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Sometime around 2012, God was impressing me that I need to develop my prayer time with Him. So I was open to various ways He might lead me into that, and one thing that I found (that has really helped) is this prayer journal.

This is my third journal. I’ve done, re-done, tried various things, and this is the current version.

Found this hardcover notebook with 5 sections of colored pages. It’s A4 size (that’s close to 8.5 x 11).

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Used this fabric that I love and some tacky glue I had on hand. Skyla held Una while I ironed, cut, measured, etc.

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Here’s the current finished version. I might add a verse to the front.

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I’ll post about the inside sometime soon, maybe…

I was straightening the kitchen, and … just all the books, open, laying around the table was starting to really annoy me. Then I thought, well, how wonderful, that they are readingreadingreading, so I’ll just be thrilled about that. And then I saw …

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one of my own books, laying open on the counter, and I thought, well, hey, surprise, surprise :)

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I had a nice time fixing breakfast today. The girls read their books, the littles played on the floor. Andre also helped me some by plopping the сырники into the frying pan.

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I’m trying to keep my windowsill stocked with fresh flowers this season– they are so lovely, and their short, beautiful lives remind me that my life is short and may it be beautiful. It’s good for the soul to accept God’s truths about life. Earlier, I wouldn’t have  wanted to really think about my life being so vaporous, but now … it’s humbling and healthy. Sweet to the soul.

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Skyla and Vika are my right and left hands. It is no literary expression, ha, ha. Raising a three year old with 6 hands/arms doing the work is like, wow. My legs don’t have to run anywhere either.

I like it.

Also wanted to say, Andre is an awesome biker!

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with Vika

We have this little Polly Pocket book that has little recipes in it, and Vika’s been wanting to make the milkshake in there, so I bought milk, ice cream, and banana. We did it together:
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Vitaliy’s birthday was last Wednesday. We were out in our village house/rehab center. I picked up some soda and sausage/hot doggie type things to fry. So they cooked them over the fire.

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Igor heated the pech (clay/brick fire stove) in the summer kitchen and made a huge pot of zharkoye (mostly potato, with some meat and carrots and onions).

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Here’s the feast:

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Then at church today they surprised him :) In the middle of the service, there is участие –like literally “taking part”– so if someone wants to say a poem or sing a song or share a praise, they can do that.

So he asked if there was any “taking part”, and suddenly, a youth guy stood right up and said, “I do!” and two others stood up and said “we do!” And then everyone stood up and sang happy birthday to him.

Then they gave him presents. A book, a box of chocolates (they read my mind! for me!), and a huge bread loaf made into a sausage sandwich (they read a guy’s mind!) And one said a poem, and they sang one of his favorite songs.

giving the huge sandwich

giving the huge sandwich

we also had Lord's Supper today

we also had Lord’s Supper today

saying a poem

saying a poem

today, we also, incidentally, had a “представление”—  a presentation of a couple announcing their engagement. (Vitaliy’s doing the premarital counseling, so I knew about this in advance–usually it’s a surprise for me, too!)

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Mixed the batter, let it rise twice, during the day and through the night. Baked early this morning. I used a cultures for health recipe. I love kneading.

I was surprised to learn that sourdough bread is only water and flour with a little salt.

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