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

Monday, December 21, 2009

We are in Manitoba!

It true we have been home for a week already tomorrow- sorry that I am so late posting again- we had a nice flight over the Atlantic on the 8th and a nice visit with my parents, where we cleaned up our van (it had mildewed inside with all the rain in NJ this summer) but it was a nice drive up to Ontario to see Garry's parents. We stopped at Niagara Falls just after dark- beautiful with colored lights on the falls, ice on the railings- the boys did not remember seeing it before- they were toddlers last time we were there. Saw Exeter decorated for Christmas as we drove in in the snow- luckily dodged the bad stuff- and had a good time visiting with family there.
Last Sunday afternoon we headed toward home, had a nice stay overnight in Northern Michigan- Garry enjoyed watching the Eagles game while the boys enjoyed the pool, and free Wii and popcorn in the lobby of the hotel. After a nice breakfast we headed into the snow that started overnight about 7 am, steady and snowy but no problems driving. By the time we got to Duluth the snowfall was over and by the time we arrived home Monday night it was cold! about -35 C.
It is great being home with the family - we got the tree up- hope to get the cards out before Christmas and the shopping done too. Today Garry and most of the boys headed to EEFC in Steinbach while Noah and I went to Matt's church in Piney to see Xaris in the Christmas program- she said her piece but no one could hear her, she was so quiet even with a mike. But very cute in Grandma's eyes! The weather has warmed up and all the kids were here tonight for our daughter's birthday so it was a great start to the week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


We are starting to make lists and pack -we leave for the airport in Kiev next week Monday evening as our flight is on Tuesday Dec 8th at 5:30 am. We fly to Gemany with a 3 hour layover then off to Newark (NJ) where my parents will pick us up. Then we will be visiting them, Garry's parents in Ontario and arriving home in Manitoba on the 14th hopefully.
We are still waiting for the inspector to get the electrical upgrade so my my stove may not get used until we are back...........but it will be by the end of January when we return!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two weeks from today we are on a plane heading to NJ. We are going to get our van, which has been at my parents since July and visit with Garry's parents in Ontario on the way home to Manitoba- arrival in St Labre- about Dec 15th.

It has been a week of ups and downs for the boys- on Thursday we moved into our new bedroom and they moved into the big bedroom. They were excited about all the new space.

On Saturday morning they buried their Kitten Tabby, he had been sickly since Garry brought him home in September after little Velcro went missing while we were in Crimea (the carpenters let her out of the room and house) Tabby got a cold and was dead in Seth's bed in the morning, so we had two sad boys went we got home from Russian lessons.

Sunday we went to church here in the village, there were Canadian (and US) visitors- a youth team that will be in Zaphorosia for 7 months. In the afternoon we headed to Dnepro to start celebrating Jonah's birthday early with a trip to the circus. It was as good or better than the first one we saw- lots of trained animals, acrobats, fire and magic acts! We had dinner at Mc Donalds and picked up a cake for Jonah's birthday as the new stove won't be working until the three phase power is hooked up- maybe before we leave----

Jonah turned 14 yesterday and was busy assembling lego, and petting his new kitten- a tiny furry fake one- she'll be just fine while we are away!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekly wrap-up as of Nov 17th

We are beginning to wonder if we will have the power to turn on the new stove before we leave- we may have the inspector out this week, but we had hoped that he would come today (Tuesday ) but the electrical office said they hope to finish the paperwork by Thursday to schedule his visit. We bought the stove yesterday as the 60cm one was still there, most stoves here are 50cm ( 30 inches vs. 24 for Americans) but we decided to go with the one big enough to cook a turkey!
So maybe we will be buying another birthday cake for Jonah next week, like we did for Seth last week. I am all ready with 14 presents wrapped up. Seth had sixteen (from candy to Lego and a razor) because I had a crazy idea for Noah’s birthday last January- that this would be the year of as many presents as you are old- can’t wait to wrap all of Jessy’s when we are home next month.
We are trying a new Russian program -Pimsleur ?- I think- an audio one where you repeat and answer conversation for a half hour. It teaches syllable by syllable, and after day 3 we both like it. Still working with the program Garry bought in Canada, and our twice weekly lessons with our Russian teacher. The boys are busy finishing things up for homeschooling, so they can take a break while we are home.
Speaking of home- we fly from Kiev to Frankfurt the morning of December 8, fly to Newark airport – departing at 11:20 and through the miracle of time zones land at 2:15 the same afternoon. We plan to spend a couple days with my family, drive up to Ontario on the weekend to see Garry’s parents, and be home in Manitoba before the 16th. We plan to fly back to Ukraine near the end of January. If you want to see us (maybe look at some slides) please let us know so we can plan ahead!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Typical day-part 2

