Sunday, February 28, 2010

Project 365

Another month down...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Road trip...

This week has started to feel like Spring is on it's way...and it has been so refreshing. This morning when we woke up and the sun was shining, we knew we needed to spend the day outside. So we packed up the family and Lindsay for a quick road trip to Baden!

It is a quaint little town not that far from Vienna, with 2 great parks. Here is a little of what we saw...

Hope you are enjoying your weekend too!

Friday, February 26, 2010

His Dream...

After watching the Winter Olympics...Levi has decided he wants to be a bobsledder when he grows up.

Lately, when he is running through the house and I ask him to slow down he says... "Mom, but I have to train to be a fast bobsledder"

or when he picks up Luke's 5 pound arm weights..."Mom, I have to be strong to be a good bobsledder"

So when I saw this commercial, it about brought tears to my eyes as I thought about Levi and his dream.

May he always dream big!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A special gift...

This is Abby's second week of being out of school and her friends have been missing her! As a way of letting her know that they are thinking of her, they made a picture for her in their arts and crafts class (called Werken). Everyone helped with the sweet is that!

Abby update...
She is doing much better! Aside from an annoying cough, her spirits are good, she hasn't been running a fever anymore and she has been catching up on her schoolwork in between watching marathon episodes of Little House on the Prairie :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


:: the antibiotic that Abby started today

After running a fever for 8 days and the Dr. telling us that she just had a cold, Brad spent the morning at the children's hospital getting blood work and a chest X-ray done. She too was diagnosed with pneumonia and will be out of school the rest of this week

:: Levi has discovered a new way to put his shoes on after watching Daddy use a shoe horn (this kid cracks me up)

:: salad recipe worth trying

:: postcards for New City Wien (made by Lindsay and ordered for FREE with VistaPrint)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rockin it on the Graben...

Living in Vienna presents itself with all sorts of cool experiences! Meeting people from all over the world, trying new foods, and hearing many different languages are just a few of the fun things I get exposed to on an almost daily basis.

Often I get caught up in the daily grind of my routine and forget about all of the great opportunities that are here...

so when my friend Whitney (who also happens to lead worship at our church) told me that she would be singing on the Graben tonight, I had to go and check it out.

The Graben is one of the busiest places in the heart of Vienna, so it was pretty amazing to watch Whitney and her friends rock out, as a crowd gathered.

Vienna is a pretty cool city...and I definitely have made some pretty cool friends :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Celebrating the big and small

With the last month being dominated by random illnesses, we are trying to find big and small things to celebrate! Here are a few examples...

*Our Valentine's Party at New City Wien (see above photo)
*Luke returning to school after being out for 2 weeks

*We had a "Celebrating Gisselle" night... a dear friend who has been a blessing to our church, but unfortunately will be moving back to Munich to finish her studies

*A night on the town with my hubby (thanks Lindsay and Whitney for babysitting)
* My new hat made by Melissa!

*green m&m's for our popcorn (sent with love from the GlamGrams)

*English Library books borrowed from a sweet friend

*Mrs. Thompson's Banana Bread (this batch is with chocolate chips)
*watching the Winter Olympics as a family

Friday, February 12, 2010


I am loving that the weekend is already here!

:: Tomorrow at New City Wien, we are throwing a little Valentine's Day party for the kids who attended our English camp this past summer and any other friends we have met in the meantime. Should be a nice afternoon of playing games, making Valentine's, eating sugar cookies, and teaching the kids new words like "cupid"! Brad will also share a bit about God's enduring love.

:: Many of you have asked for an update on Luke. Unfortunately, not much has changed and he continues loving his time on the couch. He has been out of school all week and still has a low grade fever. On Monday, he returns to the hospital for a repeat chest x-ray. Obviously if his fever continues, we need to ask the Drs. to change his antibiotics. Please pray for complete healing and his ability to catch up with his schoolwork.

:: We are having a low key Valentine's day, with a date night planned for Monday.
We will celebrate maybe with a few flowers from the Naschmarkt, some chocolate fondue and the kiddos are getting some coupons redeemable for one on one time with each of us ;)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend loving on those who are most dear to you!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The good, the bad and the just plain silly...

We have felt your prayers and appreciate your comments, e-mails and phone calls.

We certainly know we are loved and not alone on this journey. Thank you.

So, here goes with the good, the bad and the just plain silly...

:: Good

Our Visas were renewed for another year. Praise God!

:: Bad

Luke continues to struggle with pneumonia and a low-grade fever and remains on antibiotics, an inhaler and out of school for the rest of this week.


I was getting the water ready for Levi to get into the tub. He came upstairs and groaned, "Mom, I don't like bubbles!"

I said "ok buddy, sorry...I thought you liked bubbles"

Levi quickly responded with "no, cause then I can't duck!" (translated, dunk)

and then emphasized his request with..."until I die, NO bubbles!"

Sunday, February 07, 2010


"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end...they are new every morning, new every morning, great is thy faithfulness"...
Lamentations 3:22-24

I am clinging to that hope right now.

It has been a long week of saying goodbyes to moms we dearly love,
finding out indeed that the cancer is taking over Neena's body,
the cleaning of 2 comforters, after Levi misses the garbage can placed right next to his bed,
and a hospital stay in a country that can at times like this, still feel very foreign.

