Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Preparing to leave

Paying utility bills for next month
Confirming Slavic staying in our house
Saying goodbye to friends
Cleaning the house
Packing our suitcases
Finding Spencer's Medical Records
Calling to congratulate Olya on the birth of her second daughter, Yahna.

and so on!

We are just about ready to go. We are going to take the bus to the train station. This will be our first time getting on the bus with suitcases. But, we see this every Friday as the university students go home for the weekend.

This is where Tom will be teaching: http://www.ywamkyiv.org/content/view/28/5/lang,en/

Please pray for our safety as we travel.

Pray that we will be able to purchase return tickets for the 16th so that we can get back here in time to attend Marilyn Murray's Seminar on the 18th. (Russia does not sell roundtrip tickets)

Pray for Tom as he teaches; that the students are blessed and enriched by what he shares.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Clothes make the man... Free?

I was talking with Lena yesterday about how people dress in America. She mentioned that they went to visit some friends in Alexei's home town. This couple was surprised that Alexei was dressed like an American. Lena asked them how they knew that and they said they have American friends and that they have seen pictures.

The observation on how Americans dress is that Americans don't ALWAYS tuck in their shirts. Most Russians do. Americans just wear what they want and a lot of Russians dress identical to one another. Same type of shirt, pants and shoes. The thinking is that the American style of dress is 'svobodnayeh' or "free".

Interesting... when you think about how long America has been a "free" society in comparison to how long communism and it effects have lasted here in Russia.

Alexei didn't just see one state in America with Tom he saw four... and this was his overall impression of what he saw in reference to clothing. Americans are free!

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Picasso of Indian Art


I got an incredible gift from my inlaws today. Mom and Dad sent me a muscial dvd featuring the art of R.C. Gorman.










you can see a sample of what is on the dvd here:

http://rcgormangallery.com/publications/index.php
My favorite painting is of a woman looking at a butterfly on sunflowers.

I hope that you take the time to look at his work. A gifted artist deserves to be taken note of.






















You can purchase prints here:
http://rcgormangallery.com/index.php


Thanks Mom and Dad for the dvd. It was a great way to relax before going off to school and the first thing I turned when I got back home!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Getting laundry done



Here is Tom taking his turn. Most of the time Spencer does the laundry and Nathan does the dishes.

In the summertime laundry can be seen hanging off balconies all over the city. During the winter many people hang things on the radiator to get things dried quickly. I miss having a dryer each time I pick up a towel. Most of the time our house helper irons them to soften them up. But, when she doesn't... OUCH! They are hard and crunchy. I would also like the dryer to get the dog hair and lint off of things too.

Tom wanted to get a dryer when we were looking at washing machines but dryers are hard to find here. Maybe next year... or maybe we will just get used to hard,crunchy and hairy towels.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

St. Petersburg's Cathedral Destroyed


St Petersburg’s Landmark Cathedral Destroyed by Fire
Created: 25.08.2006 20:57 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 11:58 MSK
document.write(get_ago(1156579139));
, 19 seconds ago
MosNews


A fire raged in a 19th Century cathedral in St. Petersburg Friday evening, bringing down the main cupola on top of the stately church in Russia’s former Imperial capital.The fire erupted in the early evening and burned through scaffolding beneath the soaring blue central dome of Trinity Cathedral, a duty officer at the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said.The central dome collapsed and one of five smaller cupolas surrounding it was also destroyed by the fire, St. Petersburg emergency department spokeswoman Lyudmila Rubasova said.Firefighters were trying to save the other three domes as emergency workers and church employees removed icons and other religious articles from the Russian Orthodox cathedral, which was built in 1835 and is considered an architectural monument. The fire was contained after 20-00 Moscow time, the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported. Hundreds of people gathered at the landmark site, which recently underwent restoration.An Emergency Situations Ministry Mi-8 helicopter was called in to tackle the flames, emergency services said earlier.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What a nightmare!

After a dinner of bar-b-que, cheese biscuits, veggies and rice ... (again with the food!) Tom and I went over to a meeting for the Axtirka rehab center team. It was good to see everyone again.

We heard tonight about a young bride, 19 years old, who had a miscarriage and had to have 2 d&c's because the first one was not done properly. However, both of the procedures were done without anesthesia. She is concerned about how the procedure was done and if she is able to have children in the future.

This is not an isolated incident.

