Sunday, April 30, 2006

Vampire teeth

We have a bunch of cute photos from the past week. I just haven't has time to share them. Here's one:

Cute, eh?
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Can you see them? This was taken a few days ago, so they're actually more prominent now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cranes, cars, and teeth

(Which one of the three doesn't belong?)

Cranes: Jaan's obsession with cranes continues. While most little boys turn everything into guns, for Jaan there's nothing that can't be a crane. Last night on our way to the orphanage we passed a place where there's a new see-saw. We were early, so we stopped. Jaan had no idea what the see-saw was. Will told him to sit on it, and then pushed down on the other end. Jaan's eyes got really big, and he said, "Ooo, the crane is lifting Jaanchik!"

Cars: Jaan's favorite indoor pastime is driving his "car" around. Here it is:

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Teeth: Raia won't be a vampire baby for long, because one of her middle teeth just broke through.

Oh! And. . .
Pumpkins: Jaan now has two little pea-sized pumpkins starting on his plants.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Easter photos

Whew! I tried off and on all day to get this posted. Then it went through twelve times just now. I think I've gotten got it all straightened out. . . .

Christ is risen indeed! We had a wonderful day yesterday. This was the first cloudy Easter that I've seen in Russia. It even snowed a little. Our celebration inside was just as bright as if the sun had been shining, though. There were several visitors, along with everyone who is usually at church. Afterwards we all had tea and more fellowship time together.

Our cuties
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

The Three Musketeers
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

This photo is becoming a tradition. Unfortunately, Mark was home with chicken pox, but Andrusha was there to stand in for him. I realize it looks a little like a triple mug shot, but do you know how hard it is to get three two-year-olds to stand together and still? Much less smile all at one time! If you want to see how the boys have grown, go back to last year’s photo and then be sure to click on the year before, too.

(Hmm, maybe an Easter haircut is a tradition, too? I didn't even think about it until I looked at the old pictures, but Will gave Jaan a haircut before church yesterday, just like last year.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Христос воскрес!

He is risen indeed! We have a full and joyful day of celebrating Christ's resurrection ahead of us now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spring cleaning

Cleaning up to get ready for Easter is very important here. Jaan and I have been slowly working through spring cleaning indoors. As we washed windows this morning, I noticed that many of our neighbors were working right along with us on their own windows.

The window washer
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Today is a "субботник" (work day) for our building. Most people will be cleaning up outside later on, but we have a church service to go to, so we did our part already. Well, I say we did our part, but really Will was the only one working. The other three-quarters of our family just enjoyed being outside on this beautiful spring day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Two bits of news

Last night we all went to the Bible lesson at the orphanage, and we had a wonderful time with the children there. Jaan did the craft right along with them. Now he keeps asking to go back to "school."

Raia's next tooth came through today. It's the opposite outer tooth on the top, so she now has fangs.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ten months old

A few days ago Raia turned ten months old. Does that sound as old to you as it does to me? To celebrate she cut her third tooth and got her own bedroom.

Once again, she's following Aunt Leetra's example. Instead of getting teeth that match up, she has the two middle ones on the bottom, and the one that's coming in on the top is a side tooth. She'll be all crooked and still unable to chew properly. That won't slow down her eating, though!

And about her own room, here it is:

Her new room
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

She's always been very independent about sleeping and insisted on being in a room by herself to fall asleep. We just moved Jaan out to the living room with her, so we have to cover her up like this so that she still thinks she's alone in her own little mini-bedroom.

This doesn't have to do with our ten-month-old, but I'm still excited about it: the snow is almost all melted in our flower beds outside! Will has cleaned up the big trash, and Jaan and I did a little work, too. We found some of the perennials from last year, just starting up under the last bit of snow. We cleared around them, and as soon as the ground is a little less soupy, we'll rake up the last of the trash, and start planting! Hurrah!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Where are we?

We're still here, and all is well. Will has just been needing the
computer almost all day every day for Gospelink, youth club, and
sermon preparations.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring in the forest

Walking in the woods
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Birch juice!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Poor, cold inchworm
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

As you can see from the photos, we had a wonderful walk yesterday! I was starting to think that it was too early for the sap to be flowing, but we finally did find one tree that was just starting to drip. We set up a bottle to catch some juice, but it was very slow, so we left it. When Jaan and I went back today, someone had taken our bottle. Oh, well! This is just the very beginning of spring, so we'll try again.

