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Has it really been 8 months since I last posted?  Wow, I am very sorry.  This mom of 4 business is keeping me pretty busy and when I do get a minute of quiet, I don’t think about updating the blog.  Facebook has taken over.  It’s easy to add pictures.  But for all you non-Facebook-ers, I must tell you… just get it already! Haha, just kidding. Maybe.

Micah led a team of young people overseas for a month this summer.  They were able to see how our workers there function and get an idea of what life is like in another country. We of course missed him very much when he was gone. But I was able to have some family members come at different times and definitely helped.

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We are now getting back into the school routine.  Violet is in 2nd grade and Keira just started pre-k.  And they are really enjoying it so far.  We are so blessed and thankful for the school they attend.

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With the girls at school, I get to spend more time with my little boy.  Keith has really been talking a lot lately.  He loves playing with his trucks and doing what daddy does.

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Our little Leah just turned one year old about a week ago now.  Looking back at her first year, this time has just flown by. I think I say that with every kid. But it’s so stinkin’ true. This little girl is quite the monkey.  She is not walking yet, but she likes to stand on everything!

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This girl is always on the move! She really keeps me on my toes.

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Right now she has 6 teeth, and does a pretty good job eating whatever is put in front of her.  She loves her siblings and they do a great job playing with her.  Violet is a great little helper and I’m looking forward to when she can start babysitting!

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She is such an easy, happy baby. We are so blessed!

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Time for some birthday cake!

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Happy birthday Leah!

 


Little Leah and a song

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Our baby girl is four months old! After we returned from Pennsylvania during Christmas break, Leah decided it was time to roll over from her back to her tummy. She loves to use her strong little legs to stand up while someone is holding her. All our babies have been very happy, but Leah seems to be the happiest of them all! She smiles and giggles at her sisters and brother when they talk to her and say her name.  Leah is sleeping all night long from 8 pm to 8 am. She is even content to lay for a minute in the morning before I feed her while I make myself a cup of coffee.  She is drooling all the time and usually has a finger or two or three in her mouth. We couldn’t be happier to have this sweet bundle of joy in our lives.

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Here is a little video of her giggling at mommy before bedtime…

Also the girls sang with Micah at church…


We are blessed

 

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Isn’t she just precious?

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Those cute little hands.

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And tiny little toes.

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;…”

Leah is one of the many blessings we are thankful for.


Leah Hope

Six weeks ago we welcomed the newest member of our family, Leah Hope.

She was born on August 31st at 7:17 in the morning.  She weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

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The kids are all doing great with baby Leah.  They all love to hold her and they always give her lots of kisses.

This was by far the best hospital experience for giving birth of all of the kids.  The hospital staff was super friendly and made sure everything was being done according to how I wanted it even though I didn’t have specific plans except wanting to have a healthy baby. After having the last two kids in Russia, I definitely felt spoiled.  Understanding exactly every word the nurses and doctors were saying to me this time around was something I was very thankful for.  And the nurses seemed like they genuinely cared.  They weren’t cold and unwilling to show some tenderness.

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We were happy to have Katrina’s parents and sister come down to help out a few weeks after her birth.  They were such a big help with cooking, watching the kids so I could nap, doing odd jobs around the house and probably some other things I don’t remember since I was so sleepy during that time.  🙂

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Thanks Mom, Dad and Rachel!

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Leah at five weeks old starting to smile!


Latest Happenings

Hi Friends!

Anyone still checking this blog? It’s been almost two months since I’ve posted an update, yikes.

But, as usual, we are super busy with life and ministry!

Katrina is just a couple weeks away from her due date of August 31. She is doing well, but is definitely ready for this baby to arrive!

Less than a month to go!

Less than a month to go!

Our ministry with the org is busy as well. Micah took recently took a trip up to Boone, NC to attend a contingency conference. It was about safety on the mission field. Micah is the contingency coordinator for the org, so it’s important for him to stay up the with the latest practices.

