Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ethan in the States

We were thankful that Ethan did so well in the States. He was so flexible, especially with us staying in so many different places and being around so many different groups of people. He got a couple of ear infections, and we had to fly both times. I warned people around me because I had heard horror stories and just knew he would be crying and screaming with pain. To our surprise, he never cried or screamed on either of the flights that he had ear infections (with the exception of one where he screamed before we were even seated :-), but then calmed down).
Ethan did well on the flight back to Hungary. It took him quite a while to get back on schedule once we returned, but we were glad when he started sleeping through the night again.

Here are a few pictures and updates about Ethan from our time in the States:
I gave Ethan his first hair cut soon before we left for the States. I didn't cut a ton off, so I needed to cut it again while we were in CO. Once we got to NC, we decided to take him into a walk-in place and have a professional who knows what they're doing cut his hair. I just told the girl to make him look like a boy. He did really well with sitting and not moving around. I can't believe he is 10 months old and has already had 3 hair cuts. He actually has hair going over his ears again.I think that I mentioned during an earlier post that we only had the chance to go hiking once while we were in CO. We had hoped to go in NC, but only got to do a little something for maybe 20 or so minutes. The minister of missions let us borrow his baby backpack while we were there, and there were hiking trails around the missions house, but we just didn't have time. We had about an hour one afternoon, so we decided to do a short hike. It had been raining in previous days, and leaves covered the ground, so it was pretty slippery on hilly areas. We got to one place where you have to hold on to a rope to go down the hill. Gary tried it a little, but since it was so slippery and he had Ethan on his back, we decided to turn around and head back. We hoped to go another day when the ground was dry, but we never had time.
These two pictures are when we were in Raleigh for a recruiting convention (recruiting staff for the school here). We met some friends for dinner at a mall. They have 2 boys, so they went to the little play area after dinner. We didn't figure that Ethan would get into any of this type of stuff, but he had a blast. None of us put money in the machines, but the boys all enjoyed playing with them anyway. Gary and I absolutely love this picture of Ethan in the red car.
This last picture is from when we were at the home of some ministry partners in Texas. They had a piano and then had this right next to it. I'm not even sure whether to call it a toy or not. Gary and I love this picture, and know that Gary's mom will too (she was a piano teacher). I've never seen anything like this before. All 3 of us (Ethan included) were impressed with this 'toy'.

Our Time in the States

We arrived back in Budapest on December 2nd. I had hoped to update this blog again while we were in the US, and definitely before now. I even made a folder of some more pics to post on here from our time in the US. It's 17 pictures, so I guess I will just post some of them.
My mom was thrilled to meet her only grandchild. She has waited many years for this.
We stayed at my church's missionary house. It was 30 minutes out in the middle of nowhere, but it was beautiful and very peaceful. Here are some pictures of 5 deer and 6 wild turkeys that were right out front. The turkeys only came 2 or 3 times, but the deer were around every morning. We were really thankful for my church and them having a place for us to stay. Even though we do stay with some people during our furlough, it's really hard on us to continually do so.

It's interesting when we go on furlough because so many people ask us if we are enjoying our vacation. We usually look at each other and laugh on the inside. Furlough is one of the most stressful parts of our ministry. It's great to see family and friends, and of course, go to Wal-Mart and get clothes and other things for much cheaper prices, but we have to cram a ton of stuff into a little bit of time and often run on fumes. We were real thankful for how well Ethan did considering that he was always having to adjust his schedule around, especially with us doing a lot of speaking in the evenings. I will do another blog entry and talk some about his time and post pics of him. I was also thankful that we didn't gain weight. During the last furlough many people wanted to meet at a restaurant, so we were usually eating out for lunches and dinners. We gained around 15-20 pounds from that (and not having time to exercise). We do enjoy going out to eat when we're in the States, but not everyday, and especially not multiple times a day. This time, there were quite a few people who invited us to their homes for a meal. One family even cooked a meal and brought it out to the mission house for us to all eat. I still can't believe that they went through so much trouble.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seeing Folks from Budapest

