A snapshot into what her future held...

A snapshot into what her future held...
Zhukovka, Russia

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


This girl is 16.


How did that happen?

 What's even crazier... in just three months... she turns 17!



 A year from this coming April... oh goodness... yikes... it's hard to get out... it's hard to fathom...

KARIS YULIA will be 18!!!

Let's pretend it isn't so... and enjoy 16 as long as we can...

Sixteen in the year 2016.


Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


 Karis Yulia is 15!!!

Here are some "memories" from her surprise birthday party.

Surrounded by family and a friend from school, our girl got the party of her life... held inside a lovely boutique.

She asked that her birthday theme this year be FAMILY.  That it was!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Modern-Day Passover Celebration!

Any idea what the above is?

Ok, check out the below...

 It was Evan's idea that for one of our Passover meals this week, 
that we use french fries as our houses,
and put ketchup above our doorways, 
signifying how the Israelites prevented the angel of death from coming in.

Do you see it now?

 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides 
and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
Exodus 12:7

By the way, the first photo above is Evan's house,
the second is Karrigan's house,
the photo below is my house (turned on it's side)...

And, also, on it's side is Karis' house which is really cool with it's triangular roof!

 Since my husband was working tonight, and Miss Karrigan had soccer, we decided McDonald's was an easy option to begin our Passover celebration.

Our family traditions for the Passover aren't actually "traditional"... as you can see.

We are modern-day Christians celebrating the 
New Testament Passover 
which freed us from the darkness of sin.
Thank you, our King of Kings, Lord of Lords... JESUS...
for finding us worthy enough to free.

So, we pray at our booth, inside McDonald's...
We remember the blood of the Lamb that was shed, 
in both the Old Testament and 
New Testament
(Jesus is the lamb)...

And we talk about what a special week it is... 
Passover begins at sundown!

Who says you can't celebrate the Passover at McDonald's?

Somehow, I don't think Jesus minds.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bringing Easter to Life!

HE lives!


Of course...
Yet, sometimes, we forget...
We don't place our full FAITH, front-and-center in our lives...

It is my goal, this Easter season, to bring to life... the life of Jesus.

My kiddos love their Easter bunnies.  (Our real Lionheads, down in the basement.)

They love coloring eggs... and all of the chocolate that comes in the Easter basket!


I want them to understand, the TRUE meaning of Easter...

What Jesus endured on this particular week...

 (Crafted by Evan, today)

I want them to understand Jesus' roots (Tribe of Judah) and what the Passover means...
That word "Passover" they see on the calendar.
And both the Old Testament Passover and the New Testament Passover.

In case, it has never been explained to you,
The Old Testament Passover is when GOD delivered the Israelites (Jews)...
Out of Egypt.
So, it's a celebration of FREEDOM.

The New Testament Passover, celebrates FREEDOM, as well...
How GOD sent JESUS, to set us all free.

I love this time of year...
Even more so, this particular year, as our whole family is going deep into it.

We decided today, Palm Sunday, what our plans are for the week...
All based on our giftings.

Karis, the crafter, will make an Easter craft everyday this week, as she remembers Jesus.
(She made the tomb centerpiece, pictured above.)

Evan, gifted with wisdom, will introduce us to different Bible verses, this week.

Karrigan, the artist, will draw a different scene about Jesus' life, this week.

Kevin, the head of the household, will pray for our family each day, this week.

And I, the meal-maker, will come up with some traditional, Easter foods...
Some from the Jewish Passover.

I hope our ideas this week, will inspire your families to delve deep into all HE did for us...

To this you were called,
because Christ suffered for you,
leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21


("Happy Holiday" in Hebrew)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

MONSTER sized fun!

 I have an interesting job that has brought Monster Jam monster trucks into our lives!
Yesterday, at the show, my kids went into character as a zombie and butterfly!
 Of course, my Karie-Bearie isn't "Bad News" but this particular Monster Jam monster truck was!
 The driver of "Zombie" didn't fool us... he's no zombie, he's actually a sweet guy... the kids enjoyed meeting him.
 Karie-Bearie knows mom and dad were married in Hawaii,
so she chose to have a tropical flower painted on her face!  
Much less intimidating than Evo the zOmBiE!
 Karie-Bearie did her homework (thanks to brother), and she made this poster and rooted for "Crushtation"!
I'm sure in Russia, never in a million years did she imagine,
she would come to like, of all things, monster trucks...
 and quite honestly... neither did I.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A new venture for Spring!

 Two weeks ago, I returned home, after being out-of-town a few days, for work.  

My husband and kids said they had a surprise for me!

 This was the surprise...

Baby chicks!

 Oh, yes, they were quite cute... and each of the kids got a couple of their own... and of course, named them.

They saved the crazy-looking chick for mom!

This is my chick... "Hoda".

We have played with the chicks, observed their habits, and watched them hour-by-hour... 




And here we are, after just two weeks...

They don't quite look like chicks anymore... they are beginning to look like CHICKENS!

So, we must plan for them a new home... 

A much bigger home...

Complete with nesting boxes, so they may lay their eggs.

The building begins this Sunday afternoon... Go KARIS!


 A true team effort!

Results of the chicken house to come... stand by, a few more days!

For now, let's celebrate the sunshine...

The warmer temperatures (a bit warmer!)...

The new life all around us...


For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Prayers for Ukraine

Pelmeni was Karis' favorite food when we left Russia.

We haven't managed to find any "Russian" pelmeni, but nearby Ukrainian pelmeni does the trick!

And so, pelmeni and peas (Karrigan's favorite) it is...

And it's delicious...

So, we eat it for memories...

But we actually chose to eat it, on this particular day, as we pray for Ukraine.
We pray for stability for the country... and we especially pray for the children.
We pray for our friend, Tracy, who is there now adopting a teenage boy.
This link explains more...
One of my favorite books is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
And so we shall.

Bryansk Home

Bryansk Home
My two favorite colors together seem to be common in Bryansk homes.