A simulated military checkpoint. How you get pass when they want a bribe?

A simulated military checkpoint. How you pass when they want a bribe?

The planning for our “Exchange” internship is in full-swing as well. You can check out http://www.exchangeyourworld.com for more details.

We also had a recent visit from Micah’s dad and step-mom. It was their first visit since Thanksgiving so it was great to have them and show them around the area again. Here’s a couple pics from that weekend.

During the parade, so many beads!

During the parade, so many beads!

We went sailing!

We went sailing!

4th of July parade

4th of July parade

Micah’s mom also just came for a visit, and that allowed us to get away for a night to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It isn’t actually until August 13th, but we took advantage of her babysitting skills, and figured the 13th would be too close to the baby coming.

The happy couple

The happy couple

The obligatory tea party

The obligatory tea party

I’ll wrap it up after that happy note. Thanks for checking out our blog!


A New Post! Wow!

Hi Friends,

For those of you who have been following our blog faithfully for the last 6 years, we apologize for not posting as often as we used to.  Since re-joining Facebook, we have posted updates about our life on there more, and less on this blog. But we do want to keep this blog active, so we will try to update it at least once a month.

Here’s a quick ministry update:

Since coming back to the USA last year, I (Micah) have stepped into a couple new roles with the mission that get’s me pretty excited. First, is the cool opportunity to challenge young couples & college students to serve overseas and second is to be involved in training new workers.

The pictures below are of us serving in both those roles. The first is of an event we had a couple weeks ago called “Global Impact” where we had a number of young couples and college students who are very serious about serving overseas come learn more about our org.

The second picture is of me visiting a local cross-cultural school that specializes in teaching sustainable agriculture. We may partner with this school in the future to better equip some of our workers who are doing agriculture projects in Asia.

Thanks for checking out our blog!

Global Impact Event

Global Impact Event

Visit to the H.E.A.R.T. Institute.

Visit to the H.E.A.R.T. Institute.


Back to the Motherland!

Hi Friends,

Sometimes people have jokingly said to me, “How is Mother Russia?” or “You’re going back to the Motherland!” But in reality, Russia is my distant homeland. My family immigrated to the US in the early 1900’s with roots from Russia & Ukraine, so I feel like a part of me is going back “home”. I was blessed to visit Moscow for about 10 days, it was a time of worship, fellowship, teaching & encouragement. Here are some pictures…

 

Field Conference

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Worshipping at our church

Visiting our old fellowship

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Fun in the metro!

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Catherine the Great’s ballroom

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The oldest mall in Moscow – ГУМ – Goom

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Visited our old apartment building

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So good to see old friends!

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With my old friend & language helper – Andrei. I miss that guy!

 

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Traveling…

Hi Friends!

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve updated the blog. As we’ve settled into life & ministry in Florida, we haven’t carved out time to keep the blog updated like we have in the past.

Part of Micah’s new ministry responsibilities demand that he travel a little bit more. In the last month he has traveled to Virginia, Pennsylvania & California and he is headed to Russia at the end of the month! Would you be in prayer for his travels? As well as Katrina & the kids while he is away?

We are thankful for you! Thanks for checking our our blog, here are some pictures of Micah’s recent travels.

Manning the GSI table @ Liberty U.

Manning the GSI table @ Liberty U.

Enjoying free iced coffee from Chick Fil A.

Enjoying free iced coffee from Chick Fil A.

The girls waiting for our bags in Pennsylvania

The girls waiting for our bags in Pennsylvania

Getting some sledding in with Violet.

Getting some sledding in with Violet.

Attending the Shepherd's conference in California

Attending the Shepherd’s conference in California

Have to see the beach while in CA!

Have to see the beach while in CA!


