Friday, January 27, 2017

Around Sofia

This former mosque now holds the antiquities museum.  It is a small but very nice collection, and I enjoyed it.  

This was the view down the street where we stayed in an apartment for both trips.  That coral-colored building was a restaurant.  (And like all of the places we ate in Bulgaria, it was good!)

Nathaniel took this picture on our first night in Bulgaria.  (It's easy to remember when, because I always wear my glasses when I fly - so I can sleep on the plane!)  We both enjoy eating outdoors, so we had our first dinner in Bulgaria at a little roadside restaurant.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ancient Bulgaria

I thought I'd post a few more Bulgarian pictures.  These are all in Sofia, because that is the only city I've visited in Bulgaria, but there are tons of ruins and historic sites throughout the country.
This is the remains of the ancient Roman city of Serdica.  This is under the current city.  

This is the Church of St Petka of the Saddlers.  It was built in the Middle Ages.  It is still in use, and there were church services going on when we were there (both times), so I didn't go into the sanctuary, but it is a very interesting building right in the middle of Sofia.

And here is my little guy, in my favorite picture of him at the orphanage.  He was so little!  

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Learning letters is very difficult for Gyunay.  He has known the letter "G" for some time, and he does recognize his name, but other letters are quite hard.  Lately, I've noticed that he is making progress, and he recognizes some letters and numbers (but only when he points them out, never when you ask "What letter is this?").  Today, he yelled, "Look, Mommy, I make T!"
And he did!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review - The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

I recently finished the excellent historical novel, The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green.  This story covers the little-known period of the French founding New Orleans.  The history is fascinating and often horrific, and author Green tells this story through the character of Julianne.  Julianne's personal story is filled with tragedy, and yet her character shows great perseverance.  The author weaves historical details into the text, as well as the difficulties early colonists faced.  She does not shy away from difficult facts, including how brutal life in a new colony could be.  Native American characters are treated with respect and realism.  The multi-faceted issues of the day and how they effected regular people are integral to the story, and the author does a fine job of keeping the plot moving with plenty of action. This book has plenty of heartache and violence, but Julianne learns to cope and even to bloom in spite of her travails.  Her compassion and deepening realization of forgiveness and grace are encouraging.  Overall, this book is very well-written, and I recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction.

I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my review, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sofia, Bulgaria

It has occurred to me that I never really posted any pictures of Bulgaria.  Here is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral:

The view from down the street

And just to remind you of how things were with meeting Gyunay at this time, in October 2014, during our first visits it was much easier for him to look at us in the mirror rather than in the face:

After a couple of visits, he became more comfortable with us, but at first he was hesitant.  This picture was taken in the room where families are allowed to visit with their kids.

This last picture is just a building on a corner in Sofia that I liked.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Today it's about 8 degrees, and Gyunay really wanted to play in the snow, so:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Seed Dreams

I've been spending a lot of time looking through gardening catalogs and dreaming of seeds.  Sounds strange, I know, but seeing the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog appear in the mail makes me almost giddy.  I circle and underline, and make lists.  Then I go over the seeds I already have, and make lists of what I'd like to grow.  These "wish lists" always grow, and I end up buying a few new things that I hadn't considered growing previously.  This year, I'm going to try some pak choy, for example.
Random cute photo of my kids that has nothing to do with gardening

The kids are actually getting excited about their little 4 square plots each.  They've each picked out their crops:
Elijah - Dragon's Egg cucumbers, carrots, green cabbage, and lima beans
Malachi - Golden Crescent beans, green onions, green cabbage, and carrots
Lydia - cantaloupe, grey zucchini, marigolds, and sunberries
Gyunay - Golden Crescent beans, broccoli, sunberries, and peas

I'm really thrilled with their choices, and I hope they will be inspired to eat more veggies.  The first choice in each child's list will be on a trellis, so those can grow vertically.  They are eager to build the square foot garden, so we will be getting started on the actual building soon.  Gyunay was holding out his hand for his seeds - he wanted to get planting right away!  Of course, there is three inches of snow on the ground right now, so the only things we are actively growing right now are mostly carrots and radishes in the playroom.  I do have a tray of lettuce, too, and a few scraggly peas.