We love the farmlands and rolling hills.
Violet helping Grandpa collect eggs from his chickens.
Katrina’s brother Jason giving Keira a ride.
Violet loved playing dress up and singing with her friend Autumn.
Micah and two friends toured the Martin Guitar Factory
Micah and I celebrated our 9th anniversary.
We got to go to a Five Iron Frenzy concert and got to meet Dennis from the band (and his daughter).
Father/son selfie. Even smiling the same!
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.
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!
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.
Lot’s of fun playgrounds and areas nearby for kids
We met up with some old family friends
Violet was really wanting her hair cut even shorter, so Mommy and her both got their hairs cut.
A lady in the village who used to work with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship), held a 5 day bible club which Violet really enjoyed.
We had a great visit with some state side co-workers
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.
For the past month or so the temperature has been anywhere from -15 C (5 F) to about 0 C (32 F). We have been told this is the perfect time for ice skating. They have lots of different areas to go to on the nearby river and branches of it. The ice is still very frozen and hard but it’s not so terribly cold out. Some days it actually feels warm compared to what it had been this winter.
So the other evening, Violet and I met up with Elisabeth to try it out.
They have a little building right by the ice where you can rent your skates if you don’t own any.
She did ok for it being her third time ever. But I’m surprised she didn’t complain of a sore butt the next day.
…this is what she calls herself.
A little while ago in a package we received from Micah’s family, were some surprises for Violet. Before Christmas she had asked for her own hammer (she wants to be like daddy). Well, she got that and more. They sent a hammer, screwdriver, nails and screws, two boards with holes for the nails and screws, tool belt, hardhat, and a few other things that go into the tool belt that every little worker girl needs. She was beyond happy.
Even Keith enjoys it too.
Well… it might have been Violet’s idea to dress him up.
A while back before Christmas, we walked down to an area of the city where they had placed large boards covering two huge snow piles, which made for some nice big sledding hills. Here are some pictures from our little outing…
Those are huge blocks of ice carved with really pretty designs all around the tree.
There she goes! Sliding is just as fun as sledding.
Reindeer! Not sure why he was there, probably relaxing before flying around with Santa.
Pony ride anyone?
Our oldest baby girl, Violet, turned 5 years old on the 23rd of January. She has grown so much in just one short year. She is a good helper, and will usually do it without complaining. She loves her brother and sister, and often pretends to be their mommy. She loves watching princess movies like Rapunzel, Snow White and the The Little Mermaid. Her she is during more of the tense moments during The Little Mermaid.
I should have gotten a picture at the end of the movie, she was very happy they were able to get married and live happily ever after. She is also getting a good imagination, it’s funny to hear the things she comes up with sometimes. She likes making up names for herself and she will pretend to be that person and come and visit me in my house.
We just had a small get together in the evening of her birthday, but she always has lots of fun whenever we have anyone over.
Keith is ready to party!
With our little princess
Her buddy Jasmine
I saw a party popper at the store when I was getting supplies, and it was a good purchase. They definitely make it feel like party! There was so much confetti that flew out of that thing!
Violet requested chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The girl has good taste.
Would you like to bake this cake too? Head over to Katrina’s Kitchen to find the recipe.
We had a very nice Christmas here at the far ends of the earth, even with it being the coldest that it has gotten so far at almost -40 C (-40 F).
This year has been really exciting for Violet, with her being a little bit older and knowing more and more, she was beyond excited about opening presents. Of course, we told her Christmas is more than just opening presents. We got a great Little People Nativity Set a few Christmases ago, and that was a great present that the kids can play and learn from. We also had a fun time watching Christmas movies this month. And like always, I’ve been taking lots of pictures of the kids.
Here are some of us opening some gifts…
And some nicer ones of the kids…
Have a Happy New Years!
Laying on the couch with cool wet cloths to help bring down the fever
Sickness is making its way through our home right now. Micah caught it somewhere, and without fail we all have been getting our own versions of it. Micah and I only had a small short fever, plus other cold symptoms. The girls haven’t been so lucky. Keira’s turn was all day yesterday with a fever and Violet has had it today. Please be thinking of them and Keith that he doesn’t get it. He hasn’t had a fever yet, just some sneezing, coughing and he’s extra tired. It’s been taking it’s time with me, which makes it hard to care for the kids and keep up the apartment. I’m thankful that Micah is able to be home and help with the kids.
