Thursday, January 31, 2008
While we continue to move things around and make lists of things we still lack (like sheets and some new dishes), we are pretty much settled in. We have unpacked all our suitcases and trunks (they are put aside, in various inconspicuous places around our tiny apartment). We have arranged most of our decorations, we have done laundry and some cleaning, we have internet in our apartment now (yeah!), and we are starting to feel settled in. As the honeymoon stage of our moving to Russia passes by us, I expect that we will soon feel unsettled; however, I am reveling in the contentment and warm feelings of home that I am enjoying at the moment! Canaan is over his sickness (which he so generously passed onto me), we have all slept well the past few nights, and life is good. We got a surprise today from the Brinley's: some friends of theirs, an American couple who've been living in Russia with their job, are moving back to the States. They gave the Brinley's some of their extra food (some of it stuff you can only find in America) and some various household items. So, are food cabinet is now full and overflowing with various items, we have an extra lamp for the living room, as well as a mixer and a few other miscellaneous items. It was like Christmas in January!
The weather here is warming up. It is expected to get about freezing twice this week! Of course, I was just informed that this means the snow on the sidewalks and walkways will melt and then freeze over again when the temperature drops back down. That is how everything becomes a sheet of ice. So, the warm weather is actually the cause of the ice and slippery sidewalks. I guess I have just lived in Texas too long and don't know that much about cold weather- to know that getting a little warm can actually be a bad thing! Oh, well! We will continue to build those much needed muscles as we learn to walk on more sheets of ice!
One thing that has been nice is that we have stayed very warm. As I mentioned earlier, our apartment is very warm; in addition, our coats and boots are also quite cozy. They have kept us warm as we venture out from the warmth of our apartment and have made life quite comfortable.
Well, I here Canaan waking up from his nap. I will post pictures soon; I meant to do it today, but Dougle ran to the store and took the camera with him to take some pictures. So, another day. Just keep looking, and we'll get some up soon. Thanks again for all your prayers, comments and e-mails! We love you all!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Canaan has been a bit grumpy since arriving, but I discovered a big factor in that: he is currently getting 5 teeth! He usually gets a tooth or two on every trip we take. We think that because this was an EXTRA LONG trip, he is getting a few extra teeth. I can currently feel 4 sharp new points and can see one that is about to poke through. Poor little guy. But, overall is he doing well. We were so blessed to be able to pack several of his favorite toys, books, and stuffed animals. He has always enjoyed being at home around familiar things and having these familiar items around our tiny, new apartment has made him feel more at home- I think! (These are just mommy's musings about Canaan!) He likes to come home, take off his snowsuit, boots, gloves and hat and pick up his favorite ball or book and play.
Canaan has never enjoyed getting dressed. Dressing him is something we've done everyday, at least twice a day (once into clothes and once into pj's at night), for 15 months and he still doesn't like it. Well, now, whenever we need to leave the apartment, we have to dress him in his big snowsuit and try to wiggle his boots onto his little feet. He is getting better at letting us do it, but he still doesn't like it. Otherwise, he is doing well. He sits back in his stroller, sucks on his pacifier (yes, we still let him have it...), and occasionally comments about the "ucks" or cars that pass by on the road. Overall, he is doing very well. I think he is missing a few important and regular people in his life, but we are praying we can keep in contact with them through Skype and other wonderful technological devices, and that Canaan will soon have new people in his life that he will be familiar with. It makes me think of the saying my mom told my sister and I when we moved from Ohio to Texas: "Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold."
We are doing well. Our main outings have been to stores (grocery stores and home furnishing stores). Today, however, we went to church. It was great to see some of the contacts that we have made on previous trips. I am not to the point in Russian (and won't be for a while) where I get headaches trying to listen and figure out what is going on. I nod and smile and pretend to understand, while I really just listen to the different syllables, how rapidly they flow from people's mouths and understand the occasional word like "God," "Jesus," or "love." I imagine once I get some real vocabulary under my belt that I'll be trying to listen to understand: then the headaches will begin. But, that is yet to come! But, back to church, it was good. We had a ladies class/men's class at the beginning. The missionary here, Rebecca, translated Scripture references and the main points to me, which was more than what I expected. We had a short worship and then a prayer session to conclude. It was good. I met several people. I am able to introduce myself in Russian and say "nice to meet you." But the conversation falls a little flat when that is all you know how to say. You just look at one another and smile. There are several who speak some English; those conversations were able to last a little longer. Dougle was able to visit with several members and we are going over to one couple's home tomorrow.
Well, I must end here. Not much about Moscow in general in this blog. But, my internet card is running out and I must return home to my hubby and son, so Dougle doesn't worry that I forgot how to get home by myself (this is my first time out by myself). But, it is just one metro stop away and a short 7 minute walk from there. It isn't snowing, though I do have to watch my step. Learning to walk on ice is developing new leg muscles! Yeah!
Ta-ta for now. Or should I say, Paca!
Because of the lack of internet at our apartment yet, we won't be answering comments or e-mails as often. But we hope to get internet at our place soon. Thank you for all those prayers you are sending up on our behalf! God is answering them favorably and granting us many blessings and an easy transition thus far!
PS. Pictures will come soon...sorry for the delay!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Hello from Moscow!
