Pepa and Layla

Pepa and Layla are sisters who live in our apartment complex. We love when they come for a visit. They teach us lots about Yaroslavl, Russian slang and love to eat chocolate!!! We love Pepa and Layla!!!

Bat Girl...

Bat Girl caught taking a break.

Not that Young Anymore...

Anna, Christian and Sarah

Andre, Galya, and Vanya

Marha, AKA Bible Woman

After a totally fun few days in Ivanovo, one chat until 2 AM, a trip back to Ivanovo with 35 youth and lots of fun times in between, I have realized that I am getting old!!! It has taken me days to recover my energy, catch-up on my sleep and be able to stay up long enough to watch an entire episode of Alias!


Yummy Chocolate Cake!?!

Tomorrow, we are headed to Ivanovo to spend a few days with our team mates. I decided to make "The Best Ever Chocolate Cake"...with sweetened condensed milk, hot fudge and cool whip. Gideon helped me break the eggs and as I was busy adding the other ingredients, I noticed that it looked like one of the eggs was a little red. I immediately begin to wonder where blood would have come from?!? After I realized no one was bleeding, I remembered that several other missionaries had said that they had purchased eggs that had matured too long and actually began forming into little chicks---yuck. First, I thought..."What a waste! It is just a little bit red, maybe it won't hurt!" Please forgive me team mates!!! As I began to mix the batter, it became more and more red. I thought..."Darn, if only I would have known, I would have made a Red Velvet Cake!" I kept stirring, more red! Right before I finally concluded that it was becoming way to red and way to gross...I realized it was probably really a Red Velvet Cake mix. Someone had sent us a few cake mixes, but they had cut everything off of the box except the directions. I just assumed it was a chocolate cake since it looked brown in the package!!! I hope my team mates like Red Velvet Cake...to bad it is not Valentine's Day!!!

ME and Max

Gideon helps mommy make a pie for our guests.

ME's friend Max came to play today!

They had a lot of fun making a huge mess, while the mommies and daddies had tea and totally yummy Lemon Meringue Pie!

One Year Blogging Anniversary!!!

One year
374 posts
more than 8,522 hits
lots of pictures
a few silly videos
53 dots on our map
and soo many fabulous memories!!!

Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and interest in getting to know us better. We love and appreciate every time you read our blog, share a comment and say a prayer for us!

Gideon is so full of emotion!!!


A Fun Find...

We bought a slow cooker!!! Kristie discovered a fun blog with weekly slow cooker recipes, but finding a slower cooker in Russia proved to be a challenge. Keith found one a few days ago and now has high hopes Kristie will actually start cooking!!!

The first recipe she wants to try is 40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken!!! Many have thought 40 was a typo, but it is not and this recipe has got great reviews...we will let you know what we think!

Check-out I'm an Organizing Junkie for other slow cooker recipes and weekly menu plans.

A Rare Moment...

A rare moment of peace and quiet!


Meet Masha...

Masha is one of the assistants in Gideon's preschool class. One day when I was picking Gideon up from school, she suggested tutoring Gideon in Russian. Tonight was her first visit. We had a great time getting to know her and hearing more about the school. Please pray for Masha and her time with Gideon.

LOL (Laugh Out Loud)

Some times I feel like my life is very...average. I spend the majority of my day managing the chaos surrounding me, organizing the junk around me, and watching Barney...ME wakes up every morning saying bottle and Barney, which sound very similar in ME-erish. Currently, one of my favorite hobbies is blogging. I especially love reading blogs, since making our lives seem glamorous is impossible; fascinating---not really; adventurous---only on rare occasions; worth reading about---only if your are family or bored! HE-HE! Some people can make the most simple things seem so interesting and funny. My Tiny Kingdom is a fabulous blog---her posts on body parts, awareness and functions and every day life are hilarious!

I hope you find something that makes you laugh today!!! Thanks My Tiny Kingdom for making me laugh!!!


Another Day in Russia...

Today is gorgeous. We enjoyed some family time out on the playground this morning. This afternoon, I went swimming with a friend. I can add a new rule to my long list of "Don't Do While in Russia"...Do not take your towel with you to the pool, you must leave it in your locker! I did look around to discover I was the only one with a towel! I wonder who sits around and makes up all of these rules!


What a Tragedy!!!

On the way to school, Keith told me about the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech.

My totally selfish response was "Why did you tell me that?" I have gotten used to living in Russia where I am almost completely isolated from the news. I never watch the news (or read about it on the Internet...unless of course it is reported in a blog HE-HE!!!) The only television shows I watch are the selected, recorded series we get in the mail from Keith's sweet mom or the movies we purchase. I didn't know what to say, think, or do. I am still recovering from the terrible news that happened in the Amish community months ago!!!

I came across a remarkable blog, The Hutch. I have included the tremendous insights into this tragedy for you to read.

There, But By the Grace of God, Go All of Us
The seemingly senseless events of yesterday in Blacksburg are still being sorted out; will be for months to come, if past history is any indication. Reporters will interview victims' families, investigators will do their detective work, many will speculate on the shooter's history and motives, a few will develop conspiracy theories. "Blacksburg" will become another synonym for tragedy, another mile-marker on the road of human depravity. My heart is aching for the many people who are mourning a beloved family member or friend who died yesterday.

