Wednesday, 31 December 2008

merry christmas

Ben a little busy recently, Christmas season is a little longer for us. We have our christmas on the 25th then Ukranians celebrate christmas on the seventh and then when we come back to the states we will be celebrating with our family. The kids are overjoyed.
one false move! We have been trying to train the cat, the kids are more then happy to help out. They are very strict.
Benjamin has a the cardboard from the inside of a roll of toilet paper. Many of you have probably heard the story about Andrew when he did something simular, you would have to hear the story to appreciate the photo
Family tradition, that Benjamin is kind of starting to get into a little. He found quite a few of the pieces himself.
That is gorgous! I can brag on myself without feeling bad at all. Pie is NOT my thing.
The kids painted picture frames and decorated their own photo for a gift for Daddy.
This is a 'spaceship', it doesn't look like one to me either, more like one of those old aluminum trailers. It is huge though, it is the size of a two man tent. It is just to bad our living room isn't a little bigger.
Andrew thinks my 'smoking wise men' are hilarious. They are actually insence burners, and they each have what looks like a bong, that goes in their mouth for a pipe. I don't know, can you smoke frankensince? I don't care, they were free!

Thats it

apparently this is our only picture from Christmas! I was pretty busy cooking I guess. The town is pretty when it is covered in snow. This is a picture of the outside of our apartment building pretty much identical to every other apartment building.

Monday, 22 December 2008

seeing double

This is our cat
But who's cat is this? Maybe a brother? Yesterday I opened the door and he marched right in like he owned the place. We put him back outside and he waited outside our door for two days for us to let him back in. I finally felt sorry for him and decided, I could take him and buy him some fish or something. Well we didn't get very far, and he decided he was uncomfortable with me holding him. So he ran away. It was just a few hundred feet from our door though. So he might come back. If he does I don't know what to do. The poor thing, is skinny, and has fleas. He is so pretty, but we can't have two cats, one causes enough mischief.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Mocha had to have an opperation yesterday. She had what the vet called a tumor on her tail. Although a tumor in Russian can be a zit. It was just a ball about the size of a ping pong ball that she had developed. She had fleas and the vet said probably she bit herself, and developed an infection. She also had fungus on her back. After two baths and buying the drops to put on her back we seem to have finally conquered them. Then we got her a flea collar just for good measure. The vet gave her a series of shots to get rid of the fungus on her back. So she seems to be back to normal. One Ukranian remedy we learned for fleas is motor oil! Has anybody else ever heard of putting used motor oil on fleas? It was a little late when we were told about it, but two people told us the same thing. 

Monday, 15 December 2008

Momma said there'l be days like this

             Adele' had gone potty in her pants, again, and I was in the middle of cleaning up a broken bottle that had broken in a grocery bag and got sauce all over the groceries. Adele' was fussy,  probably because she was tired and hungry, and I barked at her. Andrew heard me, and he was in the middle of giving me a 'look' when Benjamin  spouted off the memory verse he has been learning in Sunday school 

             'but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control, against such things there is no law. Gal 5:22-23

              Nothing like having your five year old correct your attitude! The little booger, Andrew thought it was absolutly hilarious.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Just give it a good talking to

I didn't expect beating the rug to be our family activity for the day. But the kids had a blast! I was hoping beating it would get a little cleaner then vacuuming, It probably was but after we got it down, and dragged it through the dirt, it probably was a little worse then when we started!

Giving it all she's got! The thingy (beater, or whatever you would call that) was almost to big for Adele' to swing! She almost knocked herself down a couple of times. The weather was beautiful that day, we were a little warm in our sweatshirts! We enjoyed it while it lasted believe me. It has already cooled down considerably. No snow, but our turn will come!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Ain't we sweet

Ya, my life is mostly wrapped around my kids, but they are so fun! They have their moments true, but then they have these kind of moments, that make everything worthwhile. 

Monday, 8 December 2008

The saga continues

Benjamin has become quite concerned about his appearance recently. I am sure you can guess why. You wouldn't know it but it took him a half hour to accomplish this extremly stylish hairstyle, and he has asked for a years supply of hair gel for christmas.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

In love

Benjamin has apparently found the love of his life. He drew her a very romantic picture of Alien heads and nightmare teeth, enclosed in an envelope with hearts and smiley faces. He definately has a way with the ladies!

