Monday, April 21, 2014

Following Jesus

I mentioned the children's Passion Week event we went to. It was called "In Jesus' Steps," and they took the children through reenactments of the last week of Christ's life on earth. It started off with a short puppet show, and then they divided out into groups and started walking. I went with the (cute!) preschool group, so that's what most of the photos are from:

During the puppet show
Waiting for...
The Triumphal Entry!
Last Supper
In the garden of Gethsemane
Golgotha
The empty tomb!
Craft time
Stringing beads
Each child was given a special treat.
So you can see our other children... and their friend
We all really enjoyed it. It made the events of the week really come alive for our children, and they're still talking about what they saw and did.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

After the busyness

I think the busyness is slowing down now. Will is coming home today. We had thought that he wouldn't make it back until late tomorrow, but he was able to change his ticket, and so we'll have Easter together.

I thought I'd share some of our week in list format, and then (hopefully) I can post photos and videos later:
  • Last Saturday: morning - children's Passion Week event at church, Will left for Uzhgorod; afternoon - our girls had choir practice; evening - fellowship time with another family (and we stayed out too late!).
  • Sunday: morning - church; afternoon - "Inter-confessional Procession" through the center of the city. Apparently this is a yearly event, in honor of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. This year it was really a big deal and took on an extra meaning of unity and peace for the whole country of Ukraine, too. Here is a news article about it and a shorter video by someone we know; in this very long video, you can see us walk by around the 7 minute mark and then jump to 33 minutes. Since I didn't have our camera with me, I took one photo from someone's Facebook page:

  • Monday: Before Will left there was a flurry of reports for sponsors that urgently needed to be translated. He got through most of them, but had to leave some for me. So, we skipped school while I worked hard on that. Jaan had a rehearsal for his upcoming concert that afternoon.
  • Tuesday: Jaan had a dress rehearsal for the concert, which meant finding a new-to-us location, buying a new shirt and more, but he did well with all of it. That night Bogdan hardly slept at all. Ugh. I need my sleep.
  • Wednesday: the concert! Jaan did wonderfully. (Video later.) Bogdan did not. It was a very long concert, and he behaved fine, but he felt awful. His staying up all night the night before must have been a sign that he was getting sick, because by the time the concert started he was feverish and miserable.
  • Thursday: recovery from the concert. And in the evening we made unleavened bread and talked about the Last Supper.
  • Friday: Jaan was sick now, too, but we had a nice day. In the evening we read the second to last part of Lenten Lights, and went to bed in the dark. Our light switches are still "sealed," just like Jesus' tomb. Bogdan is actually talking about Jesus this year; I love it.
  • Saturday: choir practice for the girls, rest for the boys, and Papa is coming home!
Like I said, I'll add pictures and video from some of these events in separate posts later. Then I'll fill in links to those here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

After the rain


We're really busy here, but doing very well. I'll write once we get through the busyness.

Will is in Uzhgorod for another session of the Agape school.

Friday, April 04, 2014

General little update

I haven't had time or desire to write lately. But, we're doing well, and spring is here. We have tons of photos of ducklings and flowers, so I can choose a few of the best of those to share. And what else...?

We had a nice, plain, quiet spring break last week. I actually wasn't planning on it, but everyone was so convinced that it was spring break (because the schools were out) that I just couldn't go against them. And, as Raia said, I needed it, too.

I guess that I didn't write about our ducklings here? Almost two weeks ago I bought three little friends for the duck that we found earlier. We're really enjoying them! If I had known that ducks are so fun, I would have gotten some earlier. Although, that probably wouldn't have been a good idea in apartments.

We had a little duck adventure yesterday. Bogdan and Asya were outside yelling like crazy. I told Will that it sounded like the end of the world, but I didn't go to check, because I've been trying to teach them to come to me, instead of yelling. He went and started calling me, too. The big duck was out of her pen, and happily waddling around in the yard. An anonymous person had left left all the gates open, letting the duck out and the dog in, both at the same time. I just talked to the duck like I do when I feed her, and she turned around and followed me right back into her home. Yes, I am the Duck Whisperer. And we need to clip her wings.

Bogdan has been quite sick, but he's getting better now. I know a lot of you have been praying. Thank you. We actually took him to a doctor at the neighborhood clinic. That's the first time we've ever taken one of our children to the doctor for sickness. (Of course, we did way back when Raia broke her arm, and I suffered through all kinds of "well baby" stuff, but doctors for sickness? Not until now.) We were very impressed, too. We walked in, told them that we're not registered here, but that our little guy is sick, and they instantly took us to the head doctor. No waiting, no questions, no payments. The doctor was very kind and very thorough and willing to keep us out of the hospital. (Rare!) And now Bogdan is feeling better. Most of the rest of us have mild colds still, too.




Any other Terry Pratchett fans reading this?
Please excuse her spelling
And that reminds me: One of the political-military analysts that I read has lowered his prediction of the likelihood of further invasion from 80% to 50%. I don't know if he's right, but that sounds good to me. Everything seems calm right now.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bogdan's birthday

Cookies at breakfast!

On Wednesday our sweet little boy turned three. He insists that he's not big. According to him, Jaan is big, Bogdan is little. But we had a really big celebration for our little guy!

We didn't tell any of our children where we were going. However, for several days I had been whispering in Bogdan's ear that we would see monkeys and wolves and bears and....

We got up in the morning and ate breakfast. Bogdan (Mr. Sweet Tooth) got a whole tin of cookies to share around. And then we left for the bus station, took the bus to Nikolaev, and walked to the ZOO!





Getting tired
Recharging those batteries
After a lunch break, we went right back to business. No nap for the birthday boy! His absolute favorite part of the zoo was the building with the fish tanks and reptiles and amphibians. We spent quite a while there, then the rest of family went on to look at more, while Bogdan and I stayed on. I finally dragged him out, after I don't know how long. We both loved it, but I just got too hot after an hour or so.




We stayed at the zoo so long, that we actually got locked in at the end of the day. The security guards told us that it was time to leave, and by the time we got to the gates, they were closed and no one was in sight. Will went and found someone to let us out, even though we were thinking it might be fun to spend the night.

Bogdan's older siblings were concerned, because he didn't get any birthday cake. Last night we took cupcakes and candles to our friends' home, though, and sang a double happy birthday to Bogdan and their littlest, who turned two today. Then all were satisfied that it had been a real birthday.




Please keep praying for Ukraine, especially for peace in the results of the referendum today.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Two quick links

This blog post really reflects my own thoughts these days:
So, in answer to the many messages and emails that I have recently received:
Yes, I am safe. 
Yes, I have an emergency plan. 
No, I’m not okay. 
I’m not okay because my Ukrainian family is not okay....
I also found her title very apropos: "When Everything Changes Overnight." That part has been particularly disconcerting to me: it seems like so often the bigger events of the past few months have happened at night. I'd go to bed, having read rumors online (or with no warning at all!) and find out the next morning that something had happened. I've been learning to go to bed and sleep well, having left all of it in God's hands, though. Anyway, go read the rest of what she wrote....

And, second link: it's almost time for us to start reading Lenten Lights (English and Russian), and we're actually on the same schedule as the other half of the world this year. So, maybe some of you will be reading along with us? I'll get candles tomorrow, and we'll begin preparing our hearts for Easter.