Life in America

When we lived in Ukraine, I kept a blog to stay connected with friends back in the states.  As we moved to different locations, my friends wanted to see what was happening in our lives and blogging was easiest.  Upon arrival, I let go of the blog because I figured we all already know about life here in the states.  So upon request and for my dear friends in Ukraine and Russia, I am continuing with the blog.  =)

Katie is 14!!

The last two weekends we celebrated Katie turning 14 and Matthew, 12!  To celebrate, I took Katie and her two friends shopping and a sleepover.  Gotta love 14.

Matthew had friends out to the park for some intense bball and flag football, followed by an all night sleepover with pizza, x-box and games.  They all had a blast.

Matthew still our athlete!

Matthew still our athlete, loves the spot of goalie.

Guess who is freaking out his mother with jerky stops and near death?

Guess who is freaking out his mother with jerky stops and near death?  Yes, Andrew’s license is just around the corner!  And he has recently applied and landed his first full-time summer job, a life guard at Henry Moses!

Loves to play with his friends!

Loves to play with his friends!

 

my little ballerina

my little ballerina –

So as with all mom’s, what do we talk about?  Our kids =)

I’ll post next week with our future plans.  Stay tuned….

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Those crazy Kerins

Life has taken quite a few unexpected twists and turns for us this summer and now fall.  Last I wrote, we were visiting folks, sharing about the Ukraine and enjoying time with family.  As many of you know, we decided to stay in the states longer.  We are not sure what that means for us now or in the future…..but here is what daily life looks like as we try to become stable here.

We found a house to rent, with great schools.  When I first told the kids we were staying, I asked them if they wanted to go to school or be homeschooled.  Matthew said homeschool, until I described what that meant.  Once he realized that it wasn’t constant couch and x-box, he quickly decided for school.  The first step was enrolling them in school, and helping them get established.  We knew that joining a group, sport or activity would help them get to know kids and feel more community.

The first words out of Matthew's mouth when he heard we were staying, "Can I play football?"

The first words out of Matthew’s mouth when he heard we were staying, “Can I play football?”

Michael joined by default because big brother was in, and LOVES it!

Michael joined by default because big brother was in, and LOVES it!

The two boys are at Fairwood Elementary, 6th and 2nd.  So far both are making friends, enjoying the classes and academically slipped right in!  PTL

The two boys are at Fairwood Elementary, 6th and 2nd. So far both are making friends, enjoying the classes and academically slipped right in! PTL

Katie has begun to Babysitt, help out in Sunday school and getting settled in school.  She so far loves her classes and has been getting sewing lessons with Sue P.  Thanks Sue for investing in her! If you need a sitter, she is GREAT!

Katie has begun to Babysitt, help out in Sunday school and getting settled in school. She so far loves her classes and has been getting sewing lessons with Sue P. Thanks Sue for investing in her!
If you need a sitter, she is GREAT!

Joy is my Joy!  She is loving playing with her cousins.  We are moving into a house just down the street from my brother and his two kids.  She loves it!  Her english speach is developing much nicer, I was getting a bit worried.

Joy is my Joy! She is loving playing with her cousins. We are moving into a house just down the street from my brother and his two kids. She loves it! Her english speach is developing much nicer, I was getting a bit worried.

Andrew (sorry no picture) is enjoying the options available here.  He is playing in band, water polo for the school team and loving the class options.  He wanted to sign up for them all, we couldn’t believe the choices available.  He loves the high school group at church and seems to be adjusting well.

We went through a waiting period with the house we are renting.  But we now have the keys, are painting and cleaning.  Saturday the 19th we move in!

Many people have offered furniture and things, thank you to all who have signed up.  If you are able to bring stuff over on the 19th that would be AWESOME!  My number is 206-718-3334, if you have questions.

I’ll post some pictures when we’re set up.  I think a fitting title is, “Come and See how God is good!”

Down memory lane with college friends, Amy and Julie

Down memory lane with college friends, Amy and Julie,notice I am the only one wet.  The sting rays were out in droves that day, I saw several while swimming.

Amy's daughter Shannon and Michael burying each other in the sand.

