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…
So I’ve heard about the cold weather a lot of people in the States are having, but I have to say that I don’t really feel much sympathy. Last week, I thought -40 C (-40 F) was cold, but of course there is always colder. Like yesterday. It was cold. Stinkin’ cold.
Lots of fog at this temperature, you can see a little below.
Violet and I on a short walk to the grocery store a little while ago when it was a few degrees higher.
My hands were out of my mittens just briefly to take the picture.
Right now, it is winter break for most people from work and school and that includes us from classes at the university. In Russia, New Years is THE holiday. So from Jan 1-10 or so, most people have vacation. New Years Eve I got so sick with some awful bug, I was not going anywhere. I had already made food for that night, so Micah and the girls went over to our friends who live nearby. They ate lots of food, some new interesting things like cow tongue, cooked horse meat in different dishes, frozen thinly sliced raw horse meat, and baked thinly sliced horse intestines. When I was finally up to eating two days later, I tried some leftovers Micah had brought home. The cow tongue wasn’t so bad, and I’ve had that other places, they served that to me in the hospital after I had Keith in Moscow. Cooked horse meat tastes good and similar to beef. But, the intestines, for me that was a bad idea. I took one bite and the only thing I can say to describe that taste was to have you think of a farm. Think of the way it smells. That is exactly what it tasted like. I’m not feeling great thinking about it. Ha! I just hope I don’t get that offered to me anytime soon. I’m not sure if my stomach will be able to handle it.
Micah and the girls came home after a couple of hours of being at our friends place, then at midnight we watched the pre-recorded bells toll at the Kremlin on TV. After that, people everywhere here were setting off lots and lots of fireworks. Not just the little measly ones either, but pretty big ones. And when they go off right in front of your apartment windows, they are loud. But the girls loved it.
So now with less than a week left in our “vacation”, we are enjoying some down time as a family and spending time with our newly made friends before we get busy again.
In the morning we celebrated Christmas as a family, read a great story, then we opened up a few presents. Violet had been waiting and waiting! We had been getting packages in the mail, and if there were things for Christmas we kept telling her that she needed to wait. She is doing very well learning patience.
In the evening were invited by our co-workers to join them for a roasted lamb dinner, and it was some of the best lamb we’ve ever had, it was awesome! Afterwards we sang some Christmas songs, even Violet sang. I’m so glad we have been singing them with her, she really enjoyed singing with everyone.
On Tuesday, Micah’s mom arrived for a short visit to see the girls and enjoy some family time for Christmas. So we had another Christmas day on Thursday. Violet was so happy to see Grammy, and of course open more presents. 🙂
On Friday, Micah took his mom to see inside the Kremlin, which she has missed the first time she was here. Inside the walls there are many cathedrals and palaces, you can read more about it here.
Saturday evening, we were invited to a New Years Eve dinner/party with Russian friends of ours and their family. This is a very good thing to be invited to, because New Years is the biggest holiday of the year. They usually celebrate by getting together with friends and family and eat lots of traditional Russian dishes. So around 9 pm we all bundled up and headed out in the cold for the party. We had a great time eating and practicing our Russian and at midnight the president gave his short speech on tv to give his wishes to everyone for the new year. Afterwards the clock tower rang 12 times followed by smooches of the couples who were there and then the fireworks began. And they continued on and off sporadically until after we got home around 4 am. BTW, Violet stayed up the whole time until we got into the car and then she was out! She was really good the whole time and they all enjoyed having her there too.
We wish you all a happy and healthy new year!