Saturday, 29 November 2008


Costya and Sasha, Andrew had been studying with Costya (the guy) He was booted from the Jehovah witness church for dating Sasha. So we have been trying to fire up a Bible Study with them again.


We had a great time. I think the food tasted better, because we made it ourselves. Adrian also came over, but he was actually the photographer, which is why he isn't in any of the pictures


It's not a girl that we named Esther, If anybody else got confused.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

It's a boy!

This is what we call a baby bump Esther!

This is all a geuss as to just exactly what this is a picture of, I mean we are pretty sure it is a baby, (not a bicycle Carrie!)I guess Ultra sound equipment is probably a little older here, then it is in the States. Or maybe it is just me.
We didn't really want to know if it is a boy or a girl but I guess I was asking to many questions, the doctor was feeling especially ornery that day too. I haven't actually been seen by a doctor, we just managed to get the ultrasound and blood work done. The Obgyn (different doctor from the one that did the ultra sound) is way over worked. The government as I understand has started to offer people money to encourage them to have more kids. They get a certain amount for the first and then a little more for the second and more for the third. It must be working because I went to the hospital twice and called the doctor 4 times before she could find time to write on a peice of paper, what I needed, and send me off to get the blood work and the ultrasound done. Even when I was there, I waited for about a half hour and there were about 5 women waiting and I could tell at least one of them was in labor. She doesn't sound like she is going to try to see me either, She just asked that I come back at 28 weeks to get a shot. (I am rh negative) and I am lucky to get that. I don't think she could possibly be the only doctor in town, the only reasoning I have been given is just that she is a good doctor.

Friday, 7 November 2008

At long last

     Well, it has been a little while since I posted last. I am sure most of you have heard about Stuart. A lot has changed here in Nikopol since Thursday afternoon. Stuart should be going in for surgery today, we will keep everyone posted. Fortunately they were able to take him to Dnepropetrovsk to do the operation where medical care is much better. ( this is what socialized medicine looks like by the way, it isn't pretty) The more we hear, the more things are looking up. It sounds like he is stable and able to respond.  Justin and Kyle have come, which was good. The family needed them.

     Benjamin has picked up little bits of what has happened. Yesterday he questioned Andrew, as to just how sick Stuart is. It is amazing to watch his little mind wrap itself around such a big concept. He kind of teared up (which he fearsly denied) when the reality hit him that Stuart wouldn't be able to pick him up anymore. 

Monday, 27 October 2008

Fall fun!

We had a great time playing in the leaves until we saw people throwing trash in them. Too bad, we will have to get a rake and rake up our own pile of leaves for the kids to jump into.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Enough to be dangerous

        I know just enough about computers to be dangerous. I saw a link on some of the blogs I visit, called  "thecutestblog" as you can see, I decided to try to change my background and am not being very successful. Andrew is going to have to come home and save the day. In the meantime, bear with me. = ) 

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Baby shower

We threw a baby shower for Ann. A young lady in our church that just had a baby. This is actually her third, but it was her first boy. So we decided to show everybody a little American tradition. Everybody had a great time. We played two games. It was a challenge to think of games that they could play, anything with rhymes was out. I don't know enough Ukrainian rhymes and they don't know Americans rhymes of course. A lot of people that came don't know the Bible well enough to do anything on a biblical theme. And we couldn't get materials for lots of other games. For instance cotton balls, cotton comes in a wad here. I thought about using popcorn, but we would have needed a table which was covered with food. So we were limited but, I managed to come up with two games. The first one (I am sure many of you have played) where everyone pins a mini diaper on their shirt and at the end of the evening, we all open our diapers and someone gets a little "surprise". And the second, was where, you put your hand in a bag, and everyone has to try to guess what was in it without looking. You are supposed to have more objects then I had, but it was difficult to come up with things that they would be familiar with. For instance they don't use safety pins for cloth diapers, they kind of have a certain way of folding it, so safety pins aren't necessary. Or fingernail clippers, some cultures don't clip babies fingernails for superstitious reasons. So it was a challenge but it was very fun.

