Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Something Is Missing

Sometimes I wonder if this thing has a mind of its own. The pictures never seem to upload in the right order no matter what. Once I think I have it all figured out it mixes the pictures all up. Oh well. Anyway...

Chris had his Embassy Appt yesterday (Monday) afternoon and all went well with that. All he had to do was sign some forms there and he was done. Now he is on a plane heading home to our girls - well two of them anyway. Karissa is off at college :)

Here we are with Milana on Saturday. This was Chris's last visit with Milana until I come home with her. She is missing him already and so am I. It just isn't the same without him. I'm really wishing we brought the girls on this trip, but I guess they would have left with him too so it'd just be me and Milana. This was a picture of Peyton, Riley, Chris, and I the day we left - 3 weeks ago today! It seems like it was so much longer. (Can you tell I am missing my girls)!! I can't wait to go home and hug them tight! I might not let go!!!
This little girl is so ready to get home to her sisters, her Dad, grandparents, great grandparents, her aunts, uncles, friends, etc. I can't wait!!

Here are my 3rd graders. Wow! Time sure does fly by. I can't believe how big they have gotten in the three weeks since I have been gone! I love you girls!!! (For the record this picture was the right way when I uploaded it. I would attempt to fix it, but it takes far too long for pictures to upload here and so really it just isn't worth it). Just stand on your head when you are ready to look at it :)

Here is Daddy and his little - well not so little girls. I bet they can't wait to pick him up from the airport later today.

I would have happily added a picture of Karissa, but I asked her to send me some weeks ago and still haven't gotten any. I attempted to swipe some from her pictures on facebook, but...well it just didn't work out so well. I am missing her too! I can't wait for her to come home and visit us once we are all home!
Hoping to find out what the plan is for when the 10 days are up. I'm getting anxious and would like to know when we are doing the paperwork, busting Milana out of the orphanage, etc.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Long Day

Today was a long day. I got up bright and early and got ready to go to the orphanage and then got a text saying I wasn't going for another hour. No big deal. Although I could have slept in. Oh well. Maybe another day.

When I got to the orphanage Milana came running to me and as always was excited to see me. (Although really she is excited to see everyone). She seemed to notice right away that Chris wasn't there. When I picked her up she kept looking behind me to see if she could find him. We had a nice time playing. I love this little truck. It is so funny to me that at (almost) 3 Milana is small enough to fit into it. All the kids seem to love it. I have seen them pushing each other in it.
Here is my girl trying to climb up the slide. Wrong way silly!! You go down the slide...not up!!!

After our visit at the orphanage I came back to the apartment and waited around in hopes that someone would come replace my lightbulb. No one did. I gave up waiting after 2 hours and headed out with Cass. We wandered about and did some shopping. I bought Milana a few things that should fit her. Everything I brought is much too big for this tiny little girl.
For dinner I joined the Clarke's at their place and enjoyed some good company and conversation. Oh and of course good tea :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Look At Her Go

As always we had a lovely visit with Milana. We are really going to have to keep our eyes on this one. When we arrived this morning I went up to get her. All the children in her groupa were still eating breakfast. Of course she saw me and immediately started yelling and trying to get to me. I literally blinked and the next thing I saw was her kneeling on the table with her arms reaching out to me. (If only I had the camera ready).

As you can see she really is a good climber. We will have to find a way to block off the stairs so she can't wander up them on her own. And believe me when I say that she will try. She really is quite independent! Here is our girl trying to get the bubble wand into the bubbles. She is able to do it, but it took a couple of times. She isn't quite sure how to blow the bubbles. Although by accident she did it once. She holds the bubble wand in the wrong place and blows. She also tries to stick the bubble wand in her mouth. I can't imagine it tastes very good!
Yesterday Milana had some of the banana that Cass brought for Allina so today I brought the girls their snack. As you an see she loves bananas. This little thing ate the entire banana and then wanted MORE!!!!

