Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Past: Part 3

Kremlin in the background

If you ever have an opportunity to visit Moscow...then go in December. Red Square is absolutely gorgeous during the Christmas season.

We had to renew passports at the U.S. Embassy this time and we're so thankful we did. We had such a memorable time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gingerbread Houses

The J and J house

We've been decorating gingerbread houses for a few years now. It became a little tradition when we lived in Samara. You wouldn't think they sell gingerbread house kits in Russia but thanks to IKEA we were able to find some.

This year Nathan teamed up with me and went a little wild with the candy! Jojo let Jon do whatever he wanted to do on their house so Jon got a bit artsy!

The boys got their fair share of candy!

The "N" house...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Past:Part 2

The very first Christmas away from home was a hard one for me. It was also a hard one for my mother-in-law who lost her husband that year. She actually flew out to Novosibirsk to spend Christmas with us.

We attended an extremely conservative Baptist church that also housed the seminary where Jon taught at. The women all wore head coverings and no one wore make-up. It took me a while to get used to but at least on Sunday mornings we all got ready super quick....didn't have to do much to my hair or face!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Past : Part 1

I never experienced a "white Christmas" until we moved to Novosibirsk! It's so strange now not to have snow around this season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Family Picture

Thanksgiving marks the time when I beg my family to take our annual family picture for our Christmas card.  Unfortunately as the boys get older it's not so well received anymore. I suppose when they were younger they really didn't have a choice...

So this past Saturday we headed to our local park to take our picture. My husband is such a good sport and was the force behind getting the boys excited....plus he did give them a strict warning of what would ensue if they complained too much!

I took over 80 pictures and I think we got a handful of decent ones! These are some of my favorites....

 I think next year I'll work harder at the matchy, matchy outfits!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Gigantic Produce

Sometimes at the market I would find overgrown produce! It was really amazing that anything would grow so well in Siberia!

Zucchini from the local market in Novosibirsk.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Truthfully though we weren't quite sure how it would go. My oldest sister hosted Thanksgiving as she has so many times in the past. Only difference this year was that she cooked the whole meal herself! She usually has it catered or her father - in - law cooks the turkey and ham with the rest of us bringing side dishes and desserts.

The only other time I remember her cooking was about 14 years ago! She really outdid herself and admittedly it was absolutely delicious. I'm really proud of her. Not only that she made it all from scratch...even the fried onions for the green bean casserole!

Jojo and Naynay were the only kids at the kids' table!

It was good to see my sister Monica out and about. She had a complicated surgery a few weeks ago and recovery has been tough. She can only hang out for a few hours at a time and last night she did great even though she was in pain.

I didn't get a group family picture of our little family but we plan on working on the infamous Christmas card picture today or tomorrow. I am extremely thankful for my hard working husband. He has been doing great at his new job. He loves working there but he is swamped and comes home so tired every day. On top of his job it has been a crazy semester for us but he has handled it all so well.

My mom turned 73 this year! We always joke that she will outlive us all!

And my sweet Jojo! He's had a tough year too. He's been working so hard this year after formally being diagnosed with dyslexia. He's been a trooper and has gone along with all the different programs and therapies we are doing!