We have friends who just recently had a miscarriage and she also had a d&c with nothing given for pain during the procedure or following the procedure. Her husband called this "a barbaric act" and could not believe that something like this could happen in 2006! She apparently begged for medication and said that she could pay. She was told that the anesthesiologist was busy and could not tend to her.

Heaven knows how many other women this has happened to in the smaller villages around the country. We have not heard of things like this here in Krasnodar. These stories are from a small village hospital. A nurse here in town gave the hospital wing where these women are staying some ibuprofen... at least they will get some pain relief tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

why does she talk about food?

Okay for those of you who have noticed all the food posts lately... I fell into a trap of posting while I was cooking or when I was hungry. And now Spencer is betting that I cannot go for ten straight posts talking about food. I did make a great salad for dinner. I found an Olive Oil Mayonaise at the market. I mixed it with some pasta, ham and peas. It was simple and quick and every last bit of it is gone!

Look at the sidebar and notice that I have a new blog listed. It is called Pray and Crochet. I didn't want to bore any of you with my crafts so there is a separate place to read about what I am doing and see the latest photos. I hope you take the time to visit if you can. I don't think that I have talked about food there yet!

Today at school Arina's bracelet broke. I just held out my hand and she handed it over. All the teachers know that Tom not only creates jewelry he also repairs it. He did a great job on it and will give it to her at school.

I have to let you in on a secret... I think our sons actually like each other. It is probably not cool to admit to liking your brother. Tonight Spencer was in Nathan's room getting some of Nathan's music downloaded onto his MP3 player. Nathan had a few songs that Spencer really liked. They were in the room being silly and Tom was in the hall on the computer. It was great to hear all three of them laughing and goofing off together. Just ask Tom to sing "panther of the opera" for you.

I am amazed at how God has drawn our family closer over the past year and 4 months. We had to learn to like being together all the time or kill each other. We chose not to kill each other. We would hate for anyone to have to bury all the bodies!

What gender is your watermelon?

Arina ( our teacher for August) was telling Judi and I that here in Russia watermelon was considered a berry because it has many seeds inside.

Judi told us about a woman who taught her how to pick out a sweet watermelon. She said that watermelons are either boys or girls.

Girls are sweet and boys are not. The sweet ones usually have a spot on the opposite side of where the vine was attached that is bigger than one that is not sweet. I personally haven't looked at a watermelon's bottom to see what gender it is!

However, Arina says this does not always work because she purchased a girl watermelon and it was not a sweet girl!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

why can't I find cheddar anymore?

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Just one brick of plain cheddar would make me happy. For some reason since returning from Rome my supermarket does not have plain cheddar cheese anymore. Yes, I could go to Metro. Or I could go over to the big market in City Center. But, this market is close to my house. I can walk over or send one of the guys...

The cheese in the photo is from Ukraine, my supermarket is well stocked with this kind. One side looks like cheddar but has a slightly different taste. All it says is "cheese duplet Ukraine". We do use it with crackers and sausage. Or on tacos if we have too.

We don't suffer here as some might think... but from time to time we do feel the need to whine about a thing or two. Otherwise, we wouldn't be honest about daily life here in Russia would we?

I am not lobbying for anyone to send us cheddar cheese. Spencer and I will just take a trip to the mall or I can go over to Metro (our Costco) with Joy or Olya.

***********************
Spencer medicine update: I got emails from an opthamologist in Moscow and Spencer's own doctor from California. They both suggest the same replacement medication so we feel comfortable making the switch. We are still going to have him seen and tested in Kiev.

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, August 21, 2006

guests from Kirov

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Meet Slava and Tonya from Kirov. Tom met them before they were married on his first trip to Russia. He spoke at a seminar at the church they attend. Tonya has been visiting with her relatives who live here in the Krasnodar region. They came over and spent several hours with us this morning before we had to go to school.

They both speak english. Tonya had the bigger english vocabulary. Tonya said "It is exciting to have a chance to practice English". She studied English and German in college for 6 years. But, she rarely gets a chance to use those languages.

We were telling them about our summer and how this was the first year we had ever been apart so long. Slava said 6 weeks was nothing. They were apart for 2 months and 2 weeks this summer. They are leaving this weekend for some alone time without their one year old daughter. She will stay with Tonya's mother.

