Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My final project for graduation was a "provisional pass." The committee "admired my argument but wanted me to edit the paper because I had a few recurring grammatical errors. This final project is above and beyond our normal coursework. If you don't get the green light on the Independent paper and final portfolio - You don't graduate. Yes, a little bit of stress. So, I met with one of the readers to discuss the errors which was very helpful. So, now I must re-submit the final paper and wait to hear about the results of it and the final portfolio. The professor that I met with told me she really likes my argument and that it was solid. Thank the Lord - I worked hard to try to make the argument solid. The topic was "Effective Teacher Talk in the Second Language Writing Conference." Basically, I focused on the use of scaffolding and negotiation (and its benefits) as we try to assist our students in their writing. I should know by next week if it's passes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Cincinnati Zoo!!
It had rained/ rather poured, down raining, just as it was about time for us to leave for the zoo and we had some SAD kids. But we prayed then I called the zoo and the man said it was open, rain or shine and that the rain was supposed to stop soon. So we dawned rain jackets and ran! We had a grand time and didn't even have to get wet! This pic was taken as we were ready to leave the zoo, so that's why it was so dark, for the zoo had special hours that night til 9 pm.We had asked the kids over a year ago to make a list of things they would like to do for Family Night. Which is something we try VERY hard to keep up. One of the things that made the list was going to the zoo. Due to lots of things on our "to-do list" that were FREE... this one hadn't happened yet. Plus it's NO fun unless Daddy can go along too! Well, thanks to Jesus, He made that possible for us last weekend. (This was the 1st time we were able to go to the zoo as a family since we had gone in Romania with Sally years ago!)We had a dear friend ask us if we would be interested in going to the zoo and we could hardly contain our excitement while saying Yes! In fact, SOME of us DIDN'T hold our excitement but squealed right out loud!!! Here are a few of the fun shots that we got and thanks a million Ginger, for making that happen for us! You're a dear!
Fun do-it-ourselves shots while riding the train.
With Natasha's recent surgery and my doing a dumb thing and twisting my left ankle REALLY good, (or should that be "bad") we were VERY glad that our tickets INCLUDED the zoo train for no extra charge! :)

This is what Natasha and I did often, with my bummed ankle and her weariness walking all through the zoo was a chore at times, so we found any available bench and promptly occupied it!
These two enjoyed the zoo beyond words... as you might be able to tell from their expressions! This Carousel pic is blurry... but this was something that delighted them too!
The night before we were to go to the zoo, Bryan told me, "Mommy, if I can't get up quick in the morning, just remind me that we are going to the zoo, and I'll hop right up!" So being the "mean Moma" that I am, I called him early the next morning by saying, "Bryan the Orangutan said he can't wait to see you tonight!" He rolled over and groggily asked, "WHO?" To which I howled laughing and said, "The monkey" and with that he was up!!! Kids, you gotta love them!
This was the "animal" that their Daddy spotted 1st! See if you can find it?
Bryan and Darla were "crazy" enough to want to hold this creature! These pics are out-of-order however, for Bryan wouldn't hold it 1st, but after Darla did, he wasn't about to be out-done by a girl!!! Even if she is his sister and closest play mate!!! :)
What you can't see in this pic... is the HUGE shudder that couldn't help but come after she had safely given this guy "Mickey" back to the zoo keeper!!!
These animals Daryl and Natasha saw while in Colombia, S. America, only this guy had just had a scalping haircut. Darla enjoyed getting to pet it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recent Update!
It's hard to believe it's already been 6 wks since Natasha's surgery!! God has been SO good to us! She had her 6 wks check-up today and received a good report. Dr. Crawford has decided to slowly take her brace away from her bit by bit. He felt this was best for her to slowly strengthen her neck muscles and has ordered physical therapy as well. She is allowed to have a break from her brace for 8 hrs each day! Those will be some HAPPY hours for her indeed! She is very grateful for all the help that the Lord has given her! Thank you for your continued prayers!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Four "Reason's I Can Celebrate Mother's Day! (And the great husband who makes it all possible!) ( This is a behind the scenes of the post below!)Thanks, Sweets for the many projects that you do around our "Haus" to make us all happy! Daryl lovingly calls me his 95% Proverbs 31 woman! (I'm not too good at the whole "Real Estate" thing!:)

Natasha got everyone busy helping do what they could do in preparation for our Mother's Day meal... and she is here helping chop the Tomatoes that would go on top the chicken. She is telling me here... "Oh NO, this is going on the blog... my whole life is being blogged right now!" :) But this was another glimpse of our Natasha coming back to us.

Brittany's adding good sticky sweet stuff to our Strawberries!