Amy’s daughter Shannon and Michael burying each other in the sand.

college tour, Amy (college friend) Gardner and I took our kids to see Biola University.  Trying to expose Andrew to colleges while we're in the states.

college tour, Amy (college friend) Gardner and I took our kids to see Biola University. Trying to expose Andrew to colleges while we’re in the states.

we squeezed in a date night on the beach (for me the theme was beach everyday)

we squeezed in a date night on the beach (for me the theme was beach everyday)

after Huntington Beach we moved on north to the valley, visited family (my grandma)

after Huntington Beach we moved on north to the valley, visited family (my grandma)

hanging with cousins and Uncle Dave and Aunt Jan

hanging with cousins and Uncle Dave and Aunt Jan

visiting Aguora Bible Fellowship

visiting Aguora Bible Fellowship

and of course lots of pool time!  One of the great things about So CA, so many people have pools.  Now the kids wake up and say, "Lets go to the friends house." (we're at a new house each day)  If we get there and they have no pool, Joy tugs on my skirt and says "A different friends' house, with a pool".  I think they are going to have a skewed view of American life, thinking everyone has a pool.

and of course lots of pool time! One of the great things about So CA, so many people have pools. Now the kids wake up and say, “Lets go to the friends house.” (we’re at a new house each day) If we get there and they have no pool, Joy tugs on my skirt and says “A different friends’ house, with a pool”. I think they are going to have a skewed view of American life, thinking everyone has a pool.

We’ve loved seeing everyone, it has been a superb trip.  Currently we are in Northern CA, bay area.

Life on the road

We have been in CA the past few weeks, visiting friends and churches.  Here are some fun shots of good visits with friends.

the road trip...lots of Mickey mouse

the road trip…lots of Mickey mouse

We went to visit one of our churhes in Vista, CA and they gave us tickets to SeaWorld!!

We went to visit one of our churhes in Vista, CA and they gave us tickets to SeaWorld!!

the sharks at SeaWorld

the sharks at SeaWorld

petting sting rays (seaworld), this is my cousin, with Joy in the middle

petting sting rays (seaworld), this is my cousin, with Joy in the middle

I couldn't believe how much Joy and Michael loved the rollar coasters, they weren't scared at all!

I couldn’t believe how much Joy and Michael loved the rollar coasters, they weren’t scared at all!

I'm in the pink with Joy, who LOVED the rides!

I’m in the pink with Joy, who LOVED the rides!

In awe of God's creation

In awe of God’s creation

We had a super fun day together!!  Thank you New Community Church!!

First, we were in Cambria and soaked up the beauty of the beach.  Pretty much that is my favorite place, each meeting somehow revolves around the ocean.  “Let’s get coffee and go to the beach.”

Every time I am back, the salt water flows through my veins again.  I always struggle with leaving CA, I just love the ocean and sun!  As I run in the mornings along the water, do fires at night and watch the sunset over the ocean, it continues to take my breath away.  The majesty and wonder of the water draw me to my Father like nothing else.  The waves heal my heart and fill me with new strength.  It is reallly great to be back, I forgot how great it is here.

Andrew and Michael in Cambria

Andrew and Michael in Cambria

We are in Huntington Beach this next week, if we are in your area and want to see us, give us a call.  My US cell is 206-718-3334.

Back in America

reading books with grandpa and cousins

reading books with grandpa and cousins

We’re back in the states and enjoying every minute.  On the way over, the kids and I were delayed overnight in Paris.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to go downtown, but the airline gave us food vouchers.  You should have seen us spending them.  For breakfast we went to Starbucks and almost bought out the place.  It was like Christmas ordering whatever you want and still having more to spend, super fun!

going to church in Ukrainian dress

going to church in Ukrainian dress

We had a potluck after church, where we shared about our times in Ukraine.  The kids told people they were wearing “veeshavanka”.  The reply was, “willie wonka?”  We all had to chuckle.

loving the food

loving the food

had a family bbq with cousins, aunts and uncles

had a family bbq with cousins, aunts and uncles

Boppa took us out on the boat

Boppa took us out on the boat

It was quite cold....

It was quite cold….

but that didn't stop the boys from wake boarding

but that didn’t stop the boys from wake boarding (Andrew showing us how it is done)

Matthew up on his first try.

Matthew up on his first try.

We go again tomorrow and it should be nice and hot!  Yeah!!  I’ve enjoyed hanging with mom, reconnecting with Val and we are all glad to be back.

Finishing School

graduation

Fifth grade graduation – Matthew received the optimism award. He turns the negative into positive with his funny wit.  Very true, he keeps us all laughing and smiling!

finishing school

finishing elementary school and moving to middle school – the ceremony was followed up with a class picnic.  Super fun way to end!

Katie had a lead role in the school play and did a FANTASTIC job!  We have found her niche, she just blossomed and loved every minute of it! The older kids head into exam week, as I clean up and begin packing.  Just a few days away from leaving. Those is the Seattle area, we will have a potluck on the 24th, 12:45 pm at Highlands Community Church, looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Departures

Gardner and Michael flew out this morning for the states.  The rest of us will finish out the school year of exams, parties and the school play before joining them for a summer in the states.

A sure sign dad left, dominos for dinner…. I love that you can order pizza here and they deliver it to our door!  Very cool!

See some of you soon!