To Kiev again today… Jiggedy Jig

Off to the city again in a few minutes. We were there all day yesterday it seemed like. We had Russian lesson for three hours, two hours there, two hours back… Oy! But we are very thankful for our teacher and for the opportunity to study with her. She’s highly acclaimed.

Today, I am going to town to get our Permanent Residency process started.  You might be thinking that we already did that.  No, alas, that was just temporary residency (for one year – that can be extended up to three years).  Permanent status will be, well, permanent.  Meaning we will be permanent, legal citizens of Ukraine with all rights (except voting and holding public office — rats, I can’t be pres. after all!).

The process takes abut 6-8 months so we didn’t want to let it drag to the last minute and hope to get it done.  We want to stay ahead of the ball.  Thankfully, much of what we did for our temporary carries over and we just provide more copies of those things.  There are a few additional things to do but it’s all paperwork and just takes time, and is not difficult.  Phew.

The snow stopped late yesterday!  Maybe no snow today after all.  We will see.  

Thanking God for all He is doing and for His presence in our lives.

Bless the Name of the Lord.

 

The snow continues…

More snow overnight.  No power overnight.   Thankfully, when we woke up, the power was back on.  It’s really hard to do things here with power.  Especially when the sun is not shining.  The wind was very strong in the night and I suspect the icy power lines decided they had had all they could handle.  

Thankfully, though, someone worked during the night and got it fixed.  

I was looking for an article that talked about the massive snow we’ve had and that it was record breaking.I found THIS ARTICLE instead.  Click to read it. 100,000 homeless children.  And I was complaining yesterday that our house was too warm and turned off the heat.  Ugh.

big

So what to do?  I don’t know yet.  But there must be something.  The first thing I knew to do was to email the writer.   

Please pray about this with us.

I didn’t find the article about the weather.  For some reason, after reading this article, I didn’t care much about the weather.

Bless the Name of the Lord!

Christmas in Ukraine

Christmas (Рождество) is very different in Ukraine.  There are really two holidays back to back.

First comes New Year’s Day (on January 1, of course).  This is the BIG holiday.   Beginning on December 20th, or thereabouts, the New Year’s tree stands go up all over.  People decorate for New Years…not Christmas.  It’s kind of strange because every thing we call Christmas decorations in America are New Year’s decorations here.  

People often dress up in costumes for New Year’s, too.  It’s a little weird to walk through the Christmas section (or should I say New Year’s section) and see all the decorations along side costume sections like American stores have at halloween time.

Ded_Moroz_Blue They have a different character than Santa Claus…called Дед Мороз (Djed Moroz — translates to English as Old Man Frost.  Usually he is accompanied by “Snow Maiden” his helper.  I won’t go in to all the particulars about him, but you can read all about him here…

Ded_Moroz

[scbutton link=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ded_Moroz” target=”blank” variation=”blue” size=”small” align=”none”]Read More about Old Man Frost[/scbutton]

The big gift giving day is on January 1.  People give gifts like in  America on this day around the  New Year’s tree, but I suspect they don’t/can’t go quite as overboard as people often do in the US…but that’s just an assumption.

Then on January 7, we celebrate Christmas.  It’s a traditionally religious holiday observing the birth of Messiah.  However, while it is a religious holiday, it’s mainly a day of rest and celebration…not necessarily centered around Christ (kind of like Christmas in America without the presents).  It is a big holiday though.

There is a HUGE celebration New Year’s Eve in downtown Kiev (pictured above).  They have fireworks, food, celebration…and who knows what else!  

imgres We’ll celebrate Christmas on December 25, like usual.  Then we will of course celebrate New Year’s Day (you guessed it, on January 1).  And we will observe Christmas on January 7 without gifts.  Probably will have a quiet day at home remembering the birth of our Savior.

We will, decidedly, have a white christmas (whether it’s December 25 or January 7).  It’s been snowing all day today again and is supposed to snow for the next 4 days.  We shall see.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Snow, Adventures in Grocery Shopping, and Life

Our first snow came on December 3.  It snowed.  And snowed.  And snowed.  And then it snowed some more.

We have 2 days of snow and accumulated about 12-15 inches of snow over the three days.  Since we haven’t had temperatures above freezing, the snow just stayed.

Then a couple of days ago it snowed again.  All day.  Another several inches.  Monday, we shoveled (we being Bethany and Seth) snow for a long time and got the bid cement area in front of our house cleared.  They finished that about 3:30 (it gets dark about 4:00).  We woke up yesterday morning and Mary looked out and said, “You don’t want to look out the window.”  That’s never a good sign.  Around here, it could mean anything…

It was supposed to rain all night Monday night, but instead, it snowed all night.  And it must have snowed HARD all night.  Another 8-10 inches.   Because we hadn’t been to the grocery store for several days, we were out of most essentials and planned to leave at 9:00 to go get groceries before I started working (Tuesday is my all day work day from Noon – 8:00 p.m.).  We went out and promptly got stuck in the yard.  I would get the van free, then it would get stuck again.  So we started shoveling.  (This time, we was Seth, Blake and me.)  We shoveled and shoveled.  Then Yuri came out and brought his tractor over and finished clearing the cement area and the driveway.  

Finally, off we went to the store for the much needed foodstuffs.  We bought a LOT.  As a side note, one of the managers who talks to us was watching our total and when it passed a certain level, she said we needed to take our receipt to the administrator’s office and get a free ticket to the aquapark!  Woot woot!  And now back to our regularly scheduled program.  We got all the bags loaded and got on our way back home.  When we got here, I got my speed up to make it up the driveway, through the gate, and across the yard.   Only one problem.  The garbage man came and his big truck was parked in the gate, blocking access.  Hmmm… what to do.  Up to the doors in snow…  another car coming the other direction…  garbage truck blocking our gate…  

Thankfully, I was able to navigate the street and get enough speed to make it into the yard.  Phew.  Crisis averted.

Our quick trip to the grocery store?  9:00 – Noon.  

That’s why, dear friends, that I say repeatedly that everything takes longer here.   Everything.  

Be blessed.  Thank you for your prayers, your friendship and your financial support when possible.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!