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Lyudmyla makes Teresa look Good

Not-quite-First Lady Lyudmyla Yanukovych, recently ranted in Donetsk :

«Dear friends, I’m fresh from Kyiv, I can tell you what’s going on there. It’s simply an orange orgy there! So, there’s rows and rows of felt boots – all of it of American make! See! And mountains of orange oranges. And the background is “Orange sea, orange sky…” [a line from a popular kids song – tr.] Gosh! It’s just… It’s a nightmare! And look here guys: those oranges ain’t just any oranges – they’re loaded. People take an orange, eat it – and take another one. See! And the hand keeps reaching, keeps reaching for it. I was on my way here, there was news. They said – people in the square are getting poisoned, on a mass scale. Frequent hospitalizations. They bring people in with meningitis! What have we come to! And they keep standing, keep standing! Eyes simply glazed over! Just like that!»

Excuse me a moment.

Bwa haha haha haha!

Yeah. Riiiiiiiight.

However, please pray for the general health and continued peacefulness of the protesters. The weather is frigid, and it's been snowing a lot. Some people have been sick, but there are medical clinics set up as well as ambulances available.


November 30, 2004  |  Comments (22)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink



Photos from Kyiv, Nov 28 - 29

From Maidan

From Le Sabot

From Neeka

From Orange Ukraine

From International Support for Ukrainian Democracy

Crocodile's Collection


November 29, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Art for Democray


by Maia, at House of the Dog


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine News Sources

It's been amazing to see the outpouring of interest in and support for Ukraine and her people. The big daddies are keeping it in front of their readers on a daily basis--especially Instapundit, but also Andrew Sullivan, NRO's The Corner, PowerLineBlog and Hugh Hewitt.

Over at LoboWalk, Daniel's Ukraininan wife Anna has started translating news stories into English. Hooray!

The following are some helpful links, but is in no way an exhaustive list.

UkrBlogs, in and out of Kyiv:
Hubby, at Le Sabot
Neeka's Backlog
Foreign Notes
Orange Ukraine
Ukraine, Oh My!
The Argus
Fistful of Euros
Daniel Drezner
The Periscope
SCSU Scholars
A Step at a Time

UkrNews in English:
Kyiv Post high integrity
Maidan News
Ukraine Now
Ukraine Observer
Mirror Weekly
Google News - Ukraine
EinNews - Ukraine
Hotline News


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Please Pray Now. . .

There are several reports of Kuchma planning on declaring martial law and possible attempting to raze the tent city at 8pm local time. Please pray that peace will prevail, Kuchma will not use violence, and the protesters will remain level-headed.

And Yushchenko has issued this statement,

"Ideas of force resolutions are appearing from time to time. Mr. President, I'm appealing to you: God forbid the government should resort to force. You will confront unimaginable power, and these 500 thousands, who are standing in this square, will grow tenfold."

"If any preparations for resolution by force come to light, we will break off negotiations immediately."

"I would like to appeal to people who wear the military uniform. Remember one thing - weapons always speak in unison with the truth, they never work against your own people."

Update: As of now, my Ukrainian friends who are following the news or have been in the center have not seen any actions against the demonstrators or tent city. Maidan continues to report concerning developments.

As Neeka says, "many believe that all these rumors are based on the very real threats that keep being averted through pressure and negotiations."

However Chairman Volodymyr Radchenko of the The Council on National Security and Defense of Ukraine says the use of force against the protest participants is "impossible."

2 am update here, from Hubby.


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink



Advent – The First Sunday

I was excited to find an evergreen wreath and taper candles in the traditional advent colors a few weeks ago. Last year, we our advent wreath was a bit ad hoc with votives on a glass tray. This is the first year we will be incorporating lighting the advent candles and reading the Advent Scripture into our Advent rhythm. For the past 5 years, we’ve been observing Advent with singing hymns, praying, and going through the Scriptures with a Jesse Tree that Auntie L gave us.

The purple candle for the first week of Advent represents prophecy. These are the Bible passages we’ll be reading this week.

Sun. Is. 40:1-5
Mon. Is. 52:7-10
Tue. Is. 40:9-11
Wed. Gen. 3:8-15
Thu. Gen. 15:1-6
Fri. Deut. 18:15-19
Sat. Ps. 89:1-4

And the first Advent hymn the boys requested was:

Joy to the World!

Joy to the world! the Lord is come:
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns:
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love.

Trinity Hymnal #149


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babushki of the Revolution

". . .We were told that she went up to the guards in front of the entrance, guards in full riot gear, masks and shield, in ranks twenty deep. She went up to one and said, “I am a babushka [translated roughly as “grandmother” but used for every older woman grandmother age] from the village. I came here to find out how you are. Are you fine? Are you hungry? Maybe your parents are somewhere worrying about you?

“Babushka has come from the village with some warm socks for you. Maybe your feet are cold and you need some socks?” She talked to this fellow in this way and won him over. He lowered his shield to expose his face and he was grinning at her while she spoke to him.

Today, she was supposed to come over and see us. She likes to do this especially since she has a new grandson she dotes on. But today she can’t be bothered with that sort of thing. She is part of the revolution. Getting out of bed this morning, she went to the store, bought bread and sausage and is on her way down to make sure that the protestors are fed and taken care of.

Before she left, she called her husband in the village. She had been planning on going back home and letting him come to take part but, when she called, she told him “There is nothing for you to do here. There are enough men here already. A woman’s touch is what is needed here to help take care of the people down at the square. So I will stay here. You don’t need to come.” (This is terribly un-PC but that is the way she is and the way of life is in the village.)

Read the rest.

I'm tired of people outside of Ukraine trying to frame what is going on here as a "US/EU vs. Russia" thing, and so condescendingly refusing to see this is all about Ukraine. It is Ukrainians who have risen up, joined together, and finally have hope that things here can change.

The above story is from ForeignNotes who lives here in Kyiv, and is about his mother-in -law. This is the real story of this rally. Each day, a million individual gestures of freedom and unity are joined together to make up the big picture on the Square.

I sure wish ForeignNotes would allow anon comments. hint, hint.


November 27, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink



Rada Says Election not Valid!

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada has declared the November 21 election to be invalid! They have also voted no-confidence in the CEC. This is reported by the ever-reliable The Kyiv Post. (No registration required right now--that should be a permanent change, imo.)

These votes are non-binding, but still, are hugely significant!

Update: Just got an e- from our friend Pasha, "Hi, here is some info. You might have heard of it! Did you watch our parliament conference live on different chanels? There're some good results but did you see corruption and desire to leave some power in the hands of Yanukovich's "region party"... As soon as I find the info in English, I'll link to it.


November 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



New and New-to-me Ukraine Sites

Orange Ukraine, Helping to pull 48 million chestnuts out of the fire. is a brand new blog to watch. It's authored by former Peace-Corps volunteeer and freelance journalist Dan McMinn, who lives in Kyiv with his Ukrainian-born wife. Keep checking back--Dan really understands the situation here.

Photos from Kyiv and around the world are being collected by Crocodiles Ukrainian Election 2004 site. It was especially neat to see the pics from Chicago, where my Mom lives and where I attended my first political rally (skipping school, naturally.)