Life feels very imbalanced right now. We are weary from sickness and our hearts are heavy.

I think it is timely that I have started reading, Found Art: Discovering beauty in foreign places, by Leeana Tankersley.

This is an excerpt of Lisa describing what she felt like when she first stepped off of the plane onto the foreign terrain of Bahrain,

"Change is horribly uncomfortable. Like the wrong pair of jeans, change pinches and squeezes in the most inconvenient places. A lot of wriggling and writhing is involved. Maybe even some sucking in and prone posturing. Just when you think you've fit in, you realize you're spilling over the top and sides in the worst way. Very, very little ease.
If I would have had the energy on the first night, I might have thought more about where I would fit in, not only in a new country but in a new marriage, in my relationships back home, in the new relationships I would inevitably forge in Bahrain, in whatever awaited us after this tour was over, in my faith. I might have thought through the transition more carefully and intentionally and acknowledged that loss is the little sister who always tags along with change. All of this was far too much to process in the moment, however, and I succumbed to the disorientation.
A bigger picture- the one I was unable to see and the one we are all unable to see when we're overwhelmed by the immediate intensity of change-surely existed. In a very short time, I would begin to get glimpses of the divine metanarrative containing some important invitations for me, none of which I would have had the slightest bit of time for in the equilibrium and orientation and familiarity and comfort of my former life in San Diego.
Though I had lost some safety and belonging and planted-ness in this uprooting business, I had gained a great gift -imbalance. Not until I was set on my ear did I begin to see life a bit differently. The bigger picture exists each and every day, but normalcy (and a few other things we will get to) had dulled my senses. Imbalance, once I was able to survive the initial shock of it, began returning my ears and refocusing my eyes, and life became literally breathtaking-as in, I was finally able to stop and take a real, live, sustaining breath."

Certainly, we are not experiencing all of the changes that the author is describing, but definitely the room of life is spinning and our equilibrium is off. We are trusting that God is refocusing our eyes on Him and is breathing new air into our lungs and that one day soon, we will look at this imbalance as a gift.

Friday, February 05, 2010

We were supposed to go skiing...

At least, that was the plan for this weekend. For well over 6 months now, we had planned to spend some days skiing with some of our Austrian friends since the kids were off of school all week. Brad returned from visiting his mom on Wed, my mom left on Thursday and we were supposed to take off that afternoon.

Obviously, the plans changed.

Luke had been running a fever off and on again for just over a week. None of us have felt quite right since our bout with the weird flu, so I really thought it was just a leftover symptom from that. Some mom I am huh?

Since our family Dr. only has certain hours, and we had missed them for that particular day...we decided that he needed to be seen and have blood work done. Brad took him to the hospital and they ran some tests, but nothing came back conclusive. His temp spiked again while he was there, so they knew something was wrong but told him to come back this morning to have more tests done. It was a chest x-ray that finally confirmed that he did have pneumonia and would in fact have to be admitted for IV antibiotics.

There is more to the story, but all in all, Luke is hanging in there. He still has a fever and has a hep lock in-but has yet to get IV antibiotics. We are not sure why and can't seem to get a straight
answer. He has received one dose of oral antibiotics and we are hopeful to get more answers in the morning.

Fortunately, he has a private room and Brad is spending the night with him. He was also able to enjoy some yummy kaiserschmarrn (which the hospital brought as a snack before dinner) and has not been too sick to play monopoly with Daddy!

Thanks for your prayers and get-well wishes!

3pm Saturday

Luke is home and resting. He was sent home with antibiotics and an inhaler. He will go back for a repeat chest X-ray on Tuesday to see if he can return to school.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Just in time!

Memoo has a loooooong history of pulling our kiddos loose teeth! Levi was so happy she was able to pull out his first loose tooth before she leaves in the morning! Hooray!!!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Different Routine...

This is the second year that Brad has gone to Florida to be with his mom, while my mom came to visit Vienna. It is not what you they have a very good relationship, but it does give us special one on one time with our moms.

The routine is different when Daddy is gone.

Many dinners consist of popcorn and baths get put off for a few days. The kiddos also get to take turns sleeping with me (at least Abby and Levi do, as Luke "prefers his own bed" translated, "I am too old to sleep with my mom") It also helps when my mom is here, so she too can be added in the rotation.

Of course there are often melt-downs about whose turn it is to sleep with whom, and my patience often runs thin around bedtime...but for the most part it is a sweet time for all of us.

Levi sings and rocks himself to sleep, and Abby usually falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow. They both have their special blankets, a cup of water and secret handshakes. Sometimes it feels high maintenance, but often I can appreciate their little bedtime quirks, knowing that they are only little for so long.

Once they are long asleep, I love to stare at their faces, take in their sweet breath, wonder what they are dreaming about and pray over them.

And don't get me wrong...often there is more stress in the daily routine when Daddy is gone, so I also enjoy the QUIET!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Crafting- Part 2

With Memoo here, there has been all sorts of crafting going on. She has the patience for sewing and messes that I just don't have, and she is super creative! Check out some of the kiddos creations...

a scarf for Abby's doll and a Pokemon card holder for Levi...

It's so fun to have Memoo around :)