I wish I could take credit for this cake. But Valerie did it. She did a very nice job.

Ann's mother, and the honored guest, Anton. Ann has had some issues with her mother, because of their differences in belief. So we were excited when she decided to come, especially Ann. I just forgot to get a picture of Ann herself (oops)

Being goofy, wearing Benjamin's hats. Valerie didn't want to be in this picture, but she was a good sport. She happened to be sitting next to the other two girls and got roped in.

This is Lena. I am teaching her English and she is teaching me Russian. Which is going very well. She seems to actually speak English better then I speak Russian, but she is shy about speaking. So we can communicate very well. She is very fun.
Our winners of the second game "Whats in the bag" We had 4 people that were able to get all the items in the bag. We only had nine things, because it was so hard to come up with stuff. Everybody had fun anyway, and they were all happy with there prizes. So all in all it went well, and was very fun to put on, with the extra challenges.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


Andrew took the cat in to get him neutered this  morning. I was so glad to finally get him neutered he has been spraying in the bathroom and, making it very stinky and he seemed to be getting very aggresive. I was hoping a little operation would change some of that.  He can get down from the balcony (we aren't sure how, we still haven't seen him do it) and I was afraid he was going to become an alley cat, and wander the streets and just come home to eat.  Andrew took him to the vet this morning. As he left he told him(the cat) this was his last day to be a man.

Well they gave him the shot to put him out, and went to begin the operation, and discovered 'he' was a 'she'. The vet sure got a laugh out of that one, he didn't announce it quietly either. When Andrew called to tell me, I could hear the chorus of laughter in the background. It was my mistake and Andrew had to stand there and look like a doofus.  They had already given her the shot, which Andrew was going to have to pay for anyway. So they decided to do the other kind of operation. Which unfortunately was a little more expensive. 

The kids want so bad to make him I mean her feel better. Adele' tried to give her (or maybe it) her doll then she wanted to try to feed it/her and give her  a blankey.  They just can't seem to comprehend the poor thing just wants to be left alone.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Good morning!

There's a face to greet you in the morning!We took Carol to the market,(like several weeks ago now I know! I have been lazy) so I downloaded her pictures and finally managed to post them. We never bring our camera to the market so we never get pictures like this.  

We mostly figure that the meat market is probably a part of culture here that is most  different from any thing in the States. Other then this, there isn't to much that is really interesting in the market. I have never been to a farmers market in the states, but I would imagine it isn't much different. We buy our meat from the grocery store on styrofoam trays wrapped in cellophane. There might  not be any difference, it could be cut from the same cow. But I feel a little more comfortable. 

Sunday, 21 September 2008


If Peter Williams built a castle

This isn't all that great of a picture my photoshop couldn't really fix it either. But it is interesting. This is an escalator to the underground metro, I am told it is one of the deepest in the world. Some of the escalators or a ten minute ride.

After we dropped off Carol at the airport we kind of wandered around the city and discovered we happened to be there the day they were setting up for races. Unfortunately the races were the next day.But we got to see the race cars, which Benjamin was pretty excited about.

This is a mural at the entrance of one of the many orthodox churches in Kiev. As I took this picture I wondered how many snap shots I happened to be in that people have taken all over the world. You can never know.

Inside the gate

this is a building off to the side, where they had souveniers and bathrooms, and stuff. I thought the window was pretty

From what we could gather from the inscription written in old Ukranian we guessed this is a part of the original foundation of the church. The date on it was around 1090 which was shortly after the Greek orthodox church first evangelized Russia. When the Greek orthodox church got to Russia before the Catholic church, which caused money from Russia to go to the Greek orthodox church, which made the Catholics mad and so they excomunicated the Greeks. Because they can decide who is going to heaven and who is not. The church buildings are beautiful, but peoples hearts are so empty. It is sad, But people don't turn very easily from something that is so deep in their culture. All we can do is offer the truth and let God work in peoples hearts.