Violet’s Birthday

Our baby girl turned 6 years old on Friday.  While she was riding her new bike outside today, she said, “I love to laugh and smile.” And she does.  She loves being tickled! It’s basically the only game she wants to play with mommy or daddy. Some kind of running around and when she gets caught she needs to be tickled.  She loves telling her sister what to do and doesn’t like it when her sister doesn’t listen. She is a very take-charge kind of girl. Violet does love her siblings and really does help me out when I need an extra hand. I love that she asks questions, about everything.  She has been enjoying homeschooling, most days. She really loves knowing she is beginning to read, but doesn’t exactly enjoy the process. Violet loves dressing up and doing lots of girly things, like painting her nails or wanting to put on mommy’s makeup. She has grown a lot this year and we just love her to pieces.

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Princesses

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Create a Snowman with Toilet Paper game

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They did a great job!

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Presents!

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Happy New Year!

Hi Friends,

We hope you had a great Christmas & New Year! We’re back in Florida after being up in PA for about two weeks. Although we had a great time up north with family, we are very glad to be back. One phrase that has been repeated lately in our family is “Good to see you come, good to see you go!” We love our family, but there is a lot of work to be done with GSI, so we were glad to get back. We have a pretty busy schedule this year with trips planned in the US and overseas, a “pre-field orientation conference” that Micah is contributing to, and an important GSI fundraising dinner. And that’s just in the first couple months! 🙂

We’ve also plugged into a local church, with Micah taking the reigns of the music ministry & Katrina and the kids getting involved in AWANA. Our church is passionate about reaching unreached people groups in restricted countries, so we’re excited to get involved there and be a part of their vision.

We’d ask for your prayers as we get involved with all these things. We are thanking the Lord for good health & and the comfortable house that we’re renting. We wish you a happy & productive 2015! Thanks for checking out our blog! Here are a couple pictures of the latest happenings…

Our Florida Winter

Our Florida Winter

It's never to early to start learning guitar!

It’s never to early to start learning guitar!

A regular sight here in Florida - the orange truck!

A regular sight here in Florida – the orange truck!

Keith likes to draw this way.

Keith likes to draw this way.

Our office finally got a sign!

Our office finally got a sign!

We had dinner with a good friend, it was so good to catch up with her!

We had dinner with a good friend that was with us in Russia, it was so good to catch up with her!

Micah is glad to be leading worship again!

Micah is glad to be leading worship again!


Christmas in Pennsylvania

It’s been so nice to be with family for Christmas and now soon for New Years.  The kids have loved spending time with their cousins. It is really interesting to see their personalities come out with so many kids around. Violet is quite the little miss bossy girl and Keira was just following the other three girls around, wanting to be included in everything! And well, Keith is just his normal active self.

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Mom and Dad’s old farmhouse is definitely crowded with this many kids running around.

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Grandma and Grandpa with their nine grandkids

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Grammy and her grandkids

This time of the year it seems everyone catches a cold or flu or something.  Well, Keith started up with something over the weekend.  He was wheezing really bad and coughing.  And when he coughed the poor thing would cry and get all worked up and he really seemed to have a hard time to catch his breath. He was getting worse and not better, so my mom and I ended up taking him into the ER Monday night around 8 pm.  We had to wait about 3 hours to finally go back and see the doctor.  It was just a little busy there that night.  They ended up giving him breathing treatments 3 different times. They didn’t like the way his chest sounded so they also took some chest x-rays to make sure he didn’t have any kind of bacterial pneumonia. Thankfully, they didn’t find anything.  They said he had parainfluenza and rhinovirus with some croup as well.  They finally gave him a steroid shot in the leg to help loosen everything up and clear it out.  We went home around 2 am. Poor guy only had a little nap earlier in the waiting room, so he conked out right away on the drive home.

Thankfully today he already sounds better, not much wheezing at all.  Still some coughing and crying.  But I’m thankful we did go to make sure it wasn’t something more serious and he was able to get some kind of treatment that we couldn’t give him at home.  The nurses and doctors all did a great job! Thankful for the ER staff at Geisinger in Danville.


