Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year celebrations at school...

Josie, Jaden and Jeremy all had New Year celebrations at school and had shows for the parents. It was so fun for us to watch our kids dancing, singing in Ukrainian and just enjoying being a part of this culture!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Yura's van finally painted

After 3 months of Yura's van sitting in my driveway awaiting paint, I can happily say the project is completed. A lot of factors were involved that contributed to the length of this project...but I have learned living in Ukraine that waiting for a completed project is normal. Let me take you back to the beginning of the story...

Yura purchased Dan Gollan's old Ford Transit and had it towed from Rzhyshiv to Kaharlyk. It needed a lot of work as well as an engine overhaul. It had been 5 years at least since this vehicle was in use. When it quit running it was left to rot next to Dan's house. Yura got a great deal and we towed it home. He took it to a local repair shop for body work and primer. Then it came to my house and sat until I finished some other projects I was working on.

I told Yura that we could use my garage as a paint booth. I used a large gas heater to warm up my garage before I could paint. Paint doesn't dry too well when it is freezing outside. I alternated painting and turning on the heat so the paint could dry. Not a good idea to paint with the heater's an explosion waiting to happen. After 5 coats of white and 3 coats of clear I finally finished...well that's all the paint I had.

Since I had never painted a vehicle before, there was a lot of trial and error involved. My compressor and spray gun gave me problems at first. But after some adjustments I was back in business. Yura wants me to airbrush a mural on his van later (my first time for that as well). I will keep you posted. Christy will be buying the airbrush paints in America...they are no where to be found here in Ukraine. I plan on starting this project in the spring. Thanks Yura for the opportunity to bless you and for the willingness to try new things!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A unique school photo...

Here is a picture of Josie that she had taken at school. I have never seen a school photo quite like it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jer Bear turns 4!

Our little Jer-Bear turned four today. We just had a low-key party at home and cupcakes at church. We are so proud of our Jeremy. He is such a funny kid. Great sense of humor and feisty. His lovable nature attracts everyone around him. We look forward to seeing what great things God has in store for him in the future! Happy birthday, son!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A late knock on the door...

Last night as I was laying in bed I heard a crash of my neighbors fence. Its 12:30am so I awoke and looked out the window. I saw nothing. Partly because all street lights are shut off after midnight anyway. I did hear the yelling of a few voices, but saw nothing. A few moments later I heard our doorbell ring. I jumped out of bed trying to put my pants on and hurry to answer the door. Emily our dog was barking as well. She sleeps inside by the door and I could tell she was curious to see who was outside. I turned on the porch light and looked out the peep hole. There was a man standing there with his face covered in blood. I quickly opened the door, and he began to rattle off in Ukrainian. I caught a few of his words, but was more interested in getting him a wet towel for his face. I gave him the towel grabbed a flashlight and headed out the door. In the street I was met by 3 others. One was a babushka who came up to me and gave me a hug. The other was a dedushka who shook my hand and said thank you. The 3rd person was a lady who looked like she was his wife or girlfriend. They began to rattle off about what happened...but I really understood nothing. We parted ways, I said goodnight and went back to bed. Who were these people? Would I ever see them again? What happened?

The next morning I awoke and shared this story with some friends who were staying with us. I had no idea what happened but wish I had a translator with me at that moment. I also noticed our one of our cats was missing. I searched for her all day...but she was no where to be found. I thought maybe the situation last night had something to do with our cat but was not sure. On the way to youth group that night I saw our cat dead in our neighbor's yard. It was near the road and had probably been struck by a vehicle that night. I still wondered if the events were related but figured I would never know. Driving home from youth group I thought about all that happened, boggled but curious. As I drove down my street I just so happened to come across those same people I dealt with at night. They were walking somewhere but I had to stop and ask them. I quickly telephoned my friend and had her translate to me what happened. She said this guy got jumped by some guys last night and jumped our fence to get away. He came to my door seeking help but not wanting the police to be involved. Looking back, I was thankful that the Lord allowed me to know what happened. I am at rest now. Well,so is my cat...I just buried her. Such is life in Ukraine.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Golden Oldies Night

We celebrated another Elderly Outreach on Wednesday. It's a neat thing to watch the church function together in serving the needs of the elderly. Some cook, some clean, some drive, some entertain, but all love. We had a great night. We served a meal of chicken, potatoes and beet salad. Notice in the picture Danny is mixing the potatoes with a drill and mixer attachment. Hey, its Ukraine! It might not be grammas way of doin it, but it's not grammas kitchen and you gotta do what works. The entertainment for the night was musical. Mostly they sang songs and a few played instruments. My daughter Josie even played a song on the piano and sang with her friend Anya. Thanks for all your prayers and financial contributions to make this a monthly outreach a blessing to those who come.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Visit From My Mom!

Last week, my mom came to visit us in Ukraine! We were all so thrilled to spend time with her and have her see firsthand the place God has called us to. The trip was only 6 days, but it was so worth it! We had a great time showing her around town and Kiev and introducing her to the awesome people in our lives. She had plenty of play time with the grandkids and even climbed up into their treehouse one day! I enjoyed some great talks with my mom, just catching up on all that God is doing in our lives and in hers. Thank you, Mom, for making the trip out to see us! It meant so much to us! We love you!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Time in Kiev, New Friends, and Cleaning up...

Last week, Micah and I got away to Kiev for a night. With NO KIDS! We did have a few errands to take care of, but after that, we took it easy and tried to enjoy the city. It seems that whenever we are in Kiev, we are either running lots of errands, stuck in traffic or trying to handle four hyper kids in the van. So, it was so nice to have no agenda and no distractions and be able to focus on each other. We ate at a wonderful Chinese restaurant, had lots of yummy coffee drinks, strolled the city streets and did a bit of shopping. We also visited the Lavra Monastery. It was such a nice get-away for us and we look forward to the next one!!!

We have enjoyed getting to know the Crowe family, who moved to Ukraine a few months ago. We traveled out to their place for dinner and fellowship. The kids were very excited to see their new friends and we were happy to catch up with Bruce, Deb and Cassie!

We had our annual fall church clean-up day. It mostly consists of raking the leaves into piles and hauling them away. The kids got in on the action and were actually very good helpers. The best part of raking is jumping into the leaves, but they were a bit too wet for that this time.