AidUkraine is run by a Ukrainian in diaspora and has some good info. Note, they are asking for donations. And while it looks legit, I cannot personally vouch for this group..


November 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Scholarly Resources

I just found SCSU Scholars through I-can't-remember-who. Someone deserves a link here. *blush*

I've read some so-called analysis of what's going on in Kyiv, where it is clear the reporter or whoever just doesn't get it. On the other hand, here's King--who has lived, studied and worked in Ukraine.

Check out his maps--hopefully they will help convey another point in the grand scheme of election corruption.


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink



Conversation in a Taxi

On our way home from Thankgiving Dinner yesterday, our taxi took us near the center, but not close enough for the boys and I to see the heart of the demonstration. We did see many people walking to and from the rally, all wearing orange, waving flags, and sometimes chanting "Yu-shchen-ko!"

J8, budding politico that he is, was sure to ask our taxi driver, "Are you for Yushchenko?" Of course he was, and that opened a whole conversation.

"It'll be much better for our country when there isn't corruption," Oleg said. "We need to be more like Europe." Oleg has a friend in Canada and has thought of moving there with his daughter, but he needs money, a job there--and he just can't leave his mother here in Ukraine. Sadly, we know a lot of Ukrainians who have wanted to leave--the corruption here has been too oppressive and until now, escape seemed the only solution. Now there is hope that things really can change.

The boys kept injecting their own comments and cheers for Yushchenko, as Oleg and I talked. We drove past the Central Elections Committee building, and Oleg pointed it out and told me what it was like the other day when there were so many protesters. We saw a group of 30 or so people waving flags and cheering in front of a government building that is quite a ways from the center. While Maidan and Khreshatyk are still the center of activity, it seems obvious that the demonstration is growing and spreading.

Oleg asked me why I supported Yushchenko. "Look at the economic plans he had in the past--the dollar/grivnia exchange rate has been constant since we moved here. His past plans were responsible for that, so I think his plans for the future will be sound, too. I really believe he is a true reformer."

At one point Oleg asked if anyone in the US knew what was going on here. "The world is watching," I went on to tell him about all the people I've heard from (online especially) who care about what is going on here. He was visibly moved knowing that people around the world are watching--and care.


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



And Now For Something Completely Different. . .

In the midst of the current Ukrainian excitement, we've had some "normal" family times as well. Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving with some other families from the US. We all had some special things that we had sent from the States--a videotaped football game, pecans for pie, cranberry relish, French's onion topping for green bean casserole. . . We had a time of worship and thanksgiving, and enjoyed the traditional meal with all the trimmings. The kids got to play outside in the snow, there was a bonfire for roasting apples, and it a wonderful evening.

We also had birthday cake with our friends--C turned 4 yesterday and T is 7 today. I'll have to adjust my acronyms. *grin* I can't believe that my baby is now four, especially when I think back to how T7 was only four when we first arrived here. They've both grown so much and totally delight my heart.


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Parallel Gov't Issues Decrees

Yesterday, November 25th, Victor Yushchenko's parallel government issued its first decrees, focusing renewal of democracy in Ukraine and on safety issues for the Ukrainians who are protesting corruption in government.

Read them here.


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Emergency Parliament Solution?

"Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. . . gathered with parliament faction leaders to discuss the possibility of convening an extraordinary parliament session to unblock the current political crisis. . . . (Lytvyn) believes the current predicament can be resolved "independently" and is seeking to determine the role of parliament during the emergency."

(Via the ever-reliable Kyiv Post)


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




From Victor Katolyk, translated from the very reliable korrespondent.net.

"korrespondent.net The negotiations between Kuchma, Yanukovych, and Yushchenko will be held at 18:00 in the presence of international mediators. Yushchenko refused to hold eye-to-eye meetings with Kuchma or Yanukovych.

The negotiations will be mediated by Xavier Solana, Jan Kubish, Alexander Kwasniewski (President of Poland), Valdas Adamkus (President of Lithuania) and, possibly, other European and Russian diplomats."

Please pray that these will be fruitful, and that in negotiating an outcome, the people of Ukraine will not be subject to compromises that dash their hopes of freedom.

(Via Fistful of Euros)


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Support Ukraine Buttons

Amy has designed a series of buttons to show your support for democray in Ukraine on your website. Thanks, Amy!


Also, Nathan at Registan have also designed several buttons to show support for Ukraine.



November 26, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink



A Thousand Words

This PORA associated blog is worth checking out for the great photos, even if you don't speak Ukrainian.


November 25, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sign and Pass Along

From PORA, A Letter of Freedom and Solidarity:


Now, while you are reading this letter, 48 million people in one of the largest countries in Europe have a unique chance to make their choice and change a corrupt ruling regime.

This autumn 2004 is the moment of truth for the Ukrainian nation

We know that the choice of the Ukrainian people is clear.
They are tired of years of corrupt and untrustworthy government. They are exhausted by permanent lies and lawlessness. They want prosperity and stability for their children. They want to live in a democratic country. They value freedom of expression and freedom of the press They want to join the European community. They want their choice to be heard and respected.

But we also know that they can be robbed of this choice, as happened during parliamentary elections in 2002, during the elections in Mukachevo and in multitudes of small towns all over Ukraine. We recognize that the People’s choice could be disgraced and replaced by the will of a small oligarchic group. And once again millions of Ukrainians will be deceived

We started this letter of freedom and solidarity to defend free and fair election results.

If you believe in freedom, if you care about the future of Ukraine, sign this letter to prevent falsifications and to protect the thousands of young Ukrainians who have created a national network of volunteers and started PORA ("It's Time!"), a civic movement aimed at ensuring and protecting fair and democratic election of the President of Ukraine.

We need your help because the regime will be afraid to break the rules in front
of because only UNITED we can win.

There is no alternative to public action:
1. Check our website www.pora.org.ua/en
2. Sign our letter of freedom and solidarity
3. Make a difference: join PORA Campaign and contribute to campaign
4. Forward this letter to your friends

There might not be other chance.

It is TIME to act, TIME to struggle, TIME to win

The letter was signed by: Show All

If you want to sign this letter please send your name, organization you represent and your email to info@pora.org.ua"

(Via Le Sabot Post-Moderne)


November 25, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



$21 Million Dollar Bribe?

Serhiy Kivalov, head of the Central Elections Committee, reportedly received a bribe of $21,600,000 to proclaim Yanukovych as President of Ukraine.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



"The struggle is just starting!"

These are the things that have been announced in Kyiv in the last hour:

1. "The struggle is just starting!" declared Yushchenko.

2. In response to the announcement made today by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine that Yanukovych won the election Yushchenko calls for nation wide strike.

3. The Committee Of National Salvation, responsible for the rescue of democracy in Ukraine, has been formed.

4. Ukrainian military officers and ensigns support Yushchenko.

Frequently Updated News Sites / Blogs

Le Sabot Post-Moderne
Kyiv Post high integrity news source
Neeka's Backlog
The Periscope
Maidan News English
Pora News
Fistfull of Euros


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Prayer for Ukraine

Before this evening's Yushchenko speech, preachers came to the camp and prayed for the activists.

