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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Big plans

After last week, when neither of us did as we'd planned, Garry is working on several projects and will be restarting our follow up English group on Friday in Dnepro.

Last week he was sick with a cold or flu, either the cold he left here with got worse or he picked up something when he arrived.  He was looking really bad and sick in bed when we video chatted mid-week.
Friday he drove to Zaporosia because Alona and Nikolai were out of baby formula (really Nikolai, Alona had managed to get the flu and had been admitted to hospital for a week, so daddy was taking care of little Danil).  Garry said he had to sit down on a bench after a bit of grocery shopping because he was exhausted.  After resting for most of the weekend (except attending church in the village) he's on the mend.

Monday Garry and the students helped clean the classroom for the new year. He tells me he had an English class with them, too.
Today Larissa was there from Zaporosia to teach her class, that's the ethics class even the grads attend along with English and cooking.
Leila with her new cow from Canada
and Vika

Garry (and Max I assume, since he said we) were going to work on building a tiled shower to replace a broken shower at the "new house" by the shop. They've decided the salty water is just too hard on the prefab showers we've put in the houses, they are fixing them often with expensive parts. They plan to replace ones at the boys house also. It will be similar to what the team built in the small bathroom at the Crawfords home. 

Wednesday Garry and the students will repaint the classroom.  I asked if they would paint it a slightly darker dirt friendly tone, but Garry couldn't remember what color he bought!
Hopefully Nellie is back soon, she went to the city near Odessa she's from two weeks ago to take care of some inheritance stuff from her mother who died in the summer. Garry can't really start teaching much without an interpreter.

Meanwhile I have a week until I fly out to Dnepro and I need to get packed (mostly stuff for Garry I think) and spend more time with the kids here in St Labre after helping out in Morden last week. I did get home for the weekend and enjoyed worshipping at our home church, Emmanuel EFree church in Steinbach, w

Saturday, January 5, 2019

He's back

We had a good but busy time between Christmas and New Year's day with lots of family time and a few visits with supporters- we got more books for our follow up class in Dnepro and another handmade quilt for Garry to take back. Here are a couple pics from my birthday party.


Garry left for Ukraine Wednesday morning.  He managed to squeeze a few extra items in his suitcase before leaving the farm and even a basketball practice with the boys before we left for the city.  We met Roy and Carol Enns at a restaurant in Winnipeg because our schedules had not gotten together earlier while Garry was home.

We got to our hotel room around nine PM and went to sleep because we had to be up at four am so I could drive him a couple blocks to the airport.  Of course the last few days he was here was really frigid with a cold snap, so it was freezing cold out. I went back to the room and Garry went off to Toronto.

He had a long 13 hour layover in Toronto so he went downtown to the Eaton centre for a while. He sent me a photo of his lunch.

I got up and drove across Winnipeg to pick up our granddaughter's prescription and then out to Morden to hang out for a couple days with our daughter and family.

Garry had decided to book the Ukrainian Air flight from Toronto direct to Kiev but when I talked to him yesterday he said my refusing to choose it was good.  The new planes he'd heard that they bought are for the New York flights not Toronto so he had a small seat and no entertainment system... and no phone charger... for that nine hour flight.

He did make his train and got safely back to the village. My flight is going to be right into Dnepro in about three weeks so I can tie up some loose ends, and get Garry's special 
shoes that should be in next week, and a few things for the Crawfords.
Valentina sent me this photo. She also sent one of Happy the dog on the couch. I see I'll have work to teach her to not go on the couch when I return.
Sunday I'll take Maksym Boradin to Prov after church, his new old car is not available to drive yet. Later in the afternoon I'll be watching the Eagles playoff game at our son's birthday party while Garry will be up after midnight in Ukraine to see it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas

We have been enjoying time at home, seeing family and friends. Last week it was the farm Christmas party and we got a family photo. This was the best one, maybe we should pick a photographer older than twelve next time.
We have been busy celebrating birthdays, Friday we drove out to Morden for our daughter's birthday party.

On Sunday we celebrated Garry's birthday while watching the Eagles game. I baked the cake in the new oven. The thermostat went in the old stove and it was burning everything so Garry went shopping earlier in the week.  Most of the family came and ate hotdogs and chips,  ice cream and cake and the Eagles won, too.

Christmas eve Garry sang in the choir at Emmanuel EFree church. He misses singing in the choir, so he got back early enough to attend 3 practices.