Milana absolutely loves music. Most days they play music and you can hear it outside. It is quite nice. When Milana hears it she will stop and dance. Today there was no music on so at first I was singing to her and she was dancing away. Then Chris played the Notre Dame fight song on his Ipod and this little one was dancing away. I guess that is a good sign :)

Here Milana was really upset because Chris had actually let her hold the Ipod and she was loving holding it and dancing, but when the wind blows this little thing literally gets knocked over and down she went. So Chris took the Ipod back and needless to say Milana was very unhappy. And she does not forget. It is really hard to move her on to a different activity when she still wants to do the one you are moving her away from.

After our visit we had to go to the notary so that we could sign Power of Attorney forms so that Chris can leave and go home. We did this back in NC, but you also have to do this here. We were worried at first when we started trying to get him on the train out of here because there wasn't any space for days and days. Fortunately we were able to book a flight out of here. He is just leaving sooner than we inteded and spending a few days in the capital city. On a positve note he doesn't have to spend 15 hours on the train :)
Chris will take care of the paperwork he needs to do on Monday and then will fly home on Tuesday. The girls are so excited that he is coming home!! I can't wait until it is my turn to come home with Milana so that we can all be together.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Court Today

Today was the big day. Now the 10 day waiting period begins. We aren't able to do anything as far as paperwork until September 7th.

We are going out to celebrate later with the Clarke's and a french couple we met who also had court today.

More later :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Little Rock Star

I had another lovely visit with my little one today. We arrived bright and early and the kids were already outside. As soon as Milana saw me she got very excited and was trying to run over to me. One of her caretakers stayed right with her and held her hand so she wouldn't fall down. It was so nice to scoop her up and hug her tight! I have to say that this girl fits right in with our family already. All of my girls know how to rock a hat. Check out this cutie with her hat on backwards. She is too much! We have been doing our best during visits to keep Milana out of the sandbox. Even when it is closed she will walk over to it and tug on the handles with ALL her might. Today she not only spotted an open sandbox, but some of her friends were in it as well so as much as I don't like sandboxes I gave in. She spent quite some time in the sandbox, but after she ate sand a few times I figured enough was enough. We were both covered in sand from head to toe!
Look at my little rock star! Don't you just love the shades!!! One of her little friends saw her with the shades on and she came over and sat down with Milana and tried them on as well.

I was amazed today by how long Milana sat in a stroller and let me push her around. She was climbing into one today and the caretaker let me use it to push her in it. She LOVED it!! One of her little friend's whom Chris really likes came over and helped me push her in the stroller (which really is funny because he isn't any bigger than she is). The caretaker he was with kept telling him to come with her and he kept shaking his head no at her. It was really very funny because we have also heard him tell them Nyett! He is the only one we have seen or heard do that. He is very determined!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trying To Catch Up

This adorable picture here is from our visit yesteray. I love it because Milana is looking at two of her three big sisters. In this particular picture Riley & Peyton are holding the dog they made for Milana at Build A Bear. Theyare going to be such wonderful big sisters. While we were enjoying our visit yesterday we got a call from Violetta. (Not usually a good sign). She informed us we need ANOTHER document for court and that Sasha would go and get it. I asked her if this would have an impact on our court date and delay us and she said it would not. After the visit and lunch Chris and I headed to the park with Roger and Oishin. (Cass wasn't feeling well). This plane is at the park. There are also some old run down carnival rides. (Not sure why the picture is turned this way, but as I already lost my entire blog due to this crazy computer I am not going to attempt to fix another thing). There is also a beautiful fountain at the park. I would have included a picture of it, but there were no Monkey Men in it so I figured it wouldn't be as fun. Actually I was quite glad we haven't seen anymore Monkey Men, but I figure that is probably because we aren't with Sid. If he were with us who knows what we'd run into :)
Last night we went out with Cass, Roger, and Oishin and enjoyed a concert. Monday was Flag Day here and yesterday was Independence Day. In celebration the streets were closed off and there was a concert outside. It was fun. Not only did we listen to some music in a foreign language, but we also heard some familiar music as well. They put on a Lady Gaga song and also they played Funky Town. Pretty sweet huh?
Today we had a really long visit with Milana. We got picked up earlier so that Sasha could drop us off at the orphanage and then get on his way so that he could go get that document we need for court.
During our visit we gave Milana some juice in the sippy cup we bought her yesterday. She was so content to sit there until she finished every last drop. There is a little boy in her groupa who is also being adopted and he came over to see if he could have some juice too. She did share, but she would also tease him. She'd reach her arms out with the cup towards him and when he'd attempt to sip it she'd pull it away. The two of them laughed so hard. It was really adorable.
When she tired of that and noticed the others drinking water she climbed down off the bench and walke over to anyone who had a water bottle yelling the whole time. (It was quite funny). And of course everyone gave her some of their water.
Here she is with the water bottle she pretty much took from Roger. She came towards me with it in hopes that I would give her some. She was out of luck with me so she tried Chris. We eventually hid the bottle on her so we could return it to its rightful owner.
Later in the afternoon we headed to the Water Park with Cass & Oishin. It was quite warm out so we figured we might as well cool off in the water. When we finished up at the Water Park we all met up for dinner at Silver. Roger who opted to stay home from the water park joined us as well. As always we had a nice time. It really has been great to have another family to share this time with. Although I have to admit I am a bit upset. I never did have my pancakes with icecream :( Maybe tomorrow!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Holding Back A Little

