Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tom's 1st Seminar @ Open Door Church

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today was the final day of Tom's 1st seminar at our church. He taught every Saturday for 8 weeks without a break!

Here he is with Dima, an excellent translator!

Tom is planning to do more teaching times at our church and at the BLTC. We need to sit down and make out a schedule for 2008. This seminar went very well and was well received by all who attended.

The themes Tom focused on were:
The Family as a System
Understanding Shame
Overcoming Shame
4 weeks on Character Development
Stage one: Bonding and Attachment
Stage two: Boundaries and Autonomy
Stage three: Accepting both Good and Bad in Myself and Other People
Stage four: Resolving the Parent/Child Position (Becoming a Responsible Adult)

Tom has discovered the need for teaching parenting skills, communication skills and personal boundaries are universal topics and these topics are all on tap for 2008!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Alida's Caramel Apple Cider

Friday, December 28, 2007

Here is a recipe I came up with yesterday...

Alida's Caramel Apple Cider
About 16 oz. Apple juice
1 stick of cinnamon
Caramel sauce (the topping for ice cream is what I used)
whip cream

Heat apple juice with the cinnamon stick until it just starts to boil. Pour into mug. Add caramel sauce and whip cream to your taste. It serves two!

Tom and I enjoyed this last night... it reminds me of the drink I used to order at Starbucks, only it doesn't cost as much to make it myself!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nothing much going on here

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Spencer and I went over to help a new family clean the house they are moving into. It was a fun time of shopping for cleaning supplies, cleaning, taking a short break for pizza and then getting back to work!

We truly enjoyed spending time with Carrie, Tim and the kids... they can already speak Russian so they are going to do great here.

We came here not even knowing the alphabet!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

You’re going where?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Alida, where are you and Tom off to?"

"The circus"!

"no, WHERE are you two going?"

"to the Chinese circus!"


"The Chinese circus!"

"ooooh, you mean CIRCUS?"

"Yeeees.... wait, what did I say?"

"You said Chinese cheese!"

"Ooooh! I’m sorry, I thought I was saying circus!"

I said “sear” and what I should have said was “tseark”… the joys of speaking Russian! At least I gave someone a good laugh for the day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ded Moroz and Snegurochka!

Tuesday, Christmas Day, 2007

I decided to post a few photos from Tuesday's party at the BLTC.

Here is Ded Moroz(Grandfather Frost) with his helper (and granddaughter) Snegurochka. This year Ded Moroz is Alezander and his granddaughter is the lovely Miss Hannah H.

Have you ever seen little ones work so hard to get presents! First they had to shoot baskets, then they had to win a game of tug-o-war and finally they had to sing or recite a poem!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Monday, Christmas Eve, 2007

Of course posting this photo makes me miss Nathan! This is our first Christmas photo with just the three of us. We were at a party today and will be with our East West team tomorrow.

We pray that you and your loved ones have a very blessed, love-filled and merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

our humble little tree

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I put up our tree this weekend and finished up decorating for Christmas. It is difficult to get into the spirit of Christmas here in Russia. Orthodox Christmas is not until January 7th. The most popular gift giving time is New Year's Eve. Trees are put up for New Years and Ded Moroz makes his appearance that evening.

Our tree is special to us. Tom found it in the market on his way home one evening last year.... he made the silver and burgundy ornaments last year for our 25th wedding anniversary decorations.

The santa is from my dear friend Erin, he is Russian Santa Pooh! And today is a special day in Erin's household... her oldest daughter Rhianna is three years old! Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I can make sushi!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sushi with crab, black mushrooms and cucumber.

Joyce conducted a sushi class today! There were eight of us together, Russian and American women... Joyce walked us through step by step and each one of us had a turn rolling them up.

I love how encouraging the Russian women are. As each one of us went up for her turn the Russians were quick to make comments like "good job!" "perfect" "great!" "you are a master!"

The supportive and warm environment made the experience a fun one. And I for one was amazed at how easy making sushi really is!

Friday, December 21, 2007

early spring cleaning

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our bookcases were a mess. We had books double stacked and laying sideways on top of books standing up... I decided that before I could decorate for Christmas, I had to do something with that bookcase! This was no small task. The bookcase is floor to ceiling and goes the full length of the wall.

I organized the books by subject matter and as I cleared a shelf I dusted it off. Tom and Spencer also helped with deciding what to keep and what to give away.

We ended up with six bags of books to give to the International School for their library. It was a relief to get it all done and we have decided that we should do this as a yearly project!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

slip sliding away!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

There is a thin layer of ice covering the ground. My new boots that I thought were so lovely have no traction. I am thankful that I stayed up right as I was coming home yesterday evening.

It is -1 right now... and we are certainly feeling it deep in our bones!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

wish list 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I didn't post a Christmas list this year... I am not sure why. I think I started a list and then time got away from me. Then there was the whole visa thing and not being sure of where we would be for Christmas... and now Christmas is almost here and I went another year without watching my favorite Christmas movies... if anyone is interested in some of the things we dream about having here is the list. Just click the button!

