A Tribute to Grampy...

"ME looks like Grampy!!!"

A Box From Granny...

It is always a great day when treats come from the states. The kids were so excited, they were screaming, "YEAH GRANNY!!!" Thanks Granny!!! I am loving the cookies you sent---I have eaten 3 already (and planning on more after the kids are in bed!) and told Gideon and ME they couldn't have any! I am so terrible (later felt guilty and let them each have one!


A New Found Freedom!!!

I drove by myself today!!! This is a first in Russia and a first with a stick shift! I was feeling totally confident driving to the gym, not missing Keith's kind reminders or the kids screaming and fighting in the back. I had my route planned out and where the best place to park would be. I had not been honked at, stopped or killed the engine...life was good! Until, my parking place was taken! I began to sweat when option #2 was also unavailable. Option 3 involved parallel parking on a busy street...not really a viable option for me! I decided to drive around the block, which ended up being 3 blocks, before I managed to find a "safe" place to park. At this point, taking the bus would have been a better option, since it would have uliminated the 3 block walk and dropped me off at the front door. I had a great workout with a huge smile plastered across my face, because I DROVE BY MYSELF!!! I wanted to announce it to everyone in my class, but kept my excitement to myself. I was thrilled to find the car where I had left it after class...it had not been towed, stolen or rolled away! I even managed a few minutes of shopping...BY MYSELF and then joined a friend at a cute coffee shop to celebrate this totally great day. I was zooming home with the music blaring and the A/C blasting feeling such freedom and confidence in my new accomplishment. I was stopped behind some cars waiting for the light to turn green, when it happened! I started to go and the car died; started, died; started, died. I was so nervous, sweat was pour from my brow and then I realized all the cars had gone around me and I was sitting in the middle of the street all alone (not even close to the light) trying to get the car to go. I finally realized that when I had stopped, I had not shifted back into 1st gear!!! Finally, off I went, only to die several more times on the way home...on a hill and again in the middle of the intersection, while waiting for a truck to turn. I was so relieved to finally make it home with a shred of dignity left and full of thankfulness to have been alone during the last portion of my fun, yet totally embarrassing adventure and thrilled relinquish the keys to Keith! Only if the World was flat and we all had chauffeurs!!!


We went grocery shopping and as usual got separated in the store. Usually, we would call each other to give our location, but my phone was at home (also not unusual). I asked Gideon to help me look for daddy.

He said, "What does he look like?"


Off to Church...

What's For Dinner?

There are so many great recipes floating around cyberspace...who needs a cookbook anymore! The Pioneer Woman Cooks! is an fabulous blog with great recipes and very detailed instructions, which is great for the challenged chefs that aren't sure what the difference is between chopped, diced, baked or roasted and think mac & cheese from a box is a gourmet meal! The Pioneer Woman shows step-by-step photos of the entire process. We are having company this weekend (Yeah, teammates...I can't wait to see you guys!!!) and look forward to putting the Pioneer Woman's recipes to the test, because Keith always says, "I don't care what it looks like, only what it tastes like!" Thanks Pioneer Woman for such a wonderful, user-friendly blog!!!


Granny Are You There?

Gideon wants to call Granny...

so, ME wants to "talk" too!!!

Learning to Roller Blade...

And The Winner Is...

I am so sorry to be posting late!!! We returned home on Friday anxious to see how many entries we had in the Bloggy Giveaway (202---WOW!!!) and our Internet was not working!!! I was so bummed and considered going to an Internet Cafe, but didn't think my pajamas would be acceptable attire (I already had my PJs on at 4pm!!!) and I was way to tired to put clothes on.

Thanks to Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for hosting such a fun giveaway!!! I have loved participating and still can not believe that 202 people left comments!!! Thank you to the 202 commenters!!! You totally made my day! I wish I could send each of you a treat from Russia, but hope that you will continue reading about our fun adventures in Russia...and leaving comments!!!

So, we have picked 4 winners!!! I am feeling very generous and am in a fabulous mood, since I lost 2 pounds at camp!!! YEAH!!!

Congratulations to the following 4 winners:
Keith randomly chose #7-Peach from Without Fear. Peach will be receiving a bright pink journal/calendar with lots of fun information in Russian (with some translation).

