Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Patty family Christmas

Here are a few shots from Christmas morning at the Patty house. At our place the kids get to dig into their stockings once they are all awake. I could hear Luke as I was just waking up. He was saying in a stage whisper, "Wait me guys. Wait me!" That gives us adults a few minutes to make it downstairs, turn on the coffee and put the cinnamin rolls in the oven. Then Josh tells the Christmas story. Of course this year everyone has their own bible and had to get it and read along together. I just have to add this one other piece because it really touched us this year.

After the traditional reading of the birth of Jesus; Josh took us to John 4 and the woman at the well. We talked about how coming to the well every day and this moment with Jesus made her aware of her real thirst and how the well water couldn't satisfy that thirst. Josh pointed out that today we are thirsty for gifts but we know that in the end we'll be thirsty again. But if we turn to Jesus he can give us living water that will meet our real need. It was a great way to begin opening our gifts!

Josh's brother Steve made it from snowy Portland, Oregon to spend Christmas with us. We were really worried he wouldn't be able to find a flight that hadn't been cancelled. In the end he arrived at midnight just as it was turning Christmas eve! It was good to have family with us. And we got my parents on video skype and they stayed up late into the night their time to see the kids open their gifts and hear all their funny little comments. It was so great! We laughed when Blake said something like, "That was fun having Oma and Opa here." It felt like they should just walk out of the computer screen and go in and sit down for breakfast with us!

Our friends Jenn and Brian came through with really great gifts for usual! Here's Luke playing with the great train set they sent. I'll have to post the girls with their iPods (A TOTAL SURPRISE) and the whole family playing Rock Band with Blake's gift!
Yummy Christmas dinner with a turkey I found at my local grocery store! The times they are a changing! yee haw! I remember a Christmas when Josh searched high and low and finally found one at the outdoor market. But this year I just picked it up with my flour, sugar and eggs!
And just one last cute shot of Luke (he seems to be dominating the photos these days!) The girls found this backpack for him and he right away stuffed it with all his loot including "this guy" that he got from Oma and Opa. No name, just "this guy". Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Goodbye Christina

We said goodbye to Christina Stanton this month. It was very difficult. She has been a dear friend these four and a half years while serving here in Slovenia and she is an amazing discipler, mentor and friend to many people here. There's no replacing her. Just the longing for the day when there will be no more goodbyes.
I just had to post these pictures. We explained to Luke that Christina was going on a plane. He said goodbye. I think he understood. We couldn't coax a smile out of him for nothing. That is until Christina brought out Sponge Bob. Also known around our place as "Bum bod"! These pictures make me laugh!
So that night Christina went to each kids' room and hugged and kissed and giggled and said her goodbyes. We love you Christina and we are praying for you as you trust and obey the Father!

Holiday shots

I hate it when i don't post these right away! But I just couldn't let these shots get away. So here's a peek into our holiday celebrations this month! Kendra, Becca and Blake keeping warm at the local OBI where we picked out our Christmas tree. This year was a record year of speed! Normally we unpack all kinds of trees that are stacked up in the store in our hunt for the best one. But this year we walked up to a sweet tree that was just sitting out and already for us!

After we moved to Slovenia we started celebrating Sveti Mikalavz day. On the night of December 5 the kids put out their shoes or boots for Mikalavz to fill. These are Luka's Lightning McQueen shoes that were passed down to him from the Foss family. He LOVES these shoes but as you can see they weren't big enough to hold all the loot Miklavz brought!

These next two shots are from our JV Slovenia team Christmas party. We got the whole gang together and everyone brought the most delicious finger food. The kids exchanged gifts and we sang and laughed and rejoiced that God has called us together to serve in this country.
Here you can see our living room packed and Josh printed up Christmas carols in English for us to sing and also told a family Christmas story. If you've never heard it you'll have to ask him. But if you've ever been near us at Christmas time chances are you've heard it!
Finally a pic of our dear friend Laurie Doden and Luka saying goodbye. Laurie returned with us from the JV thanksgiving to spend the busy 1st week of December with us. She really blessed us just by being here and being our friend. But also with all kinds of acts of service like once a month cooking, praying together, playing with the kids, preparing food for the parties.... we love you Laurie!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas concert and counting the days

Tonight was our church's Christmas concert and here's Rebecca and our dear friend Kiley singing "Rojen je otrok" which means "A child is born", accompanied by Josh.

This was the first year that Rebecca and Blake joined Josh in the grown up choir and they were great! We got lots of compliments on them. And encouragement to enroll Becca in music school!

Oh, and Josh and I just laughed and laughed at the chalk board in the kitchen tonight. The kids had written in english but with European numbers. Don't know if you can see it from the photo but it looks like it says "77 days till Christmas!" Ha! Just have to watch out when they get checking accounts in the US!

Christmas trip to Vienna

Every year my bible study girls and I take a trip to Vienna. Usually we go just as school is starting and go shopping for school supplies and new clothes. But this year we just couldn't make it work in our schedule so instead we planned to go for Christmas. And are we ever glad we did! Vienna at Christmastime is BEAUTIFUL!

It's a 4 hour drive and we hit the road about 6:30 am. Maja, Barbara, and I. Polona joined us this year. She's Maja's highschool friend and and a delight to be with! Christina was discipling her but she's returned to the states now. Poor Neja woke up not feeling well so she didn't come at the last minute. We missed you Neja!

We listened to Christmas play lists on iPods.
I don't know how many times we roasted chestnuts
on an open fire. But we sure didn't get tired of it!

First stop? Starbucks! Also the last stop! Ha ha!
We had to laugh because normally we go to
shop but I think this time we went to eat!
Because after a latte and a muffin our next stop was theChristmas market and some Austrian gluwein! While we were still finishing our drinks we decided the next stop should be TJI Fridays for a bit of lunch.

Afterwards we broke down and bought a few Christmas gifts and then rushed back to Starbucks for their signature Christmas cups and a Christmas flavored latte before the drive back!

My favorite part every year is the time to visit as we drive. The best talks come out of this trip. And so do some of the best jokes! Oh we laughed and laughed. I love these girls.

Maja and Polona

Barbara and Kristi... mostly I kept my eyes on the road!