This girl is just a ray of sunshine! When we got to the orphanage this morning Milana was already outide with her groupa. At first we had trouble finding her as some of the kids had the same clothes on. As soon as we saw her we headed over and she welcomed us with open arms and lots of noise. Her caretaker and I got her dressed and then one of the little girls in the groupa who we just adore was helping Milana put on her shoes. It was so precious!

Then we were off to do our thing. Daddy and Milana did a lot of bouncing around. I could never get her face when she jumped up in the air (with Daddy's help of course). Each time she got to the ground Milana bent her knees in preparation for another jump. After awhile she tired Chris right out! I had lots of snuggle time with Milana today. She is quite the cuddler. I enjoyed every minute of that!
Today was the first time we saw this sweet ride. Milana LOVES this! The battery does not work so it has a rope attached to the front so you can pull the children in it. I tried and tried to catch the giant smile on Milana's face as Chris pulled her in this, but I couldn't. After many, many times around the orphanage Chris & I were not only tired, but dripping with sweat. When it was time to move on to something else this girl was less than thrilled.

Here Milana is once again trying to break into the sandbox. She goes to the handle each time and pulls with everything she's got. Unfortunately for her - it isn't enough. I'm okay with her staying out of the sandbox though.

I have to admit that I have been holding back a little. On Friday last week there were rumors of a court date. Then on Saturday we needed another document and we were worried that this would throw off our court date and push it further out. After we got the document done and Violetta took all the documents to the court she called us back and we do have a date. Please pray that all goes according to schedule!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aqua Park

Today we had a lovely day with the Clarkes. We don't get to visit the orphanage on Sundays and so we figured we would make the most of our day. So...we decided to go to the waterpark. (It was much warmer today than yesterday). We had no clue where it was, but figured we would try to take a taxi there. We walked over to where a bunch of taxis sat waiting and asked them if they knew how to get to the waterpark. They seemed to know and so for 25 grivna we took a taxi there.

When we got there it looked closed, but the door was opened. The two workers told us they were closed because it was too cold. Cass told them no it was not too cold for us and mentioned they are from Ireland so it was definitely not too cold. It worked! They let us in. Yay Cass!!!

This is one of the many BIG splashes Chris made as he came down the waterslide. Nice huh?? You should have seen Roger's clothes after Chris came down the slide :)
This is the view of one end of the waterpark. The water was VERY cold, but it was quite sunny and warm out.
Here are the waterslides that we had a blast going down for hours. If we go again I will have to take a picture of the mats you sit on to go down the slide. I will say no more until I have a picture.
We really enjoyed our time at the waterpark. I'm not sure who had more fun the adults or Oishin. After about 3 hours it was time to head back. The only problem was none of us know our address. So thanks to Cass (yet again) she found out what Trolley we needed to take to get home. So for about 2 grivna per person we made it back to our apartment.