It is our desire to go and visit the church in Kirov next year. When asked what the best time of year to come to Kirov is Tonya says "it depends on what temperature you like!" Tom and I think that means winter is out. But, Kirov only got down to -20 and here in Krasnodar we had -35!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Zhar Pizza


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This pizza place is probably the one who does the most business with ex-patriates! (people from one country who choose to live in a different country).
I know there are families who get pizza every Friday. We used to do this regularly in California. Now, we order pizza when it is too hot to cook or for celebrations.
We were invited over by two different families on Friday (we could only handle one invite) And both were planning on Zhar Pizza! Tom and I went to Tim and Joy's and enjoyed pizza and the salads that Joy prepared. Spencer went over to Andrew's and had pizza over there. Nathan stayed home and had some quiet! He has had to keep his door open lately to cool down his room... so a night without his intrisuive family was a breath of fresh air for him!

You can get some of the standard toppings on your pizza here. Ham & mushroom, Chicken, Salami, cheese with tomato or you can try something like eggplant which is actually pretty good. There are somethings we cannot get like pepperoni and the chicken pizza is not the bar-b-que kind we used to get in California. But, at least we aren't suffering in a barbaric land with no pizza at all!


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sakhalin, Russia earthquake

I just read about this earthquake that happened the other day. It is on the opposite side of the country from us. This city is near Japan.


Powerful quake shakes Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin
09:17

18/ 08/ 2006

VLADIVOSTOK, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - An undersea earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale has affected at least five towns on Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin, local emergencies said Friday.

Seismologists said the quake happened at 2:40 a.m. local time (3.40 p.m. GMT Thursday) at a depth of five kilometers to the south of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the island's administrative center, which is 6,500 miles east of Moscow.

"According to the head of Emergency Situation Ministry's Nevelsk district department, windows were shattered in some buildings" the spokesman said. "No injuries or [serious] damage have been reported so far."

Powerful quakes have hit Russia's Pacific for years. A devastating earthquake destroyed the Sakhalin town of Neftegorsk of May 28, 1995 and claimed over 2,000 lives.

Over 1,200 people, including 542 children, were evacuated from the emergency zone after
a series of major earthquakes rocked the north of the Kamchatka peninsula this year. The first 7.8-magnitude quake on April 21 had an epicenter about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the town of Khailino, the strongest in the Koryak Autonomous since 1900 Area, and injured 31 people. It also damaged about 380 houses and 25 administrative facilities in four other towns.

According to research conducted by the International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, there is at least a 30% probability of an earthquake with a 7.2-magnitude or higher in the area of Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands before mid-December.

Friday, August 18, 2006

at the train station

Our latest cultural experience was had today at the train station.

Lena and I went to purchase train tickets for our upcoming trip to Kiev. We stood in two separate lines to see which one would move faster. As we were standing in line I was thinking of how best to phrase the question I needed to ask. The sentences in my head were long. I was thinking things like "Excuse me, can you tell me if you have tickets from Krasnodar to Kiev on the 31st of August?". Just as I had figured this all out in my head Lena said to me ...just say "menyeh Kiev". Literally that means "me Kiev". She told me what questions I would be asked and how to answer them. I got up to the front and repeated the phrase. When I asked for the date we needed her answer was "nyet" NO!

How could she tell me no? Tom is teaching in Kiev starting on the 4th of September. We have to get there! Lena stepped in and asked for several different dates... no. no. no! We left and were about to walk over to the bus station. Suddenly, Lena remembered that she heard on the news that sometimes you will be told no when they actually do have tickets. So we turned and went back in. Only this time we went upstairs to a different cashier. She had two upper berths available on the 31st and nothing else until the 7th. We left again. There is no bus to Kiev so that was out. We went to my house and Lena called a ticket agency.

Spencer and I got out the Atlas and were trying to figure out if we could take the bus half way and then the train the rest of the way. Tom, Spencer and I were brainstorming different options while Lena was working the phone. About four or five phone calls later Lena discovered there were 4 places available on the 31st in a compartment but, I had to go today! I gathered up our passports and went downtown. I told the woman that my friend had called and she remembered the conversation and started right to work on my tickets. Thank goodness we were finally able to solve our dilemna with only two trips around the city and a few phone calls.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where does your rice come from?

This says "Rice from America."

I saw it at the supermarket and just had to buy it! Spencer thought it was funny that it says "from America" but everything on the package is written in Russian.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

t shirts

As we journey to the bus stop we see many people along the way. Today we saw a store mannequin wearing clothes that did not match. While that was interesting it is absolutely boring in comparison to what we saw next. There was a babushka (grandmother) who was braless and wearing a t-shirt that said "Property of Frat House Sinners"

click here to see a copy of the shirt:
http://www.choiceshirts.com/item/k/a7010f/

I turned around to look at Tom and we both had to stifle laughter...
just another day in Krasnodar!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

another scorcher!

