Well, as most of you already know our big news the last few months is that I am pregnant! We are expecting our 2nd precious child in October. We are thrilled. I found out 2 days before Valentine's Day, so I thought it would be the perfect surprise and gift for Matt since I hadn't come up with anything else. Those two days were torturing for me as I had to keep this news a secret from Matt, but I kept reminding myself that it would be well worth it to see the look on his face. So we went to a restaurant and I was so antsy to exchange gifts I couldn't wait for the meal to come. So I opened Matt's gift first which was a shirt (perfect for maternity too) and then he opened mine. I had 2 gifts for him. The first was a journal to write in and the second was a gift bag with the pregnancy test inside and a note that read "Congratulations...#2 is on its way!" Oh, the look on his face was priceless! He said "Is this real?" I just started laughing and the rest of the night was spent discussing how we were going to arrange the rooms for the new baby. It was fun! :)Ashtyn's second birthday (Feb 22) was celebrated at our house this year. We had Mimi, Pappou, and 3 other friends come over with their parents. She was so happy and played with everyone. It is so fun to see her grow up though sometimes I want to push the pause button. This is by far the cutest age and we enjoy her so much. She is like a parrot and will copy everything we say (we really have to watch ourselves now). She is funny, loves to color, read her Bible, go to Mimi & Pappou's house, go the park, jump on the trampoline at camp, eat strawberries, watch her movies....these are just some of her favorite things. She knows all her colors, shapes, numbers to 20, letters and sounds, and she can count to 10 in Greek. Her pediatrician thinks she will be tall which is so strange for me since I was always the smallest and shortest...ha! Good thing she takes after her daddy!
In March, our family went up to Northern Greece to a beach town called Leptokaria, not far from Thessaloniki. Matt attended a Christian Athletic tournament and competed in the volleyball competitions. He did awesome and his team walked away with a silver medal. It was nice to meet people from other Greek churches and Ashtyn had a great time playing on the beach with her friend, Kela.
The next week was Easter and my mom invited our family, another couple, and 3 single people from church to come to her house for lunch. She cooked amazing lamb and potatoes, salad, appetizers and desert. Everything was delicious. In Greece we dye the boiled eggs red and on Easter Day each person takes one egg and you hit it against your neighbors egg. Whoever has the egg that doesn't crack, wins. (which was mine!) So Matt, Ashtyn and I were up the night before dying eggs. We had fun!
In April, we had our HM Annual Family Conference at Porto Astro. The topic of the conference was HOPE - through the family. Our guest speakers were Virgil and Bonnie Adams. They reside in Georgia so it was neat to have that connection with them. They used to be missionaries in the jungles of Irian Jaya. They had plenty of experiences and stories to share. They spoke about marriage and how to protect your family and homes when you are on the mission field. The seminar was very valuable and encouraging to us. This year Ashtyn was at an age where she could go play with the other children while Matt and I attended the sessions. One of the missionary kids, Kiara 12, would take Ashtyn for us every day and jump with her on the trampoline, take her to the park and to do crafts. Ashtyn just loves her to say the least!
It was nice to devote my attention to the meetings and reports without being interrupted. Now next year will be a different story again with a 6 month old!
We are ecstatic that Matt's brother, Tanner 16, will be with us for the month of June. We have talked about him coming to Greece together for a long time and God has opened that door for him. He will be attending the refugee camps with us and learning about the ministry. He will also have a chance to see Greece and we will get to spend quality time with him. Matt said he hasn't spent 1 month with his brother since he was 5 years old. I'm sure this will be memorable for all of us!
Opening presents on Ashtyn's birthday
Easter Day - collecting eggs
Our beautiful red eggs :)
This is what happens when Matt gives Ashtyn a bath
At the Christian Athletic Tournament with her friend Kela
Matt is ready for a game of beach volleyball