Thursday, December 24, 2020

Music school lately

As I said in an earlier post, there aren't any holiday music school concerts this year. Our kids have done a lot of recording sessions, though. I've seen a few of those, and hopefully I'll see (and share) more of them soon. Jaan and Raia's teacher is putting together a "virtual concert," and I'm looking forward to that. Two group videos that Asya was in are in an online festival now.

I took Asya and Bogdan out for coffee or cacao after they finished an exam. Raia protests that I didn't do this for her or Jaan. Oops. Well, I know we celebrated in other ways, and I hardly ever used to go out for coffee myself before. Both of the younger ones were especially nervous about exams this time anyway. Asya didn't even think about her flute exam, but this was her first time on piano. (She did great.) Bogdan still isn't used to all this, and he wasn't ready because of his teacher's sickness, but he survived.

I liked this photo of Asya's teacher getting her set up to record:

Bogdan's class got to combine exams and entries in a school contest. He was very pleased later on to get a certificate and a present for participating, even though he says that played his pieces with mistakes.

Here is Raia with curled hair and GLITTER:

They had so much fun with all the hair and makeup for recording that the teacher is doing a whole "beauty salon" for the girls today before their class party. Raia is going to help, too. And Jaan has a surprise up his sleeve for the party....

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

We made it!

That's how I feel about finishing out this semester. Today was our last day of school for 2020. Art and music are still going, but at home we're done. As I went back through pictures, it looks like all we've done is art, music, Advent, and homeschooling. And, yes, that's pretty much about it. It's been good, though. Wonderful really. Today I'll post the art school and random/homeschooling/etc photos. Then I can do music and Advent separately on other days.
(It was not that warm out!)
I stole the last photo from one of Jaan's friends. They know someone who recently began working as a manager at an indoor petting zoo, so they've been hanging out there some. I want to go!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Very thankful

It's been a while since I've updated. We're so thankful for health and good days! We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving yesterday, but we hope that if you did, you had a wonderful day. We'll be celebrating on Sunday. We were planning to get together with the last few Americans here (we so miss those who have left!) and our South African friend, but it's looking like we'll be staying home instead. Either way, we'll have lots of good food and so much to be thankful for.

The covid situation here has still slowly been getting worse. Ukraine implemented a weekend quarantine, based on what Israel has done. That, and more covid at our church, means that we've been back to online worship lately. Bogdan's bandura teacher also had it, which meant that he was officially on self-isolation for two weeks. He had a fever and cough at the beginning, so we took him for testing, too, but his was just a cold. Today was his last day of isolation, and--so sad!--now our little neighbour is just starting into isolation. I still let them play together some today, only outside. Even if N's teacher has infected him, he wouldn't be sick yet, or so I hope. The rest of our kids were also officially on isolation from music school, but they hadn't had any contact with Bogdan's teacher, so I let them continue their other activities. Since today was the last day, all their teachers called for them to come in. Asya has her first piano exam tomorrow, and that teacher really wanted to see her before it; online lessons apparently just haven't been enough.

It's so, so important to us to stay healthy right now, because Will is finally going start treatment for his allergies! I find it a little disconcerting that he's going to get "immunotherapy": good, because something by the same name saved my life, but bad, because, well... yeah. He went to an allergist once two years ago, got the blood tests she ordered done, and then didn't go back. Last year he couldn't, because we were too busy with my own health. But this year it looks like it will work out. Please pray that this treatment will be right for him, and that it will be effective. He has suffered so much, and so has our whole family. He'll go on Monday for final testing, and if it's okay, then he'll just have to take drops under his tongue daily all winter.

Random photos:
A few weekends ago I got to go with a group of friends to a health geyser. It was amazing!

I also helped a friend with paperwork so that her dog could travel, and then we had pizza to celebrate the end of that complicated process. Dogs need a lot more travel papers than people do.

The Sunday before last, since we couldn't go to church, we watched the online service, and then set out on a long walk. We walked down to the Dnepr and back, 13 kilometres in all. It was a really beautiful afternoon and evening.

Raia and Asya continue to enjoy art classes. Bogdan will be so glad to go back in the week ahead!

This is just a random photo of Will cutting up food for my beloved duck, while she waits and eagerly peeps at him. She speaks English, by the way; after she gets food, she says "peep-peep" in the exact tones of thank you, not the "peep-Peep-peep" that would be spasibo.

Last week when the orchestra was trying to get back together, broken into two groups, I took a screen shot of this, Asya's group. Out of a list of 17 names, only 6 at the beginning were free and healthy. Then rest were like Asya - s/i (self-isolation), or actually sick. Since we homeschool, I really didn't think we'd have to deal with that s/i, but now we know all about it.

Last weekend Bogdan and I went to the botanical garden. He was having such a hard time sitting at home, and no one else was there, so it was perfect for us. It was still beautiful, even if it was cold.

The next day I got to go on a little sightseeing trip with a family here to adopt. That was a real treat for me! We've known about Oleshky Sands, the local desert, for the whole time we've been here, of course, but it's hard to get to, so we've never gone. The visiting family hired a car and driver for a tour and invited me to go with them.

And then--this was way better than the sightseeing!--they got their little guy and stopped by our house on their way out of town. He was a little upset from being woken up and handed off, hungry, to two people who were strangers to him. He calmed down with Asya, though. (And now he's happy with his new parents. He have a great life ahead of him, with lots of love.)

Like I said, our older three have continued with their usual activities. That includes helping with their beloved children's club at church. The time before last was a quarantine theme, and Raia was the hospital (below). Then there was something about helping a professor; Jaan was especially active in planning and implementing that one.

And that's all I have for now. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Asya's music

I've missed having concerts, but at least we've gotten to hear Asya this weekend. Now that it's too cold for outdoor practices, orchestra is stopping, but this week Asya's teacher asked her to come alone to make a "working recording" that they can use for contest entries. So, this is what they did yesterday.


And then this morning Asya played her flute (and sang in the children's choir) at church. You can watch that here. If you don't know Russian/Ukrainian, it's still easy to watch the music at the beginning, then skip to the end for the closing songs. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Thanksgiving Fest

Back at the beginning of October our church hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving Fest for the neighbourhood. In the past few years, all the city churches have worked together to do something like this in a central location. Since that wasn't possible this year, our church did a smaller version on the church property. 

It went really well, and people seemed to enjoy the time outside with their families, doing fun activities and eating good food. The art school had an exhibit that included some of our kids' work. There were several bounce places and trampolines; Raia and Asya helped with those. And games, and balloons, and weird people in costumes (), and more....

There's one short video clip here; I saw Bogdan right at the beginning of it, and Raia a little further in. These are the photos that the church kids club shared, and Asya is in one of them.

The only sad bit was that our neighbours were planning to go with us, and the kids were looking forward to it all the week before. But then their father had a terrible toothache, so they stayed home. Bogdan was especially heartbroken. But maybe they'll come next time.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Airport field trip

This was way back on September 12, but I already have the photos sorted out, so here they are. We had tried to sign up for a joint field trip to the history museum and airport this summer, but it filled up way too fast. They called again in September, though, and asked if we still wanted to go on a second excursion... tomorrow. The older kids were busy, but Bogdan and Will went. They had a great time!

The last photo is a souvenir that Bogdan made for himself afterwards with a bolt that he found at the airport.