Saturday, December 15, 2012

Yarn Ornaments

My mom is the craftiest person I know.  She is always making something neat.  A couple years back, she mentioned that she made ornaments with yarn, and I LOVED them so tried it....that was when I had more time.  Time is hard to find now days.  They were super easy to make.

What you need:
round ornaments

Put the glue on the ball, then start wrapping the yarn around.  It is a little messy, but I they are so cute!  My tips are starting to come unraveled a little now, but I still like them.
On some, I mixed 3 different types of yarn

A White Christmas

The common question asked lately in our house is, "Is it Christmas yet?"  When I reply, "No," Anna, matter-of-factly states, "Because we don't have snow yet."  Well, that changed Wednesday night.  We woke up Thursday morning to about 4-6 inches of snow.  My meeting at the school was rescheduled to next Thursday since the roads aren't plowed and no one wanted to take the chance trying to get into the village.  The kids were thrilled because that meant they got to go play in the snow.

Sammy got to was excited to try on the snowsuit Mimi gave him, and was even happier when he found out that it had pockets!
He walked around like he was the coolest guy ever.  Hehe.  Eric and I were dying laughing.

Tuesday night, we finally decided to get a Christmas tree.  And it is fake...I know, I said I'd NEVER do a fake tree.  I just love the smell of the real thing, but they don't start selling them until a couple days before Christmas.  The kids loved decorating it!

Sammy put about 3 bulbs on the same branch. ;)
The finished tree...almost.  We were working on popcorn garlands, but most of our popcorn disappeared.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Home and Ministry

Life seems to be moving on at such a fast speed, I feel like I'm always trying to catch up.  I purchased the Maxwells' books on home management and chores, but haven't had the time to actually build a schedule.  When we got home, I was going to wait to start school until I could get things more in order, but thought "Better to just move on."  Life has been moving ever since.  Anna is in her first "official" year of school and Daniel makes sure to keep it interesting.  Either I am lugging him around (he is SO heavy now!) or he is getting into everything, which means major clean up after.

At home, I am still trying to adjust to the electricity and we have had a few times when I had the stove and burners on, only to end up with 4 screaming babies as the lights went out - all of this WHILE I'm sitting on the toilet.  I think I've finally figured it out.  Keeping up with the laundry has proven interesting...and doesn't happen.  There are only certain times I can run the washer to make sure I can use the stove or heater.  I'll eventually get it...maybe about the time summer comes, then I won't have to worry about it. ;)

I know a schedule is the answer to my problems and I need to make it a priority.  The kids have been helping with chores, and are a blessing - especially Anna.  She has been washing the dishes for me after every meal (except for the cooking/baking dishes, I do those).  I can't believe how well she is doing!  It has been such a relief to have her help!  Lydia has been sweeping around the table after meals and is getting better at it.  Sammy's job is to wipe the table...which we help with otherwise Lydia wouldn't be too happy about all the mess on her clean floor.

So that's home life right just have to add in some girls twirling every chance they get and some boys "brrrroooom"ing cars.

Church has been going well.  We have a good group of over 20 coming on a regular basis!  Almost all of them are unsaved.  Eric will be starting Bible lessons with a girl named Natasha on Wednesdays and with Olya on Fridays.  He is also teaching the adult Sunday School class without a translator now.  I am so proud of him!

In the children's Sunday school, we have 6 kids...except the Sunday I took the picture.  Bogdan was missing that day.  They are playing a review game in the picture.

This past Sunday was their third week in the bell choir.  The two previous Sundays were very chaotic and I couldn't get them to only play their bells on their turns.  This week, I said  I would take bells from those who played out of turn.  I had to take a few bells (one being Sammy's), but we actually played through The First Noel a few times AND it sounded pretty good!  I am beginning to have hope that we might actually be able to play something recognizable. ;)

We have also started practicing for our Christmas play, which we won't do until the Ukrainian Christmas on January 6th.  I am very excited about it, even though our first practice was anything but orderly.  It is easy enough where I think they can do a good job, yet has such a powerful salvation message.  I know I said it before...but I am very excited about it.

Thursday I will be going to the city and while I am there, I will be TRYING to find a material I like for the church curtains.  I would love to be able to sew one curtain a week...but we will see.  The reason for my visit to the city is, I have been invited to speak at a private school to the English class.  I would love your prayers as I am nervous about it, but praying that God could also use it to be a testimony not only to the class, but also the teacher, who has visited at our home twice since we've returned.  I have been told not to "preach" but share with them about America.  Even though I will not be spending my visit teaching a Bible lesson, I plan on sharing why we are in Ukraine and a brief plan of salvation.  I know that it will not be enough for them to probably make a decision for Christ, but I pray it will be enough to stir interest in them to read their Bible.  I guess that is my goal, to create in them a thirst for the Bible as it is the Word of God which works upon hearts. 

