A bit of January snow

We've had little snow this month, but we've still attempted to enjoy it when we've had the opportunity.  Of course, you can decide for yourself if Eva is really enjoying it...
No words needed.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Speaking of snow, here is Nathanael's art project hanging in the Kindergarten.  I'm so proud of him for cutting this out himself and finally being able to draw a face! :)


Someone turned 33 this month!

After dropping Nathanael off at Kindergarten, we went to our favorite bagel shop and had coffee and bagels to celebrate this amazing guy's life.
This little gem tagged along to make sure her daddy felt extra special.
Then we celebrated with cake and gifts and cards at home!
I made a homemade strawberry cake, by Gregory's request, and although it doesn't look like it, it was amazing!  It was fun to make something extra special for Gregory.
We love you, dear!


I can hold her, Mom!

Nathanael loves to hug on his sister.  I think she likes it too, but sometimes she looks at me as if to say, "Mom, are you really going to let him do this to me?
He is such a great big brother.

And because I just can't resist posting a few more pictures from earlier this month...


Dear Evangeline (7 months)

Dearest Evangeline,

Happy seven months, dear child!  We thank God for your life and the gift you are to our family.  You are a treasure, dearly loved, cherished and adored.

As this past month has seemed to bring out more and more of your personality, I wanted to share some of what we have observed about you at this age.  I am so curious to see how God develops you as you grow and mature.

You are an incredibly content and pleasant little girl who absolutely loves to cuddle.  You can endure a lot and be stretched a long time as long as we're holding you, which actually makes you quite adaptable at this age.  You respond to our smiles immediately with a sweet smile of your own, but we have to work much harder for your giggles.  Oh, but when you do (especially when we kiss your neck), the sweet little laugh melts our hearts!  You are quite responsive, calming quickly in our arms or with us near.  You like to observe your surroundings, especially if you may do so without being the object of attention to people you don't know.  Stranger anxiety is definitely a big theme right now.  You are sensitive and somewhat unpredictable, more so than your brother was, at least.  You are especially sensitive to sporadic loud noises or simply too much activity or too many people when you're tired.  The only exception to this seems to be your brother.  You are fascinated with him, even when you're tired or upset.

You have begun making known your likes and dislikes this past month.  For example, you are not thrilled when you can't reach a toy you want or your brother takes a toy from you.  And because you can clearly reach out for items, it's fairly easy to read your likes as well.  You often tense your body and kick your legs when you're really excited, such as when we come to you with a book to read or come to you after you wake from sleeping.  We love to see your delight, dearest!

Naptimes were somewhat of an unpredictable struggle this past month, possibly due to illness, or perhaps all the activity due to visitors, or maybe it was just a phase.  But the past few days, you seem to have suddenly decided you would grow up and accept your naps again with little to no protesting!  We are thrilled with this change.  You have also finally been sleeping unswaddled, and consequently you are entertaining yourself longer and better in your crib when you wake.  We often find you facing different directions or playing with your feet on the bars when we enter your room.  You still hold to your three-naps-a-day schedule.

Your physical growth has been steady this month.  You are measuring 69cm (27.25in, 75-80th percentile) and 7.75 kg (17lbs, 50-55th percentile). You finally rolled over a few times in the last week, though you appear to be completely uninterested in continuing doing so.  And each day you become more and more stable sitting on your own.  You spend quite a bit of time playing with toys in your highchair or sitting in a laundry basket.  You are bathing in the big bathtub, and you are fascinated with splashing the water with your feet, though not a fan of how all the toys you reach for float away.  You are eating three "table meals" and nursing four times a day.  Your new favorite foods are mango and dinkel grain flakes, though you still adore avocado, oatmeal, sweet potato, green beans, and peas.  Pears have finally grown on you, but the new "too sweet" fruit for you is banana.  You barely put up with it.

This past month brought your Opa and Oma to Vienna for their first visit!  It was absolutely wonderful to watch you bond with them, especially sharing your smiles with them every day.  Uncle Andrew and Auntie Angie joined us for Christmas and New Year's as well, their second time to see you, and you especially loved reading in Angie's arms.  We are so thankful for family visits and for the ability to stay closely connected in the in-between-times through Skype!

Dearest daughter, we love you greatly.  We pray for you every day, that God would bring about new life in you, even at a young age, that you may know early on the joy of walking daily with Jesus, covered by His grace and led in His love.

Happy seven-month birthday!

your daddy and mommy

Evangeline Elif - 7 month old


More Vienna Christmas Memories with Family

Christmas with Family continued...
 Gregory took Opa, Oma, Uncle Andrew, and Auntie Angie to the Christmas Market at the summer palace.
 And Nathanael and I held down the fort while Eva slept.
He loves their new kitchen!
 We used some of his new dishes to make chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks.
 We had an evening of Turkish food, of course.
And we hung out at home quite a bit as well.
 (the ingredients for Gregory's "special" hot chocolate)
 We made it out for Viennese coffee a few times.
  And Uncle Andrew and Auntie Angie treated us to an amazing meal at Cafe Central, one of our favorites.  Evangeline tagged along and somewhat stole the show.
 More fun at home.  How strange to actually have pictures of ME with the kids!
 The Bryans had to leave before Opa and Oma, so we attempted a picture.
 And we played for hours and hours with Opa and Oma before sending them back home to the States sick.
So sorry, dear family!
 Thank you for visiting!  We can't wait to do it again!