Friday, April 24, 2009

8 Days and Counting...

"Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long."  
Psalm 25:4-5
"Orphanage Dance Class"
     This living cross-cultural thing is exhausting (ha ha)...  We have slept well here in Kiev, enjoyed a restful two mornings working at 'home', had a nice bowl of oatmeal for breakfast in our flat, experienced fun-filled fellowship (and delicious food) with our friends the Ragains, and we are worn out!  Seems strange.  Mary Ellen pointed out today that you can do 5 or 6 things a day easily at home, but it's about all you can do to accomplish 2 or 3 things here and you're down for the count (ha ha).  Anyways...
     Thursday we did a little, what I'm calling, "survival shopping" in town (Tony 'survived' so we are good :).  Actually, the objective was to purchase a couple things to get us through until getting home (i.e.  basic necessities for the kids, as well as a couple travel activities to hold their attention).  We were able to find two outfits for each child and then back packs today.  We still lack socks and a pair of shoes for each, but hope to take care of those in the coming days... then we'll be ready (that is, ready to clothe them - ha ha).   
     Aside from sweet fellowship with Joel and Mary Ellen there isn't much to report.  We are missing the kids and look forward to being back with them on Monday (Lord willing).  Meanwhile, I'm trying to brainstorm creative activities to keep things fresh during our orphanage visits.  The children seem to do well when we've got some sort of planned activity (like an Easter egg hunt).  Do any of your creative friends have any suggestions?...


Elsie said... the video. Tony always had a child clinging to him didn't he? So sweet. Travel games...Maybe you could make up a list of things they'll see as they travel and they can mark things off as they see them. We used to have "travel bingo" boards that had pictures of things like a stop sign, truck, stop light, tree...etc. Kept my brothers and I busy. Aiden has a book that has a wipe-erase marker that works great for us right now. Here's an example:

But not sure if you'll be able to get ahold of one of those in the Ukraine...but it might trigger some ideas for ya!

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

What I've learned with ours is that "creative play" (ie. make believe) is a new concept for them. If I say we're going outside, they know we are going out and they can play freely. If we stay in, it seems like they are hunting for things to do, kind of like "what should we be doing now?" The games we would play at home don't do to well here. ("Ring around the rosie" isn't that fun if you don't understand :))

You're almost done. Hang tight.

JulieM said...

Here's a few that quickly came to mind:

*buy sidewalk chalk and let them draw outside (if allowed)

*get cheap paper, pencils and crayons and let them look for bugs, birds or other animals to sketch out and color (my kids used to love this)

*buy some cheap watercolor paint and brushes and let them be artists for the day - you only need a cup of clean water and some paper towels handy

I'm not sure what you are able to find there, but these were good time fillers for me when mine were younger. Hope this helps! If not, I'll keep thinking :)


The Metz Family said...

If you can get the materials it may be fun for them to make handprints and footprints. You coul dhave each child do their hands and feet, and make sure to put the date on the page. Then, after they have been home with you a year, you could do it again!

BT and Jessica said...

Get sponges and a small bucket of water and let them use it to paint on any hard top outside- brick, cement, cobble stone, it will work. Brian loves it and you should be able to get sponges there.
Stickers are also really fun if you can find them. We haven't found stickers here, but we have found a few cheap sticker books.

rhonda said...

Bring them some Playdough if you can find it over there. That should keep them entertained for a while. Emily (15) still loves it.


Leslie said...

our girls love memory games (i think you could probably pull it off with just pictures on the cards so the language barrier wouldn't get in the way). you could make them! and with the younger ones, play them face up instead of turned over.

could you make puzzles with them...out of pictures they've created?

the video was so great...neat to be able to see the kids! i'm glad you were patient enough to upload that!!


Kristin said...

There's the back artistry game that requires absolutely nothing. You all sit/stand all in a line. The last person in line draws something on the back of the person in front of them and you pass up to the front. It's sorta like the telephone game, except with art. I imagine that it might help you and them with simple vocabulary - circle, square, smiley face, different letters, etc. You wouldn't all have to do it as a group, you could do it one one one.

katequeenb said...

