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MEP math and my sweetie boy


I’m going to mention MEP math here for a moment because they are worth mentioning!

The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching is located in England. They developed a free, online, high-quality math program. I started it years ago with Skyla and Vika. Then I moved to textbooks when it was too hard for me to be so involved (read, more babies and toddlers), and this year, I’m going back to it.

I’m really impressed with the program.The lessons are brief, scripted even, and have great visuals and manipulatives for kids. It also just intrigues me how they introduce and teach concepts!

Upfront, it’s a lot of printing, and I’m doing a lot of my own printing this year for our schooling (using Ambleside Online). While I was printing out the first lesson batch for the girls I though, hey, let me print out a few lessons to do with Andre (he’s 4yo).

We’ve done 2 days so far, and he’s enjoying it. We’re BOTH enjoying it, and that is important.

On this page, meeting the family, asking questions like How many children?” Who is beside the dog? Who is youngest? … Then counting to 5 on fingers and drawing sticks.


Here, I love this picture. He drew our family. I’m the one with the big head. I like to think,  because I am the largest “presence” in his life 🙂


Here we counted boats, cars, houses. We colored a certain number of them


Here he is working on the bed this morning. Things I’ve learned from this: He is fairly exact– must color in the entire space in the object. He picks up ideas fairly quickly. He has pretty good finger control for his age, too.




a dull post about war tactics


I’m not writing this to argue with anyone. I’m just sifting through my own thoughts on this, analyzing changes and adjusting to cultural changes. If you have more information or calm analysis, perhaps not opinion (esp. flaming), I would like to add it to the pot.

Because in America we don’t see soldiers in camouflage, pass tanks on the roads, hear war planes buzzing overhead or the staccato of gunfire …. we forget that America is at war. America is in a war. In the Middle East.  And though the average citizen rarely thinks about this, it actually is something we need to think through collectively. Because the tactics of war have changed in ways that now involve every-day citizens.

Throughout the ages, war tactics change and adapt. In the Bible times, it’s recorded that there was chariot warfare; that they slashed open pregnant women, tore down walls around entire cities, forced famines and droughts by besieging cities, cut off big toes and thumbs, took slaves, etc.

Closer to our time, war was with armies lined up on fields facing each other. (These days, that seems crazy.) Horses, swords, guns, cannons. Then guerrilla warfare involved small bands making attacks on the outskirts of the larger foe. And airplanes, bombs.It goes on and on.

Inventions change war tactics. Technology changes war tactics. War involves a lot of Public Relations, too, if you think of it, and the methods of PR change. (We were just looking at old Soviet PR posters, for example). The overall sensibilities of a culture influence war tactics, too.

So, we’re constantly changing when it comes to war.

In some ways, terror has always been a war tactic. Just the horrific sight of the enormous armies, their equipment, costumes, etc., is designed to make people afraid and capitulate to the demands of the enemy.

The reason I’m saying all this: America and especially France (and Britain? and others?) are in war. We are at war. (I don’t live in the States, so I don’t feel it in the same way, but in some ways, living closer to the warring borders, I become more aware of it.)

So, the general style of tactics used today by certain armies have been labeled “terror” by the western world. It’s interesting to stop and think about that word: Terror. Acts of war committed to incite intense fear in order to achieve the desires of the enemy.

Here are current war tactics we need to consider:

There’s more, I’m sure.

But my goal here.

My goal here is just to put the pieces together. So we can be more able to have conversations that unite, rather than that divide and anger. Or just not confuse war with irrelevant questions. Or let the news media lead us by the nose into whatever they want to be the hot political buzz of the day. Division is also a war tactic. And we need to be wise. None of us has all the information. Few of us are actually in a place to make and implement changes of which we so certainly speak. Power changes perspective. And humbleness is a powerful perspective.

It’s messy. There is no one right answer on how to deal with these new war tactics. It’s very messy. But it calls for a lot of working together and looking for both justice and mercy (in the immigration question, for example, which is also a long-time war tactic. How to balance safety of many with helping others? An eternal question.). It calls for clearing our minds and focusing on living out the love of God to the fullest extent we know how. It calls for the rising up of great men and women who can create and implement creative, compassionate answers for individuals and for large groups.

May God help us.

P.S. One idea I had as I thought about this: Maybe we should form prayer groups to pray for vulnerable men and women, that they not be recruited into the ranks of the army that wants to see them die a “hero’s” death. Pray for those vulnerable souls, that God would redirect them ….

some soldiers checking out at the grocery, as I write this post....

some soldiers checking out at the grocery, as I write this post….

Как организовать свою молитвенную жизнь!


Последние дни, Бог учит меня из этого стиха: “Помышления прилежного стремятся к изобилию”. На англиском, написано: “Планы прилежного стремятся к изобилию”.

Помышления, планы … Я понимаю, на столько Бог хочет, чтобы я планировала, чтобы я думала на перед…. Поездка, покупка, школа, одежда, еда, домохозяйство … Если я думаю на перед, планирую, как правило, дела идут более гладко. (И если что-то спонтанно или неожиданно, то легче переносить это тоже, потому что все вокруг более-менее хорошо продуманно.)

