Monday in the ‘bury

On Monday morning we woke up to snow! (Not new for us who recently arrived from Kyiv). But fun for Salisbury. Jeanne dressed Milan in multiple layers — including boots that make it a bit difficult for Milan to walk. Jeanne, on the other hand, toting her own heater for at least the next few weeks, tossed on a sweater and flip flops to sit on the step while Milan played. Had to do this early because the snow wasn’t going to be around for long.

Dasha had an appointment that morning, but dropped Jamie and Lydian off with us so that we could grab those few precious moments with them before we were leaving on Tuesday morning. It is still hard for us to believe that our children have children. I mean they really do have children.

There we were in Jeanne’s kitchen. She was busily putting dishes in the dishwasher and Jamie was feeding Lydian. And Milan wanted to stand in his favorite chair to watch his mommy. He also thought it might be fun to force Uncle Jamie out of the chair…subtly, of course. Smart boy.

Jeanne, Milan and I scooted in and out of Town’s End hair salon so Kathy could give me a trim that would last through our month of travel. Hopefully. Returned home to pack/repack the few things that we had removed from our suitcases…and also to put the finishing touches on a devotional that I would be presenting later that evening.

Jim and Milan enjoyed another book together — complete with snacks. Sometimes I wish that I DIDN’T take so many pictures because it is a bit distracting for the kiddos, but then on the other hand I am so thankful for the record of our stay!

That evening was another special time for us in the life of our church there. A fabulous committee of ladies organizes baby showers for the expectant moms in the congregation…Jeanne is on the committee, but had the night off. This night was HER night to be spoiled. And spoiled they did! Thanks to Vira, Charlotte, Anna, and Trish: the punch was actually tasty (not always so, as you know!); the sheet cake was flavorful (how long has it been since we’ve had a bakery cake?!); and she was literally SHOWERED with gifts. This church body is so creative…I was speechless at the generosity and the thought that went into each gift. A handmade quilt?! Personalized onesie?

When the party ended, talk about spoiled, Vira even pulled up the van and loaded it with Jeanne’s gifts, balloons…and the rest of the cake. All we had to do was drive home. And once THERE, Jim helped bring all of the packages in.

48 hours. My heart is full. I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God. His faithfulness through the generations. His love for my family. His care for the details of life.

Jeanne will be taking us to the airport early in the morning. Better get a bit of shut-eye.

Sweet dreams.

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Sunday in the ‘bury

GRAMMY ALERT!

Ahhh. A great night’s sleep at the Kotiash home. An advantage to staying up the entire night the night BEFORE you travel is that you are actually ready to sleep at a normal hour when you arrive. And you sleep for a full night. Yes!

Jim got a little Poppy time with Milan — guys doing their paperwork at the table — before church and then we all headed to Providence Presbyterian to worship our Lord. This particular Sunday service welcomed new members and then installed deacons. All had served as deacons earlier in our church, except for one.

He was ordained and prayed for by Pastor Jason Shelton. A mighty prayer. Asking a mighty God to be with the newest deacon at church, at home and at work. He prayed for his family — his sweet wife and young son. He prayed that he would continue to be a man of prayer, that he would always seek His face and wisdom. That he would be able to withstand the onslaught of opposition that would come his way from time to time.

Jim is an elder himself and was invited to join the active elders in the church as they agreed with Jason’s prayer.

As they prayed for our son, Jamie. What a thrill to be part of such a ceremony/service. My heart was bursting with love for this young man.

After church, Anna took Jim and me over to Jamie and Dasha’s apartment…we wanted to get as much time with them as we could and the Kotiash clan really needed for Milan to sleep (not distracted by doting grandparents). The Kotiash tradition is to talk to Ukrainian relatives on Sundays, so it was a good time for us to be elsewhere.

Anyway, Dasha had prepared a delicious soup and we were able to all sit around the table together and have a relaxed meal before Lydian woke up from his nap. Anna retired to Lydian’s room to study for an upcoming exam, Jamie turned on the NBA, Dasha busied herself in the kitchen making a cake for a Hymn Sing at church later that evening, and WE had some wonderful Lydian time.