This is a song we regularly sing in church, "A Prayer for Ukraine". Please continue in your prayers for Ukraine and her people, and a peaceful and just resolution.

Молитва за Україну

Моя молитва нехай лине
До Тебе, наче фіміам.
І серце лине без зупину
В чудовий Твій небесний храм.

Боже, я молю за Україну,
Боже, молю тебе за людей,
Ти їх прости,
Ти їх спаси,
І милість Твою нам яви.
Боже, я знаю,
Що Ти будеш з нами
В храмі Твоєму під небесами
Радість і мир Ти дарував,
Життя для людей віддав,
В Книгу Життя нас записав!

В Своєму Слові Живому,
Ти для людей ведіння дав,
Щоб люди всі молились Богу,
Що на Хресті за нас вмирав.

And thanks to Maureen, here it is in English.

A Prayer for Ukraine

My prayer does not go unheard,
To you, our incense rises.
And my heart is heard without difficulty
In strange lands, in Your heavenly temple.

God, I pray for Ukraine,
God, I pray to you for its people.
May You forgive them,
May You save them,
And may Your favor on us rest.
God, I know
That You will be with us.
In Your temples under heaven
Joy and peace You're giving,
Life to the people You're showing,
Us in the Book of Life You've written!

In Your Living Glory,
You to the people have given power,
So that the people all pray to God
Who in Christ was reconciled to us.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's Going on in Ukraine?

"I am just a little Ukrainian. But the whole pyramid of Ukraine is built on top of little people like me. I should be home working in the soil, but instead I'm here in the (Independence) Square. And I'm not leaving until we have real democracy." --Nikolai

If you are just starting to follow the news of what is going on in Ukraine, check out this Q&A from the BBC.

But to get to the heart of the matter, Oksana Zabuzhko's essay is a must-read.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Conflict Avoidable?

Europhobia has compiled and excellent by-the-hour summary of what's been going on today. Honestly, I'm surprised in many ways at the direction things are going. I really thought that the overwhelming demonstration from the citizens of Ukraine would keep the current authorities from declaring Yanukovich the 'winner."

PeaceYulia.jpg Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko Photo via KyivPost.Com

November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Evening Roundup. . .

Our phone has been on the fritz again today. I'm not sure whether it's just our line being tempermental, it's the weather, or it's the Kyiv circuits. The mobile phone circuits have been overloaded from time to time, too. and though the webcam doesn't show it, we've had snow flurries off and on all day. It makes me all the more thankful for those at the rally who place freedom and democracy over comfort.

So, I've finally been able to call Hubby and skim around online to see what's going on in the center.

Lots of reports of unstability, in spite of the peaceful energy the protests have had so far. To this point, the Ukrainian police and military have been very "friendly" towards the people at the rally, as Neeka puts it, and the Ukrainian Marines have declared for Yushchenko. However, are many reports of Russian troops, some in Ukrainian uniforms. Ukraine, Oh my! has further details about this.

Hubby, who is currently helping at one of the media centers to get news into English, including the latest reports, "Authorities have begun violent action against peaceful protesters near the Presidential Admin building. 2 buses of special ops police units drove up and have moved on the demonstrators. . . Provocateurs planted an "explosive" device in our tent city. Snipers were called in."

Victor continues to get news into English as well, translating from radio and tv reports.

PORA It's Time, is updating its English news site frequently. Included are reports of troops being flown in and plans for Yanukovich being sworn in today. I haven't verified whether this has happened or was just planned. More on that here, too.

Oh, and I just read that some internet services have been terminated in Kyiv. If you don't hear from us, that may be why. . .


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Not Just Kyiv

Vinnytsia -- 5 thousand participants
Dnipropetrovsk -- 10 thousand
Zhytomyr -- over 40 thousand
Zaporizhzhia -- nearly 10 thousand
Ivano-Frankivsk -- 60 thousand
Kamyanets-Podilsky -- 15 thousand
Kyiv -- 500 thousand – 1 million
Kirovohrad -- over 10 thousand
Kremenchuk -- 2 thousand
Lebedyn -- 6 thousand
Lutsk -- 15 thousand
Lviv -- 120-150 thousand
Mykolayiv -- 3 thousand
Okhtyrka -- 15 thousand
Poltava -- 15 thousand
Rivne -- 6-7 thousand
Simferopol -- 1 thousand
Sumy -- 30 thousand
Ternopil -- 30 thousand
Uzhhorod -- 12 thousand
Kharkiv -- 80-100 thousand
Kherson -- 1 thousand
Cherkasy -- 10 thousand
Chernivtsi -- 30 thousand
Chernihiv -- 2 thousand
Shostka -- 15 thousand

The Ukrainians who are not travelling to Kyiv to rally, are making their voices heard in their home towns.

And around the world, Ukrainians and world citizens are joining together to show their support for true democracy in Ukraine: Warsaw; The Hague; Buffalo, NY; New York, Washington, and across the US; Toronto and throughtout Canada; Rome; London; and Paris.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



To Do Justice

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the LORD require of thee,
but to do justice, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?

Micah 6:8


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Slideshow: Kyiv Rally

Yahoo News has great photos and descriptions from the rally in Kyiv. Scroll down past the first few paragraphs, and there is a link for "Slideshow: Ukraine Elections" on the left. No direct link.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Friendly Riot Police?

Neeka was walking around in the center in the wee sma's of the morning, and this is what she saw:

"At 3 am, the city's so loud you'd think it's daytime. . . .

Every once in while a journalist barged in and announced that, according to some very well-informed sources, the riot police were beating everyone up over there, or that the armored personnel vehicles (is that what they're called?) are approaching the city center. . .

Those were all rumors, thank God. Later this evening, reports came in that the riot police are acting friendly and tolerant, and that they've declared their support for Yushchenko, and that they aren't embarrassed to put on some orange stuff on themselves. I assume it happened thanks to Yulia Tymoshenko - thanks to her charisma."


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Election Observers

If you're interested in primary source documention, here's a PDF file of the International Election Observation Commission Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



CSS Changes Ahead

No, you are not seeing things. Yes, this blog is orange.

And I keep misreading the CSS, so no telling what you'll see here before I finally figure it out. Thankfully, MovableStyle has helped keep me out of too much trouble.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From the White House

"The United States is deeply disturbed by extensive and credible indications of fraud committed in the Ukrainian presidential election. We strongly support efforts to review the conduct of the election and urge Ukrainian authorities not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved. We call on the Government of Ukraine to respect the will of the Ukrainian people, and we urge all Ukrainians to resolve the situation through peaceful means. The Government bears a special responsibility not to use or incite violence, and to allow free media to report accurately on the situation without intimidation or coercion. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in this difficult time."

(Via Instapundit. Hooray for Glenn!)


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From the Velvet to the Orange

"Dear Citizens,

Allow me to greet you in these dramatic days when the destiny of your country is being decided for decades ahead. You have its future in your hands. All trustworthy organizations, both local and international, agree that your demands are just. That is why I wish you strength, perseverance, courage and good fortune with your decisions.

Yours truly,

Vaclav Havel"

(via EuroPhobia)


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



UkrNews in English

Victor Katolyk at The Periscope is summarizing Ukrainian news reports in English, updating constantly.

