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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Practicing a Grateful Spirit

Winter is rapidly approaching and we decide to change the heating system. I did mention doing it last summer, but...... The man who is installing it said we would be at least 4 days without heat. We've been two days so far and all radiators are in but the kitchen. No pipes are run to them as yet. We are upgrading from an old Soviet era dinosaur to a French/German model that is waaayyy more economical and will also heat our water. That means no more hot water tank that ran all the time. Jeff thinks it will pay out in as little as 5 years. Plus we will eventually have an indoor thermostat so I don't have to go to the cold garage at 2 a.m. to regulate the temperature. Am I grateful? Yes, thank you Lord for your provision. Did we ever adapt to the old system after central heat in America? Yes, the the beauty of having to do without something or difficulties is that when they are overcome, they make you so grateful. Try heating with wood and coal as we did our first three years. We had the experience of our great grandparents. That made us so grateful for any gas heat. Now after 15 years in Ukraine we will be up to western standards in our heating system. Thank you Lord for small steps and large, for your wonderful care for us. Help me to remember you are working in my soul and character each time we have troubles. May the difficulties bring me a grateful spirit. Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Last Bud of Summer

I'm waiting, but I don't think we have enough warmth for this to open. It's this time of year when I rather mourn the passing of summer, but this year I am trying to change my mindset by planning winter things that I will have to look forward to besides the cold and the snow. This year I will spend more time in artistic endeavors besides, of course, the usual church and ministry. I am thinking of starting a new craft class on Saturdays. Please pray for me as I seek the Lord's leading in just how he'd have me proceed this winter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fleeting Fall

Wishing you a Happy Autumn as we race into winter. Those who still have pretty leaves, take time to enjoy them. They won't be here for long. Though we've already had a slight freeze, we still have quite a bit of color and some pleasant days. These two cards were done the top by me, Coleen and the bottom by Leah for a swap on Handmade Mini-Books group that you can see here if you want to check it out: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mini-books/
Have a good week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Circle Journal

This is the page I did for a circle journal that went literally around the world, each participant decorating a page based on a literary character. I chose Anna Karenena written by Leo Tolstoy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Felt Card Case

Something I made recently while relaxing with a movie one night. It is just a sample of some of the things we have on Vintage Terrace, our new little online shop to raise support for missions in Ukraine. You can check it out by looking for the fan page on the right and the pink celtic heart (I am Irish you know....Coleen?).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Little Girls and Art

This is a cute vid I found on the internet. Just a delightful example of how we need to encourage children in the arts and self-expression. The lady who did it is an artist herself.

little girls changing the world from mccabe russell on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Smile Cards" for Ukraine

Because several of you have made "Smile Cards," I was once again able to talk to a pastor here and explain our desire to give these cards to the sick, shut-ins, prisoners and invalid children. Caring people in America and even Canada have wanted to contribute to this project. The thing that was exciting to me with this particular encounter is the moment when I saw the light bulb come on in the pastor's face. He said, "We could have our Sunday school children make these right here." I was so pleased, he saw another ministry opportunity and the kids could be a part of it. Thank you for all of you who have helped with this. If anyone else would like to make cards, even single sided, but leave one side blank, just mail to us here in Ukraine. Coleen Franks, 8a Pushkin, Bucha, Kyiv.ob., 08293 Ukraine.
L-R: Jeff Franks, Nick Dikterenko (the pastor),wife Lena and the short one is me, Coleen

Lovely Paper Flowers

And it's a man doing it. Wow~~check it out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting my Posts

Did you know that you can get a notice every time I write something on the blog? Just look down the right side for the FEEDJIT gadget and you can get notice in your email box so you don't have to go looking for this site. Then you can read it there in your inbox or go to the side from the notice. Also, if you go down further you can be a follower and I'd love it if you did both because then as a follower I can see your icon and know who you are. Hope you join me in these ways.


Thought some of you might enjoy this.

Way Too Familiar for Some of Us

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2010 Life Path Challenge

We are about to soon turn the calendar over to a double digit,2010. No doubt the year will be historical in many ways, both nationally, worldwide and for each of us personally. Therefore, I am developing an idea that I think some of you might enjoy playing along with. It is a challenge to do a weekly question next year. This question can be interpreted in a number of ways. You can simply write about it or you can do a piece of artwork that represents the question. It is wide open as to how you interpret this challenge. The idea is to get you thinking and delving into questions of life that will bring the end of 2010 to a more satisfying conclusion and give you an opportunity to develop more creatively(if you want to) in the area of art, writing, poetry or ???. It will be totally personal and answers need not be shared with anyone though I envision us having a group Flickr site to post any artwork we do so we can share with one another. If you like this idea or would like to suggest a question, just post a comment below by hitting the "comment" button. Then stay in touch to see how this all develops. Should be fun.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bucha, Ukraine Summer Camp Video

I am so excited that I just got hold of this video of our kid's camp to share with you. It was done by one of our talented church members, Edward Malashkin. I had left the church early today and then felt the urge to return so I could give out some books. It was then that I had a conversation with Edward and found out the video was on YouTube. I'm sure that was the real reason the Lord brought me back to the church. Please pray about the possibility of the church having it's own website (another topic we touched on). We are always grateful for your willingness to hold us and the church up in prayer.
Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej3rcb71n2Q

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I know you haven't seen much of me lately on here, but there has been so many exciting things going on that it's just hard to juggle it all. Tomorrow will be our 4th session of Sunday school(SS) . We are doing things a bit different this year. Each year SS has been rather demanding for my team and I. Therefore we are making changes. Actually, it started last year with all the older classes scrapbooking their SS year. This year they are already underway with their new books. Last week we scrapped in the pastor (and wife) along with the picture of the church. Now, what we are doing differently this year in the younger groups is supplying them with crafts for them to do instead of us coming in. Of course, that takes a lot of preplanning so we shall soon see which is the easier method. Since my team goes up and down with who helps, the new system should work better for the teachers since they will be more in control of when they do crafts whether we are there or not. I would certainly appreciate your prayers for my wisdom in how this all goes this year.

The other projects are a new website, new endeavor, being creative, a November women's conference (with prayer scrapbook) and much more. I will share more of it here as I can in the near future. May your day be bright and beautiful, filled with His joy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ukrainian Wildlife

My next door neighbor shot this little red squirrel that lives in one of her pine trees. She was telling me how he looks down and watches her gardening. I thought it might be interesting for you to see what a Ukrainian red squirrel looks like as opposed to our gray squirrels. The other thing which you can't see very well here is that they have long fuzzy ears.

What is also interesting about this...and why my neighbor, Ira, would even take such pictures, is that it is pretty rare that we see them. It is my understanding that, since the time of the Great Famine here (1930's), these little critters were hunted as a form of sustenance. And not just squirrels. There is very little wildlife to be seen. We live in a lovely pine forest and only once in 12 years have I seen a rabbit. Maybe twice in that time have I seen a fox. So, I thought you'd enjoy seeing the lovely little critter.

New Technology

Introducing Snap Shots from Snap.com

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.
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