Meet Gideon's Teachers...

Mr. Tom AKA "Trouble" :-)

Mrs. Smith

Mrs. Dunbar

Many people volunteer to provide childcare for the kids each year. It is a huge sacrifice for them and tremendous blessing for us! They pay their own expenses and bring so many things to make the week such a wonderful success! They do Vacation Bible School with the kids, shower them with love, teach them so many things about the Bible and how to have Godly character and fill their tummies with treats from the states!!! Kristie was know to sneak some treats from the kid's bags and really enjoyed the zip lock bag of Cheetos Gideon brought home!!! We love you guys! You are so awesome and such a blessing!!! We are looking forward to seeing you in Russia next year!!!


Today was the first day of AGM and the kids classes. Gideon was so excited to go to his class---thankfully!!! First thing this morning, he said, "When do I get to go to my hotel school?" ME on the other hand, cried so hard when we dropped her off, you could probably hear her screaming in the lobby!!! The teachers, bless their hearts, said she had a good morning and stopped crying after a few minutes. She was so tired, when I went to get the kids lunch, she was already asleep when I returned a few minutes later.

A Lesson Learned?

A post that needs no words! Only to say, "Did ME learn her lesson?" NO! By the end of the week she was at the top of the slide with the other kids...one time Kristie had to go up the slide to get her. She was having so much fun she didn't want to leave!


Annual General Meeting AKA AGM

AGM begins tomorrow. We are all so excited!!! This is our 4th trip to Mikolajki, Poland for AGM. Mikolajki is a cute little town in northern Poland with a huge hotel that has a huge indoor water park, hot tubs, many different saunas, including a Polar Room filled with snow to "cool off" in after your visit to the sauna. There is also a wonderful playroom, arcade, a new ice skating rink and much more! We are so thankful for such a wonderful organization that gives such such a wonderful opportunity each year.

Fun with Friends...

We are having so much fun in Poland with our friends. The hotel is awesome, the staff and service are spectacular, the veiw is gorgeous and the fellowship with our friends has been fabulous! Keith's trip to Warsaw was a success and tomorrow we move to a new hotel to begin our Annual General Meeting (AGM).


Fun Memories with Our New Friends


A good nights sleep gives you a whole new outlook!!!

I love internet and email! Praise the Lord we have internet access for atleast a few days!!!


Fireside Chat

We finally made it to Poland!!! It has been a long 2 days! In summary, the usual 3 hour road trip to Moscow was 5 hours due to road construction; ME has strep throat and an ear infection and is back on antibiotics; and the usual 3-4 hour bus trip from the Kaliningrad Airport took us 8! Fun-Fun!!! However, our hotel is fabulous!!! We are on a lake in a gorgeous 2 story, 2 bedroom bungalow with a fire place!

Other than a fabulous Egg and Sausage McMuffin on the way to the airport and snacks, we had not eaten all day. It was 10pm (8pm local time), when we arrived and we were starving and exhausted! They delivered a fabulous dinner and tea to our room! I felt like such royalty! I am reading a book set in the 1900s and love the thought of being served and spending the day picking flowers and planning parties!!!)

Tomorrow, Keith is off on another fun road trip to Warsaw to get our visas, but tonight we are relaxing by the fire---how fun! Please pray for safe travel and a great day for us all.

Bus Ride to Poland...

What do you do on an 8 hour bus ride to Poland?

Make new friends...this is Gideon's new friend Leia.

Drive your parents and neighbors on the bus crazy!!!

And, if you are a 5 year old little girl, plan your wedding! Leia said she wants to marry Gideon, have 16 kids and 12 cats! What a family that would be!!!


On the Road Again...

We leave tomorrow for Poland. We need to get new visas and attend our yearly general meeting with all of the missionaries who serve in Eastern Europe. Please pray for safe travels for all of the missionaries and a wonderful time of rest, renewal and fellowship.

I am sad that I will probably have limited Internet access and therefore will not be able to blog very often. I am sure that this does not bring tears to the eyes of many, but I will miss blogging! Does anyone know of a Blogger Support Group :-)?!? Please keep checking back---I will be back soon!!!

PICTURE: Gideon came in yesterday and said, "Mommy, will you take our picture?" Usually, I have to beg, plead, negotiate and occasionally even bribe and raise my voice!!!

Good-Bye Brett!!!

Last night the Lokomotives lost to Omsk in overtime! It was so sad to see the season come to an end, because it means saying good-bye to Brett! We hope, however, he will return next year!!! Thanks Brett for being such a great friend to our family! We will miss you!!!


Did you know...

Did you know that in Russia the father (or any other visitors for that matter) is not allowed to visit his wife or baby the entire time she is in the hospital and the average hospital stay for a new mom is 5 to 10 days? Congratulations Alousha and Lena on the birth of your new son (whose name will be choosen only after arriving home and meeting the family)!!!


Go Locomotives!!!

