Wednesday, 30 July 2008


We have been enjoying some visitors from the church in Minsk. Two of them are part of the band that Zach and Adrian and Kaylona are a part of. So when they are together they like to do a concert.
After church we had a little lunch. Valerie and I had kind of thrown a few things together, and a couple other ladies brought a few things. So we had a nice little lunch, we were happy because we didn't have to do much work.
You can see the lady serving water in the back behind the cups.
These guys are going to be famous someday. The guy in the middle, Anton, is their lead singer from Minsk and you can barely see the head of their base player, Sasha, behind Kaylona.
We had a about ten visitors. a group of boys that hasn't come to church previously. We met Them when we did English lessons in April and three girls that have only been coming for youth group on Saturday. Then there was a few kids, and a neighbor boy sitting on the fence watching from behind the band, I don't think you can see him in the picture. Anyway we had a good time. Most of our visitors from Minsk are in the Crimea for this week and then will be heading back up to Minsk.

Friday, 25 July 2008

The rest

I don't know how to post more then five pictures in one post, so I will just finish with a second post.

The only glitch in our trip is that we didn't manage to accomplish what we had gone there to do. The embassy was not willing to change my visitors visa to a religous visa. She said the reason was that I already have a valid visa. The same lady did the same thing for Andrew just a few weeks ago. When Andrew showed her his passport, she said it was just a mistake she had made, but was still not willing to do it for me.  This means Andrew can't register me or the kids here in the Ukraine. 

Back home!

We enjoyed our time in Moldova but we are sure glad to be back home. I was surprised how different it is from the Ukraine. Outside of the capital it seemed very poor. In the city it was very westernized, but outside the city it reminded me of Fiddler on the roof. Every town had several wells, and horse drawn buggies and old old houses. In the city it was beautiful architecture, parks, and a very nice mall. Although we didn't do any shopping. It was set up really strange. It was like a maze with little long hallways in-between shops. Andrew said he felt like he was supposed to find the cheese. We enjoyed a good pizza place, and  a Greek restaurant the next day, every restaurant had a play ground so the kids were happy. We stayed in a very comfortable hotel. The weather was nice, it was even a little chilly one day. And the whole trip was really cheap. Traveling on the train was hot though. We were glad to get home and take a shower. 

Just a quaint old house
Probably a barn(?) I was just impressed with the thatched roof
A well. There was at least two or three in every village. They looked like they were probably used too. Some of them looked recently repaired. When we were crossing the border, they were doing some construction and the workers kept a bucket full of water that they all drank out of. I never thought about it. I always kind of figured Jesus had a cup when he asked the woman at the well for some water.
We also saw quite a few horse drawn buggies. It was hard to get good pictures because we weren't there for sight seeing.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

More Green in the world!

            This next spring we will be expanding our family once again! This baby (we think) is due sometime in March. Which is about the time we will be in the States anyway. The more I know about Russian medicine the less I want to have a baby here. A baby was just born to some friends in Minsk. She had a 8 lb 5 ounce baby. It was her first so she was having a little trouble getting it out so the nurses, in an attempt to help, pushed on the woman's stomach, and caused the baby nerve damage in his shoulder.

            Prenatal visits are about as much as I can put up with.  Visits to the doctor when I was pregnant with Adele' were a culture shock everytime I went. There is no concept of privacy no attempt at preserving a woman's dignity. The bathroom doesn't have a door on it the door to the doctors observation (?) room (whatever you would call it) didn't close and it was open to another room where people were free to walk in and out as they pleased.  And actually Russian people really don't care. Once a woman stood up in the waiting room and began to undress herself. They would kind of chuckle at me when I asked them to close the door, I can't imagine what having a baby would be like but I would really rather not try it. 

5 years old!

Big boy!
Benjamin is 5 years old! How time does fly! We had a little birthday party for him after church on Sunday. He got lots of trucks and robots and more trucks. I also made him a batman outfit. But he was to shy to try it on. We will have to post a picture later. Adele' is soon going to be two! It is hard to believe, they grow up fast! 

