Saturday, August 30, 2008

No time

I want to write about Odessa and other subjects, but I don't have time right now. I'll just give you my favorite recent photo: all three children together!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Home from Odessa

Asya and I made it back this morning. We had a wonderful time with Julie! Her pictures are much better than mine, so I'll just give you this one of Asya on the train for now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beautiful spider and cute words

We saw one of these beautiful spiders down at the beach yesterday. It was huge! You can't tell how big they are from the photo. When we found it, Jaan and Raia were fascinated. I told Jaan to "photograph" it with his mind, so that he would remember what it looks like. That took two tries, going back to look at it and be sure, but then he had it.

Fast forward to now: we went looking for "our spider" on the internet, to find out what he was. I came up with this picture right away. (Isn't it nice when a Google search goes perfectly? I still can't figure out my purple flower mystery.) Both Jaan and Raia responded, "That's not ours! He was on a wall!" I thought I clearly explained that I didn't mean our same, exact spider, just the same kind, but I guess it didn't sink in. Next comment from Jaan: "Oh, so he moved. Hey! How did you do that? The picture came from my mind! How did you get it through me and onto the computer?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Asya the Cute

"I think I can"

Asya's favorite "nyam" is tomatoes. Just before I took this picture, she was actually hanging there, trying to climb to the tomato salad I was making.


I finally got a photo that shows the hilarious, mismatched grin. She's getting her teeth just like Raia and Aunt Leetra did.

Listing again

Just a few gifts from the past month:

759. The funny, mismatched grin that we have now
760. The birthday package that arrived right on time
761. Melons given to us by the bagfulls
762. Melon smoothies
763. A blender to make those smoothies
764. A whole week of daily fun and fellowship
765. A bright red dragonfly, that landed right in front of Asya and sat long enough for her to fall in love
764. Foretastes of fall: a cooler morning!
765. ...and a pot of pumpkin curry soup (made entirely from garden gifts: pumpkin, apples, carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes)
766. Clouds of butterflies on the ornamental garlic in the park
767. The yellow birds, singing their beautiful song outside our windows in the morning; I can hear them, but don’t see anything
768. “I love Jaan, because he lets me hold his hand.” (Raia)
769. Incredible fireball sunsets!
770. Misty evening beauty in a village
771. Sweet fellowship
772. A wonderful, long, full visit with friends
773. Jaan and Raia walking together, holding hands
774. Mint chocolate candy
775. “Mama, let’s stop and listen to the birds.” (Jaan)
776. A craft time with Raia that turned into hours of concentrated fun together
777. Working with my hands, while listening to a recording of my favorite teacher from Bible school
778. The toothless grin that will soon be different

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick question

I just added a question. -->

It doesn't seem to work in Firefox, though. I'll try to fix it later. . . everyone just woke up from naps!

(Thanks for your help! The poll is closed, but I'm moving this up to see if there are any more suggestions.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. Will and I didn't even really remember that until Sunday, but he still did a great job of making my day very special. . . even on short notice.

The special breakfast Will made for me
(The white sticks are asparagus!)

We all went to the beach together.
This is my birthday cake.

Fun with Papa
Believe it or not, this is the first time he's gone swimming all summer! I take the children all the time, but usually without Will. He swam so much that he wore himself out. I was laughing at him all the rest of the evening, because he was so tired.

And we got ice cream!
I think I told them a month ago that we would have ice cream on my birthday. They certainly hadn't forgotten that.

When we got home, some of the youth from church were waiting for us, with a cake, flowers, and a present. Will had planned to put our children to bed and fix a nice dinner for us. Instead, we had a great time of fellowship with friends. So, it turned out that my birthday dinner was ice cream, with cake for dessert. But now we get to have a special dinner tonight.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm melting

I agree with the suggestion to bring the weather sticker back. Just look at that. -->

99/37 degrees! No wonder we're hot. Even the weeds are wilting.

