"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chad Tries His Hand at Taking a Picture

 . . . and Kristina loved the end result!

In other news, we sure are enjoying being able to get back into gardens to enjoy the outdoors warmth and sun--well, that is we WERE enjoying it! Now this week we are back into rain, rain, and more rain!

Good thing we have memories like this to sustain us . . .

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And This Is Why . . . .

 . . . there was not enough money in the Ukrainian budget to give my daughter (and thousands of other kids) the proper medical care, the proper education, the proper day-to-day stimulation . . . .

THIS--the thieves.

It's a good thing I believe that God means exactly what He says when He said: "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." (Luke 17:2  KJV)

Because otherwise, I would have to deal with them on my own. And there is nothing that I could do that would be bad enough to truly punish them for what they allowed to happen to Katya and thousands of other kids with their horrible thievery. My daughter will bear her whole entire life the impact of these guys sins. Her life will never be "normal" or easy.

This is what sin does.

It has consequences, even when we think it's just us involved. No, we are impacting others, even if we do not think about it. Victor Y. does not know about my daughter. He almost certainly never met her, and even if he did, he clearly did not care about her or the other kids in his country he should have cared for. But GOD saw, and He knew. He marked what was going on, and it's not going to be forgotten.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Fun

 Hunting for Easter Eggs in the grass at the Support Group party . . .

Her loot . . .

And then we came home and planted some spring things in the garden--radishes, beets and onions. And started some seeds in pots to plant later--watermelons, cantaloups and tomatoes. No photos of that process.

But the best fun was to come evidently!

A worm farm!

Katya overcame her previous intense fear of earth worms and played "Worm Farm" with Chad for at least 30 minutes!

Love Katya's happy face!

And Chad's!

 It must be really truly spring when both of my young kiddos are out playing with worms!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Helpful Gadget

Kristina is advancing in her baking and cooking skills. While she has figured out how to get pans in and out of the oven that are not too large or too heavy, it was still hard for her to access the oven, due to her shorter than average arms.

Wahoo! A gadget to the rescue!

Time to pull the oven rack out?!

Done stirring the granola and ready to push the rack back in?? There you go!

No clue what this handy gadget's official name would be, but it's sure nice for Kristina to have.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Vacation on the Cheap

* Go to the Smoky Mountain National Park area on the "off-season", thus finding inexpensive but decent    lodging.

* Pack and eat a lot of your own food--restock from local grocery stores as needed.

* Purchase the rest of your meals carefully, using coupons or gift cards you saved for the trip. Drink water.

* Spend your time hanging out in the park

* Read a book purchased from the Ranger Station that has amusing and educational stories for entertainment

* Enjoy window shopping and not much buying.

And there you go! Inexpensive, and oh so much fun and relaxation!!

Paul and I were thankful to be able to go to TN for a 3 night get-away. We left Sunday after church, and came back Wed. evening. Two days of enjoying **sun**, flowers, fresh air and roaring water in the Park did us a lot of good!
The children did fine with us gone, thanks to our capable child-sitters, and all was well when we arrived back home.


Thanking God for the wonderful world we had to enjoy, and for an opportunity for Paul and I to spend quality time together rejuvenating our bodies, minds and emotions.

Editing to add this photo taken from our balcony the last morning we were thee. We so much enjoyed having the ability to sit on our private balcony and listen to the rushing Pigeon River. We also were able to sleep with the door ajar at night so we could breathe the clean, sweet mountain air and hear the roar of the river over the rocks. Made for some good sleep!

Photo: My view for about another 10 min. Thankful to everyone who helped make this happen!