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Archive for June, 2014

I just figured out that the huge tree in front of our house is mulberries! I, in my ignorance of berries, assumed it was blackberries! *bag over head*

So, I found this site’s post that has tons of awesome ideas for mulberries– think I’ll be trying the mulberry pancakes and muffins, maybe the cobbler, too. Vitaliy says that here in Ukraine, they’re considered kind of “junk” berries, like people don’t sell them, though they pick them to snack on.

the pot of mulberries

the pot of mulberries

yum! helped pick, helps eat :)

yum! helped pick, helps eat 🙂

:) (what can I say?)

🙂 (what can I say?)

We also picked lots of sour cherries–they’re dark red and juicy. We have our vareniki factory going in the kitchen– today we want to do enough to share with the 5 rehab guys. And maybe we’ll do some to put in the freezer. I may make for chia seed jam and freeze it, and maybe just freeze some de-pitted cherries for later.

vishnya tree (sour cherry trees)

vishnya tree (sour cherry trees)

I’m also going to try and pick some to give away to church people on Sundays. Vitaliy thinks that will be a nice way to bless and thank people for giving to the center. I have some friends who might enjoy them 🙂 We have so  many of these trees–they line one side of the house!

I wondered how life was for Eve as I was out picking. I guess she didn’t have to cook, just wander around and pick something that looked good for the next meal 🙂

Living in this house during the summer is not bad 🙂 Quite inspiring in a culinary way. Igor brought us young potatoes and fresh dill from the garden, so we had that for lunch, and I made a big pot of borsh to share with the rehab guys, too.

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We just returned from our first time to attend this summer camp for rehab centers. I’ll just include a few notes:

1. The camp is hosted by a Messianic Jewish church, so the décor and music were mostly Jewish. It was wonderful! The girls loved the Jewish worship dancing– it is so family-friendly and easy to join in. The ladies and men would often separate into two groups as they danced, each circle doing their own motions.

2. Everything was outdoor, made of tents, outdoor toilets, etc. We roughed it 🙂 And it was great! Lots of mosquitoes, and I have a deeper appreciation for Off spray now.

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3. I wasn’t involved much in the regular program because of the kids and being pregnant (and sleeping more than usual), but I did help translate some for the Englishers who came over just for the camp as speakers. That was fascinating. Hearing and translating the testimonies, the talks about treating addicts who also have mental illnesses, and such.

I was so touched by this English man who works in a prison with seriously mentally ill people. And he emphasized over and over how he’s never seen medicine heal anyone. He likened the meds used today as the chains of the demon-possessed man in Mark 5– they just make a dangerously mentally ill person controllable. But healing only comes from Jesus. “By His stripes, we are healed.” And several of the former addicts testified of their own healing (more of psychological problems) after coming to God.

I went back to the van after this particular lesson, and hearing all the testimonies and teaching, and I realized that 1 Cor. 1:30 was living before me:

“But by His doing, you are in Christ Jesus who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

4. Vitaliy loved the camp– He heard, learned and was involved more than I could be, and he was so touched by what he heard. He left with a lot to think about.

5. The kids loved the camp, too. Made some new friends. Handled a lot of forest-life: lizards, snails … Oh, I brought with me two pre-packaged little sewing projects, and they loved doing that– especially the one day it rained all day, we were thankful to have that to work on!

snail races

snail races

6. Our two rehab leaders– Ruslan and Igor– really loved the camp, the testimonies, the fellowship with people with the same background and work. It was great for them.

7. The theme of the camp was from Revelation 21:7– He who overcomes inherits all.

8. I’ve never met, in such a short period of time, so many folks who’ve tried to commit suicide at some point, and who God has truly spiritually resurrected unto abundant life. Really, He is a miracle-working God.

We certainly hope to have more such fellowship time in the future!

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We have a yard full of cherry and apple trees. I never knew, before Ukraine, that there are both sweet and sour cherries. We have sour cherries, and Vitaliy informed me that sour cherries make great vareniki filling (hint, hint).

I also did some quick jam with chia seeds …

Here’s we’re doing cherry-filled vareniki:

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yes, delicious!

yes, delicious!

nom, nom, nom ...

nom, nom, nom …

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This jelly I made is very quick to do: it’s de-pitted cherries with sugar (to taste) heated for about 5 min and mashed up, then I put it in a jar and added some chia seeds I brought back from the US, and the seeds act as pectin/the gel factor. Quick and easy!

heating the jelly-- de-pitted cherries and sugar (sour cherries take a lot of sugar)

heating the jelly– de-pitted cherries and sugar (sour cherries take a lot of sugar)

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There are tons more cherries ready, so I hope to be busy this week 🙂

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baby update

I’m going to post about the camp we were just at, but I need to be somewhere I can upload some pictures, so I’ll wait on that.

Just a little baby update. The little one is making large movements now, like big, pressing sweeps across the front of me. It’s fun to feel, even slightly painful at moments.

