Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tom's class will finish out this week and then they will be done. Three of the students leave next week.
Spencer is going until the teachers stop teaching and Nathan... one never knows what his choice will be. I think he will go as long as he has to!
We are praying about Spencer's school attendance next year. He has highschool to finish so he may choose to go to language school part time and focus on his last two years of highschool. He gets live language everyday and he and Nathan both speak very well.
there was a group of children playing down on the playground in front of our apartment. One boy had the ball and about 6 or 7 kids were doing back bends in a line forming a tunnel and he was rolling the ball underneath them.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
We have had rain and sunshine. Warm days and cold. It has been warm enough to warrant turning on the air conditioner already. More people are out on the street talking late at night. Especially now that school is out and the children don't have to get up early.
We are listening to more people do repair work on their apartments. Hammering and banging goes on until bedtime and sometimes later.
The things we love about summer are the ice cream & the fresh fruit like watermelon and strawberries.
Here are two babushka's chatting while one enjoys her ice cream.
Monday, May 29, 2006
In our effort to lose weight we are getting off the bus a stop sooner than normal. This puts us right in front of the reenok. About a four block walk from home.
They saw me coming.
I was told I needed to buy the sorrel because it was fresh. "you like green borscht don't you?" Well of course we do we have had it at Lena's. I thought about it and decided it would be good to make borscht today. It has been rainy and this is a good soup day! This recipe was modified by me to suit our tastes and Tom's diet. I left out the heavy cream and the eggs.
- Zelyonye Schi (Green Schi ) recipe -
Cuisine: Ukrainian, Yield: 6 Servings
· Ingredients 2 lb Sorrel
1 lb Endive w/ juice of 3 lemons
-and-1 lb Spinach washed and dried
2 1/4 qt Beef stock
2 ea Onions
1 ea Carrot
1 1/2 ts Salt
2 ea Potatos peeled
1 tb Dill fresh & chopped
1 tb Scallions chopped
1/2 c Heavy cream
4 ea Eggs hardboiled & sliced
1/4 c Sour cream
· MethodBring the beef stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the onion, salt, & sorrel (or spinach & endive & lemon juice). Cube the potatos into 3/4" cubes and add to pot. Cook for 10 minues. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and place into a large tureen and stir in the cream, add the dill. serve and garnish with a dollop of sour cream & slices of egg.
*NOTE: This better made with sorrel than endive but I have seen kale with spinach used as well instead of sorrel.
Recipe source: Dr. Donald Houston's collection ORIGIN: Taisa Kamnotskaya, Kyiv-Ukraine, circa 1997
Posted by Yuri Timohin http://www.ruscuisine.com
Sunday, May 28, 2006
We are not here to spread the gospel. We are here to reflect the light and love of Christ and to teach whatever specialised subjects people want to learn. God has been doing the work of drawing people to him for many years... it is an honor that every now and then He uses us to help.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Da Vinci Code Poster Burnt in Moscow by Orthodox Activists
Created: 23.05.2006 17:34 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 18:51 MSK
Around 100 protesters representing a Russian Orthodox movement burned a poster advertising the The Da Vinci Code at Pushkin Square in central Moscow, on the day of the controversial film’s premier, RIA Novosti news agency reports. Protesters at the meeting, organized by the Union of Orthodox Citizens, held icons, crosses and banners, one of which read: “The Da Vinci Code: you buy a ticket — you sell Jesus.”Leonid Simonovich-Nikshych, the chairman of an Orthodox organization represented at the protest, said: “Every heresy against the Church will burn in this way.” He urged for “blasphemous acts against Christians” to be stopped.Moscow police did not stop the protest. Officers had been briefed by their supervisors not to intervene in these “religious things, unless there’s an open physical fight”, Discovery Institute website reports.On Tuesday the Moscow Patriarchy condemned the release in Russia of the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s controversial bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. Many Russian Muslims are also outraged by the film, because Jesus is esteemed as a prophet in the Koran. They view The Da Vinci Code’s claim that Jesus slept with Mary Magdalene as an attack on their religion as well as Christianity.The book, which centers on a conspiracy by the Catholic Church to cover up the true story of Jesus Christ, has caused a storm of controversy around the world.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Every time we saw a baby in a stroller or someone her age walking she got excited. Olya says we need a special translator to know exactly what Ira is saying. Some of her words are clear but not all! She is 1 year and 8 months old. She walks great and went for about three hours before she needed to go potty. As we were walking to the marshutka Olya told us that Ira was not wearing pampers! I was especially concerned while Ira was sitting on my lap. She did great though. I didn't need to worry.
