Tuesday, February 24, 2009


In our house church, we girls rotate teaching Bible class for the kids. We are currently on a three week rotation where we are in charge of teaching. We typically teach the same story for those 3 weeks that we teach and prepare a craft. Of course, there is singing too!
These past few weeks has been Olivia's rotation. She is teaching Daniel and focusing on the praying aspect. Canaan came in from class the first Sunday and gave us this pose with his hands folded and head semi-bowed and said that Daniel was "prayering" in the lion's den! It was so cute. We have also been working on praying with him at home. Though he is still very shy about praying in with anyone outside our family, he will say short prayers with us. Then today, he had all his cars and trucks lined up and said he wanted to "prayer" for his cars. So, he sat down in front of all of them, bowed his head, closed his eyes and folded his hands. With a little prompting from Gran-Nan (he got a little shy with her in the room), he thanked God for all his cars and trucks and choo-choos and helicopters. A little later, he had them all lined up in a different place and prayed again for them all. It was adorable! Afterwards he told me, "Mommy, I prayered for them!"


Hello everyone! I just wanted to post some pictures to let you see how we are doing. We continue to enjoy Gran-Nan (my Mom) being here. We are trying not to think to the end of the week when she will have to leave. However, my Dad has already told us that we had better make sure she gets on the plane back to him!! He misses her!
Canaan has been doing great as he continues to adjust to being a big brother. Today he asked to hold Max twice, which is a big deal. He enjoys laying down next to Max on the floor. I think it is like "brother hang out time" when they lay there together. It is cute. He is a great big brother!

Hope you enjoy our pictures. Have a great week!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Here are two pictures of my boys. One is Canaan and one is Max. Can you tell they are brothers?? :)

It is fun to watch them and see the differences between them. Canaan definitely had a bit more cheeks than Max has, but they both have similar facial expressions. Max is more laid back than Canaan, which we didn't think was possible. They are just precious to watch and we love having both of them!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poopy Diapers, Brother Stories, and More

It has been a while since I’ve shared a few stories, and I also want to fill in some gaps we’ve left about how everything is going so far with Max and my Mom being here. Dougle objects to the length of this blog and you might too! Enjoy what you want, scan it, look at the pictures, whatever is best for you! For those avid readers out there, I just wanted to let you in on a bit of our lives recently!

First of all, it is great having my Mom here. I am blessed with a wonderful family who helps us out and does so much for us, near or far. And having here near for a while has been great! We have had good Mommy-Daughter talks, she plays and plays with Canaan and she helps care for Max, even in the middle of the night when he hasn’t figured out it is sleeping time! And this week, she is going to help me organize and clean my house, since it is still in a bit of chaos from moving, settling, having a baby and having the rooms in disarray while being re-wallpapered! Of course, I am going to have to share her with Canaan. He is having a super time with his new reading and playing buddy. He is always following her around, “Gran-Nan, read this book to me. Gran-Nan, come in the living room and play with me (actually, he says, play with us!). Gran-Nan, sit down and eat with me!” My only regret for her is the timing. Now is not the prettiest time of year, especially since it seems to be unusually warm right now. This means that the temperatures have been sitting right on or above freezing ever since she arrived. While this warmer weather may sound nice, it is not. It means that now the snow is melting and it rains instead of snows (fresh snow is so white and beautiful and crisp and clean, while the rain just makes everything look drab and gray). Thankfully, we had a beautiful snow the day she arrived and she got to see how pretty it was before everything started warming up and melting. And for us, it feels so warm, even though our highs are around 35 degrees!

Second, Canaan is doing great so far as a big brother. The first day we brought Max home, I think he felt very threatened. He acted funny all day, and I was worried about how long it would take for him to adjust. However, the next day he just was indifferent to Max. It helped that I was able to get up with Max and feed him, while he played with Daddy. Then Max went back to sleep in his crib and we were able to have some “normal” time together, with the 3 of us eating breakfast together and getting ready. I think this made Canaan feel that Max was not so much of a threat as he thought. In addition, he has been spending a lot of time with Gran-Nan and Auntie and David. We’ve had to stay at Liv and Dave’s apartment all day for several days in a row because of the re-wallpapering going on in our hallway. So he has been surrounded by people who love him and play with him and I think that has helped a lot with his adjustment to having a little brother around!

