We are working to try to catch up on the months in 2015 that we missed, but hope you enjoy reading about what has been happening in 2016.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012

March was a most unusual month for us.  We were in the U.S. for most of the month and then left Laura in Minnesota with family when we returned to our new home in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine.

The month began with us in Sioux Falls with Denise's family.  Her Mother was slowly recovering from back surgery, so we stayed pretty close to home while we were there.  On Saturday, the 3rd, we headed to Waseca where we visited with friends and then enjoyed being in our home church on Sunday.  Phil preached in the morning service and we had Chinese buffet for dinner.  Then it was time to head to northern Minnesota to visit Phil's family.

After a couple of days there, Denise and Phil left the girls and headed to Springfield, Missouri for some business and meetings.  While we had a great time without the girls (and did miss them!), they enjoyed seeing family (especially some cousins) that they had not seen for over a year..

On the way to Missouri, we spent one night at the Midlands Teen Challenge center in Colfax, Iowa.  It is located in a grand old building that had been a luxury hotel in the early 1900s.  We look forward to returning there some day in the future!

What a nice building!
The next day we drove through Chillicothe, Missouri on the way to Springfield.  Did you know that it is the "home of sliced bread"?   We didn't.   We also saw a hair salon there named "Curl Up and Dye".  Interesting!

The weather in Missouri was unusually mild, but it was nice to see flowers and trees in bloom while we were there.

We had the privilege of helping out one of our friends by helping to take care of their baby as often as we could.  He is so precious!

We saw a truck with a sign "Possum - the other white meat!" one day.  No picture because the guy was sitting in the truck - and we thought he might also have a shotgun.

After our business was completed in Springfield, we headed back up to northern Minnesota to pick up Hope, leaving Laura behind for the next two months.  Saying goodbye was not easy!  We went to Sioux Falls to drop off the car that Denise's folks let us borrow.  The same friends from church came there to pick us up, brought us to their house for the night, then took us to the airport on Thursday the 22nd.  We are so blessed!

As we reflect back on our time in America, we had a great time and we were able to start preparing for life when we return from Ukraine the end of May.

The agent at the airline counter could only check our luggage through the first two stops (not the last one) and print boarding passes for the first leg.  When we arrived in Toronto, we had to wait several hours for the airline desk to open.  Fortunately, the agent there was able to switch our luggage to go to Kiev and we were all set.  After layover of more than 4 hours, we were glad to get in the air.  When we landed in Dusseldorf, we had another long layover.  Once we finally were able to get to our gate, we learned that it had changed.  That meant going back through security again.  Finally, we were on the plane and headed to Kiev.  We were glad that all our luggage arrived with us!

At the airport we were met by a colleague and spent Friday night with her.  Saturday evening we loaded on the train for Simferopol and our new apartment.  We were so glad that we had moved our things before we left Ukraine.  It was much easier to return to only have the task of unpacking ahead of us.

Our new apartment was great and had a fantastic view.  It was on the 9th floor of a newer building - and the furnishing were quite nice.

On Wednesday, Phil headed to Sevastopol for a conference that lasted until Friday.  With our things not completely unpacked, it was a big challenge to try to pack for three days.  That meant Denise was left with the responsibility to get settled and unpacked, and Phil was glad when he returned home that it looked much better!

April looks to be an interesting month, as we are busy doing different things with different people.  We also need to go to Kiev for Hope to take her standardized tests (something Minnesota requires when you home school).

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