The Locomotives (our local Ice Hockey Team) are in round 2 of the Playoffs. They have been playing Omsk, the #2 team in Russia. The Locomotives are currently 1-2 after their loss last night and must win the best 3 out of 5 to advance. A friend surprised us yesterday with tickets to the sold-out game. We were so excited to be apart of the excitement, but no matter how much we cheered, yelled, screamed and prayed, the Locomotives still lost. We wish them well tonight! Go Locomotives!!!

Gorgeous Day!!!


A Little Interview With the 4 Sullivans

Our first interview questions!!! Yeah!!!

1. What has been the hardest part of living in Russia?
Kristie: Being so far away from our families!
Keith: Feeling the burden to start new churches among Russian people, which is both a wonderful and extremely difficult task.

2. What is your funniest learning/practicing the language story?
Kristie: All of the –est questions are always difficult for me to answer, but I love asking them! The first blunder that comes to mind is when I told the wife of our landlord (trying to impress her with all of my wonderful Russian knowledge HAHA!!!) that the lady at the Passport Registration had a big “butt” but I actually meant to say “folder” in her office of our documents. The look on her face told me I had made an error and I was able to correct myself!
Keith: Most recently was when our local Russian pediatrician was explaining treatment for a virus Emme had. One of the treatments was to give her suppositories to increase her immune system. The funny thing was that the word he used for suppository was the same Russian word I knew for “candle”. I couldn’t imagine putting a candle where he was suggesting, but after some explanation, we figured it out.

3. What has been the most delightful thing that you've experienced in Russia?
Kristie: Friendships and Teammates! I have made some great friends and love my teammates---both have been such a source of encouragement, wisdom and laughter!
Keith: I would agree that it is friendships. Russians understand friendship in a way that makes them the most faithful friends you could ever have.

Thanks Mary Caye for the great questions!!!


An Interview with The 4 Sullivans

Have you every wondered what life is like in Russia? What we do for fun besides watching the ABCs on DVD (HAHA!)? If you have a question, now is the time to ask! You just need to leave us a question in the comments. Anything within reason for any of the 4 Sullivans! What do you want to know about us that you don't know already know?

We will post answers throughout the week.

*This fun blog idea originated with Susie at www.susiepie.com. Thanks Susie for such a fun idea!


A Suprise from Granny...

Keith brought home a box Granny sent. When a box arrives, everyone drops what they are doing and surrounds the box. ME, however, ran into the kitchen and got the scissors to open the box! OK, this is very dangerous and a lesson to mommy to find a new location for the scissors, but it was pretty funny that she has already learned the drill! Thanks Granny for sending such a fun box of goodies!!!

FYI: Most people think that missionaries have very exciting lives, like Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, William Carey and Hudson Taylor. We, however, are sitting in our living room tonight watching a DVD about the ABCs!!! How exciting!!!


I am now eating at the big table and not in my highchair any more! We gave my highchair to our friends, who just had a new baby boy!!! I am excited that I will have a new friend to play with soon! Mommy wants to get a dog to help her clean-up after me! I better go since mommy doesn't know that I am playing on the computer :-).
Love, ME


Kristie's Muses...

CONFESSION: I am not exactly sure to what I am confessing...my hurt feelings, laziness, or acceptance of mediocrity or why I am writing my confession for all the World to read (OK, I know only 1 or 2 people will actually read this post HA HA!!!).

Last week, I went to a friend's house to meet some new people and study the Bible. As we were leaving, one of the young ladies offered to give me a ride home.

In the car, she asked how long I had lived in Yaroslavl.

I said a year and a half in Yaroslavl and 5 years in Russia.

She asked me if I spent all my time at home with my kids.

I said, "No, why?"

She said, "Because your Russian is terrible. After 5 years, you should speak much better than you do." OUCH!!!

I said...nothing, but sort of waited for her to apologize, which she didn't!

I know that my Russian is far from perfect and even on a good day, people still have difficulty understanding me. Actually many (more gracious) people have complemented my Russian. One person even asked if I was from Estonia. I thought that was a wonderful complement...I had moved clear across the ocean, into Eastern Europe, right next to Russia!

But, why will I always remember and spend so much time dwelling on the negative things that only a few people say (even though many may think HA HA!!!).

BLESSING: In Russia, a doctor will make a house call for less than $20...and occasionally for free. ME has a rash and a bad cough. I think our kids have had every rash possible and seem that someone always has a runny nose, cough or other form of bodily discharge :-).

Keith called our neighborhood Pediatrician and he came in 10 minutes! He stayed for almost an hour, wrote 2 pages of medicine and charged us less than $20!