We temporarily parted ways, but only long enough for the Clarke's to get some of their dishes and the rack to their stove and then head back to our place. (Neither of us have a full set of silverware or dishes and the racks to our stover are far too big). We all ran to the market to grab some food for dinner. It took forever to cook because it seems most meals whether dining in or out take an enormous amount of time to make. The problem this time was that our pilot light in the gas oven went out and we didn't realize it. We did get to eat eventually and as always we got to chat.
Although we are enjoying are time here it is difficult not having the girls Especially on a day like today where they would have really enjoyed the water park. We will definitely all go as a family real soon :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Much Cooler Day

When we got to the orphanage this morning and up to Milana's groupa the kids were still dressed for bed. Milana and to other children were getting dressed at the same time. One little girl came over and gave me a BIG hug! Then she hugged Milana and they gave each other a kiss. It was so cute. Then we all hugged some more and finished getting dressed to go outside. As you can tell Milana is dressed much warmer today than she has been. The temperature dropped a good 30 degrees since yesterday. It was warm if you stood in the sun, but if not it was a little cool. There was also a breeze which litterally would knock Milana over. A couple times we watched her sway back and fourth with the wind.
There are several little covered outdoor areas for the children to play in. Many of them have swings in them and various things such as this little toy Milana is playing with.
And these little bikes. This girl LOVES these bikes. This particular one was nice because she could reach the ground and move all by herself. There are some with pedals and she seems to know what she needs to do, but can't reach them so we just push her. The funny thing is there are so many of these little bikes and she will just go from one to the other until she finds something else that catches her eye.
She is desparate to get into the sandboxes. Fortunately they have been closed most days so we can avoid it, but even still she will go right to it and grab the handle and try to pull it open. Then she looks at you like "Would you open this up already?" She is something this little one :)
One thing we did notice about our visit today is that Milana is enjoying us more and more. She gave us TONS of kisses and really likes to snuggle. We just love her so much! She is a doll! (And VERY BUSY)!!
Shortly after we were home from our visit we got a call that we needed to go to the notary again. We thought we had all of our documents ready, but now we needed a new one. It sounded like it is one they had never needed before. This was fine. Violetta picked us up and took us to the notary. We didn't get tea this time :( We signed more papers and we headed back home.
We met up with the Clarke's again this afternoon and headed to the park to play frisbee with Oishin. He is a sweetheart. Although he told me I was too small for frisbee and I'm not sure what that means. He also told Cass & I at one point to work on it (meaning our frisbee game) and left us with the frisbee to practice. I guess we aren't very good at frisbee :)
Tonight for dinner we all headed to Chelsea for dinner. It was very good. Our waitress was great. We were there for hours!! I think we spent at least four hours there, but we had a great time talking and just hanging out! It is so nice to have other families with you on this amazing journey!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Social Butterfly

I know I have said it before, but it must be said again - this girl is not only VERY busy, but VERY social. She seems to love everyone she sees. The one thing she wasn't sure of at first is her dolly. She liked it and then didn't. I showed her how to hug it and kiss it and now she likes it for a few minutes at a time. Although most activities she likes for only a few minutes at a time. Then she moves on to something else. I did think this was really cute though. When she was finished pushing her baby she just left the doll and walked off. I have to say I think we need one of these at home. This is about the only thing that slowed little Miss Milana down. So we will be looking into getting her a little pool and filling it up with all sorts of plastic balls. Shortly after Milana got out of the balls one of the other children in the orphanage came running over from across the grounds, walked past Milana, and dove headfirst into the balls. It was hilarious! Her caretaker had to come over and get her and then she still wouldn't come out. The poor woman had to go in after her. (That was funny too)!
This is Milana on one of the couches outside. We were nowhere near it and little Miss I know what I want walked (or perhaps I should say waddled) over to it and patted it for me to lift her up. Why she did that I have no clue because when she wanted to get down she turned herself over and climbed right on down. (She is very independent).
Here is another picture I love. She really enjoyed this little Elmo book. I honestly think she loved it because at the end there is a little mirror and she could look at herself and boy does this girl LOVE to look at herself.
I wish so much that I could record her laugh. This little one laughs from way deep down and she laughs and laughs. Chris was tickling her and she thought it was hysterical. I showed her how to tickle him and of course she would tickle him and he would pretend to laugh hard and she laughed for such a long time. I just can't wait to get her home to her sisters. She is going to love and adore them so much.
We also got a nice surprise today. The Clarke's are now here so we have some company. We met up this evening and had dinner together. I think we had to have been at the restaurant for at least 3 hours. We talked and played cards with Oishin (their son who is so cute) and we talked some more and we waited for the check and waited and waited and....well you get the idea. We are all headed to the orphanage together tomorrow. I can't wait to see how that will work out and who will be sitting on who's lap. It should be interesting to say the least. I'll charge the camera tonight so it is ready to go for pictures of our interesting journey.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today after our visit with Milana we had some paperwork to do. We went to the Notary's Office and had to sign papers and all sorts of fun stuff like that. I thought buying a house was bad with all the papers you sign. Let me tell you that is nothing compared to this.