Seems to me that your little travelers are at just the right age for "the happy bag." When we would take a long trip, I would get lots of little toys and put them in a special bag. About half way through the travel day, and when I could see that boredom was setting in and the kids were getting antsy, I'd let each kid draw something out of the bag. They only got to use the happy bag when they were behaving themselves, so it was an extra incentive. My 3 LOVED this. What was in it? A deck of cards, regular or Uno, mini container of bubbles or playdough, jacks, a yo-yo, a mini Etch-A-Sketch, My Little Pony, Beanie Mini... just whatever I could find at the dollar store or saved from a rummage sale. Your friends who live in Kiev would probably be the best resource on where to look for something like that over there....

For your last few visits, maybe you could teach the kids some rhythm games. My family used to love to play "King Elephant." Each person makes up a motion to show which animal he/she is. Then we'd start the rhythm: tap tap, clap clap, snap snap. On the first snap, the "king" would make his/her own animal motion, then then animal motion of one of the other players. It's then that player's turn to make his/her own sign on the first snap, and then someone else's sign on the 2nd snap, and so on until someone messes up. Then we'd start the rhythm again. Sound confusing? You can make up your own adaptation! You'll have a lot of fun.

Love you bunches!

taterbugs said...

How about working on an online scrapbook (and you are probably already doing this!)? But shutterfly and snapfish both have great sites and templates. You could designate a child each day to help you work on "their page." Maybe get them to help you journal their thoughts, dreams, fears, etc. Tony could occupy the other children while you have one-on-one time with each child. He could teach them how to rap (or something) - ha!

I also thought about maybe a treasure hunt on the playground. Maybe you could give them clues and hide certain things (trinkets, essentials, etc.).

Just a few thoughts! Hope you all are doing well. Can't wait to see you! Much love, Susan

Kachelle W. said...

Hey you guys, congrats on your beautiful family. My name is Kachelle Walker and I am new to the church, well not exactly a member yet, I would like to be. My family is participating in the baby dedication on Sunday. It's really more like a family dedication for us. That's a long story. I've been meaning to introduce myself to you and Tony but really have been a little intimidated to do it. I see you are into volleyball one of my passions. I am a mother of three, Peyton 6, Gabriel 21 months and Emma 5 months so when I found out about your decision about these four gorgeous children I was really touched. I would love to get their sizes and possibly a list of things you still need for your children so we could buy them a gift. By the way they are so adorable and you guys look like born parents. Raising children is a true blessing from God. I'm ranting...I would love to officially meet you and Tony when you guys get back. Maybe we can get together to play some ball or go shopping-I'm sure you will need a good stress relief when you get back home.
Congrats on your family once again. Oh by the way the first time at Temple when I saw and heard Tony speak I thought he was Daughtery. My cousin, Patty Toups, said he gets that a lot. But let me know if there is anything I can do. This blogging stuff is new to me, this is a first.

Kachelle Walker

Kimbell and Mark said...

Thumbwars - no equip required. Also know that game where you hold your hands out - then the other person tries to touch your hands (or slap them!), but you pull our hands out before they do. Can get kind of rough but fun and no equip required. Okay this may sound gross and do it in flat not in orphanage - as workers will think you are terrible parents. Take straws from when you eat out. Then you can put dry paper in ends and see who can shoot the farthest.

Where in Kiev are you - we're staying close to mall near victory square. We're waiting on passport.

Leslie said...


If you have your laptop with you on your next visit, you could let the kids play with Paint (it's in the accessories probably have used it before,but if not: Clickthe Start button/All Programs/Accessories/Paint). It is such fun need for reading...and easy to use! Create a folder on your desktop for each child to save their creations to! You can also take turns making their Paint creations the desktop wallpaper (there is an option for that in the File menu).

Also, please post this comment for Kachelle!




Welcome to Temple! I think this may be the first "online Sunday school invite" I've ever made! So glad to hear you and your family are thinking of joining Temple. If you've not yet found an adult Sunday school class, please email me so I can tell you about ours! Over the years, our Bible fellowship class has made a large church seem very, very small!

Hope to hear from you,

Erin said...

My girls love to string wooden beads, make patterns, sort by colors, and shape, etc.

I am going to make some of these soon... lace and trace cards. I am going to print clip art on carstock, punch holes around it and let them "sew" with a shoe string.

Also, check out