As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Monday, January 22, 2018

Snow, no snow, snowing again

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, snow, outdoor and natureSunday morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. After the snow fell for the first time (for a cover) last week Monday when I returned, there was a little more Tuesday, followed by Wednesday night's overnight melt and mud. Friday's inch stayed, and we got three more inches overnight to make Sunday's fluffy layer over everything. It really stuck on the trees. It seemed like everyone in Dnepro was posting photos on facebook.

Saturday evening Garry drove a van-full of students to Dnepro to a youth program at one of the churches. He tries to get them there once a month and to Steve's Just Youth in Zaporosia, which is held once a month. He saw former students Andrey and Karina, who are living a working in Dnepro since fall. Andrey was out to celebrate New Year's in the village, but Karina was not so he brought her a gift of socks, gloves, shampoo and some small things. That's what all the students got when Garry gave out the gifts on New Year's Eve.

Image may contain: tree, snow, table, outdoor and natureThere is snow in the forecast for the next couple days and it is supposed to be cold (not Manitoba cold) too. Right now it's Monday afternoon and it is snowing lightly and blowing a bit, the wind is picking up some of the loose snow. There is some ice under there, someone said it was raining at 3 am on Saturday night before the 3 inches of fluffy snow fell. This morning I put my new gripper soles on before walking down to class, the road has some ice on. Yesterday morning someone scraped it - a first, normally they just drive on it and wait for it to melt. We did not see, but assume a tractor or payloader did it. However the sun came out and melted what was left on the pavement Sunday afternoon and it turned to ice overnight as the water had no where to go to.

I just had to find Alona some gloves as she headed over to the barn to work. Not to wear there, but to milk in, I tried to tell her that it wouldn't work - I even had Nelly to translate as she had joined us for lunch since she had been translating for Garry's class until noon. However, I gave up after giving her some black gloves to wear over for work and just gave her some rubber gloves to wear for milking the cows, after telling her it would be better without.

Garry had gone to breed a cow between class and eating lunch, while he was gone his phone rang and I gave it to Nelly, someone else wanted their cow bred and so I said they could come at one to pick up Garry. He is off now breeding the guys cow, he lived in another village so I guess Garry will find out how the highway is for driving. Yesterday we only drove the short distance to the village church.

Turns out he bred two cows, as the first guy who knocked on the door was not the guy who had phoned. Garry says the highway looks pretty good, they even plowed both lanes.

 Garry finished his cow yoga puzzle he's been working on since before I came back, and glued it on cardboard. Now I'll have to find a place to hang it. I am dragging a bit today, Garry slept through most of it but I was awake most of the night watching our football team, the Eagles book their ticket for Super Bowl 52. I knew I should have bought a hat or t-shirt in the Minneapolis airport while flying through last week!

I think I'll take a nap. Three hours is not enough sleep, even for me. Most nights I have been getting two three hours sleep with a couple waking hours in bed between.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Last year we were in Canada when Andromeda was born, since Garry was recovering from his ankle operation. Her birthday party was held early, just for me on Saturday before I left for Ukraine. One last time to have all the kids and grandkids and some others together. Today is her actual birthday.

Garry is finally feeling better. He spent the day out of the house, enjoying the mud- the snow all melted overnight with the wind and rising temperature. Since he was at court yesterday, he had class this morning (Victor was gone to Kiev) and took the students on a field trip to Dnepro to look at tractors with Max and Nellie.

I spent the morning sleeping, I think the trip back and lack of sleeping for a couple days was catching up with me, even though I have slept pretty well since arriving. I got dizzy after making breakfast and  went back to bed and slept until Garry got home at one o'clock. His class took a little longer than planned because a tire blew out on the highway while they were driving back to the village.

As you can see in the photo I took on Tuesday, both sides of the highway are open again, but only half of the road going to Dnepro and also halfway to Zaporozhye was repaved, so we are still driving a holey road halfway there, with some tire damaging holes. Garry had a flat that he re-inflated yesterday and it was the same tire, so it must have had a problem.

There is a new sign in what used to be the village of Novy Swit on the highway, it looks like its now Kamyanee?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow in the village

Well after two weeks of Garry telling me about warm weather and rain since his arrival, I arrived in Kiev Monday to cold and snow. All my flights went like clockwork so I was able to take the train I had a ticket printed for as planned. Garry met me in Dnepro at 11:11 pm. We  stayed at a hotel overnight before heading to the village Tuesday morning. Garry's cold and cough had gotten worse over the weekend, so he was feeling pretty sick.

