Last Sunday, Jason, Lucas and I (Dave) went to the Ukraine Heritage Festival in NE Mpls at the Ukraine Cultural Center. While the Vikes we're getting beat a mile away, we all sampled, for a moment, life in Ukraine, especially Jason. All afternoon there was Ukraine dance, singing and entertainment in the hall and under the tent outside on a cool, drizzly day. Jason loved getting cabbage rolls, perogi's and I the bortsch. Their were games and friends because the Boehrs and Landrys came with their sons Nathan and Kirill.
We also thought of friends who left only a month earlier and some are now in the final throes of adoption because their new parents are in Kyiv to bring their children home. The Andersons bringing home Georgiy and the Reshetars bringing home Sasha. While Jason's friends Adrej and sister Anzehlica are awaiting their new MN family (who connected with the children in the last few days of their hosting stay in MN mid-August). The Kristensens of Duluth are also in Ukraine finalizing their adoption of Tanya and Kolya, The Hills from CT, dear friends we met in March in Kyiv, return after their 10 day waiting period to bring their Natasha home.
There are varying stories and challenges for some families in the process. I've always said to our prayer partners nothing is a done deal 'til Jeanne and Jason are back in MN...izz not OK...izz Ukraine Let's say...each of these families need that diligent prayer to overcome unexpected obstacles or prevent them from occurring. Please pray for them and their families.
The festival was a wonderful reconnection to Ukraine culture as well as with friends.
Fall is here in MN as crops are harvested, leaves are changing, birds are migrating, apples are ripe for pickin', football and school time as well as earlier darkness and cool evenings.
It was 6 weeks ago we said goodbuye to our friend and host son Bob from China. All 3 boys had a wonderful time doing life for his brief 10 days with us. We had gone to the lake a couple times in August plus Labor Day Weekend. Lucas and Jason love the water and beach...swimming, playing, paddleboating, fishing and of course, tubing. LD Weekend you could smell and feel the shift in season in the air. It was great to have Bour and Zuzek cousins there and a bonfires and s'mores at night. We pulled the shore knowing it would be difficult to return with Jason in soccer.
A month ago, we visited Grandpa Tony and Grandma Lorraine at their log home in Yankton (SD) along the Missouri River at Lewis and Clark National Park. It is a damed lake on the river with beautiful, high sandstone sheared bluffs. We all had a great weekend and so enjoyed the time with each other whether BBQ-ing on the deck, boatin' & tubin', playing at the beach and park or the boys "crusin' for chicks" with Grandpa Tony in his 2-seater BMW. Grandpa Tony suggested it one night while taking the boys for a ride in the "cool car" they begged to be in. He then asked the boys, "You know what chicks are, don't you?" And my son knowledgable Lucas said, "Sure Grandpa, they're baby chickens!" Aaaaaaah, right answer, son. With Jason...he was onboard with that answer to....aaaaaah, lost in translation...right answer, son.
The biggest decision Jeanne and I sought the Lord about and received July 21st (our deadline to finish praying and come together on what we heard) was about educating our sons at home. What we both heard from the Lord and then shared with one another was "Yes." So, we notified our sons just before the trip to Yankton. The Lord was really speaking to us about instilling our (Christian) values especially because he had 11 years of someone or some instititutes or country's values established in Jason. We knew we had a precious couple years at best (before him becoming a more independent teen) to instill our values and could ill afford losing 6 hours a day to school (public, private or charter) who would not accurately or diligently instill our values. The decision became real clear and that both boys would be educated at home because one going and the other not didn't make sense.
Jeanne attended a conference conducted by M.A.C.H.E. (MN Assoc'n of Christian Home Educators). What a first-class organization with a ton of high standard educational resources. We also belong to a Christian Co-op KNEEL where up to a 100 children several days a month gather for classes (e.g., science, cultural studies, gym, etc.) and field trips. We've found a new "world" full of awesome, high quality resources. We also received much support including the principal at our local elementary school where we have access to classes (e.g., music, gym, ELL, etc.) if we so desire. The boys embraced home school when they were told and after three weeks, Jeanne is doing an excellent job and the boys are in a good flow. We already see the fruit of home schooling from both a values and an academic perspective.
But what about socializing...really...there's not much in any school or else you get in trouble. There's also only 15 minutes of recess a day at public school. To sooth those concerns of others, no worries...here's wassup:
- Still playing with neighbor kids
- Still playing with friends Lucas's made from 3 years of school
- Jason playing soccer with a great group of boys
- Lucas in cub scouts...3rd year with same boys...1st Den Meeting Monday
- Jason in J-Hi youth group...this is awesome for establishing his faith in the Lord and he loves it
- Jason in 6th grade boys life group...more of above...really begining to make friendships only after 3 times
- Lucas in Tae Kwon Do (sp?)
- Lucas in GRIME (God Rocks In ME--cool boys ministry Wed nights)...3rd year with same boys
- Lucas in Christmas Musical...3rd year and with his buddies
- Lucas and Jason becomin' best friends and hangin' out & playing all the time
- Family activities with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins
- Friends being made at KNEEL Co-op