Saturday, July 24, 2021


We've been working very hard to get the visa that Jaan will need for residency when he turns 18 in September. Tomorrow he and Will are flying to Turkey to apply. They'll be gone for a week, but their application appointment is on Monday. Please pray that everything will be just right on that day. So far, it's been really complicated, and there are still details that we're not sure about.

Planning this trip has reminded us of the last time we went to Turkey, when Jaan was 11 months old. I found the photos I posted back then, and I'm reposting them now. This was my favourite then and now it still is:

Jaan in the Blue Mosque, 2004

Friday, July 09, 2021

Happy campers

We're already at the last day of camp. I know our kids are having a wonderful time, but I've hardly seen them. The older three do sleep at home, but they leave before I'm awake and often come home after I'm asleep. At least I get to see Bogdan, and, yes, he tells me about camp as long as he can keep his eyes open in the evenings. The first three days were very rainy, so they did most of their activities indoors. Then the sun came out, and they had a water day. When photos with our kids show up in the parents' Viber group, I save them, so I'll share those here:

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Concert season, part 2

 This is still from the folk music concert:

Then, the last concert was Asya's teacher's. It was also supposed to be outdoors, but rain was forecasted, so they let a very limited number of parents in to watch. I was the only one from our family in the audience. It was so good and so weird to be back in the school after all this time! For years I spent so much time there, and then all of a sudden we weren't even allowed to cross the threshold because of the pandemic. Asya and her friend played two duets, and Asya also played one song by herself. It was all lovely.

And I think that is the end of our concert season. Everyone is enjoying a break from lessons and concerts now.

Monday, July 05, 2021

Church update

I realised that I didn't say anything about how our church is recovering from the fire when I wrote our recent monthly update. The repair work is still ongoing, but the church has a new sound system now. I posted this on Facebook the first time I saw it:

Already they're talking about adding a fourth service, too. It is just so wonderful to be back together! Also, I don't know the whole story, but one of the men who was hired to do high ceiling work was baptised last week. That alone is enough to make all this worthwhile.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Concert season

After a whole year without concerts, there was the big concert Asya played at. Then there was a run of outdoor concerts. Between those and final exams, poor Bogdan even ended up with blisters on his fingers from playing so much. But it was very fun, and I especially loved getting to hear our kids play.

There was a Family Day concert, where Raia and Asya played together. The original plan was for Will to play with them, but he didn't have time to prepare, so Raia's teacher accompanied them.

Then there was Vyshivanka Day and our music school year end concert. Someone didn't want to smile before we went:

Better version here

At that concert Bogdan sang with the bandura ensemble. (It was supposed to rain, so they didn't want to bring any extra chairs or instruments, which meant the youngest ensemble members didn't play.) Asya played her same piece from the big concert, but with piano accompaniment instead of orchestra. I did share video of those here, here, and here, although the quality is bad.

Next was the folk instruments concert. Raia played in several ensemble pieces. I really enjoyed seeing how much she has grown in performance. Last year she was so busy working toward graduating from music school, and then quarantine started, so I hadn't heard much from her for a long time. Bogdan played with the ensemble, and he really played. Before this he hasn't always kept up with the bigger kids; now he does. Asya also played with them for one song; they have won several awards for their performance of that piece.

And that's enough for now. I'll make a part two of Concert season....

Friday, July 02, 2021

Raia's 16th birthday

On June 14th Raia turned 16. We had a fun, quiet day celebrating her. (She had a sleepover with her friends separately, since one of her closest friends also had a birthday within a few days of hers.) The day started with her music teacher calling her to come to the music school, which turned out to be for presents and congratulations.

When she got back she opened presents that had just arrived from America. They were exactly what she wanted, and she was very pleased. A little later we headed to the center of town to her favourite restaurant.

We ate very well, and then we walked a good bit. 

After all the walking, we got ice cream. A downpour caught us on our way home.

It was all a very nice day of celebrating Raia.