I’m happy to report that THE SNOW IS GONE. The streets are (mostly) dry(ish) and the debate over which shoes to wear has simmered down a bit. In my previous life, in Oregon, the debate over which shoes to wear was mild and was simply a matter of “is it raining or not.” If it’s raining, you can’t wear Toms. If it’s not raining, Toms it is! I mean, I was most likely just going to be dashing across a parking lot if the weather was less than optimal, so making the best choice in footwear was not the end all.
In Zhytomyr in the winter, the shoe debate is real. It is intense. One does not simply throw on a pair of shoes and prance out the door without a care in the world! No, no, no. One is most likely going to be walking a fair distance out in the elements and waiting at bus stops. One must consider the level and freshness of the snow, the amount of ice, the wetness or dryness of said ice and snow. On some days we have rivers for sidewalks, and on others we have ice skating rinks for sidewalks. Rivers and ice skating rinks call for different shoes, different strategies. One must also consider the distance to be walked and the condition of the sidewalks en route. If I’m taking out the trash and heading that direction, I need to prepare for mudslides (and dead cats, apparently). If I’m walking down our road in the opposite direction there will be less mud, but a lake or two to be traversed, so that must be taken into account. We’ve become quite adept at deciphering the sheen on the ice and navigating the sidewalks in the safest, non-broken-hip-est manner. Skillzzzzzzz.
My favorite boots for walking in mildly cold, non-snowy weather currently have a break in the sole, so my right foot is bound to get wet. I keep forgetting to take them for repair, so if I want warm, dry feet my only choice are my snow boots. But snow boots without snow are a little more Napoleon Dynamite than I’m willing to go, so I usually opt for the wet foot. Why not just get the shoe repaired you might ask? Yeah, I know. It’s a mixture of forgetfulness, procrastination, and fear of doing new things and not knowing how or what is expected of me. I guess in the end I just opt for the wet foot. Don’t judge.
All that to say, soon warmth will come, summer will come, and along with it, fewer and fewer shoe debates. We will happily pack away the snow boots and non-snow boots. Multiply that by 7 people and it equals 28 fewer shoes in my entryway and 500 times more peace in my heart. (Shoe clutter is my nemesis.)
You know what else comes with warm weather? Visitors! We’re preparing our summer schedule and are excited to welcome several friends, old and new. The boys and our team are going to get so much love and encouragement in the warm summer months!
I’m super excited to have all the visitors too. I’m excited for English conversations and the joy that comes from seeing our boys through the eyes of others. It’s a lot of work to host people, but it’s also refreshing, encouraging, and just plain fun. Guess what else gets me excited for visitors? All the stuff we have them carry over to us from the US! I’ve been out of brown sugar for over a month and my baking is SUFFERING. Peanut butter and chicken-flavored Better Than Bouillon have also been sorely missed. I’m filling my Amazon cart in preparation. Yes, we totally and unashamedly use our visitors as pack mules. Come on, summer! Hehe
The kids are all doing really well. In a couple of weeks, we’ll have Spring Break, and then they only have like 2 more months of school! I can’t even imagine the feeling of accomplishment they will have when they walk out the doors of school on that last day. We are so close to completing a full year of Ukrainian school!! There have been many good days, and also many days when we have all been in tears, ready to throw in the towel. Many days of wondering if it is worth it, but as we round the final corner I think we are all seeing that it has totally been worth the blood, sweat, and tears. The kids’ language has grown by leaps and bounds. They never could have grown like that just here at home. I am so incredibly proud of them.
Yesterday we were at the hospital getting Addy, Ez, and Hava mandatory check-ups for school and I realized that I have started to rely on their ears when we are out and about. I tell everyone to listen, and if I don’t catch what was said, most likely one of them will. It’s awesome! All communication outside the home used to fall on Jed and me completely, but now the kids can understand for themselves, and actually, truth be told, they have much better comprehension than I do at this point. Grrrr… the competitive side of me hates that! But, I love that they can communicate and function so well in society. That was our hope in sending them to school.
So, here’s to dry feet, American
pack mules friends, and Spring Break. The snow is gone, the sun is out, Brian Adams radio is playing (again, don’t judge), and my heart is full. Happy Tuesday to our friends near and far! BeLOVE[d].
PS: You will not believe this! I was typing this post when I had to pause to go get Seth from kindergarten. On the way home we stopped at the post office and guess what was waiting for us???
Our wonderful Tom and Emma sent us a package with brown sugar, Better Than Bouillon, peanut butter, jalapeños and many other special treats. OMG. Can you believe that timing? THANK YOU, Tom and Emma. We love you!