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Last lesson

Watermelon eating contests
  should be nap time
Really getting into it
(left to right) Benjamin,  Masha, Dasha,(Dasha is visiting from Minsk) Maxim and Edik) We painted T-shirst the week before,(the ones that painted are modeling there artwork) but we had to skip a week because of the construction going on in the building. I had wanted to have classes outside, but it decided to rain that day, so we had to cancel, then the next week kids were already going different directions. So we didn't have as many kids. I think there is probably a good chance it isn't the last time we will see them anyway. Kaylona and Adrian and Zach are doing a concert soon, so I am sure some kids will be interested in that. Hopefully thier parents will come too. We talked with Edik's father (far right) He said he is coming on Sunday. So lets hope. He likes to play the drums, so he might also be interested in the concert. We had a lot of fun. And the kids retained the lessons very well, and they are all waiting for next year. 

Friday, 11 July 2008

Finished!!!... mostly

Pretty crowded!
shouldn't be now! The slab of wood you see in the middle of the floor is where the heat was. Where the tile is is where the old main hall was and where the wood is was the storage room. It will all eventually be tiled. 
The ceiling has to be replaced but before we do, the roof is so bad we have to do the roof first, so leaking doesn't ruin the new ceiling. As you can see it is sadly in need of repair, yes that is the sun light shining through the planks! So we still have a lot of work to do, but we should be able to do it a little at a time now.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Benjamin and Veronica working on the wall.

The kids got to be the first to tear a hole in the wall. It wasn't long before we decided we were going to be there all day. So they had a little help from behind the wall. I think Veronica's little sister took a wack at it a little later in the video too.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

work at the church building

Andrei and Jenya just getting started. We had to tear this wall out to expand the main room at the church building 
We only had one wheel barrow so the guys passed bricks through the window and the ladies formed an assembly line outside to put them in the pile of rubble. While they carried loads out with the  wheel barrow. Two wheel barrows  would have gotten in each others way anyway. And we could get about as much accomplished in the same amount of time as the  guys could. 
Benjamin after we were finished for the day standing on the top of the pile of rubble wearing daddy's big work gloves. He would have liked to be in there lifting the heavy stuff with the big boys, but it was too dangerous
Wheelbarrow rides.
They decided while they were at it to tear down the ceiling. It was going to have to be done, anyway, so they figured while they were dirty they might as well tackle that too. I will post before and after when it is all finished.

one room finished

This isn't really a great before picture because it doesn't show what it was before we started working on it at all. I geuss we decided we didn't want to remember how bad it was. A layer of concrete had fallen off the wall where we put up the sheet rock It took us awhile ( what am I saying? I didn't do anything) It took Andrew a while, and an awful lot of plaster to get it all smoothed out,  

Here the wall to the right is the wall in the first picture. The blue is actually more of a sea blue green kind of color. It looks navy next to the navy in the blanket. Navy is what we were shooting for but we are very happy with what we ended up with. The walls are buttery yellow. It is very pleasent in the morning when the sun shines in the big window. 

The only unpleasent thing is having the neighbors balcony right outside our bedroom window. I have a big curtain, but have not figured out how to hang it up yet. Curtain rods here, are oddly enough very expensive. And they are great big things that take up the whole wall. What I wouldn't give for a wal-mart. We had been stringing it up with a piece of twine, but the kids kept stepping on the curtain and pulling the nail out of the wall, or the cat would hang on it. Anyway it is really nice to have just one room done. The living room is also close to being done. I know we have probably broken all kinds of decorating rules because we have no idea what we are doing. But it suits us. Phooey on all those people who think they know what they are talking about. We are quite happy.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

mud volleyball

Apparently it got worse after I left

We got to use our new baptistry for the first time yesterday! You can see it in the background. We had to drain it into the yard which was the reason for the mud. Then Stuart figured the boys were already muddy, so he decided to water the lawn. So Benjamin played in the water. Everybody had a blast anyway. You can probably read about the baptism on the COC blog. If you don't read it in the newsletter first. 

photography bug

I have always thought this little house behind the church building is kind of picturesque. People here build a small temporary house to live in so they can build a bigger more permanent
house while living in the little one. Then they use the little one for storage, or sometimes they just use the kitchen in the little one, so they don't heat up their house in the summer when they are doing all their canning.  I have wanted to take pictures of it for a little while. Thanks for the inspiration Casey!