Friday, June 29, 2012

A Week With the Girls

This week has been all about girls camps. We started the week with a group of 9 girls aged 13-16. The last half of the week we've had 13 girls aged 16-18. We've listened to stories and lessons about being a champion with integrity in life and in our relationships. We've played games, made crafts, and watched movies. Rather than try to give a play-by-play of all that's happened here's a bit of the week in pictures:
My team members and I before the week began.

Team and staff before the start of camps.

Celebrating my 29th birthday!


Flower making


Braiding hair

Painting nails

Camp photo with the first group.

Pool party with the first group of girls.

Watching as the games begin with group #2.

Team Albastru (blue)!

Second campfire

This flower was made for me as a gift :)

After playing tug of war over the kiddie pool, the girls decided to go for a "swim."

Just Dance 3 dance party!
Tomorrow is our last day with the second group of girls. We'll have a pool party with them in the afternoon and then they'll head back to their orphanage. Next week we will be starting day camps with some of the kids. We're have opening ceremonies at the orphanages at Voluntari and Periş and I'm excited to see my boys again! Will try and keep you posted about what's happening. I can't believe my time here is already half gone!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Glimpse

Hello from cool, rainy Bucharest, Romania! It's actually nice that it's raining today because this is our day off and it's been so hot over the last week that the rain has been quite refreshing. And it's better to get it done with now before the guys leave to take some of the boys camping next week.

So, what have I been up to? Well, lots of cleaning actually. The ladies who are here now (myself included) have spent two mornings cleaning the transition house from top to bottom in preparation for girls camps that we will have there next week.
Picture of the transition house taken last year (pretty much looks the same).
We spent one afternoon at the baby hospital. There are lots of little babies (under 6 months) there now. In the past we haven't been able to help with ones that little but I guess with the sudden influx they have relaxed their rules. It has been a year since I've been to hospital so it was nice to go back. There is something precious about rocking a baby who nuzzles up to you.

There have also been two afternoons at the orphanage in Periş. That is where the boys I have really connected with in the past live. Two of them heard that I was coming and waited at the gate for me to get there! One of the most touching and precious moments of the trip so far.

The first day that we were there they were having an end of the year celebration with skits and awards. I was so proud of all of my boys for getting at least one award for their academics.
Proud mom moment (my boys are in the white and black shirts).
Afterwards there was a big party and the kids got some presents: a pair of shorts, a shirt, a little backpack/fanny pack thing, a pair of sunglasses, and a radio.
My little man (in the middle) working his radio (he loves music and anything to do with technology).
The second day that we were there was spent playing soccer (badly on my part, perhaps that is something I should work on...) and just loving on some kids. It is so amazing to see how they have changed. For some they are becoming more affectionate after years of never showing any emotion. For others there is better behavior after years of aggression and anger. I can see the small improvements and, to me, they seem like momentous occasions for celebration and yet I know they still have a long way to go. I wish I could be there daily pouring into their lives but that's not what I'm called to right now (for many reasons that I won't get into right now but can share later). For now I will cherish every precious moment and every half smile (even if it is mischievous) I can get.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Good Harvest

Taking a quick moment to relax on the couch with a diet "Dr. K" (Kroger brand Dr. Pepper) and look around at the slowly emptying apartment. Today my mom and I spent 3 or 4 hours packing and moving stuff. I've thrown out 3 bags of trash and taken another bag to Goodwill along with several small boxes of stuff. Tonight I'll finish packing for my trip to Romania (I leave tomorrow night). I already have two suitcases full of ministry materials, now I just have to pack my clothes!

In between the packing and moving craziness I did manage to take two large boxes of blankets out to the shipping company. The Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project (EEROP) collected blankets for orphans in two orphanages, one in Russia and one in Ukraine. We were able to ship all the blankets to the Ukraine orphanage but it took a little longer to get the ones together for the Russian orphanage. We finally got all the blankets and then I had to wait on funding to come in. Then, I got the funding and I needed boxes and Space Bags to pack them in. I was finally ready to ship 40 of them out today so I loaded up my car and headed to the shipping company which is 40 minutes away from my house. I use a shipping company that works exclusively in Russia and several Eastern European countries. I've never had a problem with them and they're cheaper than the post office (the name of the company is MEEST if anyone is interested). Well, today I find out that Russia has changed their laws on shipments. They will insure large packages up to $150 but anything over that you pay for (one of the boxes as just under that limit). Also, if you send multiple packages to one person they treat them all as one shipment and if the total value of all the packages is too high then they will charge you customs fees. In the past they have treated each package as a separate shipment so I could send 15 packages to the same person and as long as each of them was under a certain value there were no customs fees charged. Now if I send 15 packages to one person they add the value of all the packages together and charge customs based on the total value. This presents a problem when you are sending large amounts of supplies like EEROP does. So, now I have to send packages one at a time every two weeks (when the new container comes in) or I have to send the package to the same address but addressed to a different person. It's just another thing to have to overcome.