Tuesday evening a group of the new students showed up with a belated cake and birthday banner for me. Garry had spent most of the day resting but he came out for the party.

Wednesday he had to go back to court, they had a translator but he has to go back again next month, so the lawyer gets another payday. He says he is feeling better, didn't take a nap all day. He is not coughing as much, I am getting pills down him on schedule for the cough, but his throat is sore from coughing.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

One more day...blogpost?

Well it is my last day in Manitoba. Sunday morning I get a ride to the airport to start my trip back, which, if all goes as planned; puts me on the Intercity (fast train) from Kiev to Dnepro Monday evening.

Image may contain: sky, nature and outdoorI have had an interesting week here, a little babysitting, a little lot of house cleaning, and I went to the Piney Ladies monthly Bible study with our daughter-in-law on the spur of the moment Wednesday evening. Literally, she stopped on her way there there and asked. The ladies there kindly send me care packages every spring and it was nice to join them for a meal and discussion about some passages in First John. She drove home to St Labre in a snowstorm, which caused me some problems the next day, as we got a good amount of snow.

Thursday evening I planned to join the Steinbach building team for their meeting. They will be coming to Ukraine near the end of March and we are planning a house renovation next door in the village for a group home and home for our possible new team members from Canada (more on that to come) and a VBS for the village kids during spring break.

I had been torn between going to the meeting and going to Winnipeg with the boys to watch them play basketball, and fate intervened when I slid the car into the snow on the side of the road- only one side of the gravel road had been plowed at 5 pm and it was more ditch on an angle than the car liked. I will not miss driving the road when I leave, it's rough, bumpy and icy this winter. The boys came by a few minutes later and I went to the game instead of the meeting. They even won the game.

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Today I am going to our granddaughter's first birthday party (five days early for me since I'm leaving). My bags are packed and I'm almost ready to go. The weather will be like spring when I get there, Garry says it just gets to freezing overnight and he is wearing a sweatshirt most of the day instead of a coat. Here its been -30 C (-22 F) or colder  most of the days since he left.

Garry was in the car when I last talked to him, last evening he had a phone call that there was the possibility that Nikolai could leave the hospital today and continue recovering at home in the village; so maybe that's where he was going. No work for Nikolai for a while though.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Garry left last week and his laptop went with him, so I had not posted because I can't seem to log in on my phone. Saturday night and I am borrowing a basement computer to catch you up an all the news. Garry did make it to Ukraine in time for New Years like he wanted. However, his flights did not go as planned because Air Canada had canceled his flight from Toronto to Frankfurt, so he was re-booked on LOT (Polish ) and he spent way more time in airports and his Kiev flight landed two hrs after the train he was supposed to take to Dnepro departed the station.

His was able to book a ticket on the overnight train that leaves at 11 pm but he slept the first
 two hours after boarding, woke up until 4:30 and was sleeping very soundly at 7 am when the attendant woke him up to say everyone was off the train,get off!
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When he got back to the village he went to sleep, slept all day and didn't do much better for a couple days, The first night back a couple of the boys surprised him with a belated birthday cake at 11 pm. The next day was New Years eve and he gave out the gifts and they had a party. Even Monday- made feed and went back to sleep until 3:30 pm. He was taking the students into the city at four to see the Christmas lights in the park.

He tells me it has been warm and rainy most of the time. Friday he was at the missionary Christmas party in Kirvoy Rog all day. Sounds like he had a good time. However, while he was gone, Nikolai who had been sick for a few days went into the hospital and it sounds like he could be there for weeks.

I have been enjoying a week of babysitting and spending time with different grand kids and catching up on projects around the house. I will be flying out on the 14th at noon and land in Ukraine the afternoon of the 15th, hoping to catch my train without any problems! One more week to play.Monday everyone is back to school, including our Max Boradin, who will be back at Prov and hopefully over his cold he caught. He says he is weak from too much time in Canada.

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people sittingTonight we celebrated Noah's 30th birthday at his new house and the kids re-enacted the family photo from 20 years ago.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas and birthday week

From the beginning of our relationship, we have celebrated Christmas and birthday week. Garry's birthday is on the 22nd and mine is the day after Christmas (which became Boxing day once we moved to Canada). Our first child was born December 20 and our fifth child was due the week after (wanting his own day, he arrived January 7th and missed out on birthday and Christmas week but we  normally leave to the tree up until then, which is also Ukrainian Christmas!)