All of September and most of October the building continued. In mid-September we had guests overnight returning from Canada and Garry was determined to have the toilet working in the bathroom in the house and he did. The hole he started was turned into a septic system by Seva and Timor that week, and Garry got the toilet hooked up the day they came. The tub had been in and out of the room twice at that point- the carpenters were plastering the drywall and did not like working around it. Garry and I put the tile on the floor and then he installed the tub for the third and final time and after we put up the wall tile he got the shower doors in place (we bought them a couple weeks after we came when we were tired of the boys accidently shooting water all over the other bathroom while trying to use the handheld shower) The new showerhead is wonderful, and the temperature is more steady, I seemed to either burn or freeze when washing my hair before!

By the beginning of October, the kitchen cabinets were in place and we bought a new fridge and put it in the new kitchen so I could quit using the one in the summer kitchen (there were mice and somehow they were getting into the old fridge in there and leaving teeth marks on the butter) So I carry stuff out to cook food unless I can use the appliances we bought- the microwave and slow cooker ( there are no electric fry pans for sale here) Garry picked out a combination microwave-grill, and unfortunately he accidently grilled his plastic Dairy Farmers of Manitoba travel mug while reheating his coffee and melted the threads so that he cannot drink coffee while driving anymore. The new freezer on the fridge is super- we had a power outage for 14 hours and everything stayed frozen solid!

Our carpenters were local guys from the village. They also worked at the gas station on the highway so they normally worked two days here and two days there. In October it became a contest as they worked plastering every centimetre of drywall, on their days off, we would put tile on the floor or walls. Finally they finished the final sanding and we started painting the beams, ceiling, and walls of the new bedroom. We had company coming from Steinbach (they were touring Mennonite sites with Victor) and we planned to put them in the new room. The second coat of paint went up the day before they arrived and the laminate floor went over the cement that morning, but we were ready! We were now eating in the new kitchen/family room even though it didn’t get painted until the next week. With that finished we headed to Crimea for a short vacation which featured fortresses and the secret sub base museum, while the family room floor and the radiators were painted. We came home and bought the couch and chairs and finally sat down together and watched Star Wars videos. THe washer moved into this bathroom, but the weather is drizzley most days so I hand stuff on a rack in the house most days.

So now that we are done with reno- we have settled into a weekday routine. Garry is usually up early making coffee and checking the news on the Satellite TV (we don’t get North American TV but we have English news, travel and the Disney channel, and a lot of Ukrainian, and Russian ones) The boys work on homeschooling in the morning while Garry studies Russian and takes a long walk, unless Victor is coming out to work on something. Garry does a lot of walking around the village, often he practices Russian while walking (he writes the words we are learning on little cards he carries with him) One day he got butted by a goat tied up on the side of the road while multitasking. He also walks or drives around to check out local farming practices. Lunch is often dinner as it is nicer to go out to the summer kitchen in the day than in the dark, although Victor installed a new motion sensor light on the house so I can see the steps. After lunch the boys may do an experiment for science. On Wednesday (and Saturday) mornings Garry and I head off to Russian lessons for an hour and a half. I was teaching English after this on Saturdays, but the H1N1 school closing have stopped this, we may start up after we are home for Christmas, but the schools will having regular classes on Saturday to make up for the three week closing, so we will see what happens. Occasionally we drive into Dnepro in the afternoon to be special visitors in one of our English teaching friends from Morningstar church’s classes- everyone loves a native speaker of English, and it is an opportunity to use a Bible story for younger classes. Lately dinner has been make your own sandwiches in the electric sandwich maker, Garry and the boys love to make ones with hot pepper flakes, tomato paste, meat and cheese. Then we watch TV or videos, and check our email (and facebook) on the cell phone computer access before bed.