This little sleeping beauty asks for her daddy when she’s sick
…our three beautiful, healthy and happy children.
…a loving husband and a fun daddy.
…helpful princesses who like to vacuum.
…silly girls who wear their sisters underpants.
…peaceful nap times.
…sisters who show love to each other.
…daily reminders of never-ending love.
Sometimes when it is really cold and mommy is really tired, I dress the girls up in their winter gear and let them play out on the enclosed balcony.
Sometimes we decide to head outdoors to get some fresh brisk air and play on the playground.
And sometimes we get to meet new friends at a nearby kids play area.
At one of our favorite playgrounds
Keith napping and keeping warm (Love using this great wool scarf made by a friend, thanks Megan R.)
I’ve been carrying Keith out to the playground in the Baby Bjorn when I take the girls out. It’s easier to help the girls while having him in the carrier. But lately it has been getting to my back and shoulders. At his last doctors appointment, he weighed in at 8.3 kilos (18 pounds)!
Broken glass is on the ground everywhere, Thankfully right now, we have snow covering it up.
Pipes, pipes everywhere
-21 C (-5 F)
The temperature is dropping lower and lower.
We are just about all set on our winter coats and boots. With temperatures getting this low lately we really need to layer our clothes and bundle up well, especially with taking the kids outside. The girls really do enjoy being outside as much as they can, even in the cold.
Violet has taken to drawing on her chalkboard a lot recently. It’s been great for practicing her letters and numbers and for drawing family members. I added the names, so you wouldn’t be confused who is who.
She told me Grandpa is the one with no hair, but I’m not sure why Grandma doesn’t have any hair either.
Happy sisters, for the moment…
The other day, Violet picked out a really cute outfit so I thought I would get a few pictures of her.
Sometimes she complies without an attitude.
This was not that day.
The first picture you can see for yourself.
But it wasn’t so bad that a few jellybeans couldn’t fix.
His smile makes my heart feel like its going to burst open, so I thought I’d share some joy with you.
These girls are always smiling
Can you handle the cuteness?
This past weekend we had a visit from some friends who lived in Moscow while we did last year. They were in England for some time while we were in the states and were heading to Saint Petersburg, but had some time to visit with us. It was so good to see them! They also have a new little boy who was born about a month before Keith.
On Friday, they came over to our place and it was nice to catch up and let the kids play together. We all went out to the playground, but it didn’t last long before we got rained on.
Four little mommies with their baby brothers
Saturday we all went to the mall together, since it was going to be a wet day again, to go ice skating which is inside the mall. My friend Anya and their oldest daughter are good at skating and have been wanting to do it for some time. Violet has only done it one other time, when we visited them over a year ago, and it didn’t go so well. You can watch here. And here is a little video if you would like to see how we did this time.
We are very thankful for the friends we have made here, they will be missed when we move in the near future to the far east.
…we are still waiting for baby boy to come. His due date is June 9th, but Keira was 10 days early, so I was kinda hoping the same thing would happen this time. The last ultrasound I had they said he was about 7.9 lbs, which is what Keira weighed when she was born. So really any day would be good, before he gets too big.
I’ll leave you with a song…
Today was Easter Пасха (pAs-ha) on our side of the world. We had a great morning with our church group. As in the states, when someone says to you Christ has risen and you reply with Christ has risen, indeed. Here we say Христос воскрес (khris-tOs) (vas-krEs), and reply with Воистину воскрес (va-Ist-in-oo) (vas-krEs)!
The day is always celebrated with traditional Easter bread called Кулич (kOO-lich). It’s usually kinda dry, but redeems itself with a nice frosting on the top.
And I had to take some pictures of our cute girls in their springy dresses, even on this rainy day.
I just pulled some size 2T clothes out for Keira, that I had kept here that Violet grew out of. They are all from when we first came to Moscow, including the pajamas that Keira is wearing in the video. I remember taking a video of Violet in those same jammies, and it brought back some happy memories.
Here it is…
One way we can tell summer is coming, is from the longer days. Right now this is what it looks like at 9 pm.
Yes, I think my kids are cute. Can you tell?
Not much has been happening here with us, just normal everyday stuff, like taking baths. And learning Russian. And going to the doctor. And making new recipes. (Interested? Let me know!) And enjoying some warmer weather.