Monday, October 31, 2005

Let it snow!!

Well it's been a bit crazy the past week.. they were working on the electricity in our city so all of last week the electricity was down somewhere which affected our internet... a whole week with no internet!!! i thought I would go crazy! :)

Last Monday we got a wonderful snowstorm.. the kiddos were ecstatic and crazy with joy. They spent all morning running around with shovels, building snowmen and snowtrees and catching snowflakes in their mouth. I had intended to go outside and take more pictures, but somehow got distracted... anyway, will include a picture of Caleb soon - something about a two foot 2 year old in a snowsuit that is just too cute for words!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We are alive!

Yes we're alive and well... just not phone & internet connected at the house. (how did Hudson Taylor every survive?? :) We got moved into the house and hardly know what to do at night laying in a quiet bedroom without our neighbor's pounding techno-pop until 3:00 am :) The kids absolutely love the attic - one big room with a rough wooden floor - they run, jump rope and Caleb rides on his little plastic motorcycle all day long.

Johanna is the sweetest most content baby ever in the history of babies!! I told James the other day if she was any *better* I'd start to wonder if she had a sin nature :) j/k really... She just sleeps and eats and loves to cuddle on your chest in a little ball. She hasn't received much lovings from her siblings lately as everyone has been sick. Rachel got a terrible cough/croup... and then Monday a stomach virus?? (food poisoning?) struck David & Caleb... it always amazes me how you can have three very large plastic containers surrounding your four year old and yet he somehow misses them and throws up all over the blankets - four times!... anyway, it was almost funny as we went through every blanket we had and ended up sleeping under flannel sheets that night.

Quote of the day - Rachel praying at lunch 'Please help Johanna to grow up strong and healthy, and please help winter to come very, very soon!' We did see a few snowflakes yesterday which prompted squeals of joy from Rachel... she can't wait to go sledding. No other news.. will try to post pic tomorrow.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Brothers and Sisters

Well I had a quiet restful day.. Johanna's on quite the 'schedule' - sleep all day and awake last night til 3:00 am :0. The kids really enjoyed giving their baby 'Jo-Jo' some lovings today.

Rachel was so sweet.. she looked up and said 'Wow, now we're a big family!'

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Rachel finally gets a sister!

Here's a few more pictures..

Safe arrival of Johanna Joy!!

She's here!! Friday night around 10 pm precious Johanna arrived safe and healthy. She weighed 8lb 3 oz, 21 inches long. The birth story is a very *long* story.. But the short version is that Dr. James got the unique privilege of delivering her! He did a fantastic job, and the Russian midwife arrived about 15 minutes later to finish up the job. Although circumstances that happened during the birth are certainly not what we would have planned for beforehand.. we could not help but praise God afterwards that every detail of the birth was wonderful and we know planned by her Creator.

We chose the name Johanna because we loved the meaning 'God is Gracious' - that seemed to be the theme for us this year through sometimes difficult circumstances.. God was always present and always gracious to us. Our special verse for Johanna came from Numbers 6:24-26 'The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.' We are praying this for the life of precious Johanna Joy. We also like the name in Russian.. pronouced 'Yo-anna' or you can even call her Yanna or Yanitchka.

The kids were SO excited to hear that their baby sister had finally arrived. Rachel carassed her hair, kissed her toes & hands and proclaimed her 'the sweetest, cutest baby she'd ever seen.' David took a long look at her and asked 'are you sure it's not a boy?? It looks like a boy?' Caleb got so excited he ran around and promptly poked his finger in Johanna's eye... but then he did manage to slow down enough to give her some sweet kisses on the top of her head.

Thank you to those who were praying for us!! It means SO much to know that people were praying for us during the birth. Here's a few pictures.. but more will come tomorrow I promise. (actually the pics didn't turn out too great.. sorry we were just a bit busy today though :)

James, Susan, Rachel, David, Caleb & Johanna Joy

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

School pictures

First of all I have to apologize for the horrendous spelling mistakes in the blog!! I need to slow down and use spell check.. Anyway, I really do know how to spell, sorta...

I dressed up the kiddos last week and took them out for their yearly 'school pictures'. It was lots of fun.

Catching up...

Wow.. lots has happened in the past week, sorry for not keeping updated. The Bibles studies always seem to increase in numbers as young people who have spent the summer at their 'dachas' come back to the city and start school. We've had some new faces which is exciting. We're also praying fervently that we can somehow find a place to rent.. our neighbors are very kind, but having 25 youth smoking outside our apartment is not appreciated. Pray for wisdom for us to know how to deal with so many different situations that arise!

Sunday was D-DAY!!! My due date came and went with a few contractions... but nothing to get excited about. James & I were laughing last night about the extreme difference in expecting your first child and #4 - when I was expecting Rachel and had those first contractions I got out the video camera, called at least a dozen people and freshened up my make-up.... last week when I had a few contractions I immediately cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen floor and threw a casserole together (this was at midnight:) Hmmmmmm

The weather has been absolutely GORGEOUS! I can't remember such a beautiful fall in the last 8 years. Very dry, sunny and beautiful colors. I've been trying to spend as much time as possible with the kids outside walking and collecting leaves. Rachel and I were looking out the window as I was thinking 'oh, I wish this weather could last another 2 months!!'.. just then Rachel sighed and said 'I can't wait for snow to come!' Oh my, I am trying hard to not think about getting four kids into snowsuits....

We are slowly moving into the house.. James tries to take a load or two every day in his free time. It sure makes it nice to only be 5 minutes away! I'll make sure and post some more pictures when we actually get moved in.

Quote of the day: yesterday as Rachel was putting away the laundry 'Mommy, when you die can I have all your clothes??' I have to start writing down stuff, David says hilarious stuff every day... last night eating supper we had a fascinating conversation about the baby 'coming out'.

Well nap time is almost over so need to run... thanks to all that care enough about us to read this & pray for us!!! Lots of love and sugar being sent over the internet.

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