The purple mystery flower

I've been wanting to know the name of this flower for a while now. Internet searches along the lines of "purple wildflower Europe" didn't get me anywhere. I can't even put them into a wide family group. Also, I just can't get a good enough photo with our camera. These flowers are a beautiful purple that lasts really well when we press them. They're something like airy, graceful violets with a tail or hat or trumpet added to them. We see them all around, and they've been blooming for quite a while already. The main place that I notice them is along paths; shade or sun doesn't seem to matter too much.

Yesterday I finally sat down to draw them. This is a full-sized sheet of paper, and I only had crayons to work with. The shape is very complex and hard to capture. The final result is rough, but hopefully someone will be able to recognize these beautiful flowers and solve our mystery. Maybe clicking on the photo of Raia holding them and looking at the larger version will help, too.

(By the way, that's an interesting art/nature assignment: sketch a little wildflower to fill up a whole sheet of paper. Use whatever you have around to do it, and you only get a few minutes out of your busy day to work. Anyone else want to show me what they come up with?)

Update, August 29: It's a Forking Larkspur, Consolida regalis! Now can you see the shape I was trying to describe and draw? There's a little more at the Russian Wikipedia article. The botanical drawing there is great.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back to normal life

I'm having trouble with photos. Either I'm getting confused with the numbers, or the computer is doing something weird and switching them around on me. I think I have all the ones I meant to share now, plus some that just showed up. I'll leave the extras, because they're cute, too. Here are a few more camp photos:

Music lesson inside

. . . and another one outside

Will and some of his group

The youngest group
(Jaan in the middle, Raia over at the right.)

A very tired Raia, with friends, at the very end of camp

Jaan at the ATM
On the last day, each child got a special ATM card, with the points that they had earned all week written on it. They put that into the camp ATM machine, and were given their camp money. It's too bad that the whole thing was set up in a really hard place for photos. The looks on their faces were priceless!

Asya can drink from a straw now!

We had a wonderful time at camp, but it's nice to be back to normal life now. Right now all three children are getting real naps, at the usual time, in their own beds!

Will's planning tonight's the youth meeting to be geared toward all the older campers, who were invited to come back. Please pray that some of them do come.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I don't really even know why I'm sitting here writing. Remember I mentioned camp money? Want to see some of my handiwork? There will be a store tomorrow, for the last day of camp, and the kids will get to spend this:

Asya made me laugh today. I've been taking her to the kitchen at church for snacks. This morning she crawled out of the Bible lesson, saying "nyam, naym." I just followed her: "nyam, nyam," through the hall; "nyam, nyam, nyam," up the stairs; "nyam, nyam," down another hallway; "nyam, nyam," right to the kitchen!

Monday, August 11, 2008

First day of camp

The little ones at morning line up

Jaan and Asya cheering for. . .

Raia the champion bowler

(She had the highest score of the whole group, even through she's the youngest.)

Craft time

I don't have pictures of Will's group, or music with him, or Bible time, but here's a little taste of what the first day was like. There was a pretty good group of kids today, and I think there will be more tomorrow. Please keep praying!

Friday, August 08, 2008

What to write?

My mind is kind of blank right now. I can't think of what to say.

Here's a cute photo of Asya, enjoying an apricot-plum. (Did you know that there is such a thing?)

"Nyam, nyam"

Asya loves to eat, and lately, the whole time she's eating anything, she's commenting on it: "Nyam, nyam, nyam, NYAM, nyam. . . ."

The Sullivans are gone. They got their visas (praise the Lord!), and should be back in Moscow by now.

The next big event is camp. We're pretty busy getting ready. I should be working on making some camp money. . . .

Monday, August 04, 2008

Standing up

This is Asya's newest skill. She thinks it's hilarious and usually knocks herself over by laughing too hard.

Also, Roz has been working on setting up a blog for them. Certain grandparents will be especially pleased with her slideshow.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Our new kitchen

Remember I said that the Sullivans were painting our kitchen? Open this photo and compare it with this:

Beautiful, isn't it? There are more photos here. Even with the before and after photos, you can't really see the incredible difference that I'm enjoying!

A bonus. . . .