Canaan does seem to be progressing with his indifferent attitude toward Max. The other day, the 4 of us were in the car and Max was crying. Soon I heard Canaan saying, “It okay Max. It okay Max.” He said it over and over with his hand reaching over to Max’s car seat. It was precious. Max has also been in Canaan’s mind when he thinks of our family. Yesterday, Canaan found a big book that Auntie Livi is reading. To Canaan, all big books with tiny print are Bibles. I came in the room and asked what he was doing and he told me he was reading Auntie’s Bible. Then he asked to find Canaan in the Bible and read it. This comes from Bible class, where we open our Bibles and tell each kid that it says God loves them. For Canaan, we open up the Bible and point and say, “God loves Canaan!” So, I leaned over and we looked in Auntie’s “Bible” and read, “God loves Canaan!” Then Canaan wanted to find Mommy and Daddy and Max too. So we flipped pages and said, “God loves Mommy;” a few pages later we “found” Daddy and said, “God loves Daddy;” then he finally he asked to find Max and we said, “God loves Max!” How sweet my little boy is! Oh, and he did discover yesterday that Max makes a good mini hill for animals to hop over. Using Max for his toys isn’t too new of a thing since he thought my big belly made a great ramp for his cars when I was pregnant!

About poopy diapers, well, who knew you could be so excited to have them? Of course, Dougle wasn’t. But I was. Max had his first few dirty diapers in the hospital, where they come out all black and tar-like and sticky. Then he stopped. He hadn’t had a poopy diaper since last Wednesday morning. I had started to worry, but was told (and later read) that I shouldn’t worry about it. Never-the-less, I felt very happy and pleased when Max finally gave us a really big and messy, green diaper last night!!

Oh, I did want to post a picture too of Canaan helping Uncle David work on a shelf or something. While I was in the hospital with Max, Canaan stayed with David and Olivia. We sure were grateful to them for keeping Canaan. It was wonderful knowing how much Canaan loves to be with them and knowing that they were taking good care of him made it so much easier being apart from him for those few days! And, they’ve let us crash their house for several days in a row, throwing them off their routine and schedule, as we’ve been spending all day there during the re-doing of our hall. It has turned out to be a bigger project than anticipated, since some of the plaster and concrete came off with the old wallpaper! So, we appreciate the fact they let us come over, they help feed us and they just put up with us all being underfoot right now! It isn’t easy having your tiny apartment filled with a new mom, her hubby, a toddler and a newborn, and Gran-Nan too! So, thanks Auntie and David!

One more funny story of Canaan. Yesterday, he found his back pocket in his jeans. It sits a little lower on his hind end (since he doesn’t have much of one to hold up his pants) and it is tighter. But he managed to get his whole hand in it, right before he sat down. Of course, sitting down made the pocket become tighter around his hand and he couldn’t get it out. He said, “Heeelp! My fingers stuck!!” as he scooted around on the floor trying to pull his hand out of his pocket and trying to stand up with just one free hand. We just laughed. It was soo funny. Finally he was able to get up and Daddy was able to help him free his hand from his pocket, while laughing, of course! It was too funny. He provides us with so much entertainment!

Well, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed reading. Thank you for your prayers and comments and notes during this time of change for us! We love you all!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Skype Shower

Last Saturday afternoon, about 6pm Ukraine time, 10am Lubbock time, we participated in a long distance baby shower! It started when Beth Elmore, a friend and supporter of ours in Lubbock, wanted to have a baby shower for us, even though we were far away. A few weeks before my mom came, she and Beth collected gifts given by our family and friends. Then Mom was able to pack them up and bring them to Ukraine. On Saturday, friends gathered around a computer in Lubbock while we gathered around our computer here. Using Skype and web cameras, we were all able to see each other. I opened the gifts here while everyone there watched and ohhhed and ahhhed at all the wonderful things we received! It was so neat to see and talk to several of our friends in Lubbock who attended the shower. We felt sooo blessed!

There were so many people who sent so many wonderful gifts for Max and our family
, as well as so many people who gave money that went toward some big items we were able to purchace. Some items we bought with the cash include a car seat, a diaper bag and various other smaller items my mom bought to bring here! In addition, the basement Bible class at Sunset gathered a lot of money and bought us an extra nice double stroller. We took it out today for a stroll and it was wonderful! It was easy to manuever and push on the uneven and holey sidewalks, even with both boys in it! The picture is of how the boys fit now, with Max being a newborn. When Max gets a little bigger and can sit up, they will be sitting like Malachi and Silas, our teammates two boys in the green stroller (they have the sa
me stroller we now have). 
We are overwhelmed by tbe generosity and love that so many of you have poured out on us with the birth of Max! It has made us feel so good to be remembered and loved from such a distance! Thank you so much! 

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Winners!!