I'm not surprised that most of the up-to-the-minute news about the Ukrainian elections is coming from the blogosphere. Kudos to Neeka, A Fist Full of Euros, Europhobia, A Step at A Time, Ukraine, Oh My!, Le Sabot and many others who are helping to bring the world's attention to Ukraine.

I heard there is a football game tonight. That worries me a bit. After all, past attacks on unpopular journalists have been blamed on "soccer hooligans." I'm concerned that the oligarchs could use the pretext of inebriated football fans to start trouble among those who have peacefully rallied in the center.

I don't expect to hear from Hubby until morning. Off to scrub his bright-orange winter coat. It has PBA glue on it from hanging up flyers.


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Kyiv Rally Photos

I just posted photos from Independence Square on Hubby's blog.

1 + 1


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Update from Hubby

Hubby describes what is going on in Kyiv here:

A Dispatch from the Barricades in Kiev!
Update from Kyiv


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



More Ukraine Election News

NRO has some essays on the Ukrainian election:
"People Power" 2004? By Nikolas K. Gvosdev
Waiting for the Inevitable

The Kyiv Post has waived their registration / subscription requirements to read the current articles on the election. I wish they'd go back to that permanently. . .

Europhobia is constantly updating the Ukrainian news links he finds. (And even links mnye!)

Some photos from obdymok.

And this just in from the boys who are looking out the window. . . Look! It's snowing hard! Poor Dad, and all those people out there on Khreshatyk. . .


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko Sworn In!

"Victor Yushchenko has taken an oath of the President of Ukraine at the Verkhovna Rada; he did it laying his hand on the 300-year-old Bible.

That happened after Volodymyr Lytvyn closed the parliamentary session on hearing that Yuriy Yukhnovskiy had suggested that Yushchenko take such an oath.

The assembled deputies greeted the new president. They sang Ukrainian National Anthem." -- Yushchenko's Web Site

We'll see where this leads. . .

More on the Verkhovna Rada special session:
Turmoil Deepens, Rada Meets
Parliament to Consider Election Results
Yushchenko Takes Oath, Protests Widen
Ukraine's Parliament Fails to Secure Quorum


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Picture of Ukraine

Ukranian novelist Oksana Zabushko had an excellent essay in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. I can't find the article online, so I'll copy the text here.

For those who are hearing about the Ukrainian run-off elections and post-election excitement, this provides a quick overview of what is going on. Ms. Zabushko's essay very much mirrors what we have observed here, too.

November 22, 2004


Ukraine's Solidarity


KIEV -- On Saturday afternoon, I was going by taxi past the Central Election Committee headquarters. The grand edifice was surrounded by two rows of steel fences, the construction, ironically, copying "maximum security" prisons. Inside, in the courtyard, there are camouflaged armored vehicles, waiting. For what?

"Here they are," said the driver with a wry smile. "Barricaded against us. They must be scared like sh-t now, what'ya think?" He turned his head and gave me a companion's wink. "Their last days are coming!"

There's no need now in Kiev to explain who "they" are, and who "we" are. "They" sit in "their" fortresses, in the government and presidential administration buildings on the downtown core's high hills. "They" stop traffic to let "their" motorcades of black BMWs and model Mercedes 600s rush across the city, and treat "us" as dirt -- or, more precisely, as a cheap labor force enabling "them" to sell "their" steel abroad at the most favorable price for "their" benefit. "They" own the police that beats protesters, the national TV channels that pour tons of lies on "us," and the tax service that pumps money out of "us" for "their" needs, until "we" are left naked as a worm. (Last week, for example, my publisher received an urgent demand from the local tax service to pay, out of the blue, 44,000 extra hryvnas, or about $7,000, and was happy to conclude from this that "they" must have exhausted "their" financial resources for the electoral campaign, and were now panicking.) To put it simply, "they" are the power -- the most widely hated power in Ukraine since Soviet times. And "we" -- we are the people.

* * *

And that's what we are. Never before -- even 13 years ago, on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union -- has Ukraine witnessed such a massive upsurge of national solidarity. People who've always remained politically indifferent and had missed voting in all previous elections, were disseminating self-printed leaflets from the Internet (samizdat is back -- any piece of information was voraciously devoured on the spot!) in public places, and volunteering to monitor the elections on behalf of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. At a peasant food market a merchant first asked who you're voting for -- the right answer (with which you could count on a generous discount) was "Yushchenko," while incumbent Prime Minister's Viktor Yanukovych's supporters were more than likely simply refused service. In the playgrounds children were playing a game called "Yushchenko beats Yanukovych." To quote my seven-year-old neighbor, "in our class Irka alone stands for Yanukovych, and no one wants to play with her." The slogan chanted by protesting students at demonstrations reads in English as "We're together! We're many! We won't fall!" And just how may of "us" there are, one can easily see in the streets. These days Kiev, as well as other major Ukrainian cities, is defiantly demonstrating its political sympathies by wearing orange, the campaign color of opposition candidate Yushchenko.

A special term has come into use -- "The Orange Revolution." It looks like people have dragged all shades of orange, from yellow to vermilion, out of their wardrobes and adorned themselves with them simultaneously -- vests and sweaters, scarves and purses, coats and umbrellas. Orange ribbons flutter everywhere -- on trees, fences, lanterns, and cabs. Drivers joyfully beep to each other, and pedestrians (traffic police included!) salute them with smiles and raised fists. It feels like the capital of three million has been transformed into a sea of brotherly love! The windows of shops are lavishly decorated with things orange. Among my favorites is the stunt of my neighborhood coffee shop -- its windows glow with pyramids of oranges!

Much of this may sound childish. But some call it the awakening of the nation. And the authorities didn't find it childish, either. Every night criminals brought to Kiev by special trains to provoke disturbances slash tires of orange-ribboned cars. On Saturday night, a day before yesterday's runoff, people adorned in orange were attacked. A friend of mine, wearing a ribbon on his coat, was knocked down in a dark alley with two blows -- to his head and kidneys. His even bigger shock, though, was to hear the bandits calling him, in Russian, "a dirty Jew" (my friend is Jewish, and looks unmistakably so) -- the words which seemed to have been long forgotten during 13 years of Ukrainian independence. "Rats," he commented afterwards. "They ran away before I was able to fight back -- just disappeared into the darkness."

That's the way it goes: Days are "ours," nights are "theirs." In the daylight of Oct. 31, we went to the polling stations and voted for the first time in this presidential race -- that is, those of us who managed to wade through all the mysterious "irregularities" in the voters-lists, because of which around three million Ukrainians were denied their right to cast a ballot. This appeared to be good training for a nation striving for democracy. Yesterday, the second time, we arrived at the polling stations far better prepared to protect our rights while in the daylight. By the time I voted, hundreds of multifarious "irregularities" (like, say, busloads of people with absentee coupons running from polling station to polling station to cast multiple votes, people with files of ballots pre-marked for Yanukovych caught red-handed, cases of gunfire and arson at polling stations, etc.) had already been reported by voters calling hotlines from all over the country. I had to wait in line for my ballot for a while: The place was overcrowded, yet somehow strangely silent, and the tension in the air was more than palpable. Everybody knows that the ballots will be counted at night, and that thus "our" part in the elections doesn't exhaust itself with putting a ballot in the box.