Sunday morning we normally head off to Dnepro at 9:15- church starts at ten with praise singing and after church is over (12:30 unless there is communion) we take the guys to the mall at Daffi for free wi-fi (this is when I update the blog) and their favourite dinner out (except Mc Donald’s) Puzata Hata (Ukrainian food- you can point at what you want- Seth and Jonah get chicken Kiev and potato vereniki ). Two Sundays we have attended church in the village- we were invited for a harvest celebration with a Canadian speaking, and one Sunday we went and had a Bible Study in Russian with hymn singing, while the boys got to make a Noah’s Ark craft in Sunday school.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A typical day at our house- part 1

A typical day at our house -

Really this has changed the longer we are here, so let’s go back to the summer, when the sun rose early (before 5am) which was great for heading out to the bathroom in the summer kitchen before starting the day. Then Garry and the boys were big into demolition of walls and after summer institute was over, I was mostly into cooking, picking stuff out of the garden and laundry. The kitchen was in the summer kitchen, so it was easier to eat outside, and we bought a plastic table and chairs. We often had Victor and sometimes his sons or one of the guys from Morningstar working with Garry, so I cooked extra on the gas stove. I have not had a gas stove in 30 years, and only one burner really works well on it, (one only light halfway around) so cooking was challenging. We eat mostly chicken breast and hamburger that comes in North American style packaging at Metro- it’s like Costco. I even baked pies, biscuits, and cakes, with some success (there is no degree setting on the oven.) Victor had a washer here so it was easy to do laundry and the summer sun dried stuff on the line in a snap. I realized that the kitchen had mice so I put everything in plastic containers. In July and early in August the guys enjoyed swimming in the spring-fed pond in the village and we went to the Black Sea for a couple days at the end of the month.

As August came the carpenters started the wall building and cement making for the floors. Garry started digging the septic system. We lived with dust and noise. We ate outside unless it was dark (dinner could be at 8 pm outside) or raining. Garry would fire up the gas boiler in the summer kitchen so we would have hot water and the boys would wash the days’ dishes and we could get a shower before bed and walk back to the house and our bedrooms and turn on the fans if it was hot. We found out that thunder storms bring power outages that could last 24 or more hours. Then we’d have to cook all the meat in the fridge for dinner. One of the new plastic chairs was squashed under a fallen tree limb while we were indoors eating tacos (I found taco shells at Metro- imported so a little expensive but the boys love them, and we had all the fixings in the garden).

Garry spent the night in the hospital during the week we had no door on the other side of the house (there was a very secure quarter inch of plywood over the bottom of the door hole. It had broken during a wall demo and Victor ordered a new one which had to be made as the doors are really wide on an old Mennonite house. We also lived with flies and mosquitoes as the doors were left open while the guys were working even when we had two doors (granted the mosquitoes are nothing like Manitoba ones) He bribed his way back out when he was feeling better the next morning, because they wanted to confirm the diagnosis of food poisoning first (just a couple more days) Victor took him in that evening and went and bought about 20 us dollars worth of supplies so they could start an IV (they give you list of what they need- syringes and medicines and rubber gloves and needles and you go to the pharmacy and buy it before they treat you) He was sure he would catch something worse in the Infectious Disease hospital. So after donating to the cleaning lady (to buy cleaning supplies) and the doctor he came home to take it easy for a couple days, with a greater appreciation for NA health care and hospital food.

Then September came. Garry and I started Russian lessons with a teacher in the village (we started even- we knew a few words of Russian and he knows maybe a couple in English) We go twice a week for an hour and a half (after the first lessons we would stumble out with aching heads and the teacher would go out for a smoke, wondering why he said yes to Victor’s request to teach us, I think) We can now recognize some words, and almost say a few things so that people can understand us.

