Life, Kids, Sun

Out of Moscow

Our last outing

The last outing we took, we went to go see another beautiful church and along the way we saw some other interesting buildings and monuments.


Statue of Lenin


This was not photo-shopped, this building was that bright orange in person


St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral




Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev


Monument to Taras Shevchenko


Pretty flowers surrounding the last monument pictured



We found a really big playground, the girls had a blast playing




Sitting with the babushka before going back to the apartment.

Please be thinking of us as we leave Kiev soon and make our journey out to Siberia.  Our next post will be coming to you from the ends of the earth.

Hello sun

Last week there was finally some sunshine and warmer temperatures. So we went out to enjoy it while it lasted.


A nice view of the monument to Prince Vladimir the Great from Vladimirskaya Gorka Park


Another great view of the other side of the city across the river from the park


Monument to Prince Vladimir the Great






Keith enjoying the sunshine too


View of the People’s Friendship Arch from the Park


Pit stop for some juice on the walk over to see the arch



Who wants to ride the Matrix?  There were a few amusement type rides around the arch


More great views


My handsome hubby



We found a yummy ice cream stand on the way back


The first weekend we were here and this past weekend the main street here in the center of town has been closed off and there is some sort of event going on.






Walked up on this choir singing


Some of the buildings and monuments in Independence Square





Monument to Berehynia







Walking the Descent

There are so many old church buildings here to go and see. They are really so large and beautiful. I’ve been adding links back to Wikipedia, so if you’re interested on reading more about them, click on their names. This next one, St. Andrew’s, was on a cobblestone road called Andrew’s Descent which is on a very windy steep hill. All along the road are merchants selling paintings, souvenirs and other random items.


St. Andrew’s Church


Part of Andrew’s Descent




Coffee is really popular here and can be found everywhere, including the back of this guy’s truck


Monument to Grigory Skovoroda

Lots to see

Thursday we walked up the street from us to see St. Sophia’s Cathedral and in the square in front of the cathedral were all these chickens. Not sure why. There weren’t any signs describing anything. So we took some pictures with them.  Why not?  Who doesn’t like a colorful chicken?




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The Bell Tower outside of St. Sophia’s Cathedral


The cathedral


The Metropolitan’s Residence


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This picture and the following one taken by Violet


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Back (or front) of the cathedral


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Then we walked down the street further and saw this really impressive building

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We also saw this piano asking to be played

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Silly Violet posing with the piano


Down the street further we saw The Golden Gate


Baron’s Castle


Monday’s Adventure

Even though it has been quite cool here since we arrived, we went exploring around the city a little bit.  We have been going out everyday actually, because when you are in a small apartment with three kids it is very beneficial for everyone’s health and wellness to go outside and walk around.

Here’s what we saw:



We saw this on the wall inside of a restaurant called The Borsch Restaurant


The Statues of Princess Olha, Apostle Andriy, St. Cyril, and St. Methodius


St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery






View across St. Michael’s Square looking at St. Sophia’s Cathedral


The Kiev Funicular


The Dnieper River


People’s Friendship Arch


collagearizonabbqArizona BBQ Restaraunt

Micah found this place online and it was worth the walk to get there

IMG_0049They have a kids room with lots of toys and a little play house.  The girls loved it.



The food was really good


Happy boys with full bellies

*Click on the photos to make them larger

Moving around

This past week we had to say good bye to lots of our friends here in Moscow before our move out to Siberia.  We will miss all of our friends and we encouraged them all to come visit us.

Yesterday morning a “moving” truck came and took most of our belongings to be shipped out to Siberia.

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Spending time with friends and saying goodbyes before we leave




This morning we woke up bright and early at 5 am to head to the airport to catch a mid-morning flight.  Thanks to our friend Ruvim for driving us there, everything went really well (except for Keira getting car sick on the way to the airport).  But we made it there in time and the kids did well on the short 1.5 hour flight to Ukraine.

We will be in Kiev, Ukraine until we get our visas to be able to return into Russia.  We decided, instead of staying in a hotel that would cost a lot of money, to rent an apartment for a reasonable price.  We found a great place on that is right in the center of town. When we aren’t busy dealing with visa stuff, we plan on walking around and enjoying the city.

Here is our view from the balcony of the center of town


Stay tuned for updates and more pics of the city.


Now that we are starting to get settled here in Pa with Katrina’s family, we’d like to show you a little bit of what we were up to last week. Our organization held a conference in Germany during that time which was very enjoyable and relaxing! We left feeling motivated and encouraged to continue on with the work that we are doing in Russia.

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Dacha in the summertime

This past weekend was a holiday here, Russia Day, so we were invited to our friends dacha with a few other couples as well.  Read here and here about going to a dacha before. We met another family at the train station in the morning, rode the train about an hour to the dacha and then the family who invited us picked us up at the station. We had a fun day of eating, talking, sweating it out in the banya (even the girls did for a little bit!), taking a walk, and playing in the grass. We weren’t sure if we wanted to go at first because we have a lot of work that needs to be done before we leave here, but it was a very nice and relaxing time.

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Music Festival

Hi Friends!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to be involved in a music festival outside of Moscow. There were about 10 different groups of musicians, ranging from full bands to soloists singing with a music track or a guitar. We were able to play two numbers and we were well received by the crowd. The highlight for me was that I was able to play a baby grand piano, something I haven’t done in years! It was a great time, here are some pictures from the day.

