Tuesday, April 26, 2005


We are leaving for the airport in 2 hours. Tom is still packing. I am wearing a money belt to get used to the funds that I am transporting. It feels weird. I keep wondering if anyone will notice or if I will set off the security system with my jewelry and they have to search me will they try to take my money? What if's can drive a person mad. I will stop before I get too outlandish. I think I'll take off my earrings just in case....

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Final 32

What we did today:

Barnes & Noble

Now all we have left is 32 hours in the U.S. Should we be on a mission to do all the important things in life? Rather than daily, mundane errands. Little things are the things that will be missed. Books in English, movies in English, menus at restaurants in English... just some little things!

Visas and Passports Arrived!


We can relax and know that we are leaving on Tuesday. Spencer got to sign for the package when it came. He was excited and came in to wake us up. I got up right away but Tom was not impressed. It was 9 am. He turned over and went back to sleep. Now I will finish packing my second suitcase. We only have a few days left. We had pizza tonight for dinner. Tom said it was most likely the last time so we should enjoy it. Poor Nathan... Saturday Night Live is a re-run. But we do get one more Desperate Housewives before we go!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Weather Pixie

I am enjoying having the Weather Pixie on my blog. Her clothes change with the weather! I set the temperature for Farenheit for my American friends. I wanted it to be clear what the weather was like...

We are counting down the days again. As far as we know we are still on to leave Tuesday at 6am... Guess who booked those tickets?

I don't think Tom will sleep that night.

He likes the quiet... shhhhhh!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Crocheting, Test results, & Bloggers

I have finished two tube tops and one halter! I wore one today. A blue tube top that looked cute with my jeans. I used 100%mercerized cotton. It was a simple pattern of two rows of single crochet and two rows of double crochet. I chained the vertical length I wanted. Then crocheted until the desired width and sewed the ends together. I'll post pictures when we get settled and I can download the software I need! It's been fun to make something other than a poncho or a baby blanket. I looked at the weather in Krasnodar today. It is 73 degrees F right now.

As I am typing it is 2am here in Ca but only 1pm in Krasnodar! Tom and I have a Russian sleep cycle going on. We should be ok and not have jet lag next week when we get there.

We should have our visas on Saturday. Our tests results came from the lab and were faxed to Rita right away. She called to verify if we wanted our travel documents to arrive on Saturday or Monday. Tom was gone to run more errands so I made the executive decision for Saturday!

I have looked at a lot of blogs today it was fun to see what is out there.

Click Here to see a blog from another Amercian living in Russia. Her Pizza Hut story is priceless!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Russian Language

We need to focus daily on the Russian language. Hopefully, the verse of the day will help me. I find I can learn things easier if I can relate to it. Like a song or a Bible verse that is well known. Maybe it's the adult brain.... that's a polite way of saying that older learners sometimes need to get creative!

I know that once we have to speak it for survival that will make a difference . Until then this should give me some daily practice....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Best Buddies

The dogs want to be together all the time now. Before they were boarded Brownie,the older dog,could barely tolerate Domo's presence for very long. Now if one goes for a walk the other whines to go. They touch noses and sit beside each other. Maybe we should send our teenagers away to be boarded for four months? Who knows what the outcome would be?!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


If it's not one thing it's another. We celebrate getting Spencer's test results and the next day the Russian consulate informs us that all of us must retake the HIV test because our results are more than six months old. AAAAAH!

So we rushed out to take new tests.... going to a different lab of course! The technician was overwhelmed at having to do the billing on four patients who needed a rush job. Tom prayed with him and then he got right to work on all of us.

We picked up the dogs with out a problem. We stopped by my friend Sadie's house to get our computer first. It was hard to say good bye again!

The dogs were so happy to see us. Domo is up to 44 lbs. He is bigger than Brownie now. They are both calm and did great getting the micro chips in. Now when they are scanned an ID number comes up individual to each of them. It's a global tracking number in case they get lost.

I don't want to ask what else can go wrong.... just stay tuned! As of today we leave on Tuesday, April 26th, if anything changes I will rant about it :)

By the way we have to catch our flight in Seattle! So it's LA, Seattle, Moscow to Krasnodar!

Test results arrive!


I think the Wells Fargo Wagon Train hand delivered them to the doctor's office today. We are all going to get on the plane as a family on Wednesday. Spencer is happy but wishes that he could have stayed so he could see Lost one more time!

Tuesday, we get the dogs micro-chipped and then bring them back here to Raul and Christine's house to spend the night. Lordy, won't that be fun!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Russian Church in Laguna Niguel

What a day!

