Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Sunday in Pictures

Eric's parents sent over an adorable
little church outfit for Sammy. 
Because I absolutely love it, I just had to post a few pictures.

 This was one of the many family photo attempts...
I didn't have much to choose from,
so I finally just chose the funniest.
And it's not my corny fake smile that I am talking about.
Take a closer look at Anna...

 Don't you just want to kiss those cheeks?

Valentina with the kids. 

Valentina and Sammy.
(Did you know that she was at our house for the births
of both Lydia and Sammy?)

Yuri and Vladamir

It snowed this morning.  The girls were so excited
I could barely drag them away from the windows
to get them ready this morning!
Every time it snows it makes such a huge difference in the landscape that all we can think about is the blood of Christ
how it covers all of our sins and makes us white as snow.
I wanted to take a picture, but the snow had already melted
by the time we got home from church.
Can't wait for it to make everything beautiful again!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ukrainian Thanksgiving trADDITIONS

Do you remember my Thanksgiving gift last year?  Well, this year Yuri and Christina brought something else that Ukrainians really enjoy...and unfortunately, it wasn't borsch.

As we were all getting ready to eat, Eric came up to me and whispered, 'Who brought the sandwiches?'  'Yuri and Christina...and you better eat it.'  We both knew that if we didn't, we'd offend them.  Soooooooo...we both lingered around the kitchen, eating slowly  looking for ways to hide and dispose of this delicacy, both of us knowing what the other was up to. 

'Are you going to throw it?'  I asked.  'Ummm.' was his reply.  'Well, if you find an opportunity you better take mine too!'

In the end, we ended up having to eat it.  What was this addition to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner?  It was...

A caviar sandwich

As each little ball burst in my mouth leaving a very salty, fishy taste I thought 'And they thought my potato soup was salty!' 

I can't complain too much though, because I know it could be much fact, I think last year's was worse.  I'm just thankful that our Thanksgiving meal didn't include bugs or something gross like that.

Thanksgiving ALWAYS has Pumpkin Pie

WOW!  I think I need to make it a rule that I do not blog when tired...that last post was sure....something.  It was like 5 post ideas squeezed into one.  I have a bad tendency to talk to much when I'm overtired...then I get into the giggling stage...then I cry.  The first time Eric witnessed it he thought (outloud) "Whoa!  What did I get myself into?"  SO, sorry that you had to witness that.

So, after all of my midnight rambling, how did our Thanksgiving go?  I can honestly say that this Thanksgiving was our best.  There seemed to be such a sweet spirit.  Sometimes after cooking meals, I feel like NEVER cooking for them again...Ukrainians are hard to cook for...or at least some of ours are.  I think part of it is just that they think everything in America is better, so at least they can say that their cooking is better.  I've learned to take it as a compliment when no one says anything negative.  But not only did they not say anything negative, but they also said they loved everything...Especially the turkey.  You see, this was the first time they had ever eaten turkey.  I wish you could have seen them as I pulled back the tinfoil from the turkey!  There were multiple "Ooooo!"s  and many "Take a picture!"s  Christina even made Yuri come in and take a picture!  It really was a sight!  Some crowding into the kitchen, some standing in the doorways, the rest looking over everyone's shoulders.  The turkey stole the show. 

Another thing that was long looked forward to was the pumpkin pie.  Eric later told me that Dema, Lena's husband, asked for the day off so he could come.  He also spent some time online researching our American Thanksgiving.  (I am SO glad that I did not know that ahead of time, otherwise I would have been Really nervous!)  In the car on the way over, he talked to Eric all about it.  One of the first questions he asked was, 'Will there be pumpkin pie?'  When Eric said yes, Dema matter-of-factly responded, 'Good.  Because Thanksgiving always has pumpkin pie.' 

What a blessing it was to be surrounded by them, our 'second family'.  The day would have been pretty depressing.  Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday and I think it has quickly moved back into my favorite again.  It's funny.  It's almost like I am living a parallel life.  On one side, I have the yearly, family Thanksgiving that I will always cherish and just seems like Thanksgiving.  But everyone is growing up, moving away, having that Thanksgiving, the one that I remember and cherish, can never really be had again.  If I think about it, yes it's sad.  If I dwell on it, yes I'll be depressed.  But Praise the Lord for giving us new 'family' to make new Thanksgiving memories with.  The memories and traditions may be different, but they are still beautiful.  

And what do the Ukrainians think?
    "Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!"

Coming up: Ukrainian Thanksgiving tradditions. ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

"There's a Fire! Get out of the van!"

Sitting in the very back of the van, Christina and I were completely oblivious to why we suddenly stopped in the middle of the road...or why everyone in the front seat was jumping out of the car...or why Pasha said he was walking.  No.  We didn't find out what was going on until they had pretty much fixed the problem.  It really wasn't as bad as they made it out to be (thankfully, because we were pretty stuck in the back of the van), just ended up being some smoke.  Pasha still decided to walk.  Even though he says that he doesn't believe the Bible or in a place called hell, he is still very scared at the thought of dying.  We continue to pray that God will work upon his heart to bring him to salvation.

