Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Evening Post, issue 6

A photo from this week:

Tea party

has actually been drawing this week. Maybe the change toward cooler weather is making him want to settle down to indoor pursuits? Raia will spend hours filling papers with her creations, but Jaan's usually not interested.

Raia... has moved on in her art skills. After a long stretch of nothing but people and flowers, she drew a great person on a horse this week. And she discovered that she loves modeling clay.

Asya... talks non-stop. How did one family end up with THREE children who all love to talk? Aren't there usually some quiet ones thrown into the mix? Oh, well! I love to hear her sharing her thoughts and asking questions.

Will... got the new speakers in and set up, and they sounded great this morning. The babushki could hear! His head is clearing up, too.

School this week: Week 9 already? The weeks are flying by! More Shakespeare this week, and overall just a good, full week.

My books and knitting: I finished my October square, but I think it's not quite square enough, so I'm going to go back and add another repeat. I'm finding my ongoing shawl project to be very fun and relaxing, too. Reading The Tempest, along with other books....

A quote:
[On hearing that she can start praying now for God to send her a good future husband.] "Oh, He keeps the good ones in heaven?"

Weather and nature observations:
We've had the first bits of frost, I guess. Not much yet, but the days are slowly getting cooler. One evening we went for a walk and saw an owl, pretty close up!

Other news, ministry, notes and miscellaneous from the week: Last night we had the youth meeting here. Other than that, I'm drawing a blank.

On this date in. . . 2005: I posted a photo of the "washing machine" we used back then. We got our first automatic washing machine around the time Asya was born.

Just a few things I'm thankful for...holy experience
  • washing machines
  • Jaan following along in church, reading the Bible by himself!
  • fall days
  • family time, working with modeling clay all together
  • Skype chats with Julie

My question for you: What are you reading now?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Morning Post

A photo from this week:

The Singing Men of Texas!

Jaan... finally lost that tooth. And he really lost it. We have no idea when or where. It just disappeared. He noticed on our way out the door to church. There's not much of a hole, because his adult tooth had grown up behind it.


...after the concert in Zaporozhye.
That's how she fell asleep, listening to the new CD from the choir. It was such a typical Raia pose, that I took a photo. Ever since she stopped sucking her finger, she has gone to sleep every night like a solider standing at attention.

Asya... was the only child in our family who managed not to get sick this week. Good for her! I did stop her from eating yogurt after Jaan, because I was worried about her picking up germs that he had left behind. She looked into the yogurt, and said, "Why didn't he eat up all the germs?" (You got a photo of her last week.)

Will... has been researching sound equipment and working on getting speakers for the church here. He went to Zaporozhye, found and ordered what was needed. It should be arriving today or tomorrow.

School this week: We finished Week 8. Jaan is loving Benjamin Franklin, and Raia is doing better with reading just once or twice a week. (She has other activities for her special 15 minutes of school on other days.) We had to take a sick day and skip two music lessons, but that was actually kind of nice for once.

My books: I feel like I miss Kristin Lavransdatter and her family, but I have been preferring Kindle books over that paper book with 1000+ pages. So, it's been George MacDonald and Shakespeare for me this week.

...and knitting: I started over on my October square, just because I liked it so much that I wanted it to be perfect.

A quote:
Not what I think, but what thou [God] art, makes sure.
--George MacDonald, The Diary of an Old Soul

Weather and nature observations: More clear, sunny and beautiful! Although, we have had some rain this week, too. The leaves right around here are mostly fallen, but our trip to Zaporozhye yesterday was still just lovely.

Other news, ministry, notes and miscellaneous from the week: We went to two concerts in one weekend! And I can hardly even remember the last time we went to a concert before this. Saturday night a Christian musician from Kiev was here, right in Dneprorudnoe. We went to his little concert with the church youth. Really, his newer songs are not my style, but I liked the few he sang that I remembered from years ago. Then, last night we traveled to Zaporozhye with the choir from here (which you can hardly call a choir in comparison to what we saw there) to hear "The Singing Men of Texas." We all thoroughly enjoyed that! Well, except for Raia, who said that she would rather have stayed with Alina, and maybe Asya, who was much more fascinated with the chandelier than the music.

On this date in. . . 2005, Will's parents had just left, and we were enjoying a snow day.