As we sat there a woman brought us all some tea. She asked if we wanted sugar and we told her yes please. (Keep in mind all of this is being translated). So as she goes to get our sugar Sasha - who is our facillitator who does not speak any English tells her that we would also like some chocolate. Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got back to business and after we finished the paperwork (and the tea which was delicious) we showed the woman our pictures of our family. She really enjoyed looking at them and told Violetta (our translator) that our house looks like those they see in American movies. They all thought that the girls look like me :) After looking at the pictures the notary said that the girls were very beautiful.

It was funny because they all could not figure out why we would adopt a little girl if we already have 3 girls. They thought maybe we would want a little boy. We all know I want a little boy, but it just wasn't meant to be this time. I found out the notary has two little girls and Sasha has two boys. He said that he feels bad for Chris being the only man in the house.

Before we left I took her card (which is not in English) and Sasha gave me the pen to keep. I had Violetta read what the pen said on it. It was the name of some kind of Vodka and on the other side it says something like It is not the price its the quality. Sasha thinks after court we should get some of that Vodka and try it out. Who knew he was such a character?

It turns out we need one more document that we did not have so Sasha was going to get it yesterday. Hoping today we have everything we need and we will find out soon when we will have court.

You Just Have To Laugh

When we got to the orphanage today we went upstairs to get Milana. As soon as the door opened and she saw us she immediately extended those little arms and you could see how excited she was that we were there. We went outside and did our best to keep up with this busy little girl. I did get a kiss from her. It was so cute when she puckered those lips. This time she had more fun playing with my mouth than giving out kisses. Oh well. What can you do?
Milana's laugh is so contagious! She is such a happy and social little girl. She just LOVES kids and adults. She wanted to play with her friends or at least wave hello to them. We played like crazy and then.....she saw more adults coming outside. I'm not talking the normal adults who are always there. She saw a potential Mommy & Daddy and then she started walking to them with her arms stretched out and getting excited. I couldn't help but laugh. She was just so cute walking over to where they were. I just walked with her and held her hand as she went up and hugged someone else's future Mommy. Soon she will know that I'm her Mommy. I can't wait for that day!!! For now I am really just enjoying all of the time I have with her each day.

We must have done a fairly good job of tiring her out at least a little. Of course right after this she got down and ran around like crazy some more. I do love this picture though. It is just so precious. Milana and her Daddy :)
We love this little girl so much. It is just so amazing every minute we have here with her. She is so much fun! I can not wait for her to be ours!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little Miss Busy Body

When we arrived at the orphanage Milana was already outside with her groupa. As soon as she saw us walking towards her she tried to break free of the groupa and extended her arms out to us to take her. I picked her up and held her while she finished eating her cookie. Then I put her down and she led us over to this little swing. She stayed on it for a very short time and then she was on to other things.
She went down the slide several times. Boy does she love to slide!! She wandered all around waving to everyone she saw and blowing kisses at them. She certainly had MUCH more energy today.

We did sit for a while and look at books, pictures, and play with toys. While we were doing this one little girl from Milana's groupa came over and sat right down on Chris's lap. A few minutes later when Milana had moved towards Chris the little girl came and sat with me and we looked at books. Soon after a little boy from the groupa came over to join us. They didn't stay with us too long. One of the caretakers took them away to go play on the slide - yes that wonderful slide Milana loves so much!