Darla washed the dishes up for me. One of the good things that has come about because of her big sister having to have surgery. Darla and Bryan have stepped up to the plate... (or rather set up on the stool so they can reach our sink) and have mastered the "doing dishes" thing pretty well. I needed a dessert for our Saturday meal, Natasha isn't quite up to baking for me yet, Brittany was faithfully running errands with her Daddy (and that included Goodwill, much to her delight!!) so I asked Darla if she would like to "help me" bake a cake! She was delighted, of course. Here is a pic of her 1st cake!! It was a big HIT with her family too! Good Job, Darla! Here she is doing the dishes... for I reminded her that is a BIG part of the joy of baking, is a cleaned up kitchen afterward! Good "reverse" psychology! :)

Bryan is cutting up the green onions that will also top the chicken on Sunday's meal. He often asks me if I have a "Man's Job" for him to do! :)

Thank God for this Moment!Mother's Day 2011! God has been so good to me and allowed me so many pleasures. One of which is the privilege of being a Momma! What a great responsibility, but what a great Joy!

Natasha told her Daddy early on what she wanted him to make for me for Mother's Day! She has fond memories of this meal from when she was just a child. Daryl has had a good time teasing her that she's gotten a by with a LOT, since her surgery! She got her way and here's our menu: Monterrey Grilled Chicken, Baked Potatoes, with topping, yummy corn from Yerians Garden, and Macaroni Salad. For Dessert we opted for Strawberry Shortcake... blueberries were add for color too! And they enjoyed setting our table in the China which was given to us as a wedding gift over 20 years ago. The table cloth is a gift from a dear Christian lady in Ukraine, and the napkin rings came from Russia. Our life has been SO richly blessed... all because of Jesus and His calling for our lives!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

To the Best Mommy in the world!
Thank you for all that you have done through the years as a mother. Thank you for putting your kids needs in front of your own.
Thank you for being such a wonderful Christian example to us. Thank you for your example to us in your marriage and in loving Daddy. We know that your priorities are Jesus, Daddy and us. And even though we may "complain" about being sent out of the living room for y'all's "couch time". I think that inside we are really pleased because we know that you really love Daddy and you both want what is best for us.
Thank you for being there to talk to or have fun with even when you are exhausted! :) Thank you for loving us. We love you so very much! Happy Mother's Day!
Bryan, Darla, Brittany, and Natasha~

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Each day we see little glimpses of our Natasha coming back to us. Saturday p.m. Darla was practicing for her upcoming recital and was having some troubles. So here is another glimpse of Natasha as she helped Darla with her practice. Natasha later said, "Mommy, I didn't realize how much I missed playing the violin."

This knock-out Rose bush was a gift from the girls violin teacher for Natasha following her surgery. She also gave her a delightful card that we have all enjoyed and thought you all might enjoy it as well!
The wording of this card she once received from a friend and thought Natasha might enjoy it. (outside) "Your doctor tells me you are doing better and will be able to play the violin soon!" (inside) "Which is quite remarkable because you never could play one before!" :)
We howled laughing!!! Thank you, Mrs. Collins for your very generous gift, your understanding spirit, and most of all your prayers for Natasha through this healing process! You are a dear, and we believe GOD helped us find you to teach our girls!
Friends!Natasha wasn't well enough for us to go to IHC this year and we all greatly missed going. One of the reasons that it's fun to go is getting to meet up with friends that we normally don't get to see, except each year at IHC. We had a wonderful treat in that these dear friends of ours agreed to come out of their way and meet us at a restaurant for some food and fellowship! Natasha and Brittany are friends with these girls as we are with their parents. Darla and Bryan were here too, but wanted to sit by themselves, and so I forgot to get their pic! Thank you SO much, Ferguson's for this meeting. It meant SO much to all of us, but especially Natasha! God Bless You All! (Our kids are loving the Church Christmas play that you gave them... especially "Megan!" Lots of laughs it has generated here at our Haus!)

Monday, May 02, 2011

What did you say? EHH? You thought Christmas was over! Well, not for me! I saved the money I got from Christmas and bought myself some......GLASSES! Yes, I have officially gotten old! Actually, I've needed glasses for 4 years but didn't want to spend the money - too many other things on the list.
Me and my favorite girl friend! When I introduce myself to my students I usually say, "I have been married for 20 plus years, have 4 kids....and 1 wife." They get a kick out of that - to which I respond. "That's the way it's supposed to be." I love teaching non-native English speaking students. They actually laugh at my twisted humor. They really laugh when I tell them of my cultural blunders over the years.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Just wanted to update you on some of the specifics of Natasha's surgery. We would ask that you continue to pray for the healing process. The important part now is that 'fusion' takes place. The body must accept the 'laboratory' bone that was placed in her spine. If the body accepts this 'laboratory bone' then fusion takes place and the surgery is successful. However, if the body rejects this new 'lab. bone' then they will have to do surgery again. This is the process where they trick the body into thinking your back is broken so that it will grow new bone (lab. bone is not an actual bone). The new bone grows around the rods and fuses together. Lord Willing! We just wanted to let you know, so that you would know how better to pray; however, aren't you glad that God knows it all! We don't have to have the correct terminology - He understands! Slava Boga!