Just a few things I'm thankful for...holy experience
  • fun concerts
  • a sick day that turned into a lovely rest day
  • sunshine! (Do I say that every week?)
  • Asya sweetly sleeping in the marshrutka (She's almost too big for that.)
  • Mondays when Will's home and we start into a new week
  • Ambleside Online

My question for you: What is the most beautiful image or place you have seen this week?
(Thanks, Mom, for the question idea!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Please excuse us

Today's issue of the Sunday Evening Post will be delayed. We just got back from a wonderful concert, and I'm too tired to write. Good night!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall fun

I think this week is the peak of the fall colors here. We're trying to get out and enjoy it as much as possible.

This is pretty much unposed. They wanted to do a lying-down-in-the-leaves photo, so Raia plopped down. Asya instantly tripped and fell on her. Jaan joined them, and I snapped a candid shot of the whole pile.

...then Asya had to add in a random kitty who came to see what the fun was about.

We've also had a lot of rainy indoor time lately. One morning while we were out, we collected a bunch of acorns. Raia and I had made a little wreath with acorns earlier, and we wanted to do more.

I sent Will out to get a few ribbons for our wreath and the ones we were planning. Well, the flower/gift/interior design store where I've gotten ribbon before wouldn't sell them separately to Will, so instead of ribbons, he came back with this:

And that set our creative processes going! Even Jaan got involved.

The finished product hangs in our big room, right over the table:

It was really hard to get a good photo of it, but this gives the general idea.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Evening Post, issue 4

A photo from this week:

Jaan... surprises me with how much he's motivated by grades. He's been studying his music textbook by himself. And it's all in Ukrainian! (His third--and very weak--language!) I think it might be a little too much pressure, though, because he's cried over music homework a few times already. He never cries over school with me.

Raia... has been trying to write in English this week!

Asya... was just being silly in the photo above. She had all the toys out and a goat horn held up to turn herself into a rhinoceros.

Will... had good youth meetings and invited everyone here for one of those on Wednesday. It turned into an impromptu having everybody over for supper, too. I can't really tell if his allergies are any better, but they're not knocking him off his feet like they did in the spring.

School this week: Week 7 done! My favorite part was our first taste of Shakespeare together. I read a retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream to Jaan (and the real thing myself), and then we watched a charming little silent film from 1909.

My books and knitting: Nothing new, really. Still going on very happily with the same books and projects.

Weather and nature observations:
We're back to clear, sunny and beautiful. No frost. I've noticed that when a change of season is coming, they start predicting it way too early. It was the same way when I was waiting for the heat to break this summer. Always, down at the end of the forecast, there would be lower temps, but as the days approached, that went away. Now it's the same with frost.

Other news, ministry, notes and miscellaneous from the week: By the way, when I said last week was just ordinary, for Will that means, Monday evening choir practice, Tuesday church leaders meeting, Wednesday youth Bible study, Thursday choir, Friday free!, Saturday youth fellowship, Sunday choir and preaching. This week was similar. And just now we got back from gathering with all the youth for Lena's birthday, which was great fun.

On this date in. . . 2007: it's fun to read about daily life from what seems like so long ago.

Just a few things I'm thankful for...holy experience
  • fellowship
  • weekend naps!
  • time together
  • collecting acorns (There are some really pretty kinds here!)
  • fall flowers

My question for you: What kinds of questions should I ask? Your responses are my favorite part of this, but I can't think of what to ask!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Evening Post, issue 3

A photo from this week:

Jaan... I can't think of anything special to write. I even asked him as he ran by just now, and he said, "I did school this week. That's all." He enjoyed it and did well, although it was all ordinary days.

Raia... Did you see the photo above? I gave her a worksheet to do one day. After I helped her with the first half, she wanted to finish the rest of it by herself. And then she copied the instructions from the top of the page. That's the photo. We were amazed at her writing skills!

Asya... wore Raia's old favorite princess dress to church today. Somehow that just made her seem so big.

Will... says, "I had a wonderful week of serving my wife and trying to meet her every need." Was he just trying to give the right answer to my question about his week? I will add that his allergies, or whatever is mysteriously wrong with his nose, have taken over again, so he's been sneezing, sniffling, sneezing, snoring, sneezing, snuffling, and sneezing some more.

School this week: Week 6 done! Some fun moments were Jaan decided to DRAW a picture to go with Cornelia's Jewels, he recognized his Durer painting in a magazine, and he pointed out that the poem (number 3) we were reading one morning in English was something he already knew from an audio book he had listened to in Russian.

