Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas -- New Year's

Happy belated New Year!! Oh dear, it has been a incredibly wonderful, tiring and eventful week. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time, but I am soooooooo tired it’s not even funny!! I have been trying to get everything caught up of mine that I have been putting off for a week and a half. Right now I think that the only thing left is laundry (Ugh). I guess that you probably want me to tell you all about it right (don’t answer that ;D). I hope that I don’t end up running too terribly long. Here goes nothing! [note for those of you with dial-up: I am very sorry that I put so many pictures on this post. I really shouldn't have, but there were so many things that couldn't be explained without images!]

Christmas Eve -- we had a pretty relaxed day. We didn’t do much running around though my parents did go to town for a few hours to get some last-minute stuff taken care of. During this we (the kids) stayed home and played Monopoly. Oh what fun!!!
When evening arrived we were all tired, me because I was sick sick sick L and everyone else because they wore themselves out in the duration of the day. So, we all went to bed and Mother dear and Father sir stuffed the stockings!!
I will not attempt to tell you how horribly I slept that night. I think the total number of hours was something around 4. I am not sure why, but it might have been related to the fact that I wasn’t able to breath because of my cold (I am pleased to be able to say that I am now nearly 100% healthy again). Needless to say the night did pass and Christmas came!!

Christmas Day -- when all of us kids had gotten up and “accidentally” woken up Mom and Dad (I was actually not involved this time :P ) we all gather around the tree to open up the stockings and gifts. We had a great time giving, receiving, enjoying one another’s surprise, sharing in the excitement and just being a family.

Caleb received the one thing that he had been begging Mom and Dad for all year, a dog!

This is the scrapbook that I made for my Mom. I think it was quite a feat since no one knew but me and my sis!

Seth gave me the perfect gift, page protectors for all of my music!

Merry Christmas everyone!

When the gifts were opened and all the wrapping paper mess was cleaned up, we kids went upstairs to play our new card game -- Killer Bunnies by name -- while Mom made breakfast. An hour or so later some of our friends came over to enjoy Christmas breakfast with us. We had a great time fellowshipping with them and when they had left my family (everyone but me, I was still really sick) left to go pick up some of our friends from Oregon who were going to be arriving by bus. I had a nice, quiet morning alone in our house. I enjoyed it, but it made it not really feel like Christmas; I guess that’s because I have never experienced a “quiet” Christmas in our house. At 6 p.m. they (our friends and my family) got back. We had a great reunion since I had not seen any of them for over a year!
After supper we all sat around the tree again and exchanged gifts. Since they had had such a long trip, they headed for bed nearly immediately afterwards.

From left to right: Jessee, Me, Bethany, Andrew, Christian (Lee, not the older one, that would be Logerstedt. Confusing, I know)

The little girls opening their gifts as Shari watches.

Couples’ Dinner at our Church -- a few days after our friends arrived another team of 24 Americans arrived over at our Church. This ended up being an extra bonus since it meant that our friends got to meet them and kind of help out with some of the outreaches that they did. The neatest one (in my opinion) was the annual dinner that we hold at our church for the couples of the community. A few hours before the dinner we went around the village and passed out invitations. I thought that this was kind of interesting since you usually hand out that kind of thing at least a few days before a party, but it all worked out! At 5 p.m. it started and Bethany (my friend who was visiting) and I were whisked away to the house to take care of the kids at my house while the parents attended the dinner. My brother (Caleb) and Christian (his friend) stayed to help serve the food and help out much to their relief-- I don’t think that they particularly like babysitting!

Excursion to Guasave -- a few Days before our friends left we all went out for a day of shopping in the “Mercado” (market). We had a great time and I got to be the official tour guide. We split off in two groups; one was Bethany, Christian, Caleb and I and the other was the moms and the rest of the kids. This is where paying attention while my Mom drives me through town pays off, it made it much easier to find my way around!
Bethany and Christian bought some souvenirs and gifts for friends and my brother bought… a shovel and a machete… hmmmm… I guess that’s his choice, huh?!?!
To top everything off, we all stopped in at the bread store and bought (I say we, I meant Bethany, Christian and Caleb, I am broke :^y ) some freshly baked bread and milk. Mmmm Mmmm Good!

