Saturday, July 24, 2010

Come with me...


and see

and some

or the neighbor's walnut tree.

Take a walk through

Smell the fresh air

Maybe stop to eat at Yuri's...

His home may be small, but

And as you go on your way, just remember...

With love and lots of


Sneaky Links

I have taken off the "You might also like" feature on my blog because I noticed that they had links to a spanish site and a UK site instead of links to my previous posts.  If I am able to use it without it linking to other sites without my permission, I will add it again.  I want my blog to be used only for the glory of God and try not to direct you to any sites that I do not agree with. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Attack of the Zucchinis

Literally...I went out to my garden tonight after our prayer service and didn't think I'd ever make it out!  The zucchini plants seemed to be grabbing me from every direction!  I have the scratch marks to prove it! 
Except for the heat, I always look forward to this time of year now that I'm living in Ukraine.  Besides the zucchini, there's the strawberry season, raspberry season, cherry season...MMMMM.  The only way it could get any better is if they had blueberries, about the only thing they don't grow here.  (We're coming into apricot and plum season now.)  Just about every where you go, you will see people with their little stands selling their produce.  I absolutely LOVE the open air market, but rarely get to go anymore because 1) way too hot and crowded for a baby and 2) about an hour from our house.  When we first came to Ukraine, I went all of the time and always came back carrying way more than a pregnant woman should.  I'd just get too tempted by all of the smells of the fruit and vegetables and end up buying just about everything.

ANYWAYS....back to the attacking zucchinis.  Not only are they attacking me in the garden, but they are also invading my house.  Like I said though, I always look forward to this time of year and we are eating a LOT of zucchini stuff lately.  One of my favorite things to do is find someone new to give zucchini bread to.  It's always fun to see their response after they eat it.  They are always so surprised by sweet zucchini bread.  They, in turn, have surprised us with some tasty zucchini entrees.

SO, thought that I would share a few recipes with you that have helped me keep our zucchinis a little in check.  (Sorry, except for the last one I don't have exact measurements.)

~Fried Zucchinis with Garlic Mayonaise~

Slice zucchini into rounds.  Sprinkle with salt and roll in flour.  Fry.

Press garlic and mix into mayo.  Drop a spoonful onto one of the fried zucchini rounds.  Add a little sprig of fresh dill or parsley, if desired.  (I'd recommend the dill..mmmm.)  Watch out.  They disappear fast!

~Zucchini Patties~

Shred zucchini.  Add in approximately 2 eggs, some salt and flour until consistency like pancakes???  (Again, sorry no measurements.  They never seem to have measurements.  "Just add until it looks right.")  Fry.  Eat with sour cream or garlic mayonaise.

~Zucchini Lasagna~

(This one I actually found somewhere online, but thought that I would share it because it has become a family favorite.  Eric doesn't like vegetables, but tried it because it smelled so good.)

4 sm. zucchinis (I use only 2)                                  1/2 tsp. dried basil leaf
2 lg. tomatoes                                                           1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. finely chopped onions                                   3 tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic                                                           8 oz. shredded cheese (mild cheddar)
1/2 tsp. salt                                                                 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease dish (8x8 or 9x9). 

Cut zucchini into 1/2 in. rounds.  Slice tomatoes into half, then into quarters.  Mix together zucchini to black pepper.  Toss.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss.  Turn into baking pan.

Bake 25 minutes or until almost tender when pierced with a fork.  Top with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes.

*You might need more onions and garlic depending on how much zucchini you have...we tend to like it better with more onions and garlic.
*I sometimes add Italian Seasoning instead of the basil.
*Any cheese will work.  I usually don't know what kind of cheese I'm using...I just grab a cheese that smells good and use that...or whatever Eric is able to find in the village.

ENJOY!  Let me know if you try them out!  If you have a favorite zucchini recipe, I'd love to hear it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sun & Flowers

"Your going to Ukraine to be missionaries?  Better bring some WARM clothes 'cause it's COOOOLD there."  That's what we thought too.  When I went shopping for a coat, didn't seem like I could find one that I thought would be warm enough.  As I packed our few boxes for Ukraine, it included some nice, WARM sweaters.  Cold, snowy winters?  Bring it on!  I must admit, I was a little shocked once winter came and found out that Maine was colder sometimes and definitely had Ukraine beat in the snow area.  I was even more shocked at how hot the summers are!  Praise the Lord He allowed it to be cool the week Sammy was born!  To help beat the heat, and the crankiness, we turned the girls little sandbox (was more like a dessert) into a mini pool...their own personal oasis in our backyard.  It has greatly helped the attitude in our house.

Nastia, one of the neighbor girls, comes over almost daily and joins the girls in their "pool".  While the girls are playing, sometimes her mom will stand by the fence between our houses and talk.   During the first few weeks, people kept coming over and whispering something to me.  I finally think I've figured out what they were saying...think it was something like "They're Jehovah Witnesses.  Don't talk to them."  From what she and Nastia have said, I think that they may be Orthodox.  She allows the JW's into her home at least for studies, which may be why people say she is one.  This, to me, says that she's searching for something and whether JW or Orthodox, they still need Jesus.  Pray for me that God will give me the words (in Russian) to say to her.  My Russian vocabulary is still so limited and I usually have the distraction of kids that sometimes I can't think of what to say until it is too late.  The mom's name is Sveta. 