We have finally made it out somewhere to connect up to the internet and write to you all! We arrived safely in Moscow on Wednesday evening around 4pm! Our flights (the 9 ½ hour one from Dallas to Frankfurt, as well as the 3 ½ hour one from Frankfurt to Moscow) all went smoothly. This was Canaan’s first time to fly and he was wonderful! I know there were many of you praying for us, for a safe and uneventful trip, and God heard your prayers! Once we got checked in at the airport, everything went super smoothly. There was a seat empty next to us on both our flights, which made it easier to spread out all our stuff (really all of Canaan’s stuff!). Canaan played well on our laps, ate well, ran up and down the aisles for a bit, even making a little friend on the first row (a little 9 month old girl), and slept well. He was up for most of the trip to Germany, sleeping the last 3 hours of that flight. He played in the airport for a bit when we were in Germany, then he and Mommy slept the whole flight from there to Moscow. It was wonderful. We even got through customs smoothly. Several times on our trip we were ushered to the front of the lines because we had a baby. And then we had to pay a guy to help us with our luggage once we were in Moscow; however this worked much to our benefit, as he haggled with the customs officer and we didn’t have to have any of our luggage checked or gone through. It was great! Tim Brinely, the missionary here in Moscow, picked us up. He had his car and a taxi waiting for us when we arrived. We loaded everything up and spent the next 3 hours in crazy traffic. Finally we arrived at our apartment around 7:30 that evening. Tim had graciously bought us a few groceries and a plant to welcome us to our new home, so we were able to cook dinner that night (and later breakfast the next morning) without having to venture out for groceries. This was especially nice since we were exhausted! We cooked dinner, found enough stuff to give Canaan his bath, and put him to bed around 10pm. Dougle and I followed at 11pm, but were soon up. Canaan thought it was just nap time and was awake from midnight until 4am. However, he finally got sleepy enough around 4am and we all slept until noon the next day. Tim again came and helped us find the office to register our visas and then showed us around our neighborhood and took us shopping for a few more groceries. He has been so excellent to us in helping us get settled in!
So, here we are on our second full day in Moscow and doing well. Canaan went to bed around midnight last night and slept for 12 hours! Dougle got up earlier and went to register our visas here in Moscow. We are trying to get everything unpacked in our apartment. It is a really nice apartment: it is small, but perfect for us right now as we are new to everything. The apartment came with most all the furniture we need, some dishes in the kitchen, and a TV. The bed seems pretty comfy, the bathroom has heated floors (though we aren’t sure how to turn them on), and everything is in super nice condition. Our landlord had remodeled the apartment for his mother to move into, but she didn’t end up moving from her home near the Urals. So, he is renting it out. The heaters work wonderfully- too well, actually. We have to leave a window open in the kitchen all day and all night, as well as open up a window in the living-room area for half the day. We got the radiator turned down in the bedroom so we didn’t sweat the whole second night. But, I would much rather have an apartment that is too warm than one that wasn’t warm enough! Besides, I like having the windows open a bit so we can have some fresh air. So, we feel very blessed to have such a great place!
The weather has been nice since we’ve been here. It was about -7 degrees Celsius yesterday, which was about 12 Degrees Farenheight- I think! Our coats all seem to work well and we fit in with the local population too! It has been a bit more chilly today because there is some wind. Overall, we are surviving well!
We hope to put up a short video of our trip, as well as one giving you a “tour” of our apartment. However, we have to get it all put in order first. So, that will be something you can look forward to! Thank you all for your prayers and your love! We hope to get internet in our apartment soon, so that we can keep up better communication with you all! We send you our love from Moscow!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I feel so blessed. My sister wrote my friends and asked if they would write me a letter. She organized them all in a "card file" for me. If there were any return addresses on the envelopes, she whited them out. She wants it to be a complete surprise who sent me letters until I open them. Then, she put them in a file labeled from week 1 to week 12 and put a different letter behind each week. She received more than one letter, so she put those in an "extra" slot for extra bad weeks. So, each week for my first three months at least, I will get to open a letter from a friend. In addition to that, she asked anyone who could/wanted to, to send money for a "fluff trunk." She knows I've been stressing about having enough space to take all my stuff. So, with my husband's permission, she bought an extra trunk for me to put "fluff stuff" inside. This is supposed to be extra stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to bring. I am already mentally filling it up with a few extra books that I love, two heavy photo frames that I really liked but was going to leave home, a special blanket I received for my wedding, etc. With the money from my friends and family, Olivia bought and paid for the trunk and the airline fee to take it with us.
I just want you to know I have the best sister ever. And the best friends ever.
Thank you Olivia for being so thoughtful to do this for me. You have found a way to take care of me from thousands of miles away! Thank you so much my friends who have written notes to me. I look forward to reading your letters and thinking of you from afar! Thank you also to those of you who donated money for my "fluff trunk." You have made my packing so much more enjoyable! I am so blessed!
Friday, January 11, 2008
We've been busy lately and I haven't had time to post things recently. So, I am putting in a slideshow of some of our recent activities. They include: visiting great-grandparents (Martin) in Farwell, Tx; having fun with the McGuire family and the Moore family; pictures of bath fun; and some miscilaneous stuff. We've been busy packing and sorting through our material possessions. It has been....a bit nerve-racking for Mommy. But, we are making progress. Maybe for our next post I can show you the mess that we have out!
We hope you all are doing well. Enjoy the pictures!