I got very tired from pushing Milana in a circle around the garden of flowers while she "rode" on the little tricycle. She was so cute trying to reach the pedals. She knew just what needed to be done, but she just couldn't reach. After awhile I let Chris take over and do the pushing. It got hot quick!

When the groupa went inside we got to stay outside a while longer and play. Milana found a bucket filled with acorns and a couple other toys and was content to dump it out and then put the items that were dumped out back in. Then she spotted the backpack again and took EVERYTHING out and practically climbed inside. If I could only have gotten a picture fast enough when she had her head all the way inside of it. She is such a riot and has this amazing laugh.

I can't wait for my girls at home to meet Milana they are going to love her and of course she will love them as well. She already enjoys looking at their pictures and giving them kisses :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Little Girl In The Red Dress

Today is the day we had been waiting for - for a long, long time. We finally got to meet Milana!!! I could barely sleep last night I was so excited and nervous. I sent the alarm for 7am and got up to get ready. (I was not going to be caught off guard by another phone call telling me to be ready in 5 minutes). When Violetta called at 8:15 and asked if we could be ready by 9:00 we were so excited. The time seemed to pass by so slowly. Then it was time to get things rolling here.

First went with Violetta and met Sasha and had to speak to a woman who then gave us permission to go to the orphanage. We met with the doctor and she gave us all sorts of information and also a chance to ask questions. Then she went to get Milana.

Milana came walking into the room and she immediately raised her arms to us to pick her up. I went right over and picked her up and held her tight. We got out a doll for her to hold. At first she wasn't sure of it, but then she held it for quite some time without letting go. They took us to a little playroom where we got to sit and play with Milana. Isn't she just precious?? When she came walking in the room she had on this red dress and matching red shoes. Very cute! We have learned from our short time with Milana so far that she really enjoys looking at herself in the mirror. She loves having her picture taken and then looking at herself on the camera. (She is really going to fit in with certain members of our family)!!
Milana was so content to just sit on my lap and play. We looked at pictures of Riley, Peyton, Karissa, and Nadia (who will soon be Milana's bff). Milana would look at the pictures and kiss them and point to them. It was so adorable.
Milana also quickly realized that inside the backpack there are fun things - dolls, toys, books, etc. She kept looking to see what would come out of it next.
When it was time to go we brought Milana back to her caretakers (who seem so nice). We waved goodbye to her and she waved back. Then we blew her kisses and the caretakers also showed her how and she blew kisses to us. It was so hard to leave. We can't wait to get back to our sweet girl tomorrow.

The Zoo & The Train

We spent most of the day Saturday at the zoo with friends. It was quite the adventure! First we had to actually find the zoo. Once we got their we enjoyed looking around at all of the various animals there. I did manage to get some pictures although it was difficult as some animals were in cages that were basically made of plexiglass. Unfortunately my computer is not cooperating with me right now and is refusing to upload pictures. So....they will have to wait :)

At the zoo we did get to see some Tigers, Giraffes, a hippo, and a rhino. There were some snakes and birds. Speaking of birds - there were kittens in this one enclosed area where birds lived. We think perhaps the momma cat found her way into the cage and had her babies there. They seemed to coexist for the most part.

There were also some animals we didn't expect to see at the zoo. We saw racoons, skunks, and even a ferret. The animals were not very active though. I think they were very hot! It was neat to see one animal being placed for the first time in its new home at the zoo. It was a baby bat. The woman from the zoo was holding it and there was a camera crew in there with her and everything.

After leaving the zoo with the Harper's Saturday we had to get ready for our long train ride. We were leaving the city we had gotten used to for the last 3 days and heading to a new region. The region where Milana lives. We enjoyed our short time in that particular area of Eastern Europe and of course our time with the Harper's. It was nice to have someone from home to hang out with.

Nico brought us to the train station and got us settled on the train. It was HOT!!! Like I am talking no AC, sweat dripping down you hot. Between the heat and the dramomine I took I passed out shortly after the train started. I did manage to get a couple pictures from the train when it first started moving. If I were able to just sit and look out the window it would have been absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately I get motion sick and so I took a few pictures and went right to sleep. I woke up a few times, but mostly just turned over and went back to sleep.