* * *

Here I have to clarify one important point. A widespread cliche used by many Western journalists to describe the major collision of our dramatic elections is that the establishment candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, is "pro-Russian," and that opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, is "pro-Western." This version has as little to do with the feelings of an average Ukrainian voter as with those of the belligerents of the Trojan war. Mr. Yanukovych is perceived not so much as being "pro-Russian," but as, first and foremost, being "pro-criminal" -- a Ukrainian Al Capone, who has under his belt two prison sentences for robbery and assault, and publicly uses criminal argot compared to which even the boorish tongue of retiring President Leonid Kuchma sounds as innocuous as a school textbook. A former governor of Donetsk, Mr. Yanukovych in power represents the so-called "Donetsk fellas" -- a business clan with a notorious criminal background. That the latter have close ties with similar mafia clans in Russia seems to be the most immediate explanation for the pre-election outburst of a passionate love between Russian and Ukrainian leaders, an affair of which Yanukovych-as-president had been designed as a mutually satisfying offspring.

I doubt whether we'll ever know exactly how many million Russian petro-dollars were spent on this project, yet it's been afflicted by one crucial fault from the very beginning. It failed to take into account the possibility of a free will being manifested by the people of Ukraine. This is the problem of all authoritarian rulers. After a while, they lose touch with their people, and never really know who they rule.

Leonid Kuchma's presidency has been extremely unpopular. During his last year he has never enjoyed more than 10% of the people's support. His choice as his "successor" of a prime minister with prison terms and 15 spelling mistakes on his CV, with an accompanying uncurbed propaganda campaign by the national media, was taken by only too many as a brazen act of national humiliation not to be borne -- as a sign that the "shamelessness" of the corrupted establishment had reached rock-bottom. It was from my hairdresser -- a Russian-born and Russian-speaking girl -- that I first heard, about a month ago, this vox populi, boiling with genuine wrath. "Who do THEY think WE are?" she kept lamenting while doing my hair. "What do THEY think THEY can do to US? What am I going to tell my son if this gangster makes it to the presidency -- go ahead, sweetie, rob, steal, and rape, and one day you'll become the president of your country?"

One shouldn't play jokes with millions of indignant mothers. A nation with its dignity so deeply wounded constitutes a force not to be ignored. The first round has already proved this. The fraud committed was probably one of the biggest, and the most elaborate in modern history. None of the applied falsification techniques, however, could provide outright victory for Mr. Yanukovych. What the real figures in the first round were, we'll never know. The official result, meant to show the country as "split" between the two men, has only annoyed people more. If you think that of the nearly 12 million of the officially recognized Yushchenko supporters in the first round at least 10 million have never had a chance to see him on TV other than in an outrageous defamation campaign, clearly modeled after old Stalinist (or Goebbelsian?) techniques, you can easily imagine to what extent Ukrainian authorities have lost their credibility with the nation. It was primarily the "if-THEY-hate-this-man-so-much-then-he-must-be-right" logic that has given the Ukrainian revolution its orange color.

The "harsh scenario" implemented by the authorities for the second round leaves little room for hope that the elections will be everything but fair. A week ago, in the long-awaited live TV debate between the "two Viktors," Yanukovych addressed Yushchenko with a statement sounding like an undisguised threat: "The new power has already arrived (!), and you won't squeeze us out!" And it looks like "the new power" means it, no matter what the cost. The pre-election week alone has provided enough material for dozens of horror writers (and for some 15,000 complaints about the violation of the electoral law now in courts!). News reports read like those from an invaded country under the boot of an occupation regime: Arrests and detainments of public activists (over 200 of them), tear gas and clubs used against protesters (with a police promise that "next time we'll use bullets"!), blackmail and assaults (with bullets included!), committed upon representatives of the opposition candidate, the replacement of administrators in "pro-Yushchenko" areas with "obedient" ones, blatantly promising (as in a village in the Sumy region) that "everyone who voted for Yushchenko will be shot by the police," and many other things, more and more reminiscent of Germany back in 1933.

There is, however, one crucial difference. Them "Bavarian fellas" from 70 years ago were also armed with an ideology, which, however pernicious, after all, addressed "the people." The present-day "Donetsk fellas," apart from money, have at their disposal nothing but guns. And it's known that humans, not guns, decide the outcome of any war.

* * *

This fall, history has turned Ukraine into its unique playground, to check whether this truth is still valid in our brave new world. Thirty-five thousand civilians have volunteered at opposition headquarters to guard polling-stations on the night of vote-counting. This seems to be the only way to make sure that the opposition's landslide victory (the most professional exit poll suggests 58% of the votes for Yushchenko and 39% for Yanukovych) won't be turned on its head the next morning.

Such "civil control" proved to be quite effective a strategy in the first round. Wherever electricity was "inexplicably" cut off, people turned on their car headlights to light up polling-stations, so that election committees could continue their work. No ski-masked attackers risked appearing in well-lit, crowded places, in the flashes of cameras. So far, "they" have stuck to the darkness -- however burning "their" desire is to emerge from out of it and fully establish themselves in the open light on Monday morning.

While I'm writing this, my boyfriend is packing his backpack for the night. Crackers, chocolate, water, a thermos of coffee. Camera, a set of batteries. Candles, matches. Flashlight.

We'll be keeping our place lit. It's beautiful, our place. Never before have we realized how much we loved it all these years. And what a painfully powerful, orange-blazing thing wounded love can be.

Ms. Zabuzhko is a novelist and poet.


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Post-Election Ukraine

As I mentioned yesterday, I thought it was a bit premature for Reuters to be declaring Yushchenko the winner of the presidential run-off in Ukraine. The "official" count from Electoral Commission currently has Yanukovych as the winner wtih 49.4 percent of the vote to Yushchenko's 46.7 percent. There are myriad indications that this is not accurate.

Election observation committee OSCE spokesman Bruce George said, "The second round did not meet a considerable number of standards of the OSCE and the European Council for democratic elections." They are calling for a review of each area of the country before.

And so, Ukrainians have taken to the streets to rally and protest. One news source estimates over half a million Ukrainians participating in this post-election rally. Some locals estimate about 250 thousand people were down at Independence Square today. The rally is ongoing--right now there are tents set up and people staying the night in sub-zero weather.

Europhobia's Election news, updated regularly.
MPC's photos from today's rally.
Neeka's observations from the rally.
Independence Square, Kyiv, Live WebCam


November 22, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Real Ultimate Ezzo!!!

Have you seen the "cult classic" webpage, Real Ultimate Power Ninjas?

I first saw it linked from Mike and Kristen's blog. It spawned a whole slew of parodies.

The latest is one I think y'all might get a laugh from:
Real Ultimate Power Ezzo!!!!



November 22, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Election Update

Reuter's is already reporting that Yushchenko has been elected. Exit polls show he has won by a large margin. However, the official vote counting has been going on for only three hours at this point.

We've heard of disappearing ink on ballots, students being paid 100 uah ($20) to vote for Yanokovich, and "absentee voters" arriving by train-car-full to vote in Kyiv.