Well it is WAY past my least lately.  I have been so exhausted that I am usually out before the kids!  (The boys go to bed at 7:30, the girls have quiet time in their rooms.)

For Grumpy & Grammy Curtis ;)

Found these today when I was looking at some pictures taken of church on my little kodak and thought you guys would enjoy them.  Maybe as much as they enjoyed their ice creams...though, by the looks of their faces {and clothes}, that's debatable. 
We miss you guys!  Thank you for the SWEET memories!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Boy or Girl?

Sorry to leave you hanging for so long.  I have been so exhausted that thinking...much less typing...has seemed impossible.  By 11-11:30 AM, my eyes and head get heavy and I start nodding like Daniel.  By 12-12:30 PM, whether kids are in their beds for quiet time or not, I'm out...which is very dangerous to a clean house.  In the evening, I crash almost as soon as they are in their beds (unless it's Sunday, then I crash before they do).  That's where my computer time has been going.  Tonight, though, my love is at the church waiting for the workers to finish re-installing the heating system.  The thought of climbing into a cold bed without being able to snuggle up next to my love is keeping me at the computer...even if most of my time has been spent spacing out.

I am a little nervous about announcing so early (I am 8 weeks pregnant now) and we had planned on waiting until 13 weeks.  Because I was feeling so awful, we thought we would have to announce it here soon but we wanted family to know first...then it would get out, SO might as well announce it. :)

As we wait for our little one, we can't help but wonder...


Who seems to manage to leave a mess behind every where they go...

and is born with a love for roughing up and tackling...

and cars.

Or girl?

With her love for dolls and anything frilly...

Who cannot help twirling around the room as soon as music starts to play with their princess dresses on.

Such tenderness they show their babies, they seem born little mommies!

And what a difference their interactions are to the boys' rough housing!

They all make for a lively little house!

So, whether boy or girl, we will be thrilled....BUT the vote is 4 for girl and 1 for boy.  Can you guess who insists on a boy?  Yes, THE BOY (Sammy, for those who didn't know the name he went by on furlough, hehe).  What about Daniel's vote?  Well, his doesn't count as most likely he would vote neither and choose rather to stay the baby a little while longer. ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sugar-Gluten-Dairy Free

Now to answer the BIG question you've all had for us the past couple of months..."What do you eat???"  Well, for starters, those chocolate balls at the top. :)  Yes, they fit every one of those requirements, though sometimes when I am eating them I question the lack of sugar as they are very sweet.  As we were going through furlough avoiding pizza and all that good stuff (THAT was hard!), a sweet friend introduced us to raw truffles.  I don't really have a recipe for them, I just put raisins or dates (dates are better), soaked almonds, cocoa powder, and a little vanilla in a food processor and blend away until I have a nice dough.  Then I rolled the balls in coconut.  Mmmm!  I also tried a raw foods chocolate cream pie, but that was a little disappointing, so I will keep modifying it.  Next on my list is Thin Mint Brownies and my husband has a request for cheesecake-we've heard great things about that.  So, don't be feeling sorry for us.  We're all pretty happy....okay, I still have some cravings for York Peppermint patties once in a while, but maybe the brownies will help.  Well, guess this post will be short since my love is calling for me to make the brownies.

P.S. I sometimes cheat on the dairy. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Across the World

 {Sammy's first hayride at a dear church in Maine during their mission's conference...just a couple weeks before we flew out.  We love you guys!}

I apologize for being absent from the blogging world for a little while.  I did some lurking, but didn't feel much like writing.  The last three weeks we were in the states were filled with 2 missions conferences, a ladies conference I went to with my pastor's wife (yes, Eric watched ALL the kids AND cooked and cleaned!  I need to get away more often. ;)), and my parents made a quick (2-day) last minute trip up from Florida when we were in VA to visit.  Even if it was a quick visit, the kids made so many memories and had a great time visiting with them.  Then there were all of the good-bye's.  I also wasn't sure if I was going to be able to continue to use this blog as I have no more photo uploads available...can you believe that? ;)  BUT I found out, I can just open an account with photobucket and use URL!  
{Anna at the kids first hayride.  They went twice!}

We flew out of Dulles airport Thursday evening and arrived in Moscow, Russia about 9-10 hours later.  Then we walked around the airport, slept in the waiting areas, walked around some more...we had an eleven hour layover, so we had plenty of time.  We didn't like walking around much because of the attention we attracted {4 kids + luggage}.  We felt like celebrities with our own paparazzi!  Serious!  Every time we were walking around people would take our picture and talk about how many kids we had.  Some even would squat down ahead of us and take our picture while we were walking, each kid dragging along a rolling bag.

