Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pictures Galore

We have lots of new pictures below, and on our corps blog (http://kopli8.blogspot.com/). Be sure to check them out.

Christmas with the Clarks

Here's a bunch of picturs of our Christmas celebrations. Here are Chris, Elizabeth and Peter in front of the Christmas tree before the corps Christmas party.
Another picture in front of the tree.
On Christmas Eve, Peter was dressed like a little man for church. He is in front of our tree at home.
Our little gentleman on the couch.
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On Christmas morning, Elizabeth and Peter were excited to tear into the presents.
Chris and Peter dig into the bags that Santa left with lots of goodies.
Chris is astonished by the chocolate reindeer that Santa left for Peter.
Our little warrior was thrilled to see he had a new plastic sword. He had broken the one that Chris brought back from America this summer.
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Elizabeth neatly lays out all of her goodies.
Elizabeth smiles at a gift sent from Auntie Mary-Kay: some Polly Pockets.
Chris shows off a gift from Auntie (a book by Brian Jacques) while Peter unwraps another gift.
And that gift was the new Larry Boy video!
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Another gift that made Peter smile was a light sabre.
Peter enjoys a treat from his stocking.
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Merry Christmas! (day two)

Yesterday was such a great day for us, long and tiring, but really great. Watch this space for pictures and details!

Today we are having a real family day. One that is much needed! We are going to see "Happy Feet" at the movies and then eating lunch out.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

please pray for Tim's mother

Tim's mother was admitted to the hospital last night with a bad infection in her hand/arm. They think she'll be there for a few days, so keep them both in your prayers.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lastekeskus Party

Today we were a part of the party for the children at the Army's Lasnamäe Lastekeskus (children's center). We have been going there every Thursday to do games with the children, share a devotional and just get to know the kids, so it was nice to spend time with them in a party atmosphere. We have come to know the children quite well, and are considering expanding our role there. Please pray for us as we think about what we should be doing there.
What Tim usually does when we go to the lastekeskus is play games, so he lead some Christmas themed games. Here the children are looking at Christmas trees they made by ripping paper that they held behind their back without looking.
In another game, the kids had to sit in a circle around the tree and pass a wrapped package while music played. When the music stopped, they could unwrap the gift--but there were many layers of paper and the person could only unwrap one. The one who unwrapped the last layer got to keep the gift.
The children who attend the lastekeskus are all Russian-speaking, making them a minority group in Estonia. So rather than being visited by an American Santa Clause or Estonian Jõluvana, they were visited by the Russian equivalent: Grandfather Frost. He was absolutely wonderful, leading the children in songs, having them hold hands and circle the Christmas tree and asking them questions about Christmas.
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To receive their gifts, the children had to recite a poem or sing a song for Grandfather Frost. Here, Oksana happily obliges. The corps provided the gifts for the 35 children who regularly attend the lastekeskus. They were new toys that had been donated from England, so we were very grateful because we have limited resources to purchase gifts for the children.
Christopher even had to recite a poem for Grandfather Frost before he received a gift!
After the gifts, the children had some wonderful party food. The director said to Tim, "At least this one day we will make sure that they eat well." Most of the children from the lastekeskus come from troubled families, and so this is a safer place for them to be before or after school. The lastekeskus provides a place for them to do homework (with help, if needed), play games with friends, have a shower and even get a meal, as the center gives those who really need it a voucher to go to the restaurant which is in the same building and have small meal.
Evelyn enjoying the party.
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Ilya is small, but he can put away a lot of food!
Dima shows that he cleaned his plate.
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my friend Mary Walker

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


We've begun a time for partys! By the time Christmas is over, we will have been a part of five or six Christmas parties. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christ's birth with others. Our first party was the Tallinn area Christmas party. Our corps chapel was converted into a banquet room, with a beautifully spread table.
Everyone who came to the party brought something for the food table, so we had a wonderful feast. There were our workers and volunteers from the Kopli Corps, the regional office, Lotusemaja homeless day center and the lastekeskus (children's center).
They even had us play silly games, and everyone joined in on the fun.
Major Derek Tyrrell, our regional commander, was Santa to give out the gifts (although I think he more resembles William Booth!). Here he is with Teele, the faithful secretary/translator who keeps the regional office running.
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The daughter of one of the Lotusemaja volunteers checks Santa's beard.
One Estonian Christmas tradition is that before you can receive your gift from Santa, you have to sing a song or recite a poem. It is always very fun to hear what people do. Here Olga, who helps us in the kitchen, sings a song for Santa in Russian.
Sirje, who is our hardworking housekeeper and just about everything else around the corps--as well as a faithful soldier--and her sister Tiiu, another soldier who volunteers at the corps, sing for Santa.
Major Helen Tyrrell seemed somehow unimpressed with Santa.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Cookies

Tonight Elizabeth and Evelyn got into the spirit of the season by decorating piparkogid (literally translated "pepper cake" but what we would call ginger bread).
Elizabeth is the creative one in the family (she recently began sewing clothes for her dolls from bits of her old clothes!) and had a lot of fun doing creative designs on her cookies.
The two girls making their creations.
Elizabeth admires her mother's work.
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Officers' Christmas Party

On Saturday we went to Võru (around 3 hours south of Tallinn) for the officers' Christmas party. It was great fun joining with our comerades and sharing traditional Estonian Christmas foods like verivorst (blood sausage!). The Henderson family from Narva brought costumes for their children, so everyone had a chance to dress up and have fun. Here's Peter as a fox.
King Chris and Peter share a laugh during the party.
The children presented a nativity to help us remenber the Christmas story. Shepherds Elizabeth and Peter are joined by Alyosha Henderson.
Elizabeth, Peter and Alyosha, along with angel Anya Henderson.
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