Monday, June 15, 2020

The past two weeks (Raia's birthday!)

Today was the first day of art camp at our church. I was thinking about how last year I was in the hospital in Kyiv while our kids did this. The year before I was a camp counselor myself. This year it feels good just sit at home and be healthy.  (Oh, yeah. This is what I wrote exactly one year ago today.) Jaan, Raia, and Asya left home before I was even awake this morning. They're all helping as part of the camp team. Then I took Bogdan at 8:00. He bounced through the medical checks and went off to find his group all by himself. I didn't even get to say goodbye. Asya was greeting kids and gave me a big hug. Jaan was working on something on the stage and waved to me from afar. Raia was probably already fully engrossed in camp life; I didn't even see her.

Other than camp, we've had a good end to the year at music school. One day Will and I went to sign papers for Bogdan, and they gave us his award for good grades and made arrangements to get his picture up on the board of honor. When Jaan heard, he said that of course, someone has to take Raia's place. Another day Asya's teacher was concerned that over the phone it sounded like something was sticking on her flute, so she asked us to bring it in. After looking at it outside, she got special permission to bring Asya in for a "secret lessson." Asya was overjoyed! It was their first (only) in person lesson since March. Now they're off for the summer.

Raia, her teacher, and other grads met at a cafe.

Asya and her friends together again for a birthday.
We've enjoyed some long walks that I've taken with four of the kids from our house--not the oldest two, and not the very youngest one, all the others.

Spontaneous concert at home
Another walk:

Also, on Wednesday, the music school decided that they could have a small, private, outdoor graduation ceremony the next day. (Quarantine continues, but Kherson region has been doing wonderfully. There weren't even any active covid19 cases for a while.) That was nice. I went with Raia, and then she and I celebrated with coffee afterwards. They asked us not to post lots of photos of the ceremony on social media, but I shared a few, and I'm sure it's fine to post a few more here:

Then, the birthday! Raia turned 15 yesterday. Because of all the busyness, we celebrated with her friends on Friday. First they had a sleepover at church, which was more just to be together as a ministry team than for Raia's birthday, but it was a start to the celebrations. Then they came over to our house in the evening for hamburgers and more. We gave Raia two books. She wanted to start collecting a certain series, and her friend had planned to get her the first book, so we ordered the second. But it turned out that the first is very hard to find and more expensive, so her friend couldn't do it. But Will found a used one in perfect condition, a special reprint with lots of illustrations and notes from the author. Raia was excited about the second book, which I handed to her first, but she was really excited about the first.

Then on Sunday we had cake with our English-speaking friends, too:

And here are the first few photos coming in from camp:

There have been more and better ones already, and I'm sure there will be even more to come, but in these you can see Jaan with his group, Bogdan with a new friend, and Asya on the stage for a skit and Bogdan in the audience.


Mom said...

I should have realized you'd post on the day I did not get to my computer until after 4:00 pm, but at any time of day it's a delight to see snippets of a full and joyous life. We continue to be profoundly thankful for each of you and for your ministry of presence in Ukraine. Much love!

Lindy Johnson said...

This shows that summer has truly begun. Such a busy exciting time. I love seeing all the activities and hearing how well everyone is. Enjoy the long days of June. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life!

Baba Julie said...

WONDERFUL update! What fun! Art amp sounds like it's going well and so happy that Raia had such a great birthday! We love you all!