We attended a Russian speaking church today. The service was just like being back in Krasnodar. Did we understand what was going on? No... well, got the jist but word for word no! The music was great. And the speaker was passionate. We did have a translator for the second message. Yes, I said second message. The service lasted from 2-4 pm. We were given the chance to speak about our upcoming trip. Victor translated for us. He is a friend of the pizza guy, Vladimir. So many people came up to us after the service. Many were in tears telling us stories about family members who are alcoholics back home in Russia. They were so thrilled that an American family cared about their homeland and their people. One woman spoke to us for a few minutes in Russian and then ended in English saying"you go, I pray! "

I was told that Lida is a Russian name so I should keep my name... Alida. But Tom is an American name. He should change his! I have heard before that Alida is a European name. When I was working at the bank I heard from older women that it was their mother's or Aunt's name.

After picking up Nathan from his friend Mark's house where he spent the weekend....

We headed to Oksana and Nik's house for a Russian dinner. It was a feast. We were teased a lot and felt so loved. Oksana wanted us to ask for dishes in Russian. They corrected our pronunciation each time we attempted to speak their language and laughed quite heartily when we made mistakes! We really had a great time with them all.

We leave for Krasnodar on Wednesday. We are eager to get going. We already have dinner plans for Saturday night. Hospitality is the Russian way!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Pizza Guy

On Friday night we decided to order pizza. Everyone had a turn cooking during the week so it was time to let someone else do the work. So when the delivery guy gets there he comes to the back patio and yells out to announce his arrival. Raul tells him to come on in and he noticed the accent right away. Where are you from? Russia....no way! Raul and Christine are going to Russia in June to visit orphanages and take supplies and our family leaves next week!

We all crowd around this poor man with questions. What city are you from? Why did you come? How long have you been here? We gather around the map as Vladimir explains where he is from. It's a little city right outside of Krasnodar. He tells us he has friends in Krasnodar from the military who still live there. We all exchange phone numbers and we plan to keep in touch. We found out that there is a Russian Baptist Church in Laguna Hills that he is active in. He was not even supposed to be working at the pizza place anymore but his friend the owner called him because she needed help. We prayed for him and Svetlana, his wife. Then we paid for the pizza and sent him on his way!

Valdimir called on Saturday to give us directions to church... we will be able to go next Sunday we already had a commitment this week.

How exciting a Russian Church!...all because we wanted pizza for dinner.
Isn't God good?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Seeing friends

We had dinner yesterday with Greg and Tammy. We spent today with Nicholas and Lucinda. It feels good to connect with friends.

I got an email from Erin today about our trip to Rome this summer. Since I will be living in Russia and will travel from there I actually need permission to leave the country. Erin sent the travel date of June 30 for her. I still have not heard back from our field supervisor. I think he is in Singapore. Hopefully, I will get the documents I need to travel to Rome. I have been looking up places that I want to see. I think Rhianna and I will just have to take walking tours of the city. She will be six months old by then and I will have her stroller. Erin will be working long days so the baby and I will get to have all the fun!

Spencer is worried about not getting his HIV test results back yet. We need them to get the visas for Russia. We called the doctor's office again to light a fire under someone. Hopefully it worked. Anyway, we told Spencer the worst case scenario is one parent, one son and one dog will go early and one parent, one son and one dog will wait for his visa. I think he bought it. But tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

138 Boxes

Our life fits into 138 boxes and 8 suitcases.

Imagine going from a 2013 square foot home with five bedrooms and 3 bathrooms to 138 boxes and 8 suitcases. Tom, Spencer and a guy he hired named Max loaded and unloaded the boxes from the storage facility to the shipping company. They went from Tustin to Glendale... passing a highspeed chase a long the way. Bella, from the shipping company says that our belongings should make it there in two months. Other people told us 4-6 months. It is all part of the adventure. Our things are going to LA,the Ukraine, Moscow and then by truck down to Krasnodar. We pray that everything makes it in good condition. We have 15 days before we get on the plane and everything is falling into place.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

4 AM

It's 4 am. I'm still awake. I got carried away on the message boards. My favorite one is at the Starting Over website. www.startingover.tv

Yes, I'm a reality TV fan. But, this show is different it helps people! People like me who should be in bed at this hour. Oh well. Tom and Nathan are still awake too. Spencer is going to have a heck of a time waking us all up for church in the morning. Hopefully we will make it there on time. I should go to bed....but I bought a new book and I also have a baby blanket to finish. No, sleep is calling my name. Good night!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Tragic News

...hello. this is blackpurl's son Nathan. I'm sure you're used to seeing my mother post here, but..

something awful happened. We were in the car and my mom was knitting and we went over a bump...

she stabbed herself with a knitting needle. The doctor said it went through her eye socket and into her brain. They don't know if she'll live. I don't know what to do...we'll probably have to cancel the trip to Russia, but besides that...I might not have my mom any more. I'm scared. I...we fought all the time and there's so much I should have said to her. Like...like..

Well, April Fool's, for starters. =D