German in the Autumn

Gregory and I have made it through our first week of German language class!  We're thrilled to finally be able to focus on this language and even begin to see some improvements in our comfortability with speaking.  Of course, that said, a lady on the train today was trying to ask me or tell me something about Nathanael, and I had absolutely no idea what she was trying to say.  (Other than I COULD understand she was using the "she" pronoun for my son - ha!  Oh well, he IS beautiful! ;)

Nathanael and I just returned from a family date in the city.  It's the moments like these that take my breath away.  We met between classes, walked to the Naschmarkt to grab doner and durum for lunch, and ate by the playground in front of Karl's Church.  The trees are turning, and the chill in the air seems to whisper, "Autumn is here...autumn is here."  I managed to snap a few pictures of Nathanael playing in the leaves, but they really don't do justice to the beauty of this time of year and the glee exhuberating from this little boy's being!

We are so encouraged to be in Vienna as a family.  It is the beginning of the fulfillment of a promise from God, that He would bring us here to serve Him and His people.  We're here now (though not yet permanently), and we're striving to learn German so that we may best serve Him here.  We're excited to see what He does!

 (As you can see, he is finding plenty of sticks to play with in Vienna.)
 You wouldn't believe how many pictures of Nathanael come out like the following:
That's our boy, always moving his feet!


Proof that we're here

I've taken very few pictures since we arrived in Vienna, somehow none during travels and our first day here.  I guess that's what happens with a toddler. :)  However, here are a few from the past couple days.

This one's for the grandparents.  Nathanael has found a couple places to pile his cars and trucks.  This is one of his favorites.
Here's Greg outside the BAO offices, where he'll eventually work.  They didn't have a big sign, so he's pointing to it in the picture.
Outside the Hofburg Palace
(I think Nathanael was pointing at a truck driving by, imagine that!)

In front of the famous Stephansdom
He finally fell asleep in the afternoon.
Karlskirche at Karlsplatz, practically across the street from our language school
Still sleeping at Schwarzenbergplatz
Playing in the Stadtpark (it reminded us of the Boston Public Garden!)


And We're Off!

We're off to Vienna tomorrow.  I'm hopeful to share some pictures and stories over the next 12 weeks, but only when I'm taking a brief break from language study!  In just over eight weeks, we take our German proficiency exams which will allow us (assuming we reach A1 level) to apply for our residence permits on January 2.  When I think about the next two months, I have some anxiety related to my own abilities to learn what I need while also caring for myself and our family.  But I know our God is big enough to do this, and I believe that He will!  We'd love your prayers for us as we adjust and learn over the next eight weeks!

In other news, Nathanael will be 18 months old at the end of the week!  What an exciting journey parenting is!  I feel I must comment about how well he has been doing in the church nursery for the past couple months, lest I forget this stage of adjustment.  The last few weeks, he has practically climbed out of our arms to go into the nursery, no fuss what-so-ever when we leave.  What a change from last year!  I expect he'll struggle more in the coming months with the different places, people, and language, but I know he (we) will eventually adjust.

Here we are all serious-like and ready for our residence permits.  haha  These pictures just make me laugh.

Now, I must get back to packing and decide what toys to take for this little guy.  I'm thankful Austria has plentiful rocks and sticks!

Little highlights

Raw onion, anyone?
An added challenge to the normal push-ups
Gregory and his dad used to do this...
Nathanael is quite serious about his Little People.


Apple-Picking with the Cioffis

Another highlight from our time in Boston -- one of the only other ones of which we have pictures -- was our Cioffi/King Family Day. We spent the afternoon at Smolak Farms in North Andover and concluded with an incredible lobster dinner. We discovered that (1) Nathanael still loves apples, and (2) Nathanael has expensive taste - he loved the lobster!

Nick and Deborah took some amazing pictures, so here are the highlights of the Kings.  I'll abstain from sharing all the adorable pictures of Josiah; let's just suffice it to say that he is quite the cutie.

Tickles at lunchtime
Finally a great family photo
This boy loves apples!
He was rarely without two apples in his hands.
We had to hold his fingers back, lest the peacock take a bite!
First touch of goat...hmmm, how momentous!
The cider and cider donuts were incredible!
A picture to cherish for years...


Make Way for Ducklings

We took the bus and T into Boston a couple days. Nathanael loved the bus and mostly loved the subway, though he did put his hands over his ears at one point when the train started screeching loudly. (Don't we all want to do that?!)
Of course, we had to stop by the Public Garden and say hello to the ducks.
And we even happened upon our favorite book characters from Make Way for Ducklings!
Nathanael patted each duckling,
and gave the mama duck lots of hugs.
We attempted a family picture,
as well as the typical "riding the duck" picture everyone has,
but in the end, Nathanael just wanted to give more hugs.
Here he's insisting that YOU should go visit the Boston Public Garden and hug the ducklings as well.

A Tufts Visit

Nathanael with the Tufts Jumbo statue in the background

We've returned from Boston. We had a marvelous time with friends and family, though the "goodbyes" were really quite sad, even the second time around.

One highlight for me was visiting friends and former colleagues at Tufts. Though our visit was short, it was wonderful to see these dear people and reconnect a bit.  Nathanael did alright with it all but especially loved playing out on the lawn.  We played tree tag and helped Tufts out by picking up some fallen limbs.