Saturday, October 31, 2009

borrowed retreat pictures

We lost our camera somehow on our trip to Czech Republic for the EMM Europe workers retreat :(. But our fellow missionaries Paul and June shared their pictures with us.

We drove to Vilnius- about 4 hours, then got a plane to Warsaw, and again to Krakow, then rented a car again for another almost 3 hour drive to the retreat center. Really a nice facility and they were very accomodating. We arrived a day earlier since the tickets were less expensive that way, and since otherwise the travel day would have started before 5 in the morning. We were apprehensive about how many hours the boys could tolerate at a time with travel, but this arrangement worked pretty well.

Friday, October 23, 2009

LT higher education law

We learned this week that as Lithuanian law stands right now, our boys being of Lithuanian heritage have a right to the same vouchers for higher education in Lithuania as other Lithuanians.

As higher education works right now, students apply to receive funds for University and as long as that University is part of the system, then the funds go to that University. As of this year LCC International University where we work is part of that system. This is a change from earlier years when the University automatically got funds and they decided how many students got free spaces to study and how many pay. Now there is increased motivation for universities to provide the kind of programs that good students want to apply for so that they can continue to receive government funds.

So, if things do not change (of course it is likely that they will though) then even if we did not continue living here, our boys could choose to go to University in Lithuania if they wanted to, and their would be an option for them to study in English language LCC and have most of it paid by the government.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Transformer cars

We are blessed to have Jim and Donna Domabach visiting with us again. Jim is our director from Eastern Mennonite Missions. And Jim and Donna were also missionaries in Lithuania for 7 years prior to that. They got to the see the boys in high gear last evening as they enjoyed extra attention and played with the new transformer robot/cars that Donna brought for them.

As it often happens, little boys can be much more adept at transformer cars than adults. It took maybe 10 minutes for Jim and Donna to show them the first time- to figure out how to transform the robot into a car. And about 15 minutes later the boys were doing it in less than a minute.

It is a struggle for David to wind down after being excited and over tired. And though he was close to falling asleep on my lap watching TV to calm down, as soon as it was turned off and time for bed, he went into high gear again resisting every step of getting to bed. And when pajamas were on, he would not get in his bed but pulled his pillow out to but under the desk in their room. Forcing him to be in his bed would just stir him up further as he thrashes and screams. His poor little nervous system just had too much. But eventually he could be coaxed into his bed where he continued to roll around and fuss for a bit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The word No is a common word in any language I guess. Erik has picked it up in his language from watching German cartoons. Oh nein! It seems to come out more automatically than No!

David on the other hand uses Taip- yes- very easily as soon as we switch to Lithuanian, like he does not even think about it.

We had birthday celebrations around here for the last few days- Gregg's Sunday and mine yesterday. We arranged our schedules to have Monday as some time off for the two of us at home since it did not work out to get babysitters for any other day, and on Monday they were both in preschool. Then Tuesday night we had our first experience of taking them to a restaurant without any children's area. Chinese. They were not too interested in eating since they had a small supper at 4 at preschool. Fortunately they have a growing interest in counting things these days so we made some games out of that to keep them occupied. There was some kind of informal guest book at our table too for people to write comments. And the boys needed to write in it. It would have been great if they had been able to keep to one page each. Oh well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Reactions to mom away

Last weekend I was at a women's conference in Lithuania and was away for 2 nights, the longest so far. The boys had time with Gregg and also with a babysitter for a couple of hours... shortened a little from the plan since she seemed to run out of energy keeping up with them. :)

When I returned they seemed eager to see me as I saw their faces through the car window at night, but we were taking someone else part of the way so I gave them the promised "gifts" I brought along and waited to sit with them in the back until the other person was dropped off. Soon it was evident that David was eager to reconnect physically. For Erik there was a barrier- no hugs, no kisses no holding, though he was glad I was there. But he pushed me off enough that it started to be mean and Gregged corrected him on it. He still did not know how to act so he was pouting.

When i invited Erik to sit on my lap for the bedtime story (lately we have been telling stories while they lay in bed), Erik was eager to do that. And he asked me to pick him up early after lunch the next day. I had the freedom in my schedule so I did that. And then he was eager to be physically next to me or on my lap or in active play together for most of the afternoon.

In reality both of the boys welcomed extra attention on Monday and then things got back to a more usual rythmn. When I compare to the reaction from last year going to women's conference I can see the growth in how they respond.

This week Erik also had another special experience. His preschool class went to the library on the public bus. A lot of other children had never ridden the bus before. But, Erik had. But he enjoyed the tour and of course remembered the candy he was given! We went as a family for the first time to the library today and he was determined to get back to that room for more candy. Turns out it was a conference room where they sat for a presentation and of course today there was nothing.