Christmas morning Garry went out to help with the normal hurry up and milk so we can open presents time that we have done since our kids were small. Of course there weren't more than a thousand cows to milk back then, so I guessed we could start breakfast at 9:30. They finished early though so by the time our daughter and family had arrived from Morden, most people had eaten.

We had fun with stockings and opening  presents for a couple hours. Some of kids, like grandma, have been sick. I finally went to the doctor and got antibiotics for a sinus infection  last week. It was a nice day and our kids and grandkids enjoyed the hats I crocheted for everyone. I have been working hard to finish them all in time for Christmas since I did not have a lot of time for crocheting this fall.

Meanwhile back in Ukraine the students had a Christmas celebration with Shannon and Scott in the village. Shannon made chili and they handed out the present bags I prepared before leaving last month.

Victor drove out for it and he said it took three hours to drive back to Dnepro instead of the normal 45 minutes because of the snow. 
 This morning I woke up to birthday wishes on the internet, including Valentina's voice message singing in a mixture of English and Russian. Happy birthday savoinya (today). Our children are planning a party later today to celebrate my sixtieth year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Life in Canada

Well Garry arrived last week, tonight he'll be at his second choir practice. One of the things he misses about living in Canada is singing in the choir so he plans to sing at the Christmas eve services at Emmanuel (our home church) in Steinbach.

Image may contain: one or more people and christmas treeRight now he is off across the border to mail the Christmas cards for Americans that I finished writing last night.  The Canadian ones are ready to mail today also. Most of them go to relatives on both sides of the border. I am still trying to get over my cold, it's mostly down to a nagging cough now. I've been busy getting ready for Christmas and babysitting.

Garry tells me he's going out to cut a tree today, so I'd better continue getting ready. At least I'll have a place to stack the presents. He plans to head back right after new years day so if you want to talk or see him, make plans now!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

My exciting trip to Canada

Garry will be making his flight over on Tuesday, but I came last Tuesday (the 27th) to Manitoba. It was an epic journey this time. Starting about Friday when I came down with the cold Garry had gotten in Spain. Fever, dizzy, coughing... I tried to recover in time to fly comfortably.

 I spent Saturday in bed and packing and Sunday I was feeling better and went into church in Dnepro with Garry, Scott, Shannon and the girls- Vika, Valentina, Leila and Julia. We grabbed a quick lunch at Puzata Hata, went to Lena's English school, where Garry talked about our trip to Spain and told Bible stories. We got home about 4 pm and I actually did make pizza for dinner, so we could eat it during the Eagles game.

Monday morning I awoke feeling terrible with an earache to add to my symptoms, and I was taking the evening train (5 pm) to Kiev with my suitcases to catch my 7 am flight Tuesday. Garry dropped me at the train station, I bought some water to help my sore throat, napped a little and got a hat halfway finished by the time the train got to Kiev at 11 pm. I just stuffed my little crocheting backpack of yarn and hooks into my purse instead of zipping it in the carry-on roller bag.

Which I regretted after  walking up a couple flights of stairs with my purse over my shoulder, carry-on in that hand and  big suitcase in the other, and finding my bag open, and my crochet bag gone. I walked all the way back to the train to check for it, then all the way back up without finding it.

Image may contain: cloud, sky and natureAfter trying to find a policeman, I gave up and went across the road to KFC, where the door was still open but they wouldn't sell me anything. This was just as I realized my wallet was missing from my purse. Back to the train station, where I did find a policeman (even one who spoke English)  and walked back and  forth and finally to the police station, where I waited a while to file a report. The police actually escorted me back to the bus to the airport and carried my big suitcase up and down the long flights of stairs.

Luckily I keep enough grivna to take the bus in a different pocket of my bag, and my passport and resident cards in an inside pockets they didn't get into so I was off to the airport around three am. I was the first one on the bus so it waited half an hour for more people to come before taking off for the airport.

I used the toilets after going through the entry x-ray check and soon I could check in for my flight. I had taken inventory and had some US dollars in my bag, and about 2.50 in Canadian coins. It was airplane food all day until I spent my toonie in Toronto for a buddy burger.

Image may contain: outdoorMy morning flight gave me a slice of pound cake and the big meal cross ocean I picked pasta which was not the hoped for ravioli but mac and cheese, and the pre-landing snack was a half sandwich with a tiny pudding, so I was hungry.

I was surprised to have time to get anything since we took off more than an hour late from Vienna as the snow was coming down and we had to de-ice. Landed only ten minutes late, but with taxiing and customs and rechecking my bag, and going through security I got to my gate only about ten minutes before they started loading. However there was an A&W around the corner, so I enjoyed my burger.

