Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas






This first Christmas in Romania was spent with friends, Bela's family, and the kids at the center. On Christmas Eve several of us slept-over at the boy's home AFTER we'd gone caroling 2 nights in a row with the kids. Christmas morning we ate homemade cinnamon rolls by Rachel, mimosas by me, and eggs by John. We opened little gifts we'd bought for one another (Anka made most her gifts and now Lau and Rachel have matching pj's!!!). We also put up socks as stockings for Santa to fill...and he showed up! That night we did an all-nighter with the kids from the center. (I've officially decided I am too old to do all-nighters any more!!)
At the all-nighter we watched the movie 'The Nativity Story.' If you haven't seen it, you should.
It was a sweet, simple Christmas...and once again I welcome this tiny Baby, the Word made flesh, into my life, my world...our world. Even so, come again soon...

Cornbread



For the first time I made homemade cornbread. Cornmeal is used a lot here in a dish called mamaliga (I know I didn't spell that correctly)and I decided to try it in an old American way. I forgot to put in the salt, but it was good.:) We ate it with some yummy Cincinati chile that John made.

I was sick...


and Bela brought me oranges...

Thanksgiving...belated






Several weeks ago we had a "Thankful" feast at the drop-in center for the staff and some friends. The food was amazing...we even had turkey and stuffing and gravy. I bet Rachel 10lei that she wouldn't be able to get Vali to dress up as the Thanksgiving Fairy...as you can see, I lost that bet. However, I have yet to pay up! Robin and I 'decorated' the room...it turned out cute, complete with little pinecone turkeys.
So, here are some pics...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Photo Shoot

Wish we were more photogenic...or even liked having our picture taken. Hope you enjoy this shoot from our Thanksgiving Dinner at the center.






Monday, November 24, 2008

The Moon



A couple weeks ago I took a picture of the full moon as I saw it from our little ‘balcony.’ (I put balcony in quotes because it isn’t what you would typically think in the states as a balcony, i.e., BBQ’s and relaxing. We pretty much use it to dry our laundry.) Anyway, it was a pretty amazing full moon.
Then last week Bela and I were driving back from the airport and there was the most beautiful red moon. It was so close it seemed like you could touch it. It was hard to capture it on my camera, but I still thought I’d share how spectacular it was.

Extremem Kitchen Make-Over


Not really…but we did get a couple new kitchen cabinets. Check out the before and after pics…Before we pretty much just kept our stuff on a table (which I forgot to take a picture of before we cleaned it off), but now we have some cabinets. They were made at the center through the job creation project.

Washing Machines and Microwaves

I am so grateful to have a washing machine. When I moved to Galati I thought I’d have to do all my laundry by hand, but my host-mom had a machine and when I moved into this apartment with Rachel a one had been left behind by the previous tenants.
A couple weeks ago I needed to do a load, so I put my clothes in, added some soap, turned the appropriate dials, pressed start, and took a nap. A few hours later I woke with a start and in a panic because I didn’t remember putting the hose into the kitchen sink. As you can see by the picture, water from the washing machine has to drain into the kitchen sink which means the hose must be aimed into the sink or we will have water everywhere.
I’d forgotten to put the hose in its proper place. Instead, it was leaned against the microwave which sits on top of the washing machine (see second picture). We had water all over the kitchen floor (probably almost 2 inches deep) and moved fast to mop it up so that it wouldn’t leak into our neighbor’s kitchen. Thankfully no leaks have been reported and nothing seems to be the worst for the wear due to my BIG blunder. Except…
A word about microwaves. They are great. Of course, most of the world doesn’t use them and they are a luxury item. Still, it’s handy to be able to warm up a cup of coffee or last night’s dinner for today’s lunch. The microwave we have in our possession belongs to Rachel’s old roommate Ana and her family. She brought it with her when she moved in because her family had an extra one. A few days after the washing machine fiasco we went to use the microwave and it wouldn’t work. Well, the timer worked but the heating element would not work.
As you can see from the photo, the hose by which water is expelled from the washing machine was aimed right against and at the microwave. I think that water got into the microwave and ruined it. Big bummer as now I will be responsible to replace said microwave should Ana’s family desire me to do so.
Then, this week, while at the center, I was trying to make coffee for everyone, when I dropped the hotpot (the kind of thing that plugs into the wall and boils water quickly). I’ve decided that I’ve broken enough appliances for one month and am even a little wary of using my computer at this point.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Kleenex and Furniture Polish

This will not be an overly exciting post, but every time I blow my nose I think: I need to say something about this on my blog.
So, a couple weeks ago I needed kleenex. I went to the store and bought some...there were a variety of kinds, but I decided to go with the 'bigger' box, more for the money. It was also nicely decorated with pictures of lemons on the box.
That night when I was blowing my nose I thought: these kleenex smell strange...IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE LEMON SCENTED!
Seriously, it's almost like wiping furniture polish in my nose every time I blow...

