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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Garry bought a cow!

Garry bought his first bred heifer last week- a Russian red one, the kind you see most often in our area of Ukraine. We found out Holsteins are more popular between Livy and Kiev when driving across Ukraine in June. He is going to be looking at more for sale on Monday. Maxim is helping him buy them as Victor is on vacation with his family- except Denis who is flying back on Tuesday along with Seth. He has enjoyed his visit to Canada. I found out that my granddaughters even include him in their prayers along with their uncles.
I am flying back on Tuesday but on different airlines than the boys- we are supposed to meet up in Kiev to take the train- I am supposed to land on September 1st at 1:30 local time with the boys getting there at 11:30 am. So I am busy packing and enjoying time with the family here as time grows short. My camera is full so pictures to come... this week I painted a Noah's Ark mural in the church nursery in Piney, and took the girls (2 and almost 4) overnight to Aunt Jessy's for Corn and Apple Festival in Morden.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick note from Manitoba

Yes here I am in Manitoba, at the end of a busy Monday- I went to Piney and painted most of a mural for the church nursery and tagged along as four of our sons played church league slow pitch. Meanwhile Garry is just getting up on Tuesday morning. He was busy last week and has his corn silage chopped and the pile covered. He planted the field of millet and if it rains soon in Ukraine he will have a crop to make silage from.
I have one more week of fun here before I fly back to Kiev. Our son Seth and Denis D. leave the same day- different airline, before you know it we will be starting schoolwork. But for now I get to enjoy comments like- (on seeing a blue vein when trying to pull off my sock)"Coloring! Grandma who drawed on you?" from Havilah age 2.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Post # 100- two different Sundays

I just noticed that this will be post #100 when I was logging in- wow it seems like I have been talking a lot in the last year, since most of the posts have been in the last 13 months! You may have noticed that Jonah and I were playing with the blog page last week and changed the background and some of the fonts. Let us know if you like the old plainer look or the clouds better!
Well this Sunday our little family of four were split up by half a world and half a day- Garry and Jonah went to church in Dnepro after breakfast at Mc Donald's (air conditioning) and sat in a very hot church- they had a translator for the sermon- one of the Nigerian medical students that attend Morningstar, a great guy who has become very proficient at Russian, he even leads praise and worship singing. Inspiration for those who are struggling to learn Russian! Then they went home and cooked frozen french fires with cheese and put some of the salsa I made before I flew to Canada on Friday.
Meanwhile the rest of the family were still sleeping here in Manitoba- but we woke up to about a cool wet morning- maybe 15 degrees C. Seth wore a long sleeved shirt, and the little girls had sweaters on. We all (daughter Jess and all her other brothers and Garry's parents visiting from Ontario) went to Piney to hear Matt (eldest son/ pastor/ new dad) preach from the book of Amos- follow the Lord and turn away from evil. After church we went over to Matt and Kari's for lunch (we brought most of it) for a another family dinner - - before Garry's parents headed off in their motor home to go to Yellowstone. They last went camping there when Garry was in high school(1973?) with a station wagon and six kids - one still in diapers, so it may be more relaxing this time! we had dinner all together at the farm the night before- when Xaris (almost 4) thanked me for the chocolate cake "Grandma thanks for coming from Ukraine to make cake"
I had an interesting time coming here- about 20 hours of flights/airports after leaving Kiev at 5:30 on Friday morning(the 13th - tickets were cheaper) but arrived in Winnipeg at 6 pm through the magic of time zones. The day before Garry put me on the to Kiev about 1 in the afternoon, you can really see the corn crops are turning brown with the lack of rain- some areas are worse than others- one place there was a firetruck and guys with shovels fighting a fire on the side of the road- many fields had a firebreak plowed around them to prevent crop loss from careless smoking. I also saw some greener corn go by in the back of a truck- chopped for silage, closer to Kiev. The bus stopped a couple times to let people off, twice at bus depots, a couple more times at villages closer to Kiev, twice for the car sick boy and his Mom to get off and once for the little girl who got to pee on the side of the road with her mother's help. It did have air conditioning as promised, so it was OK- I arrived at the airport about 8 pm and waited until 3:30 am to start going thorough the lineups for loading- no sleep but I did get a little on the planes. But no problems at customs anywhere and I arrived on schedule and got to see baby Keziah Friday night- she was at the farm with her sisters to welcome me home after Jess picked me up at the airport!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Photos of that

Here's Garry putting up the cupboards he assembled for the milkhouse, and the field of corn he hired a farmer to grow for silage- he hopes to get a chopper to use to cut it on the 20th of August. For some reason the new blogger editor did not give the option of loading photos, so here they are - Teresa

Hot off the presses

It was 43 degrees C Sunday afternoon- or if you think like me 109.4 F- I admit I have a general awareness of the metric world but my mind still understands American-style better. It is still hot- really wish the Lada had air conditioning- unfortunate that the saleman said it could be installed later- one year later and still not an option. We did put one in our bedroom which with the door open during the day cools the living room down.
Garry is busy with the baler fixing guys today- they have been here since 8 am and it is 6 pm. They have made progress at luchtime but found more things to fix on it. There was thunder and clouds this afternoon, but the rain missed the village and went to Dnepropetroesk.
I have been putting up the garden- making salsa and freezing corn, as Thursday at noon I will be getting on a bus (with A/C) for a 8 hour drive to the airport in Kiev. Then 20 hours of airports- flying and I'll be in Winnipeg.
Maxim is off to church camp in Crimea this week- quiet round here. Garry has been working on getting some of the milkhouse set up done, including putting together some cabinets for it. We went to Zaporosia last night to pick up some plumbing supplies and the store was incredibly hot inside- new store but the AC must not work well.
Note- Thursday am cooled off last night- 20- although no rain. Baler fixing guys are supposed to be back to give it one more try today- I'm going to finish packing my bag!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Here she is!