I got another burger meal on the way home after Micah, Crystal and Andromeda met me at the airport. So far I have replaced my bank card, and I need to get a replacement drivers licence and credit card. I had phoned one of our sons to cancel the visa while waiting at the police station.

Still feeling my cold today, the lady seated next to me on the plane did not look happy to be seated next to a coughing, sneezing, nose blowing person for eight hours.

Meanwhile Garry back in Ukraine did Thursday cooking class with the students today, they made pizza.
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, indoor and food

Saturday, November 24, 2018

New irrigation system

With the success of irrigating corn, Garry and Max have decided to expand the irrigation system to include alfalfa next year. The sale of corn financed the purchase of a reel and "gun" - its like a giant garden sprinkler- and having piping put in from the irrigation line to another of our fields. Max and Artom went and picked the reel up on Thursday. They had to take the tractor to the closest village with a crane to lift it off the truck and drive it home from there. The "gun" that shoots the water was put in the old Mercedes van to come here. They can't wait until spring. With water on the hay, we can reduce the acreage in alfalfa and always have lots of good quality hay to feed the cows.

Remember this is the difference between a ear of corn grown under irrigation and one from a neighbor's field without additional water, and this year was not a really water poor year, since we had rain in July.

See the black sealant on the grain storage shed? They had to add that this year because they were getting moisture in around the top of the cement wall that was getting the grain wet. Right now the sprayer and irrigation reel are on one side of the building, where the corn was. The other side is still piled high with sunflower seed to sell later.

Friday, November 23, 2018

They're here

Image may contain: Garry Verhoog and Teresa Emley Verhoog, people smiling, sky and outdoorWe got home from Spain Tuesday afternoon at two pm and as we went out the airport customs doors in Kiev I spotted Scott and Shannon Crawford waiting for us in the lobby. They had landed about a half hour before we came with the Harder family. Welcome to Ukraine!

They had two carts full of luggage - all their bags had arrived - which they pushed as the eight of us went outside to find the van which Garry had parked in the long term parking lot. There was snow outside, it was cold compared to Spain, but not Saskatchewan, although Shannon was still wearing flip flops she'd selected for comfort on the planes from Canada.

The ride back to the village took longer than usual because as we got further into the trip, pretty much the middle 200 kilometers or more,  there was more snow on the roadsides and some snow and ice on the road (and dark- the sun had set shortly after four pm and it was the holiest section of the highways), so it was slow going to McDonalds in Kremachuk and from there until we got to Kamaskoya (Dnepropajisk ) where the roads got better. We even saw a van that had went off the road and struck a tree in someone's yard.
There was no snow in Zaporosia where we dropped off Jo and Steve and the boys. We were in the village around ten pm (no snow either) and unloaded the essentials and the Crawfords slept at our house that night.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sky and outdoorGarry was off breeding cows already at 6:30 am Wednesday morning, and discovered that the reason he is getting so many phone calls to breed cows lately. The local vet is prostiglanding cows (giving them needles to bring them in heat) and giving people Garry's phone number. The cough he started in Spain has gotten worse since we got back, so he's not been out making feed in the mornings. That and the fact he's been taking meds for it means he's feeling pretty bad.

Wednesday around noon, we took the Crawfords shopping in Dnepro for a mattress and essential house goods so they could sleep in their new house that night. Victor took them and their purchases home in the blue van because we needed to be in Kamaskoya for our SEI follow up class there at 6:30. We had a big group out there and Garry managed to do an exercise with them from our last class we attended in Spain about values and goals. We were sorry that we had to leave after going to the Monday classes as the speaker continued on Tuesday and Wednesday after we flew out and he was very interesting.

Thursday was a slower day, although we had our first staff meeting with Scott and Shannon attending at one pm.

 Afterwards, Garry and Scott and went to see the new irrigation reel and gun that Max had gone to pick up that morning. Scott also got a bit of tour of the village.

We also went to the village store, I needed four and sugar to make cake because we were celebrating Sasha Borchuk's birthday that evening at six pm. A week late since we were in Spain last Wednesday. I think he told me he is 26 now, he told the Crawfords his name was Sonya, which is another of his nicknames. They got to meet most of the students at the party at our house, some of them introduced themselves in English, making Nellie proud. We had baked potatoes and kielbasa sandwiches before the cake and ice cream. 
Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting, people eating, table and indoor

Image may contain: 4 people, including Юлиана Терещенко, people smiling, people sitting and indoor