We are spending the night with some ministry partners, who live in the same town as the Winters (friends who just moved here from Budapest). We went to their house for dinner this evening. It was so good to see them again, and it felt like we were all in Hungary (except for the chocolate chip mint brownie ice cream- yum! yum!). I figured that some of you Budapest folks may enjoy seeing a pic of the kids (well, some of them).
Their oldest is quite interested in football, so watched a game after dinner, but the younger three wanted to play with Ethan the whole time. It was fun to watch them interact with him (and sometimes argue over him).
This was just a fun picture I thought I'd throw on here too. Some people from Gary's parents' church leant us a bunch of baby things for our time in CO. This jump up thing was one of them. Ethan doesn't like to stay in it for long, but has got the hang of jumping around some. He is also rocking back and forth on his knees and will probably begin to crawl before we leave the US. One advantage to that is most American homes have carpeting and sometimes he falls foward on his head while trying to maneuver on his knees. We won't have the carpeting in Hungary, so it's nice for him to have some cushion. The disadvantage is that once he starts crawling, one of us won't be able to really have a conversation with people we are visiting (due to Ethan being so mobile). So, we'll just see how it goes over the next month and a half.

Rocky Mtn. National Park

We were glad that we had a chance to go to Rocky Mountain National Park last Saturday to do a little hiking. Sadly, it will be the only time that we will have for that during our time in CO. Hopefully we will have a chance in NC.

The hike back got pretty cold, so we tried to bundle Ethan up as much as possible. As you can see he's getting his nap in too.

On our drive back we saw some elk in a field and stopped. People drive up to the mountains just to hear the bull elk bugle, which happens every fall. Ethan didn't pay any attention or even notice the bull elk.

Aunt Lori

Many of you know and have been praying for our sister-in-law, Lori, who has stage 4 cancer. This is a picture of Ethan and his aunt the first day they met. Please continue to pray for Lori. She has A LOT of pain (even with medication) due to tumors in her bones that have eaten through some of the them (mostly in her back).

Ethan hasn't been around dogs much before visiting his aunt and uncle's house. He became enthralled with Ginger. Too bad we can't say the same for Ginger with Ethan. His squealing with excitement was just too much for her.

Flight to States

Our flight from Frankfurt to Denver was a little over 10 hours. Ethan did great during all of it. We even had someone walk past us in the customs line and tell us how well he did. We were really thankful for that. Thanks to those of you who prayed for safe travel and for Ethan.
Ethan didn't have his own ticket, so he had to be in our laps during the flight. Thankfully the airlines provide a bassinet if you request it ahead of time. We tried to cover it some with a blanket to keep out the darkness in hopes he would sleep better. We thought this was so cute where he had his hand on the blanket and was looking out of the hole.

It did take him awhile to get over the 8 hour time difference, plus he cut his first tooth last week, so he was up some during the nights. Now, he's back on his usual schedule of sleeping around 11 hours during the night. He's still doing his typical 30 minute naps during the days.

1st Hair Cut

We're staying with someone in CO tonight who has wireless, so I am staying up late to update our blog. Before I get into our time back here in the States, I need to post pics from Ethan's first hair cut that he had at 7th months. He has needed a hair cut for a long time, so I finally got around to cutting it on September 16th.

Ethan's hair was longest on top, but this section on the side was about to make him look like a girl.

Here is the after photo. It may not look like I cut much, but I actually did cut a good bit from the top. Of course, now it needs it again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Flight

We flew from Budapest to Tirana, Albania a week and a half ago. We were going for Gary to teach part of a new course to the Albanian staff. This was Ethan's first flight. It was a short flight, so a good 'practice' before we leave in 3 weeks for the States.The plane was pretty empty on the way there (though overbooked on the way back).

Ethan slept much of the flight. One of the flight attendants thought he was so cute sleeping like this that she told another flight attendant so she could look at him. In fact, evidentally they thought he was so cute that surprisingly they didn't even make us put the tray table up when we were supposed to. Course, we did on our own so his head wouldn't hit against it when we landed.

We stopped in a small village during our 4 hour drive from the airport to just across the border into Macedonia. This woman gave us permission to take her picture. Some of the men in Albania still make women do the hard labor.

This bridge is believed to be a part of the Egnatian Way, an old Roman road that went from present day Istanbul, Turkey to Durres, Albania, which the Apostle Paul used in his travels.