Yes our newest granddaughter arrived on July 22 early in the morning- Keziah Mary Verhoog (look in the Book of Job- near the end) Here she is on the big day.
I am leaving Jonah in charge of keeping Garry out of trouble when I fly to Manitoba on the 13th to meet her (and play with her sisters)Garry got home from his quick trip to Crimea on Monday, took the stitches out of his hand and got to work on Tuesday- here he is mixing cement with Jonah and Maxim to cover the milkhouse septic system. He is still trying to get the baler working as it has decided to quit working after getting 3/4 of the straw baled in the field he bought- the owners are are not in a big hurry to get it plowed - but would be great to get it done!

We are having the same hot dry weather as Russia but no forest fires here- just the annoying neighbours burning garbage at dusk fires- a bother when you want to cool off the house at night. It is 40-42 C during the day, and about 25-30 at night. Garry has rigged up a sprinkler for the garden- after several weeks of this heat and no water- it is not looking too good- even the beets were wilting in the photo with the puppy.
To make it worse the potato bugs have finished off the potato plants and are chewing up the eggplant and tomatoes just as they are ready to eat- I am picking bugs and dropping them into a Coke bottle but it seems to be a losing battle! Last year we sprayed the eggplant and then watched as the bugs ate the leaves, stems and finally the eggplants in the time we were waiting for them to be safe to eat. So I hope to have a lot of produce in the freezer when I leave for home. So far- corn, salsa and I am doing some eggplant/zuchinni today.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A few photos

Here are some of those things we have been promising- photos from Maxim's brother's wedding- you may remember that a month ago Garry got a real slice of Ukrainian life when he drove with our hired guy to attend his older brother's wedding. They stayed over 2 nights at Maxim' parents home in a village about 4 hours from Nikolipoli. It was back when it rained everyday for weeks so the yard was too muddy to drive into. The ceremony was at the official wedding building at 11 am (even those who marry in church have to have an official civic one) and then the drove around town taking pictures at parks until the reception at 4 pm (until midnight) with lots of food, dancing and many games, mostly to embarrass the maid of honor (Garry has video of when they had her lay down on some chairs and had the blindfolded best man -in the photo with Maxim- find chocolates on her) and money was collected in pink and blue baby tights to see what the couple's first child would be.
While driving back to the village after the wedding a taxi turned into the side of the Lada- it had even been decorated with ribbons for the procession that day- smucking up the passenger side door.
Garry and Maxim brought home a present from his mother - the baby ducks- 3 still happily living in our yard after I built a more dog-proof cage for them before I started with Summer English Institute.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Three weeks of summer institute went by far too quickly and we said goodbye to students and most of my fellow English teachers on Friday. I taught Music and English, a class featuring a mix of grammar points for English learners and Canadian music- popular songs from the 70’s to now by Canadian artists. One of my students said it was nice to have a mix in every class, but every year I change subjects, so l am already thinking about what to teach next summer!
One of the highlights is working with a team that comes from Canada- It is so much fun to see friends that were here last summer or two years ago. It seems like they never left- facebook is a great way to stay in touch- even with those who haven’t made it back to teach again (yet-because the students and city get into your heart and you want to come another summer in spite of the heat) the very enthusiastic Stacey was the only new member of the team, and she had a great time seeing the city with students. This year Clay was was back as director and he booked his return later than the rest of the team. When he arrived he said he’d like to drive down to Yalta and see the Black Sea (whenever students disappear and don’t show up again we talk about how they must have gone to the sea to escape the heat) so I said Garry could drive him down. Turned out to be a good way to keep Garry’s healing hand away from the baler- one week after his injury it’s looking better (but not so good on Tuesday- thanks for the prayers) They found a hotel with air conditioning and are off to see the palace today.
Meanwhile on the baler front- they have got the knotter working better and have put more than 3,000 bales of straw in the hay mow. They are a little softer than Garry would like (more baler parts have been ordered) and some fine stuff has drifted down to the barn floor- the cracks between the boards got pretty big when that wet wood dried out in the summer heat! Of course Garry was unable to stop himself from helping- driving tractor, even stacking bales in the hay mow (last Sunday he played ping pong holding the paddle in his injured right hand in the city and then told me the doctor at the hospital had suggested he use a sling) so it’s good he’s away a few days- Tuesday will be soon enough to get back to work. Hopefully Maxime gets the bales finished and picked up from the field with the crew of men and teens he hires by the day before Garry gets back!
I froze corn yesterday- Garry bought a freezer two weeks ago- and I am putting stuff in from the garden. If it doesn’t rain I am not sure if there will be much left to do soon. The potato bugs are chewing on the eggplant and tomato plants now- they will eat the eggplant leaves, then fruit and the stalk- right to the ground!
Garry hopes to plant a field of millet that will need some rain to make silage for the cows, they are going to plant it after they finish baling, and pray for enough rain to get it out of the ground. This week the septic system for the barn was bricked by Timor (he did the house one last year) who stayed for a couple days- Jonah got to be his assistant mixing cement and lowering it and the bricks into the hole as needed. Jonah did some bale moving work in the mow also- the puppy was able to chew on the kitten a lot this week. The kitten does not seem that smart- he starts the fights- then screams that the puppy is beating him up. Mooska has learned her lesson – she’s laying down the law while she’s bigger than this puppy.