The boys began homeschooling lessons, one works on the computer program while the other does Biology, Jonah’s math, and Canada in View (our geography class is world geography so we are adding a little Canadian reading material) They are able to finish by lunch with science labs some afternoons. The boys get some exercise walking to the store to buy ice cream and treats. They biked until Seth’s bike disappeared from the yard in mid-October. They played soccer this summer with some of the neighbourhood boys (and often Garry) and now that the basketball hoop went up in October they shoot baskets if the weather is good, sometimes they have a game if the kids come around. One day they had nine players.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Couch time!

We got a couch and chairs this week - the living room was finally ready! We enjoyed watching videoes with the boys every evening since it came. The basketball hoop is up out front, the boys have played with the neighbourhood kids or shoot baskets together (or with Dad)

You may heard that schools are closed in Ukraine because the flu but it does not seem to be here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our mini-vacation

The weather was cooler than we hoped so we didn't go swimming, but we did see palm tress in Yalta on our trip. The boys had a grand time visting a fortress at Sudak where they enjoyed a sword fight wearing armour they rented. We took a boat tour and had some midway fun in Yalta, and toured the former secret Soviet submarine base at Balaclava. It was like James Bond, built in the late 1950's.

We also walked up a mountain to see an ancient cave city (you want to be in shape for that walk, I was sore for two days but the view was incredible.

Garry had an exciting visit to the police station in Stevastepol, but he got out after paying 500 hgr. for not having his passport (they thought that his photocopy was not good enough when they stopped him for turning left at the wrong time) and we got to the Crimea War Panarama just before it closed for the day. Many thanks to our hosts in Crimea, for the wonderful time.

We returned home to colder weather and the news that schools are closed in Ukraine due to H1N1 flu. Some people are even walking around wearing face masks in the stores and streets in Dnepropetroesk.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A little culture

We have been checking out some of the local entertainment. We don't go to the movies as they are in Ukrainain. Fortunately, some things are easy to understand without knowing the language. We could not get tickets for the big football (soccer) match- two weeks ago there was a World cup qualifying game right in Dnepropetroesk. The Ukrainain team beat England 1-0.
However we have gone to the circus, which the boys really enjoyed from the clowns to the animal acts- trained cats, dogs and bears, trick horse riding, acrobats and even a girl on the trapeze.

Last Saturday night Garry and I went to see Swan Lake. The ballet was great, and the conductor was a show by himself as he led the orchestra most dramatically.

Garry and I have been studying Russian with a teacher for a month now- still lots to learn but we are learning more vocbulary every lesson- we go twice a week, right in the village. We are skipping a lesson this week as we are off to Crimea for a mini-vacation.

Taking a break

It's true, we are planning a little trip this week down to Crimea, to visit fellow Canadians and see Yalta. We heard that the tempurature was 28 c there when it was 10 here, so the boys hope to jump in the Black Sea.

The reno is nearly complete, a little more painting to do. This photo is from 2 weeks ago when we were putting in the kitchen floor tile- Garry decided on the diagonal checkerboard pattern, and it looks pretty good. Next week I will try to get up more completed kitchen photos as the paint went on the walls this week. The next big thing is getting our higher rated electric line in so we can hook up the electric powered radiators on the newly reno side of the house. Our bedrooms we have been using are heated with gas (it is also hot water pipes) as it comes from the summer kitchen, and we have had this running sometimes this fall. I am still cooking there until the new line arrives, unless I use the microwave or slowcooker that we got after the cabinets went in.