Pot Luck Dinner

We invited the school staff over for a pot luck dinner so the new teachers could meet people before orientation began. There were 66 people who came. Thankfully the weather was nice, so we were able to have people inside and outside. We're so thankful that the Lord has blessed us with a home where we can entertain.

First Solid Food

We started Ethan on solid food on his 6th month birthday (August 15th). He had been displaying many of the signs of being ready for solid food (thankfully not waking up during the night though), but we wanted to wait until he was 6 months old if possible. Now we don't feel so guilty to eat in front of him. :-) We just started with rice cereal that someone brought us from the States. The Hungarians typically begin with apples (according to a few Hungarian friends).
The food was such a hit, when I put the spoon near his mouth he would grab the spoon and pull it to his mouth. And, he actually had good aim. If his fine motor skills were a little sharper, he would already be able to feed himself.


One of my friends, Edit, invited Ethan and me over for lunch one day in August. It was interesting to see Ethan and Zsuzsi interact again.Ethan was much more full of energy than Zsuzsi. Total boy!

The Beattys are on our team. Evan was born last November. His family went to the States just before Ethan was born. This was the first time that Ethan and Evan met one another. I think they hit it off. It's a good thing, because they will be spending much time together. It will also be interesting to see how often we get their names mixed up and confused.Just putting another pic on here because I like it and think that Ethan looks cute.

Catching Up Once Again

Well, once again, I'm behind on our blog. Our first extended time traveling with Ethan was the beginning of July. We went to Germany for me to take a class. We traveled over 9 hours the first day with only two stops for 45 minutes. Ethan didn't even leave the car during one of those stops due to us being at a rest area with no shelter and it raining. He slept much of the time and did great.We enjoyed getting to tie in a few days of vacation around this trip where we went hiking. We loved the backpack that my mom bought us, and he was able to use it before the suggested time of 6 months. Ethan enjoyed the outdoors, and especially loved watching waterfalls and running water.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Ethan, taken while we were in Germany, so I just had to throw it in here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

4th of July

Some friends invited a bunch of people over for a 4th of July cookout. We don't always celebrate the 4th in Hungary, but usually there are some groups of Americans doing a cookout or something. I'm SOOOO thankful for the freedom that we have in America (and now in Hungary). I have friends who live in countries that don't have freedom like we have had our entire lives, especially the freedom to worship God. The 4th of July is a good reminder for us not to take our freedom for granted.
Ethan, above, making his social rounds with the help of Daddy.
Aren't they cute!!!

It was a fun time of fellowship, singing, and eating (we even had home-made ice cream- Yum!).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nikki from all of us! I hope it was a great one!

First Pool Experience

At the end of June Pam invited Edit and me over for the kids to 'play' in the pool. This was Zsuzsi and Ethan's first pool experience.

The picture above is from when Ethan was first put in the pool.
Us Moms had a much better time than the kids did. We spent much of it laughing. At one point Thomas started crying, then Zsuzsi, then Ethan. So, all 3 kids were crying and all 3 Moms were laughing. Our poor kids! :-) Ethan doesn't look too happy in this picture. I don't think he quite figured out about this pool thing.

Catching Up on the Blog

As you see, I've not updated the blog in over a month! Things have been busy, especially with us going to Germany for me take a class. Plus, I've had internet issues with my computer. Well, I have a lot of updates and will probably throw a bunch on here all at once. So, I'll try to keep it more pictures and few words. But, those who know me know that a few words for me is like the average amount of words for the general population. So, we'll see!
We wanted to try to get a good family photo, so we put a white sheet on the back of our couch and the floor. Emily came over to take pictures. We planned the timing to be just after he ate, when he's the happiest, but we ended up talking awhile before taking pictures. We should have known better because once we started taking pictures Ethan didn't make it too long before he was fussy, so we didn't have too many pictures to choose from. This picture is from June 25th. Ethan was 4 months old.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Gary has entered a whole new world of putting things together. I've been so proud of him; he has put more things together in the last 6 months than in his whole life. My mom bought an ExerSaucer for Ethan, and Gary put it together this week. At first we thought that maybe it was too advanced for Ethan, but he is enjoying it and even turning around in it. Here are some pictures.

