Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 16 - The Ups and Downs of Being Far From Home

Today began a bit roughly and ended rather that way too. But in the mean time we had a wonderful day and lots of fun and I believe it was a banner day for the entire visit.

We had to drag Denys out of bed this morning. And is the remarkably abnormal for him. He's usually up & playing video games before the rest of us get downstairs. Today he wandered into the kitchen and declined breakfast. Even with use of Google Translate I couldn't find anything he was interested in eating. So, a talk with the translator it was. I explained the problem to Sergiy - Denys is beginning to skip multiple meals and doesn't want to even sit with the family at the table. Sergiy spoke with him and he grunted a few responses. He told me Denys claimed to be fine and that he liked the food, he was just not very interested in eating. Sergiy also informed him that he must sit at the table at meal times whether he wanted to eat or not. Denys agreed to do so and that was the end of that.

Marshmallow Brownies ready
for the oven.
Several minutes later Jonah walked into the room and said, "Mom, I think Denys is homesick." (Have I introduced you to my prophet-child?) I thought this was rather insightful and figured I needed to drop my plans and get fully engaged in the kids today. So we began:

Brownie making was first on the agenda. We added marshmallows just for fun. And while they baked into an interesting texture they were delicious to the palate.

I fixed lunch while the brownies were baking and decided on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. If the blue box can't fix his eating problem then nothing will! And that, my friends, was the genius move of the day. Three helpings later (and some chicken salad), Denys claimed he was full. Of course, all three still managed to find room for the fantastic brownies that were finally done.

Showing off their washer necklaces.

I put AR down for a nap and we finished our washer necklaces (see yesterday's post). They turned out super-cute in spite of the fact Dad laid something across MG's before it had dried. The kids loved them and wore them all day. In fact, I didn't check to make sure they were removed before baths.

Jason and I had also decided some family fun might be in order. Christmas had been so busy and things had stopped rather abruptly after the holiday. We needed an outing to get the grumps gone and smiles on everyone's faces. Bowling? Sure. Why not? So off we headed to Hiram and decided we are VERY thankful for the (genius) inventor of lane bumpers! Wahoo! I did manage 2 strikes, but got stomped pretty heartily by both Jason AND Denys - who happens to be a remarkable, though wild, bowler . . . especially with bumpers.

I have to confess that J and MG made the night. They cheered every time someone knocked down any pins. It was hysterical and frankly encouraged me. They didn't care they didn't get strikes. They were just thrilled that anyone was knocking down pins. It was a blessing and a memory I will cherish. I've included pictures of the kids making their bowling debuts. And I couldn't resist the one one of AR cheesing for the camera! It doesn't get any cuter than that!

Two games was certainly enough for this crowd and after a dinner at Zaxby's and a quick trip through Academy Sports (The Preacher's new favorite store), we headed for home. Now on the way home things began to get a little hairy. You see, I thought earlier today that I head Denys use the "MF" phrase. I attempted to address it mildly and didn't hear it again - until we were nearly home. And then he thought it was funny to say it over and over and over. Um, not funny. You see, I can handle it when he doesn't know what he's saying is wrong and we can have a chat and fix the problem. But tonight he was not interested in fixing the problem. He thought he was being funny. Yeah, so funny he nearly got yanked from the vehicle by two parents who were not about to let a goosey Ukrainian kiddo teach that vulgarity to their kids. Thankfully, he got the message. He and Dad still had a chat once we were home, but I'm hoping that little phrase is going the way of the other and we will not hear it again.

Tomorrow I'll post photos of his art work. He loves to copy illustrations from books and he is rather good. I'm glad we gave him a sketch book and colored pencils for Christmas. I'll close with a picture of the whole crew at the bowling alley. Now that is a cute bunch, if I do say so myself.



  1. Love reading your posts! You are planting seeds in Denys....the Lord will bring a harvest. So proud of you and all you are accomplishing!! Love you! Rachael

  2. Have you ever tried Ukrainian food? It is both healthy and very tasty. I strongly recommend you taste local food while your Ukraine vacation. In case you are not going to visit this Eastern Europe country, you can discover more about Ukrainian food in Ukraine travel guide  then look for online recipes and try to cook it at your home.

    1. Thank you for the link. I will certainly check it out. I can't say I've searched with extraordinary effort, but one of the few recipes I have found appears to feed about 30! I was going to try it, but figuring out how to cut down nearly 5 pounds of meat was going to be a mathematical challenge!

  3. Glad you stood your ground on the MF phrase. The phrase we've been working to eliminate is "shut-up stupid." Neither of those words is allowed in our house. How come the foreign bad words are some of the first words learned/remembered?

    I also second Fly's comment above. Ukrainian food is quite delicious and not too hard to make either. I have had kids from Korea, El Salvador, and now Latvia stay with me. I find that when you cook (or attempt to cook as was my case with the Korean dish) food from their home country it is a big deal for them.

    Good luck!

    1. I have plenty of patience with slip-ups, but zero patience when it comes to "being funny" and encouraging others in that type of language. Although, The Preacher and I have gotten a giggle or two, even out of this one.