It was too hot to move today. I heard it was 110 degrees in the shade!

The guys got out and went to school. Spencer brought home a watermelon... they are soooo sweet right now. Tom came home with a bag of fruit. Nathan came home with two popsicles. To each to his own I guess.

Our language helper is fascinated with insects. She has a bee, a wasp, a grasshopper and some butterflies. Today she caught a moth. She put it in a plastic bag and was waiting for it to die so she could add it to her collection. I think I will stick to collecting yarn! After our language session she went over to her brother's house with Spencer and she forgot her bag with the moth in it. When Spencer got home he accidently let the moth out and was trying to recapture it. Nathan was merciful enough to catch it and let it go outside the apartment door. For now it lives to see another day!

Monday, August 14, 2006

this day in history!




















Nathan Sharp


What do these other
famous people have in
common???










David Crosby


















Steve Martin
















Gary Larson






























Magic Johnson


















Halle Berry


Give up? They were all blessed to be born on the same day as our beloved Nathan!!!
Happy 19th Birthday Nathan!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Family Times!


Yesterday Tom slept most of the day. He went to bed at 6am and slept until 8pm. Then he went back to bed at 10:30 pm. During the brief time he was awake we had a family meal and watched F Troop.

This morning Tom woke up early. He cleaned out the split system air conditoner and it is working really well now. It had gotten pretty dusty over the year that we have had it.

The photo is of Alexei sitting on a bench that Dad made. Alexei told me he had two favorite places to eat. My Aunt Martha's and Tom's parent's house! When I first saw Alexei at the airport I thought he looked like more of a tourist than Tom did. Alexei was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts and sandals. He had a little metal American flag pin on his pocket and he was taking pictures of the inside of the airport!

Tom brought home cake mixes, frosting, comic books, beads, bead magazines, video game magazines, indian jewelry, spices for holiday baking, a crochet magazine and some videos. I am sure that I forgot to list something because he really had quite a lot. We are so thankful for each person that sent us gifts and/or a card. Thanks to every home that was opened to Alexei and Tom. Thanks for the car that was loaned to Tom in California. Thanks for the prayers, well wishes and greetings that have been sent our way.

We plan to enjoy our two weeks at home until we all have to leave the country again for visa renewal on the 31st.

Friday, August 11, 2006

TOM IS HOME!

Lena and I are so grateful to Tim Watson for helping out with bringing our guys home. Lena and I spent the evening together waiting for Tim to come and pick us up at her home.

The guys got here safely. When they got to the airport in Los Angeles Alexei had to dispose of his liquids. He had water and he had orange juice.

Tom came home with lots of gifts that we are still opening! It feels like Christmas.


Alexei and Tom traveled for 47 hours straight. And I am positive that they are both glad to be home.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

meet and greet new students

Spencer, budding chef that he is, decided to volunteer to bring a salad to a party to meet and greet the new students at school. Afterwards he sends me a text message asking for help. I thought we should make something with ingredients that are easy to find here and simple to make. So this is what we did:

Macaroni, cooked
Frozen Peas
diced carrots
diced summer sausage (the long tube of sausage that does not need to be cooked)
1/4 of a red onion, diced
creamy italian dressing

We just threw it all in a bowl and let it set over night. It was eaten all up! Spencer was so excited.

It was fun to meet the new students. They are a varied group. From Korea to New Jersey. If I counted right there are 6 of them. They seem like a great group of young people and we pray that they enjoy their time of language learning.


Prayer Request:
Spencer is out of one of his medications for juvenile glaucoma. We just found out that it is not allowed to be sold here any longer. We are currently making arrangements for him to be seen in at an American clinic in Kiev when we go there for our visa renewal.

Pray that we find a suitable replacement for his medication. And that we will be able to get him in to see an opthamologist while in Kiev.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

emotions

I had a meeting today with a Russian woman and she was pretty upset about some situations that are going on for her. We prayed together and held hands for awhile. I don't know if it was culturally appropriate for me to grab her hand but she didn't pull away. I was honored by her opening up. Usually emotions are kept in check. Each time I have met with someone who shed tears during our meeting they have apologized for showing such emotion.

I know that there are parts of US where people don't open up and share. Coming from California where everyone has a therapist and your therapist has a therapist... it seems natural to spill it with someone you trust. Pray that Tom and I will continue to be "SAFE" people to those we come in contact with.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Telephones!

