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…
Last week, Micah’s aunt and cousin were here in Russia to see the sights and visit with us while we are here in Moscow. Here is a link to her blog. They were in St. Petersburg very briefly, as in two days, then took the train to Moscow. Micah met up with them and got them settled into their hotel. We were planning on having them stay with us, even though our apartment is quite small, it’s just more convenient and cheaper, but we had other unexpected guests…lice.
I’m not totally sure where they came from, but it. was. not. fun. Violet, Keira and I had them. A hormonal pregnant woman + lice (3 weeks before due date). Not a good combination. And add to that mix, the fact that our hot water would be shut off for the next 10 days for yearly maintenance. I knew it was coming, but it seems like everything was happening all at once! Yes, there were tears!! Thankfully, they don’t last too long.
Back to family… Micah took them all around, trying to see as much as possible in the short time they were here. One evening, I met up with them on Old Arbat Street and we ate at a Georgian restaurant. It was very yummy!
They were so thoughtful in bringing us some requested coffee and vitamins. They also brought some really cute outfits for the girls and for little baby brother too. Also, Aunt Trycia’s other son’s girlfriend handmade the girls lots and lots of hair bows. I think there is one for every occasion and holiday. We are set! I’m sure you’ll see them in future pictures. A big thank you to her for those!
Ryan left to do some more traveling and head back to California on Saturday, while Aunt Trycia came with us to a birthday party of our friend’s daughter. On Monday, she left on a tour of the Golden Ring, a few historic cities outside Moscow. More pictures to come.
We had a great Christmas with both sides of our family. Micah’s mom and brother were able to be here for Christmas this year and we also spent the time with Katrina’s family as well. We are cherishing this time together with all our family as much as possible, because before we know it, we will be headed to the ends of the earth.
We were able to be with Katrina’s family and some of Micah’s family for Thankgiving this year. Micah’s dad, step-mom and step-sister drove up to be with us for the Thanksgiving weekend, from Virginia. It was nice being able to be with them for the holiday this year and enjoy some relaxing days together. On Thanksgiving day, all of Katrina’s dad’s side of the family, the Renno’s, have a big meal together. Last year there was barely enough room for everyone in my cousins house, so this year they needed a bigger place. They ended up holding it at the church we attend in town, which has a lot more room that a normal sized house. It wasn’t homey feeling like it’s nice to have, but it was a great place to be able for everyone to sit around the table, at one time, and the kids had lots of room to run and play, inside and out. It was so nice to be in PA this year for Thanksgiving and be able to enjoy family time.
On a different note, we still have not gotten a camera… these pictures were taken by my Dad. Thanks Dad!
As soon as we got here to Micah’s mom’s house, Micah felt the need to clean up the outside of the house, trim the bushes, rake out the leaves, etc. The exact same thing happened last time we were in CA documented here. So Micah and his brother Caleb got right to work. Rachel and the girls and I mostly watched and enjoyed the nice warm weather.
This morning Keira and Laddie were getting very well acquainted.
Yesterday we went down to visit my brother and sister-in-law and meet their newest little girl. She is their 5th child and they named her Afton Grace. Violet had a fun time holding the baby and playing with all her cousins. We were very happy to meet our little niece and enjoy the day with family.
…the girls had lots of fun with their cousins.
…we went to see Micah’s dad and step-mom who are now in Virginia. So instead of needing to fly out to California to visit them we can drive down. We had a nice time visiting with them and getting to see the area where they live.
The next few were taken by Violet:
Last week, Katrina’s side of the family, took their week long biannual vacation in Amish country. We have missed going and getting to see family for the last two years, so this year it was so nice to be able to be there with everyone. We were one of the few families who stayed the whole week. Some families just come for a day or two or three. It was very relaxing and filled with lots of laughter, singing, good food and interesting conversations.
We also went to a milk farm, which is where they raise cows to milk them later on when they are grown. The kids really enjoyed walking around seeing all the cows and calves. We even arrived just in time to see a calf being born. And no, we didn’t milk any cows, but we did get to see them do that. They clean off the udders and hook them right up to the machines. I think they give tours pretty often, so if you’re interested, email us and we’ll give you the info.
My aunt and uncle recently moved into a new house, so they invited the family over to enjoy the Forth of July with them and to see their new place. We had a really fun time, especially in their pool! Violet loved playing with her cousins in the kiddie pool and the bigger pool. It was so great being around family again.
We took our first trip to Wal-mart the other day…and we were shocked. There is just soo much!! So many choices, so much junk food, so many extra large people. It was a lot to take in. One thing we bought was a kiddie pool for the girls and they are having a blast playing in it.
And of course the family is having a blast playing with the girls!
We met a Russian family not long ago and they are quickly becoming friends. They also have two girls, Sofia and Marta, who Violet loves playing with. Anya, their mom, is really nice, easy to talk with and only speaks with me in Russian, which is great for my language learning.
So lately, as in for about a week now, Keira has been sleeping through the night which is about 8-9 hours. It still doesn’t feel quite like all night yet because she goes to bed around 8ish and wakes up anywhere from 4-6 am. So waking up that early is still taking its toll on me, but I do definitely feel way better than a month ago. And she is a really good sleeper like Violet was too. I have been trying to start waking Keira up at the same time everyday to get her schedule to stay the same everyday, but that’s really hard to do when it doesn’t get light outside until around 9:30 am. Since she has been sleeping so good and basically on a schedule, I’ve started classes again too, going 3 days a week.
Keira is really such a happy baby. Her middle name, Joy, is very fitting for her right now and I hope it stays that way. 🙂 At 11 weeks, she is always smiling and is starting to laugh. She follows us with her eyes around the room. She is finally starting to wake up happy from naps. When Violet and I go in the room to get her, she always smiles at us. She used to spit up after every feeding, but that has been getting less and less. She really likes bath time, which I try to do every other night.
Violet, who will be turning 3 in January!, has been great with Keira. She loves her a lot, always wanting to hug and kiss her. She hasn’t really shown much jealousy, she just wants more love and attention from us, like we are giving the baby. She loves playing hide and seek and she is always singing a song. She usually listens really well when told not to do something, when she does decide to disobey, she has started doing extra loud fake crying. She loves playing in her room with us and anyone that comes to visit us. Her potty training has been going great. I would say she is trained completely while at home, but at night and when we go out we put a diaper on her. She usually refers to herself as “you”, like she’ll say “Help you”, or “play with you”, because we always say things like, “Do you want mommy to help you?”, so we have been trying to get her to say I and me when she is talking.
Violet talks up a storm these days, some of the cute things Violet has been saying lately…
After Micah came home from class one day, he asked her what she had been doing, with which she replied, “Playing with mommy and sister, going pee, obeying.”
She doesn’t quite know all her colors yet, but she likes to say purper and lellow. If you ask her what color something is she will mostly likely say blue first. Not sure why.
She often says, “Oh my goodness gracious!”
She loves chocolate which to her is “troklet“.
*Some days it’s hard to believe we are a family of four! We do love it and are so thankful for our beautiful and healthy girls. Thank you for checking in on us!
Early Wednesday morning Micah and the family packed their stuff into two taxis and headed to the airport and we’ve heard now that they made it home safely. It was so awesome that they were able to come and visit. I never really imagined that they would be here in Moscow with us, but it happened! They brought with them tons of goodies from the states that we can’t get or they are really expensive if we do find it here. Also they brought along 3 suitcases of clothes mostly for the baby, but some for Violet too. Family, thank you so much for everything! And we want to thank others as well who gave goodies or clothes to them to bring for us. It was such a blessing!!