This church is 900 years old. It also dates back to about the same time as the previous picture.

visit from Grandma

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my blog while we had company. For one I have been terrible about taking very many pictures, much less downloading them and posting them. Andrew's toe is much better, He was already on his feet the day he got home, It was still pretty swollen but he could hobble around on it.
Carol seemed to enjoy her time here. She was glad to finally get to meet the christians she had heard about and been praying for, for so long.
And Adele and Benjamin enjoyed their visit with their Grandma too.

Hide and seek

This is Adele's birthday party. I got her two big toys rather then a lot of little ones. The stroller you can see was a hit with her, and you can see Benjamin playing on her giant ball in the back ground. They both enjoy it, but the ball was definately a hit with Benjamin.

Then on her last day here, they made brownies together. Carol had brought some bakers chocolate from the States, so they were extra special.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

travels and toes

          Benjamin and Andrew just left for Kiev to pick up Carol from the airport. They will take the overnight train tonight and and be there in the morning. Carol's plane should be arriving in the afternoon sometime, and then they will be back on their way down here. It is a very long trip to travel overseas, not so much because of the flight time, but because once you got to Kiev you've got to wait for the evening train. And your body is trying to tell you, you are supposed to be in bed. Carol is pretty nervous. She hasn't flown to often in the States much less overseas, especially by herself. We excited to have her, and a little touched that she was willing to brave the treacherous airports and hairy flight changes, and venomous security checks just to come see us. 

           Benjamin was pretty excited to go, Just dad and him. He has been planning to help Carol with the luggage, for a week now, since that would be the manly thing to do. Then when it came time to go, he started to get a little homesick. This is the first night he has ever spent away from me. I must admit I already miss him too.

          Andrew thinks he may have broken his toe just before he left. It wasn't swelling or anything, But he said it hurt pretty bad. He hurt it about twenty minutes before he left and it hadn't changed color or anything. He said he would be fine, but he took along the Arnica gel and some ice. If you don't know what Arnica gel is, it is really neat gel that helps any kind of internal injury to heal, its pretty neat stuff, the only homeopathic medicine Andrew believes in. Tonight he will be on the train so he shouldn't need to walk much, but tomorrow in Kiev he is going to have to be on his feet most of the day. I don't know what you are supposed to do about broken toes. You can put a cast on a foot but not a toe.  If he is hurting bad enough he might be able to find a doctor up there. 

          So they are off to a little rocky start, hopefully things will smooth out soon

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


We started school with Benjamin almost a week ago on the 21st of August. Mommy and Daddy were a little antsy to get started but so was Benjamin. We had intended to have Carol (Andrew's mother) bring curriculum when she comes to visit in September but decided it was to expensive. We can watch for it on ebay and get it for half or less of the full price. Kindergarten is simple enough I think we can probably figure it out anyway.  Benjamin really enjoys sitting down with daddy and doing his words . I am glad because Andrew is much more patient then I am.  Andrew is making up work sheets on the computer with words that have the same letters as in sat or bat, just the first letter changes and  Benjamin has to sound out what the first word is going to be.  Then after letters,  we work on his numbers, Mommy can sometimes take over from this point if Andrew  has somewhere he needs to go. Benjamin is learning to count to 100 before we start any addition or subtraction.  Then we learn about  animals or bugs from the science websites like National Geographic. I am so thankful for the internet, it is so nice to have so much information at your fingertips. So Benjamin is really excited to learn, as you can see Adele' also has to be part of the action. The excitement I am sure will wear off soon but for now we are all having fun. 

Saying verses at bedtime, Adele' likes to take the piece of paper with a verse written on it and "say" them too.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Youth group

We don't usually go to youth group, but we have some neighbors that we invited so we went to accompany them, and really had a good time. I was very surprised at how much it has grown. There were 21 people there that night, 8 christians, including Andrew and I. So it is quite an outreach.   Our neighbors that we invited are pretty excited about it.  (Their parents are too, so we are going to see if they are interested in a bible study) 

I don't have a picture but there were 42 people at the concert that we had on Wednesday, 22 of them guests, and of those that aren't geusts there are a few that regularily come to church but have not yet become christians. So that was pretty exciting. It is so neat to see people excited about the church. A lot of the geusts we had were invited by church members. I just hope we will get some permenant growth from all of it.