So, before we made the big move to Ukraine I searched the Interwebs (as Jed likes to call it) like a mad woman for any and every blog I could find about life for Americans who had moved to Ukraine. I found some that I really enjoyed, mostly because the writers were working with orphans and I dig that. Obviously. But, what I was really looking for was details about the little things that make up life in Ukraine. I wanted to see daily life so I could *try* to be prepared. I didn't find a whole lot of that, probably because when it's your everyday life you have a hard time believing anyone would find it interesting. I mean, do people really care what your washer machine looks like or how small your rolls of toilet paper are? Well, I cared! 🙂 I wanted to see any and everything. So…I hope to give you glimpses to our everyday life…maybe some of you will find it interesting?? If anything I know my mom will be happy to see it all. Hehe
For what it's worth, here are the things of note that I've been thinking I should tell you about. I have to take notes right when the thought comes, like this:
Dogs and Motion Detectors:
You all saw the outside of our house, right? Not so perty. You can't always judge a book by it's cover, and our house is proof of that.
Anyway, on that corner there is a motion-detecting light. We didn't realize it was there till the first night we moved in. I kept waking up all night to the light going off and on because it's literally right outside our bedroom window. The light was off and on, off and on, off and on ALL NIGHT. The entrance to our house isn't exactly on a busy street so I started getting all concerned when night after night it was like a strobe light in my room. Welp, not to worry, I figured out the culprit. Stray dogs.
Ukraine has lots of stray dogs. They are running and sleeping all over town- and especially through our yard at night. I woke up one night and bravely looked out the window, afraid of what I'd see, only to see a group of dogs running back and forth under our light. Ha! I feel better now. 🙂
No Top Sheet:
I love Ukraine. I love Ukraine because people don't use top sheets. If you have little kids you understand. It's like you know your kids should use top sheets, but they are forever crumpled at the bottom of little beds. I'll confess, after a while I just gave up and stopped trying. I felt a bit guilty, like my kids were sleeping in filth, until we moved here! In our house there are bottom sheets (only fitted on one side), and then big blankets in a top sheet material duvet cover. Genius! All the cleanliness of a top sheet, minus the crumple. My guilty mother's heart is now at peace.
Also, the sheet sets never match. Just when I thought it couldn't get easier, it did.
Translate to Russian, then Ukrainian:
There are two languages mostly spoken in Ukraine: Russian and Ukrainian. Even though Ukrainian is the official language and most of the signage and stuff is in Ukrainian, we've decided to focus on learning Russian. The reason for that is that the dreams God has given us are bigger than only Ukraine. The dream He's given us extends to the whole former Soviet Union region. So, it seems more wise to focus on learning Russian since it's more widely spoken worldwide.
Anywaysssss when we go to the store it gets a bit tricky. Some of the labels for the food are in Russian and some are in Ukrainian. When I see a label I don't understand (let's be honest, that would be 97% of them) I first google translate into Russian, and if that comes up with nothing or a totally irrelevant word I then translate it into Ukrainian. As you can imagine, grocery shopping takes a million years. I think I need to start trying to translate to Ukrainian first, it might save me some time. 🙂 Google Translate is my new BFF.
I misspelled the first ingredient on the second line...it should translate flakes. 🙂
Tons of the refrigerated food comes in bags. Who'd a thunk it? The kids think it's great. It's all fun and games till someone pokes a hole in the milk (ahem, Seth).
Mayonnaise, ketchup, milk, and sour cream
I just thought this was funny.
Cake for Bfast:
This morning we started at MTU and all the staff got to meet the kids! It was super surreal to have our kids there. Sigh…happy. To welcome us they brought out cake. Way to win over my kids! Anyone who serves cake at 8:30am gains guaranteed hero status at our house.
Our boxes came today!!! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to us! We shipped 6 boxes on September 10th and they arrived today. We were hoping and praying they would all make it and that we would beat them here so we could receive them and MTU wouldn't have to store them for us. God is too, too good to us!!! Would you believe the boxes are almost completely filled with just books? Yep. We figured just about everything else we could need we can find here, but all our books in English? Irreplaceable. We got a super amazing shipping deal, and I'm so happy we did it. Books and some school supplies are really all we shipped. Addy, my little book lover, is going to be so happy to be reunited with her friends. 🙂
Ez Pez Bday:
Our little Ezra turns 8 years old on Saturday! My cousin Hannah has been in Western Ukraine since September doing an internship through her university and will be in Ukraine till the middle of December. We are SO EXCITED that she is taking the train to come and visit us this weekend! Ez is convinced Hannah is coming all this way just for his birthday. We won't correct him. Turning 8 is kind of a big deal.
Welp, I think that just about covers it. My brain is officially mush. We started Russian lessons today and I'm surprised our heads didn't explode. Jed went to bed long ago and now I better go too before I turn into a pumpkin. 🙂
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
I love, love, love it! Every last little detail! They are all the things I wonder about and remember being weird in Mexico too! Keep up the amazing work of documenting your life! It helps me to try to convince my heart that you aren’t so far away! Love you!
Yay! Thanks for commenting! It makes me so happy to see your name pop up. Love you mucho!!! (Like how I threw the Espanol in there?) hehe
I hope you can keep writing like this! It could be so valuable to others who are coming. I’ve honestly forgotten what my early days were like. Shopping with Google Translate? That didn’t even exist back then. (But, really, I’m not old! 🙂 )
Pokes a hole in the milk… or falls splat on a bag of kefir while going up with stairs. I had a child do that once. It made me think of Piglet on his way to Eeyore with the balloon, only a lot messier. 😀
Haha! Yes! My kids were tossing a bag of mile around last night. Ummm no.
*milk, not mile 🙂
I’ve been trying to cover similar details with the UK. And Jack’s 6th birthday was on Saturday! How crazy are our lives???
Oooooh Twilight Zone! Crazy. Hope your boxes arrive soon!
Love this Kimmie! I just started a major project for our ministry in Russian and Google translate was my best friend too! I’m so impressed you guys are learning it!!!
Ha! We’ll if you heard me you wouldn’t be that impressed… 🙂 Slowly but surely! Thanks for saying hi!!!
I love your blog! You are an amazing communicator and I am so happy to be a part of your life in Ukarine!
Thank you Jan! How kind of you. Thank for being a part! Your encouragement is such a blessing!
Your blog makes my life. I’m so freaking happy that everything has been smooth, even to the smallest details! Love you guys!
We love you toooo! Yep, God has been super good to us. Thank you so much for saying hi!!! 🙂
Hi you all! I am SO HAPPY to read all the details of life there! Smiling and sometimes laughing at either the blog or pictures! Thrilled that Hannah will be spending some time with the cousins! Happy Birthday to Ez-Pez! I love you all…