31 December 2010

Vienna Church Christmas Party

So we're stilling running way behind on blog posts.... Here's the church Christmas party. Elora was excited to fix up the Christmas tree in the entryway. She enjoys rearranging decorations.

Here's Elora and Ellie. When I offered to get Elora a plate of food, she said she had already gotten some. It consisted entirely of cookies. I told her she needed to get something healthy too. She replied, "Don't worry Mom, I can just have a healthy drink" and pointed to the punch.

Here's Oliver hanging out with the missionaries.

Elora was almost as excited as Daddy to hear that Santa was coming soon!

Elora is such a sweetie. Sort of... She enjoys running around with all the older boys beating on them. She used to call them her "Take Your Button Boys", which just got shortened to "Button Boys" because she pretended to grab the buttons off their shirts or coats. And now she calls them "Castle Boys". We're not sure why, but she does say she's going to build a castle some day on the beach in Hawaii, so maybe they'll be her man servants...

Super Moms! Here's Karen and Brooke.

Elora and her best friend Christine who works at McDonalds and gives her the Happy Meal toy hook-up.

And finally Santa arrived!

Santa asked Elora what she wanted for Christmas and she asked for chocolate. Luckily it's easy to grant her wishes.

Elora and her other friend named Christine checking out their pile of goodies. Elora looked in the bag and said, "There's oranges!" (thanks treat-bag organizers!)

It's funny that Oliver who is normally very shy has no problem walking up to Santa because he knows he is about to get candy. He is such a candy-fiend.

I know what Ollie is thinking right now... "Ok, ok, I'll sit here and smile, but only because I know I'm getting one of those bags..."

All 3 of the kids are saying, "Treeeeeeeeat!" in this picture. These are two of Ollie's favorite girls and they are sisters - Charlotte and Ellie.

And finally, little Marion! She's growing up pretty quick. And fortunately she likes to sleep a lot!

30 December 2010

Cobenzl Petting Zoo Christmast Market

So we're currently house/pet sitting for some friends. And their house is near a petting zoo, which was holding a small Christmas market, so we decided to go a couple days before Christmas -- yes, there's a huge post backlog! The booths were mostly fresh cheeses and jams and meats. So the kids got bored and wanted to go straight to the animals. The one thing we did buy was this weird "Recycle Trash Bin" game (sold by the Vienna garbage management department). We'll show it in a future post. It was just too...random and awesome to pass up.

Oliver was really excited to feed the sheep. It was a little unnerving filling his hand with food and letting them all come chomping at him, but we were careful. Oliver was "baaaaa"ing at the "Sheepies".

More sheep. Sheep are Oliver's favorite farm animal. Elora didn't trust the whole "stick my hand in front of the wildly chomping animal thing". Oliver is a boy, so he doesn't know any better. Our thought process goes like... "Fun --> Dangerous? --> Fun! --> Must Do It!"

Here we are in the cold cold snow moving into the next smelly animal pen. This day was extremely cold!

Elora didn't want to feed the animals, but she was excited to look at them.

Oliver was happy to run from pen to pen and see what was next. Here are the evil goats. They were very large, and it seemed like they were going to jump out of the pen at us. We didn't let Oliver feed these.

Turkeys!

The fresh snow was very beautiful.

Here is Elora's cute smile. She got excited because she saw some baby pigs next to the mama pig. She said they were boars because they were hairy.

Cute and tasty!

29 December 2010

Vienna Christmas Market Rathaus, Hofburg, Parliment

Grampy and Nana successfully arrived at the airport on Christmas Eve morning! We picked them up and headed straight over to the Rathaus so they could see a Christmas market. This one is the biggest in Vienna.

Grampy with his first Langos saying, "What is this?"

We love all the decorated gingerbread hearts.

The kids got some cotton candy to share, and you can tell from the way they swarmed Grampy that they were very excited!

We couldn't get the kids to stop eating long enough to smile! It was another pretty warm day for Vienna winter though, so it was nice to get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the city!

Grampy saying, "Wow, did you get a picture with that in the background? Make sure you get that in a picture." "Yes Grampy, the last picture had that already... but we will take some more anyway."

It is very difficult to hold hands with the children, as they are always dancing/running/flopping around...

More pics of the family at the pretty market. It was actually harder to get Grampy and Nana to look at the camera than the kids, since they were always talking or telling the kids where to look...

We headed over to the carousel and the kids picked this cool spinning hot air balloon to ride in instead of a horse. They were so happy! They love to spin.

