Today was Russian Orthodox Christmas here In K-Stan, and we celebrated by having all the Americans and Canadians over for dinner! Sorry I didn't take photos, I just wasn't thinking. We had a nice time and it was great to sit and visit for an extended priod of time without feeling rushed or worrying about drivers waiting for us, etc.
Last night we had a visit with the girls, and because we were delayed we ended up at the ice slide after dark. It had been reasonably warm during the day (comparatively speaking) but last night...oh my goodness! It was SO cold! Especially for mom standing still on the sidelines watching!
We walked down Constitution Avenue for a few blocks, going from the mall to the slide and all 5 kids started making snow balls and throwing them at each other. They weer laughing so hard as they pelted one another!! I got hit a couple of times but got my onw licks in too, only Irina begged off and I think she even actually wanted to but didn't want to get her coat dirty or wet. She is a bug kid at heart.
The kids all found boards and a washtub left behind by other sliders, so they really enjoyed it and were zooming along giggling and laughing, running back up as fast as they could to go down again! The day before they had been a little disappointed on the same slide when Sven took them, as they said it didn't go very fast and they ended up having to scoot themselves down to the end. But with a wooden cabinet door left behind they were really moving!
How cold was it? Hmmm...in my gloves my hands started burning badly. I stopped feeling my toes. My face wasn't nearly as bad as my fingers and toes were, much to my surprise!
The longer the kids are all together, the more I am seeing the caretaking side of Angela come out with Joshie. She really has a motherly instinct and is quite sweet with him, as is Olesya. She would walk halfway down the stairs to help him up as the hour wore on and he grew tired but still wanted to slide. Then she would give up her turn at the top, bend over and hold the board while he got on it, then gently push him down. Olesya enjoyed it for awhile but was the first to stop, not because she was cold but because she had enough. So we stood there together watching everyone else as one by one they gave up, then Irina returned for us. She had been called away to visit the Oborn's because the Immigration Police had come calling. I hope we don't find them at our door, it sounded like quite an intimidating experience.
This afternoon, before we ate, we went with the Yagers to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral near us so they could see it. While there I got a phone call from Sven and stepped outside with the boys to answer it. While on the phone, I hear the boys call out excitedly "Look Mommy! Look!" and I turn around, and there were Angela and Olesya! They were there with a group from the orphanage visiting for the holiday. After quick hugs, they had to go to keep with their group or they would have gotten in trouble, but they kept glancing back at us grinning and waving while we waved back...they watched us all the way out the gate. Can't wait until they are always with us and not waving from afar. So I guess we had a little Christmas gift ourselves this afternoon.
We have another visit tomorrow mid-day, then hunker down to get some serious school work done. We might be visiting the Oborn's tomorrow night to Skype Joshie and Kenny's class! We aren't sure if it will all be set up in time for tomorrow, but will definitely be doing it in the next few school days. We are grateful to the Oborn's for allowing us to use their computer and high speed access so we can do this, it should be fun!
Dominick called briefly today and sounded horrible, it seems he has some sort of bug and we are hoping he gets over it quickly as they will not let him off the plane with a fever. They are guarding carefully against H1N1 here and we were scanned for a fever before even getting off the plane when we arrived, so he quickly got on antibiotic and we are hoping for the best.
We are hoping to go to some sort of children's performance next week, and that is about all we have planned! Hopefully the weather will stay reasonably warm here, at least enough where we could walk around the block once or twice without crying. I know, we are total wimps. But we really don't have the survival gear they have here with the full length fur coats and bulky fur hats!!
I think I am going to treat myself to a movie tonight...I can't seem to make my mind work to do anything else anyway!
I'll try and take some pics in the next couple of days and get them posted for you all. Night!