What Is Happening To The Dollar?!?!

OK, I should be packing, cleaning and attending to the never ending puddles in our bathroom, since we are leaving in 2.5 hours! As I was finishing up a financial report, I realized the dollar is depreciating so fast!!!

In 2002, when we arrived in Russia, 100 rubles was $3.18.
In 2006, 100 rubles equaled $3.59.
In 2007, 100 rubles...$3.82.
Today, 100 rubles is $4.26!

Our German (and even Russian) friends are rejoicing at this. We are just hoping that we are able to afford to eat!!!

When It Rains It Pours!!!

and then begins to leak!!!

At 12 AM, I finally went to the bathroom to get a Tylenol PM, so I could get some sleep. When I stepped on the rug, my foot was covered in water! My first thought: Gideon, so needs a lesson in how to aim!!! It is not terribly unusual for me to find small puddles of yellow liquid in our bathroom, but this time our whole floor was covered! I debated for a total of 60 seconds on whether or notto wake Keith up. My conclusion...I handle the little puddles, he needs to take care of the big ones!!! When he finally arose, he discovered the yellow puddle was not ours originally, but the up stairs neighbors!!! Y-U-C-K!!! Please pray that this problem will be rectified this morning, since we are leaving for Moscow TODAY! The thought of a non-family member's yellow liquid flowing down our walls and remaining there for 4 months unattended is more than I can bear!!!

A Call to Pray!

CRISIS #458: Today, I was having tea with my friend L and could tell she was struggling. Her husband is very abusive, their financial situation is terrible (and magnified due to her husband's lack of work for over 5 months) and happiness is a rarity. In tears, she shared the latest atrocities and her feeling of hopelessness. When she left, I called Amnesty International in Moscow. The employee advised that she call the police. I informed him that she had, her husband told the police, "Yes, I beat my wife. What are you going to do about it?!?" The police replied, "You know you should not do that." No arrest was made. Then, I was told that she (L, who lives in fear of her husband) could insist that he be arrested. I informed him that was very unlikely and asked if there was any other options or advice he could give me? He said that they could provide me with the name of a Psychologist to teach her how to behave and how to deal with them.

Domestic Violence in Russia (and through out the World) is a serious problem. 34,000 women A DAY are beaten. 1 woman every 40 minutes is KILLED!!! There is currently only 1 shelter in the Moscow region and 3 in all of Russia that serve 18 people each. However, only those who are properly registered in that area can receive their assistance. And lats just say getting properly registered in Russia is a whole different saga!!!

I am afraid for L and her daughter, D. Please join me in praying for this family and that God would protect L and D, strengthen them, fill them with wisdom, peace and joy and put an end to the abuse.

I am sharing L's story with her permission and encouragement in the hopes that you will pray for her and that God would move and change her situation.


A Great Sunday!!!

We spent our last Sunday afternoon with friends. The weather was great and we had a blast!

Running through the Kremlin.

On the Carousel.

Walking in the park.

Laughing at ourselves in the House of Mirrors.

More rides!!!

And even horseback riding!!!



Gideon is getting ready for Hawaii...I just hope he doesn't want to wear this on the plane!!!

America in 4 more days!!! Aloha Hawaii in 11 more days!!!

Ready For A Bike Adventure?!?!

With the rising temps, (OK, don't misunderstand, it is not hot here yet! It is barely warm enough to melt the snow!) Gideon and ME have been begging to go ride their bikes! Today, the sun was shinning and Gideon reported at 8:25 that almost all of the snow was gone...he sooo exaggerates!!! So, we relented and agreed to go on a bike adventure. Keith prepared the bikes and I made the kids do every chore possible, since they were so agreeable and the threat of not getting to go bike riding was tremendous motivation!!! So, around 11, we loaded up the elevator and headed out. Even though the sun was shinning, I was freezing!!! Gideon rodes is the one small area that the snow had indeed actually melted and after falling off her bike within the first 2 minutes of our totally excited (at least to Gideon) adventure, she was content with pushing her bike!

10 minutes into the adventure, Gideon's chain fell off...ending our adventure! I was so secretly thrilled, but appeared sad and we headed home!

That's Life!!!

If life wasn't already challenging enough (or the house already a total disaster!!!) our refrigerator broke this morning!!! I guess the timing is perfect, since it gives us just enough time to eat all of the food!!!


Hockey Championship Finals!!!

The Lokomotivs made it to the FINALS!!! They will play against Ufa on April 3rd. Way to go Lokos!!!

3:47 AM

What do you do at 3:00 in the morning, when you can't sleep? I bought a house! I could only afford a lonely, little trailor house with no trees, flowers or neighbors...and probably no furniture or food!!!

I was so lonely and sad, I packed up and am headed on the Oregon Trail with 10 friends! We have traveled 274 miles and I have healed 4 friends of serious illnesses, hunted for food with 73% accuracy and am now finally tired and am off to bed!!!