Jonah is feeling good again- he had a two week battle with a cold that climaxed in 4 days of barely eating (if you know Jonah- you know how sore his throat had to be for him to live on cup of soup and jello) which was finally solved by a doctor visit and antibiotics.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Reno news and so on

We are getting closer to reno completion! Our carpenters made great progress from the building of walls at the beginning of September to the plastering they finally finished last week. We have been painting for a week. Garry has all the kitchen cabinets in place and I put up the backsplash tiles, they still need grouting. The two of us stuck up the bathroom tile while the carpenters were gone (they work at a gas station part-time, so some days they weren’t here) then did the kitchen floor tile at the final break before the final sanding.
We have some new pets- the white cat- seen here when she first came in August was gone for over a month and suddenly reappeared about three weeks ago. Unfortunately Velcro, the boys’ kitten, got outside while we were in Crimea and has not returned to the boys. Garry brought home a sad looking kitten that Seth has named Tabby. Her fleas are gone now, and she sleeps in the boys’ room, they let her outside sometimes, but keep a close eye on her. We had been adopted by Jack the dog who came and hung around and ate here- he even was staying at night and barking at strangers in the yard. We think he may not have a home in the village as we never saw him until September. Jack seems to have left; maybe there is better dog food elsewhere. Last weekend Seth’s bike disappeared from the yard, right after the dog did-so maybe we need to get our own dog to bark at people in the yard after all!
We just had visitors for a few nights, it was nice to have people from Steinbach stay with us while they were touring with Victor. They got to stay in the room the carpenters were working on in this before photo from the beginning of September. The paint was very fresh, and Garry put the flooring in that morning, but we were ready. This is the bedroom that Garry and I plan to move into, all we have to do is change the beds, so the boys can move into the larger room we have been sleeping in. Right now Garry is painting the kitchen/living room ceiling, he hopes to have the room finished by Monday so we can buy a couch to sit on. We miss having a couch, it’s been three and a half months of reno, we can’t wait!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We're painting!

Yes! the carpenters have done their final sanding of all those walls they built and plastered! We have started painting rooms- well, the bathroom is painted and Garry has installed the tub for the third and final time- and the shower doors- but I didn't take another photo. We are getting radiators installed this weekend, and picking the paint for the bedroom and kitchen/living room. The tile is all grouted on the floors, and all that's left is the kitchen backsplash to finish.

 Here are a few photos to see how it's come- look for the final views maybe next week-if we get a couch by then. The kitchen stove has to wait for the upgraded electric line to be installed but.... we are feeling more like we are home, even if I am still cooking in the summer kitchen and carrying stuff back and forth until December!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Getting closer!

We are getting closer to finishing this reno- the guys are nearly done plastering the walls and we have started tiling. The days are getting shorter- the sun comes up at 6:30 instead of 4:30 in the morning. I have made a little 6 minute video of what we did in August which I am attaching here. Russian lessons are going well, we have learned days of the week,months and how to tell the time- which is harder than you'd think! Not reading it but whether you say morning, day, evening or night, and not just numbers but we need to learn the words for first through 31st for the date!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Photos- work in progress

Here are those photos- up to the new working in the house toilet- as of Monday evening! This is Seva and Timor working on the septic system ( Garry is working on his Russian) Garry building cabinets, and the toilet and tile in the bathroom. Now we are waiting for the plastering to finish- which may take a while- the carpenters come back again on Friday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Wonderful progress being made we have walls' the carpenters are starting to tape and plaster on Monday. The septic system is all dug and the walls bricked up thanks to the hard work of Timor and Seva (both attend Morningstar church) so we should have a working toilet in the house next week. Unfortunately I don't seem to have loaded the most recent photos from the camera into the computer so I can't show you. The lights are working in the other side of the house now, we even have eaten in there a few times, when its too wet or dark when work was done for the day.
Garry has been working very hard on his Russian lessons, he knows more words than I do! We met the grade 7 class at school we will see how many come next week when we start the English club. They were having a picnic for one of the boys birthdays, with hotdogs over a fire built by the boys, lots of other food and a huge cake.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Top Ten Noisy Things in a Ukrainian Village

Top Ten Noisy Things in a Ukrainian Village – as selected by Teresa

10. Garry says the 6 am bus to Zaporosia-there are cars, motorcycles, scooters, trucks and the noisiest tractors roaring past at all hours- maybe not the tractors at night, but everything else

9. Doves- it sounds silly but who woo ccccoooo cooing is really noisy

8. Renos- if not here then down the street- drills, chain saws, and the rumble of cement being mixed.

7. Pigs- there is a pen next door and when they are being fed or chased- pandemonium

6. Geese- geese (in a group) are very noisy, when something is happening near them, or they think they are getting fed in the pen next door, or when they are let out to play in new puddles after it rains.