Last week Garry played more basketball with the boys and he can really run now! He says he just had to bend his knee differently to make up for the lack of bending in his ankle.

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This year with Jessica spending her birthday in Morden with a school concert, we decided to have a family celebration for both birthdays on Saturday evening. Garry and I went out to dinner with friends on his birthday Friday, and then I finished my Christmas/birthday food and last minute stocking stuffer shopping Saturday morning. There was a little snow falling that day, making the drive from Morden a little slow for Jessica and family. They came to stay until after Christmas, trying out Noah and Audrey's new guest room, which was just finished in their new home.

We had Chinese for dinner; and no, we did not order in. St Labre is more than half an hour from the nearest restaurant. I have gotten used to making it, since Chinese restaurants are hard to find in Ukraine. I put Seth to work filling won tons and Jonah frying them while I made stirfry and everyone snacked on a giant hickory farms basket. We had two cakes, Crystal made Jessica's white chocolate coconut cake and I made Garry's black forest one.
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The bouncing cows came from Ukraine, we should have brought 5!
Christmas eve most of the kids were visiting in laws. Garry was not home much, after church in the morning we ate lunch, met Luke's future in-laws and then he drove back to Steinbach for choir practice before the Christmas eve program. I went with Jess and James and Abby. Abby liked the singing but not the talking parts of the program. Garry really enjoyed singing with the choir again, he was able to make it to a couple of practices. One of the things I bought on Saturday morning was a black shirt for him to wear, since he didn't have one and we couldn't borrow one, it is now hanging in the closet in case he needs it next year. I even bought it on clearance for ten dollars.

No automatic alt text available.Sunday night I was up late stuffing stockings for everyone (but mine and Billie's, Garry always fills mine and girlfriend/fiancee stockings are the responsibility of that boy, as always).

 Garry and the Christmas morning family milking crew was up and milking early and fast... they were done at 8:30 am - normally the morning milking is finished at 11.

Tuesday we did it all again with leftovers and beautiful cupcakes for my birthday, made by our daughter-in-law Crystal and we had a good time before everyone went home.
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Garry is packed and ready to fly back to Ukraine tomorrow.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Trip to Saskatchewan

We have been busy here at home most of the two weeks we have been in Canada. Garry has been helping the boys in the barn, this week he's helping to put freestalls in the new barn that was built this year. I have been getting ready for Christmas, but we took some time out to drive to Saskatchewan last weekend.

No automatic alt text available.The driving was pretty good, although Friday- when we drove for ten hours- we had some snow and slush on the roads and twenty minutes before arriving at Clay and Maggie's- some freezing rain. It did not get slippery but we had to max out the defrost to keep the windshield clear of ice.

 However we arrived safely in Price Albert and had a wonderful visit with them. Clay often visits with us after teaching at Summer English Institute in Dnepro.

Their new (to us- we last visited them five years ago when they lived in Big River) is lovely and they took us out to dinner after we arrived. The dogs were excited to have company, too. I think Garry is ready for a Boston terrier to play with. We left them after a relaxing morning chatting and watching soccer while I put together some slides for Garry to talk about on Sunday.

We drove about 2 1/2 hours to Cut Knife where we found Scott and Shannon. Shannon taught at SEI this past summer and we we going to speak at their church Sunday morning. Once again, we were well-fed with Lemon Chicken and delicious homemade potato  rolls.
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Garry was going to talk for 30 minutes, I think he spoke for 40, but after the children's nativity program, many people wanted to talk to us. After a soup and salad lunch at Scott and Shannon's we were on the road before two o'clock to go to Beechy.
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Mel and Velma Wiens were our hosts in Beechy, we arrived around five thirty. The GPS took us down a road so bumpy I had to stop crocheting (I got lots done on the trip). It reminded us of roads back in Ukraine.  Mel is John's brother and is one of the directors of CRMF, which raises funds for Hope for Each improvement projects.

After another delicious home-cooked meal ( of lasagna this time) and talking about many of the changes in the program this year over dinner,  we showed the slides again while Garry talked in their church gym at 7:30 to 20-25 people. Many were farmers and Garry enjoyed talking about the farming side of our work, and partically about the irrigation project which CRMF helped fund this year.
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We had made a dinner appointment in Steinbach for Monday evening at six with friends from church (and building team members Doug and Marcie, so we left Mel and Vel's house before 7 am and took the ferry across Lake Diefenbaker in the dark at 7:30. We made it to Steinbach with time to spare, to eat yet another wonderful dinner.