Other than that, the services today were a blessing.  There seemed to be such a sweet spirit amongst the believers and Vladamir came today!  It was so good to see him!  He looked clean cut and put together today.  Dema, Lena's husband, also came.  This is the second, regular church service that he has attended (the first one was only the week before last).  A lot of people have been praying for his salvation, even before we were even considering being missionaries to Ukraine.  This is a huge step as he would not step foot in our doors for anything the first year or two we were here.  The first week that he came he argued the entire time.  This time, even though he 'discussed' some of his 'disagreements' with the scriptures, he had a much more pleasant disposition.  When we asked who was coming to Thanksgiving dinner at our house, he was the first to raise his hand.

Speaking of which....

I am SUPER excited for Thanksgiving this year!  If God allows, this will be our best Thanksgiving yet.  The 1st year we had a traditional, American Thanksgiving dinner...but it was still hard because it was our first Thanksgiving away from 'home', we also found out that day that our co-workers were leaving for America shortly.  Our 2nd year was sweet and sad.  My mom was here (YAY!), but she was leaving the next day (BIG SOB).  We chose to not waste time in the kitchen and had pizza for lunch.  Last year (our 3rd year) I had BIG plans, but I was pregnant with Sammy and so sick that I could barely make it off the couch.  We still had chicken (couldn't find a turkey), potatoes, and a few other things (like one had eaten them before and they disappeared before I turned around!).  Even though the meal wasn't exactly like I had 'planned', it was still a very sweet thanksgiving, and definitely our best yet...Up until now. :)  And, boy, have I got BIG plans.  I finally had to force myself to stop looking at recipes because I couldn't stop the list from growing!  I've already made the rolls and stuck them in the freezer (never tried freezing, but heard that 'everyone's doing it'), cleaning and re-arranging tomorrow while Eric shops (yes, ladies...he does the shopping.  But that's a post for another time).  Tuesday-make pies (thankfully, Valentina will be here to clean up my mess big Big BIG smile) and Eric will be picking up a turkey (at least that's the plan).  Wednesday - prepare the millions of veggie dishes and stuffing and brine the turkey.  Thursday - go crazy...well, hopefully not.  What I'm REALLY hoping is that I can fit everything in my refridgerator.  It is a pretty short fridge (shorter than me!  Not saying that I am short or anything...I'm taller than most of my neighbors.).  I'm also trying to figure out how to fit everything in the freezer...but if we have to, maybe we can turn it on it's back and jump on it to get everything in?  Problem #2 might be the oven.  I am pretty envious of the 'normal' American oven right now.  When I visited the states last year, that's the only thing I remember (and getting lost in the toothpaste aisle and the freedom to go shopping...I can tell it's late because I am getting WAY off track)  I was enchanted with them.  When my Mimi noticed my constant attraction to her stove, I responded "I love your stove!  Did you special order a large one?"  "No.  Why?"......let's just say I can only fit one pie pan in my oven at a time.  But I think I've got everything all planned out.  Problem #3 is the only one that I have no control over.  It is the fluxuating electricity.  Thankfully, we have not had to deal with them turning the electricity completely off as much this year.  What we do have to deal with is not enough voltage coming into the house to run the stove.  The other day it took me three times as long as normal to cook my chicken.  So, I'm praying.  Of course we will not be with family but, especially around the holidays, I remember the promise Jesus made in Mark 10:29,30...

"Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come eternal life."    

I definitely think that Christ has fulfilled His promise to us.  And though they can't replace our family back home, we are very grateful that we have them.  We have only one of two choices...

1 - Look at all of the leaves falling off of the trees and cry because we
miss the green beauty that once covered the now bare trees


2 - Notice the sunset...praising and thanking God for the beauty in all seasons.

Which are you noticing?  Are you dwelling on the full diaper pail, the kitchen sink overflowing with dishes....or are you enjoying the coos, giggles and "read to me, Mama" ?

Hope you all have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING and don't forget to enjoy the sunset!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Look What Is Now In Almost Every Kharkov Store....

The picture says it all...need I say more?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It Seems Like Only Yesterday...

you were but a tiny bundle in my arm.
Now sitting amongst your dolls to play
you're a little lady full of graceful charm.

Making her cake.

Cards from the states.

Her favorite breakfast...pancakes.

Gifts!  (Sharing with Sammy.)

Papa found you some chicken nuggets, french fries and REAL Heinz ketchup!


     Graceful                      Sharing    
   Tender hearted                               Loving  
 Sometime stubborn     

Kissable           Huggable       Loveable     Sweet


A little mommy                                     

           A 2 Year old little lady

Happy Birthday!
I LOVE you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...