Friday, December 27, 2013

Day after Christmas at Cliff&Debbie

Very special date

The day after Christmas we had a sweet invitation from Cliff and Debbie, which we were so excited about. They had their amazing scavanger hunt game based on the Christmas story. Each kid had to answer a question one by one. When they answered correctly Chief Debbie gave them a funny clue where to find their wrapped up gifts. It was a blast. After all the gifts were found and opened we had the best home made and healthy snacks prepared with so much love. Cliff and Debbie thank you so much for loving our family and making every time spent with you so very special!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas day in pics

Christmas day with the Manleys

Every Christmas day is a blast because we visit with all the Manleys. This year was probably the best (I always say that) but really. We usually skype our Hungarian loved ones. It was so overwhelming to see all of them at Mom and Dad's place. This Christmas day my Dad turned 60 year young. We got to see both Great Grandmas and Uncle Gyuszi's family too. God was so faithful to us again meeting our transportation needs. Our old rugged van (which we love by th way) would have not made it all the way to Mike's the Lord arranged our neighbor's van for us. Boy, does it drive well. We visited Uncle Mike's house and with each year the cousins play better together. We had great food and wonderful companionship. Kylie played so well with Mate who asked her to prepare all sorts of games like bingo, memory game etc. The girls played with dolls and Tomi was his little inquisitive self getting into everything. (loved the drum set though). We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at home. We assembled the paper play house and the girls started to color it and making it cozy. Love the artwork. What a neat gift Grandma, Aunt Lisa and Aunt Jen. Tomi took me for a freezing but crisp holiday walk and ran around in the playground nearby. Before night time hit we finished Barthalomew's journey (our Advent story book). This was one of the best days of the year.

Captured moments from Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has such a significant meaning to me as a Hungarian Christian living in the States and raising children. In Hungary we decorate the tree that afternoon and exchange gifts that evening. Once you have your own family you will implement your sweet childhood Christmas traditions. So we did. It was lovely to receive phone calls from Hungary like Brother Zoli and his wife called early on followed by sweet Great Grandma. We got to talk to Sister Agi and Manna's parents too. It is always so awesome to go to church before dinner and the kids really enjoyed the service with us. We had a simple and delicious home made dinner in candle light and classical Christmas music in the background. The kids got in their pj's and opened one gift bag of goodies. Love the fact that it doesn't take much for them to be happy and excited. We watched a Max Lucado Christmas cartoon about the Christmas fruitcake and opened our "shoebox" gift from Hungary. Before bed we snuggled and read the beautiful Christmas story from a picture book. This never gets old. It was such a splendid evening. We had the best reason to celebrate: our amazing Savior Jesus, who is the best Gift ever and also that we as a family a small "love unit" were together. Merry Christmas!

Memories from 2013 in slides


This is such a beautiful time of the year full of wonders and preparation. Towards the end of the year we think about many precious moments in 2013 and our hearts are filled with joy and thankfulness. Some of the highlights of our year were Manna’s trip with Tomi and Bella to Uncle Zoli’s wedding to Hungary in April, our anniversary trip with Dave to California, our hiking trips in the nature with the family and snuggling while reading in the evenings. Until the end of November we had the greatest blessing to have the kids home for six years altogether. From December everybody goes to Kindergarten. This was a very hard decision but being split up in five different classes is for their highest interest and advantage. It has been such a joy to see them grow spiritually as well. Our Pastor’s wife and her team does a fantastic job each Sunday to teach about Jesus and God’s truth for 70 Kindergarteners including ours too. They are always full of stories and memorize Scripture and boy when they sing those worship songs that’s something else  We love to see how they start thinking about deep spiritual things and we also enjoy when they pray for others with such sincere childlike faith. This year many questions regarding our health have been answered thank God. We still have to pay attention to our diet but hopefully the list what we can eat will keep growing and will be able to enjoy more freedom what we can consume. As Manna was working with them one on one everyday she became familiar with their strength and weaknesses. Annabelle is gifted with her hands. What she imagines and puts down on paper is beautiful. Her colorful, creative and funny drawings witness a creative little mind. She is very analytical and her favorite word is “but”. Tomi is great with numbers and always makes us laugh with his funky invention what he puts together with pretty much whatever he finds around the house. He is such an inquisitive, loyal little boy with deep thoughts and emotions. Hanna is our storyteller. How can she say so many words with one breath? Her toothless stories are priceless. When it’s time to read she is the first one on our lap. She can listen to stories all day long. Her imagination is amazing. Lili is our artist. She expresses herself through painting, drawings and music. What she puts on paper is always a delight. She is still our snuggle bug. She cracks us up with the kind of serious expressions she soaks up and shares in a conversation. She is Mommy’s number 1 helper in the kitchen. Mate (Matthew) still lives in “wonder number land”. He loves spelling and can read many things. His favorite thing is to write numbers all day long. We are so proud of God’s amazing work in his life in many areas. He has made a nice steady progress in every sense including his physical endurance. He is so proud of his jumping skills. Mate loves school and everybody knows him by his humor. He can make anybody laugh just by being his “sunshine little self”. He enjoys the girls ‘company in class. Dave works very hard and we all really appreciate it how he is trying to find that right balance between being a wonderful breadwinner and a loving family man. Manna is trying to figure out how to use her time wisely to grow spiritually, keep up with the household and volunteer in different classes. We wish you a wonderful New Year! May the Lord’s wise counsel guide you each day in every decision in the new year, may you experience His fatherly love in new and fresh ways. May Jesus flood your heart with peace beyond all understanding as you rest in his presence. So thankful to know you and have you in our lives.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trip to Hungary

Here are a few slides about our travel experience with Bella and Tomi to Hungary. It went quick, they did awesome and we even made new friends on our way to Budapest.