On our way home we got on the same marshutka we had arrived there in. It was the same driver and everything. We got about 15 miles from the city and the van broke down. He was trying to get us to a neighborhood but the van just couldn't go any farther. Olya and I walked for about five minutes since we were not far from her mother's house. She is pregnant, due in August, and she decided she couldn't make it any farther.
We hailed a car.
An older couple stopped and drove us about 2 miles. It was wonderful to ride and not have to walk it! We walked another half mile to Olya's mother's house and she drove us home. What a day for neither one of us to have our cell phones! Her mother fussed at us for not calling. I had forgotten mine and Vova had Olya's. We were on a highway and cars were coming by very fast. I didn't feel as if we were facing any danger. It was another adventure to add to my list.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Natasha came with us to translate but we are finding that we are understanding more each time we go. Many medical terms have a latin base so they sound familiar to our ears.
When Jim H. spoke at church on Sunday, Natasha translated for him. He gave an illustration about the details on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Natasha was confused for a bit because she was thinking of St. Peter's Basilica. Tom suggested that we show her a book I brought back from the Chapel last summer. She was amazed at the paintings and remembered that she had studied about Michangelo back in 6th grade. She said she was too young to appreciate it. I said that was how I felt when I was in Rome last summer. I had heard about the artists whose work I ws seeing. But, school textbooks pale in comparison to the real thing. Here is a link in case you aren't familiar with the paintings there: http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/CSN/CSN_Main.html
We could have seen all the other doctors today but Natasha needed to get back to work. They are translating another book for publication at the BLTC.
Tom is doing well, he is out of pain, his blood pressure is coming down and the doctor was pleased with his progress.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The next day after that if they are able they will make their way to Sochi and enjoy time at the Black Sea with their classmates.
Tom has his doctor's appointment tomorrow otherwise I would be there bright and early to take pictures. Lord willing, I can do it next year!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Lena helped us while she was here. She said it would be a hard a game for Russians to play. We told her it was a hard game in English too! Nathan was looking for our Englsih version so that he could take it to the English class that he teaches. If you are a stickler for rules you would not have enjoyed playing with us. After all, this was a game Tom and I decided was for learning. No points and no board needed. If you speak Russian or can read the characters you will see mistakes. The letters we had leftover were two soft signs, a hard sign and an 'e kratkaya'. The soft sign softens the letter it follows and the hard sign functions like a stop sign in between letters. The 'e kratkaya' makes a sound like the 'y' at the beginning of the word yogurt.
We didn't play to win. We actually helped each other with words. Nathan helped me and Spencer helped Tom. We picked up a few new words from the dictionary and the boys were able to help us with some case endings that they have learned.
Tom and I realised today that we have been studying Russian for a full year with no break. We started working with Lena a year ago this month. We even worked with her over the Christmas vacation. So we have literally studied for a solid year. We are all looking forward to July. We are grateful for how much we have learned this past year. Last year we could say hello, goodbye and please. This year we are playing Scrabble.
Maybe when you come and visit we will let you play with us!
Monday, May 22, 2006
Russian tradition is that you give yourself a party. Spencer baked a cake yesterday and was upset that it turned out uneven. He made it in a bundt pan and was not happy with it. But , the rest of us didn't mind. The family ate it happily. He made another cake later in the evening before he went to bed. It came out much better. I made a frosting for him and he took it with him to school this morning.
His birthday present from us is his trip to Moscow in June. Several of the men at school have promised to kiss him... he is not real thrilled about that! Last year he got his digital camera. Yesterday we walked around our neighborhood and took some pictures together. It is hard to believe he is 16...