While we were out, we saw the first few butterflies of spring, the first flowers, and one little inchworm. The best find of all was a fat, hairy caterpillar. It was floating on a piece of ice in a puddle. We brought it home, but we're a little puzzled about what to feed it. There's not much green yet. I guess it overwintered?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The beloved tricycle

If Jaan's little legs aren't slightly sore today, I would be very surprised. He's been practicing riding his tricycle back and forth on the balcony for over a week now. Yesterday he and I took it out for his first real ride. He rode until he was crying because his legs hurt, but he wouldn't stop until we told him that the tricycle was tired and needed to rest. He had so much fun! And he rides like a pro now.

Today we're headed out to the woods to see if the birch sap is flowing yet. . . .

Snack time during a practice session
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Dyslexic speech?

Jaan has kept everyone laughing lately with his talent for mixing up syllables in words. He's finally getting to where he can saw луна (moon) instead of на-лу. He has quite a list of other words that he says all mixed up, though:
Лопата (shovel) is по-та-та.
Велосипед (bicycle) is со-по-лед.
Работа (work) is ба-то-та.
Капуста (cabbage) is па-ту-та.

This next one isn't backwards, but it is cute. We've really been working on having him play gently with Raia. Will always tells Jaan to "be sweet." Last night I bumped Jaan's arm really hard while I was scooting him up to the table. Before I could even apologize, he firmly said, "Mama, no-no! Be fweet."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sunshine and Spring!

The whole time we were sick, the weather was grey and drippy. Yesterday the sun came out. We are feeling better, so we headed outside: Jaan and I in rubber boots, Raia in the stroller. Spring is coming, so the slush is knee deep in places. But the weather was beautiful, and we had so much fun! Jaan couldn't quite believe that he really was allowed to walk through the puddles in his little red boots. At almost every step he would ask me, "Можно?" ("May I?"). I would answer, "Да, можно." ("Yes, you may.") And he would say, "О, спасибо Мама!" (Oh, thank you, Mama!") with as much enthusiasm as if I had just given him the whole world. Then again, "Можно?"

Another Jaan funny: I noticed that when he gets farther away from me in the bigger puddles, he gets a little nervous. And he starts repeating to himself that something won't bite. He couldn't explain what he was afraid of. Sharks in the puddles? Or has he gotten words mixed up again? He's pretty good at that.

The sun is shining again today. Jaan and I spent a good part of the morning planting seeds. Today we moved our workplace from the bathroom, to the balcony, so we enjoyed the sunshine while we planted. We probably won't get too much more outside time, because after nap time--when we would usually go out--the youth groups from Kinishma and Viazniki are coming to visit. Fun!

We're still not quite back online. As I write this, it's Wednesday afternoon. The internet hasn't been working since yesterday morning. It goes off for whole days, and then just comes back for a few minutes. We continue to write, so don't be confused if this goes out later, or if you get a bunch of emails from us all at once on another day; everything is just sitting in our Outbox for now. And please don't worry if we're silent.

Masha just sent us a bunch of photos from when she and a group visited the orphanage here in January. If you want to see them,
click on one of the recent photos here, and then go back from there. (Маша, спасибо! Теперь Ян каждый день с большим удовольствием смотрит на "Тётю Машу" и говорит о тебе. Он очень любит фото где ты с ним. Конечно, мне тоже понравилось. )

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More on flowers

We're back online! I think.

First of all, there definitely aren't any flowers outside yet. So far, I haven't seen any green at all, much less pink. All is still white, grey and brown. But soon. . . !

The flowers Jaan was holding yesterday are a special treat Will bought when we were in Moscow. They're something from the southern mountains. Before we had children, I actually researched and figured out what they are. Of course, I can't remember any of that now. Babushki sell them in the Metro in the springtime. Actually, they sell dried twigs. When you put them in water, they start to come to life, and then they bloom! I love these flowers; they remind me of Aaron's rod that bloomed.

Yesterday Jaan was helping me take pictures of them, and then I had to step back and get the picture that I shared with you.

Now, more flowers:

Pumpkin flowers and breakfast
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Remember Jaan's pumpkin seeds? Look at them now!

Also at breakfast
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Jaan looked over at Raia stuffing her pancake into her mouth, and his comment was, "Now that's a piglet!"

Monday, April 03, 2006


Can you see Jaan?
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

We're having internet trouble, but at least I got this photo up. I'll try to come back and write later, but no promises.