part of a community here in Vienna, that although also made up of broken and sinful people, just like me, desires to know God and make Him known.  Today, as I was privileged to serve this community through music, my heart overflowed with gratitude to our great God for so lovingly placing us among these people.  We are being changed, and I pray we are being change-agents as well.  To God be the glory.


Just normal life

These kids love our morning walk to take Nathanael to kindergarten.
And Evangeline can barely wait until we head back out after lunch to pick him up!

I've captured some special moments with both kids recently, just sharing life.  These are some of my favorites.
Taking Daddy shopping for jeans; she was my shopping buddy!
A new routine: Skype book dates with Grandma!
"Okay, Mom, you can leave now.  I'm skyping with Grandma."

Illness with a cutie pie

So we made it through the worst of our family illnesses.  Look at this pitiful little girl's eyes.

She still had smiles to give, despite feeling lousy.

Eva has really been into bags lately, so we spent many a morning just hanging out, filling and dumping bags.

I tried to catch a picture in this cute Christmas outfit from Uncle Andrew and Auntie Angie, but she wasn't really into cooperating.
My little cuddle-bug.


Celebrating my old man

I like to tease Gregory in these three weeks between our birthdays that he's an old man. :)  He is 34 now, and I'm still a young 33.  I guess the advantage of marrying younger is that I still have energy to celebrate him well.  Or at least, I like to think that.

My handsome husband helped some friends and colleagues move on his birthday, so we did some of the celebrating the day before.  We had a meeting all Friday morning which required us to have a babysitter, a prime opportunity to extend her services an extra couple hours and fit in a birthday date.  I somehow forgot to take a picture, but we went to one of our favorite places for lunch - Cafe Central.  The food is amazing there; we are never disappointed.  The only disappointment was that we had to begin the meal by taking our cold meds.  Yep, we're both fighting nasty colds.

We had birthday cake - or rather pie - Friday afternoon as a family.  Gregory's traditional blueberry cheesecake.  It was delicious.
On Saturday, while Gregory was assisting with the move, the kids had fun creating cards for their beloved daddy.
After his return, we had his favorite birthday meal - roasted leg of lamb.
And we concluded the evening with cards and gifts.
We love celebrating Gregory!

Sickness and Snow

Yesterday was Gregory's birthday.  I will post about that sometime this week.  Other than my being really sick and the rest of the family not feeling so great either, it was fun.  But for now, because I'm sick, I'm sharing my favorite "sick day" activity for the kids.
It's amazing how long these two can be entertained by a couple containers of beans, some toy kitchen items, and some cars.  Scoop, dump, shovel, etc...  And I just get to sit with my box of tissues.  (Okay, of course, as soon as I took that picture, they began fighting over a trailer. *sigh*)

Nathanael is not so happy that I can't take him out this morning.  This is where he sat for a while this morning as soon as he saw the beautiful, fresh snow.
Eva's response when she looked outside: "Wow.  Wow.  Wow."  Snow really is magical.


Visit photos, part 3

For my final of three random posts of pictures from my family's visit over Christmas, I am focusing on the kids.  It's so much fun to see what pictures people capture of these two when they visit.  I treasure them!
Her first ponytail! 
 Christmas morning excitement:  Look at all those gifts!
Eva doesn't even care.
It seemed her favorite gift was a stocking stuffer:  Pez!  Candy wrapper and all!
 I love these two sweethearts!
Goofing off for the cameras
 She loves to sit on things.
What a sweet photo of these two! They are both smitten!
First chocolate cookie!
 Loving playing with Opa and Oma's gift!
Riding the bus with family
At our church's Christmas Eve service
Being silly together at a restaurant

Visit photos, part 2

Here we go with post number two of three, photos from my family's visit over Christmas.  This one is dedicated to getting out-and-about, excluding what I've already posted already in the past month.

We had snow at the end of the visit!  This is our "home park," the view from our living room.
More home park photos...
Nathanael was teaching Auntie Carrie how to climb and navigate the pikes.
On the tram
Waiting for a tram
Out for brunch.  I love my sister!
One of our favorite parks - Kurpark Oberlaa.
Carrie was having some fun!
I joined in. :)
Eva just wanted to stay warm.
 Nathanael collected sticks.  (What's new.)
What an absolutely amazing visit!