This is a picture of the first time we put him in it. He has a look on his face like "What in the world is this?" He quickly figured it out later in the day as you'll see below... after changing his outfit due to a leaky diaper...ahhh, moving up in diaper size once again- he's such a big boy!

Look at that concentration!
Ah, yes, the concentration paid off! It's in his mouth! He's at that stage of putting everything in his mouth. After he played with the pig, below, for a bit, he tried putting it in his mouth too. Notice his thumb and two fingers in the mouth. He was sucking his thumb, but that's not been enough. Lately, it's been his thumb and one or two fingers at the same time.

And, of course, I've got to put the cute smile on here.

No Anemia

Last month when Ethan got his immunization the doctor tried to check him for anemia. I think that I mentioned in a previous post that she wasn't able to find a blood vessel, so she said that she would try at his 4 month check-up. I can see why it would be difficult. He has quite a bit of fat to keep those blood vessels hidden. :-) So, last week we took him to the doctor for another try. Here is a picture of him all bandaged up from where they put some kind of cream on him so it wouldn't hurt so badly. Though he wasn't smiling once they started poking him with a needle. They put this cream on 4 different places and then put bandages around them. They still couldn't find a blood vessel in his arm, but they did succeed with finding a capillary in his heel. The results came back that he doesn't have anemia anymore, so we are thankful for that good news.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another New Friend for Ethan

Ethan and I were both glad to see Gary back home. Emily offered to babysit Ethan, so Gary and I went out to eat last night. It was so nice after him being gone for 8 days. THANK YOU Emily!

Ethan didn't really notice his new little friend and just looked at Michelle when we were trying to get him to look at William. Michelle had William yesterday by an unplanned C-section. Thankfully they are both fine. It was weird going to Telki to visit them today. The last time I was in the car on the way to Telki I was in labor. Michelle is in the same room that I was in, so that brought back memories too. It's hard to believe that I just had Ethan 4 months ago! I definitely like how things are now more than those first few months. I'm sooooo thankful that those are behind me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Time Flying Solo

Gary has been in Poland teaching for the last 8 days. His train arrives in Budapest at 10:30 tonight. I'm counting the hours now!
This was the first time that he has traveled since Ethan was born. I was real nervous and dreading him leaving. The first few days that Gary was gone were pretty difficult, but then it got better. Since Ethan's naps are usually 30-45 minutes a couple of times a day, I knew that I wouldn't have much time to cook and clean dishes, so I prepared my meals and froze them before Gary left. I'm so glad that I did that. The hardest part of him being gone was him not coming home in the evening and me eating dinner alone. Thankfully, I did not eat alone Sunday-Wednesday nights.

Monday night Laura and Emily (mine and Gary's 'adopted daughters')came over, and we made pizza. After 3 years of living here, Laura is heading back to the States. I will definitely miss her! Here is a picture of us.
There was a Michael W. Smith concert on Tuesday night. It was the 1st time that he has held a concert in Central or Eastern Europe. Gary encouraged me to go knowing that I would need to get out and socialize, and since this type of thing doesn't happen often. I kept going back and forth, but finally decided not to go. Between getting there, the concert, and getting home I probably would have been gone around 5 or so hours, and that was going to just be too expensive to pay for the concert ticket and a babysitter for that long. I was really disappointed, but I praise the Lord for blessing me with such a great Tuesday. I found out on Monday that Edit's husband was going to the concert, so I invited her and Zsuzsi over for dinner. A couple of different Hungarians invited me to their homes earlier in the day, Michelle and her mother-in-law popped by, and then Edit came over. So, it was a day full of going from one social thing to another... which Ethan and I both loved! It was Ethan's (and my) best day that Gary has been gone. Here is a picture of Ethan and Zsuzsi. He will be 4 months old on Monday, and Zsuzsi is a little over 5 months old. I think that Ethan looks like a football player next to her.
This is a typical picture to show how Americans dress their children and how Hungarians dress their children in warm weather. It was about 80 degrees on Tuesday. Ethan- short sleeves, shorts, no socks; Zsuzsi- long sleeves, pants, and socks. Edit and I just laugh about it.
I also have to brag about my wonderful husband. He e-mailed Emily and Laura from Poland and asked them to buy me flowers and bring to me when they came over Monday night. It was so sweet when they showed up and said that these were from my husband. He is so thoughtful!