Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nova Odess youth

The first week in Jan, Katrina and some of her youth from Nova Odessa, came to visit us. They were with us for four days. As you can tell the teens just love Katrina. We are so happy that she is able to be "their missionary" in Nova Odessa. She lives in the little house we use to live in. Jason bought a foosball table for the village kids. We have it out on our veranda, so you can see laundry drying in the background. Here the village children and some of the teens are enjoying the new game. We are happy to give them a safe place to hang out and have fun.
The teens really seemed to enjoy the snow!!! We had enough for them to go sledding and Jason pulled them around the village, plowing the roads as they went.

In the end some of them looked like walking snowmen.
Even Jessica joined in the fun. Can you tell that is Jessica? She came prepared. We are still enjoying a lot of snow, but now we have a nice thick layer of ice under the snow. That can get pretty tricky when it comes to driving on it. I stick with my safe taxi driver named Jason. He gives good rates and gets you there safely.
Here is the whole group headed back home on the train. Pray for each one of these teens.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cold and Snow!!!

Some of you have been asking if it is cold here and if we are getting any snow. Well, here is your answer.... Does it look cold to you? Yes, we are in our Ukrainian winter and loving it (for the most part). We do love snow even if it does slow things down a bit. Here is my honey and I, as we are shoveling the driveway. Great exercise!!!
We are so thankful for the patio with all this snow. It has really cut down on the dirt that is tracted in on the boots of our guest & friends.

Christmas program- Osikoiva

On the 10th of Jan we had our Christmas program here in our village of Osikovia. That is the Sunday after Ukrainian Christmas , which falls on Jan 7th. Here is a little guy that is new to our Sunday school. He is pretty proud of his little angel that we made. Our program went well, with more parents attending than last year. The teens did a really nice skit about the true meaning of Christmas. Jessica even learned her lines in Ukrainian. There were several special songs.
Our little church (called house of prayer) was packed with guest for the program.
At the end of the program the children and teens sang Happy Birthday to Jesus!!!

Sunday School Christmas Party

Here is our little group of children from our village that come to our Sunday school. Some of them are from very hard homes, while a few have Christian parents. They really did enjoy the Christmas party we gave them. We were planning on more coming over from our Kid's Club in Kanyazachee, but the snow was too deep and the weather too bad. We had games, snacks and then gifts. When we were taking them all to their homes we gave jams and plates of cookies to their parents and sang carols to them. It was a great night. Natsha was helping to make the Christmas cookies. She can be a big help and also a big handful.
These are a few of the different kind of cookies we made to give away. Gingersnaps with white chocolate and sprinkles

Ritz crackers dipped in chocolate
Are you hungery yet?

New Years

I guess we are homebodies, because I really don't remember a time that we ever went to a New Years party. We usually "celebrate" by sleeping in the New Year. This year was different. Roman and Nodiea, our pastor and wife, invited us to a New Years party. Even though we are not big party people, we didn't have a good enough excuse. We didn't figure the need of sleep was a good excuse. So we dressed up and went to the party, at least we thought we were going to a party. I guess something was lost in translation. When we arrived they were having church, and praising God for His help this past year, singing and giving testimonies. Don't get me wrong, I am not against church and praising God, just not exactly what we expected. We did get one thing clear though, there was going to be food. So after praying in the New Year, all the guest headed to the basement for what we understood was snack time. Right and wrong, Yes they did have food, but not snacks, a whole Ukrainian feast. We thought the service or party or what ever it was would end after the fireworks at midnight, Wrong again. They were just getting warmed up. After the huge feast, mashed potatoes, three kinds of meat, endless salads and different kinds of pickles, then sweets, they sat around and talked and the kids started playing games. When we stood up to leave a 3am they asked us why we were going home so early. We were really feeling the need of sleep by this time.
and the next morning we woke up to this......... Yes, the village children came to bless our house and threw wheat at us, in every room and on everything they could, chatting little rhymes all the while. I hurried to find candy, and Jason had fun throwing the candy back at them. Then they stole our kids and headed down the road to "bless" more homes. Our kids had a great time. You should have seen the load of candy and money that Josh came back with. Needless to say, we headed back to bed. So how was your New Year?

family Christmas

Yes, we did have a family Christmas, here in Ukraine, with our little family. No not a family Christmas as in all the extended family and everyone getting together, but that was fine. We have each other and we are thankful for that. It was a happy Christmas even though we were far from home. Sometimes we call Dec. 25th American Christmas, because they don't celebrate Christmas here in Ukraine at that time. Jessica and Josh were very happy with all there presents but also the making of memories. We have special little traditions that we keep as a family every year. The kids really look forward everything that comes with making Christmas special, and remembering Jesus' birthday.
Josh adding the final touch to our Christmas tree. He made the star (snowflake) himself. He loved helping make the decoration for the tree. It was a Christmas full of fun memories. Cutting our tree in the forest, stringing the popcorn, making snowflakes, making gifts for each other, reading our favorite Christmas stories, the joy on little faces, and remembering the Best Gift of all.

Playing catch up again

Where Oh Where has the time gone. Has it really been that long since I last posted anything on my blog? Well, needless to say I am playing catch up again. I will do my best to let all of my fathful readers ( hey, thanks for being one of the few that are still with me) What has been happening, Who we have been with, What we are doing, and maybe if we get lucky Where we are going. What do you say? Let's get this started! ( the picture is of the icecream cakes Jason got for my birthday, last month. everything was going on last month and he still didn't forget my birthday. Good job , honey)