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I watched my first Eurovision Talent show. It is the "grandfather of all talent shows". Last night was the 51st competition. Countries from all over Europe vote for the winner.
Last night's winner was Finland. The group is called Lordi and they are a rock group.
Personally I liked the group from Israel. They were the most talented. The group from Lithuania sang a song one of them must have written. It was "We are the winners of Eurovision". They had a guy who looked like Drew Carey do a dance to a violin solo! The contest is very splashy... all the singers or groups had back up singers and/or dancers. The choreography was interesting. The guy from Russia came in second. He had ballet dancers backing him up and a girl who came out of the piano and spilled rose petals over the stage. Most of the songs were in English... except the woman from France sang in French and the Croatian group sang in Croatian. Germany's group was called Texas Lighting and they did a country song. I thought it was interesting that the Romanian contestant sang in English and Italian. You can read about each of the countries that particpated at the website for the contest.
There have been groups that rocketed to fame after this competition. ABBA, Olivia Newton John and Celine Dion are the most succesful. Olivia Newton John actually lost to ABBA.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Yesterday was our final time at the orphanage for the school year. We will start up again in the fall. The kids really loved seeing pictures of themselves in the powerpoint presentation that Bill and Judi put together. I decided to take my camera and photograph our final time and the kids stood in line to get their photo taken. Perhaps they are hoping to be seen in next year's slide show!
For our craft time we used an idea from Ann T. in Orange County. She sent us some greeting cards made by her students. We took in some old magazines donated by people in Kansas and some of the card stock donated to us (from several sources) and the kids had a blast! The teachers there enjoyed looking at the magazines. Magazines are a luxury item here.
Kathy and Mike handed out goodie bags to all the kids. They each got an orange, candy, and some little goodies like pens, markers and such!
A team of college students joined us and they donated some games to the kids. They were given several bats and balls. It was such a fun time.
It is not the easiest location to get to for those of us who live on the other side of town. It takes two buses and then a two block walk. But it is worth it in the end!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Well, the ambulance arrived before she did. So I told the paramedic what was going on. He thought it was Tom's kidney stones and that we should see a doctor in the morning. He gave Tom an anti- spasmodic and suggested a warm shower. Tom was still not feeling well when Tania got here so she suggested going to the hospital. She made a phone call at about 1 am and made arrangements for Tom to be seen at the Diagnostic Center. We went over there and Tom had labwork, xrays and an ultrasound. The labwork was back in about 15 minutes. Everything looked normal. His kidney stones are deep in the kidneys and very small so they were not the problem either. The doctor thought it might be a pinched nerve. Tom had a shot of pain medication and was sent home. We are supposed to go and see a neurologist but haven't been able to get back over the Diagnostic Center yet. Yesterday Tom slept for 13 hours. I didn't have the heart to wake him after all he had been through.
Today we are waiting for a call to see if we can get in to see the neurologist. Otherwise we will be going Monday.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The interesting thing about visiting someone in the hospital here is that each time I have been over there they have not let us go up to see the patient. They send the patient down to see us. Sveta was allowed to walk through the park with us and then sit and chat for about an hour. During this time we saw several VERY pregnant women walking around outside. They can go across the street to the market to get food or have a smoke. Actually, I just assumed they were patients because they had on pajamas and bathrobes... but one never knows!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
He came home dancing because they starting learning instrumental case today. He was singing about being half way through the course. Nathan joined in Spencer's dance and then it came to an abrupt end when I said that them finishing school meant they would be going back to America soon. Nathan said I was not nice! Both of them are enjoying ife here and are hoping to come back here after college.
I am grateful that we have our entire family here right now. I think it has made our adjustment to life here easier and has bonded us together as a family. It will be hard to see them go when the time comes. Although they both need to follow whatever course God has laid out for them.
Hopefully, Spencer and I will have no problems purchasing tickets... if so it will be an interesting cultural experience to write about.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Tom bought movies from Mike C. They cannot take their movie collection with them to Kazakstan so they were selling them today. So of course my birthday present was MOVIES!