A way to help

Hi Friends,

As you’ve probably noticed over the years, we don’t often post about the ministry we are involved in. It’s mostly about our kids & life in Russia (now Florida). But, today we want to share with you about an important project that Micah has been working on.

One of the new ministry jobs Micah has is becoming familiar with all the business & community development projects that our workers are involved in in Asia. There is a great project going on now in North Asia with homeless, deaf street kids. The workers there are providing them with basic needs like food, clothing & education, as well as sharing the gospel and loving them like Christ would. Some great stuff is going on, but they are in desperate need of funds to keep it going. Micah has written a crowdfunding campaign through indiegogo. Go check it out and please donate if you are able!

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Thanks for checking out our blog!


Keira Turns Three

Our little Keira Joy turned three years old at the end of September and I’ve been too busy to share it with everyone. We had a nice family time for her in California and then again in Pennsylvania.

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15 Questions with Keira – Age 3

1. What is your favorite color? Blue

2. What is your favorite toy? Anna (figurine from Frozen)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Banana

4. What is your favorite movie? Frozen

5. What is your favorite meal? Pizza

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6. What is your favorite snack? Crackers

7. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Oatmeal

8. What is your favorite drink? Apple juice

9. What is your favorite song? This is the Day (In Russian)

10. What is your favorite book? Tinker Bell

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11. Who is your best friend? Jasmine

12. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play ball

13. What is your favorite animal? Lion

14. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Olaf (Stuffed toy from Frozen)

15. What do you want to be when you grow up? Violet

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This girl is such a little firecracker.

She definitely likes to push things to the limit to see how far she can take it.

She has the cutest little laugh, especially when being tickled.

Keira is very good at saying thank you.

She loves both her siblings, but acts like a little mommy with her baby brother.

This girl has a very close relationship with her thumb.

She is really funny!

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We love you Keira Joy!


Missouri

What a great time we had in Missouri! The last time we visited was about 4 years ago. So it was long overdue for us to visit friends there. It was a real blast from the blast bringing back all the memories we had from our time at the training center. We had a great time with lots of friends who I didn’t get pictures of.  But you know who you are and we loved spending time with you.

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Dave and Carolyn Meyers are some great people and mentors we have known since Bible school and we were able to spent some time catching up with them.

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Keith playing with Superman aka Brian

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Did you know Batman drinks from a sippy cup?

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We ended up buying a van! It was a great deal from some great people!

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Since we bought a van in Missouri, we were able to get our ticket money credited and not lose our money, so we could drive it back to PA to pack up before we head to Florida.  Micah and I both have aunts in Ohio, but we haven’t seen his for quite some time. We drove 11 hours in one day to get there and visit with his aunt and cousin and also her children for the evening. The next day we had just a short 5 hours to get back here to Pennsylvania.


California

We have had a very busy couple of weeks. The beginning of September we flew out to California to stay with Micah’s mom and visit friends in that area.  We only had two short weeks to see everyone, and we didn’t even get everyone in. We did love our time with all the great people we hung out with. And the kids loved playing with “new” friends they hadn’t seen in a long time.

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Micah’s mom’s house

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Micah changing his mom’s faucet

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Violet doing some Kindergarten work

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At the Santa Barbara Zoo

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A train that goes around the zoo

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Violet and Ella

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Keith with Grammy’s dog

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Violet and Keira with Levi

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Tinkerbell and Jasmine

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A gorgeous west coast sunset

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Violet and Layla

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Movie time with our friends Dave and Katie’s kids, obviously Caleb is very excited about it

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The girls had a great time playing with Grammy


Pennsylvania

kaboodle houseKatrina’s parents house where she grew up. They’ve lived in that house since they got married, 40 years ago.

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We love the farmlands and rolling hills.

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Violet helping Grandpa collect eggs from his chickens.