The downside is half of what he said I did not fully understand and I have my doubts about 2 pages of meds for a possible virus infection! Please prawe will have wisdom to know what medicines to give her.
STRUGGLE: Gideon still really struggles with his preschool. Every morning, when we tell him that it is a school day, he begins the whining and drama! "I don't want to go to school! Why do I have to go to school?" I feel like I have to walk on egg shells caring pom-poms..."You can do it! You will have fun!" And the drama continues. Please pray that Gideon would love his preschool and would become good friends with his classmates.
He daily complains about one especially mean boy...please pray this boy would become Gideon's friend and be kind to Gideon.
Finally, the teacher's assistant is always sick or has a sick child. There is a darling afternoon assistant, Masha, who can not work in the mornings. This means Katya is left alone with 15-19 kids who range in age from 3-6 years old. OK, this is not only illegal, shocking and dangerous IN AMERICA, but I am daily reminded we no longer live in America! itive experience for Gideon.

The Next Survivor...

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each
for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of "pretend" bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care (weekend, evening, on a holiday or right when they're about to leave for vacation). He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

There is only one TV between them, and a remote with dead batteries.

Each father will be required to know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every character on cartoons.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, which they will apply to themselves while making three lunches.

Each man will have to make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.

Each man must adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep their nails polished and eyebrows groomed. The men must try to get through each day without snot, spit-up or barf on their clothing.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties. They must try to explain what a tampon is for when the 6-yr old boy finds it in the purse.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

He will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night without falling asleep, and then feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00. They must leave the home with no food on their face or clothes.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each
child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

They must have a loving, age-appropriate reply to, "You're not the boss of me."

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man wins only if he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years...eventually earning the right to be called Mom!


Happy Birthday Aunt Leslyn!!!

Happy Birthday Aunt Leslyn!!! We miss you, love you and hope you have a great day and yummy cake!

Fun Time with Friends...

Sasha and ME praying before dinner.

We had dinner with our friends, Luda, Volodiya and Sasha. We a yummy dinner and great time of fellowship!!! Thanks Luda and Volodiya for your wonderful hospitality!!!

Fun at the Docha!

Our team had a great day celebrating spring at the docha (Russian for cabin)! OK, it may "officially" be spring, but it is still doesn't feel like spring with snow on the ground!
Sarah and Anna
Keith and ME

Gideon and Christian


What Funny Faces!!!

Life in Russia...after 5 years

One night in Ivanovo, Russia, 6 weeks before the completion of our apprenticeship and our return to the states, I sat alone in a small cafe across the street from our apartment. Thoughts of the past 3 years ran through my mind. The shock and loneliness had faded, but I could not stop thinking about how I would survive another term in Russia, when I didn't even know how I was going to make it the next 6 weeks. I poured my heart out to God in my journal..."We have finished our term and are free of our commitment. Life in Russia is so much harder than in the states. I could be a better mom and the kids could have more (stuff) in the States."

I can't say that I have ever audibly heard God's voice, but that night in the cafe, God spoke to my heart and said "No you can't live in Russia in your own strength, but I will give you all you need and be with you." That night, I knew we would return to Russia.

We left 6 weeks later and had a wonderful time with our families (and going to Wal-Mart and Taco Bell). I invited my dad and Barbara to her us speak about our experience in Russia one Sunday evening at Church. Afterward, my dad hugged me and said, "I am so proud of you! I now understand why you went to Russia and I think you made the right decision."

All of my life I have longed for the approval of my dad. These words were such an answer to prayer! 2 weeks later, my dad had a stroke and lost a great deal of his ability to speak.

Life in Russia is an adventure. Life in Russia with 2 kids is never boring. I thank God for my life in Russia!

Loose Tooth!!!

Gideon has his first loose tooth!!!

Tour Our Home

Welcome to our home!!!

For those of you who are new to our sight, we are missionaries living in Yaroslavl, Russia. We wanted to invite everyone on a tour of our home. It is not huge or glamorous (and often very messy!), but we love it and we are so thankful to be able to live and serve the Lord here in Yaroslavl.

This is the entryway to our apartment building. Not much can really be said about it, but we are thankful for the man who keeps it swept, clean and picks up all of the trash.

This is the entrance to our apartment. Typically, every Russian apartment has a place to put your coat and shoes in the entrance. Since the majority of the year most of Russia is covered in snow or mud, it is polite to remove your shoes at the door.

Our kitchen...the heart and mess of our home :-).

Our living room, playroom, office, study, library and where we spend the majority of our time.

Gideon and Mary Elizabeth's room.

The kid's room has a boarder that totally doesn't match the wallpaper. We really didn't want to change the wallpaper (not because we totally love it, but we are too lazy and inept), but Kristie really wanted to change the boarder (you can see it peeking out in the corners of the picture). So she printed pictures and scriptures to cover the old boarder.

Check-out our online photo album to see more pictures at www.the4sullivans.photosite.com.

Kristie would like to thank www.boomama.net for this great idea. Check-out her (and many other homes at http://boomama.net/?p=376.



Gideon and ME were playing (jumping off a stool on to a bunch of pillows) and bumped heads. Gideon said, "Mommy my head hurts. I want the pain off! I need a band aide to make it go away." I logically said, "But you are not bleeding." He got 2 band aids (and of course ME had to also have one) and the pain went away! Thanks Granny for sending us such fun band aids we could use in such an important crisis!