Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mom & Dad in the Hospital

Tim's parents are both in the hospital right now, so please keep them in your prayer. One small blessing is that mom's room is right across from dad's, so she can join him for tasty meals of hospital food. The doctors are still trying to work out the causes of each of their problems, and the best way to address them. Our hope is that they will healthy and well so that we can spend time with them when we return to the US. Thanks for remembering them in prayer!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peter's 6th Birthday Party

We celebrated Peter's 6th birthday two weeks early. We had the the party at the Narva Castle, a 700-year-old medieval fortress on the Narva river across from Russia. Peter wanted a pirate party, so it was a perfect setting. And the castle staff made it a great experience for the kids!

Tatjana, who organized the program for the children, showed them all the wonders of the castle.

Oksana also helped teach about the castle, and the children made crafts and did other activities.
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As they walked through the castle, Tatjana explained about life during the times of the knights, which fascinated the boys.

There were many things to see!

Oksana showed how the old stone ovens worked.

Then the boys had the chance to use the long cooking prong to put the pots into and out of the oven.
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Then they went to the basement living quarters, where they learned about daily life in the castle.

They also saw how to play an ancient strategy game with stones.

The boys really enjoyed the game, and had fun trying to beat the others.

Then they got to try out swords and shields like real knights!
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They even got to try on heavy chain-mail. Peter said that it hurt his shoulders!

They did a treasure hunt, where they found coins.

Then Tatjana showed them how to make a postcard with a picture of the castle.

The cake was amazing. We have a bakery in our building below our apartment, and they did a wonderful job on this tasty cake!
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We even had a little pirate to sail the ship!

Peter enjoyed opening his presents.

They were very exciting for him!

Then it was time to blow out the candles and eat the cake. It was a wonderful day!
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More pictures

To see all of the pictures from the party, click here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Narva Castle (site of Peter's birthday party tomorrow!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

David Michael Smith -- the BEST man!

[this is the toast that my nephew David gave at my brother Danny's wedding reception on Sat. 13 Feb. 2010]

When I got the news that Cookie and my father were finally going to get married, I was happy. I remember the day that my father told me that Cookie wanted to push the wedding back from April to February so I could be home for the wedding. I was happy because that showed me that I was already accepted as a part of her family from the beginning. At the time, I knew that there was a lot of time in advance, but I could not wait, because in my line of work you miss out on so many births, deaths, holidays, birthdays, and so on. During that phone conversation, my father asked me to be his best man. I could not get the words out fast enough because I was so stunned that my father wanted me to play a key role in the wedding. I was so honored that my father wanted me to be the best man, I cried tears of joy after I got off the phone with him.

I remember when my aunt Evelyn married my uncle Tim and my father gave her away. In a sense, I felt like I was giving away my father. My father is the most important man in my life. He always took care of me.... My father is my lifesaver, he is my hero, he is my motivation, he is my will to continue on a path on the straight and narrow....

Cookie is one of the nicest people I know. I’ve personally never heard her yell either. I remember when I was younger, I always wanted a brother.... But in the long run, I ended up with two more brothers and a sister. I could not ask for more.... Welcome to the family.

Friday, February 05, 2010

yum! cake!


we just ordered a cake like this for Peter's birthday party!