May 9 — VICTORY Day

The streets are lined with Ukrainian flags.  The beautiful blue and yellow flags make me proud to live here.  Today celebrates victory in World War II.  

Since it is not a work day today, we decided to take the kids into the city.  All of them.  We went to the National Botanical Garden.  The lilacs (I think I said violets in my last post for some reason) are in full bloom.  There are hundreds of lilacs on show at the gardens.  They were simply breathtaking.  There are several paths that take you through the beautiful flowers.  The smell was amazing.  This is probably the last week they will be in show and we are so glad we got to see them.

There was no sun, so my pictures aren’t great.  But thankfully it was cool and not raining.  There were lots of hills and pushing the strollers up those hills wasn’t easy in the cool…we might have died if it had been hot!

One interesting thing did happen.  Among the MANY people who stared at us and our kids (partly because of sheer number, partly because we are obviously American, partly because we were speaking English, partly because five of the kids have Down syndrome) an older woman came up and gave each of the kids a little package of cookies and candy.  I don’t know why she had all that in her bag, but she did.  I don’t really know if she felt sorry for them or what the reason was…but it was genuinely touching.  Wish we could have talked to her about our kids.  But, we don’t know those words yet.

Bethany & Hannah making lunch for the littles.

Posing with the Peanut Butter!




This little one is growing bigger and bigger!  Since his surgery he is really thriving!


Our HUGE strawberry patch and our two Apricot trees.

Strawberry plant…  The blooms are so nice.

How’s that for a raspberry patch?

We have green onions and garlic coming up everywhere.  Some even mixed into strawberries.  Hmmm…

One of our cherry trees.  It’s gonna be a lot of cherries!!!  Which is great… since we love them!

Just one of the MANY irises.  This one will be breathtaking yellow in a couple of days.  I think I said lilies in my last post…but they are all irises.  Beautiful.

We have ENORMOUS, and beautiful hostas all around the yard.  Just wonderful.

Part of the grapevine.

Any guesses what this is?  It’s OKRA.

Hot peppers.

From Left to Right:  Tomatoes, Green Beans, Cucumbers

Look how green our grass is!  I got half finished mowing and ran out of gas.  Sigh.

Another of our beautiful purple irises.


So this is the entrance to the botanical gardens.  Handicapped accessible and all.  Which would you choose to take a stroller up?  The stairs or the very steep metal “ramp?” We chose the stairs.  I’m glad I’m not in a wheelchair.  These same type of ramps are throughout Ukraine where there are stairs.  Many are MUCH steeper.  And most don’t have rails on the side.



One of the spectacular views form the gardens.

Me and the love of my life.  She still turns me on and is the most important person to me — after 21 years.

The lilacs were just breathtaking.  You can’t imagine how many there are.



I don’t have any idea what this old building is, but it’s neat looking among the lilacs and foliage.


3 beautiful Malone women.


2 of the lovely Malone daughters.



One of the many lanes of lilacs in the gardens.


He wasn’t crying.  It was kind of cold.








I just love this boy — rough patches and all.  I would love to know what goes on in his head (I think).





That’s all folks.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.