Recently though I came across a Bible verse that has stuck out in my mind just about every minute of the day. It's Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (NIV). It's all about enduring, sticking with it, no matter what hurdle comes our way. So, yeah, this new law is really inconvenient. You know what though? It doesn't matter, these kids need these blankets and other supplies so if I have to drive an hour and half back and forth every two weeks to make sure they get them, then that's what I'll do. When I started EEROP I knew I was picking up a task that others have had to abandon because of the time and, especially, money involved. However, I also realized that if I didn't do something then these kids may never be reached. And what an amazing blessing has come out of that venture! We've made contacts steadily and now help support 12 orphanages! There are hundreds of people who have lovingly devoted their time and resources to helping these kids and it is making a profound impact on their young lives. The harvest will be ready one day. Will you stick around long enough to see that happen?

You can follow EEROP on Facebook or Twitter for up to date happenings and links to resources for orphan care and adoption.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

International Travel

In exactly one week I will be leaving for Romania. I'm incredibly excited! I miss the kids so much and I love Eastern Europe in the summertime. In fact, for me international travel is summer. After high school graduation and then again after college graduation I traveled to London. Then I went to Moldova in 2008 followed by Peru in the next summer. I took a year off in 2010, was in Romania last summer, and will be there again, of course, this summer. Unfortunately I'm not able to spend all summer at these places but I do spend 10-20 days there and that, for me, constitutes a fairly large chunk of time. And even when most of the trips have been doing missionary work it's the best vacation I could ask for.
Hilltop view in Moldova
One of the cool things about this upcoming trip is that I will be flying through London and I'll have an almost 8 hour layover. Since I haven't been to London in 7 years I'm thinking I should try and make it out to see some sights. One of my favorite places in all the city is Westminster Abbey and I (if my memory serves me correctly) there is a tube stop right there at the church.
Westminster Abbey
For this trip I will be bringing my laptop (which I usually leave at home) so I will hopefully be uploading pictures daily and blogging at least once or twice. Be sure to follow me on my journey!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I'm feeling quite relaxed today. It actually started yesterday after work. I'm not sure I did anything terribly productive after I came home. It was so nice! I knit. I read some blogs. I watched a movie (500 Days of Summer) with some friends. And today has been equally as nice. I slept in. I made some breakfast. I did some work on assignments for school. I took pictures of donations to EEROP. I cleaned the cat box. I ate Doritos (nacho cheese). I'll probably make another cup of coffee for myself before I leave to run errands and go to dinner for my brother's birthday. Then I'll come home. Finish up school work. Probably knit some more. Go to bed. It's awesome! I'm hoping it's not the calm before the storm but I just feel really peaceful and relaxed, even when I look ahead to all the things I have coming up. Next week is my last week of work and my last week of school for this quarter. Then I have a few days off to pack and move more of my apartment and I leave for Romania on the 19th. Even with the final stages of the move (and still lots to do) upon me and the packing and logistics involved with a 2 and 1/2 week trip out of country and a final paper looming, I'm still feeling fine. And I'm so thankful that it's peace and not mental breakdown. Though, I think I got that out of the way a few weeks ago. I must be feeling in control because I started another knitting project the other night.
Sleeve #1
It's the first sleeve of a sideways knit sweater (Cuff-to-Cuff Pullover by Jennifer Hagan). I really felt the urge to start something charity related so this satisfies my appetite for now. One of the ways that I gauge whether life is on track for me is whether I'm knitting anything and what I'm knitting. If I'm working on something I enjoy then life is good. If I'm knitting something that I don't really love then I'm hanging in there but I'm probably pretty stressed. If I'm not knitting then just look out, the meltdown is coming. So, knitting on this sleeve actually proves that, in the midst of chaos, peace resides. Here's to hoping this relaxation follows me well into the next week!

P.S. I have not made up my mind entirely about which direction I want to take this blog in. I will probably be sharing more about life in general. As for moving the blog, changing the title, etc. I'm still not sure what to do but I appreciate everyone's feedback!

Project count up:
Charity: 7 completed, 1 one the needles
Self: 0
Family and friends: 1 on the needles, 5 completed (excluding some washcloths for my mom)

Monday, June 4, 2012


So, I have a confession to make: part of the reason why I have been so neglectful of this blog is that, lately, I don't know what to do with it. I mean, this blog was started to talk about knitting. And then it became closely tied with my brand name and business. And now...I still knit (though not as much as I would like to) and the business is still there (for now) but I haven't dyed in ages and honestly, with the move and school and internship and trying to find a new part time job, I don't know when or if I will get back into dyeing again. The store is still there and will be for at least the next year (while it's registered as an LLC). After that, I can't really say. I love to dye but I don't have the time or money to invest into building a business. I love to go to shows but, again, time and money that right now, I just don't have. Maybe in the next few years I'll settle into a routine and I can begin incorporating more dye time into my schedule. But that's a big maybe. Especially if I decide to get my doctorate or to start counseling full time. But I still want to keep the blog. I process by writing. I keep journals and try to write in them every day. I want to share the cool stuff I come across and digest what's happening in my life and the world. All that to say, I'm wondering what direction to move this blog in. There will still be some knitting but I also want to talk about psychology, orphan care, adoption, my grumpy cat, moving...let you into my life a little more. I keep this blog here at this address? Do I start a new blog? Do I move everything to a different site? Do I just rename this blog (is that even possible?)? I appreciate all who have stuck with me over the last few sparsely blogged months. Any feedback is welcomed and appreciated! Hopefully I will get back into the blogging thing soon because I really do like to do it :)