5. Chickens- roosters- crowing from about 3:30 am (when it is not light) to 4 in the afternoon. Hens clucking to gather their chicks as they hunt bugs around our yard -no we don’t have chickens- they are mostly free range, only penned up at night. Neighbour lady calling her chickens home at dusk – coo-coo-coo- rist-ta!

4. Cows –it is not so much the cows letting out a bellow as they go past the gate twice a day as the dogs all barking as they go past-

3. Dogs- the dogs’ only job in a Ukrainian village is to serve as an early warning system to scare off intruders- and they take it very seriously – they bark if something or someone comes into their yard, passes their gate or looks like they are thinking about it, and sometimes run down the street chasing bicycles and barking

2. Car horns- people announce their arrival and sometimes departure when visiting by blowing their horns- in case no one heard the dog going crazy- maybe so someone will grab the dog ( most large dogs are tied- little ones run around) They blow their horn to say I’m going around you. One Saturday a constantly blowing car horn announced the presence of a big white limo with a bridal party driving around the village.

1. People selling stuff- if you want to sell live chickens or the pig that is cut up in pieces in your trunk, or are buying old metal junk, you need to tell people in their houses that you are out on the street to do business, so you drive slowly down every street in the village, either blowing your horn- normal or clown car version, yelling Chickens- not expensive! Lucky sales people have loudspeakers or sirens to alert everyone from the other side of the village to their wares. One day a hardware store on wheels- a large truck –with a trailer stacked full -rolled past announcing his wares with his loudspeaker- nails, tools, drywall- not expensive.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Here we are at the western point of Crimea where we swam near the cliffs. The other photo is of an Orthodox monastary in a cliff.

Trip to the Black Sea

Last week of August 2009
Garry finally felt better on Monday, after spending the previous Tuesday evening in hospital, where he was told he might have food poisoning. They wanted him to stay for three days so they could make a definite diagnosis, but with Victor’s help he convinced them to let him go on Wednesday afternoon. After getting out of bed and helping too much, and still having a stomach that didn’t think much of food, Garry worried me by sleeping nearly all day Saturday. However he was feeling better when Victor phoned on Sunday to say that the landlady where his family was staying had an open apartment for Tuesday- Thursday nights in Krematrosk. We drove down- an adventure in itself- our atlas is in Russian- the road signs in Ukrainian and we still think in English. But we made it with minor detours and had a wonderful time as you can see.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Two weeks ago Sunday afternoon we had fun at Globus Park, the boys enjoyed paddling us around on a paddleboat in the swan pond. They also rode the swings ride which was pretty wild. Here are photos...........

No photos

I am having computer problems this week- so no photos because we can't get my computer to go to any websites! Why didn't Noah want to come to Ukraine with us? My computer is the one we load photos on- Garry's is more basic.
Garry was sick and went to the hospital for a night this week- they thought it was food poisoning or maybe the flu. I had a milder case and the boys did not get sick. If Garry would take it easy he would be better- but he did rest yesterday and is feeling better- just not not completely recovered. On Thursday he helped the work crew carry in drywall- it came delievered but we have discovered that delievered means driven to your door. The boys and I help carry in the boxes for the kitchen cabinets and even the tub on Monday morning. The floors have all been poured (cement) and next week tthe workmen (2 village men) should start walls and drywalling.
We are eating lots of tomatoes from the garden, peppers and potatoes. It has stayed cool but has not rained in 3 weeks so things are getting dry- the cucumbers are giving up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week of AUGUST 9-16

Last Sunday afternoon Garry and the boys enjoyed a game of soccer with the neighbourhood kids. This took place in front of someone’s yard where the kids had built some goals back in July. The game tended to spill out into the street so they would yell “machin-a” when a car came up the street.
On Monday Garry and Victor with the help of the boys started the septic tank project. On Tuesday they decided to knock down one more wall, which accidentally broke the door to go out the other side of the house, so there is a grate leaning up against it until tomorrow when Victor will bring out the new door they ordered.

