Friday, March 27, 2009

Some random pictures from our last week...  Yesterday James, Ksenya (the 21 year old that's been working at the Youth Center) our Rachel and three other helpers went to the nearby city of Obninsk to help out with a 3 day 'Youth Games' for children in grades 4th - 8th.   James has been really impressed with this Christian organization ~ they go into a public school for 3 days (during a school holiday.. it's spring break right now) and put on organized games, contests and then do Bible stories, skits etc. similar to a VBS in the States.  

James helped out as a team leader and Rachel loved getting to play basketball again!   They are all in Obninsk again today and tomorrow all day ~ pray for these young people as many are hearing about God for the first time.
We get sunshine for a day and I think "SPRING!" and then the next day we get another 6-9 inches of snow.. but that's pretty typical for Spring here.  Rachel & Nutmeg have races over the snow piles.
Whoever came up with the recipe for homemade playdooh should be given the Nobel Prize.. Johanna is really, really into it right now
It's not every day you see a scary lion wearing a pink tutu!

Random Funnies I don't want to forget:  

**Today while we were putting away clean clothes Caleb looked up at me so enthusiastically... 'Mom, guess what!?  I figured out a way to have less clothes to wash, and fold and put away.... I stopped wearing underwear!' 
**David came down to breakfast with his calendar and the daily report of how many days til his birthday, Christmas, Easter, the next full moon etc. (he is really into calenders right now).. he asked me 'okay so right now it's 2009, but back in like 1950 that was when dinosaurs were on the earth right?'  We then had a long talk about the 1950 and how that was when his Grandparents were running around being children.. and right before that was when dinosaurs roamed the earth.. :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Talk about culture shock! :)

When we left Houston it was 88, hot, muggy & sunny.  We landed in Moscow to a snowstorm! Thank you for praying for our trip.  Everything went super!   The kids did great and we even managed to make a few fun memories...

*Going through security - James had already passed through the metal detector and was on the other side.. the kids were all taking off their shoes when some announcement was made about 'comments about security can result in imprisonment.'  Out of the blue Johanna loudly asks 'What is a BOMB??'   Of course this resulted in a 5 minute discussion in which the word bomb was used at least 25 times..

~ 'You can't say the word BOMB until we're on the other side.. then you can say BOMB.'  
~'Only terrorists have BOMBS JoJo, not us.'  etc. 

The two businessmen behind us were laughing so hard their shoulder were shaking.. seriously it was like listening to the 3 Stooges... and of course every time the B word was spoken all the security guards heads snapped back.  (if you're wondering where I was, I was being asked ??'s by a security guard on the other side of the room..but I could still hear them :) 

*Johanna of course had to carry her beloved stick horse Black Beauty all over the airport and on the plane..   when we landed in Moscow and the pilot put the brakes on Johanna yelled out "WHOOOOAA..   WHOOOAAA  Back Booty!!!!"   It was so funny people were laughing 3 rows in front of us.   

Friday rush hour + snowing meant that it took 4 1/2 hours to travel 60 miles from the airport to Nara-Faminsk.  (the same amount of time it took us to drive 300 miles from Kerrville to Houston!! Ha!)  It felt soooo great to be back home and in our own beds!  Even if the kids didn't fall asleep until 3am.. umm yeah the jet lag has been crazy this trip.
Rachel was so happy to see her dog Nutmeg safe & sound

That first morning we all slept late;  around 9am the doorbell rang and it was Rachel's good friend Svieta.  She was thrilled we were back as today was her 10th birthday.  So everyone was excited about a birthday celebration later that afternoon.  I always feel bad because when we celebrate our kiddo's birthday I'm doing good to feed our guests hotdogs, chips and a cake.  But Russian birthday celebrations are a 4 course feast... true to tradition Svieta's grandmother had worked in the kitchen all day long and a beautiful, lavish table awaited everyone (I think James enjoys his chaperone duties for things like this :)  Everyone had a great time. 
The boys were sooo proud of their snowman!
Johanna would squeal like a pig the whole way down.. then jump up an say 'do it 'GAIN'!

Rachel is getting to be quite the cross-country skier!

So there you have a few pictures from our first week back.  Yesterday was a wonderful Bible study at the Youth Center.  It was also International Women's Day which is a HUGE holiday here.. after New Year's & May 1st & 9th.  So there were parties, fireworks, candy & roses everythwere... and I didn't have to do the dishes that day ~ haha! :)  It's a 4 day weekend and tonight we're having a big party to honor Olga & Ksenya, the two young ladies who have been working at the Youth Center.  They both graduated last May from the Russian-American Christian University with a degree in Social Work and have been working in our city since September.  They are doing a fantastic job!!  Visiting orphanages, poor families, started a children's club every Saturday ~ such a huge blessing and help!

Thank you again for praying for us this past week ~ we are so thankful to be back home!

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