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.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Agape web site

One of the main things Will has been doing for Agape is getting their English site going again and keeping it updated now.

I've mentioned this before, just a little, I think, but I didn't really give details. The story of the English site is that quite a while ago someone started it and worked on it for some time. Then, it was hacked, and so it disappeared for several years. When we arrived, they got it back online and passed it on to Will, as it was. So, he's spent some time learning how to run it. We've updated it, and Will translates and posts articles from the Russian site.

So, that's that. Last time I said it was under construction; that designation can probably go now. Although, it's always a work in progress and learning experience!

Please take a look and let us know what you think.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Thank God for the duck!"

Last week Will and Bogdan went out to run some errands, and they saw a duck waddling down our street! When the rest of us ran out, it was still there. We tried to feed it some bread, but ended up just scaring it up onto a nearby roof. So, our little duck catchers decided to wait for it to come down. They patiently waited for quite a while, and they out-waited it. Then they took off after it. That part was hilarious: running after the duck with a box, jumping forward and trying to land with the box over it. Each time they came down just short of their target.

Bogdan and I went back inside. (It was cold out!) However, after quite a while, I started to wonder where the older ones were. So, he and I went back out to find them. Because he moves rather slowly, I got to watch the ongoing hunt from a distance for a while. They were actually a few blocks away from home. Babushki were out laughing and cheering them on. And then they disappeared around a corner. We caught up and found them triumphant! But unsure of the next step. They had the duck under their box and were carefully holding it down, but they didn't know what to do beyond that. I tipped it up, scooped the duck in, and closed the box.

The whole procession marched back YELLING that they had caught the duck. Our funny neighbor babushka was just coming out on her bicycle, and she advised us to kill it and make soup as fast as we could, before someone claimed it. Other neighbors had suggested that it lived on the next street, though, so Jaan and Raia took a note to that house, since no one was home there. It turned out that this duck doesn't belong to them. So, we up posters all around, but no one has called.

The title here comes from something my dear online friend said, when we were discussing the stresses of the past weeks: "Thank God for the duck!" Really, when the national news was at its very worst, the duck has been a great distraction for us. Not to bury our heads in the sand* and ignore it, but just to think about something else at times.

*Oh! I almost forgot. I was considering buying a few friends for this duck, and when I started searching online, I found this:
In Kherson!!!
Can you imagine...?!?!