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's been awhile...

For those of you who may be missing me...
video

Monday, October 13, 2008

Klepac Dinner

Our friends Joel and Monica (with whom we serve here in Galati) are in the states on a medical leave for the son Simeon. We aren't sure when they will return, so we threw them a dinner before they left. They've been gone just over a week, but we (I) sure do miss them. Please pray for them. If you want to know more, click HERE to see their blog.





Another Walk/Hike


I didn't take this photo (Bela did with my camera), but it was the only one taken and sort of sums up the day. Isn't it lovely?

Mad Song Writing Skills

Most everyone knows I kill it with my song writing skills...I've written thousands. Although most of them I can't remember. But who can forget: Stop! for all our sakes, before my bladder breaks!
Most recently: Baby Grace, Baby Grace you've got snot on your face, but you're still pretty....
And: Norah, we adore, ya! You're the one, the one for us...and you ride a big school bus!
Well, today I went bi-lingual with my gift:
Oh Cristina, dragutica
Oh Cristina, cumentica
Oh Cristina, ce pisica?
Oh Cristina, unde bunica?
Oh Cristina, mama frica
Oh Cristina, nu la strica
Oh Cristina, si Silvica (repeat)

She was impressed...lots of giggling. Even started repeating it with my name inserted instead of hers. Some kids were envious...I'll be starting on other names soon. I mean, wouldn't you be envious? Don't you want a song with your name in it?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tastebuds and Blossoms

My sister Jamie (Busch Family Blog) just started a new blog called Tastebuds and Blossoms...you must check it out...lots of 'family friendly' recipes...and she's a great cook so you can trust that if it's a posted recipe it probably tastes pretty darn good. Click HERE to go to the site...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Coolest Parents Ever????



For awhile now my dad has been looking for a certain tree in the middle of a certain desert where a certain music group once took their picture for a certain album cover (which just happens to be my favorite album by this group...for certain nostalgic reasons). Well, this last weekend, my parents found it! Click here to see what I'm talking about...you have to agree that it's about the coolest thing ever. I mean, what over 60 year old parents go searching off-road for the site where their kids' favorite band once took their picture? So glad they found what they were looking for...bad pun, I know.(photo from UKrecord shop)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Christmas Cards

Please visit our Word Made Flesh Romania to order Christmas cards made by our kids...
(click the words Word Made Flesh Romania...)

hiking in the fall

Last Saturday a few of us went hiking/walking through the countryside...it was beautiful. We also took a couple kids and they were lots of fun.










Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A few of Galati

Here are a few shots of the way I walk to and from the center each day. The stairway is pretty steep...thankfully I haven't tripped or slid yet. I don't know how the elderly do it...I've had women stop me on their way up it and say: forte greu (very difficult).



Cute Stove

This is our very cute stove...



Haircuts

For several weeks now I've thought about getting a haircut. I have been, however, hesitant to do so here in Galati. In the end I decided to do it myself. I used to cut my own hair all the time...
Well, it's been almost 8 months since my last haircut, so the length was getting, um, long. I do my bangs all the time, but decided I wanted more bangs. Which needed to be balanced with some fringe on the side.
I cut the fringe first. And then did the thicker bang. The bangs turned out, the fringe did not. It's pretty bad. I was able to do a decent job on the length...without a mirror to see how it was going in the back!
Anyway, I really didn't think anyone would notice, but lots of the kids did. One said to me twice, "Tuns?" Which means 'haircut.' The second time when I said yes he said: misto...which is Roma for cool. And when I told another girl that I did the cut myself she said "No cred...misto." Which means, I don't believe it...it's too cool.
Still, I've decided to just let the fringe grow back instead of trying to get it fixed. That way I can just get it fixed when I go home for my visit to the states in February (I hope).



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