Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I bought Csoki as a tiny puppy during my first year in Sarospatak, Hungary. I chose the rare brown Puli (Hungarian sheep-herding breed) because my best friend, Lois Craven, had one and raved about what good pets they make. I was never disappointed!
Csoki means "chocolate" in Hungarian. She was a very good companion throughout my three years in Sarospatak. When George entered my life, Csoki loved him at once and it wasn't long before it became obvious that Csoki preferred him over me.
Csoki was incredibly smart. When we had Abigail, she knew, even without us telling her, to walk around the baby blanket on the floor. She knew what rooms she was allowed to enter and which she was not. Her only fault, if I could say that, was how much she loved to inform everyone who entered the apartment building that she was there. She would bark at any little noise. In her later years this became less and less of a problem because she became deaf.
She also went blind.
But she was happy and content and a great friend up until the end.
Today we buried her in our friends' field and planted a blue spruce over the grave. The children have done their share of crying and have asked lots of questions about life and death. As hard as it is, we feel that it was appropriate to introduce the children to death in this way. We also have had the opportunity to talk to them about eternal life and what an incredible hope God has given us through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
But tonight we're all sad. The little carpet she used to lie on is empty. Our little chocolate is no longer here.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
Although we've lived overseas for 15 years, George and I are the most comfortable with our surroundings when we are in the States. For our children, however, it's the other way around. Ukraine is home. It is more familiar and predictable than anywhere else. This results in some funny moments when it becomes so plain to us that we are raising our kids overseas. The things that they find normal and the things that they find strange are opposite of what we consider normal or strange. Here is a list of our top 10 examples:
10. Consider ice in a beverage a novelty
9. Have trouble opening doors with a round door handle
8. Celebrate Christmas in January
7. Ask questions such as, “Which castle will my husband propose to me at?”
6. Captivated by drinking fountains
5. Enjoy potato chips in the flavors of caviar and crab
4. Pretend play “border crossing”
3. Can sing “Lord I lift your name on high” in Russian but not in English
2. Confusion over boxes along U.S. streets – answer: mailboxes
1. Utter surprise upon arriving at Chicago airport that “everyone talks like we do.”