Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last bell...

This was the last week of school for the kids. Josie had a "cv-ya-toe" which means festive celebration in honor of completing first class. It was a time for reciting verses and singing songs for the parents. Although it was cute to see each kid dressed up to the max and saying verses in Ukrainian, after an hour we got a little antsy. Josie did well with her lines. We were very proud parents!

After the festivities, the kids went to eat lunch and the parents were left to decide what to do to remodel the classroom. I guess this is normal for all classes at the end of the year. All of the parents are expected to help pitch in money and labor. It was a little intimidating for us because the parents all seemed to have different opinions and suggestions and they made them known in loud voices all at the same time. We have no idea what they decided but we are sure we will get a call soon to inform us of the decision.

Then on Saturday morning, there was the "last bell" celebration with all the classes getting together, performing, handing out flowers to teachers, and a graduation ceremony for the seniors. Serogia, from our church, graduated this year and it was great to celebrate with him.

The decision to put our kids in school was a difficult one, but we felt that God was leading us to do so. We are glad that we made that decision and have seen the Lord's hand in it. They have learned so much this year and have started to make friendships and speak the language. We pray that our family would reflect God's love to the other children, parents and teachers in our community!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bingo makes its way to Ukraine!

We celebrated another Golden Oldies night in Kaharlyk. We were not sure how the turnout would we because it was raining so hard. Josie and Jaden wanted to come and play a part in the festivities so I brought them along. Christy even had a hand in the night, though not there physically, her "American" lemon cake sure was a hit. We showed up and found out that the rain had put a damper on the plans so we just made up the schedule as we went. For the entertainment, I played a few songs and a babushka read a few of her poems. Then we introduced them to the wonderful world of "Bingo". I found this bingo set while I was in America at Walgreens. I wanted to bring it to Ukraine and see if it would work out here. The elderly in America play this game often. Magdala printed up more game cards and the kids helped her with numbered balls. It was a hit...maybe we will have more bingo nights in the future!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A day at the Zoopark

We took a trip with the family to the zoo in Kiev. After battling traffic for an hour in the city, we made it to the Zoopark joined by our new friends, Dave and Rayma (missionaries from Russia) and their two boys. Though not as elaborate as zoos in the States, the Kiev zoo has some interesting animals that you can get pretty close to. The kids really enjoyed touching the turtles and watching the elephant do a little dance for them. Micah was like a little kid when he saw a cool iguana and I personally loved the zebras. It was fun day, but as a family trip usually is, it was exhausting-especially after another 2 hours in the car to get home!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I have finally got around to painting the house. It has been a long road but we are glad to see it finally completed after 1 year of remodeling. Looking back I remember all those trips to EpiCenter for supplies, and paint. I ended up adding dye to white paint to get the desired color. After a few hit and miss color variation and mixes, we decided on a light coffee color. We are pleased with the result and want to thank all those who helped us get our house ready for paint. Now that I have 2/3 of the house painted, I almost forgot how much work it is. I hope to get around to painting the window trim white soon. Check another thing off my to do list.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Trip to the Botanical Garden

Today we took the kids to the Botanical Garden in Kiev. It was a beautiful day and the kids wore themselves out running around the park. Here are some fun photos...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No training wheels!

So, Josie really wanted us to post this video of her first time riding her bike with no training wheels!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pray for Justin...

Just wanted to send out a request to pray for little Justin. He fell with a toy in his mouth yesterday and knocked out his front tooth. He is handling it just fine, but we are concerned that the root of the tooth might still be there and might need to be extracted. We are praying for wisdom on what to do and where to take him. Micah thinks he looks like a pirate baby.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Doll!

I just wanted to post this to let the world know how amazing and special you are to me. Amazing because of the woman of God you are. You seek Him and love Him first and that blesses me. You are special because I have never known anyone like you. You have stuck with me and have weathered the storms by my side...I love you. You have given me 4 beautiful children that we are raising together to know and love the Lord. Your insight and support in family have helped me become a better dad and father to our kids. I pray the Lord grants us many more years together in ministry and marriage. I love you for coming to Ukraine with me and standing by my side as we venture these foreign waters.

Because its 10 years today, its only fitting to have the lyrics to the song I read to you on our engagement day! With all my love for years to come,


A Page Is Turned - Bebo Norman

A page is turned by the wind to a boy in curly grin
With a world to conquer at the age of ten
But as history unfolds and the storybook is told
He finds salvation but not at the hands of man

And the God of second chance
Picked him up and He let him dance
Through a world that is not kind
And all this time, preparing him, the one
To hold him up when he comes undone
Beneath the storm, beneath the sun
And now a man, here you stand
Your day has come

A page is turned in this world to reveal a little girl
With a heart that's bigger, as it is unfurled
By the language in her soul, that's teaching her to grow
With a careful cover of love that will not fail

And the God of second chance
Picked her up and He let her dance
Through a world that isn't kind
And all this time, preparing her the one
To hold her up when she comes undone
Beneath the storm, beneath the sun
And grown up tall, here you are
Your day has come

Beneath the air of autumn, she took him by his hand
And warm within the ardor, she took his heart instead
And high upon the mountain, he asked her for her hand
Just for her hand

A page is turned in this life, he's making her his wife
And there is no secret to the source of this much life
When the grace that falls like rain is washing them again
Just a chance to somehow rise above this land

Where the God of second chance
Will pick them up and he'll let them dance
Through a world that is not kind
And all this time, they're sharing with the one
That holds them up when they come undone
Beneath the storm, beneath the sun
And once again, here you stand
And once again, here you stand
Your day has come

Listen to the song: