Monday, November 29, 2010

The First Snow

This is what I woke up to on Sunday morning....
This beautiful dusting of snow didn't stay around too long. By Sunday afternoon, most of it had melted away. The weather had called for 40 degrees F for Monday. So, I wore a dress with leggings. It might be the LAST time I wear a dress with leggings! The snow started again right as we were walking to school on Monday morning. Snow was still falling when I took the kids out to recess. For the first time in my life, I helped students bundle up in snow pants, snow boots, coats, mittens..... This life-long California girl is still a little shell shocked.

Here are some observations I've made after two school days of snow:
1. Begin getting ready for recess at least five extra minutes early.
2. Tell the students to put their gloves on LAST.
3. Stomp feet before coming back inside.
4. Children raised in snow know exactly how to play in snow. They were rolling snowmen bottoms like experts. You can imagine how excited the boys were to teach their teacher how to roll a snowman base.
5. Snowballs are tempting... oh so tempting.
6. There is magic in a first snow fall.
7. Snow does inspire me to sing more Christmas carols! (Not that I need much inspiration)
8. I absolutely need snow boots.
9. The vast classroom windows are an excellent, warm place to watch dancing snowflakes.
10. Lands End down coats are a great invention; mine just needs to be a bit longer!

And here are some pictures of the school covered in snow:

Winter is here!!!

Three Thanksgivings

Practicing a spirit of thankfulness isn't always easy for me. I'm generally optimistic and positive, but I can't say that I always go around counting my blessings. This past week was an excellent opportunity to practice giving thanks for abundant God- given goodness.

What am I currently most thankful for? I guess it would be the community that I had prayed would find me here in Kyiv. And found me it has.

Wednesday night began the first of three Thanksgiving dinner. My friends from Bible study gathered together for a delicious turkey and all the trimmings. Who would have thought that I would have Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and candied yams overseas? Thank you US Commissary! The 12 of us prepared the last minute details and sat around the table literally giving thanks for what we have been given. Then, we washed and dried dishes together. Honestly, I have forgotten how fun it is to clean up after Thanksgiving. (The past two years, I celebrated Thanksgiving in a restaurant with no clean-up required!).

The next evening (true Thanksgiving) the school community gathered for another dinner. There were about 30 people. We had a plethora of pumpkin treats and a few apple pies (one of my friends made an apple-caramel pie. Delicious!). The babies were all passed around and the children were amazingly well behaved. It's nice to want to spend Thanksgiving with your co-workers! They are all clever, interesting people who are fun to talk to.

The third and final Thanksgiving was spent with church friends, which included Canadians. We wanted to play games, but the storytelling went a little long. But the stories were an awesome replacement to games. I love hearing true life stories of how God provides in miraculous ways.

I am thankful for another year overseas and another year full of adventure. It's really a miracle to have such amazing people to enjoy this year with. But someday, I want to celebrate this very American holiday, back on American soil with my American family.