In the Casa de Cambio (that's the place where you exchange Dollars for Pesos)

Christian is making sure that he has the correct amount of money. I assured him that, opposite to what he may think, most people will not rip you off.

Us girls were having way too much fun in the fabric store. Wish I could say the same for the boys. I think that they will thank us in the long run; we were training them to be good husbands someday!!

Assorted other things and activities--

Bethany and Christian hanging out with some of the Americans from the other team that came. That adorable little boy in the picture is Hasiel. Awww!

Our mothers doing what they do best (besides cook), talking!!

The boys scored on several quite large fish. Though I am not sure what they enjoyed more, catching or gutting! Yuck!

The cup game!! This is sooo much fun and we are really *coughs* good at it!

Awww, aren't they sweet!

The beautiful kingdom of CALCHRISARANY (Caleb, Christian, Sarah, Bethany my idea!)

Goodbye-- our friends’ visit was great and filled with fun!! We went swimming at the beach, collected shells and a vast number of other odd things. Funny thing, even though I live right on the beach it had been more than two months since I had actually walked down there, oh what I miss! But no more!! I must visit at least once a week now (let’s see how long that lasts!). On Thursday we took our friends to Guasave and went out to eat. When we had finished we headed over to the bus station and sat down to wait for the bus. We didn’t have too long to wait; about 45 minutes later the bus came in and we saw our friends off. I managed not to cry or anything, but I think that it was only because I knew that we were going to see them again in a month (we are going on furlough January 17 or so).

Before leaving for the bus station we went over to the church to say goodbye to our friends (they were to leave the following day) and our pastor sent us off with prayer!

Goofs, I know. I don't wear glasses, btw, those are borrowed.

This is what Andrew did while we were in the bus station.

What handsome families, wouldn't you agree?(I am biased, I think! lol)

Adios! Que le vaya bien!

In Conclusion -- I honestly cannot believe that this year is gone. Wow!! Where did the time go? I feel that as I get older the time goes faster. Yet, God is always faithful and has been true to His promises. He has formed and transformed me and I know that He has a plan for me even though I might not understand what it is now. What a blessed assurance!!!

Since it is the new year, I must finish this post with my list of goals and resolutions -- or perhaps better said prayers -- for the coming months.

I will learn to speak French.
I will improve my Spanish.
I will pray and seek God’s will about going to the local Bible school at the end of this year.
I will pray and seek God’s will about going and working in a deaf children’s orphanage next year.
I will be more faithful in prayer and reading my Bible.
I will live each day to the best of my ability.
I will write more often.
I will practice more faithfully the piano and guitar.
I will make new friends.
I will continue to pray for the friends that I have (I love you guys!!)
Through God’s grace I will learn to be patient and wait in silence.
I will be an encouragement to others and not tear them down.
I will love my siblings and not be easily angered.
I will finish my Geometry.
I will brush up on my English.
I will prepare for my SAT test
I will share the gospel with others.
I will be light and salt in the

To all who have been reading my blog in this past year:
Thank you so much! I have been blessed by the many comments and emails that I have received from each of you. I appreciate you willingness to correspond with me and to read what I write.
To those of you who I have met in blog-world:
I thank God every day that He has allowed me to meet such fine people as yourselves. You are a great encouragement and it means a lot to me that you are willing to set aside the time to read my ponderings. Most of you I have never met, some of you I hope to be able to meet soon and some of you I may never meet, but God has it all in His hands!

Blessings to you all! I pray that the Lord would continue to work in your life in this new season!

“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it…” ~Anne of Green Gables


  1. Hey Complete Stranger! Been pretty silent around here! You should see how well I've been doing!
    (*coughs* actually...the last time I posted was on the 18th too....uh...:-) cheese!)

    I read your comment on Felecia's blog (uh, so where do I come in here, huh??? lol JUST kidding:-P) I am literally jumping with excitement! You're really going to be here THAT long? How sweet is that! Girl, it would be SO awesome if you guys could come to church! Our "youth night" is on Tuesday evening. See, we actually moved our Sunday School to Tuesday night because it was more convenient for visitor children. So on Tuesdays we all spit up into our age-respective classes - parents, teens, kids, elderly, etc.

