Thursday, April 26, 2018

Adventures with Bogdan

In the past week Bogdan and I have gone on two wonderful adventures together. The first was on Monday. Some friends of ours are buying a house in a village near us, and I wanted to see how far away it actually is. So, in the afternoon while everyone else was at art/music/theater/office, we set out to explore. It was such a beautiful spring day, and such an incredible place to wander in! Bogdan said that he felt like we went to... "what was that place where we stayed in a hotel and went on walks?" Askania Nova! We did find our friends' new house, but of course, all we could do was walk past it, since the old owners still live there. The main attraction was walking along the little river. We saw wild ducks, turtles, muskrats, frogs, and so many kinds of birds. The muskrats were my favourites. I saw one, but Bogdan didn't, so I suggested that we sit and wait for it to come out again. We waited very quietly on one of the little footbridges with our feet swinging over, and sure enough, the muskrat came out. It swam right toward us to get a better look, which kind of scared Bogdan.

We walked a whole lot, and we were pretty tired when we headed home. I realised that I had 20 griven in my pocket and suggested ice cream cones. Bogdan instantly announced that he wanted white ice cream with strawberry jam on top. I had to tell him no, because I only had 20 for the two ice creams, not enough for jam. And then we saw another grivnya lying on the ground! When we got to the ice cream stand we found out that, yes, jam costs one grivnya. Bogdan got exactly what he wanted. We decided that was a special treat straight from God to us.

The next adventure was yesterday. For our beloved Oksana's birthday, Alys organised a really special day. She initially invited Raia and Asya to come, but we were planning on being in a small car, and both girls were busy, so I suggested bringing Bogdan instead. First we went to Kakhovka to get Oksana, then on to Dnepryani for a visit with some of the boys she grew up with. When we said goodbye to the boys, we went on to a lovely place along the Dnepr River and had a picnic. I didn't get any photos there, but it really was wonderful. Bogdan absolutely loved running around, catching creatures along the edge of the river and observing all the wildlife. He was asleep within five minutes of when we drove away from there. He woke up when we got back to Kakhovka, though, and enjoyed riding around on Oksana's bicycle with her.

Right now we're getting ready to go show the rest of the family (minus Raia, who is at a conference) the little river near us.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Christ is Risen!

I haven't written about Easter Day yet. Spring arrived the day after it, and I have been spending all my free time outside. Everything is so beautiful right now!

It was a beautiful holiday, too. The day before Bogdan and I made our breakfast cake. He went to bed with it looking plain, with the tomb closed.

And this is what it looked like the next morning, when we woke everyone with loud Easter bells and songs:

Because of everyone's full schedules we had to have an early breakfast, and I risked having it outside. Yes, it was chilly, but beautiful.

Right after breakfast half of us had to go sing at the early service, while the other half cleaned up, got dressed, and enjoyed coffee. Then we were all together for the second service.

Bogdan really likes the decoration by the entrance to the church:

He did not like my idea of taking a photo in the pretty grass by the bus stop while we waited on the way home:

This is the only photo I got of our special meal after church. It was delicious, though! This was the first time we've had asparagus in Kherson. It's rare, and we love it. We also had sweet potatoes (another rarity) and roast beef with mushrooms. Yum.

After we ate, Jaan had to hurry off for a theater performance at a youth Easter picnic for several churches together. Raia went soon after that to join her friends as spectators at the same event.

At home we enjoyed sitting out in the sun without coats for the first time this year, read the Easter story from our children's Bible, and then Will hid Easter eggs for our kids. We had never done that before, but they kept asking about it, and the big kids got to go to a fun event without them, so this was their special treat.

The rest of the day was just quiet and happy. It was such a joyful holiday for all of us.