The shooter has been identified as an Asian young man, and at this time, little else is known about him. I know one thing for certain though: his actions demonstrate the black stain upon our human hearts. Sin. This young man desperately needed a Savior.

Why? There's the question for the ages. Why does God permit such things? Because a perfect world would not need saving. Because a world without sin would not need a Savior. C.S. Lewis said, "if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

Blacksburg's tragedy is an illustration of fallen mankind at its worst. Yet, day by day, are we so much better?

...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... Romans 3:23

I fall short of the glory of God by miles. I talk about people, I lose my temper, I am prideful and even arrogant. I seek my own way and think of myself before others. I may not open fire in a classroom, I may not make the evening news with my sin, but it doesn't grieve God any less. I too am a sinner, in need of saving. Our need for salvation isn't measured on a yardstick; it's a giant chasm with all of humanity on one side and the glory of the Lord on the other. It doesn't matter how close or how far one stands; the chasm is there and we cannot get across.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23

Oh, how complacent we have become when we hold ourselves so far above Cho Seung-Hui. "I would never do such a thing...". Well, maybe not, but I submit to you that your sin and my sin is the result of the same black stain. The shooter in Blacksburg shows us how far our sin nature will go to get its own way. There, but by the Grace of God, go I.

How did the events at Blacksburg change your thinking? Are you becoming more numb to these things...do you change the channel so as not to listen to such depressing stuff...or, perhaps, did the news drive you to your knees in repentance? Have you thought, "what a nutcase, glad he's dead!" or, perhaps, did you grieve over this young man's despair and lost soul?

Lord, let your light shine upon us. Let Your mercy rain down upon us. Restore us, oh God of our salvation. Forgive us...cleanse us...give us eyes toward eternity.


Fun Night with Friends...

Tonight our friends invited us over for a fabulous Chechen meal and a great time of fellowship. We learned many new Chechen traditions and loved getting to know this sweet family better. Thank you Pepa and Layla for all of your hard work, yummy food and wonderful hospitality!!!


Bath Time Fun...

Saturday Fun...

"I wanna be a cowgirl!"

"I am coming to the rescue!"

We went to our favorite near by mall, Kristie checked out the new videos, Gideon and ME rode a few rides and we all ate ice cream! What a fun morning!

One of My Favorite Pics...

One of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite guys!


Please Pray for Our Neighbors...

Please join us in praying for the families who live in our apartment complex. Today, we delivered postcards to the mailboxes of each apartment offering them a free Bible. Please pray that God would open their hearts as they receive the postcard and would desire a Bible and to know God through His word.


Gideon Lost His 1st Tooth!!!

Gideon (and daddy) worked all evening wiggling Gideon's first loose tooth, while mommy was Googling "How to pull a loose tooth?" and encouraging them to stop trying to pull it! Finally, the ordeal has ended and Gideon has lost his first tooth...thankfully with little pain and no tears (at least not by Gideon).

To see the entire portfolio (OK, what crazy person would take 20 pictures in one night of a loose tooth!!!) check-out our online photo album at www.the4sullivans.photosite.com.


A Point to Ponder...

Why am I surprised when I face suffering, when God chose the 9th month of Mary's pregnancy to have a census that would require her to travel by donkey and give birth to God's own son in a dirty manger?

What sacrifice am I willing to make, knowing that God was willing to sacrifice his own son, so that I may have eternal life?

A Rare Moment...

I love it when the kids want to have their picture taken...it is a rare moment!


90 Days of Prayer for Russia

Please join us in a special time of prayer for Russia. Click the following link 90 Days of Prayer for Russia for a daily guide to assist you and to discover lots more about Russia.


Happy Easter!!!

Christ has risen!
Христос воскрес!
(Christos voskres)

We Are Home and with a New Perspective!!!

We are so glad to finally be home! We had a wonderful time in Poland, successfully received new one year visas and had a great time with our fellow colleagues at our Annual General Meeting (AGM).

On the way home last night, Kristie realized that she has a new love for the Oil Refinery! When we were considering moving to Yaroslavl, our main concern was the pollution. We questioned everyone we knew living in Yaroslavl about it. The funny thing is that the house God provided is on the very last street in Yaroslavl, on the street called "Oil Workers" in the neighborhood called "Oil Development" next to the Oil Refinery. Now we rarely even think about the Oil Refinery-or its pollution :-(. Last night, however, Kristie's heart rejoiced when she saw the smoke filled stacks that told her home was just around the corner!!! Praise the Lord we are home!!!


The Last Night...

To see all of our pictures from Poland, go to www.the4sullivans.photosite.com.

Mary Elizabeth's Friends...

Gideon's New Friends...

Meet ME's Teachers...

Miss Erin and Miss Andersen (and not pictured Mr. O)

It was much more difficult for us to get pictures in ME's class...due to the screaming HEHE! Eventually, ME did adjust and after a few days went into her class on her own! Thank you guys for your sacrifice, love, time and over whelming amount of patience with ME and all of the little kids! We love you and were so blessed by all you did this week!!!