While it may be premature to announce the next Ukrainian president, things are looking pretty positive. Please continue to pray, especially for peace for the next few days.


November 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukrainian Election Run-Off

Today is the run-off election in Ukraine between oligarch-supported Yanokovich and reformer Yushchenko. Please be in prayer that the voters will be respected and their decision honored. We have friends who are official election observers who will be present during ballot counting tonight. This election has seen so much. . . irregularity. . . that it's hard to ask for prayer that it be a fair and just election. It's just not possible at this point.

If you are interested in reading more about the election, there are several newsites and blogs being updated throughout the day:

EinNews - Ukraine Feed
Yushchenko's Tak Site
Maidan News
Teksty Blog
Blog de Connard
Neeka's Backlog
Ukraine, Oh my!


November 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Family Odds and Ends

R5 has been asking me for about the past two months to make apple butter for him. I went through a canning kick in July, and have been less-than-interested since then. But, we saw a babushka at the metro selling apples from her dacha the other day, so I bought three kilos. And yesterday I came across Linda's Crockpot Apple Butter Recipe. I've modified it a bit (stove top, brown sugar, unpeeled) and it simmering right now.

A couple of weeks ago, J7 misused the vacuum cleaner, and as a result was given extra time to practice using it correctly. Vacuuming is his least favorite job (as it was mine, when I was a child.) He's had a great attitude about it though, and yesterday was vacuuming an singing at the top of his lungs, Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart!

On Friday I took the two older boys to the dentist. It's been three years. It's a bit of an overwhelming task at times to first find a doctor with whom we're comfortable, not to mention making appointments in Russian. At this clinic, however, most of the staff has at least some English. My teeth feel so smoothly clean, the dentist reassured us that T6's bite looked fine, and we have app'ts for early December for fillings. *blush* I'm so embarrassed that I allowed the boys to get cavities (small ones). My Dad is a dentist. . .

I also saw an eye doctor this week. (Doesn't speak English.) I had an eye infection a few weeks ago, and we're still determining whether there is an underlying problem or it was a simple infection. And, I need an updated prescription and glassses. If you have a simple prescription, you can buy glasses at the metro station here. Mine's a bit more complex, so I need to bring Hubby along and go to an optika and find some frames he thinks suit me. I hate picking out frames alone.

We'll be having Thanksgiving with the Americans on our team this year. Thankfully, Tracy and Lauren will be making the turkey. Traditionally, I've been hugely pregnant and due any day around Thanksgiving, so I've had limited experience baking turkeys. The first Thanksgiving after we were married I made a delicious spread. Last year I made a "traditional American Thanksgiving" for Hubby's English classes. Oh, my. Nothing turned out how I wanted it to. And the turkey. . . Well, let's just say I'm avoiding being responsible for baking turkeys until I can get back to the land of Butterballs.


November 21, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Simple Sugar Pie Crust

Simple Sugar Pie Crust

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks) cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 tsp amaretto or vanilla extract

Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter cubes. Go wash your hands again, and then squish the butter and flour mixture together until dough begins to clump together. It will still be dry. Add the eggs and amaretto, and mix into dough. You may want to use a fork, but you’ll likely need to use your hands again. Mix until dough comes together in a ball. Divide into two portions, and shape each into a disk. Cover and refrigerate about 20 minutes, until firm.

This pie crust is designed for pressing into the pie pan—not rolling it out. That’s what makes it a simple and easy recipe! Line the pie pan with cookie paper/parchment. Take 2/3rds of the dough and press it into the pan, starting at the center and working towards the sides. Trim excess dough on the sides to make it pretty. Use the remaining dough to make a partial top crust either with lattice, leaves, etc.

Makes two normal size pie crusts with some extra dough for the top of the pie for trimming. Use for pies like pecan and pumpkin, or crostata.

(modified from RealSimple’s “Sweet Sugar Crust” November 2004)


November 20, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Apricot Crostata

Apricot Crostata

Simple Sugar Pie Crust
1 jar apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line a pizza pan with parchment / cookie paper to make serving and clean up much easier. Press 2/3rds of the dough onto the cookie sheet, starting in the center and working towards the edges. This dough patches together great, so don’t worry about it all being in one piece throughout the process. Create about a ½ inch rim around the edge.

In a saucepan, slowly heat the jam. When it is just melted, pour onto the crust and spread around with a spoon. (Be careful if kids are around—hot jam really burns!)

Divide the remaining dough into 8 portions. Using your fingers, work them into strips and lay them criss-cross across the jam in a lattice pattern. Bake until the crust is golden and jam starts to bubble—about 25-30 minutes.

The amaretto in the crust nicely compliments the apricot, though you can use any fruit jam your family likes. I just happen to have been blessed with kilos of apricots this year, and so am always looking for ways to use up our jam.

This recipe makes one pizza pan size crostata and one smallish (7 in diameter or so) one to give to a neighbor.

(modified from RealSimple’s “Reaspberry Crostata”, November 2004)


November 20, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



More Google Tools

I'm such a sucker for Google tools.

Joel over at Elesyium mentioned the latest beta, Google Scholar. It searches through academic research and papers. I found one study my Dad was part of, Performance of High-Speed Dental Handpieces: Subjected to Simulated Clinical Use and Sterilization .

Maybe that's not exciting online reading, but still. . . What a neat new tool.


November 19, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Lasting Pain

If you have not yet accepted the reality of the lasting pain of abortion, allow me to provide some reading material.

For the head: Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress: A Prelimenary Comparison of Russian and American Women (in .pdf)

For the heart: Of Wounds and Dreams


November 19, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Will You Be Joining ATIA?

And the following is part of X-ATI Guy's decided nyet.

"The emphasis on performance--on outward behavior and appearance--does not produce holiness. Rather, it produces those who are very good at looking the part, pretending they are in line with all the standards rather than risk going against the tide. Not that all ATI students are fakes; that is not the point. But the system produces more than its share of young people who go along with things outwardly without having an inner commitment to the standards and convictions that are taught. And sadly, many students resist the outward "standards" as being phony, and in the process reject Christ.

. . .

Christianity is freeing because of the grace Christ has bestowed on us. ATI, however, is made up of a list of rules, commitments, standards and behavioral guidelines. The emphasis on outward appearance, on listening to good music, and on exhibiting character distracts young people from the true essence of Christianity: a relationship with Christ."


November 18, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



The First Snow!

This morning I awoke to the boys yelling, "It's snowing! It's snowing hard! Look, it's snowing!"

We had about 15 minutes of big, wet flakes of snow. We couldn't see far past the window.

But it stopped and melted before we even left the house.


November 17, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Separation of Church and Welfare State

Is the church usurping the rightful role of the welfare state?

Read John Rabe's take on Barbara Ehrenreich's convoluted views of Christians, the Church and politics.


November 17, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Gary Ezzo Expose Update

WXYZ - Detroit, MI
Reporting by Steve Wilson and Ann Mullen
Baby Care Controversy, Part 1
Baby Care Controversy, Part 2

KAKE - Witchita, KS
Reporting by Rachel Phillips
Unwise Advice?

Be sure to view the video feeds for the full stories.