Making A list And Checking It Twice!!!

and it is not even Christmas!!!


ME is on candy restriction :-). She asked for candy and I told her she must finish her dinner (OK, so dinner was a bowl of cereal...but it has at least 10 vitamins, many minerals and is a vital part of your day!!!). A few minutes later, she came to tell me that she had finished her cereal and the bowl was in the hallway (which is at least next the the kitchen sink!). The empty cereal bowl was right next to the bucket she dumped her cereal into! This is a picture of her pouting!!!

I love my MP3 player! I am listening to music, while the kids watch cartoons. We are in the same room, but I don't have to listen to them fight, whine, complain or ask me the same question a million times..."Yes, we are going to Granny's SOON!!!"

Is 8:00 to early for us to all go to bed on a Friday night?!?



One more week, 7 more days, 168 more hours, 10,080 more minutes and about 1,000,000 more things to do until we are "relaxing" on our first of 3 flights and at least 21 hours of togetherness, waiting and airport adventures!!! Final destination---Granny's!!!

How do you pack for a 4 month long trip??? Keith's sage advice, "All you need to take are 2 outfits, then you can wear one and wash one!" And then burn them after the 4 months are over!

Why do I even care if our apartment is spotless before we leave...I am sure after 4 months, it won't be!!!

How many times must a mom be required to answer the same question, "Is it Granny Day yet?" "No not yet, but SOON!!!"

A rare, but priceless moment, which we pray will happen lots on our flights!


Easter Continues...

Granny sent an Easter Egg kit that the kids could not wait to do. Mommy, however, being anti-crafts and anti-messes tried every excuse to delay the fun, but finally relented to the incessant questioning. So, the Easter festivities continue at the Sullivan house...

and so do the messes!!!
We hope you had a wonderful Easter celebration!!!


Happy Easter!

Gideon was so excited this morning to wear his "Preacher Vest" Granny sent. He said a million times with a huge smile, "Mom, don't I look nice!?!" ME was much more interested in eating her chocolate egg, than taking pictures. We are so thankful to be able to celebrate Easter with Buck (our supervisor, who lives in Saint Petersburg), but wish he would have been able to bring his darling family!!! Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter!!!


Team Time!

I love getting to spend time with our team! The gang came up for a great night of food....

fellowship and an 80's flashback

and just getting to be together!!!

We love you guys and miss you already!!!


ME is Sick Too...

ME said today, "I am sick. My feelings hurt!"

Gideon is feeling better...thanks for praying for him!

Gideon Update...

Gideon was feeling better this morning, he was even able to enjoy a cinnamon roll, until ME bit him!

Gideon is Sick...

On the way to school yesterday, Gideon said that his stomach hurt. I thought that was his way of saying that he really didn't want to go to school. I told him that we would see how he felt after we dropped ME off. By then, he said he felt OK. I said great, hugged him and silently thanked God for 4 hours of freedom!!! Last night, he seemed really tired and looked pale. This morning, he woke-up sick. Keith took ME to school and Gideon and I are home watching cartoons! Pray that he will feel better SOON!



In 2 weeks, 14 days, 336 hours, 20,160 minutes, 1,209,600 seconds, we will be on a jet plane headed to America!!!

ME insisted on taking her purse to school yesterday with her most important treasures...her bubbles, which she managed to spill, her puzzle egg and a piece of paper, which I tried to throw away, resulting in high pitched screaming, "That is mine! It goes in my purse!"

After preschool, we were getting buckled in and ME said, "Let's go! What are you waiting for!"

Bombs Away!!!


An Easter Box!!!

The Easter Bunny (AKA Granny) sent a special delivery. The kids were so excited to get Easter clothes, eggs and candy!!! It is to bad that this will be a year with out Easter for us. This weekend, we will still be in Russia and Russia will not celebrate Easter until April 27th and we will be in the states. We are so glad that the Easter Bunny made a delivery anyways!!! We love you Granny!!!


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!

A Toast from Ireland:
May you be poor in misfortune

Rich in blessings
Slow to make enemies
Quick to make friends
But rich or poor,
Quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.


Happy Birthday Aunt Leslyn!!!

We hope you have a great Birthday! Save us a piece of cake...we will see you in 3 more weeks!!! We love and miss you!!!



Our family loves company, but the kids (and mommy) think company that comes bearing treats is the best!!! David and Bobbie came from NMSU, Keith's Alma Mater, to encourage Keith and other friends who live overseas. They arrived close to midnight, spent the morning working-up a sweat and meeting some of Keith's friends at the gym. After a great lunch at Texas, they went to the Banya for a true Russian sauna experience. Thanks David and Bobby for spending the day here, being willing to go to the Banya (I heard you all were a big hit and actually liked it!) and bringing new music, a brand new magazine and peeps!!! The kids love them and have almost finished them off!!! We love you!!!