The phone rang once and then stopped.

The phone rang again and it was Olya. She is nine months pregnant; due next week. She says that she is moving around like an invalid. You know, one hand on the back and limping. Her back hurts and she is feeling pain from her kideys, please keep her in your prayers. She went over to see the doctor today.

Another call came in and it was from Maj-lis. She needs yarn to make octopuses (octopi?) for kid's camp. She also recruited me to wash the clothes that have been donated to the church to be given away to whomever needs them... we are one of the few church family members with a washing machine. I just hope that I can get it all hung up and dried before Sunday. Tomorrow Maj-lis and I will make a trade. I will give her yarn and she will give me dirty laundry.

Again the phone rings... it is the telephone company. This woman says something rapidly in Russian. I understood that Alexei Parhomenka has a bill and it "needs to be paid today!" I asked her if this was for the communal services and she says in an irrated 'weren't you listening?' voice

"no, the telephone!"

I'm thinking why do I care if Alexei needs to pay his phone bill. Then I remember... he is the owner of our apartment on paper. That means the bill is ours not his! I call Madina at school beacuase she takes care of all of our bills and I told her about the phone call. "ali-ditchka, ne perezhivaish!" translation: little Alida, don't worry! She was on her way to pay it.


Finally, after dinner with Lena, the call we waited all day for... Tom and Alexei!

Lena was able to speak with her hubby again and I with mine. They will be home just after midnight on Saturday. They are glad to be finished with whirlwind of going from California-New Mexico-Texas-Kansas-New Mexico and now they leave tomorrow for California again and then back here to Krasnodar.


It feels peaceful to sit here at the computer typing this... we are on dial up and the phone cannot ring while I am on the internet!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Update on Tom


Speaking tour is over. The weary travelers should be in New Mexico by now.

Dan and Liz, Tom's brother and sister were able to spend a little time with Tom. Dan came to the church service as did our friends Jeff, Terri and their daughter Brynne. I got a nice email from Terri letting me know that she saw Tom. She said he was "alive and well and stirring up hilarity wherever he goes"!

I often think of Terri & Jeff on hot summer days. She asked me to sing at their wedding. It was July 17th, 1982. I think it was over a hundred degrees inside the house with the air on! And they chose an outdoor ceremony across the street from her mother's house. It was the shortest ceremony I had ever participated in... the service lasted 7 minutes. They beat Tom and I by two minutes!

Anyway, Tom and his family went out to Newton to see Grandmother Sharp. I wonder what Alexei thought as he was meeting someone in their 90's. Most people in Russia don't live that long.

Special thanks to the couple who provided a new carseat for a family here in Russia. I was reading Tom's email while the sister in law of this couple was visiting. She is so excited. We tried to call the expectant mom to tell her the good news but she was at work. Carseats are not widely available here. They are very expensive because they are an imported item. I was explaining to my guest that in America you have to show your carseat (they need to see you put the baby in it) before the child can leave the hospital. There is no such safeguard here.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Madonna Criticized by Russian Orthodox Church


Madonna Criticized by Russian Orthodox Church Ahead of Moscow Concert

8 hours 12 minutes ago
MosNews


Russia’s Orthodox Church accused U.S. superstar Madonna of exploiting Christian symbols for her own ends and called for a boycott of her first-ever concert in Moscow, AFP reported.

“The U.S. singer Madonna exploits Christian symbols — the cross, rosary beads and the crucifix — and tries to equate human passions, including her own personal passions, with something sacred,” the spokesman for the patriarch of Moscow said.

“I don’t think that Orthodox believers should support this lady by going to her concert,” father Vsevolod Chaplin said on Echo of Moscow radio station.

She “needs spiritual help because she swings between Christianity and Kabbalah,” he said, referring to a branch of Jewish mysticism that the singer follows.

Madonna will perform in Russia for the first time on September 11 as part of her “Confessions” world tour. The concert will take place on a specially constructed stage on Sparrow Hills overlooking the city centre, close to Moscow State University.

The pop diva will arrive in the Russian capital with 57 trucks and 200 tons of equipment in tow, the organizers said. Tickets cost between 1,500 rubles (55 dollars, 45 euros) and a hefty 25,000 rubles (930 dollars, 730 euros).

Madonna kicked off the European leg of her world tour in the Welsh city of Cardiff on July 30 where she gyrated on a saddle floating above the stage and sang from a crucifix in a performance involving provocative dance routines.

