Archive for June, 2015

pictures – wictures

I do what I can to get English into my kids, but some things just remain. Instead of saying “to photograph you” or “to photograph me”, they all say “will you picture me?” or “I will picture you.”

So, here are recent pictures.

Skyla’s latest bead creativity:

IMG_7004 IMG_7005

and here she used flower petals:


How Una loves to fall asleep these days:


Yesterday’s pot of borsh:


The kids co-sleeping this morning:


Una is so growing!

IMG_7019 IMG_7020

Andre loves “picturing” things, so here he is “picturing” me making coffee (which, 7 hours later, I still have not finished).


The kids playing on the mattress this morning:

IMG_7049 IMG_7057 IMG_7063

I don’t know if we did something right, but all the kids have felt fine putting themselves down for naps when they feel tired. Got enough pillows there, bub?



Read Full Post »

I’ve been reflecting lately about how my life seems a bit more normal to me lately. I’m not sure how to explain it. But seeing how Skyla turns 10 next month, I’m into my 10th/11th year of this full-time pregnancy-breastfeeding life.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding don’t leave room for a lot of choices. And co-sleeping with the littles (which actually makes things easier for me), extended breastfeeding (which I also love), home schooling, basically letting my kids invade most every area of my life …. It’s been shocking, tough, stretching me in ways that feel like ripping apart.

Since the girls are older now, I feel like something is shifting to make things easier, to grant me back portions of my life, but in a new-me, kid-rich way. Things are so much easier with two older girls, though I make it a point to let them be helpful as daughters and not force them to be mothers to their siblings šŸ™‚

I like that I have submitted myself to giving up for kids. It’s a process, and I’m glad I’ve moved my boundaries over quite a bit to give out toĀ  my kids. I hope I can get to be more like my unselfish, hard-workingĀ mom, but I’m still a work in process. I actually don’t feel like I’ve let them in all the way yet, it’s an on-going thing as we all live, change, and grow.

“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

The pain of disciplining myself in a gentle, accepting mode of motherhood is starting to have a felt payoff. I like being with my kids. I like being a calm, understanding mom. They don’t drain my emotional tank like it used to be. It’s become pleasant.

These photos are nice to me, symbolic of this feeling of entering a new time, because I’veĀ once-againĀ (for a few months now) been able to wake up very early,Ā Ā with no alarm set, before the girls/kids. That is my natural tendency, which disappearedĀ during the previous 10 Years of Hardness. I’m resurfacing in a transformed/transforming state.

IMG_6892 IMG_6964

Read Full Post »

It’s interesting what things actually make me a good mom, and what things make me feel like I’m a good mom. So Vitaliy’s gone for about 2 weeks, so today, first day, I wanted to do what makes me feel like a good mom– we prayed together, we went outside to the playground and a walk in the woods. And I had age-appropriate activities ready.

I’m not sure how the rest of the day will go, but good so far.

IMG_6866 IMG_6867

Kid magazines for the reader, word-search lover.


Spray bottles for shooting for the fun-lover and The Boy.

IMG_6869 IMG_6870 IMG_6871

Read Full Post »

One thing I like about dieting, or jus changing how I eat, is that I like getting the hungry feeling (then going to eat). I never got hungry before really because I just always was eating.

I like food now, in a different way, but in a good way. As an answer to hungriness. Here are some photos of food:

Homemade yogurt with strawberries (eating tons of strawberries right now!)

IMG_6790 IMG_6792 IMG_6793

And an awesome salad– pumpkin seeds, tuna fish, egg, avocado…


Read Full Post »

WordPress informs me that 7 years ago today (in EST, yesterday in Ukr time) I started this blog!

So, in honor of that anniversary, I’m reposting my first blog post.

Before we get to that, I also want to remember that time in my life. I had two small girls (2 andĀ 3 years old). We lived on Glushkova 35, 2nd floor– the apartment where Victoria was born. (Now we live on Glushkova 51, a few meters away.)

We had been living in Kiev maybe 2 years by then. Our church was a church of mostly young singles– now they are all young marrieds šŸ˜€ And only our family and the other pastor’s family had young children– they have since moved away, and now we have a total of 30 young children in our church!!!

I spanked a lot or at least threatened to. Now I don’t. How some things have changed about me! How others have not–still love to go to the mall and read my Bible and pray usually daily. Still journaling, though more online and in my prayer journal. I had 2 small kids, now I have 2 elementary kids and 2 other small kids–and THAT is a totally different parenting experience. I am a much happier parent, too, considering what I was 7 years ago. Very thankful for that, and still growing a lot.

About this 7-years-ago-first-blog-post, I love these thoughts. And I want to add a new understanding about children. That God still has believers He is creating for His eternal Kingdom and bringing into existence through childbirth. He is not done creating new worshippers for Himself. And that His original plan was for faith to be passed on through parents. Not bigger and better through evangelism, as I used to think and value as better than my own parenting influence over my own children. Though thank you, God, we can now have bio and spiritual children! How essential evangelism is, too! Our marriage is a mix of me being parentally-taught and influenced to salvation, and Vitaliy being a come-through-evangelism disciple out of an unsaved family.

Without further ado, my first blog post from 7 years ago:

Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with God

Have you ever doubted Godā€™s personal involvement in the creation of each new human being? I have. I used to wonder, Is it just biological laws that God has set in motion that account for the conception and development of babies?

But one day it dawned on me: Biology never creates a soul. Only God has that ability. He cares enough to make an eternal, unique soul for each person. He cares enough to create an eternal, unique body for each of His children at the final resurrection.

Would it not then follow that He cares enough to be intimately involved in all aspects of a personā€™s conception and prenatal development? Job speaks of this, ā€œDid not He who made me in the womb make him [referring to his male slave], and the same one fashion us in the womb?ā€ (31:15). NoteĀ here especiallyĀ that it wasnā€™tĀ some great, special Biblical characterā€¦

View original post 113 more words

Read Full Post »

Well, I have 7 months left, more or less, until my 40th birthday in December.Ā And I’ve gotten to half my weight loss goal.

Lost 30 lbs, would like to lose around another 30.


Currently, I’m using some myfitnesspal and the trim healthy mama diet idea (meals are either protein+fat or protein+carb, is the short version).

I’m in my 160s right now. It’s a nice place. Enjoying it.Ā Clothes are looser-feeling.

I’m gradually doing some life-thoughts and evaluations and gifts-for-myself ideas šŸ™‚ Some things I’d like to focus on in the next 10 years.

I feel like this 10 years has been generally good, full of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, little babies. Next ten will be fuller with home schooling, looks like. (Skyla and Vika will grow to adulthood these next ten years–can I believe that?)

Anyway, more to come.

Read Full Post »