Friday, February 24, 2012


Tuesday here was a holiday called Pust.  I don't know all the history of the holiday but I do know that people dress up in crazy costumes like they do back in the States for Halloween.  So, when Kristi Patty offered to take Eliana out to the movies (as a birthday present) with Kendra and Luka she let me know that her kids would be going in costume.  Luckily we had a Snow White costume on hand from Cousin Claire.

I love the high tops!  They make the outfit dontcha think?  Today she is still talking about her time with Kendra, Luka and Kristi - and the movie they watched (Puss In Boots - though she has a hard time remembering his name and keeps calling him Booster Seat).

He Passed!

This is Matt with the car he drove during his 9 (individual) hours of driver's education here in Slovenia.  

I know - driver's ed?!  Sheesh, he's been driving for almost 30 years!  (For those of you doing them math, when he was a kid his dad built him a really cool "car" out of a go-cart engine, complete with a stick shift.)  

Anyways, in order to get a Slovene license here you have to wait until 6 months after you get your residency permit, then you have another 6 months in which to do the "short" version of getting your license.  Matt was able to do the "short" version which kept the total cost of getting a Slovene license to just under $500.  And he passed the test on his first try!  (Most have to take it several times before passing.)

I think this week begins my six month window for getting my Slovene license.  Sigh . . . driver's ed, here I come.

Birthday Girl

Monday Eliana turned three.  Seriously can't believe that my baby is three already!

Last week when we asked her what she would like to do for her birthday she started naming off the college students - she wanted them to come over.  So we had a little celebration for her Sunday night during our college group meeting.  It was complete with a dining table covered in paper for coloring . . .

 . . . and a pin-the-tail-on-the-monkey game.  

This is Gaber.  He is a pre-med student and is a really great guy.  And he is also a good sport.  See the look that Eliana is doing?  Well, she has been going through a phase of trying to figure out what is "funny." So a while back Matt taught her a couple of faces she could make that will almost always get a laugh.  

And Gaber was willing to join in.

. . . with both of the funny faces. . .

Ok so this last face is how Eliana tries to make herself go cross-eyed.  Every now and then we'll be at the grocery store and she'll try it out on a kid in a nearby shopping cart.  Makes me laugh every time!  (Though the other kids usually look pretty confused.)  Sheesh what are we doing to our kids?!  Hmmm. . .helping them develop a good sense of humor, that's what I tell myself.

Man I love this kid!  And I love being her mom!  
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friends from the States

We recently had a couple friends visit from the States.

Kelly Willbanks stopped by on her way back from a work related trip to England.  Really enjoyed our time with Kelly.  She and her husband Tre are expecting their first baby about a month after our little baby is due.  She is also a doula and brought her little gizmo so I could listen to our baby's heartbeat. I wish I had gotten more photos with Kelly.  For some reason almost all of the ones I took were really washed out.  We loved getting to spend some time with her and show her a glimpse of life here in Ljubljana.

This is Peter Hibbs.  If you look waaaayyy back in the archives of this blog you'll see a lot of photos of us with him and his wife, Jen.

Peter and Jen got married 6 days before us.  We attended Multnomah together.  We served together in Lithuania with Campus Crusade for two years. The Hibbs also struggled through a season of infertility the same time that we did, (though their time was punctuated with the loss of quite a few babies who never made it to full-term.)  They just had their third child about 5 months ago.  :-)  

We've been through a lot with Peter and Jen so it was a real treat that he was able to visit us briefly on his way back from a work trip to Spain.  He knows us well and he understands life and ministry overseas.  And our kids adored him! 

We are so grateful for the friends God has given us!

Burger King Crown

A while back we went out to Burger King as a treat for the kids.  
Eliana LOVED the crown.  
When we came home she kept wearing it.

Later I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and Matt was working in our home office - right across the hall from a full-length mirror in our hall.  
Eliana was standing there admiring her new crown.  

Not long later he came out chuckling and shared what he had overheard.  
I was expecting him to say something like - Eliana loves her princess crown.  
No, this is what he overheard, 

"Wow!  I look like Jesus!"

Kriz training

Do you remember me talking about Kriz last summer?  It is the intense 2-week Bible training that JV does for it's college students during the summer time.  We also meet once a month for them to get ongoing training.  (And by "we" I mean I get to go when these training times are held at our house - probably about every 4 months or so.)

Well, a few weeks back it was at our house again.  Yay!  Hondo (who coordinates it all) was using the illustrating of rock climbing  and belaying to teach about how we are all connected together and how we all need each other.  He called earlier to ask if he could tie a rope around our kitchen island and have the rope go outside, onto our balcony and have them take turns getting to experience dangling from the rope.

Hmmm . . . . . long pause.

Though we loved the idea in theory, all I could think of was how this would rip up the plaster on our walls, it was literally freezing outside, and I was trying to think of how our landlady (who lives right below us) might respond when she saw students hanging off our balcony and staring into her big picture windows.  Kinda makes me laugh when I think about it actually.

So, we asked Hondo if he could come up with a plan B, which he did.

He had them put on the gear (helmet included) and simply lean backwards off the step in our living room.

Hondo began by demonstrating what he was asking them to do:

Here is Alex giving it a try.

Naja was a little more hesitant to try. . . but she looked so crazy cute while she was trying.

Just hanging out after the teaching time was over.

Mana's graduation

Back in December we had the opportunity to go to Mana's graduation from Bible College in Hungary.  The drive there was stressful - a detour was making us take small mountain roads way out of the way . . . I reeeeally wanted to get there in time for the dinner before the graduation.  We were the only ones coming as her special guests to the dinner.  GPS was acting up. . . funny thing was the GPS actually died right after the one turn that we really needed help with the most.  We got there about half an hour late but still in good time to enjoy the dinner and to get to know some of her friends.  Here are some photos from the night:

Alex, one of our college students made the trip with us.

We got to meet several of her teachers.  

The Patty family came up for the ceremony too - and drove the 4 hours back that same night!  Wow!

With two small kids in tow, we knew we couldn't do a turn-around trip like that so we stayed in a guest room in the dorm.  

(Ahh dorm life how I've missed you - ok well, I miss having my own apartment with my own bathroom in the dorm like I had when I was an RD.  Hehe.)

We loved getting to hang out with her and her friends after the ceremony, hanging out in the cafe, playing games. (I really really love the good baby monitors we have so that I could put the kids down in our room and go enjoy time with Mana's friends upstairs in the cafe.)

Isn't Mana beautiful?  She simply glowed the whole time we were there!