Saturday, November 29, 2008

On Wednesday morning I found out that the Sturtevant family was coming that night. Joanna was going to help my Mom fix the Thanksgiving meal. Josh and I had a lot of fun. We played outside and did everything!

After the Thanksgiving meal, all of us went to a waterfall.

OH, I forgot to tell you . . . that I drove the Mazda by myself



We have to pack, probably do some more on school and shut our house down to leave it. It will still be open for visitors if someone comes to help Katrina and for services so that means we leave a lot of stuff out for our visitors' use.

Dave is replacing a window pane in the shed today. Hopefully we find a leak in the roof and seal it off. We're sorting clothes and I'm blogging because there may not be much more chance for awhile.

Here are some clothes, waiting for the packing process.


Thanks to everyone who wrote and called on my birthday. Mother and Daddy stayed up until midnight to call me at 7 am in Ukraine. I picked up the phone the day before, saying an English hello because I expected to talk to Katrina and it was my brother, Tim, calling from New York! I got emails from a bunch of people that I don't hear from very often . . . guess I need to double the frequency of my birthdays!! Thank you!

Because of the time, there weren't a lot of pictures. Dave and Seth fixed a very special meal.

And I had some of my favorite treats, flowers and ice cream.

Then I began preparing for Thanksgiving.


God, friends and family--- add that to good food and fellowship and you have the recipe for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We've been able to talk to most of our children who aren't on this side of the ocean about once a week with the miracle of Skype.

We had some of our children here, lots of food, and friends.

The rolls were among the biggest hit of the meal.


After the meal and a phone call to the US, we took off to see a waterfall. It was pretty dark by the time we got there. But the hike down to it, because the roads were too muddy to pass was good exercise and we enjoyed it.

Then we came back home to play Guesstures. Jessica Sturtevant and Allona chose teams. We had fun

Two Vovas

Little Vova, Yulia's little brother made it to children's service this Sunday.

Our Vova takes a special interest in him, helping him say his memory verses because they share the same name.

Playing Ping Pong in the Dark

I tried but I couldn't do it, get a good picture of the action. The electricity went off at about 2:30 pm. Our children and our visitors got bored playing board games and finally decided to play ping pong. They had the light of a flashlight or two and one kerosene lamp.

These are the best ones I could get.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Miscellaneous/To Do List

The water to cool the nuclear reactors at Yuzhnokranksk flows out into a lake. Because the water is warmer than the weather, there is always fog or a heavy frost around the lake in cooler weather.

Here's the fog.

Another item on our to do list before we come home, was to take Allona and Vova to see their birth mother. It was a relief that everything seemed to be going fairly well for them. Here's a picture of their mother with her children.

Fresh from California

Katrina's friends got here safely from California, in spite of the fact that their airline was on strike.

Katrina and I went up to meet them and to show them around Kyiv. I did not expect the cold snap in the weather. They left 90 degrees Fahrenheit in California and arrived to 32 degrees here.

As a result, we got comment after comment about our "bare," cold legs, just because we wore regular shoes not boots. . . here's Katrina in her shoes.

International phone call

Yes, it's sorta silly when we could have done a conference call, but interesting nonetheless.

We were talking on Skype through the computer when Charity called on the cell. We found that they could talk to each other when we held the phone and microphone close to the computer speakers.

So Charity, in Pennsylvania, was talking to Andy in Alaska, going through Ukraine.

Baby Vova

Vova was playing around last Sunday evening about being a baby. He was offered a pacifier. Here are some of the goofy pics.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Keep Towing Me, Lord!

Wednesday this past week, I was busy at school when I realized it was about time for Dave to be home from taking Katrina's car to the mechanics for a routine oil and filter change. When he didn't answer the phone, I guessed he would be talking somewhere. He was, but not about what I expected. The work had been done on Katrina's car. He had stopped on another errand and the car wouldn't start. He was asking Jason, the pro diesel mechanic, what to do.

I drove to meet him with our tools. He worked over an hour with no success. The next task was to tow the car through all the Nikolaev city traffic to the mechanics.

I don't like driving in Ukraine, period. I do drive in our small town and everywhere except Kyiv. I pray especially when I go into a "roundabout" where the traffic enters and exits continually onto a circle from four directions, normally. Then I thank God as I drive out, shaking nervously. So I had already thought about the problem of towing when Dave asked me if I would help or if we would call someone else. I decided I could put up with it IF I was driving the towed car.

We tried to start the vehicle otherwise, just running through the large parking lot. It didn't work.

We turned onto the road, full of traffic.

We travelled, stopped at lights, entered our first "roundabout." Then I realized I wasn't shaking or half as nervous as I would normally be. I had confidence in Dave sitting in the van ahead, watching the traffic, deciding when it was safe and time to go. All I had to do was make sure the tow rope didn't come loose and steer the car behind him. I couldn't see much besides the back of the Volkwagen ahead of me.

I couldn't help but think of all the uncertainty and decisions facing us as we return to the US without our own home to go to, etc. As we drove, my heart's whisper was, "tow me, Lord. I trust You to make all the decisions. Keep me focused on YOU going just ahead of me."

Then Wednesday evening we received some really devastating news. As I struggled to cope and to survive, I reminded God of the lesson He had given earlier in the day. "My tow rope hasn't come off; I'm still following. Keep pulling, Lord."

The initial shock of the news has worn off, but the long term issues and problems to resolve are here to face daily. My prayer is "Keep towing, Lord. You know best. Keep towing."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby Dedication

Today, between my yawns, I listened and tried to support my husband as a baby dedication took place. I'm afraid I was more of a distraction than help but here are some pictures from the day.

We felt it was an honor that the parents asked Dave to "bless" their child.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This and that

Never thought that it would be me baking the "weekly bread!" I was impressed when Iona did that in Haiti years ago. However, everyone likes homemade bread better than what we can buy from the store and it stays fresh longer. So we throw less away. So I've been trying to bake bread and have been baking the majority of it for the last two or three weeks.

The pumpkin was the object lesson for Wednesday night. Katrina taught everyone that God could clean the slimey stuff out of the inside of us and put a smile on our face. The flowers were from Katrina to say thanks for the work at her house this week.

Baby Timothy is growing.

The Miracle of Skype

This past week has been quite busy. Monday there were errands to do all day until everyone was tired and ready to go home. The rest of the week we've been having school in the morning and working at Katrina's in the afternoon. See her blog for some of the results.

However, in the matter of giving thanks . . . we now have high-speed internet and the ability to to talk to several of our children, free, over the computer and we can make calls to landline phones in the US for a fraction of what would be a normal cost.

We've talked to all our children in the past week, as well as our parents . . . thank God for the miracle of Skype.

Skype--because we tried another provider and it worked long enough for the test call and to take our money and hasn't worked since. Skype has worked very well.