Next they rode the little train. They were very happy about this one too, and had fun waving at us a smiling as they rode around. They never were both looking and smiling at the same time though... I can't wait until Marion is bigger and then we will always be attempting to get three kids to look and smile at the same time.

Since the weather was pretty nice, we decided to walk over to the Parliament building. It is such a beautiful building and we have never really taken any pics of it.

Chris liked the griffin statues best.

And the kidlets like this pointless low wall that they could walk on.

There are a lot of sculptures lining the walkways around the building.

And some really HUGE pillars in front!

Baby Marion woke up for a couple minutes to take some pics. She didn't really want to be awake though, and we had to keep poking her so her eyes would be open in the pictures. Whenever she is bundled up warm and taken outside she goes right to sleep.

Marion's squinchy "I don't want to wake up" face.

The kidlets liked playing "1...2...3...jump!" They come hold hands and say, "Let's play 1,2,3!"

Last stop - the Hofburg. Another beautiful building in Vienna. I am starting to realize our time here is almost over and I get sappy whenever I see my favorite places in the city and think I won't be seeing them much longer. We got a picture of the whole crew out in front of the beautiful palace, and most everyone was smiling...

28 December 2010

Vienna Christmas Market - Maria Theresien Platz

Nana and Grampy were supposed to come visit us the week before Christmas, so we had plans to visit a whole bunch of Christmas markets. Sadly, their flight was canceled and they could not get on another one until later in the week, so they did not get here until Christmas Eve day, after most markets were closed. On the last day of the markets we decided to go to the Maria Theresienplatz market, which has been one of our favorites in the past couple years. The weather was actually pretty warm (for Vienna in the winter...) so it was a great day for markets!

Little Ollie posing for us just as we arrived.

Oliver found a lucky horseshoe at one of the stands, and excitedly held it up, saying"U-Bahn!" For those who are not aware, Oliver always says "U-Bahn" when he sees the letter U because the U-Bahn trains in Vienna have signs with a big letter U on them.

Some nice hand made soaps. The kids liked this one, they were smelling all the different soaps.

Elora holding up some yummy smelling soap.

Here is Elora's excited face - Chris had just told her we would buy her a treat!

This treat is an ice cream cone filled with sweet sticky marshmallow fluff-like stuff, and covered in chocolate. The kids got to share one, and they were surprisingly good about taking turns with their sugar goo.

Oliver is licking his lips in anticipation as he reaches out for the cone.

Yummy! This took the kids awhile to eat, and kept them nicely occupied while we checked out all the stands. I guess we should always stuff them with sweets while shopping.

A nice view of the market. This one is situated between the art museum and the natural history museum, two of the most beautiful buildings in Vienna, so it is a wonderful location for a market.

Our last Christmas market Kasekrainer! It is a bratwurst filled with cheese. Sort of like those hot dogs we all ate as a kid with the cheese in them, only So Much Better.

We bought some Elf Punsch, which was supposed to be fruit punch and vanilla. It was pretty tasty, but we accidentally got the kind with alcohol... so the kids licked some whipped cream off the top... we took a few sips...

Chris said, Does this have alcohol in it? And we didn't drink the rest. We should give up on our attempts to purchase alcohol free punsch, it never works out right... The whipped cream was tasty though. And the mug was also nice.

Marion slept through the whole event, which was nice!

We bought this neat pastry that is fried dough filled with either sauerkraut or jam and sugar. We opted for the jam and sugar. It was preiselbeeren jam which is sort of like cranberry jam, and it was super tasty.

Yummy!

Elora liked these little hedgehogs that are made from wood. They are pretty cute, and there is always a stand selling these at the markets. I am not sure what the significance of hedgehogs is, but I did see one crossing a rural road in the middle of the night once... And I know that they eat snails... and in German it is called an Igel.

Oliver liked dancing with Daddy to warm up his hands. He is extremely odd, and refuses to put on his gloves if his hands are warm. So when we get ready to go outside he doesn't want gloves, because his hands are not cold. Once his hands are freezing he wants the gloves, but by then we always want to warm his hands up a little before putting them inside his cold gloves! Sigh. One day he will figure out that the gloves are what keep his hands from ever getting cold.

Kidlets playing in the rest of the snow that is quickly melting in the warmer weather.

They actually stopped and posed for a picture all by themselves! They were having a great time holding hands and running around.

Finally we told them they needed to stay close to us as we left the market, but as you can see Oliver tried to keep running and he wanted to drag his sister along with him!