Насколько же это важно также и с нашими молитвами!

Помышления и планы прилежного о молитве  стремятся к изобилию! 

Около 5-6 лет назад, Бог начал меня побуждать к молитве, и до с тих пор, Он показывает мне, что то что будет в моей жизни, и в жизни моей семьи, моего мужа, моих детей, и в жизни нашей церкви … это будет в резултате молитвы. И Он желает, чтоб я была тот человек который молился за исполнение Его воли.

Он хочет это для каждего из нас! чтобы мы все участвовали в совершенстве Его воли тут на земле.

Я начала использовать “Как организовать свою молитвенную жизнь” (можно скачать) около 4 года назад. За все это время, у меня была уже 3-4 дневника– жизнь меняется, и нужды и сферы меняются также. Вот они:


Со временим, мой дневник стал более гибким. Я пишу молитвы, собираю цитаты, пишу планы и мечты.

Я собирала идеи от разных старших женщин, и я хочу вам показать тоже, чтобы вдохновить вас в молитве, и чтобы мы все стали более привязанными к молитве и к водительсву Духа Святого. Этот дневник для меня хороший инструмент, помогает мне принести много плодов и хороших изминений. И если вы делаете свой молитвенный дневник, он тоже будет уникальным!

Вот, несколько мест из моего молитвенного дневника….

Стихи для заучивания в 2016-м:


На лево, короткий список людей и служений и т.д., для быстрой молитвы. Если в этот день, у меня нет времени глубже молиться, я хочу молиться хотя бы за самое главное. (На право, еженеделный список.)


Файл “Как организовать свою молитвенную жизнь” начинается с:


Потом для себя:


Для мужа, для детей, родителей, и т.д.


Потом, еженеделные молитвы для разных вещей, члены церкви, мамы с детьми … :


Служение “Гармония”

Служение "МаминоСердще"

Служение “МаминоСердще”

Церковний лагерь, 2015-ом

Церковний лагерь, 2015-ом

Мои идеалы и как больше по ними жить…



20160527_152732 20160527_152743

Я с радостью печатала бы этот файл для вас! Время бежит, и нам нужно помышлать и планировать, как мы будем молиться!


God’s personal guidance


I want to write something down somewhere where I can find it later. That means here.

With years of life and experience with God, things just get really interesting.

Someone once told me that God often has patterns of how He leads a particular person. For me, that pattern has been like this: When I have a huge, life-altering decision to make, there are usually 3 factors: 1) longstanding, huge desire, 2) this desire is unfulfilled for quite a while– the suffering purifies somewhat, 3) a moment when I know, from the Holy Spirit, with no doubt (because there are times where I think I know, but there is doubt) that this particular step is God’s will (conviction).

I was reviewing this again in my heart because last night Vitaliy and I (and 4 other couples) shared extensively about how we met, our thoughts towards marriage, steps toward marrying this particular person, God’s leading, etc. (We were talking to the singles group.)

And God talked to me a bit last night. I’ve been going through a few months where I don’t feel emotionally invested in God. I’ve been praying about how to …. “fix” this. Though I realize by this point that it’s not always something I need to fix as much as just grow through and ask God to please do His will in our relationship.

So, that’s the back story to last night.

When I got married, I deleted the third point from my future. I think/thought: oh, now that I am married, I don’t need to expect God to give me a sense of conviction/surety about something– I have a husband now, and certainly God will not personally talk to me nor lead me in this way anymore.

When I started studying midwifery (about 2009), this was a big issue for me because … studying to become a midwife is a life-altering thing. And I didn’t wait on God for that sense of conviction (even though the first 2 factors were there). I just figured God wasn’t going to lead me in that personal way any more.

After 12 years of marriage, last night, God asked me to rethink that assumption.

The thought came to me like this: I gave you a husband who lets you / wants you to hear from Me personally.

So, this might be part of my present … emotional dryness….

Ukrainian culture: Palm Sunday pussy willows


Today, the week before Easter Sunday, features Palm Sunday.

Ukraine abounds with Ukrainian Orthodox traditions, of course. A few days before and on Palm Sunday, vendors sell small clusters of pussy willow branches.


See them lying on the table near the red tulips?


On Palm Sunday, you take your bundle of pussy willows to the Orthodox temple and the priest makes them holy by sprinkling them with holy water. Here is our neighborhood’s Orthodox temple:


Here is a couple carrying their made-holy pussy willows home.


At home, they are scattered about, or placed beside the icons, or kept in a vase somewhere. They are also scattered about other places, like the entryways of our apartment buildings. For example, In the entry of the House of Culture where our church rents the hall for services:


Culturally, it’s fascinating. But you know, Jesus makes His people holy, not a human priest, not their water, not the pussy willows. Really, it’s only Jesus– God, who became a man and lived without sin. His blood, applied to us by our faith in Him alone, makes us holy.

Thank you, God, for making us holy. For blessing us with holiness every day. For making our bodies into your holy temple by the Holy Spirit living in us.

2 Tim 1:9 “ He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.”

2 Тим. 1:9 “Спасшего нас и призвавшего званием святым, не по делам нашим, но по Своему изволению и благодати, данной нам во Христе Иисусе прежде вековых времем…”



I feel exactly like I’ve molted.