It has been cooler this week so the boys haven't been swimming in the village pond. However Jonah really enjoys swimming so he talked them into going on Thursday after working on the house. He was the only one who swam- Garry got into his knees- the water is spring fed and it was cold!
Yesterday we drove down to the Sea of Azure. Garry thought that the land would be flatter out that way. We saw peach orchards, bought some grapes from the roadside (they also have melons) and it in spite of a few detours-cities here do not have by-passes, so sometimes it is hard to find the way to the road you want even if you where on it on the way into the city- we did find this Cossask stature in Zaparozia- we arrived at the sea in five hours. The boys enjoyed a swim in the sea and it only took 3 ½ to get home. Next time we will pack a picnic lunch and swim longer.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


  1. Seth and Jonah getting a couple minutes off on the DS
  2. The kitten on the new laminate floor in their room
  3. The neighbors' chickens checking out our yard
  4. The future Kitchen (there was a wall knocked down here too)

Men at work

Garry and the boys have been busy taking things down so we can start the real reno on the house (see photos). This week they plan to dig a septic system by hand so the bathroom building can get started. The weather has been cooler- it was 15 C this morning, making church at Morning star comfortable- we are usually fanning ourselves all service. I have been picking up fallen apples in the yard and making applesauce and pies.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A new month

Summer Institute is over- it was a great team of people and many new friends were made and the gospel was presented to may students, and interesting English classes. Most of the team is arriving home now. We had Daryl and Molly out to the village today after church, to see the planned renovations to the house- we will have a kitchen, living room and bathroom inside, instead of walking out to the summer kitchen. We have been eating outside a lot- easy clean up! Now that I'm done teaching I can finish organizing stuff. The boys room got a new laminate floor this week and is must neater, with places to put their stuff away. We plan to get satelite internet so maybe we will get some pictures up then- hopefully before next month. The boys adopted a kitten this week. They have enjoyed swimming in the pond with Garry, but are happy to have Mom take over cooking- they were getting tired of fried potatoes and meat.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July in Ukraine

Hello! It's hot at least 38 for you Canadians. Garry and the boys have been swimming in the village pond, everyday for the last week, except Saturday when they swam in the Dniper river, and today because Jonah was feeling ill( they say he is feeling better now).They met a few people in the village while swimming and managed to communicate with Garry's few words of Russian, their few words of English and drawing pictures in the sand.
I am there part time as I am teaching at the English Institute in Dnepropetroesk, Music and English (no- we are not singing- just using music to practice English) Marina N graciously invited me to stay with her, which how I am posting now.
Garry has bought a car- a Lada and so he drives me in some days, but he hopes to start some renovations to the house we are living in- right now the kitchen and bathroom are out in the summer kitchen so there are plans to fix up the other half of the house.
The electricity was out several times since we arrived in the village, due to storms that do not bring much rain- which the gardens and crops really need.
Garry is busy and I will be for the next two weeks, then we can start to settle in and learn Russian. We are still looking to get some kind of Internet access in the village so keep checking for updates! Photos to come.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More about that

Well I took a nap this afternoon after worshiping with Marina at Word of Life church on the left bank. I get my cell phone tomorrow, for sure, as it will meet me at the Institute along with almost 60 students in my three classes. Garry has managed to buy a new car already, a Lada brand station wagon-like one, Orban tells me it's called a universal here. He won't be able to drive it until Tuesday, so I look forward to seeing him and the boys here in the city then.
The boys seem to be adjusting well, although they are waiting for the Internet- hopefully we will have access out there soon, and you'll find out more as it happens!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We're Here!

