Monday, April 20, 2009

Calling All Moms...

I feel like I am stuck in a major rut for the kids for lunch. We can only do grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches so many times. Does anyone have any suggestions for quick, healthy meals for lunch?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Iron Chef Argyle

Stephen has won the trophy for the best Christmas present ever! This year for Christmas he gave Murray and Mark an "Iron Chef" for Christmas. It took awhile to find a date that would work for everyone, but we finally had our Iron Chef.

The Rules:
Each chef can choose a Sous Chef
Three Dishes, each including the secret ingredient
Two hour time limit

The Teams:
Stephen and Alex

Murray and Mary

Mark and David

The Secret Ingredient: Lamb!


Food Preparation:
It was a little tight in the kitchen, but some masterpieces were created!



The Kids enjoyed some very sophisticated Sheep's Cheese compliments of David.


The Dishes: (only a few)
Shepherds' Pie: Team Mark and David

Egg's Benedict with Lamb Sausage: Team Stephen and Alex

Lamb, Cucumber and Peanut Salad: Team Murray and Mary

Lamb Tartar (yes, raw lamb): Team Mark and David

And the winner is...
Team Murray and Mary!

yes Ella is still up at 10:30, crazy night!

The Clean Up

Birthday Girl

Ella turned 3 on Saturday! I cannot believe it! Where did the time go? Ella had a great birthday! The festivities started Friday morning. I took rice crispy treats with icing to Ella's class (I forgot the camera, sorry no pics). I am sure that all of the parents loved me for that one. They had the little party in her class at 12:30 and by 12:45 the kids were pretty hyper!

When we got home Ella had the biggest surprise...Murray set up her big girl bed! You can tell by the pictures Ella was thrilled!



Saturday morning we had Ella's birthday party. She has been talking about her birthday at the farm for a very long time. Saturday morning she was thrilled that it was finally her birthday! She was definitely the Princess of the party.






Miller was a trooper the entire party and by this point he was just ready for his cupcake!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Removing Shadows

I think it is safe to say that i am over jet lag and we are back into the swing of things. It is kind of hard to believe that we have already gone and are back. I think the reason it has taken me so long to write some of my reflections because it seems impossible to summarize what we did!

This is the best picture that I have that gives an idea of what the orphanage looks like.

The kids loved having their pictures taken and loved seeing the pictures on the back of our digital cameras. At night I printed the pictures and took them back to the kids. They were thrilled to have a picture of themselves!

This little boy was so excited to have a picture of himself that he wanted his picture taken with his picture.





This orphanage had the only autistic program in Odessa. So one of the main focuses of the trip was helping the teachers who worked with the autistic kids. The teachers were so great and did so much with the very little that they had, but they were so far behind from where we are here in helping our kids with autism. The little girl in this picture is 7 years old. She just came to the orphanage this year. The teachers were told that she would never talk. Within the first day Sam had her attempting and saying words.

The men turned an old storage room into a new bedroom. Sounds simple, but nothing in Ukraine is simple! They put up new (plaster) walls, all the electricity and a new ceiling. There is now a new beautiful room for parents who come to stay.


This picture is at the Black Sea, about a three minute walk from the orphanage.


Murray is preaching a sermon series on Jonah right now. Last week Murray preached on the shadows that arise as a result of sin. When the light of Christ illuminates the darkness, the sin that is there casts shadows. Our time in Ukraine can be summarized as removing shadows. Ukraine is such a sad a dark place. Although it is no longer under the reign of communism, all the effects of communism are still there. And these poor innocent children and the victims of so much sin. By cleaning, building, loving, playing, hugging and laughing, our goal was to help remove some of the shadows cast on those children.