    Also, sometimes after Sunday evening service we(out families) sometimes head over to a cheap Mexican restaurant and there we often hang out and have more "youth time". There aren't much of us, but we're a unique bunch!:-P Man, I can't wait for this! I surely you all find a place to stay...I'm not sure Felecia can accommodate your entire family. But either way, wouldn't it be awesome to maybe have a sleepover thing with just the three of us? Not sure if it would work, I'm just thinking out loud, but wouldn't it be so sweet? This is great!:-)

    Alright, high time I replied to your age-old comment. I'm tired of it sitting in my Inbox. (lol, ok, ok, that's not the ONLY reason:-P)

    So you did well on your French exam. Ah, I knew. Of course! How could such a linguistic genius go wrong? I'm so proud:-)

    Yochana it is. But you musn't fault me if I really do call you that forever:-)

    Yes, bossiness. Does it really have a cure? I mean, when your the eldest, you've got to do SOME amount of ordering around, yes? The plate of sibling management is practically shoved in your face at times. (Ok, not exACTly. But close.) I guess it must enhance leadership skills. (Just looking on the bright side, ok?) I know, it's bad, and the poor kids gotta hate it, but oh well. Someday...

    So you want to hear me play the harp, eh? Alright, girl, you've asked for it! Beware! lol. No, it is a gorgeous instrument. And what I like most about it? Well, I guess that's sort of like asking an artist what they like best about painting. It's kinda hard to pick just one thing, because it's the occupation itself that is...fulfilling. The sound is gorgeous and practicing is lovely - but, see, I just crave music, so the sound itself, and playing it, answers some sort of hunger inside me. I love to play!

    The Russian story is a very long one. Perhaps when you come to see me I can tell you all about it. See, there are three passions that shape my life and consume my very soul. God, music, and Russia and all associated with it. But to answer your simple question, I've been studying the language off and on since about 2003 when my 23-year-old Russian aunt(who had been in the US for not much over 6 months) was tragically killed in a pregnancy accident. I know, 5 years should make me amply fluent. But I said I've been studying "off an on". Still, though, 5 years? Ok, I admit, it's been more "off" than "on"! lol. I am to the point where I can hold a pretty basic conversation and where I can comfortably navigate myself in a Russian community. You know, the point where you can listen to a conversation and sort of follow it, but would rather not participate yourself?? So thats a small part of my Russian story in a nutshell.

    You are "enchanted" with languages??? Girl, you've found a bosom companion! Languages? I'm passionate about them! Aren't they so beautiful? Just like keys that open the doors to worlds beyond. But see, I am extremely passionate about different cultures(not to mention geography), so foreign language ties straight in to that, I guess. But I do love them!

    What do I want to be when I grow up? My dear, what a question to as a wordy person like me! If my comments take 15 minutes to read and my posts an hour, and if I cannot let myself tell you the "Russian story"....just imagine what "my calling in life and my future destiny" would look like in words! lol. But anyways, I'll try to answer your question without crashing your computer. I've told you I love music. And I have been in college to study music and I want to get my Masters. And I love to perform and someday I would love the honor of performing in some of the country's great concert halls. But there is something else - something deeper and beyond that. And that is my love for Russian culture. And I believe that God may be calling me to a life's work somewhere other than dear California...but, there! I've talked too much already! When you come to see me, I can relate it all to you much faster than I can type:-).

    So there, my dear, I've archived your comment, and now I can go to bed in piece with a slightly less-cluttered Inbox:-P Oh, if my friends only knew what their many emails did to make my Inbox look so messy....(dramatic sigh). Lol. No, I really really do appreciate those messy emails! Don't know what I'd do without them!

    So there! I've replied to your comment! Which means that, in a day or so, I can come back and comment on your POST, and actually ask you a few questions yourself! Lol. Take care, sistah!

    Much Love,

  2. I'm afraid my comment won't be /5 of Nastya's BUT I enjoyed your post all the time, and loved seeing all your photos - PTL for highspeed! :) I hope you will be able to "chat" a bit more with the new year.... and I hope all your studies are going well!

    Miss ya!
    Miss Jocelyn

  3. I am so glad that you were able to visit with such good friends during the holidays! Life is so much sweeter with friends!!!

    Your SSA


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