That’s me on the piano

Picture of the surrounding area

The Frozen North East, part four

We have come to the last post about our Siberian trip. We hope you have enjoyed looking at the pictures and seeing some of the things we did while we were there. However, these pictures only scratch the surface! There is so much more we can tell you about the land of ice sculptures, mammoths and frozen rivers. So don’t worry, when we move there next year there will be many more posts about the frozen north east.

Thanks for checking out our blog!


Micah's saying that he loves doing the dishes 🙂

We had a fun time bowling

Keira missed the fun

Helping Violet

Headed back to Moscow

Ice inside the plane

Frost covered airplane windows

The Frozen North East, part three

We visited an area called the Old City, located near the center of town, which was reconstructed in the architectural style of the 19th century. Most of the wooden houses are newly built copies of half destroyed, burnt, or dismantled ones.

A restored church in the background

Wooden billets on the streets

What the old houses looked like

Other side of the house

Door into the house

Many little shops in this building

Inside the building

Picture of the real old city back in the day

In one of the jewelry stores, a mammoth tusk

The frozen river, which they drive over during the winter months

The Frozen North East, part two

We were able to go to a concert while we were there, with a mix of local folk music, Russian and even two American songs.

Edward, the main man

Keira was enjoying the music as well



There was even a little dancing too!

Anton teaching German

Violet playing the piano like her daddy

Keira sitting like a big girl already

Viki and Judy

We had lots of fun playing games

The Frozen North East, part one

We just returned from visiting co-workers to get an idea of the people they are working with and they way they go about life. We also wanted to see the city for ourselves as we might be moving there in the not too distant future.

Getting to know each other - many good conversations around this table

Jasmine and Violet

Bus stop and small convenience store

Some buses were smaller and older

Near the center of town

One of the many outside ice skating areas

Jasmine and Violet had tons of fun going down this icy hill

Micah really enjoyed their piano and the girls had fun dancing along


One of the streets closer to the downtown

Older wooden apartment buildings

Apartments built on concrete piles because of the continuous permafrost

Some guys cleaning snow off the top of the building

Siberian Trip Pt. 5

Hi Friends!

Keira hasn’t changed much in the last week so I thought I would post about my Siberian survey trip again. =)
I had the privilege of spending the night in a village that my co-workers have worked in, here are some pictures from that trip.

The last 15 minutes of the drive was on a dirt road that was shared with sheep.

Village of Shambalik

School where my friends taught English

Where I spent the night, Sayid's house.


Sayid makes saddles and is also a musician

The local tea - salty and milky.

We went to the well to fill up their water canister

The first well was dry

The second well worked

Sayid playing the Igil

Can you guess what kind of meat we had for dinner??

Sayid's kids playing - the boy is pretending to be a horse

Walking out to the plane to head back to Moscow

Well, thats about it. It was a great trip! Soon I will put some videos up as well, thanks for checking out our blog.

Siberian Trip Pt. 4

Hi Friends!

The next set of pictures are of when we went to the river to have a barbecue. We planned on having a nice, relaxing afternoon at the river but I ended up seeing what a party usually looks like in this area. Some policemen arrived to celebrate a promotion and that involved the slaughtering of a sheep, they ended up eating the whole sheep, I mean everything! I will spare you the more gory pictures, lets just say it was a very interesting afternoon!

Hudson likes to drive from time to time

Getting ready...

This was our barbecue, delicious!

They boiled the sheep in a big pot, look at all that yummy stuff! =/

This was my bowl of assorted sheep parts. Not so delicious =(

The van broke down as we were about to leave...

It was an interesting day! More to come later…

Siberian Trip Pt. 3

Hi Friends!

Here are some more pictures of my time out west.

A Shamanistic holy place

The great shepherd who overlooks the plain. Sheep are a big part of their culture.

My friends took me to “Beaver Springs” where the water is supposed to cure all kinds of ailments incluing infertility. I drank from them all just to be safe. =)

Beaver Springs

It tasted like water!

Ancient Stones

Another Shamanistic holy place.

More to come!

Siberian Trip Pt. 2

Hi Friends!

The first week I stayed with my friends David & Erin. They were great hosts, they showed me all around the city, made delicious food and explained many aspects of the local culture.

Our main method of transportation, aren't you jealous?

Their boys, Josiah & Hudson

A yurt

A Buddhist prayer wheel

We stopped by the workshop of a local celebrity. His name is Kongar-ol and he is an accomplished local musician known especially for his throat singing. He has even traveled to the US and performed on David Letterman!

Kongar-ol is playing the Chanzy

The Yenisei River

A Tibetan Mantra written in stones

More to come later!

Siberian Trip Pt. 1

Hi Friends!

I just got back from a two week trip to Siberia. I went to visit one of the locations that our organization works in and get an idea of what life is like there. The first part of my trip was a 3 day, 4 night train ride. It was long and boring. I filled my time with sleeping, reading, talking with the people around me and I watched a couple tv shows. The most interesting parts were when the train stopped for longer than five minutes and we were able to get out and walk around a little bit.

Platzkart - the cheapest way to ride!

My bunk for 4 nights, Uncomfortable. My feet were in the aisle and people kept bumping into them.

One of the many stops

We arrived at the the final stop at six in the morning on Sunday. From there we took a taxi for 5 hours and finally arrived at our destination. Here are some pictures from that part of the trip.

That’s all for now, check back later for part two!