Kristie chose the person who left the longest comment (I love comments and long comments are the best!), which was Lori Leigh-a fellow Okie!!! Lori Leigh has won a book called, "The Golden Ring" which displays beautiful pictures of the area which we live and lots of historical information.

Gideon, considering his family allegiance a top priority, picked Cody Doss, the eldest of the 5 Sullivan cousins. Gideon will be responsible for carefully selecting a fun bag of treats for Cody (and you too, Leslie!!!)

ME selected Jessica, a fellow MK (Missionary Kid). Jessica has a great blog, I Made It: From Print To Plate, so ME wants to send her a cookbook called, "The Secrets of Russian Cooking" in English and Russian.

The Russian mail is much slower than our trusted United States Postal Service, so be looking for your fun packages to come in about one month---sorry!!! Also, in Russia (from what we understand), you can not send printed materials in the same package as other non-printed items. It is also much easier to send printed materials through the post and customs. Therefore, we have tried to select things that would be meaningful to each of you based on your personl blog profiles (for those of you who have blogs) and will not be able to include additional treats...once again, sorry!!! I was so excited to participate in the Bloggy Giveaway, I did not think through my prizes very well.


Back From Camp...

We just returned from camp, as predicted, we are totally dirty, stinky and exhausted! We had a great time at our first ever Russian Family Camp!!! The kids loved beginning outdoors all day and having so many playmates! Keith’s session were well received and Kristie was able to lead a game without a translator. The weather was nice, the rain minimal and the food and fellowship fabulous!!! We are glad to be home in our own beds and potty!!!

Camp Favorites...

Keith's Favorite~~~Volleyball
Kristie's Favorite Spot
Kristie's Favorite Pictures
Gideon's Favorite~~~Being a Warrior
ME's Favorite Spot~~~Up a Tree
Or Drinking Her Bottle

Camp Friends...

Many of the women that attended.
Gideon & Elijah
Olga & Maxim (ME calls him Sim)
ME & Kareal


Camp Adventures...

Picking Berries
Follow the Leader
Playing In the River
Taking a Break


Camp Accomidations...

Our Room
The Bathroom
The Sink---where you was your hands and dishes!
The Kettle...where they boil water! Tea anyone?

Gideon & ME-isms

Gideon~~~"Did Jesus put you in charge?"

Mommy: "The bath water is hot!"
ME: "Blow on it!"

VCR broke while watching Barney (PTL!). Later, ME asked to watch Barney and I said, "It is broke." ME said, "Does it need a band-aide?"


Off to Camp!!!

I feel like a little kid going off to camp! The Gideon and ME are totally excited and we are too! This morning it is sunny and I have high hopes of a great 3 day adventure!!! We will return on Friday~~~stinky and tired!!! We will probably have limited telephone access and there are definitely no Internet Cafes or Hot Spot connections in the neighborhood, so we will not be able to see how the fun, fun Summer Bloggy Giveaway is going or be able to post all of the funny adventures we are involved in! So, we will be back on Friday!!! Until then, have a great rest of the week!

A Fun Bloggy Giveaway!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I love blogging & meeting other bloggers!!! I am so excited about this fun way to make new friends and win prizes!!! Rocks in My Dryer is hosting this totally fun event and there are over 370 participants---which means 370 new friends and 370 possibilities of winning really great things!!! This is my first ever time to participate in a fun Blog event this this.

It is easy to play, just leave a comment and the winner will be selected from the comments. If you are not a blogger, you should leave an email address and then join the fun and create a blog!!!

The prize...a fun bag of goodies from Russia! I will arrange a special bag of treats & souvenirs from Yaroslavl, Russia & mail them directly to you!!!

I hope you win, but more importantly, I hope you enjoy reading about our lives and adventures in Russia. I look forward to reading your comments~~~I hope someone leaves a comment!!!

How fun & fabulous---I already have 3 comments!!!

UPDATE: I can not believe that in less than one hour 17 people have left comments!!! I am so excited!!!

Cute Memories & an Update...

ME & Her Chocolate Egg

Rest Time

Gideon getting some scooter practice in our apartment corridor.

