Monday, March 29, 2010

Living Room/Our Room

After much time and a few email requests, I am finally posting some new pictures of my little doll house. Why do I call it that? Well, it's not an oversized, stuffy, cold castle but it reminds me more of a little doll house, which I get to play in and with every day. Which is part of the reason that I have not added new pictures...I've been constantly arranging and rearranging. I've even gotten Eric to move the piano and couch for me once! (Though he has said he will not be doing that again.)

Instead of just one post, I'm going to be posting pictures one room at a time (maybe not one post right after another-but eventually you'll see all of the rooms). For two reasons,
1) I can post more pictures of one room and 2) I can't seem to get all of the rooms to be "picture ready" at the same time. They were ready, but now we don't have water, so my bathroom is filled with laundry and I have lots of jugs for getting water hanging around.

The layout of our house. (Proportions are not right.)

My little dolls in my little doll house.

See that green thing Anna is playing with? It's a box that has been haunting my living room all winter. I've finally decided, if I can't have it moved, I'll just make it work for me. Now I just have to get to the garage to find something prettier to cover it with.

Hope you enjoyed the first stop in our tour. If you were visiting, this is where we would be spending most of our time enjoying a cup of tea-or coffee, if you prefer. :)

If you didn't see the house before, you can go here (video), here (video), here, here, or here (in order from oldest to newest). The last one is actually a video of the house after it was completed, just a different arrangement. (Eric's office was behind the couch.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Full and Fun Friday

Early Friday morning we headed over to Yuri and Christina's to help them plant their cucumbers. I almost didn't go because I thought the girls and I would just be in the way, but decided to go anyways just for support - and to take pictures. I'm SO glad I did! The girls and I had tons of fun. I didn't end up getting many pictures because 1) I worked the whole time and 2) forgot my camera at home. Thankfully, Eric had his phone so I could take a few pictures.

Just one example of Ukrainian creativity and resourcefulness.

Eric and Christina covering one of the tables of cucumbers.

A few pictures of the girls. As you can see, they enjoyed themselves. They even got to plant one cumcumber seed each!

This was just the beginning of their play time. By the time we were finished, not only were they covered head to toe in dirt, but they had also each decided to take a bite!

We went over to be a blessing to them, but I think that they ended up being more of a blessing to us. They were so grateful for the help that not only did they feed us (MMM she made the BEST chicken I have EVER had! I don't think I can ever cook chicken for her again after eating hers!), but showered us with gifts. They gave us pickles, a few other canned goods and most of their last bag of walnuts from their tree. Christina even tried to give me a beautiful new sweater! In the whole time that I have known Christina I have never seen her wear a new item of clothing. Her willingness to make such a sacrifice was very humbling and a lesson in giving. At the end of the day Yuri said, "Hmmmm. What can we do next Friday?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vodka or Water?

That's what I get for going to the doctor's by myself, without a translator. I can usually get around pretty good without a translator but I've never tried going to the doctor's without a translator and I was REALLY nervous, so some mistakes are to be expected. It makes it even worse that I speak too quietly when I'm nervous.

In English, those two words sound nothing alike. In Russian they are kinda close...closer than I realized. (Vodka-stress on the first part...Voda (water)- stress on the last.) So when the nurse asked me if I had had anything to eat or drink that morning and I said voda in my quiet manner and stress in the wrong place, I got a REALLY strange look. She then asked me "Vodka or Voda?" I quickly clarified. Overall, I didn't do too bad...I think. We'll see once Lina looks at the paperwork to see what else I said. (They were asking me questions about any diseases I had formerly and sometimes I just answered no, not fully knowing what they were asking. Figured that was the safest way to go since I've never had any diseases or illnesses.)