We want to CONGRATULATE two winners who guessed closest to the day Max would arrive and closest to his weight.
CAROL BASHAM (Lucy's aunt): guessed Februray 3rd, just one day off from Max's February 2nd birth date.

MARIO and DEBRA: guessed 8lbs, 3ozs, just one ounce off of Max's birth weight of 8lbs, 2ozs.

My Mom will be returning to the States at the end of February. She will take with her the winners' gifts and we will do another post showing what they won when that time comes! Thanks to everyone who participated in our guessing game!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Maximus Craig Arrives

As most of you have probably heard, our second son, Maximus Craig, has arrived!!

BORN: February 2nd at 1:20am (Ukrainian time)
WEIGHT: 8 pounds, 2 ounces
LENGTH: 20.87 inches
HEAD circumference: 14.57 inches

Sunday night, I was feeling a little strange. Just a bit sick and tired. But I had been feeling like this off and on for two weeks, so it wasn't too new. Around 10:30pm, Dougle and I noticed that I was having some contractions, but I wasn't feeling them. After a short lecture from Dougle about not wanting to deliver a baby at our apartment or in the car, we decided to try to get some sleep, figuring I'd wake up if my body was getting serious about having a baby!

About 11:15 I started feeling some contractions. After timing a few at 4 minutes apart, I woke up Dougle and we texted my doctor. She recommended that we come in to the hospital and she would meet us there. So we called David and Olivia, who thankfully live around the corner from us, to come stay the night with Canaan. Once they arrived, we headed off for the hospital. It was about midnight when we left; it was snowing and there was not much traffic. And, just like on TV, we were pulled over. I don't think Dougle had broken any laws, but we were just being pulled over for being one of the few cars out in the middle of the night. Dougle quickly told them that he had a pregnant wife and we were on the way to the hospital, to which the police man just told us to be careful and let us go. About 45 minutes after leaving, we arrived at the hospital. There was a small hang up with the fact that I had forgotten my maternity paperwork; I don't know how we managed to forget those, since we know how important paperwork is here. However, we did! But once my doctor arrived, she was able to clear the way for me. I changed clothes and was taken to the delivery room, where Dougle soon followed after changing too (though it seemed like an eternity before he got there). About 30 minutes later, Max was born! It was a completely natural birth, no pain meds or anesthetics! He just came fast. From the time I started feeling my contractions to the time he was born was about 2 hours.

Right after he was born, they cut his umbilical cord and plopped him on my tummy. It was so quickly after he was born, I didn't realize at first what the warm, slimy thing was that they put on my chest! They didn't clean him or anything, they just put two blankets over him after placing him on my chest. And there he stayed for two hours. Just a few minutes after Max was born, Dougle was sent home to get my paperwork. About two hours after he was born, a nurse came in and took him to a corner of the room to clean him up, weigh him, and measure him. Then they took us to our room where we stayed for the next few days. Max never left the room I was in. The doctors and nurses came in and did all necessary checks in the room. We had a private room, with just me and Max, which meant that someone was able to stay with me in the hospital all day and overnight. It is very uncommon for husbands or others to stay with the new moms in the hosptials, but I can't imagine having to take care of Max all on my own right after giving birth! Dougle stayed with me the night he was born and the next night and Mom (who arrived just 12 hours after he was born!) was able to stay and help the last night there. It is also very rare to have visitors, but we were able to have one person at a time come up to the room and see Max and I.

While our stay was very nice and all the people were super kind to us, there were several differences between the hospital and procedures in the United States and here in Ukraine. The biggest difference is that you must bring everything with you to the hosptial. Everything includes sheets, blankets, forks, plates, cups, bowls, all toiletries (including toilet paper), and even your own drinking water. Another difference was with the food. Our hospital was different from most here in that they actually served food (in most hospitals, the families bring food everyday for the patients). For breakfast, we were served hot tea, bread and macaroni; for lunch we received a soup (borsh or vegetable) with a large helping of rice with some meat (a hot-dog type meat) and a fruit juice; dinner was light, just a large plate of buckwheat with bread, though one night they added shredded beats to the buckwheat, but no drink. A final difference was just in some conditions that we consider normal, but that aren't always available here. One night we lost lights and power for a little over an hour, and one day there was no hot water available. These are just some things that we took for granted in the States, but since living abroad, we've learned that these things aren't something everyone can enjoy as consistently and convieniently as we've been accustomed to!

Overall, we were really satisfied with our experience with the hospital and our care. God blessed us so much and answered all our prayers for a safe and healthy delivery. We are so grateful for all your prayers leading up to this! We will be posting more pictures and Max stories as our lives unfold as a family of four now!