Friday, September 18, 2015

Daniel turns 16!

I can't believe it's been 16 years!

Daniel started his day off with a run.  When he left the house at 7:00 a.m., the rest of us worked quickly to put up some festive decorations and get a yummy breakfast cookin'.  
Daniel and his Powerade tower
After breakfast we rode the bus out to Mega Green - a large mall on the south end of Orel.  Our first stop was bowling.  We were all proud of Daniel when he won.  
Celebrating at Mega Green

Daniel did not get a shiny new car for his 16th birthday.....but we did take him driving. :) 
 My Daniel absolutely loves coffee!  When we got home from the mall I made Daniel a special birthday coffee. 

homemade iced coffee for the birthday boy

The birthday boy chose a delicious broccoli/chicken pasta for dinner.  I added some hot peppers (because we like spicy food).  

Daniel's birthday dinner

 After dinner Daniel opened presents, cards, and received birthday phone calls.  Since Daniel likes basketball, he chose to watch Hoovey  - a basketball movie, based on a true story.
the birthday boy
Let's not forget about dessert!
Daniel requested I make a cherry pie.  The kids had picked the cherries earlier in the summer from the cherry trees at the church property.  I had them bagged up in the freezer for this special occasion.  The pie filling was slightly tart sandwiched between two delicious flaky crusts.  Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream was a perfect touch. 

cherry pie

Since 16 is an extra special birthday, we decided that his birthday celebration would not end when he went to bed.  Each morning for 16 days, Daniel received a special treat from us and we presented him with a card that had come in the mail.  Many friends and family joined us in making Daniel's 16th birthday special.

birthday cards
 Those 16 years went by quickly.  It seems like just yesterday I was gently rocking my first-born in my arms.  Now he is a handsome young man that is 6-8 inches taller than me.  There has been a lot of growing, learning, and maturing over the years.  You know, changes that come with growing up.  One thing that has not changed - not even a little - is my love for him.    

Daniel - 16 years old

 Happy Birthday, Daniel!!!

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Monday, August 24, 2015

A quick trip!

This morning Ron, Andrew, and Sarah left for a quick trip back to Estonia.  They were picked up by taxi at 7:00 a.m. because the train to Moscow left at 8:00 a.m.  Once in Moscow, they will ride the Metro to another train that will get them to the airport.  Then this evening (about 6:30) they make the hour and a half flight to Tallinn where they will be picked up by the Smiths.

the happy travelers
Shortly before we left for Russia we turned in our required documents to renew our residency in Estonia.  We have been approved for 2 more years!  So Ron will be picking up our new ID cards.

Andrew and Sarah went because they both have to see the orthodontist.  It's been 10 weeks since their last appointment and we were advised not to stretch it out longer than that.

Please pray for their safety as they travel today and return on Thursday, August 27th.  Also, I would really appreciate your prayers for the other kids and myself as we remain in Orel. 

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

What's been going on?

Life is busy, isn't it?  Trying to balance family time, time with my hubby, school time, and all the other things life brings gets challenging. 
This blog is very special to our family so I try to find time to write about our life - the adventures, the struggles, the special times, blessings, prayer requests, etc.  Our life isn't always exciting to other people, but it's the life God has given us. 

*Since I am so far behind, I will be going back and forth between what is going on now and catching up on what has happened.  

Some of you may know, while others do not, that we are in Orel, Russia right now.  We were contacted by  fellow missionaries that needed someone to cover their ministry while they took a furlough.  After prayer and counsel, we agreed.  

In Tallinn, Estonia ready to fly to Moscow.
Orel, Russia

Life is different here than Estonia - although it's hard to explain what those differences are.  Many memories have been stirred of our time in Krasnoyarsk, Russia (2003-2008).  While many things are the same, much has changed over the years.

"Santa Bean" coffee shop
A H.U.G.E. change for our family is not having a car.  It didn't take long at all to learn the bus system - we can get all over town quite easily now.  Grocery shopping has been our biggest challenge.  But we've even got a system figured out for that now too. 

public transportation - bus

public transportation - tram/street car

The group of believers here are such sweet people.  They have remained faithful to the services.  We will miss them when we go back to Estonia this Fall.

June 28, 2015 ~ our first Sunday in Orel, Russia
So, now you know where we are and what we have been up to the past couple of months.  There is so much more to write about.  Stay tuned....
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