Monday, July 29, 2013

Hubby and Nate in Ukraine

So, do I win the award for taking the longest absence of any other blogger from posting?!  Surely there is some sort of medal available... or at least a gold star.  All kidding aside, I DO hope to continue blogging, just maybe a little less often than before.  After all, this blog is a virtual scrapbook for my children as well as a connection to countless friends that I love all over the globe.  So, here we go... let's dig back into this blogging hobby...  

Hubby and our 9-year old son Nate are in Ukraine on a 15-day trip right now to run our annual Teen Camp. The rest of us stayed behind in California, mostly because I am now 23 weeks pregnant {but more about this pregnancy in another post}.

We have all been missing Ukraine, but Nate has expressed his feelings about it the most.  We thought the best medicine for him would be to make this trip with his Daddy.  Since hubby is the one behind the camera, most of who you will see in these pictures of their first few days of the trip will be Nate, Nate, and more Nate.  I'm his Mama and I'm missing him, so I don't mind his cute smile plastering this post.

{Below}: Here they are during a layover, in a hotel in the capital city of Kiev, enjoying breakfast.  Nate's meal consisted of a crêpe, (brown) boiled egg, slice of cheese, buckwheat, and a glass of milk.  You can't get any more Ukrainian than that!
{Below}:  This is a picture of the menu, from which Nate made his breakfast selection.  If you take the time to read it, it really is quite entertaining.  The "pancakes with sour cream" on the Ukrainian portion is really referring to crêpes (like you see on Nate's plate), and, yes, they do typically eat them with sour cream!  {I'm wondering how many Americans have visited Ukraine and ordered pancakes, expecting our thick pancakes with sweet maple syrup, only to receive crêpes with sour cream and wonder what went wrong?!} 

I am assuming the "scrambled kranch with vegetables and bacon" on the American portion is referring to scrambled eggs.  I speak Russian, but I have never heard eggs called kranch.  The price (which is typed in the lower right hand portion) is nearly $10 a plate.  Good thing hubby is not a fan of breakfast!
{Below} Hubby kept Nate entertained with his i-phone on the long trip over, and part of Nate's amusement was using the camera app to take random pictures.  This is one of Nate's shots... a photo of the hotel bathroom in Kiev.  (Yes, it is common in hotels to have to hold the shower head yourself while you are showering.)
{Below} What?!  A Domino's Pizza in Kiev?!  I am impressed to see the line-up of delivery motorcycles out front too.  Why, oh why, was there no Domino's when we lived in Kiev?  Of course, if we were still living in Ukraine, this Domino's would still do us no good since we lived hours away from the capital city, but just the thought of having it "so close" (14-15 hours away by train) would have been a treat....
{Below} Nate reading his Bible in our home, sweet, home.
{Below} Hubby celebrated his 35th birthday in Ukraine.  The kids and I here at home were sad to miss spending this special day with him, but some of our precious Ukrainian friends threw an evening party for him. Unfortunately for me, he managed to keep himself out of the pictures...
{Below} Nate is never bored.  His creativity keeps him entertained all hours of the day...

{Below}:  David's favorite drink in Ukraine - Schweppes Indian Tonic water.  I guess he liked this drink the most because I would never, ever steal a sip from him, and he would get the whole thing to himself.  Ha! And, yes, sandwiches are always served open-faced in Ukraine.

{Below}: Nate asked his Daddy if they could please follow tradition and eat at our favorite Ukrainian pizzeria for his Sunday afternoon lunch.  Looks like he got his wish... and his own personal-sized pizza! Yummy!
I hope you enjoyed these pictures and this small glimpse into their trip so far.  Teen Camp starts today, and we covet your prayers.  From the reports I am hearing, it looks like it will be well-attended and sounds like it is going to be a fantastic week!  I will update and post more pictures when I receive them...


  1. welll....I have only been dying for an update :) just kidding (well sort of ) :) So thankful to hear they are there and doing well. Praying for you and the kids back home. Thank you for sharing all those pictures!
    In Christ,

  2. YES! I greatly enjoyed your post :). So glad to see you back!!! Looking forward to a few more posts to catch us all up on what you are doing states side and of course a pregnancy update would be great too :). Samuel helped me put up a new map in our school room today and I was wondering if I should put your prayer card near California or Ukraine ... knowing your heart is in Ukraine I am thinking maybe both places :). Good to have you back ... no award for not updating ... don't want to encourage you disappearing again. Praying for you!

  3. So glad to hear back from you again. The bathroom resembles many we see in our Ugandan hotels. Praying for y'all.

  4. Yes, you were gone a long time and I MISSSED you, but you continued to be in my heart and prayers.
    Nate looks so happy and contented. I am so thankful that he was able to go with David.
    I have been praying for the teen camp. Knew it was soon but had forgotten the exact date.

    I know you have hundreds, if not thousands of friends, but I look forward to hearing from you.

    Love to you and all,

  5. You don't know how long I have long to hear from you as you know I don't get out much since the heart trouble and it is a blessing to hear from you I pray for you and your family every night and day when I am praying so good to hear from you and I have worried about you having to leave your house that you loving build and decorated I love the pictures of your house and any picture you send just wanted to say I love you and pray for you

  6. Hello Jolene,
    So excited to hear that you are expecting another blessing.
    Loved the pictures of Nate in the Ukraine.
    It looks like we are going to begin spending time there often beginning at the end of this year!
    God Bless you all!

  7. I saw on Facebook that Bro. David is in Ukraine now; how exciting for Nate to be able to go, too. I can't believe how grown-up Nate looks. Your kids are all growing so fast!

    Still praying for you guys and your new little one.

    Bro. Garry

  8. Congratulations on your new blessing! I loved reading about your guys trip to Ukraine. My son is leaving today for his first trip to Ukraine. He and a friend are going to Zhitomir to help the Bible Orphan Ministry for a couple of weeks.

  9. Jolene, the pictures on your blog of David and Nate brought tears to my eyes, as I recognized the restaurant where we'd go every Sunday...your living room (now that picture of Nate on his knees reading his Bible is a treasure you should keep in your Bible, Mommie!...WOW!) Then, of course Nelya, and Igor and Lyana (I'm sure that's incorrectly spelled) precious! Nelya and Lyana came out to David and Jolene's village the night before I flew out of Simferopol back in August last year, because David and family left the day before I did, and rode the train. We met up in Kiev the next morning, and flew to London together. Nelya and Lyana cooked an absolutely superb dinner that night for me...borsch, and all the trimmings! Yummy! They spent the night with me, so I wouldn't have to be alone, and then rode with me into town, when Bro. VanSant picked us up.

    I don't wonder why Nate misses his home and friends. I'm praying this trip will be a great comfort to him.

    And of course, I've been praying for Youth Camp this week. I've been praying for the safety of all the young people who traveled, probably since Saturday by train from all over Ukraine! I can't wait to see pictures.

  10. Wow! What an update! And, from the comments, I'm certainly not the only one ready to make that virtual trip back to the Ukraine. Yes, we continue to support your family in prayer.

  11. Timofeev Vladimir-OlyaMonday, August 05, 2013

    Hi Jolene! We all (our belorussian group) also enjoyed the time in fellowship and spending time with Ps. David and Nate! Nate was travel with us to Crimea and on the Black Sea! We loved to have him with us! And seemed like he also liked us Hi is so funny! And we all SO LOVED your beautiful house. It was a blessing to stay there!!! Thank you! But..we miss YOU very much!!!(olya)


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25