Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Day

Easter is my favorite holiday! Here's some of what it looked like for us this year:

The empty tomb

"He is Risen!"

Easter breakfast

Happy baby
I kept trying to get him to repeat his first grin, but this was as close as I could catch on film.

Poems and songs at church

Family photo after church

We went home for naps, then came back for a picnic:

Bogdan and Katya

Roasting hot dogs

Raia and Alisa

Around the table

I told her to show me what she had (kulich/paska). She thought I meant candy.

Jaan and Slavik

Raia and Asya break Sasha and Alisa's backs

Christ is Risen!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jaan's music

On Friday Jaan had his piano recital. It was incredible! I may be biased, but I was just amazed by how well he played and how grown up he seemed. He started off playing and then got stuck after just a few notes. While I prayed wildly in the back of the room, and his teacher whispered from off the stage, he just sat there, frozen. I was afraid that he'd panic or start crying. Then he came to life, heard her saying to start over, and did so. After that, he made it through all three of his pieces without another hitch. He finished, gave his little bow, and calmly went back to his seat.

Getting started
This picture really shows how his teacher works with him. She's so gentle and kind and encouraging! He was the littlest one, so she switched out the chairs before he played, and gave him one with a pillow to sit on.


With Lyudmila Nikolaevna

Outside the music school

Ice cream afterwards

The girls got some, too, of course

I was so sad that we didn't have any way to record the piano recital! However, we did borrow a video camera for his choir concert two weeks ago. There's a little bit from that below. Jaan and the girl standing next to him were just hilarious. She takes vocals, where they teach them to be very dramatic in their singing, and she's just an animated little person anyway. Jaan stood like a statue. The contrast between the two of them was so funny. (Anyone who was here for camp and has a very good memory, might see Andrei, Yasha, Matvei and maybe even a few other familiar faces up there.)

Did anyone notice that in the photo I posted earlier it looks like the big hair bows are on the teacher's head?

Easter photos coming soon....

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I greeted Bogdan with that when he woke up, and he answered with the biggest smile I've seen from him so far. I wish you all as much joy in celebrating the Resurrection as I saw in that moment!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday

Last night we blew out the last candle, placed a figure of Jesus in a tomb, and got ready for bed in the dark. Now we wait....

(Our Easter garden looks a little sparse this year. Maybe it will grow more beautiful throughout the Easter season.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Look at this!

You know what that is? My registration! Thank you, Lord! And thank you to everyone who has been praying for this. I'm legal again for the next year.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Preparing for Easter

This year we're doing the one-week version of Lenten Lights, so we started tonight. We lit the candles, read, sang and even painted palm branches for tomorrow. I've missed having a longer season of reflection this year, but we were busy with something (someone!) else at the beginning of Lent. Hopefully we'll really be able to savor this week and then the whole Easter season after it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A new, new law and other progress

A friend called last night and said that there's another new law about birth certificates! I've mentioned the one new law that said babies born at home can only get birth certificates through a court process. The new, new law goes back to the old one, and actually even makes it more simple than it was. Maybe this will help us? The old new law went into effect in January, and the newer law just became effective March 28, so Bogdan was born under the older one; I don't know if that will make a difference. Also, birth certificates are supposed to be taken care of within the first month, and his one month birthday was yesterday. So, we'll see. Please keep praying. He will get a birth certificate one way or another!

We were also waiting on a court decision about my visa registration. Our registration ran out in March, and my passport also needed to be renewed. The lady who is in charge of registration regionally worked everything out with Will, and she was going to extend my registration with a letter from the American embassy that said my new passport was on its way. However, when Will brought that letter back from Kiev, the nice lady took everything to her own boss, for him to approve it. He refused. So, that went to regional court, too. We were waiting for them to set a fine and let us know, so that I could pay it and then reregister. Will called today to check on that: they said it had been decided back on March 16 (no fine) and the decision sent back to Dneprorudnoe. After hearing that, Will called the local registration office, and they said they'd look for it. Hmm....

That was probably too much detail for everyone except Mom. And too confusing anyway! The long and short of it is to keep praying for both Bogdan's birth certificate and my visa registration.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One month old

And he's big! Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure, but I think the nurse who weighed Bogdan today said that he weighs 4.5 kilograms. (I'm not used to them keeping the records there; I thought I'd be able to read everything when we got home, but they don't do that with babies. I should have listened better.) That would mean that he's gained more than a whole kilogram since he was born! I would believe it, because he's really filled out a lot. Asya was born weighing about 4 kilograms, and I had noticed that his round cheeks have caught up with what she had.

Last night's bath
Look at his round tummy. You can't see them, but he already has rolls on his thighs, too, instead of the little chicken legs that he was born with.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Friday, April 08, 2011

Music school concert

Lilya and Alina went with us.
And the sun came out for a few minutes!

Jaan is fourth from the right in the front row.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


After using the same cloth diapers for three babies, there was hardly anything left of them. I knew we'd have to get something new for Bogdan. He is now the richest of all four children! A wonderful company called Cotton Babies actually has a program to give diapers to missionaries. I applied, and they approved us. Before we used simple, prefolds and the cheapest covers that I could find. Cotton Babies gave us a set of really nice BumGenius diapers. They're great! This is a huge step up from what we've had before and a very generous gift. If you use cloth diapers or are looking to buy other baby care supplies, please consider supporting Cotton Babies (and, no, they did not ask me to write this. )

The picture is from two weeks ago, when we first got our diapers. Baba Julie forwarded them on to us from Cotton Babies, and we're very thankful to her, too!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Look what we got

A pacifier!

I have really mixed feelings about pacifiers. When Jaan was a baby, I was totally against them. Fortunately, he helped me. When people tried to give them to him, he screamed. Raia didn't like them either. Later she started sucking her finger, though. Here there's only one thing worse than not giving your baby a pacifier, and that is letting her suck her finger. So, after about two years of hearing what a terrible mother I am, Asya got a pacifier. Anything to avoid the dreaded finger! (Or, actually, to avoid the scoldings that go with finger sucking.) And it worked beautifully. She had her pacifier until a little after her first birthday. We got rid of it with hardly any fussing... and then two weeks later she started sucking her finger. (And don't tell anyone, but she still does at age 3.) Oops. I lost all my good mama points right there.

Bogdan is only three weeks old, but I'm already getting tired of being greeted with "Congrats on your new baby! Where's his pacifier?" I bought him one today, and we'll see what he thinks of it. I still don't like having a foreign object sticking out of my baby's mouth, and I don't like chasing down pacifiers. If it makes him happier, I don't mind, though. Maybe it will make the general public happier, too. Although, of course, I'm much more concerned about what my baby needs than what "they" think.

I did ask on Facebook what people think of pacifiers, and it was fun to hear all the different experiences and opinions. In this part of the world there's only one opinion: You Must Give Your Baby a Pacifier or You Are a Very Bad Mother. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011


New life


New life

Last year I never did figure out exactly what these flowers are. They're some of the first blooms of spring here.

(And the top photo also shows off the blanket I just finished.)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Getting ready for church

Not startled, just amazed by the big helpers all around him:

Saturday, April 02, 2011

3 weeks old

Nothing makes me want to stop time like having a newborn around! So, I'm savoring every moment. (Well, maybe every moment except for those that come around 3:00 am.) Bogdan is really a pretty easy, sweet, calm baby. We are still amazed by how much he loves to stare at faces. His usual expression is WIDE-eyes and a very serious look straight at the closest face. He's also just starting to smile and maybe coo once in a while.

I don't know when I'll get back to posting weekly, but this week I'm going to try to get a new photo up every day....