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Katrina’s brother Jason giving Keira a ride.

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Violet loved playing dress up and singing with her friend Autumn.

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Micah and two friends toured the Martin Guitar Factory

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Micah and I celebrated our 9th anniversary.

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We got to go to a Five Iron Frenzy concert and got to meet Dennis from the band (and his daughter).

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Father/son selfie. Even smiling the same!

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The kids loved playing with Grandma and Grandpa, especially when Grandpa climbed up in the playhouse, and they loved getting lots of pushes on their swing set.

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Dinner outside with family and friends.

Right now we are in California visiting family, friends, supporters & churches. In a couple weeks we’re headed to Missouri to do the same, then back to PA before we make our move down to Florida to start our next chapter of ministry. Thanks for checking out our blog!

 


Home Sweet Home

Its good to be back in PA! We have been catching up with friends & churches and the kids are enjoying playing on the farm with Grandpa and Grandma. Here are a couple pics of our time here in PA. California & Missouri: See you next month!

A tractor ride from Grandpa!

A tractor ride from Grandpa!

Eight grandkids!

Eight grandkids!


Happenings

We’ve been getting to know more people who live here in this village we’ve been living in. Violet said she has lots of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s now.

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Lot’s of fun playgrounds and areas nearby for kids

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We met up with some old family friends

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Violet was really wanting her hair cut even shorter, so Mommy and her both got their hairs cut.

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A lady in the village who used to work with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship), held a 5 day bible club which Violet really enjoyed.

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We had a great visit with some state side co-workers

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Summer fun

We have been keeping ourselves very busy lately. Violet got her hair cut. We finally got to the beach. And we had some fourth of July bubble fun.

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Out in the sunshine

Even though it is incredibly hot and humid here, we have been out and about a lot. There are a few ponds here, which people do some fishing in. And a maintenance guy spotted an alligator last week. I really want to see one, but at a distance. I thought Florida was crawling with them, but we have yet to spot one. Don’t worry, moms, the guys said they take them out when they get too big.

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Transition

The last couple weeks have been a time of transition for us. We’ve traveled thousands of miles over land and sea, changed continents, endured three flights with three tired children, ending up in western Florida. We will spend the next month looking to the Lord as we move into another ministry. We’d appreciate your prayers as we look ahead to what’s next.

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Saying goodbye

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We were in Moscow for a few days to say goodbye to friends there. (Moscow State University pictured above)

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Thanks Deana for letting us stay with you!

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We are relaxing in a quiet beautiful little community

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With lots of critters

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And wildlife

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The girls picking fruit from the tree in the backyard


Birthday Boy

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Yes, everyone says this, but it continues to amaze me how much growth takes place the first year of a baby’s life.

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Keith loves lots of attention and he really loves playing with his sisters.

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He hasn’t been very vocal the last month, but in the last few days he has been trying out some new sounds.

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We had a little gathering with a few of our friends to share some cake and the special day with Keith.

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He wasn’t too sure of what to do with that cake. He did seem to like it at first, but then not so much.

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We love our little Keith, and it has been such a joy to be his mommy.

I love when the girls tell me, “Mommy, Keith is just so cute!” I couldn’t agree more. We love him to pieces.

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Long days

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This picture was taken at 1:30 AM. The days here have gotten very long with it staying light out very late and getting light again very early. The official time the sun sets right now is at 10:50 pm, but it will continue to get later slowly until the longest day which is June 21. The sunset time will be 11:16 pm and then will rise again at 3:30 am.

Info taken from timeanddate.com


the park

 Not far from us there is a really small amusement park which connects to a foresty area. We’ve been having some great weather here lately in the high 60’s to low 70’s, the perfect time to take the kids.

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Bumped into some acquaintances

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Keith’s first taste of ice cream!

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Yeah, they let her drive a boat by herself. She did good even though she looks frightened here.

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And we met up with some friends from our Sunday group

A fun day!