Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Our life now reminds me of our first year and a half of marriage, when we lived in the nearby bigger village. (We later moved to Kiev.)

Village churches, village services. There’s just a different flavor to it, than the Big City.

There’s a couple we’ve known for as long as we’ve known each other– and Vitaliy for even longer, as it is his best friend in Bible Institute days. They did their studies together, village evangelism together, life together. We were at their wedding. They invited us to this little Christmas Eve service in a neighboring village where believers from several villages would gather.  Their names are Olexiy and Luda.

This (the man with the guitar up front) is the missionary (Ukrainian) who works in this small village, Krasyatochi.


Vitaliy preached the first sermon.


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Then we had lots of участии — the part of the service where whoever wants to do something, can–sing a song, say a poem, etc. This is Luda’s children’s group singing–the two boys in the front are hers.


Olexiy preached.


This box sits in the back of the room for offerings. This is 2 Corinthisans 9:7 on it: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”


Olexiy asked questions about Christmas– to see who could differentiate tradition from what’s actually written in the Scriptures. It was so interesting! He gave out candy to those who answered correctly.


It was a wonderful preparation for Christmas Day 🙂


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books! books! books!

A bit of Christmas comes a week early!

Here’s how: When we left for the States last November, we packed up our crowded bookshelves in this house. Our kids’ books have been sitting still, in the attic, wrapped together with stretch (that plastic-wrap-type stuff people use for packing). So today, Vitaliy brought down a pack of them, and the girls excitedly looked through them all. And as I type, Vika is reading aloud Magic Tree House books to Skyla, who is working on her bead project.





I was thrilled to find two of the Jan Karon Mitford books! I’ve been thinking I’d like to buy myself the whole series so I can have them all together, in print.


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some cooking

Vitaliy loves this simple apple cake called “sharlotka” (… it’s said like shar-LOTT-ka; the name reminds me of the name Charlotte). It’s just eggs, sugar, flour, and apple slices. It’s very yummy. We have lots of apple trees in the yard here so I make this fairly often.


Then, since I had extra apple slices left over from the sharlotka, I made big apple muffins in these flower-pot-looking muffin cups that I think my mom bought for me last Christmas.


Speaking of Christmas, I’m actually having ideas of gifts for Skyla and Vika that I think are unique and they will like. Before I’ve just randomly wrapped generic things. … Vika is asking for a tea set. Skyla … well I was thinking a homemade doll– she likes things like that– but I might keep searching.





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