Our spring trip to Hungary

Annabelle, Tomi and Manna were so blessed that we got to travel to Hungary and be part of Uncle Zoli and Virginia's beautiful wedding on April 6th 2013. We prepared not just lots of little gifts but our hearts with songs, greetings and a special poem. Here is a qucik overview of our trip. The trip went very well from start to finish. The kids did fantastic. So much fun to travel with and it really went by so quickly. We spent the first few days before the wedding in Gyor with Manna's parents then the wedding took place in Budapest. We had the chance to stay with Noemi, Mate and their little daughter Luca in Budapest right after the wedding. We also had a fun visit in the Ocean museum nearby. We took a train to Cegled to spend some time with Great Grandma and the rest of the family there. We had the awesome privilege to visit Grandpa's grave. This was the first time for Bella and Tomi to be in a cemetery. It was great so spent some time with Aunt Teca, Cousin Aniko and Uncle Gyuszi. After a couple days Grandma traveled with us back to Gyor via Budapest. On the train we got to see my dear room mate Minci. We had a couple more gorgeous days in Manna's hometown, Gyor. Our last full day we took a quick trip to visit Manna's other best friend Detti and her girls. It was an amazing fellowship. It's so much fun to see our kids connect and play. Thu, April 11th we traveled back. This was another trip, which we will never forget and forever cherish.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Slippery fun moments

Love sliding. Thankfully no broken bones. Translation: they would prefer to be penguins rather than slippery snowmen. Giggle is universal :)

Here is a little update from us. The new year started fresh and wonderful. This cold and snowy winter sweet and faithful Friends like Caroline and Brent hang out with our children quite a bit allowing us to get away a little bit. We celebrated both of our birthdays and Valentine's day as well. These are much needed dates and help us to be better parents.
We enjoy homeschooling every little time we have. We are working our way through My Father's World (not so much handwriting and phonics yet). It has been a wonderful journey discovering our world through God's eyes. We learn little reminders with each letter like: "I will live and grow in Jesus", like the leaf or "Big and small, God made them all". My favorite is: "God made me wonderful". We were reading and learning about the Sun, Moon, Leaf, Nest, Apples, Five Senses, Dinos and now we are entering into the deep see and discovering Octopuses.
It's neat to see how much they soak up only by reading and crafts. (The rest will come later).
We are also preparing our hearts for Easter this lent season.
The colored pillows are part of a sewing project with my dear friend Penny. Yes, my great and long cherished dream to learn how to sew is becoming true week by week. They love to snuggle with their own soft, colored letters.
I have to say the biggest progress we have made is with chores around the house. Five is really the magic age when they start to be actually helpful. They do dishes, fold their laundry (least favorite), sweep, clean sinks, water plants and help cooking (this is their favorite).

That's all as far as a quick update and a few recent photos.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reflection on 2012

As we reminisce about this year behind us, our hearts are filled with joy and thankfulness. In many respects 2012 was a year of independence as it is really getting easier with the quints, yet we learned to depend on the Lord even more through some challenging times. We get fresh grace for each new day and that keeps us going. In the beginning of the year the kids and Manna were so blessed to be able to spend two amazing months in Hungary. The spring brought some significant changes in our diet, which is really a life style for us as we go everywhere with Pyrex dishes and our Crockpot. By the way it’s fun to pack peas and Brussels sprouts for school snacks and Sunday school. This summer we had an intense therapy trip to Alabama where Matthew made a remarkable progress using his left upper extremity and gained much needed independence. Fundraising, lining up help, being hosted by hospitable Birmingham friends and participating in 8 hours of therapy daily were all incredible for Matthew and Manna. This school year all the kids are involved in the last year of their preschool. Lili and Matthew are benefitting from some services; the other three are peer friends. They go different days, different times in two classes. Thankfully most of the year we can enjoy walks back and forth to the school, which makes us feel like Hungary. It’s fun to see them grow and change as they learn so much in school and what we teach here at home too. Annabelle is still rising up as the oldest, most responsible and independent child. She became a lot more lady like but she still dressed up as a fireman this year  She is quite an artist and so creative. Tomi loves school and plays for hours with building toys in his room. He still blows us away with his imagination and inventive spirit. He is also a little handyman and fixes things mommy can’t. Love it. Hanna is still so dainty and grew probably the most in eager and obedient spirit. She is definitely willing to help and is a wonderful role model in the family. Her love for books is contagious. Lili: if I can only count how many princesses we drew, colored and cut out this year! She cheers us up with her sweet, bubbly, butterfly spirit. She still gets away with more than she should but responds quicker and obeys a lot more. Matthew is really into, dogs, papers, letters, numbers and addition. He is making a ton of progress. He is our sunshine and we love him to pieces for his joyful spirit and hilarious humor. This November he had an orthopedic surgery in New Jersey. Time will tell the gain. Dave and I were able to take a couple trips this year to Cincinnati and Lexington. We are thankful for each other as we tag team daily. He is the most appreciative person when it comes down to my cooking. We are so grateful for a diligent and tender hearted Husband and Daddy who continues to lead our family to love and pursue our beautiful and sufficient Savior.
Have an abundant New Year!

Fall and Thanksgiving slides

New Jersey slides/ November 2012