That was yesterday. Today I brought Anna to the doctor (with a translator...though I think I could have made it fine ;)) and she had her brace taken off. She was SO excited that she barely stopped talking and singing all day! The doctor made me feel like I was an awful parent and told me that we need to be even more careful this time that she doesn't break her collar bone again. I was going to explain to him that I really tried last time and how impossible it is to keep Anna from falling, but decided just to leave it alone. Prayer is the only thing that is going to keep her from breaking it again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What I've Learned on the Mission Field this picture really has nothing to do with my post, but it was so cute - in a goofy sort of way - that I had to share it with you. This picture was taken on Sunday after Max's baptism. Lydia hopped up on the chair and started singing and "talking", buckle undone and all.

NOW to my post.

What have I learned on the mission field? That MY plans are not always HIS plans. Planning is good, but must be very flexible. (Even as I have been writing this post, my lunch plans have changed twice. My plan was to cook a nice soup for lunch, but now that the weather has been warmer out, they regularly turn off the then it was sandwiches for lunch again. But 30 minutes later, they again turned on the electricity. So soup again. YAY!) From my mom, I inherited a love for pretty planners and organizers. Unfortunately, I failed to inherit her ability to be flexible (or maybe that came with time for her too, being a pastor's wife and mom of 7 kids). I love to have a plan for, hour-by-hour, cleaning....the list goes on. If things got off schedule, I started to feel stressed and anxious. Since coming to the mission field though, things just haven't gone as "planned". I came over "planning" on working with another missinary, have someone to go shopping with, talk to about life on the mission field, plan ladies' meetings with...etc. GOD's plan was to move them back to America shortly after we got to the field. MY plan: to work in an orphanage here, which I was able to do for a little while. For now, God has closed that door. Sometimes my plans have brought more stress than was necessary. When we came over, we knew God wanted us here and we were planning on having our first baby in the hospital here. I was stressed out for most of the last half of my pregnancy, telling God I just couldn't do it. GOD's plan? He worked everything out for a home birth.

SO, how am I doing today with the never ending changing of "plans"? Well, let's go back to Monday.

Mondays are MY day. I love Mondays. I spend the day in intensive cleaning and organizing for the week...but do it slowly, enjoying time with my girls reading and playing in between. We are dressed VERY casual, usually our hair is unwashed (gasp!) and I may or may not be wearing matching socks. (Papa usually doesn't get home from the city until late on Mondays, so his girls are usually bathed and smelling pretty by the time he gets home.) Up until now, if Mondays don't go as planned, the whole week feels like a ball spinning out of control. Monday morning, everything was going as planned...the girls and I started the laundry, did some dishes and were just putting away the playdough when Eric called from Yuri's house and said that he was going to run some errands with him and then have them over for lunch. He knew I didn't have anything in the house because Monday is also when he goes shopping for me, so he said he would drop off some chicken wings for me before they ran the errands...was that okay? Sure. So, I quickly got ready. He came in and handed me my chicken wings...they were frozen. "Everything okay?" "They're frozen." "Is it going to take to long?" "No. I can make it work." "Okay, we'll be back in about 20-30 minutes." I started preparing the vegetables and finished the biscuits. They got back, half of the chicken was still needing to be thawed and the water for my rice had just started to boil. I go to put the rice in...we are all out of rice. What do I do? No potatoes, no rice...ahhh! Then I spy a box of stuffing mix from America someone had given me! With the fried chicken, not only did we have a good meal, but I was able to enjoy myself and visit. At the end of the day my husband came over to me, gave me a big hug and kiss and said "Thank you. You fulfilled your role today." That made everything, including the sink (tub) full of dishes worth it. AND my week wasn't ruined...just got everything done on Tuesday WITH unexpected guests for tea! There may still be days...or weeks when I fail in this area of changing plans, but slowly I'm getting there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Living on the Train

Lately I feel like my second home is on the train. Late last Wednesday night, Eric and I boarded the train to Kiev to have pages added to our passports. We only spent about 30 minutes at the American Embassy (always amazed at how quickly and smoothly they get things done), then we headed over to TGIF for Eric's birthday lunch.

