Monday, March 31, 2008

When Memoo comes to town...

she has the urge to do things that I would never consider chipping away all of the ice in my freezer...keep checking for more updates on Memoo's projects...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Clan arrived...

The Cate clan and their private nanny, Memoo arrived safely Friday evening. Since their arrival, it has been non-stop playing, eating, laughing and playing some more! Notice I didn't say sleeping...

Anyway, we are having a great time and are so happy to have them here! We are also glad that their luggage finally arrived Brad's clothes don't fit Matt so well!

Lots of pictures to follow...I just don't know when...:)

P.S. Thanks to everyone who sent gifts with the Memoo and Matt and Kim...once again we feel very loved!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweet Treat...

One of my favorite places in Vienna to browse is Pure Living. It is this super cool eclectic little store, right near where Abby and her friend Alice take ballet. They just improved the shop by adding a cafe...complete with cookies, cheesecakes, cupcakes and lots of coffees. I got to relax a little with my friend Gianna and her sister Ida, as we waited for the girls to finish their class...
then we took the girls for a sweet treat too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Routine Restored...

Routine is least for a few days (then MeMoo and the Cates family arrive!) Hooray!! School is back in session and the mornings spent sleeping in and then enjoying a lazy breakfast are it is back to rushing, packing snacks and scarfing down breakfast...

So school is back in session, but Spring has momentarily left us, as a blanket of snow covered the city yesterday.

Hard to believe that March is almost gone already...and that we have SNOW!

Monday, March 24, 2008

What we did on our Easter Break...

watched the sawdust fly as Brad turned into "Tim the Toolman"

built a coffee-snob bar with a leftover IKEA cabinet door

built the boys a new bookshelf (in PJ's...we spent a lot of time in PJ's)

played dinosaurs (in PJ's)

played grocery store (in PJ's)
read the Easter story (in our PJ's..are you starting to notice a theme?)

had time with long lost friends (not in PJ's)...story to follow on another post

enjoyed candy...

and of course ate delicious carrot cake...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

He is Risen!

Rejoicing in His Resurrection!
Happy Easter

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There's a new girl in town...

Lilly is the newest addition to our apartment building...and today she came for a visit! Abby was in heaven!

Is she precious or what?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Celebrating life and spring...

Brad and Abby are another year older. We had a great weekend celebrating! Hard to believe that our baby girl is already 7! She is all into the "High School Musical" movies and loves to sing those annoying songs that stick in your head all day long...still we love listening to her belt them out! She is still sugar or spice (not too much in between), or as we like to say "Saucy"! She also still LOVES babies...yesterday she said she might want to be a "nurse for babies". Warms my heart! (and would make her great-grandmother proud, as she was an OB nurse)
Here she is at her birthday party getting her face painted!

Now on to signs on new life scattered throughout our house...Spring is in the air and we have decorated for Easter. Here is my "egg" tree with special eggs that I found in Prague.
Here is a beautiful orchid that my hubby had waiting for me when I returned from Croatia!
And if you look closely (click to enlarge the photo) Abby made a butterfly by tracing her feet!
The kids are out of school the entire week for their Easter break. We plan on keeping busy by playing outside a lot (even if the weather forecast doesn't look so great) and enjoying our friends! Hope you are finding time to celebrate Spring!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Three of my most favorite people in the world have birthdays this weekend! Brad's is on the 15th and Abby and Memoo share the 16th! Be sure to wish them all a "Happy Birthday!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nacht des Schweigens

March 12, 1938. Adolf Hitler enters Austria, giving a rousing speech at Heldenplatz in Vienna to the jubilant crowd of 200,000. Austria is "annexed" to Germany in a bloodless union. Over the course of the next 7 years, 80,000 Jews, Sinti and Roma, homosexuals, political dissidents, and Christian and other religious leaders were murdered.

March 12, 2008. Commemorating the 80,000 lives lost, Stacey and I gathered with a very different kind of crowd at Heldenplatz, to light 80,000 candles, hear stories from children of the war, now in their 70s and 80s, to listen to beautiful music composed during the war and banned by the Nazis, and to pray in silence.

One after another, each speaker would recount the atrocities, the heroic resistance, the triumph of freedom, and also bring urgent reminders of the potential for history to repeat itself, of our corporate duty to resist discrimination of all kinds. We live in a different Austria today, where structural stability and material prosperity shroud the brokenness of people's hearts. Please join us in prayer as we seek to be agents of a deeper reconciliation, person to person, culture to culture, and ultimately announcing the reconciliation of God to humankind.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Table Talk...

The main speaker of the retreat I attended in Croatia was Mimi Wilson. She has written a book called "Table Talk" and spoke on the importance of eating meals with our children, instilling manners and teaching them how to think and reason. One study (of many) suggests that if you eat at least 5 meals with your kids per week then they are less likely to get " in trouble" with drugs and alcohol and get better grades in school.

While I haven't read her book yet, Brad and I have started a few nights a week to read a card from Food for Talk.

Last night's card looked like this:
"A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes"
Proverbs 14:29

Share a time when you lost your temper and another when you controlled your temper. Explain how differently both situations worked out.
by-Julienne Smith

All of us could give examples of when we had lost our tempers with one another, and it really was a great conversation starter. Our kids are growing up way too fast...and we really want to strive to make the most of our opportunities with them. This is a really easy and fun way to spark good table talk!


As you can probably tell from the pictures, Croatia is beautiful. My time there was refreshing and encouraging...but it is good to be home...greeted with lots of hugs and kisses, a clean house with laundry put away and a hot meal! I love my husband!

He only had a few minor casualties while I was away...backwards underwear and pants on Levi not noticed until after he came home from school, rented DVD's placed on top of the van...oops! and a few pieces of moldy bread eaten by some of his classmates that he had over for dinner! A little mold never hurt anyone right?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Today has been my day to study for my exam that I have tomorrow. Whenever I really try to study, I remember why we go to college when we are young...because our brains still work!

I find myself wanting to clean my toilets, fold laundry, organize my DVD's in alphabetical order (not really) or bake something yummy, instead of study! Basically I am ready for this test to be over for 2 reasons... 1. I will have a little break from classes for a few weeks and 2. I will be going to Croatia on Thursday for a women's retreat over the weekend. The retreat was all underwritten by a sponsor, so all I had to pay for were my travel expenses. I am very much looking forward to some rest and German it is called Ruhe.

Which is why I posted this picture of some benches outside of the Rathaus. Doesn't this look like a great place to sit, soak in the sun, rest and find some peace. Whatever your day looks like, I hope you can find a place to rest and soak in some quiet...

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bogi Park!

This weekend we got together with a family from Luke and Abby's school, and went to Bogi Park!  It is a fabulous indoor playground...with lots of slides, trampolines, climbing walls, obstacle courses and go carts. The kids had a blast, and burned off a lot of energy!  We definitely will be going back to this place!

Levi having a "ball"...literally!
Abby and Sebastian in the ball pit

Luke and Tristan (above) and Luke and Abby sliding down the "volcano" (below)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Elisabeth!

Our precious niece is growing up way too fast! On Sunday, she turns 12!

Elisabeth, we hope you have a wonderful weekend with all of your celebrations! Enjoy some KFC for us! We love you very much!