Update: Also blogging on the Ezzo investigations:
Uncle Sam's Cabin
Breastfeeding News Weblog
Muslim Mother's Thoughts
Le Sabot Post-Moderne
BatesLine Blog
Reasons Why
This Classical Life


November 17, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Investigative Reporting: Gary Ezzo


The report is up, Baby Care Controversy.

"It is dangerous to do it the way he describes," Pediatrician Dr. Rosemary Shy says of Ezzo's technique. "It puts these babies at risk for jaundice, at risk for dehydration, and at risk for failing to thrive, all of which we’ve seen."

"Alleged Baby Expert Investigated"

Gary Ezzo has built a big business telling parents he's a baby expert. But his controversial advice has put some infants in the hospital. Chief Investigator Steve Wilson goes after the facts in this man's world of books and videos. A 7 On Your Side Investigation Monday at 6:00PM on 7 Action News.

Detroit's ABC affiliate, WXYZ Channel 7, will be airing an investigative report on "alleged baby expert" Gary Ezzo. Those in the Detroit area can catch it at 6 pm, Monday, November 15th.

For the rest of us, the clip will be available from the WXYZ website after the program airs.

For more information about Ezzo parenting, I recommend visiting the Ezzo Controversy Timeline or the AwareParent.Net discussion board.


November 15, 2004  |  Comments (14)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink




I'm getting drowned by spam.

I'd love to have someone more tech-savvy than myself help me upgrade to MT 3.12 and install MT-Blacklist.

I was able to do the initial MT install myself, but made enough mistakes along the way to be a bit wary of trying the upgrade (and losing everything.)

Soooo. . . Any volunteers?

(And I'd love to send you a little "thank you" from Ukraine!)


November 15, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Beyond the Gates

“Valerie (4) sat down too, and fixed her eyes on him, the first Auca man she had ever seen. I had told her plainly that her father had died, that he was now “in Jesus’ house,” but I had said very little to her about how it happened. I had wanted to save it until she could comprehend it more fully. Somehow, however, her mind has associated Auca with her father. I watched her study Kimu’s face. Finally she spoke.

“He looks like a daddy. Is that my my daddy?”

So those who had spelled “death” to me were to Valerie human beings, her own. She identified herself with them and was ready to accept as her own father the man who had helped kill her father. There was nothing strange to her about the Aucas.”

From The Savage, My Kinsman Elisabeth Elliot

This quote that really grabbed my attention as I was reading this book last week. I suppose in part it's related to the struggles I've been having "identifying and accepting as my own" the people and culture where I'm living. This is a temporary feeling I'm sure--it's been a rough few weeks. I'm "at home" here and have felt very much a part of Ukraine in the past. But this week has been hard and I anticipate the next two months may be a bit of a challenge as well. The weather is cold, the days are short, and the holidays are coming up. As much as people complain about the commercialization of Christmas, I really do miss going into a grocery store and hearing holiday music and having people around me sharing in similar traditions and anticipations.

Yet, I love it here and this is home. While reading about Elisabeth Eliot and her daughter among the Aucas/Waodoni, I was even more thankful for ways I've been spared--I don't have to eat monkey brains and I appreciate having our family's privacy in our own flat.

Recently released is the new documentary Beyond the Gates. The movie traces the involvement of the missionary families with the Waodani--from the murder of the five men who initially made contact to present day with the Saint family who now live among them. Marsupial Mom and TRW have a summary and reviews of this movie.

To find out whether Gates of Splendor is at a theater near you, check out the zipcode movie finder.


November 14, 2004  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



If you haven't yet seen it

Manic Moonbats on Parade

Warning: Offensive Content.

Update: Glenn Reynolds has seen Hubby's film!.


November 08, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Grace, Amazing Grace

for flawed and broken human beings, there is nothing like grace's power to heal our brokenness. --Lee Anne

Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found—
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

And when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Original Trinity Hymnal #402


November 07, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Surprise!

Usually when the phone rings, I immediately switch gears to Russian. It threw me off for a second when I answered the phone today and was greeted in English.

"Hello. This is Carol. In Canada."

After a moment it register. Carol!

I rarely get phone calls, much less from a dear friend from North America.

Thanks for calling, Carol. It really made my day. *grin*


November 06, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babies Need to Cry

Babies need to cry.
It develops their lungs.
They learn they are not the center of the universe.
It teaches self-control later.
It helps them sleep.
It's hard to let them cry, but in the long run it's worth it.
It releases emotions so they are more peaceful.

These are common myths used to reassure mothers that it is good to let their infants cry. These justifications are often used by those reassuring mothers using Babywise or other sleep training ideas.

More research was released this week in the November issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood that further indicates that these myths are not based in infant biology or physiology.

"Babies who cry a lot for no apparent reason may be more likely to have problems later in childhood, according to a study by American and Norwegian researchers.

"They assessed the crying patterns of 327 babies at six and 13 weeks of age and whether the babies' crying was caused by simple colic. The children had their intelligence, behaviour and motor abilities measured when they were five years old.

"The study found that children who had continued prolonged crying (not due to colic) beyond three months of age had intelligence scores nine points lower than other children. . .

"Prolonged crying in infancy was also associated with hyperactivity, poorer fine motor abilities, and behaviour and discipline problems later in childhood. . ."

This corresponds with other findings that link "crying it out" with later neurological problems. Remember, however, that this study was not looking for whether the crying caused these later problems.

Related Reading at TulipGirl.Com:
Loving Families and RAD
Mommies, Babies, and Chemistry
Nutrition and Brain Dev't

Full text of Archives of Disease in Childhood article
Zero to Three: Brain Wonders
Harvard Review on Babies Crying
Stress in Infancy
Bonding and Attachment Discussion at GCM
Woman to Woman


November 05, 2004  |  Comments (14)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Attributes of God

Rebbecca writes theological essays.

Bookmark her series on the Attributes of God to accompany your personal study.


November 05, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Chel-o-vyek Pa-aook

As I sit here, the boys are singing the Spiderman theme song. In Russian.


November 05, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Thankful Thursday

1. My Dishwasher It's super-small, but I'm so happy I at least have one. Doing dishes is one of my least favorite tasks.

2. My Washing Machine Again, it's super small and I'm never caught up on laundry. And it eats clothes. But if I had to handwash everything, I don't think we'd ever wear anything clean.


3. My Towel Warmer One of the common luxuries in Ukraine, is the brill way they run the hot water pipes externally in the bathroom. I love getting out of a warm bath to wrap up in a warm towel.


More Thursday Thankfuls at the BadgerMum's.


November 04, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Election Recovery

We're having a laid-back sort of day. We didn't sleep much last night while waiting for the election returns, and so we're pretty low energy here. Wednesdays tend to be our "Saturdays"--usually a family day since the little boys don't go to dyetski sad and Saturdays are work days.

C3 woke up crying with an earache, and has slept most the day. The other boys are all stuffy, and I'm fighting a sinus infection. They took soaks in the tub, with eucalyptus-mint epsom salts and we're all sipping echinacea-mint tea.

Still waiting for the Ohio to be "officially" Bush's state. If you doubt it will go that direction, check the odds.

For now, C3 is painting. R5 is putting together a LOTR puzzle. J8 is nursing a cut on his finger. T6 is watching construction from their bedroom window. And I'm off to attend to some long-neglected laundry.

