Monday, October 27, 2008

Daddy's Little Helper

Well, I don’t know how helpful a two year old can be, but Canaan sure enjoyed his “job” of being Daddy’s helper as he re-assembled his little table. Canaan was right in the middle of things from the beginning, digging through the wooden pegs and screws, collapsing the chairs as Daddy was fitting them together to screw together, and standing in the middle of the table as it lie upside-down on the floor, waiting for the legs to be screwed on!
As you can see in the picture, he did give Daddy some screws, sometimes as needed. He got out the hammer and hammered next to Daddy as he was screwing. We did find one job that was perfect for him: dropping the screws in the holes for Daddy. He put them right side up and everything- the perfect job! And in the end, Canaan and Daddy enjoyed using the table by coloring together on it. Canaan has really gotten into coloring more these days. He still doesn’t understand anything about staying in the lines; however, he used to only draw vertical and horizontal lines, but now he draws circles and will sometimes do some concentrated scribbling. Mommy is very proud!
We can’t believe we will have a two year old soon! Time flies, but we have really tried to enjoy every moment God has given us so far with Canaan, and pray for many more years with him. What wonderful gifts God gives us in children!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Friends

Canaan and Chi have hit it off together. As I mentioned in my last post, they have enjoyed playing together and with each other’s toys! Though they are both at the age (2/3) where sharing and playing well together is still being learned, overall they are doing well! When we leave the house, Canaan always asks if we are either going to the playground, Chi’s house, or Auntie and David’s house! Speaking of Auntie and David, they packed for Ukraine, determined to be the most popular Aunt and Uncle around! They brought books, puzzles, toys, truck plates, sippee cups and more to make their home a place our kids wouldn’t want to leave! In addition, they brought a super cool Thomas the Train pop-up tent!! When they broke that out today, the kids were delighted as they climbed in and out of it and played together!

We have a nice playground that is just right around the block from our apartment. It looks very new. I have a few pictures of when Grand-Dad Kirt was here and he and Livia and David were all playing with Canaan on the playground. There are also some pictures of Canaan playing with Chi (Malachi Hindman- our teammates 3 year old son) that are taken in our living room, so you can see a bit of it that way until we get a video posted. They both like playing with trucks (Daddy too!) an they also had fun with the little closet. There are also some pictures of the choo-choo tent that is at Livia and David's and the fun they were having with it

On another note, Canaan is having to learn how to act around babies, which is a good thing since we will have our own new bundle in February. Silas, the Hindman’s youngest son, is about 9 months old. He crawls around and mainly watches the big boys play. However, the other day when Chi and Canaan were playing chase, he was blocking a doorway that Canaan wanted to get through. Not knowing what to do, Canaan took the toy train in his hand and hit Silas over the head. Mommy saw it and he immediately was taken to the bathroom for some discipline. Then, about 10 minutes later, he did it again! After another round in the bathroom with a talk about being gentle with babies, he started making wide circles to avoid going near Silas. This was not encouraging to me. On the way home, he told on himself to Daddy, “Hit baby choo-choo, No!” And later that evening he was reminded of it again, “No hit baby blue choo-choo.” This morning he again reiterated this to us. Today as we had church and fellowship with everyone, he did well, and there were no more hitting incidents! Hopefully he will learn how to be gentle and play more with Silas. We have already been praying that we will do well with Canaan, as he will have to adjust to a brother, as we welcome a new baby into the family, and we are keeping up with these prayers as the time draws nearer!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Xarkov, Ukraine!

