Sunday, October 26, 2008


We have had an interesting week with two sets of visitors from our mission agency in the USA. We are blessed to have these encouragers as leaders and friends. Jim and Donna Dombach are very familiar with Lithuania from serving here themselves for 7 years.
For Darrel and Sherill Hostetter it was a first visit to Lithuania so there were many things to try to introduce them to in their very brief visit here. One of these things was the sakotis cake in the picture. We also wanted to take them to see a little of the area including the outdoor market, the old town section of Klaipeda where we lived before, and the small apartment where we lived when the boys came to live with us. And then so the boys could have more space to play, we drove to a place outside of the town of Palanga.
We went to the HBH "resort" (restaurant and outside entertainment in natural surroundings seen somewhat in the pistures)with the boys and I- while Gregg was in church meetings in another city 3 1/2 hours away.

Our guests had a chance to eat koldunai and potato pancakes and Lithuanian pizza and surelis. Today they were with us at the Silute church and Darell shared the morning message. This afternoon they left for Vilnius and tomorrow they head to Germany. We will meet them again next week as the European missionaries from our mission meet with them for retreat in Austria!

The boys really enjoyed the visits. They knew Jim and Donna from a couple of other visits and always enjoy them, but the Hostetters were relatively new to them. Erik said after they left- I like them! He especially liked that Darrel played active games with him!!

The boys also got a good deal of attention from our guests and after a while they were left to play on their own and came back to show us they had come up with their own game- without shirts :)
Prior to the visit we also made some "chocolate chunk" cookies- I no longer had any chocolate chips and local chocolate bars broken into pieces worked quite well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I walked out

I hoped I would not have to do this. But I said after the meeting with David's teachers and parents that I would not sit for another meeting that was like that!
This time it was for Erik's group. I had missed the first meeting and the parent's council called a second one. Apparently not all the parents were happy with the lists of supplies that were sent home to be brought in- cleaning items for the most part. And then there was the issue of water suggesting we all pitch in to buy a water cooler and jugs for the class. And one family had gone to the education department to complain and a newspaper article was written that ticked the teachers off because they got called on the carpet. So it was fuel for a good sized bonfire since people were not too agreeable to start with. After 45 minutes of people shouting over each other 4 and 5 at the same time, including the teachers, I got up and said I can't participate in this, I will communicate in some other way, but not this way!

I guess the times have come that I am finally in the situations where people are themselves, and am not treated as an outsider, especially a Westerner that should be sheilded from the realities. I have sensed over the past years that a certain amount of sheilding was happening. But nothing had quite prepared me for this level of open conflict with no resolution in site.

The teachers also left after a while when nothing was being resolved and they did not know the outcome. I have not heard from the parents though I did give my contact information through the teacher the next day.

On a more positive note, Our friends Modestas and Ramune have young children and they were over to play last night and to participate in a delayed celebration of my birthday. It was nice to see the children playing well together. And our boys were using more Lithuanian than they have so far at home. So the bilingualism is coming slowly now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

birthdays and sickness

The boys pressed daddy into opening gifts which they helped wrap, and were determined to unwrap it daddy did not do it.

Also you see here the building we live in now in the top 2 floors.

We had a plan to go to Palanga the resort town just north of Klaipeda on Saturday to do something different for Gregg's birthday. But just as we were getting ready to go he began feeling very ill and was sick hardly eating anything for the weekend. I felt that I was fighting it too in my digestive system by Saturday night.
So that cancelled our plans to travel to Panevezys for the commissioning of a local couple for short term(4 month) mission to India.

By Monday, my birthday, the situation was getting a little better for Gregg and he went back to work a few hours,and I returned to my routine. But after a few hours, Gregg was visibly not feeling well. So our plans were up in the air for going to a restaurant in the evening. In the end we did go, and tested the patience of the staff with our 2 little boys who just cannot sit still. Noone complained actually.

Then after the boys were in bed and we settled in we heard crying out from the other room and it was Erik throwing up all over. After it was cleaned up and he was lying down a few minutes, it started again.

So, Erik was home from preschool today. And once again we are glad for our alternate schedules for away from home work. Gregg was teaching and I was home- though still trying to work on my assignment for the online seminary class I am taking this fall.

Enough change in my routine I forgot the meeting I was to attend at LCC at 5 today. Oh well, the normal things of life!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Warm again

We are happy that the weather turned warm (60s) for this week during the day. (nights are down below 40 sometimes though). The sun has been shining nicely in the afternoons too. That helps to keep mama a little happier these days.

Erik and David are going to preschool each day from about 9-5 and though they are not always eager to go in the morning, they generally are doing well. Erik is joining in with boys in his class. His communication is still not fluent, but he is using some Lithuanian. David is happy playing in his group and some days asks to make sure he can come back the next day. Some days he does not sleep at nap time and then we have more issues at home. But the teachers don't seem to be bothered about it. There are more than don't sleep I guess. David seems to need dark and quiet to sleep at home and neither are to be found for long at preschool.

This last weekend I was away at a women's conference. I slept better than overnight than I have in a while. No one pulling me out of bed during the night because he is scared. And the bed was more confortable than at home. (Landlord has not changed the inferior mattress yet.)

But I came back to a strange welcome. Gregg brought the boys in the van to pick me and a few others up at the large traffic circle near Klaipeda. The boys had not expected others to ride with us. So though Gregg says they were anxious to come and see me, it did not exactly look that way when we all got in the car. Erik led the two of them in wiggling relentlessly to get out of reach, though they needed to be on laps. And Erik said he did not love mama and did some other things to try to keep the emotional distance.

A little later David was eager to sit on my lap and was ready to connect, but it took longer for Erik. But then eventually it was clear he wanted to connect too. Almost seems that he was trying to punish me for being away, and since he got used to not having me, I could just stay away! But, things are back to normal now.

Erik seems to be preferring Gregg a little more these days as well. Guess he is growing in the male identity now.

We have a whole list of things to evaluate for Each of the boys, what skills they have or are just working on. The preschool teacher and the parents evaluate in fall and then in spring. So, after checking through the list we know a few things for focus on for the next while!

This weekend are our birthdays (Gregg's saturday and mine Monday) and Erik is especially looking forward to celebrating with cake. He is hoping his birthday comes soon. But at least we have some other birthdays to celebrate!