A very peaceful day-after for us.


November 03, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Election Watching. . .

We've been watching the election news online tonight. Hosting Matters must not have been anticipating the high blogging levels on election day, because Instapundit, Vodka Pundit and Le Sabot have periodically been unavailable. I know it's been said before, but blogging and the internet have changed forever the way politics is done.

Thankfully, the Corner has been updating frequently. This was one of my favorite posts there, because it reminded me so much of my boys.


KJL My 6 year old son is a political junkie -- his friend is the 2nd cousin of W, and he sleeps with a photo of The President and Mrs. Bush on his headboard.

When I left to vote this morning, he is well aware of the closeness of this race, he said "This election would be so much easier if we could just vote for Ronald Reagan. "

I just love him.


November 02, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Vote for George W. Today!

In President Bush's own words, Why You Should Vote For Me Today.

I am running for president with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world and a more hopeful America. My record demonstrates the consistent and principled leadership our nation needs in these challenging times. I ran for president four years ago with an ambitious agenda for America's future, and I have kept my commitments.
. . .
Americans face an important decision today — a decision that will determine the security and prosperity of the American people. For nearly four years, I have acted to promote opportunity and protect the safety of my fellow citizens. I ask for your vote to build on the good work we have begun.

Read the rest here, and then go vote!


November 02, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Election Results. . .

We don't have tv or English radio, so we get all our news online. Here are some links for following the election results as they come in:

NRO's Corner
Election Projection
Real Clear Politics
CNN Politics
Fox News
Blogs for Bush
Electoral College Calculator

And, as a bonus, check out Hubby's election predictions and forecast for the next presidential term.


November 02, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




When I'm having a rough-mommy day, I intentionally seek out articles online that provide some encouragement and inspiration. I have several articles bookmarked and Psalms highlighted that I reread when I need a little lift.

Saturday I came across a blog post that fits that category.

When my kids were toddlers, I had an intense longing for a peaceful place to sit quietly and recharge my batteries. Though I was not a Christian, I thought that a morning in church might be the ticket. I imagined a church where light from a stained glass window would pool over me, and a choir would sing and people would talk about God and it would be vague but comforting, and then I would go home ready to face my rambunctious boys again.

Read the rest of KatieKind's post on finding peace mixed with the realities life. This particular story means even more to me since I know KatieKind, and see her in a very Titus 2 way since her boys are grown or nearly so.


November 01, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Brownie Recipes, Updated

Thanks to all who responded to my desperate plea for a non-boxed mix brownie recipe! I'm posting them all together so MaltaGirl and I can find them easily in the future. (And so you can find a quick chocolate cure for your PMSy days. . .)

CarolynM's Guilt-Free Recipe

Melt together in 1 1/2 qt. saucepan, stirring until smooth:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 4 oz. semi-sweet or *dark* chocolate bar)
1/2 cup salted butter

Remove from heat; let cool. Stir in:
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Add, mixing well:
2 large eggs

Stir together in 2nd bowl, then slowly fold into chocolate mixture:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pour into greased 8x8" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Test with toothpick to determine doneness -- these will *fall* if removed from oven too soon.)

Missy's Mississippi Mud

Have you ever made Mississippi Mud? I made some brownies for a church ice-cream social a few weeks ago. The brownies flopped, so I frantically made some Mississippi Mud. Since I was out of marshmallows & pecans, I made the frosting w/o. (I think it's better w/o the pecans & marshmallows.) It was unbelievably good, especially when it was still warm with a scoop of ice cream on top! The texture is a little different than regular brownies, a little fudgy and gritty. Gritty, not as in sandy but as in sugar that's not quite dissolved. I thought of it b/c it meets all your conditions.

Mississipi Mud Cake

1 c butter
1/2 c cocoa
2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c Flour
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)
4 c mini marshmallows (optional)


16 oz powdered sugar
1/2 c milk
1/3 c cocoa
1/4 c butter, softened

Combine butter and cocoa in saucepan, until butter melts. In large bowl, add sugar and eggs to butter mixture. Mix until blended. Add flour, salt, and vanilla & beat until blended. Stir in pecans. Bake (in a lightly greased 13x9 pan) @ 350 for 35 min. Remove from oven, sprinkle on the marshmallows & spread frosting over marshmallows.

Frosting: Combine all ingredients in bowl; beat until smooth, adding additional milk if frosting is too stiff. (I like it runny enough to pour)

Fittsy's Brownies

I'm not going to win the *brownie* points, but the very best recipe is on the back of Baker's Chocolate Unsweet Chocolate Squares (8oz. pack.) Make the recipe as is, omitting the nuts. After pouring the batter into the pan, top with 1/2-3/4 c. chocolate chips, 1 c. chopped pecans, and 3/4 c. Heath Brickle, and then bake according to the recipe directions.
Mmmm Boy. They are so good.
(Since bar chocolate is hard for you to get, you can add the chocolate chips, toffee (don't know about that availability) and nuts on top of any other recipe. I'm sure it will enhance just about any fudgy brownie recipe.)

Christy's One-Bowl Brownies

Here's our quick and favorite "One-Bowl Brownies". My 10 year old daughters make it independently with success. Just don't overmix! We usually skip the nuts.

2 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts
2/3 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and nuts. Add oil, eggs and vanilla; stir just until moistened. Don't overmix. Spread in a greased 13x9 in. pan. Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sherri-Ann's Gooey Brownies

This so far is the best ever gooey moist brownie recipe. People always ask me for it. So here goes
1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz semi sweet chocolate coarsley chopped (I use chocolate chips too)
1 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 grease a 9 X 13 pan. In a med saucepan over low heat melt butter, add sugar, vanilla and eggs blend well. Stir in flour cocoa and salt;mix well. Add chocolate and pecans. Pour into greased pan.
Bake for 30-40 min. or until set
cool completely but into bars.

EarthGirl's Raisin Brownies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbs. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup raisins (or 1/2 cup nuts or nothing)

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add. Add vanilla and raisins. Pour into an 8 inch square pan, greased and floured. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar while warm.

Deborah's Brownies

4+T. cocoa
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup or less sugar
1 T. vanilla or liquer (raspberry, orange)
2 eggs
1+T. oil
3/4 cup flour

Mix all together and pour into a 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minuts: just when you start to smell them and the knife comes out clean.

Laura's Southern Living Brownies

2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. + 2T. cocoa powder
1 c. melted margarine or butter
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt

Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased dish of some size - 9x9, 8x13, whatever - and bake for 35 minutes at 325F. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Sometimes we add nuts or chocolate chips to the batter, but they're great plain, too.

Judith's About.Com Brownies

8 (1 oz.) squares of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
5 eggs
3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
2-1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat; set aside. In a mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes. Blend in chocolate and flour until just mixed. Stir in the nuts. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 inch pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. (Don't overbake.) Cool and frost if desired, but that is not necessary.

Still waiting for MtnMama's 'flourless choc cake' recipe . . .

And I've noticed several people starting separate blogs for recipes. Well, I'm not going to do that, but TulipGirl.com does have a Computer Cookbook category where I post my frequently used and favorite recipes.


November 01, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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