We arrived in Xarkov late Monday night- just 24 hours later than planned! I am writing a long saga about that, but it is on my computer at home and we don't have internet at the house yet. Hopefully I will try to post it soon. We have been trying to catch up on some sleep, settle in, buy necessities, etc. My Dad has been a tremendous help so far, as he helps with Canaan and does so many of the little things that we just run out of energy for! Things have been running smoothly. David and Olivia arrived on Thursday, as scheduled, with no problems. So, our team has been complete for about 2 days now! What a feeling!
Having my Dad here also helped with the transition for Canaan. He is doing very well, though he is a bit more tired than usual from the two days of past midnight bedtimes that we had when we were trying to get here. Overall, though, he is doing well. He has had a blast with Grand-Dad, who has been his best friend! They would get up early together and read all the books that made it here (most of our things will hopefully arrive on Monday, Lord willing)! They played with cars and trucks together, Grand-Dad held his hand as he rode in his stroller around town, he ate on Grand-Dad's lap, he insisted on holding Grand-Dad's hand during the mealtime prayers, and so on. They had a blast together. Sadly, Grand-Dad had to leave early this morning. He flew to Moscow where he will fly to Houston and then arrive in Lubbock Sunday night. He arrived in Moscow without problem and was picked up by our dear brother, Alexei and taken care of today by his family! They are such an amazing family. Grand-Dad starts classes back up bright and early Monday morning, so hopefully the return jet lag will be an easier transition than that on the way here! Thank you for coming and helping Grand-Dad!
Tomorrow we plan to have our first church service as a team. We will meet at Liv and David's. It will be nice for us to have a service in English, though we enjoyed all our times with the church in Moscow!
We will continue to keep you updated as we have opportunity. Hopefully within a week we will get internet at our apartment, so it will make it easier to post blogs and pictures. We love you all!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Grand-Dad Arrives and Goodbyes

Well, we are one day away from leaving. It is Saturday morning for us. Grand-Dad arrived yesterday, Friday afternoon. His plane actually arrived early, so he got through customs, picked up his bags, and came through to see us about 10 minutes before he was originally supposed to arrive! So, the taxi driver wasn't supposed to show up for another hour, so we went upstairs in the airport and were able to have a late lunch at Sparros (a pizza place) before heading home.

Canaan took a few minutes to warm up to Grand-Dad, though he recognized him right away from all our skype calls we've done. But once he played some cars and trucks with Grand-Dad, they were best friends! They've been reading books, playing cars and trucks and talking a lot together. Grand-Dad has learned to interpret his words now! In the picture, you can see that Canaan is "helping" Grand-Dad as he takes apart his little table for the move!

This past week we've also been saying a lot of goodbyes. We've had several people over. I have pictures of a few of them visiting.
Jung Ki, from Korea, came and brought us a beautiful Korean table cloth he'd brought back for us from his visit home. Canaan really liked playing with him, I think because he could say his name easily!
Volodya (our language teacher and friend from church), Mila and their son Artyom (who babysat Canaan during some of our LST sessions) came over one night.
And Eduard and Yelena from our LST sessions also came over.
All these people and more we are going to miss dearly! We have several more goodbyes to say at church on Sunday before we take off. We leave Moscow at 9:15pm Sunday night. Keep us in your prayers. And if you haven't heard yet, our teammates Rob and Denyce and their family made it safely to Kharkov on Thursday! Thanks for all your prayers for them as well!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tsaritsyno and the Honey Festival

Friday was the most beautiful day! It is looking like autumn here now, with the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees, and we had the most perfect weather! Though it has been in the 40's lately, it got up into the 60's on Friday! I think God blessed us with the most beautiful and sunny day in which to enjoy our outing.
It has been advertised for several months now, and I thought it would be fun to go to the Honey Festival. Since we are about to leave our beloved city, it seemed like a fun outing to attend. Then, the weekend it started, Dougle brought home a newspaper in English that had a little piece about the festival, but mainly about Tsaritsyno park next to where the festival is held. So, we made plans to visit both the festival and the park.
When we arrived, we found the beautifully, recently restored grounds and palace of Catherine the Great. Because we arrived near lunch time, we immediately found some good sharuma (chicken with cabbage and various veggies wrapped inside a thin tortialla-like burrito with sauce). We ate on a park bench just inside the entrance, looking out at the small island in the middle of the lake. There was a bridge to the island, and on the island was a large "musical" fountain. I expected the music to accompany the fountain's water display, since it was a "muscial fountain," but it really just had classical music playing all around the fountain. In fact, from our bench where we ate, we were able to enjoy the music, yet it wasn't too overwhelming right up at the fountain either.
As we ate, Canaan ran around and entertained some of the other park-goers: mainly an older couple sitting next to us. And, if you didn't know, Canaan LOVES little girls! While at the park, Canaan was sitting on his stroller, eating some potatoes when a little girl (about 4 years old) ran by. Quick as lightening, Canaan jumped up from his seat and ran after her! They played together for a while and then her grandmother took a picture of the two of them holding hands!
After we ate, we walked to the island and watched the fountain up close for a bit. Then we walked to the other side of the park and looked at the outside of the palace and home of Catherine the Great. We opted not to go inside to the museums, since it was a beautiful day and Canaan does better outside. So we walked around the grounds and found a large, nice, green grassy area where Canaan ran around for a bit and we took some pictures. We also traveled to a place with a few trees and lots of leaves. We played a bit in the leaves and took more pictures before deciding to end our time in the park and head off to the honey festival. On our way out, we enjoyed a nice little icecream while we looked over the still, lake water at the colorful trees.
The honey festival was hundreds of booths from all over Russian the former USSR, selling all types of honey. Every booth had from 4-10 different honeys, and you could take a taste of every honey. Some just had name labels while some had the various pictures of the flowers that were used in the honey making. Let me tell you, honey is very sweet and it doesn't take too many test tries to be sweetened out! We tried honeys from various booths and bought the best tasting we could find at three booths. Even Canaan tried some before he fell asleep, but he wasn't impressed! So, now we have 3 small tubs of honey to consume in the next week before we leave! It was a fun experience and a great day overall!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

