Thursday, December 30, 2021

Art school

The private Christian art school our children (and I, sometimes) have attended for years is closing. Asya already had her last lesson. Bogdan has his today. Raia is still finishing up working and studying there, but after January 1, it will all be over. Our family is mourning, as are so many other people. This art school has been so much more than a school for us; it's more like family.

Just recently Facebook reminded me of a memory, a post that just says the sixth grade class was making watercolour Christmas cards, but Bogdan is in those photos, and he definitely wasn't in sixth grade. I remember that it was the day after one of my cancer treatments, when everything was also messed up on our residency. I was traveling back from Kyiv, Will was busy with paperwork or something, so Asya's class just took Bogdan in. Also, art school summer camps kept our kids fed, busy, and cared for during my first treatments and times when both Will and I were gone.

Just before we found out about the possibility of closing, I was there to pick up Bogdan one evening, and I took a few photos. Now I'm so glad we have these to remember by! Each time I saw the little kids in Raia's classes, I thought they were so cute, but I didn't take photos until this one:

Also, we have a then and now comparison. This first picture is on our refrigerator, from Asya's first year (or second?) at art school, and the second photo is her not long ago:

Bogdan has especially grown up in this school. I first started him in preschool programs, because he really needed speech therapy, and that was the closest option I could find. He learned to talk, and so much more.

Please pray for us as we grieve all this, for the teachers who need the income they were getting, and for the wonderful director of the school who started it when she was a teen 20 years ago.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Big holidays

It's been so long since I've written! I wanted to put up our "first Christmas," but then I remembered that I never said anything about Thanksgiving. Back at Thanksgiving we had planned to celebrate with a few friends. One of them had already said that he would cook a turkey for us. Then an American family new to this region invited us out to their village. We agreed, if we could bring our friends and the turkey. When we got to the day before Thanksgiving, our friend had the turkey, but he was sick. His wife brought it over, and we all prepared it, with his remote supervision, then we went out to the celebration. It was really a nice time together, and the new family has wonderfully cute little ones.

So, now I jump forward to December 25 and also a few Advent photos. (This year for Advent we read The Christmas Mystery again and a Lilias Trotter devotional that was new for us and very good.)

Since Prawin was sick on Thanksgiving, we planned a second round of similar food with them for Christmas. He cooked two chickens: one plain, one Indian style. The Indian one involved making a tiny fire in our kitchen to get a smoky flavour. And we made sure that his wife Masha (and others) experienced pumpkin pie for the first time.

The rest of the photos are here. I really didn't take many that day; I was too busy.

Also, the day before our home "first Christmas" celebration, our church had a really big first: the first time back in the big hall, all together, since the fire in the spring. We got to help with a few more cleanup days leading up to it, and the night before our girls didn't even come home from working. Then it was finally all ready and so beautiful! Here's one video clip from a friend (don't know if this will work?):

Professional photos are here.

While I'm posting, here are links to two video concerts that our kids were in recently: winds and percussion, and bandura.