Monday, June 14, 2010

Spring Update

Hi everyone. Checking in here quickly with a family update. We have our ups and downs but overall things are good. The school year flew by and the kids are enjoying summer vacation so far. Here are some pictures.

On Memorial Day, I took a solo trip to visit where some of my relatives were from. These pictures are of Woonsocket, SD. My Grandma lived here after Grampa died. Every summer we would drive out from Long Beach CA to this little town on the prairie. Back in the early 1970's, I remember swimming in this lake with my cousins from Washington state who would also travel here to visit. The Sunfish used to come up to us and "kiss" our legs as we would wade and swim. So many memories in this little town. Now it's like another lifetime.

This is a cemetery out in the country in rural Jerauld county, where several of my relatives are buried. There used to be a Lutheran church here, where my mother was pianist when she was in high school. Unfortunately, it was torn down in the 1960's.

We also visited the cemetery where Nancy's parents are buried. Here, Valya is standing at their grave. It was their inheritance money that allowed us to go to Ukraine to adopt Valya and Sergey.

Here, the kids pose in the northeast part of the state, overlooking the Red River Valley of North Dakota.

We like being on the water. Here the kids are tubing, and a picture of Nancy.

We have had a ridiculous amount of rain this Spring. 8" of rain just this week. Everything is very green, as you can see in our backyard.

The kids are doing some chores. Here, Sergey mows at his uncle's, and Valya and some neighbor girls plant flowers around our mailbox.

Valya has been attending the June session of summer school to get more math practice. She found a baby cottontail rabbit at the school and brought him home. Sergey will not be in summer school this year, but he has started private tutoring for phonics.

Here, Sergey and Valya pose with some of their teachers from the last school year.

As a 9th grader, Mark played JV basketball. Meanwhile, in the stands, Sergey gets pestered by little girls.

At the school's athletic banquet, Mark gets a hug from his cross country coach, and Valya is recognized for participating in volleyball.

Sergey loves baseball, and is playing for his favorite team, the Mitchell Yankees. Well, actually the New York Yankees are his favorite team.

Valya took a babysitting course at the hospital so she can babysit. Here, she poses with some sisters she watched for an afternoon (on Valentine's day). She enjoys little kids. Here she is having lemonade and playing Uno with some neighbor kids.

Valya enjoying a view of Rapid City, SD.

Valya enjoying her cousin's prom dress.

We had intended to go to a Ukrainian church for Easter in the Minneapolis metro area, but didn't realize it started at Midnight, so we missed it. Women need to wear a head covering so Valya was ready.

Valya likes this picture. She says, Why do Americans always want to see your teeth when you take a picture? The kids' Ukrainian passport photos were very stoic. The government lady taking the pictures curtly told them not to smile.

Sergey likes to fish. Here, he was getting some tips at a youth fishing derby at Cabela's in Mitchell.

Here are some family pictures. Mark and Sergey horsing around, playing Rock Band, enjoying hotdogs and smores over a campfire, and a family picnic in the basement on movie night.


Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Awesome update! I am amazed at how active you guys are, always doing something as a family! Glad that things are going well. Keep up the good work.

Monika said...

I really enjoyed reading your update. I cannot believe how much older all three of your kids look...especially your boys!