On Sunday before church we had our first lady's Bible study.  Some of the ladies will be sharing what God is doing in their lives.  I shared with them last Sunday a study I had been doing on the tongue which started from a study I did on the virtuous woman who spoke wise AND kind words. (Proverbs 31:26)  Desiring to be like her, I strove to watch my words and control my tongue.  What I found out is that, even though the tongue is little, no man is able to tame it. (James 3:5, 8)  The end of James 3 tells us that the tongue is controlled by the heart .  If we have bitterness and strife in our hearts, that is what will come out of our mouth.  Which led me back to one of my favorite verses...."Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."  Philippians 4:8  Even if none of them needed this study, I did!  Between, the new baby, heat, difference in customs (especially concerning what to do with babies), etc., I've been in need of this reminder.  (Eric has had fun with this and taken every opportunity this week to "preach" my Bible study at me all week.)  I am looking forward to hearing Lina share with us tomorrow.  I believe she will be talking about "doing all for the Glory of God", which I could use that too.  Whether I am changing diapers, doing dishes, cooking for Sunday/Wednesday services, teaching ladies' Bible studies...ALL need to be done for the Glory of God.

Wednesday night services have been going well, with new visitors from the village on a regular basis...though our little living room is way past the point of crowded.  Some of our "regulars" make jokes about the lack of room, but you can tell they are happy about that problem.

Yesterday on the way home from evangelism, Eric let me stop by a sunflower field near our village.  They are absolutely beautiful and every year I have wanted to get a picture.  So, here are a few of the pictures we took (couldn't get him to take a picture with me because it was spur of the moment and Lydia was sleeping...still got a picture of her).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Married to the devil

...or so that is what one lady said. 

While Eric was passing out tracts on Monday at a subway stop, an older lady started yelling at him, calling him the devil and saying, "Go home, non-Russian!"  She then proceeded to "loudly advise" any passer-by-ers not to take his tracts because he was a "satanist" and a "foreigner".  The funny thing is, that only made people more interested in taking his tracts!  Not only did that lady draw quite a bit of attention, but the tract itself was an attention grabber.  On the front was a picture of Jesus on the cross and it said "He did this for you".  Some people when they saw this said things like "awful" or "terrible".  To this, Eric would reply, "Yes it is, but He did it for you."  When Eric was talking to one lady about salvation, she said that her salvation was in the cross she was wearing.  Eric told her that she wouldn't find that in the Bible.  Her response?  Yes she would!  Eric told her, "Read the Bible and look.  You won't find that it says that anywhere."  Overall, even though he said that he had quite a few people who responded negatively, he also had many who promised that they would read the tract.

Though I didn't get to go with him this time, I always love hearing and watching him witness, especially in Russian.  When I can't go, I enjoy listening to him tell about those that he meets.  His boldness always encourages me to do more.  The more Russian he knows, the more he doesn't let people get by without hearing some of the gospel, even if they won't take his tract. 

Please pray for us as we seek to tell people about salvation through Jesus Christ.  As you walk down the streets or sit in the subway, you can see the hopelessness and discouragement on their faces.  They are looking for something-someone to fill the void that only Jesus can fill.

Pray for Eric "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me (and Eric), that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
Ephesians 6:19,20

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Waiting to be Translated

That's where we are at with Sammy's birth certificate!  Eric said that this time he received all the papers needed much quicker and easier than with either of the girls.  We are sure it is because of your prayers.  Thank you so much for praying for us concerning this.  Right now, his birth certificate is at a notorious waiting to be translated and stamped.  Eric should be able to pick it up tomorrow.  The only thing left is to get his American Birth Abroad, passport, visa and SS, but since we will be dealing with the American embassy, the hardest part will probably be the 10 hr train ride to Kiev. 

Again, thank you for your prayers!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My New Kitchen

What has been keeping me busy these days (besides my new little man:))? My NEW KITCHEN! For the past almost year (WOW has it really been THAT long since we moved into this house?), I have been washing my dishes in buckets, not so gentle on the back. Slowly, my enthusiasm for cooking waned to almost nothing. I was thinking that maybe it was the heat, but the near 100 degrees weather hasn't been stopping me lately! Eric ordered the cabinets 2 weeks before Sammy was born thinking it would help me with my desire for more order. I am SO thankful that he did! The baskets under the table were always overflowing with things...especially since the girls help put away the dishes. (They put away their laundry too, so we won't be taking any pictures of their drawers. At least now they get the clothes in the right drawer.)

Here is a BEFORE picture:

And (drum roll) here is my NEW KITCHEN:

Isn't it cute? It has added so much more space to our house! The girls absolutely love "our" ("You have to share, Mama.") new kitchen and are always wanting to sit up on the cabinet and help me cook and wash dishes. (Before I got my cabinets, I had decided that I was going to have kids sitting on them helping me cook and clean because of this blog. I just recently found out that it's not culturally proper to do this, but we love the time together so much that I don't think we can go back now!) Don't worry...I wash the counter top afterwards!

Well, really should be going. ALL of my three little ones are sleeping, and I should probably be too. Just waiting for the zucchini bread to get out of the oven.

P.S. Have you seen our new van?? So many new things happening here lately that I can't keep up with it all! It has been a HUGE blessing to have our own vehicle to transport people (and us) to church on Sundays instead of having to rely on a rented one. Eric posted a picture on our ministry blog.

Sammy's Papers - Update

We received all of Sammy's papers from the hospital AND they were marked with the correct date! Eric said this was the easiest and quickest that he has ever received any of the kids paperwork. We are now in the second part of paperwork...applying for his Ukrainian birth certificate. We have two weeks left to receive his "Ukrainian birth certificate" or we will have to go back to the hospital for more paperwork. After that, we will go to Kiev and apply for his birth abroad, SS, passport and visa. Even though he has the Ukrainian birth certificate he will not be considered an Ukrainian citizen because they do not allow dual citizenships. In order to get his American one, though, we need the Ukrainian birth certificate. Thanks for your prayers!


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