Friday, February 29, 2008

Charlotte photos

I hardly have any photos of our Charlotte grandparents yet. Here are a few pictures of us in North Carolina, though.

Visiting Pop
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

(Pop is Will's grandfather.)

Eating ice cream with Тетя Anna
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Raia had just gotten these overalls as a Christmas present, so she had to pull off her other clothes and try them on.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

I posted a similar photo of Asya in Florida. She likes to swing!

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Yes, it's cool here. Beautiful weather! It's like spring, but no mud. I've been comparing the temperatures here and in Kovrov. (Look over on the side here.) They've been about the same.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


It's snowing here! Yes, just a tiny bit, but I'll take what I can get.

We had a good trip yesterday. Of course, right when I was thinking that it was going really, really smoothly and easily, we had a little adventure. But the adventure was just another way for God to show His love for us. We stopped at a rest stop in South Carolina, and the car keys got locked in the trunk. While we were trying to figure out what to do, a State Trooper drove by. Will chased him down (and got a ride back in his car! The children thought that was great!) He couldn't help us, but he got out a phone book and had Will call a locksmith in the nearest town. While Will was on the phone, and they were telling him that it would be a few hours before they could get out to us, one of their trucks drove up. The locksmith was coming to fix a door at the very same rest stop where we were stuck! He had our trunk open in about five minutes and didn't charge us anything. Coincidence?

Monday, February 25, 2008


Our presentation at church tonight went well. My Grandma was even able to "join" us, thanks to amazing technology. (She's actually on the other side of the country.) Jaan and Raia were going to sing, but at the last minute they decided not to. That reminded me of a video that I thought I had posted. It turns out that it never did come up. So, I just fixed it now. If you go to this post, you can see what they were supposed to do at church.

We'll be heading up to Charlotte on Tuesday.

Good night!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


We have had such a fun week! We've been visiting with friends and family every day. Our visit with Aunt Mary Dru on Wednesday even included trips to the zoo and the beach! I think our children reached their limit yesterday, though. We drove six hours (on the hottest day of the week). They did fine in the car, but they were awful during that visit. Today we had the morning off, so I finally got to bathe those filthy children of ours. (I won't tell you how long we had gone without having a chance to get to that.) Now they're resting. We have more time planned with family and friends after they wake up. Tomorrow evening we're sharing at Circle Community Church. If you're in the Orlando area, please come to that! It will be at 6:00.

Early next week we'll be heading to the "other America." That's how Jaan explained it to a neighbor, before we left Kovrov. "First we're going to one America, then to a different America." I kind of wish that we had planned our time away to be in between Florida and North Carolina, so that we would have a chance to get our children back in order, but we didn't think of that. We'll take the first few days in Charlotte to rest and settle in, and then we want to see everyone!

By the way, we have tons of photos to share. The problem is that there are too many, and I don't have time to sort through them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Flamingoed! (and butterflied)

My parents were hit by the flock of flamingoes last night! The funny thing is that we're sleeping in Mom and Dad's bedroom in the front of the house. We actually heard all the whispering, but didn't think anything of it and didn't get up to look.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Yesterday we had a chance to enjoy real wildlife (not pink plastic wildlife!) at the Lukas Butterfly Encounter.

In the butterfly house
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

"I want that butterfly!"
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Feeding butterflies
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Jaan's first photo
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Grandda set it up, but Jaan pushed the button.

(Asya got me up early this morning, so you can thank her for this post. Jaan and Raia get credit for it, too, because they're still asleep.)


People keep asking about English. Raia is not speaking English at all. It's funny, she speaks Russian to everyone and doesn't seem to notice that they don't understand. Maybe that is because she's younger? Or because she usually has a translator nearby and everyone guesses well? If she holds up her cup and says something in Russian, Baba "understands" and gets her a drink.

It's been fascinating to watch Jaan learn! The first few days he scared me a little, because he started a weird baby talk, and would hardly speak intelligibly at all. Then, all of a sudden, he started speaking English. It's still rough, but he can definitely communicate. Now there's a constant stream of "Dis vhat is?" and "Dat vhat do?" and "Vhere you go?" (or, more often, "Tyotya Leetra vhere go?"). And of course, there's always "Vhy?"

The funniest story, which I've been telling everyone, is from last week. Jaan was playing in the backyard, and Mom was hanging laundry out there. He yelled, "Baba. Come! Dis is vhat?" She went over and saw that his hands were covered in ants! Don't worry, he didn't get bitten.

"Go to the ant"
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Since I started this blog, it had this same basic look:

I have made some small changes along the way, but now I've decided to try something completely new. I tried to just change the colors and the header, but that template was too hard to work with, so I went with this one. I love seasons. I love winter, and since I couldn’t bring it with me, I'll let to make our blog reflect that beauty. I know, the family photo isn't wintery, but we're in Florida right now, and it is Florida winter. Also, my pretty winter weather sticker
doesn't work with the new version of Blogger. Oh, well!