My Wish List

If you are interested in furnishing us with some supplies we could always use some of these!
Chocolate chips
Chocolate Kisses
Blank CD-R’s
Pure Vanilla
Spices: Cream of Tartar, Fennel Seeds, Anise, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Sage, Taco Bell Taco Seasoning, etc.
Cake Mixes (no chocolate)
Instant Pudding
Scented Candles
Thank you notes, note cards, stationary (anything like this)
Gift bags or wrapping paper
Reality TV like The Amazing Race!
Women’s socks white
Men’s socks black

that's not appropriate

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The lesson we just finished at Language school is about what is not appropriate to talk about. Apparently some of the same subjects that people don't like to talk about in the US are the same ones we should not bring up here.

Painful Past
anything too personal

Of course the rules are different for close friends. But, think of what you feel comfortable sharing in a circle of friends, at church or at an office party.... we don't always lay it all out there for the world.

We try to have boundaries and say what is appropriate. Isn't it interesting to know that others do it too!

Monday, December 17, 2007

baby it's cold outside!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Transport was running slow today... and it is zero degrees outside! Spencer and I walked almost a mile and half home from where the bus stopped. We could not see anything wrong with the bus, the driver just made an announcement and told us "something happened" and he was pulling into the depot.

As we were walking home a man jumped out from behind a building and I screamed... it was Tom. He saw us coming and waited to scare me. Spencer had no reaction; he saw his Dad and didn't warn me.

Aren't I lucky?!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

calling in sick!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tom is teaching again today... and I could not make it out the door. I think I have the stomach flu that Tom and Spencer had last week. What fun! I don't like missing out on anything but I could not get myself out of bed to go and help out with the seminar.

Tom has two more Saturdays until this seminar is over... please keep him in your prayers that he stays healthy and strong until the end!

Friday, December 14, 2007

glimpse of Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Each year the New View Language school has its Christmas early. We do this to include as many students as possible since December is a time when many are traveling for various reasons. This year we had 98% of the students and their families together... only two students or families were not represented!

This year Blythe, Sarah and I planned a very low key celebration. Brennen and Stephanie opened up their home which was a great location. There was room for everyone to move around and be in the same room. Everyone had a great time and it had the feel of a big family get together... take a look at some of the fun!

Tom feeding Joseph

Shari and Ted leading the caroling

Spencer dragging the little ones around!


O Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

26 years...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

26 years ago today we got married at Pawnee Ave. Church of God. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Last year we had a large banquet and celebrated the day with friends here in Russia. This year all we have planned is attending the Language School Christmas party.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who is Ded Moroz?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Russia's Gift giver is called Ded Moroz. Ded is short for Dedooshkah. Which means grandfather and Moroz is the word for frost. So he is Grandfather Frost.

... you can read about him here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Visual aids

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Not long ago Alexei spoke at the service and was giving an illustration about the types of gifts God gives. He spoke about God giving us gifts like: peace, joy, wisdom and things that are intangible. Alexei pointed out that God is not like Santa Claus or Ded Moroz.

He gives us the gifts we need to do the work He has called us to do.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Supermarket Surprise!

Monday, December 10, 2007

After seeing the ads on TV and hearing that other people had found it in stores near them... I finally tracked down a bottle for us!

I am sure some of you cannot imagine such a fuss over a bottle of soda. But, it is the simple things here that make us feel comforted. If only we could find Dr. Pepper or Rootbeer. Life here would be grand!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

new garage

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tom saw this the other day and asked me to get a photo. A new garage was just added to the field across from our building. We have been told that for a Russian man a garage is his sanctuary. Some men go there to avoid being at home, to hang with other men or just to have their own space.

The silver garage was lowered in by the crane and then moved forward to be even with the rest on that row.

Friday, December 07, 2007

gifts galore!

Friday, December 7, 2007

We just recieved our gift package from EastWest! We have a new movie with candy and popcorn for a movie night, Tom got a memory stick, Spencer got a CD and I got shower gel and a candle. What a treat!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

what happened to Wednesday's post?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I ran out of time! I had school and then we had a string of three visitors.

No, not the ghosts of Christmas.

Vlad came at 5:45pm , Sasha came over at 6:15 and then Vova came over at 10 and stayed until 12:30am. According to Vova he was leaving early... he said that Russians can easily spend time with friends talking to 3 am!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

EastWest Day of Prayer

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Our team is getting together to pray this afternoon. The day that Tom and I interviewed with EastWest was also a day of prayer for the staff. We were able to pray with them before having our interview. We both felt that was a great way to begin our relationship with EastWest!

Please take some time today to remember EastWest employees world wide, their families and their work.

If you have questions about EastWest just click here:

Monday, December 03, 2007

Election results

Monday, December 3, 2007

It looks like United Russia has over 63% of the vote giving them control of Parliament. Followed by the Communist Party 11%, Liberal Democratic Party 8.5 % and Just Russia (just as in fair) 8%. My statistics came from a news program I watched here this morning.

Here is a more complete article:
Putin's Party Overwhelms Russia Election

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Election Day

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Today is election day for the Duma (parliament). Please pray for the direction of this country. Voting started in the Far Eastern regions of Chukotka and Kamchatka while we here in Krasnodar headed to bed Saturday night.

Here are a few links to news articles about the election:

FACTBOX: Key facts about Russia parliamentary election

Russia's election under fire

Voting starts in Russian election