"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Funday

Hello Hello Hello!

Today was a good day.  We slept in (45 minutes worth!) thanks to our precious girly.  We bummed around and then went to church.  I am so thankful for our church and for Ilya and Ira Gromov, the pastor and his wife.  They have been so welcoming, and I am surprised at the number of people who speak English!  I feel so humbled that they would speak my language with me, when I am the one who should be speaking to them in Russian.

One of the Babushkas has adopted Isla.  Her name is Natasha and every time she sees Isla, she runs over and grabs her.  When Isla starts to reach to for me, Natasha turns around and runs off with her.  She keeps telling me that Isla is too small and that I need to feed her more!  Little does she know that Isla doesn’t STOP eating all day long and it finally gets to a point where I have to cut her off or else she will never do anything but sit in her chair and eat.  Today Natasha whisked Isla away and when she reappeared Isla had two cookies, one for each hand, which she was happily gnawing away on.  After the service, she got another cookie… um, sugar high much?  Natasha has also asked me a few times if she can borrow Isla for a couple of days!  Very sweet, but no, and I am thankful that I am nursing still so I can give her that as an excuse.

After the service we went home and Isla was miserable!  Poor thing.  Not only had she digested way too much sugar, but our church falls right during her afternoon nap so she missed it, but of course refused a later nap.  I went and took a catnap and left Nick to deal play with Isla.  She was so fussy!  After I got up, we fed her some butternut squash to get some healthy food into her, and Nick and I put her in her stroller and we went for a family walk around the city.  We made a stop at Baskin Robbins, and finally the supermarket, and when we got home, we realized that we had been out for almost 3 hours!  I love living in a city.

My friend Virginia graciously let me borrow her iPhone charger (yet another charger that was misplaced in the move) so I was able to get it out and take a few pictures of my big girl!  Nick’s blackberry has not been working right, so right now this is our only means of taking photos! Please excuse the clothes I was folding in the background.  Hopefully this week I can borrow the charger again to take pictures of our apartment.

4-10-2011 002 4-10-2011 003 4-10-2011 004 4-10-2011 005 One big prayer request that I have.  I was speaking with Ira (the pastor’s wife), and she told me that that the church used to do work with an orphanage around here, but that about 1 1/2 years ago, the orphanage got a new director who forbids them from coming to spend time with the children.  It has a lot to do with the Russian Orthodox church, which views our church as little more than a cult.  Ira said that she would be fine with the ban if the Orthodox church itself did things for the orphans, but they don’t.  All while refusing to allow people who want to spend time with the kids do it!  There is going to be a festival this week, that the orphans will be allowed to attend, and there will be get the opportunity to hear about Jesus.  That’s one praise at least!

It is moments like this when it is so clear what a stronghold the evil one has on this country.  I would like to make a prayer request that this director’s heart would be softened enough to allow the church the opportunity to work with these little ones who desperately need love and care.  I am very thankful to have something specific to devote my prayers to for Russia.

Also, I have taken up a new hobby… vanilla making!  I brought over a large package of vanilla beans and all you have to do is split the beans, put them in a vodka bottle, store it in a dark, cool place, occasionally swirl the bottle and then wait for about six months for it to turn into delicious vanilla!  The first bottle that I bought is the second from the right.  It says Смирнов.  I grabbed it before really reading the label, and when I got home I realized that it was just plain old Smirnoff.  Russian vodka it may be, but that just wasn’t going to cut it for my first bottle of Russian vanilla!  So I bought the bottle to the far right, and made that into vanilla about a week ago.  Then I started wandering what I was going to do with the over a hundred or so vanilla beans that I had left so I decided to start my own little vanilla factory.  I made the Smirnoff into vanilla a few days ago, and then I bought three more bottles of vodka for my next batch.4-10-2011 008I still have lots more vanilla beans and I wanted to get more vodka, but Nick cut me off at three for this time!  Oh well.  I want to try it with another brand of vodka and test to see which one makes the best vanilla.

Now I am off to spend a little bit of time with my hubby and my new hobby before bed.



  1. When you start making Nick yummy chocolate chip cookies he will be so happy to have that homemade vanilla. So happy you all had a great day. We met Shawna and family at chuck E Cheese. We are missing Isla dearly. I will be praying for those sweet orphans and the director. Love you lots, mom

  2. Where did you get all that vanilla?? It's like $12 a bean here! So jealous.

  3. Oooh I am totally into this new hobby of yours. Seriously. You know I am constantly baking. Keep us posted on how this goes, for sure!

  4. Mom, I made my inaugural batch last Sunday!

    Lauren, my mom bought them on eBay. It was like $30 for over a hundred!

    Adrienne, I will! My mom has been making vanilla for a while now, and it is all that I use. It even beats Mexican vanilla.


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