What do you think? I'm very open to suggestions.

I may keep playing with more changes over the next little while. . . .

(I think we have something planned for every day in the next week, so I won't have time for computer play for a little while. We're having too much fun in real life!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Family and friends

With Grandda and Baba
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

With Shannon and Caiden
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Click here for the rest of the photos from that morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nebuloustically Speaking...

For all who are praying with and for us, but who have not seen us yet, a short update is definitely overdue. We feel like we have finally gotten to the point where we can stop asking, "Will this ever be over?" That is, the process of trying to fix our document problems so as to stay in or return to Russia, and then the process of gathering the needed documents so as to leave Russia. It's over, and that's sinking in slowly but inexorably.

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love and support. Without you, who are "the sweet savour of Christ in those who are saved, the savour of life," our encouragement and mainstay, our spiritual brace and support in a world that for us has been turned upside down... this all would have been nearly unbearable. We thank and praise our God and Father for each and every one of you. We love you, and your love is one of the greatest blessings our family has seen throughout this difficult time.

Our plans are still a bit nebulous, but they are still plans. We want to keep moving forward in life and ministry - not start 'coasting' just because we have left Russia. We will be visiting here in Florida for a couple of weeks, then we'll have a couple of weeks with my family in NC. After that, we have a month reserved at a home for traveling missionaries in NC. During all of the time we have here, and especially the month we'll have to ourselves, we want to be defining the what, where, why and how of our next step in ministry. Right now our plan is to find a place in eastern Ukraine to minister in a similar capacity as we did in Russia. That's rather... nebulous, undefined, vague, yes. However, that is what we are praying and thinking about at this point. Please pray for wisdom and direction for us.

We want to make these decisions in a fairly short amount of time so as to be able to make the most of my Russian visa. It is still good, and will allow me to enter and exit Russia until the 10th of May. We left a good bit of our belongings with friends in Kovrov, with the hope that I would be able to return and expedite their transportation to Ukraine. Return to Kovrov, that is, from Ukraine, having already moved there by that time. = o) We have therefore a very definite time frame to work within, and that's actually a good thing. You can see our tentative travel schedule on our home page.

Again, your prayers, notes, love and encouragement have been a true source of spiritual, emotional and psychological strength and solace for us. Thank you. Keep praying!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just a few photos

Our first car
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

It's the first car we've ever owned, and it's such a blessing! (Well, Will owns it on paper. It's really a loan.)

So cute!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

No snow here!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

They're here!

Mom got in this morning, and Will joined us in the afternoon. We've had a wonderful day with Baba, and we're praising the Lord for Will's success with documents and smooth trip. His Dad took a day off from work yesterday to help, and they were able to get Will's driver's license, insurance, title signed over, registration, technical inspection and everything. And look at this. The North Carolina DMV shut down today with computer problems. They were just in time!

Yesterday we got to spend some time with Allie and her little boys. Here are a few photos from that:

Driving with Iain
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

I don't have a good photo of cute little Cory, but you can go to the link I gave and see him.

Monday, February 11, 2008

For those who are far away

My Mom is in California, and I know she can't wait to see her grandchildren, so I'll just post everything from yesterday. (My grandfather died last week, so Mom is with her family there. She'll be back tomorrow. Please pray for all of us who will be missing Grandpa!) There are so many others who are far away, so I know others will enjoy these photos, too.

Please pray for Will as he's taking his driving test and working on everything with the car today. His Dad is kindly taking a day off from work to help him, so pray that they'll be able to make good progress.

And for those of you who are close, please come see us! We can't fit in Dad's car, so we're not going anywhere, but we would welcome visitors. Thank you for all the meals and other treats!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We're here

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

(That's my sister holding Asya's pacifier in.)

Thanks for all the prayers! The trip was L-O-N-G, but smooth. I'll write more later. . . .

Monday, February 04, 2008


We’ll be flying out on the 9th. Please pray for us as we travel! We’ll all be together until New York, and an extra bonus is that our friend Julie will be with us. After that we’ll split up. Will has to go to North Carolina first, then he’ll join us in Florida. For that last flight I’ll be by myself with the children, so really pray (for our fellow-travelers! ). By the time we get on that flight we will already have been going for more than 24 hours.

I’ll give more details about our plans when we get there. . . .

Jaan keeps telling people that his Papa is going to be a driver in America. I wonder if he’ll be surprised to learn that most people in America can drive? He was appalled when I told him that there aren’t many buses there and no trolleybuses at all (at least not in the cities we’ll be visiting).