1. to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.
2. to cast or shed (feathers, skin, etc.) in the process of renewal.

Today, in all this long process of analyzing my life, I feel like a new person is starting to come out.

First, a few days ago, I started thinking that I’m probably dealing with disappointment rather than depression. So I read a bunch of stuff about the difference between those two things and how to resolve disappointment.

Second, I am willing at this point to resolve disappointment, rather than live in bitterness or disillusionment. This is important. I’m not sure I always would have been ready for this. It’s been a years’ long process of getting ready for this.

Third, working through to humility and acceptance is giving me a renewed sense of hope and excitement about life.

I’m able to take with me (further into life) the good things I’ve learned and experienced in these “disappointment years,” like becoming a doula, having home and unattended births, and learning about gentle parenting. And now I can leave behind the things that are causing me disappointment, frustration, and feelings of unfulfillment– not becoming a midwife, why did I attend BJ? and XX?  … And I can see and appreciate the connection between the frustrating things having led me into the good things I have now. My desire to be a midwife led me to great births and better parenting. Attending BJ and XX is exactly what led me to Vitaliy. 

Accepting my life as I am now (rather than living in frustration of who I am not and what I am not doing) gives me joy. I prayed today, just excited that I am adult, that I have four kids, live in Ukraine, we home school.

I’m able to feel emotional value of those things in my heart! It’s so joyful!

I’m very thankful for all this, and I’m trying to hold on to these moments and not rush out of this. Next steps begin to crystallize.

Home schooling: I need to become my well-researched, non-conformist, confident self. So I’m in the process of becoming this. I’m reading, researching, being open to God’s leading.

This might sound stupid, but it’s important to me. I want to get my weight to a good place. I’ve regained 14 lbs, and it irritates me to death. So, this is one of the priorities of this next half of my life. Get those 14 lbs back off and keep them off…. Doing that.

Enjoying the moments. With little kids. Not all of them, but more of them. And to be an enjoyable person, not one weighted down by the past.

Another thing I realized was that the dreams I feel frustrated about– like not doing birth work and not doing certain ministries that I love– God gave me a sense of hope. That hey, my life is not lived yet. Anything can happen! But living this period well is essential to moving into a good future.



For me, fundraising is definitely a journey. I’ve come into this with a lot of baggage. However, I also am thankful for this journey. It has given me rich experiences, especially as a missionary, which have taught me a lot.

Fundraising has been a matter of prayer for years, and I’ve gone through periods of intense questioning and learning. I don’t remember now what brought up this current period. … Oh, yes. Now I remember some of it … and I’m not going to tell you about it.


Let me just share the current progress.

Vitaliy and I are reading and re-reading Scott Morton’s book, Funding Your Ministry. He answers every question of conscience I’ve ever had, and even some I haven’t had–imagine that.  He has a whole chapter on the subject of conscience, so hey, I am not alone.

Insert thankfulness here: Thankful for Vitaliy and I going through this together. For our shared concerns about fundraising and our shared answers.

We worked through the budget in the back of the book and made up a budget that’s been approved by our mission agency. Our mission agency is also going through a phase of growth about this topic, so we are all growing together, and that’s another good thing. God is matching us up.

Thankfulness insert: We are currently at approximately 32% support…. That’s a good thing ,too!  We’re not starting this cycle from zero.

Vitaliy’s swamped with ministry stuff right now–let me just write that out– you can pray for him! 2 upcoming days of Easter evangelism (May 1-2), a week of counseling classes (May 3-5), homework for that course (ongoing), and getting ready for the church training in May 6-8. But we’re slowly going through Morton’s book and working through incorporating his suggestions.

Thankfulness insert: Our faithful supporters and supporting churches. They are generous and good to us, and we are just amazed by the Lord living in them.

We recently firmed up dates for our next trip to the States, August 2017. And our mission agency wants us to be at full support before we return, so we will be busy planning our time there even now.

This is all terribly exciting.

some pretty photos


I was dinking around with the “magic focus” feature on my phone camera, and these photos were interesting:

A spring bud:


Our tea (I think it’s thyme): 20160410_155553


Our mulberry jellly:


My salad (named “Armenia”)


Another spring bud:


2-language kid



I want to remember a couple of words that Andre makes up that mix English and Russian.

Two examples: “Я хочу сидеть на lap-е.” He is saying, “I want to sit on [your] lap. So he says, “I want to sit on” in Russian, then says “lap” in English, and adds the Russian prepositional ending -e (said like yeh).

Yesterday, we were eating blinchiki with babushka’s yummy strawberry varenya/jelly, and he poured on too much, then asked, “Можно от-lick-ать?” He’s asking, “Can I lick it off?” (He likes eating like a dog sometimes.)


от is a Russian verb prefix which has kind of the meaning of taking something away.

lick– English, to lick

ать– the Russian infinitive ending of most verbs.

He does a lot of funny things like this. It’s fun to watch. I don’t remember it so much with Skyla and Vika, but with Andre it’s very noticeable. He’s very verbal and exact generally.

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