I saw Leeza while I was out. She gave me her passport because I need to buy tickets for she and Spencer for their trip to Moscow. This will be her first time flying. Spencer is an old pro!
The babushka in front of our apartment asked me what time it was when I got home. I told her it was 6:15. She said she "thought it was five". I said to her "no it's six". She insisted that someone had just told her it was five so how could it be six already! It was hard not to laugh. She sits on the stairs and asked everyone who walks by what time it is. Even though she is wearing a watch herself. She says that her vision is bad and she cannot see it!
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Our friends who are expecting a baby need prayer. She is in the hospital again and she asked for prayer that she would not deliver early.
Yesterday was Phillippe's concert. I went with his family and Sonja. I listened to a mix of Russian, German and English in the car. The highlight of the day was listening to Manuel sing in the car. He was singing "Jesus Loves the Little Children". He did fine for a while...
Jesus loves the little children
all the children of the world
blah blah blah black and white
an impression in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Spencer went over to Andrew's house so he will most likely be gone all day.
I need to post wedding pictures and then make a CD for Lena and Dima (different Dima).
We don't have Mother's Day here so the only upcoming holiday for us is my birthday on Monday! Spencer is going to bake a cake and we are going out to eat.
Friday, May 12, 2006
The kids are playing a fast game of "head, shoulders, knees and toes" led by Mike.
With all the excitement around us with John being here last weekend I forgot that I had pictures from the orphange last week!
We had puppeteers from Kovchek Baptist Church come and put on a show for the kids. It was the largest turnout of children I have seen since I started going there. The kids played games and watched the show. They got prizes for participating and that led to more kids wanting to play the games. A few bags of candy bars and lollipops helps to put smiles on the faces of many kids!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Spencer and Nathan both have a review to do for Lessons 46-50 and Tom and I have old lessons to go over. Although Tom and I have both studied in other classes to Lesson 50 we are both choosing to step back and redo some grammar that we missed. I am going back to 34 and Tom will be somewhere around there too. We have heard it is very common for people to repeat the genitive case. Neither one of us feels bad about it. We are commited to this country and this language. So we desire to do it with excellence and not with haste!
I am still hobbling around the house. I wanted to bake a cake but I knew that I shouldn't stand up that long to do it. So I talked Spencer through it. His devil's food cake is cooling in the kitchen. We decided it was his practice cake before he makes my birthday cake! Thanks to some generous people from Andover, Kansas we have several boxes of cake mix for him to practise with. He is a very good cook and the cake smells wonderful!
Tom is making some new jewelry for the store near us. He has made some Russian flags out of safety pins and beads. They are cute.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I am looking forward to studying with Judi H. she decided to go part time after the Christmas break. We had talked back then about me joining her. And I have thought and prayed about it since then. I missed a week of school going to doctor appoinments with Tom and I feel as if I am so far behind. Looking forward I need time to prepare lessons for Spencer when we start up homeschooling again in the fall. I think going to school two days a week will work. I thought I wanted the faster paced class but like the otherwise homeschooling moms before me I need to prioritize better. Joyce H. did her first year full time and then switched to part time. She is homeschooling Hannah and part time worked well for her.
We just got an email from John P saying he got home safely. He was fed by several of our Russian friends so he is well aquainted now with Russian quisine and customs. He had green borsht, jelloed meat, bliny, pelmeni, Olivier salad and so much more. It was great having someone here who has traveled as much as he has. He was very flexible and able to adapt to whatever the plans were. We look forward to many other guests coming to investigate Russia and spending time with us!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Tom and I have both been extremely tired this school year. These days off are very welcome in order for us to have time to recoop. We are both considering class changes. Tom and I both have health issues as a result of the pace we have been working at. I am considering joining a fellow student who is going part time. I will start homeschooling Spencer again in the fall and will need some preparation time during the week to make his schooling a success.
I sprained my ankle a week ago and then reinjured it when I photographed the wedding this past Saturday. So I am not walking this week so that it can heal properly. Kathy told me that I needed to give the ankle a rest and I am grateful for her wisdom.