My books and knitting: Still reading. I discovered how to edit ebooks, though, so I'm afraid I've been messing around with them at least as much as reading. I can fix those typos that bother me so much now! As far as knitting, I finished my Kindle bag. I'll be working on my lovely shawl for quite a while.

A quote:
Surely one is nearer, if not to God himself, yet to the things God loves, in the country than amid ugly houses.
--George MacDonald, The Flight of the Shadow

Weather and nature observations:
Cool and rainy has continued on from last week.We might even have frost in the week to come!

Other news, ministry, notes and miscellaneous from the week: This was a quieter week than last. Really, there wasn't anything other than the ordinary going on at church, either. We did enjoy a visit with someone from a church in Poltava this morning. The conversation with him and our youth over tea after the service was really good.

On this date in. . . 2008, I just posted a few photos. I guess this hasn't been much of a writing date for me before this?

Just a few things I'm thankful for...holy experience
  • cool, rainy days
  • the heat coming on (I think this is the first time I've ever been happy to see that start up.)
  • a Saturday night "art frenzy"
  • vareniki with tvorog
  • ordinary days!

My question for you: I typed up a list of discussion questions for Will to use with the youth, and this was one of them, "What gives you the most satisfaction these days?" (Please answer!)
Thank you so much to everyone who answered me last week, both in the comments and by email. I loved it!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Anyone want to buy a little hat or dress? It's for a really good cause. I can't believe that I forgot to mention this before!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday Evening Post, issue 2

A photo from this week:

Jaan... still hasn't lost that tooth. His music school schedule has been all different this week, because of Teachers Day, which was celebrated with a special concert that he had to attend. His piano teacher says that she's never seen a child like him before; homeschoolers are so weird, that even without knowing what they are, she noticed it.

Raia... was absolutely thrilled to get to go to the concert with Jaan! Also, believe it or not, she's still having trouble transitioning to no nap. I remember this with Jaan at this age, too. She can do her reading lessons for a few days, but by the end of the week, she can hardly keep her eyes open. And then she NAPS on the weekends. But don't tell her that I said all that; in her opinion, she's way too old to sleep during the day.

Asya... has been a little sick, but it's not slowing her down much at all. I have to record one of the funny things she does, before I forget: she loves to stand somewhere, pump her arms and say "семь, четыре, двадцать-два" ("seven, four, twenty-two") , then take off running. We have no idea where she got it from, but it's really cute!

Will this week: In accordance with the saying about a wife's first baby (although I don't believe it), I have to start a section for the one I didn't really mention last week. I just can't think of what to write, so I'll have to ask him....

School this week: We finished Week 5, and reading practice is going much better this week. We did a little less school than usual, because of the different music practice, but we got in some each day and finished the AO readings for the week.

My books and knitting: Still reading the same trilogy. Although, my birthday Kindle finally made it here, so I started a George MacDonald book on it, too. (I'll just quickly say that I am going to LOVE this Kindle!) Knitting news is that I finished my square and started on a lovely project an internet mentor sent me. She made the first part of it, and then decided that she didn't love the color, so she gave it to me. This is the first time I've handled a "luxury yarn," and it's incredible! Still, it's like knitting with spider web, so I have to do it in good light and without distractions. For the other times, I also started a Kindle bag.

A quote:
No worthier work can there be for a human soul that has found grace to conceive somewhat of God's loving-kindness, than to serve Him and watch and pray for those men whose sight is still darkened.
--Kristin Lavransdatter: The Mistress of Husaby, page 500

Weather and nature observations: This week fall turned cool and rainy, but we've still been able to enjoy being out in between the showers.

Other news, ministry, notes and miscellaneous from the week: We had a sad, heavy week here. Two young families at church had babies due. One of the babies died. I can't even imagine the grief the parents are going through, but we're all grieving with them. This was their first baby, born right after their first wedding anniversary. She only lived for a few hours. The other family's baby is doing well. Cute little Yasha is a big brother now.

On this date in. . . 2007, we took our first fall family walk with newborn Asya.

10 things I'm thankful for...holy experience
  • a Kindle for me!
  • when a little sister loves her older siblings so much that she's miserable without them
  • when I can watch through the window, as all three walk hand in hand outside
  • knitting
  • super soft yarn, in lovely muted colors
  • cool, grey fall days
  • bright sunshine, breaking through the grey and bouncing off the gold
  • Will reading aloud
  • hot baths
  • ash trees

My question for you: I guess I'll just ask, How was your week? (Please answer!)