23 Months!!

Height: 34 inches! He has grown one inch in the last 6 weeks!

Canaan is just getting taller, starting to put more words together, has favorite friends and activities, and is just growing up so fast!

New Favorites!
Favorite Girl Friend: Sasha! He loves seeing Sasha. We see her three times a week, at church, at LST meetings, and she usually comes over the house once a week. He always is excited to see her and talks about her when she's not around.
Favorite Friends: Leonid and Leosha. These have been his best friends from church. We see them every week, as their parents are the most faithful attenders. The boys are 8 and just turned 2 years old. The oldest boy is so gentle and kind as he plays with Canaan. Canaan soaks up all the attention from the big boy! And his little brother, Leonid, calls Canaan his "droog" which is "friend" in Russian!
Favorite Toy: the Stroller. I must say that the stroller is his new favorite toy- and Mommy's favorite too! It makes it so nice as we go out. When Canaan walks, it takes about 12 minutes to get to the "big" playground near our house. It is the nicest, with a variety of things to play on, as well as lots of other kids around Canaan's age who are always there playing too. With the stroller, he just happily pushes it all the way to the park and back. He loves pushing it overtop of manholes, which are everywhere, even on sidewalks, up and down curbs or stairs or big cracks in the road, and up and down the slightest little inclines. He does really well walking with it, knows that when we go in stores he has to leave it at the front, and loves to switch out who rides in the stroller from day to day (the bear, Eyeore the donkey, his elephant, etc.).
Favorite Activity: Coloring. While he still loves to play with his cars and trucks, lining them up and pushing them back and forth multiple times every day, his newest activity he is growing into is coloring. Whether it be coloring with crayons on paper, on his new magnadoodle, or on his chalk board, he is an aspiring artist! He mainly draws verticle and horizontal lines, but has recently started adding some circular motions to his drawings! He likes to sit next to me on the couch and dictate things for me to draw. Then he colors on top of them. It is fun, and Mommy even throws some learning in by drawing letters and numbers that he identifies! It is a nice, relaxing activity for both of us!
Favorite Food: Borsh. Since Sasha taught me how to make it, I've made borsh soup a lot recently. It is nice in the cool weather we've been having. Plus, it is healthy, with beets, carrots, potatoes, onion, cabbage, and chicken (plus or minus whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand). Canaan has loved soup for a while now, but borsh is his new favorite. The other day when it was lunch time, Dougle and I were in the kitchen getting somethings ready. He walked right in a said, "Borsh soup please!" It was adorable!

Our Little Jabber Jaws!
I never thought that a child of mine and Dougle's would be such a jabber jaws, but at times, Canaan just can't be quiet. Now, sometimes he is very quiet and likes to sit and play by himself. But at other times, he just likes to talk and narrate everything. Many times if we don't pay attention or acknowledge what he has said, he will repeat it over and over and get louder and louder until we do! So, we don't get away with not paying attention! On no! Here are some examples of his narrations.
At the Table
"Canaan sit. Sit table. Up chair. Eat. Blue plate. Orange spoon. Potatoes. Eat...." Later. "Daddy all done. All done potatoes. Mommy all done. Mommy water. Canaan water. Daddy water. All done. Canaan down. Canaan play. Cars and trucks. Play."
In the Stroller
"Cars. Trucks. Green bus! Big bus! Big green bus! Car! Truck! People....."