She has often sparked outrage among religious leaders with raunchy video clips, notably when she kissed a black Christ in front of a burning cross in her 1989 hit “Like a Prayer”.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

news from Tom

Photo by Alexei taken in Mom and Dad's back yard in New Mexico. Dad said it was the first time that they had seen a hawk in the yard. I showed the photo to Lena... she said the Russian word for hawk is "yastreb".


I got an email from Tom on Saturday. He said that all went well in Tom Bean and that they are now on their way to Andover, Kansas.

find them here:
http://www.hopecc.net/

If you are in Wichita or anywhere near Andover please go and check out the church. Even if church is not your thing you will love it there. And please tell Pastor Steve and his wife Sharon that I said "hi!".

Have you ever thought about what it must be like for someone from a another county to see how you live. I am eager to speak with Alexei when he gets back and hear his impressions of America. He has been to the West Coast, the Southwest and now to the Mid West. Alexei mentioned to Tom that the water fountains are at two different heights. One for children and one for adults. He said that showed value for the kids.

Tom says they will schedule another phone call possibly on Monday with Lena and I. I left home on June 28th and Tom does not return until August 12th. In 25 years Tom and I have not ever been apart this long... I don't think we will do this again anytime soon!

Friday, August 04, 2006

back to work


In Russia:

I had my first language session with Lena in over a month. She said that I was doing well. She said that I only forgot a "few words". I was telling her about the food I cooked for Rhianna while I was away, and for the life of me I could not remember the Russian words for peas or chicken. I did, however, remember the words to describe what I was trying to say and she reminded me of the words!
The guys also worked with Lena today after the month long break. Nathan said that we were "working with Lena because school had started again".

I said "no, we are working with Lena because I am home!" using my best SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED voice.

In the USA:

Today is still a travel day for Tom and Alexei. Hopefully, they will soon be pulling into Tom Bean, Texas to visit with some friends and to speak at Sherman Bible Church in Sherman, Texas. There is a Celebrate Recovery meeting there for the guys to speak at.

You can learn more about Sherman Bible Church here:
http://www.shermanbible.org/home.aspx

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What is on your T-shirt?

As we rode the marshutka toward our destination of Krasnaya Ploshad I started looking at the T-shirts people were wearing. Some of them had English writing. Many young people here study a foreign language in highschool. Did these people know what it says on their shirts? Were the people around them able to understand the messages they were promoting?

Shooting a quick glance at Spencer I noticed that his shirt had no writing on it. Glancing at the guy sitting across from us I noticed that his black T-shirt said:

Sean Jean Collection
I thought I told you we won't stop

Sean Jean is the rapper who is also known as P. Diddy.
It made me wonder what P. Diddy would think if he saw a russian teen wearing one of his shirts.

Across from me sat a woman who was wearing a bright orange T-shirt with palm trees on it and it said:

HOLIDAY


A young lady sitting toward the front had on my favorite T-shirt. Hers declared:

Boys come... Boys Go!

She was friendly with the boy sitting next to her... I couldn't help but wonder if he was her boyfriend or just one boy in a line of many!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

boys to men

It is amazing to watch your children transform. Tonight I saw and felt the power of our oldest son transforming from a boy to a man.

He knew that I had been going through a rough time. My Uncle's death, being away from home so long, and various other trials with friends and in life.

He cornered me and I expected a hug. What I got was...prayed for. He was thoughtful and full of wisdom and God's spirit.

I saw his father and grandfather in him in those moments. However, more importantly, I saw God in him.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Assisi & thoughts on shopping

I have been posting my photos on the photoblog. See side bar for link. This picture was taken from the top level of St. Francis Basilica. It sits just up the hill from the city.

I got an email from Tom today and he said that he is preparing to mail a few boxes of things for us... you know just necessities like cake mix, tylenol and so on!

Spencer and I went shopping for food. I made spaghetti sauce and he made the pasta for dinner. I was so excited at the supermarket. I know very well the language for shopping. It felt so good to be back in a country where I can understand what is going on around me.

thought on shopping in Krasnodar:
if you go to the right supermarket they will give you bags for free AND bag the groceries for you.
you can buy fresh fruit on a street corner close to where you live.

we have popcorn in the supermarket now!

the meat is fresh each day.

the bread is baked fresh each day.

there is a great selection of sausages and cheese.

I can get cash from the ATM and then take a few steps over to the counter to buy a phone card and an internet card all in the same corner of the market! Posted by Picasa