Thursday, March 15, 2018

Happy birthday, Bogdan!

His big day was a really nice, simple one. We did a little bit of school in the morning, but mostly we just played. Raia spent long, focused time with him, making crafts that he really wanted to work on with her.  Later when the girls went to art, Jaan stayed home from theater and kept the fun times going, working and playing outside with him. The boys' big projects were to cut up the Christmas tree for a fire, then build the fire, and help cook hot dogs for dinner. After dinner each sibling presented Bogdan with things they had made or bought for him, and then he got his big present from us, too.

Minion hot dogs!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Back to normal?

After two full weeks of school quarantine, then a seventh birthday yesterday, maybe we'll get back into regular life now? Of course, the electricity would be off today.

School quarantine was even more disruptive this year than I remember from before. Our kids' music teachers weren't actually sick, and they really wanted to get in all their individual lessons, plus some, plus get home early every day themselves. So, most mornings when I was wanting to do regular school at home, their teachers were calling for them. (Raia even almost accused me of being unpatriotic: all the schools in Ukraine are supposed to close, you know! Why are we trying to do school?!)

Then we had the wonderful addition of having all their friends out of school and actually healthy. This quarantine was at least as much, maybe more, about saving money on gas as it was about sickness. So, their friends were constantly wanting to visit or invite them over. Plus crazy weather: so much was planned then cancelled again and again.

They did finally have one concert on Friday. Jaan and Raia played in that one. (Photo and video below.) Asya's was scheduled earlier, then rescheduled for Saturday, then put off again.... Now we still don't know when it will be. At least Asya got to have a sleepover with her friend Sonya.

Jaan is obvious; Raia is in the middle.

Bogdan's birthday was great fun. I'll write about that when I have electricity and can get to the photos on our computer. Unfortunately, now he has an awful cold. Poor guy. He's very sad about staying home from art class today.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Brother and sister

Two different moments from the past week:
What happens when the big brother is asked to help with tooth brushing, and when the big sister sweetly offers to help get ready to go out in the snow.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Spring snow silliness

Yesterday one of our friends posted a video on Facebook, and soon lots of the men from the churches around here were copying it. Maksim's is the best, so you should go watch that now. Then come back and watch our version....

Update: after all the videos on Facebook, another acquaintance of ours posted this video of how it really should be done. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Remember the contest?

What seems like ages ago, I wrote about a contest. Remember? We found out today that we won!

Our librarians were a little upset that the big contest day was cancelled. Instead of inviting us to an event at the central library, they gathered all the library directors at a meeting and announced the results without us. I didn't mind, though; this was easier. Our own librarians just called us to our neighbourhood library and gave us our certificate and prize. And there was a funny story: someone in charge of libraries or culture or something for the city said that she already knew about our family, because a taxi driver who lives near us had told her about us when he was driving her somewhere. That would be our "Uncle Borya."

Oh, and we had the fun of a snowy walk to the library! Maybe winter has returned? At least the mud is covered now.

Friday, February 09, 2018


...from my sweet helper on the way to the orphanage this morning:
"Why aren't there marshrutki in America?"

(She asked me how old she was when she started school.) Then, in a loud voice from in front of me in the bus a little later, "I am counting up which grade I am in."

"Sometimes at night I dream about things I want. For example..." (I was expecting to hear about a puppy, or a smart phone like her friend got.) "...last night I dreamed I saw Jaan running, and his hair was short. I was so happy!"

Thursday, February 08, 2018

What a week!

Monday: We had the annual cookie decorating day at the orphanage, and it was wonderful! I'll write about it separately soon. I did post these photos right afterwards.

Tuesday: It was supposed to be time for easing back into school after the weekend and Cookie Day, but right at the beginning of our school day Bogdan fell and hurt his hand. In the afternoon he did go to his usual art classes, but then Will took him to a doctor. The doctor said that he needed x-rays, so....

Wednesday: In the morning Will took Bogdan to the hospital while I did school with the others. X-rays were supposed to be by appointment only, and they didn't have any free spots until the weekend. However, they said we could come back after 2:00 and wait to see if we could get in. So, Will and Bogdan came home, and then I went back with Bogdan after lunch, and we waited and waited and waited and waited. We did finally get in, and we found out that his hand isn't broken. Hurrah!

Today: This morning I was supposed to meet up with someone quickly to pass on things for Kakhovka (adult "orphanage"). Bogdan and I went to run that errand, so that he wouldn't distract the others from school. We met up with our friend just fine, but we got thoroughly wet and muddy in a rain/snow/sleet mix. Then we missed our bus back by just one minute, so we decided that we needed coffee and cocoa from MacDonald's. Of course, we ran into friends there and had fun talking to them. We made it home just in time for dry clothes, lunch, and then running back out the door to go back to the first doctor and on to art....

Now I have what seems like my first quiet moments all week.

Here are a few photos:

Our street before the rain; now there's more mud.
Jaan got a new little rat.
(His beloved Arya died recently.)

Funny. No photos of faces from this week? I guess not, other than what we got on Monday, and I'll share what I can from those later....