New Words and Phrases

Words: page, yep (he used to say just yeah), gold fish, teacher, broccoli (okklee), stack, animal (mamel), clean, wipe (ipes), cream, sky, chalk, picture (icture), dirty, and more that I can't think of now!
New Phrases
I love you Daddy! The most special phrase of all. Sometimes he says it very short and sloppy and it comes out sounding like "AAhh-O-u." But other times he says it more clear, "I ove you!" He has been saying "I love you Daddy" and "I love you Mommy" for a few months now. It is so cute. He usually also says, "I love you Canaan." Now at night time, he goes through a list: "I love you Daddy. I love you Mommy. I love you cars. I love you trucks." Then he smiles and laughs. At least we still rank ahead of his cars and trucks!!
Button Up: It is cute, because whenever we are putting on a shirt or coat that needs buttoned, he says, "But Up!" One day it just popped out! I smile every time he says it!
Clean Up: At the table one day, he spilled some soup. I told him to clean it up and gave him a napkin. Well, anytime anything spills now, he wants to clean it up with a napkin or towel. He says, "Uh-oh, water. Keen Up!" What a big helper!
Door Please: He calls doors, drawers, and lids all "doors." Well, anytime I don't shut a drawer or door right away, he will say, "Mommy, door please." Sometimes I tell him to close it, or he just gets up and closes it for me. And when we are eatting breakfast and have the jelly jar out or something with a lid, and we don't put the lid back on it right away, he points to it and says, "Door Please!" That is our cue to put the lid back on!! Some things just don't look or feel right to him: open doors, jars or drawers are just a few of those things!
Wipes, Cream, Diaper. Speaking of having things in order, Canaan thinks wipes and cream are an essential part of every diaper change. Sometimes we don't need them all, but since we usually have him bring us his diaper, he insists on bringing us everything. Sometimes we have tried to save him the trouble of getting it all, when all he needs is a quick diaper change, no wipes and cream required. However, this ends up stalling the process even more, because he looks longing toward his wipes and cream, points to them, and says "Ipes, cream?" So, we just let him bring us whatever he feels we need!

Ok, I have been working on colors with Canaan off and on for probably 6 months. Am I silly or what?! But, he was taking his good 'ole time catching on, and I thought with his love of order, counting, etc. that he would latch right onto colors. Nope. I was wrong. I was even to the point where I thought he was color blind! Yes, you can laugh. However, he has finally latched onto the color idea! He knows the three primary colors (red, blue and yellow) as well as green and orange really well. He also knows pink, white and black about 60 percent of the time. He has started pointing out the colors of everything now too. He talks about his "mall, booue choo-choo" (small, blue choo-choo), his "ed chok" (red chalk) and his "geek uck" (green truck). Today he was pointing out all the different color they painted the bars on the playground. Very cute. Mommy is so proud!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Soon to Come... the new Baby is:

Our blog title will soon change. No longer will it just be All About Canaan, but it will change to All About Canaan AND Maximus! Yes, we are going to be parents to another BOY! We went to the doctor today and got an ultrasound. Everything looks on track for a February 9th delivery. I was thinking that since Canaan was born a bit early, that maybe Max will come early too. Then Dougle's mom was telling us that though he was the 3rd child, he was a month late!!

Well, we still have no middle name. With Canaan, we waited until we found out the sex before we made a decision on a middle name. So, now we are trying to come up with a good one. Dougle's suggestion is to name him Mad Max. So, please save our child and suggest something more suitable! :)

We are all doing well. Canaan is just talking away, making more and more little phrases. I have been taking notes to remember to post them (since his 23rd month birthday was yesterday). Be watching for a new post. Can you believe we will be parents of a two year old in less than a month?!! Crazy. Dougle is excited to be able to stop referring to our child in age of months, and just say he will be two!

Hope you are all doing well. We love you!