We are having a great summer! Tomorrow, we are off to Church Camp~Family Session for 3 days! This will be our first time to spend the night at a Russian Camp & we are really looking forward to the opportunity to strengthen relationships with those in our Church. Please pray for the many details involved & that God would richly bless our time as a family & with those who attend. Keith will be leading a morning session & I have been asked to lead games. Please pray that we would do an excellent job, we (especially me) would communicate clearly & that the sessions would be well received, informative (Keith's) & fun (mine). Please pray for great weather (the forecast calls for rain) & that we would all be safe, healthy & have a blast!

I have entered Driver's Ed 101~Standard Transmission Version. I have driven several times, under Keith's supervision. The first time was to Gideon's school & involved no accidents, tickets, screaming or police. It did involve restarting the car several times, especially in a particular tricky intersection. Since then, my confidence has increased, but I think my skills are still rather lacking. Today, I decided that I must start driving regularly with Keith, because he will be gone a week in September (which is a whole other prayer request to come later) and I will need to drive the kids to school or take them on the bus, which is takes 3 times longer. So, today, we need to go get groceries at the mall, a 5 minute drive from our house. I thought...no problem!!! I confirmed a few points before taking off (Do you put the clutch in when you start? Does it need to be in gear when you start? Scary, I know nothing about driving a stick shift!!!) & hit the road. I began to sweat when a car pulled right behind me at the light & when it turned green I killed it, because I was so nervous about rolling back & hitting the other car & we were not even on a hill!!! 3 green lights later (no kidding---fortunately we were both laughing & the other cars just went around us), I managed to make it through the light (Me said, "Good driving!!!"; Keith said, "About time!"; and sweet Gideon just laughed!) & on to the grocery store we went! The entire time we were shopping, I was thinking about the light at the top of the hill, between the mall & our house that I managed drive right through last time. PTL, I drove slow enough that it turned green before I needed to stop & we made it home with no problems!!!


Blogging Tag!!!

Yeah! We have been "tagged"---I am shocked and so excited to actually be picked for something!!! I feel like I am back in Grade School waiting to be picked in gym or recess.

Our friends and soon-to-be travel companions at
Blog-A-Dot (which means grace in Russian---you guys are so creative) tagged us to share 8 interesting things about us (The question actually was in the singular, but since this blog is about the 4 Sullivans and I could barely think of 2 things to write about me personally, that will hopefully not be considered boring and will even possibly qualify as somewhat entertaining and even interesting, if your life is extremely boring...I have included all 4 Sullivans!)

Mary Elizabeth~~~was born an average sized, beautiful little girl and some how managed to achieve Sumo Wrestler status with her "off the growth chart weight" by the time she was 3 months old...and to think we were concerned about the fact she had not returned to her birth weight by her 2 week check-up! She also has fabulous hair. We rarely brush it, never curl it and it always wins her so many compliments.

Gideon~~~has been on more than 22 round trip plane adventures (including 14 different countries) before the age of 4. He is the only person in his class that speaks English, he loves "Army Guys" AKA anyone wearing camouflage and hopes to one day be a "Speaker Guy" so he can wear a "speaker coat" and tie.

Kristie~~~has a Bachelor of Science in Leisure...who knew that was even possible! She also gained over 65 pounds when she was pregnant with ME. The day before ME was born she ate 3 bowls of queso and all the necessary chips, a full meal and a sopapilla!!! She can now proudly report that after much sweat and determination, she has returned to her pre-pregnancy birth weight!

Keith~~~over 15 years ago, after his childhood dreams of becoming a famous Rock-Star disappeared with his long locks of hair, began preparing to become a missionary to Russia.

We now want to tag Chris & Jill Willeke and Tom & Jennifer Craig...the only 2 people we know who read our blog (at least occasionally) and regularly post on their blogs.

All the Places We Have Been...

Get your own Visited Countries Map from Travel Blog



I am too rotten to pose for a picture while I eat chips with a spoon!!!

I ate 2 uncooked hot dogs, a whole bag of chips & lots of treats!!! What a great picnic!

Sunday with The 4 Sullivans...

Off to Church!!!

Taking a walk...during Church!

Getting a treat & being silly...also during Church!


The Fun Continues...

Off we go!!!

The water is freezing!!!

ME modeling Gideon's old swimming suit.