It was a LONG train ride - 15 hours. We were told when we got to the region we were heading to that someone would knock on our compartment door and let us know. No one did and when it hit the 15 hour mark I started to worry. We knew where we were going was the last stop - if we went much further we'd be in another country. So I started walking up and down the isle of the train and that is when I ran into Violetta and Sasha who had gotten onto the train to get us. We had finally arrived.

We put our luggage in Sasha's car and we got in Violetta's car and we headed to our apartment (or flat as they call it). It is a very big apartment. We were asked when we got there if we liked it and if it was alright. As I said, it is very large.

When everyone left us we got ourselves situated and headed out to explore our new city and do some shopping. We have learned to read two words here - bank and market. It doesn't sound like much, but it is a big deal for us. We need to know where to buy food and where to exchange our money so every little thing helps!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm Back Again....

We wandered around aimlessly again today and decided to take some more pictures of the beautiful churches we came across. Not sure exactly what church this was. We think it might be St. Michael's, but we aren't sure. What we do know is that it was beautiful. This was the ceiling on one of the underpasses as we walked into the grounds. This was on the wall of the underpass.

Here is the church itself. Isn't it just beautiful???

It is just amazing how many churches there are here and how pretty they are. They don't make churches like this anymore.
On another note we are still having phone troubles. Our phone does NOT work in the least. So we had to come back to SDA today to pick up some paperwork and since our phone was dead and we were already out and about we decided to walk. We didn't know how to call our facillitators so we ended up going into the British Embassy (we just happened to walk past it) and they let me use the phone to call. Hopefully they will give us a knew phone. We are also hoping to get a modem for our computer so that we don't have to go out to use the internet. This time we are in Cafe du Paris which is right near the SDA building.
Okay...I guess that is all for now :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Ramblings

I am trying to post as much as possible while I have internet access. We are hanging out at McDonald's this morning using their free internet. Yay!! It is MUCH cheaper than Fridays. Although the entire menu is in Ukranian or Russian or something. We pointed when they didn't understand.

Anyway....I posted twice yesterday and this is my 2nd post in a row today. Make sure you check out the one regarding the SDA appt so you can see my little Milana's baby picture. It is adorable!!

Ok...so Chris and I have been doing a lot of walking around all over Kyiv. There is just so much to see. We had dinner last night at Friday's (Thursday night) with the Harpers and then walked around with them. I really loved this carriage. It is just so pretty. I wanted to climb right into it.

These dresses were next to the carriage. Wendy and I were thinking maybe you could pay to have your picture taken in them, but we aren't sure. A man came up to us when we were taking pictures and said something to us, but we had no clue and just said no and he walked back towards the carriage.
Here is a picture of Chris and I near the fountain. We walked past it a few times yesterday on our adventures and I kept standing in it. The water is so cold and it was really nice. Everyone was climbing in the fountains so I figured that was something you could do here.

Here is another neat little fountain that we were walking through and stopped for a picture. There were people all over the place here standing and sitting in this.
We were minding our own business when along came this..........
We didn't ask him to come over and we really didn't want him to come over, but he did. We should have ran away like we wanted, but we didn't. Let me just tell you should you go somewhere and something like this comes over - RUN AWAY!!!
After jumping into our picture he took off his mask and insisted we pay him. He yelled and argued and told us this was his job. We didn't see him bother anyone else. I guess he could tell we didn't fit in. I don't know. We walked away as fast as we could. It was a little uncomfortable. So now at least I know that if I am near the fountains to stay away from those in costumes. If Karissa were with us we would have been out of there long before he came anywhere near us. I guess her instincts about people in costumes are right on :)
All in all it has been just fine. No one has bothered with us and everyone is really nice. One waitress in one of the restaurants we ate in was so sweet. She didn't speak much English, but managed to tell us "See you later" when we were leaving.
I have tons more pictures, but I will post those later. It is almost time to head out and explore some more. We've been sitting here at McDonald's for at least an hour.