Nathan is enjoying his new video game and Spencer is off with friends celebrating today's holiday.
Tom and I are enjoying the quiet!!!
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
After talking for several hours to get to know each other we finally let John get to sleep around midnight our time that is about 3 in the afternoon in Kansas. This morning Tom and John are on their way to Axterka. Natasha is translating and Alexei P. is with them to answer questions and show them around the rehab center.
Nathan, Spencer and I will be going to Lena M's wedding. It will be a long day for everyone.
Thanks so much to everyone from Hope Community Church who sent magazines, beads, pop tarts, cake mix, antibacterial soap, Nathan's video game and Spencer's comic books. We truly felt loved and cared for!
And to the "Over What Hill" gang we love our new washing machine!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Today we were helping Lena and Dima decorate the church for their wedding. There are times when you cannot just give money and say "Good Luck". You actually need to pitch in and help out. Today was that day!
We spent about an hour waiting for Lean and Dima to get to the church. It is not considered rude in Russia to be late. And it is expected that you will wait at least an hour or more. Transportation is a major issue here so you cannot expect everyone to be on time. We had to cut the material for the curtains and then iron it. We used used pins and ribbon to hold everything up.
There will be roses in a vase in the center and there will be a candle on each side of the vase.
The last three weddings at church have been burgandy and white. The girls share the materials with each other but everything is put together is unique ways according to the bride's personality.
Tomorrow they will finish up the other six windows!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Half of the students were over at the new building. I didn't hear how it went over there. I don't mind the interruptions at least we had a bathroom!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
We had a near disaster with the washing machine. There was water coming out everywhere! And we could not get it to stop... We got the machine turned off and today Olya was able to get it working again. I don't know what we would do without her sometimes.
Olya is making lunch. Tom just home from the school. He had to rehang some of the whiteboards. Our director is very tall. He tried to explain to her that the whiteboards should start about waist high to the teachers. Most of our teacheers are short. So he had to lower the white boards about 9 inches. He also had to move the clocks again!
Monday, May 01, 2006
Lena asked me not to bring my camera and I am glad that I didn't. It would have been disrespectful. There were thousands of people going to and from the cemetery in town. There is only one that is still open in Krasnodar.
At the cemetery:
people were cleaning graves
eating, drinking and toasting with family and friends
laying flowers on the graves
many of the graves had full body pictures of the deceased on the head stone.
children and old people were begging for money
bands were playing and had hats or boxes out for people to put in money
many of the graves had a picnic table and bench for people to sit at and eat
a band was playing "strangers in the night"
a grave of a child had a fence around it that was shaped like a train
some graves were overgrown and abandoned
others were filled with so many flowers you could not see the name on the headstone.
We walked through the cemetery just looking and observing for over an hour. We found the grave of a woman that no one had attended to and layed four tulips on it. Flowers are given in even numbers for death.
We chose a woman's grave to honor because I found out earlier today that a friend of mine from highschool had passed away three weeks ago. I don't know any other way to honor Margaret than to be the kind of person she was. She was giving. She was caring. She took in anyone who needed a home. She was there for me when my brother passed away. She was there when my grandmother and mother were in the hospital. Here is her notice from the Wichita Eagle newspaper. Our trip to the cemetery was more than just a field trip it gave me a chance to pray for Margaret's family and to remember her.
Margaret A. Bufford
Bufford, Margaret A., age 43, former MCI manager, passed away Tuesday, April 11, 2006. Service 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15, St. Mark United Methodist Church. Survivors: husband, Tilton McFerren; sons, Harold DeWayne Butler, Samuel Cornell Norwood, Christian James McFerren; daughter, Bernadean Norwood; mother, Birda Mae Bufford; brothers, Warren Bufford, Norvell Bufford, Jr., Mark Bufford; sisters, Paula Bufford, Bernadean Jackson, Edith "Dee" Graham, all of Wichita; grandmother, Margaret Norwood of Crescent, Okla.; one grandchild. Services entrusted to Jackson Mortuary. Published in the Wichita Eagle on 4/14/2006.