A few days later, I again boarded the train, except this time with Valentina and Lina and headed down to Simferopol for their Women's Day Banquet on Monday. On the train we had a great time of fellowship and I got a LOT of Russian practice. The ladies are still talking about our trip. It was a huge blessing to them to meet so many other Ukrainians of like faith. The Sloan family hosted us while we were there and went way out of their way to make us comfortable. If you would like to read more about the work the Lord is doing in the church there you can visit Jolene's blog or the VanSant's web site.

Even though we had a great time, I was excited to get home and see my husband and girls. This was the first time that Eric has watched them for more than a few hours and only my second overnight away from them. They were all pretty excited to have me home. Anna kept telling me that she loved me and missed me and "Anna's happy Mama's home." Lydia just kept saying "Mama" and hugging me. Eric had the dishes done and even tried making no-bake cookies! I was quite impressed...even if I couldn't quite eat them. (The vanilla here is a little different and you usually only need about half of what is called for in a recipe.)

I have been amazed at how much I've been able to accomplish in the short time I've been home...and even managed a few naps! So far I've "spring cleaned" the bathroom and living room. Wednesday I spent the day at the doctor's office with Anna. They said she is healing well and should be able to have the brace taken off the 23rd of March.

I have so much I want to post but just haven't been able to find time for blogging these days. I have to make the choice between the computer or a nap...and lately, I've chosen the nap. We are in the proccess of re-arranging our schedule so we'll see how everything fits. In just a few more weeks, we'll be boarding the train again - this time with the girls - to head to Poland to renew our visas.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

China Doll Update

Just wanted to give you a quick update on our little china doll. The doctor said that Anna broke her collar bone in the same place as last time. Thankfully though this time the bone did not have to be reset.

This morning after we finished devotions and chores, the girls were sitting in some of my empty baskets. Anna's tipped and she landed on the left side...her hurt side. The doctor has said no toys, no baskets, no chairs....I still think it would be easier to bubble wrap her. I'm open to suggestions though. :)

Like last time, she will be in a brace for about 3 weeks but will need to be careful for about 3 months. At least this is happening before the baby comes.

Fine China

Well, it is only 9:31 here in the morning and already our little china doll, Anna, has broken her collar bone again. As soon as we can get a taxi, we'll be headed to the doctor's office again. Would appreciate your prayers.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Suits & Ties and This & That

I had my second visit with the doctor today and an ultrasound. They said it's time to put away the frills and bows and go shopping for suits and ties...okay, so that's not really how THEY put it. They simply said that we are definitely having a boy this time, but I think that he will be needing a little suit of some sort. So in a few months I'll not only have two dolls to dress up, but also a little man. :)

The visit went much better this time, though I spent most of it traveling around to different places trying to take all kinds of tests. I only saw the doctor for a few minutes today but she was much nicer. Definitely a praise! Every doctor/nurse that we came into contact with wanted to know why I was having my baby here in Ukraine. Though I usually didn't get a chance to talk much, I pray that God can use the little we did say and our peaceful, pleasant attitudes to work upon hearts. It was only the Lord that helped me end the day with a smile, amidst all of the blood, etc. tests, because I definitely can't smile on my own while having a needle stuck in me. I think this is the first time that I've come back from a Ukrainian hospital smiling instead of almost in tears. Thank you all for praying. Not sure what we will do once we get closer to time as I heard they usually have you stay at the hospital the last two weeks of pregnancy, but God knows.

Wednesday night after church, Eric and I will be taking the train to get pages added to our passports. I'm excited and nervous at the same time as it will be the first time I have ever left the girls overnight. Then on Monday, the 8th, a couple of the ladies and I will be heading down to Simferopol for their Women's Day Banquet...again, leaving my little girls behind, but feel a little better knowing that they will be with Papa. I know we will have a great time of fellowship and look forward to sharing lots of pictures with you. Please be praying for safety traveling. Everyone is already teasing me about how I'm going to make it on the train...I sleep SURROUNDED by pillows when I'm pregnant. I just might have to bring a few small throw pillows with me for belly/back support. ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...