Monday, August 20, 2007

Rain, photos, questions, etc

I'm afraid that if I had written earlier, you would have heard complaints about the heat. But yesterday morning we finally had rain! Up until then, I wasn't the only one wilting; even the weeds looked a little sad. Do keep praying. Apparently the heat is coming back and staying all the way until the end of September. I'm praising God for the break, though! Oh, and it wasn't just rain. It was RAIN with thunder and lightning, and it went on and on and on. I wish I could tell you how much rain fell in that one morning, but I don't know exactly. . . a lot! And because this came on a Sunday, I was able to go to church for the first time in quite a while. I've been staying away, because it's just been too hot. (We meet in a one-room apartment, and when 20-30 people are crammed in there, it gets stifling.)

Lightning! and thunder!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

They inherited my love of thunder storms.

Will keeps telling me to post lots of photos, so here goes. . . .

Jaan shows off some of the week's harvest
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

My helpers
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Collecting seeds

Bringing water
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

This time with Raia, too.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Who knows?
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Maybe her bottom was hot? Toddlers do the strangest things!

Jaan napping
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

They seem to sleep better at nap time when it's this hot out.

Raia napping
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

With Nastya
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Nastya (Ilyusha's Mom) came to visit. Jaan loved her bike seat! She took him on rides all around our area. Now that she knows how close we are to their apartment, I'll think we'll be seeing more of her.

We spent a lot of time in the pond this week. It has turned very green, but at least every other day they pump in spring water, so the water underneath the gook stays nice and clear and icy cold.

Cold water!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Bathing beauty
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

. . . or bathed beauty drying off?

We also made a trek to the nearby river. Someone said it was only ten minutes away. It took us an hour or so to get there, but it was so worth it! We had a wonderful time swimming. I wish I could have gotten some photos of all of us in the water, but the splashing would have been a bit much for the camera, and I was having too much fun myself.

To the river!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Scenic shot
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

River Nerekhta

Cheesy grin
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

We were laughing because after swimming and missing her nap, she was wobbling down the road like a drunk, with her eyes half closed. However, when Will turned around to get a picture, she perked up and gave him this grin.

Worn out
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

She fell asleep on the way home.

Health food question: Several people have mentioned rye flour and black bread to me. Is plain rye flour any better than white flour? It seems like the rye they use here is every bit as refined as white flour, just maybe not bleached. Is that right? The ingredients in the usual loaf of Russian black bread start with "enriched rye flour, 1st class wheat flour. . . ." (1st class flour is the finest ground, most refined, most useless health-wise. ) So is there anything good left in that rye flour? Sometimes we buy Finnish healthy crackers, and they specify that they're made with a certain percentage of whole rye flour and a certain percentage of refined rye flour. I don't think there's anything like that whole rye flour here. Or am I wrong? Is it good, just because it's rye, even if it's refined?

Related cultural notes: As famous as Russia is for rye bread, it's hard to find rye flour here. The black bread is delicious, but it all comes from factories. Most Russian women are excellent cooks, and many bake incredible desserts. But no one makes bread at home. Also, it's interesting to note that most Russians believe that no one in America cooks at all. They're usually amazed to find out that I can do anything at all in the kitchen. Sure, America may have more of a frozen food and restaurant culture, but most Americans that I know actually can cook.

Also, I was trying to get a video clip for Julie and Candie. Jaan and Raia stopped cooperating as soon as they saw the camera, but if you want to see them being completely silly, take a look. (Julie and Candie, are you reading this? There are a few times where you can still hear what they were saying, if you listen carefully.)


Mom said...

Will's right....we do like the photos (although I miss hearing your "voice" in the longer commentaries). Thank you. That watermelon picture is a summer classic--even to the spent rinds behind the children.

I am so sorry the heat continues...I wonder if it means your snow will come late.

Please know we love you dearly....Mom

Mrs said...

Their childhood is so wonderful. . . it's like back when we didn't care about green things floating on top of the water, we just wanted to get wet! Now, if the PH of the pool is off in the slightest we make an emergency call to the pool man. At least, people with pools do. ;-)

Kelly came home excited from the first art class with your mother. She showed me a picture of a butterfly, partially colored, and frankly it looked like Jaan and Raia could have done a better job! I was relieved to learn she had done it with her teeth a la Joni Erickson Tada. I can't believe she kept a straight face the entire time she was showing me; "What? You don't think it's a good job?" :-D

Shannon said...

Happy Birthday...a little late. I was thinking of you on your day- just no computer available. =) I hope you were able to have a special day, and know that you are loved and celebrated all the time by those of us who love you!

Martha A. said...

If it is ground rye flour, made directly from ground rye berries, yes it would be much better for you. Black bread is usually black I think from molasses, not wheat I would think. I wonder if it depends on the part of Russia. My MIL makes bread all the time, big huge loaves of it. She uses alot of fresh rye flour, that is why I suggested that.
If it is enriched rye flour you are buying, I would check to see if anyone has any rye berries or just plain rye flour that is not enriched.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Love the pictures! We just got in from Wyoming tonight, so a belated Happy Birthday from us!! (And, thanks for your congratulations to us, as well!)

Abby has now been deposited at Frontier School of the Bible! So, keep her and them in your prayers!(: Lots of love! Baba Julie

Lindy said...

Happy belated birthday! I haven't been on the computer for a couple of days. Our weather is not matching yours -- I could see my breath this morning when I walked the puppy! It has risen to about 70 and very nice. Hopefully it will move your direction. Very few places in Vermont are air conditioned so those hot, humid days are really uncomfortable. I agree that the heat is fine if there is AC! Great pictures.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pyllis!
Yes, I'm here and yet, I can't figure out the videos. It's not working for me. :( I'll keep trying and see if Julie can see it on her computer. Your kids are so cute, by the way. Can you post a 'pregnant girl' picture too, like Lara did? :) That'd be kind of fun! :))) Candie

Anonymous said...

Oh! I second the "pregnant girl" picture!

And, I thought I would tell you that our friends we were visiting in WY, told us how much Jaan reminded them of Will as a little boy! They remember him from the days they lived in Charlotte. She said it was just like looking at Will again! Love, Baba Julie

Julie said...

Hey lady,

I am always up for viewing your kid's cuteness. However, the video isn't working for me either. Any suggestions?

Love, Julie