Saturday, November 28, 2015

Music school and Agape school

(Photo from Raia's teacher)
Raia performed beautifully at a music school concert last night. Her exams were last week, and she has her first ever contest coming up soon. After last night, they also asked her to play at a concert at the museum tomorrow night. It looks like they don't have an accompanist for her, though, so that might not come off. She's busy, though!

Jaan has also been very busy. His exam is next week, and his teacher is working him like a slave driver to get him ready. He's had lots of extra lessons and check ups with her. She even told him that he has to get a haircut. (I did not pay her to say that. ) Pray for him, please; he's feeling kind of stressed. The exam will be either Monday or Tuesday. I'm including a video of him practicing at home. He's not too happy with his electric piano for this piece, because he can't do all the louder and softer bits right, and he doesn't have it perfected yet either, but he said that I could share, with those caveats. It's just practice.

And then Agape school: I'm leaving tomorrow for the second session. It's in Lviv again this time. The teacher is one that Will really enjoyed when it was his turn to study: Jan, from Holland. You can pray for me, too: that I won't be so tired and homesick this time, and that I'll be able to keep up with the part of the translating that I've agreed to do, since the teacher isn't Ukrainian this time.

Music school, Agape school, and... oh, yes, homeschool. I need to get back to making lists and plans for certain children to work on while I'm gone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seven quick takes: Updates

I was looking back over what I've written recently, and I realized that there are many updates that I can give. So, in no particular order, here are continuations of bits that started earlier....

:: 1 ::

Bogdan: I thought we had gotten over the difficulty of going to art school. It's gotten even worse now, though, so please pray for him (and me). He actually cries.  That's only for about a minute, though; I listen outside the door. Strangely, he's loving it more and more, too. If I ask him at the end of an art school day what his favourite thing was, he's sure to say "School!" Or, this week, when he had a cold and had to stay home, he moaned about not being able to go. So, he does really enjoy it, getting there is just an ongoing struggle.

:: 2 ::

Karina: Her family is so kind to share updates with me. I love hearing about how she's blooming in her new family. She's ice skating every week now! Even though she can't walk on her own yet. Amazing. And she's just so beautiful:

:: 3 ::

Oksana: She came through her surgery well, and is in the midst of her recovery period. It's still a long road ahead, but she is doing well. We've talked with her Skype since the operation, and that is good for all of us. I also took Will's computer and our internet out to the orphanage again, so that all the kids she grew up with and some of the workers could talk to her.

There are a few more photos of her here.

:: 4 ::

Another family: I've only barely mentioned them here, but I know some of you were already praying. Another family has been here adopting. We got to help some with babysitting their other kids, and also we just enjoyed spending time together. Asya really hit it off with one of their daughters and was sad to see her go. They're in Kyiv now, almost done with the whole process and ready to go home in the next few days.

:: 5 ::

Orphanage: What should I tell about here? I continue to visit on Saturdays, do a lesson/play time with the older kids, and then feed and hold little ones. Recently a sweet internet friend collected and sent a bunch of coats, and I'm excited to get those delivered out there on a day when my favorite worker is on duty. I'm also working toward a visit to the boys who have been transferred--I want to take Will and Jaan to visit them--but I have a lot of details to pull together for that.

:: 6 ::

Will has had some pretty intense busy times lately, but that slowed down a bit now. He coordinated arrangements for two groups visiting in October, and he worked with a publishing company on getting some curriculum published in Russian. Somehow that doesn't sound like much, but it was. Now he's back to working on all kinds of smaller projects, at least for now.

:: 7 ::

I had mentioned that Raia's schedule this year might be too much. So far, she's thriving on it, even with more classes than she had started with. Mondays and Tuesdays wear her out, but she recovers and makes up for it during the rest of the week.

Was there anything else that I started writing about and left you curious?

Monday, November 02, 2015

A week with us

We have a pretty busy weekly schedule. There's a chart on our refrigerator to help us keep track of where everyone is supposed to be at what times. Every morning we do our regular school subjects at home, and then after lunch there's art and music school. And here is what that schedule is now:

Mondays are the longest days. Raia leaves right after lunch and walks to the music school for balalaika and then piano. When she finishes there, she heads over to art school for painting and master classes. Our school-week life works on a big triangle: home is the top, music school at the south-west point, and art school/Agape office/church at the south-east point. By the time Raia is done at art school, it's very dark out, so Will walks her home. (He was already there in the Agape office anyway.) Bogdan also has two hours of preschool at the art school on either Monday or Tuesday, it alternates. Jaan or I take him and pick him up, because he finishes well before Raia.

On Tuesdays Asya has painting and "lepka" (modelling? clay work?) at art school. Raia has solfeggio and music literature, and Will has to get her from that, too, since it doesn't end until after 7:00. Sometimes Jaan goes to get Asya from art school, sometimes I do, now that it's dark when she's done.

Wednesday is just choir for Jaan at music school--he rides his bike there and back--and painting and lepka (and chai!) for Bogdan at art school.

On Thursdays Raia has balalaika and Jaan has piano. Now Raia has a new art class, too, and we're trying to figure out if it's better for her to come home afterwards or just go straight to art school... slowly.

The only thing on Friday is Jaan's group choir class. And we prepare for Saturday.

Saturday! Asya and Raia go to art school together at 9:00, but Raia's classes don't start until a little later. They're often away from home until 3:00 or so, if the church children's choir is practicing after art school. Jaan has solfeggio and music literature, and gets back about the time the girls do. I go to the orphanage. Then every other we week have "English fellowship" with the missionary families, too. Saturdays are the busiest days and the most fun.

The art school has been posting lots of photos on their VK page. Here are a few of our kids that I have particularly liked:

Plus, here are some more from one of Raia's classes and one of Asya's.