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.