Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What a week!

I do not know how we will return to *normal life* after this past week! The kids have loved all the extra attention, stories, book after book after book, and all sorts of special treats. They especially like walking with Gran & Pap to the store to get yogurt and whatever special treat they decide upon.n(Rachel feels very important because she gets to interpret for them:) Our neighbor gave us an old swingset they didn't need - what a wonderful addition to the yard! We anchored it into the ground and attatched a regular swing and a baby swing for Johanna - this has been a big hit for Rachel especially. On Monday morning Rachel celebrated her last day of 'school' at the little art school she takes a class at twice a week. There was a big celebration with songs and poems. Rachel was so proud that her Gran & Pap could be there to see her perform.

If you are reading this and have grandparents living in a one hour radius I hope you are VERY grateful for the time & energy they can give your kids!! :) What a blessing to have someone else help wipe bottoms, do dishes, read books and tell your kids stories for a week. We will greatly miss them and are SO grateful they sacrificed this week and traveling all those miles to be with us!

Friday, May 19, 2006

The GRANDPARENTS are here!!

YIPEE!! Pap & Gran Hall arrived Tuesday afternoon safe & sound. We were so thankful they had a safe trip with no adventures. The neatest thing happen - they were late getting into New York from Pittsburg, so Delta ended up giving their seats away.. when they arrived at the last minute Delta then ended up *bumping* them to first class!! They enjoyed the extra leg room and the chance to get some rest.

Today they walked around our town a little and went to the WW II museum next to Rachel's art school. We also worked in the garden and planted green beans, spinach and onions- FUN!

The kids are wild with excitement and enjoying all the extra attention. Yesterday poor Pap read all afternoon book after book after book. Caleb has enjoyed snuggling with Gran and hearing lots of fun stories. What a wonderful gift this visit has been!! Rejoicing!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A new addition to our family!!

Did anyone click on this thinking it was a pregnancy announcement?? Haaa!! Gotcha.. ::wink::

After three years of hearing Rachel pray for a puppy we finally got one!! She is a Russian Laika - well her mother was 100% Laika and the father was.. we're not sure.. but she is ADORABLE!! The kids named her 'Sneezhok' (or snowflake) because Rachel said she looked like she had just walked through the snow. Although it took all of her 1st born power of persuasion to talk David out of naming her 'Robin Hood' - "she's a GIRL David, you can't name a GIRL Robin Hood!!" :) The kids are beside themselves with excitement and were up at the crack of dawn to run outside to check on her... I am hoping that part of the novelty wears off soon. Rachel loves animals so much, a few weeks ago I asked her one morning if she had any dreams to which she replied 'I had my favorite dream where I have a horse, and two goats, and chickens, and a dog and lots of cats.'

If you want to search the internet for russian laika it's quite interesting... On November 3, 1957 a Russian Laika dog orbited the earth aboard Sputnik II - the only dog ever in space! How's that for famous :) They are a hunting dog, very similar to a husky but smaller. They always have blue eyes and are white & black.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Our Cowboy turns Five!

May 8th was David's fifth birthday.. I don't think my wedding day was so greatly anticipated as this day. For the last 6 weeks we have been marking off the days on the calendar.. countless questions of 'how many days..' and the review of the details of the party etc. etc. The morning of his birthday David bounded down the stairs at the crack of dawn - the day had *finally* arrived!! I loved getting to cuddle with him on the couch and go through his whole birth story - he laughs & laughs when I tell him about how the Dr. told us we were having a girl, and that we called him Hannah for months, and that he wore beautiful pink flowered sleepers his first week til we finally got some blue ones. David is so precious and we had a wonderful day celebrating the gift of life God has given him. We had quite a celebration - 9 guests (all girls.. this cracked me up, but there are a shortage of boys at our playground). We also had Chris, Andrei, and our friends Oksana & Sergei. James roasted hot dogs outside and we played lots of games - musical chairs and *pin the nose on David* were the favorites (this is a variation of pin the tail on the donkey). His favorite present was the sword and bow & arrows (thanks Nana & GP!). He and Caleb fought a major battle against Chris - it was hilarious to watch... especially Caleb's facial expressions. I think the grown-ups had even more fun than the kids!

We love you David and are so incredibly grateful God gave us the privilege of being your parents!!

Ohh one more funny note I didn't want to forget - the day before his birthday I got out some summer shorts for David out of storage.. I showed David how I had cleaned out his dresser and he gave me this incredulous look and asked 'when I wake up in the morning and I'm five will my clothes still fit me????' He seemed very relieved that he wouldn't need new clothes :) Also the picture of him on the bike is a classic - he loves wearing that cowboy hat and was so glad when the snow melted and he could wear it outside.. he does take it off to sleep though

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Happy May Day!

May 1st is quite the fun holiday around here! Most people go out to their dachas (summer home) and dig up their gardens in preparation for planting (usually plant around May 9th). They did have a small Communists demonstration in the town square. Since our friend Chris Brudi is here from Michigan we decided to have a shashleek outing in the woods. What fun!! The highlight for the kids was catching an adorable lizard.. you talk about excitement. About 24 youth ended up going - we had such a good time playing volleyball, frisbee, singing and sharing testimonies. The sunshine the past few days has been wonderful!!! I still can't believe it's May already..... (I am getting old...)

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