I think I feel contractions at times, too. They’re like big downwards pressure when I stand up or am active. And twinges up my inner thigh–I’ve always had those, too.

People look at my huge stomach and think I’m on the verge of birthing.

🙂 Still about 10 weeks to go, probably more like 12, knowing myself.

I always have fears during a pregnancy about the birth. From what I’ve read, this is fairly common. My second birth, my fears were tearing hugely (and I had nothing) and something I forget. Third birth was shoulder dystocia (and he slid right out). This time my fears are me or the baby dying. So I decided today to do something I think my mom would do. I’m just going to *pretend* that everything will be beautiful and great.

Another thing I dislike, is that I have so many images and experiences of hospital births and interactions with medical personnel, that this is what I imagine when I think about my birth– I had this a lot during  Andre’s birth. So, I’m going to take some time to create some home-birth-fulfilled birthing images/imaginings, so I focus on that more than on hospital stuff. I think I’ll read birth stories and journal some things to help me do this.

So, that’s my baby update ❤

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Tomorrow we leave for a 5-day camp. We’re going to a camp for rehabilitation centers in Ukraine. Vitaliy will be translating for some of the guest speakers, and I’ll be hanging around 🙂

There will be rehab-ers, workers, families, and a few foreigners. It’s our first time attending this camp, and we’re looking forward to it.

Pray for us, for the guys going, the workers, etc.

A guy named S went through our program a while back, but he started drinking again. We’ve stayed in touch with him because his sister is a member of our church. He will be coming to camp, we hope– at least that’s the current plan, though things change abruptly with this category. S recently was in jail because he beat his mother (while drunk) very seriously. The police told him he’d be in prison 15 days, then probably serve a longer sentence …. or he could skip sentencing by going to Slovyansk as a soldier (where part of the war is going on — so now we know perhaps why this anti-terrorist campaign has not been entirely great?) Anyway, he’s out of jail after just a few days, maybe they paid bribes or something.

Pray for him, for us.

🙂

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We’re expecting our fourth child, and I’ve noticed a big change in myself. And that is being less involved in activities outside my family.

I used to feel this driving desire to do things. And now, I feel this desire to not do things. … I’ve started saying “no” a lot more. It’s hard saying no to pregnant women– that is probably hardest of all. But I feel a deep need to protect this baby and myself from witnessing and taking part in hospital births, for example–I see how it influenced my last birth. And teaching classes to women who will have hospital births is so frustrating to me anymore.

Also, I see the days with my kids are not crawling by any more. They are flying. And I want to value this time with them and not run away with busyness, even important busyness.

Third, it’s been hard for me to put away my own love of study and learning, and get into this doing and active period of life with my kids. But it’s a season; quiet, reflective days will come back, and I can grow and become a larger person by doing and being active with my family.

And fourth, with Vitaliy’s ministry being so demanding, our family can’t handle 2 ministry-active people. As we’ve lived at the village house where the rehab center is, I realized anew how draining and emotionally and physically taxing this work is for him. Plus the church pastoring…. And God’s brought me to a place where I’m happy with not actively pursuing my own emotionally and physically taxing involvements and pleased with watching him bear fruit.

One thing I’m incorporating into my life at this point is more Scripture memory. I remember clearly my mother doing this when we were all in elementary school– she and her friend Nancy would memorize verses and verses of the Bible on 3 x 5 cards.

My latest verse is I Corinthians 1:30:

But by His [God’s] doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.

It’s been wonderful, pondering this deep truth. Thinking about Jesus being wise for me, in these simple life issues.

So, this is one of the good gifts God’s giving me during this 4th child pregnancy <3.

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Blueberries and mushrooms are the huge, local summer activities in our village. Vitaliy’s family, along with quite a few others, is big with picking and selling them. So Vitaliy mentioned doing vareniki with blueberries, so I did that today, with my able helper (the girls have been gone at Word of Life camp this week).

to the right, you see ready-to-boil vareniki on a plate; the red thing is a vareniki maker that cuts the dough into a circle, then you put the circle on the top, put stuff inside and flip over one side to seal the dough edges.

to the right, you see ready-to-boil vareniki on a plate; the red thing is a vareniki maker that cuts the dough into a circle, then you put the circle on the top, put stuff inside and flip over one side to seal the dough edges.

eating dough

eating dough

dough circle, cut from the bottom of the red thing, now on top waiting for filling

dough circle, cut from the bottom of the red thing, now on top waiting for filling

blueberries and sugar filling

blueberries and sugar filling

folding it over to seal dough edges

folding it over to seal dough edges

the system-- L: varenkis in the making, Center on plate: varenikis ready to boil, R: pot of water boiling

the system– L: varenkis in the making, Center on plate: varenikis ready to boil, R: pot of water boiling

boiling vareniki in water; I'm still figuring out how long. this time, about 2-3 minutes

boiling vareniki in water; I’m still figuring out how long. this time, about 2-3 minutes

happy man

happy man

happy me

happy me

happy helper

happy helper

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