Yes it is true, we landed in Kiev Tuesday afternoon with almost all our luggage- tub #3 found us two days later. Seth and Jonah enjoyed their first flying experience , even though it was a little bumpy. Seth did not enjoy takeoff so much the first time. We had a good time seeing our families before we left- and for those who know about Jonah's sparkler accident on the 4th - he's healing nicely- no infection in his burns on his toes!
I am writing from Dnepro were I am staying with Marina at her apartment as Institute starts Monday. Garry and the boys are in the village settling in, and moving around the stuff I put away. He has a cell- I'll have one tomorrow, so we can be called but I don't have the numbers! The boys had their first (very crowded ) tram ride and ate at Pazata Hata ( its a Ukrainian style buffet) and we got caught in the rain near the Central market do they got pretty wet. I will try to post photos next week!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I haven't posted in almost a month, and the crops should have been planted here in Manitoba, but not much is done as it has been cold and wet, wet. Garry has been making gouda cheese to fill his days when he can't do anything outside. The homeschool materials are bought, I'm starting to pack stuff. I finished my tiling projects at daughter Jessica's house, and we helping Matt, Kari and the girls move into their new place- a farm at the border in Piney, across from the church where Matt is pastoring. We are sending our passports off to Ottawa to the Ukrainan embassy to get our Visas- you can prayer that the forms are all filled out correctly so they are done in time! The plane tickets are bought and we fly out of Newark on the 6th of July, after camping with Garry's family and visiting with my parents.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Church visits and Graduation

We have been busy this month, Garry is thinking about the farm here in Manitoba and getting ready to plant here, and we have been making decisions about what is going into the luggage and homeschooling materials for the boys. We are planning to fly out of New York City, after visiting relatives, on July 7th.

We spoke about our mission plans at our home church Emmanuel E Free, two Sundays ago, and visited the Ste. Aldolphe Fellowship, where the town is surrounded by the Red River flood, but one road is open to get in and out. We enjoyed talking to the people there, and got to know some of them better at lunch.

Two weeks ago we hurried over to Providence College after church where I received my BA in TESOL. Some of the kids came and our granddaughters were there to congratulate me, that's Xaris, who is 2 1/2 with me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

LACE class

Garry and Teresa spend 5 days at the end of March in green Langley BC at the Gateway missionary training school for a LACE class. This was a class about how to learn language using a language helper along with some work on phonics and other ways to help future missionaries learn their target language. As part of the class we got to use use a language helper to learn a language, Garry worked on Subwano (spelling?) from the Philippines and Teresa was in the Wolof group with Marjorie, a missionary who had worked in Gambia. The staff was wonderful as were our fellow students which included many future missionaries from other countries who have already learned English as another language. Both the training and the experience of being with our fellow participants made the week well worth the time away. It also gave us an apprieciation for the task ahead as Russian is considered one of the more difficult languages to learn! Garry is still working hard with his program on CD everyday and has memorized nearly 100 Russian words.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Garry has been very busy learning Russian words-he tries to learn a couple everyday- like for food- potatoes, cheese, and so on. Yesterday he was working on he. she and we. It makes me think that I should start. I also need to work on lesson planning as I will be teaching at the Summer Institute in Dnepro right after we get to Ukraine in July.
He has also been making cheese at home. He hopes that this will be useful in Ukraine as a value added milk product. He has a couple edam style cheeses aging in the fridge, and has made some squeaky cheese curds we have been eating- the boys enjoyed some in poutine yesterday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

TESOL in Dnepropetrosk SLI 2008

Last summer Garry and I left the older boys at home, the youngest two in NJ with Grandma Emley and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Bob to visit their fav cousin Justin for the month of July while we flew to Ukraine so I could teach English. This was part of my classes at Prov- an overseas teaching experience so I could get my bachelor's degree.

We had an amazing time and while I was teaching and sweating alot in the city, Garry managed to see the countryside and do what he does every place we visit- look for dairy farms. He found one with all new equiptment and hundreds of cows- but most milk is produced in the villages by people milking a couple of cows that go out to the community pasture in the morning and return in the evening. The last weekend we were there we stayed in the village of Nikolipol and this is what started our mission focus for returning to Ukraine. However since we are returning in July I have been asked to teach again as part of the EFCCM team in Dnepro.