Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Our Home Assignment Adventure Continues!

Greetings from South Carolina! I can't believe we've already been in the U.S. for over a month. Our time here is flying by! Our first 3 weeks were spent in Minnesota, enjoying time with Nate's family and going outside for lots of winter fun (sledding, ice skating and snow fort building were the highlights!). After about 10 days of being sick, Nate finally felt better and the end of our time there was particularly special. Here are a few photos:

Hiding out in the snow fort

Learning to ice skate

Sledding in the park

Riding the carousel at the Mall of America

Riding the Mall of America rides with cousin Rosy!

Walking in Wisconsin, while on a visit to see Nate's grandma

After 3 weeks in Minnesota, we drove for two long days and arrived in South Carolina and my parents' house. We've been enjoying time with them the last couple of weeks. Ellie is continuing with homeschool everyday, Nate is working on preparing a sermon and writing papers for his Master's program and we've been focusing much of our time on raising support and preparing materials for sharing at churches in the coming months. 

Here are a few photos from our visit to SC so far.

Enjoy the hotel pool in Indianapolis, on our way down south.

A huge highlight for the girls: visiting the American Girl Doll Store!

Petting donkeys at the Greenway

Grampy, reading books to his girls

Ellie, working on reading during homeschooling

A green lunch on St. Patrick's Day!

If you'd like to pray for us during this time, here are a few prayer requests:
  • That God would keep us healthy during all of our travels and that we'd have access to a Covid vaccine, despite not having a US address
  • That God would raise up new supporters and meet our current $1,200/month goal. We were thankful to celebrate gaining 3 new supporters this week!
  • For Nate's continued studies in Christian Leadership and that the classes he takes while we are here would be fruitful and practical
  • For our continued planning for our church plant launch this fall. Our website is now online!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

We've Landed

 Well, here we go again. After 4 months of blog silence, we are attempting to start blogging again! We apologize for the delay :) The last few months have been a challenge with continued corona lockdowns alongside continued ministry responsibilities.

On February 10th, we flew from Austria to the US to begin our 6 month home assignment. Nate fell ill (NOT CORONA) starting on the plane and has been battling sickness ever since we arrived, so it's been a difficult transition. Please pray for him to recover soon and for the doctor's who are assisting with his care to come up with a clear diagnosis soon.

We've been enjoying time at Nate's parents house and the girls have been loving all the time with Oma and Opa and their cousin, Rosie. Here are a couple photo highlights.

Waiting at the Vienna airport at 5:30am

Travelling in style! The girls did a great job on the 3 plane rides.

In MN, we have been enjoying the winter wonderland! This is igloo building.

Drinking hot chocolate with cousin Rosie!

Our home assignment will be a full 6 months this time around. Here is our travel schedule while we are in the country. If you live in one of these places, feel free to reach out and we can try to (safely) get together! 

  • February 10 - March 1: Minnesota
  • March 3 - April 10: South Carolina & Atlanta
  • April 11 - 15: Virginia
  • April 15 - 17: Washington, DC
  • April 17 - May 7: Connecticut
  • May 7 - 24: Ohio
  • May 24 - June 10: Chicago suburbs
  • June 10 - 16: Houston, TX
  • June 16 - 20: Chicago suburbs
  • June 21 - July 1: Tennessee
  • July 1 - 18: Wisconsin & Minnesota
  • July 18 - 24: Colorado (WorldVenture)
  • July 25 - August 17: Minnesota

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Second Lockdown

 Well, here we are again! After a summer in Austria that felt almost like normal, with businesses open, vacations happening and social gathering taking place with only mild restrictions, the fall hit us and Coronavirus cases were on the rise. By the time early November rolled around, the rate of spread in Austria was one of the highest in the world and the government put us on a modified lockdown. We had an 8pm curfew every night and were only allowed to meet with one other household at a time. Kids age 14 & above were doing school online, but all other schools were open as normal. Unfortunately, these moderate restrictions didn't have the needed effect and things needed to get strict. Last Tuesday, the government put us into a strict lockdown for the second time in 2020. The girls are now doing school at home and we are not allowed to meet or socialize with anyone outside our household. Only essential businesses are open and offices are encouraged to let their employees work from home when possible.

This lockdown has felt different for us. First of all, Ellie is in school this time around, so we have been spending every morning doing her daily school work. To keep Maya busy, she's been doing "home pre-schooling", which is basically just coloring and fun worksheets. School work takes up at least half the day, so the challenge I faced in the spring of "filling up the day" and keep the girls busy is partially taken care of. We have also jumped back into the routines we had during the lockdown and the girls have quickly adjusting, since this isn't new to them. We often go outside once a day, the girls do a quiet time, and we often work in a kids yoga video. 

Overall, we miss social interaction, but the days have been slow-paced and peaceful. The forced slowdown has been a welcome change for me, and I'm thankful for clear decisions from the government and a peaceful home. I know many are struggling with home-schooling and working full-time jobs simultaneously, so I am not taking for granted the flexibility I have to focus on the girls during these few weeks. 

Here are a few photos from our lockdown so far:

After finishing our first Lockdown #2 puzzle

Kids Yoga (Cosmic Kids for the win!)

Learning time! It doesn't always look this calm...

Sushi making night for dinner

A scene from the vineyards, where we went for a hike