2.19.2017

A week off school

The week before last was Energy Week for the Vienna Public Schools.  It's kind of like a Spring Break of sorts.  The city offers lots of really cool things for school kids to do during the week, so Nathanael and I (well, I did) chose three activities for the week.

He participated in a workshop about bridges at the Architecture Center.  After learning all about bridges, they began constructing one!  Apparently Nathanael was really into it, which was no surprise.
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The Children's Museum (Zoom) had a special exhibit teaching kids all about how we see and hear.  We attended that together, and although I have no pictures, he had a lot to tell Dad at dinner that night.  Did you know a dog's bark is louder than a truck? ;)

I did get pictures of our lunch out that day though!
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So worn out!
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Lastly, we visited the Natural History Museum and attended a special Dinosaur tour for kids which included a scavenger hunt and making their own fossil impressions at the end!  Nathanael (lover of PBS' educational TV show for kids, Dinosaur Train) was in six-year-old boy heaven!
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Dino poop ;)
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Tiranadons!
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His impression:
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The beautiful meuseum
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He found a bluebird for his Grandma!
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And his favorite animal, tigers!
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Happy Birthday to me!

Why, you ask, am I posting a picture of my living room to begin my birthday post?
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I have plants!  Granted, I just have four right now (two barely made the edges of the photo), but it is a start.  It took us almost five years to get here, but it's finally happening.  I am thrilled!  By the time I wanted to buy plants a couple years ago, we knew we'd be in the States for half a year, and so it just made more sense to wait until we returned.  Gregory surprised me the morning of and came home with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a potted plant in the other!  Happy Birthday to me!

For lunch, I took Nathanael and his friend/classmate out to McDs between school and football practice.  That meant a birthday cupcake and coffee for me!
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(Yes, they're doing their homework at McDs while eating mini cupcakes!)

We went out to dinner as a family, and true to my birthdays, I have no good photos.  I even forgot to take a picture of the birthday dessert before we'd cut it up for Eva.  Oh well.
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Craziness at the King table
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Gregory (and the kids) celebrated me well, and I was grateful for all the sweet notes from friends and family around the world!  Thirty-six doesn't seem to be all that bad. Or different.

Another Generation of Piano Players

Thanks to a special family gift this Christmas, Nathanael began piano lessons this month!
Playing the "find the key" game together
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His teacher is a Hungarian Orchestra conductor who has worked in Vienna now for a decade.  He's teaching Nathanael in English, using resources in Germand and Hungarian (haha!), and he's great.
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Nathanael wanted to know the mechanics of how the piano works!  Here they are "looking under the hood" and watching what happens when they strike a key!
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So far the excitement is quite high.  I wonder how long that will last... ;)  I'm just thankful that I don't have to be his first teacher!

2.05.2017

January snows

Nathanael's favorite season is winter.  He LOVES snow.
What an exciting week this was, getting to walk 15 minutes in the snow to and from school each day.
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Facebook reminded me of our January snow three years ago...
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It's hard for me to remember that he was ever that small!

Returning from Spring-like weather in Portugal, we actually enjoyed the snow at the beginning of January.  It was horrible for packing together though, as you can see in the pictures:
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Hope Christmas in February

Wednesday was exciting.  Our postman regularly delivers boxes to us a few minutes before 7:00am.  Before we had a school kid, that seemed a bit early.  Now we're thankful it's no later or we'd miss him!  Well, this time it was a bit more exciting than a hard-to-find gluten-free grocery items from Amazon.  It was a box from Hope Fellowship Church!  The kids were beyond themselves with excitement as they remembered the treasures they received the year before from Hope. :)  To their disappointment though, we made them wait until after dinner to unwrap the gifts.

I only managed to take one photo, pre-unwrapping.
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But in the last four days, I have read around 30 Curious George stories to the kids (the book has eight, so I think I know them all pretty well now).  Nathanael has assembled all of his new 3-in-1 Lego set, and he took his Mack truck to school in his bag on Thursday and Friday.  Eva sleeps with her new ponies and invites them to her countless tea parties every day.  I have been extremely grateful for my new gloves, and Gregory is giddy over his new nerd books (don't ask me what they are, some theological mumbo jumbo).  We have a pile of English books ready to read next, and we can hardly wait until the snow melts so we can go to a park and play wiffle ball!  THANK YOU!!!!

It's so sweet to hear Eva say, "Mom, can we have a tea party with the gifts from Hope Church?"

We feel greatly loved by you all.  Thanks for pouring into our lives and our ministry here.

Come visit us!
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2.02.2017

Festivals and Celebrations

We had opportunity to celebrate this past month!

Firstly, Gregory turned a year older!
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Our other celebration was in the form of a festival for families in our neighborhood, hosted by our church!  A dear friend of ours organized and led the event, and one of Nathanael's school friends came along with us!  Nathanael, Eva and Samuel formed the green group, as you can see, and they built a wonderful cave for the green people and gladly welcomed the King to visit them.
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1.12.2017

Work conference with kids in tow

I simply don't want to lose these photos, so I'm posting them here.  Directly after our time in Portugal, we had a three day work conference in the mountains.  (By directly, I mean directly.  Our flight from Lisbon was delayed a few hours, which meant we were a couple hours late for the conference!)

We'd been traveling all day, and Eva simply did not want to fall asleep on the trainride into the mountains.
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You know it's a good hotel for kids when they make animal faces out of the morning pastries!
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Bad blurry picture, I know.  But this guy is the best.  A colleague's son, at least four years older than Nathanael, if not more.  Nathanael adores him.  And that means, so does Eva.  I tried to capture it in this picture.  He slowly walked Eva down the stairs to dinner, listening patiently while Nathanael ran circles around them, talking nonstop. :)
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Lastly, Eva fell in love with mothering this little doll.  It was just one of the toys in the hotel's play area for kids, but she was completely enamored.
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