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!


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