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Showing posts from November, 2019

Homeschool Progress Report-fall semester

We're 1/3 (!) of the way through our first full-time homeschool year and I still haven't written about the academic side of things. To be honest, I haven't known what to write because I wasn't sure anyone would want to read about it. However, I have a few friends that homeschool and never talk about it much, which is always a mystery to me.

So I thought I would lift the veil a little bit...


We use Sonlight curriculum for History, Bible, Literature, Language Arts, and Science. The HBL is typically coordinated in a unit study: This year is Introduction to World Cultures and you can look up the booklists on the website.

The curriculum is literature-based, so each subject has a great selection of literature that we read from and discuss a little bit. I did have the rich literature selection in mind when I purchased the boxed set. However, my kids are a bit spoiled and I've always made sure to have quality literature on hand, including wonderful children'…

Got a package...

Note: I'm not advertising anything here, just sharing a glimpse into our life...

When you live abroad with a different grocery situation, there are times when you live without certain things and just improvise...and times when you go to great lengths to obtain them!

For example, around this time of year there is usually a big discussion about sourcing pumpkin puree and turkeys. Hypothetically, I usually go for homemade pumpkin puree and whatever cut of chicken or turkey is on hand at the store. But, we're not actually celebrating Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is a long workday and we're out of groceries, so I might ask Andrei to pick up some pelmeni on the way home!

Meanwhile, certain baking supplies are hard to find, too. For example, our store doesn't always have baking powder. It took me a long time to figure out that Russians often just add some vinegar to baking soda to make their pancakes rise.

Chocolate chips are another item in short supply. For many years I simply cu…

Roommates, Part 2

(Continued from previous post)

Then there were 4. Until the end of my stay, the 5th bed would be empty.

Around this time, they were easing up on my meds and I was out of the woods but uncomfortable. The two younger ladies were getting discharged and it was down to me and Olga again.

(Although I had found the younger surgery patient dramatic, I later ran into her in the hallway when I went in for a dressing change. She was readmitted a week or so after going home, though assigned to a different room. I felt badly for judging her. They never did find a specific cause of her stomach pain, though...maybe she was there just as a precaution in case there was a complication with her incisions.)

I was now getting out of bed and going to the bathroom by myself. I made myself walk a little, because I was supposed to, but it was hard.

Then we got a new roommate.

Connections Lady

Our new roommate was rather heavyset. This was relevant to her situation, but in order to avoid offense, I will call h…

Roommates, Part 1

A year ago, I was sick with appendicitis, which was hard to diagnose and difficult to recover from! You can look through my "appendicitis" posts and read more about it.

There are a few more things I was going to share about my hospital stay, and one of those topics is my Russian hospital roommates. I had trouble finding the time to write this post because I had so many different roommates during my 2-week stay, so it will take some time to describe them all! I ended up having to split it into two posts.

Getting Admitted

As soon as I was admitted to the ward, I got that "summer camp" feeling. Let me explain: in my teen and young adult years I spent each summer in a Russian summer camp with American mission teams. And Russian hospital wards give me that same kind of feeling: the worn but crisply ironed bedding on the creaky mattress, the rules and daily schedule, the cafeteria food, and the communal environment!

I already explained a little bit about my 3 roommates w…

The Wayward Blogger

I made it up to 20 posts for this year! I'm a little sad that it isn't more. When I look at my statistics, I see that 2016, when Sophia was born, was my lowest number of posts. And then last year. If I don't have an emergency before the end of the year, I will hopefully add a few more little snapshots of our life here in St. Petersburg.

I would love to blog at least weekly. I've mentioned before that I like to update often, because I like to see how certain themes play out. I can share my plans and then see how they come to fruition. I can share about my problems and then write about how various prayer requests have been answered.

But, it doesn't always happen. And, blogging is a bit dull nowadays, which is another topic. In the world of Instagram "personalities" and v-loggers (spelling?), a lowly non-monetized blog will not get many readers, but I still enjoy recording my thoughts.

By the way, I have 2 Instagram accounts now. One is for daily life and t…

Friends and family

Just finished our 5th day in a row of guests.

But... I think we all probably have different things in mind when we imagine inviting someone over for a visit. In Russian culture a meal is often involved, and a huge spread is not unheard of. When I was single and would visit families during the day, often they would feed me the food they made for their own families, but would not hesitate to offer me the entire contents of their fridge out of generosity.

By the way, Russians will keep offering you food even if you say no. I suppose it is more polite to refuse in order to not seem like a pig...I have a hard time getting used to that, especially if the food is really good. ;) If you don't want me to eat all your food, don't keep offering me seconds!

Back to cooking. If I waited until I had the time/energy/skill to cook a big multi-course meal, I'd never have guests over.

So, this is more what it looked like:

Day #1: A friend from church needed some company and we agreed to me…