We have now been in Ukraine for about 10 days.  Our first Sunday went well, we had at least 21 not counting our family.  Tamara has started coming again and seems very sincere and faithful.  Her son, Ruslan (whom Eric did Bible lessons in the prison with), has visited with us a few times and has promised to come to church, but hasn't come yet.  I think the hardest thing about church is that Valentina, our Russian mama, is no longer coming and has talked to Eric about removing her membership.  Sometimes I am okay, knowing that God has a plan and His plan is always best.  At others, it is extremely heartbreaking.  I want to say, "Never again will I allow myself or my family to become so close to someone."  But is that wrong?  I don't know.  We have to love, and I don't think I could help that, but we definitely can't put our faith in man.

Since we have been home, we have been busy unpacking, organizing, starting school again (a post about that soon for those who have asked about what we are doing), working on paperwork...there never ceases to be work.  In fact, I almost waited to start school just so I could get things more in order, but I am SO glad I didn't!  That first week was so hard as no one would sleep at night.  I had Eric moving furniture at 3 AM!  The kids didn't sleep either and many times, we'd just let them play in their rooms (we've worked it out so that the boys have a room and the girls have a room...again, I'll save this for another post).  Finally, it seems we are adjusting to the time change.
{Uncle Micah knows how to win their favor, just pull up Cinderella. ;)}

Another exciting thing that's happened is Eric started teaching the adult's Sunday School class IN Russian!!  Yesterday was his first day and it sounds like he did pretty good.  Slavic helped him a lot, he said.  (Lina, the church translator, teaches the children's Sunday School.)  I know he'd appreciate your prayers as he plans to continue teaching in Russian.  Also for our registration.  Without it, we will have to leave the country again.  That would be so difficult, especially at this time.  It would also be nice to have our heating system working.  Our little electric heaters are doing a pretty good job at the moment.

I would love your prayers too that God would direct me in how to wisely use my time.  I have a long list of things I would like to do, but I don't think it is possible to do them all.  I would LOVE to learn the Russian sign language, start an English class using the Bible, I'm also starting a children's bell choir, then there are ladies' meeting ideas, I'd love to pick back up my violin, learn to play the flute {I may just have to wait for my kids to do those and just stick to the piano}...anyways, you get the idea.  I'm a BIG dreamer.  At the moment, I am just trying to help the kids get into a routine and get things organized around the house.  My prayer is that God will give me wisdom as I slowly add in things and that they would only be what He desires for me to do.
{Goodbye kisses}

Well, hope I haven't overloaded you with my update.  Looking forward to sharing with you some more specific posts soon.  Thank you all for your prayers, kind emails and comments.  What an encouragement they have been!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Capturing the Sunsets

Where has the time gone?  It felt like we had forever and already we are having to say goodbye.  I am very ready to be back home, yet it is always so hard to say goodbye.  How thankful I am for the time we have had!  We have enjoyed so much!  
We LOVED walking over to see the cows!

Then there were the somersaults with papa...
The follow-up shots were the best, but, alas, they were banned. ;)
Yes, that was the last time he said he would be doing that. hehe

With all these boys, there was plenty of rough housing going on...
Daniel even joined in on the fun.

Anna was awarded the name of "Mighty Squirrel Hunter"
for attempting to capture the big, grey squirrels who stole the bird food from 
Great Gram's feeders.

They will let you tag along, but you've got to be very quiet when hunting those squirrels.

One of our favorite jobs was helping Grumpy oops, I meant Grampy in the garden.
As you can see, Sammy was the biggest helper. ;)
(I think KNOW he ate more than he picked.)

One of the nice things about visiting a church in Maine is, skipping rocks between services.
Yes, this was the view at one of our churches.  Isn't it beautiful?

In the evenings, we would sometimes hop around the yard like bunnies.

Our time here has been just like the sunsets, amazingly beautiful, but over in a matter of seconds.

So, although there were many posts I wanted and even started to post,
I don't have any regrets as I was busy capturing the 
Sunsets of our lives.
Hope you have a goodnight!  I must get back to packing.  We say goodbye tomorrow morning and continue on to three more conferences over the next two weeks.  After a quick stop at our home church, we fly out November 8th at 5 pm!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...