I mean, check out this face! You don’t have to be the grandmother to fall in love with him. He’s at that wonderful stage right now — he stays where you put him. We all know those days are numbered, but it’s pretty great at the moment.

He recently learned how to drink using a straw, like his older cousin Milan, and is so pleased with himself. Somehow the concept of tipping a head back to drink from a sippy cup has escaped both of our grandsons. Not a bad thing, really. If you tip back far enough…well, you just fall over backwards!

We all returned to church for the Hymn Sing followed by soup and sandwiches. And then rode home with Jeanne and Kolya. Snow/slush was beginning to fall — that can create panic in Salisbury, by the way — and we wondered what we would find in the morning.

The cold could not chill our hearts warmed by our time with family.

Twenty-four hours in country. Time for bed.

Cuteness personified

Grammy alert. Fair warning. Grammy alert.

Up and at ’em early in Salisbury on this hot and muggy Wednesday. I have a hair appointment at 9:00, but first we need to make a visit to meet the newest little Peipon!

I am afraid that Milan has picked up some of his Grammy’s traits, particularly not wanting to miss anything…even if exhausted. The little cutie was full of yawns, but would not settle down for a much-needed nap until Grammy and Poppy had left the scene.

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(Apparently he has become a tour de France fan, so Aunt Anna provided him with the proper attire. What a great aunt!)

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And then we were off to meet 2-month-old Lydian for the very first time. Oh, my goodness. He is the same age that Milan was when we left him last fall…the snuggly cuddly stage. His Poppy snagged him for a kiss…

20110721-083548.jpg…I gave my first squeeze…

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…and we took a picture of James John, Lydian James and James Cooper. Three generations of Peipons. Priceless.

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Jeanne and Milan picked me up to head to Town’s End for a quick trim, and Jamie retrieved me from there for a little more Lydian time. (Jeanne and Milan were off to a morning Bible study.)

It was fun to get some quiet relaxed time with Jamie, Dasha and her mother…munching on some delicious homemade Ukrainian delights. But, I must admit, I was in my own little world with a precious baby on my shoulder. Ahhhh.

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Next step? Return to the Kotiash abode and pray for Milan to nap. His routine has been altered a bit and the adjustment shows up as crankiness. Just like in the rest of us.

Turns out that he finally fell asleep…not long before we were supposed to help Jeanne with VBS preparations at church. I stayed home with the sleeping angel. Tough duty but someone had to do it. A Grammy dream come true.

(Cancelled blueberry picking for Thursday morning…we all need an unstructured morning so that Milan can sleep before the trek to Ohio tonight!!)

2011 model

GRAMMY ALERT!

All you grandmothers out there know what an incredible experience it is to be one! Who could ever prepare you for the thrill of seeing your own daughter become a mother or your own son become a father? It’s simply amazing.

We have been blessed with two grandsons in the last few months…and received a picture today of the 2011 model.

Pretty darn cute, eh? I’m beginning to see a little of Jamie in him, but he sure seems to be a good blend of Jamie and Dasha.

So looking forward to meeting this little character next month!

Lydian James Peipon

Born May 31 at 9:21 p.m.
7 pounds, 11 ounces
20.6 inches
Quoting the parents: Mother and baby are happy, beautiful, healthy, and doing very well. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Jamie and Dasha

Cry Me a River

Our home church hosted a coffee house last night…multi-talented musicians turned out teaming with each other in new combinations. Megan Garrity sang this rendition of Cry Me a River with her husband Jimmy on the guitar and our son Jamie on the vibes.

Happy 5th Anniversary

Hard to believe that it’s really been five years since Jamie and Dasha said ‘I do!’ Five years ago, there was not a distinct smell of smoke in the air. The temperature was warm, but much more bearable than today. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding in a park in Dasha’s childhood neighborhood. They honeymooned in Crimea.

Now they’re here visiting for a couple of weeks, but have been living in Boston for over a year. Looking forward to a willage celebration tonight with relatives and friends.

We love you, Jamie and Dasha. And we wish you many more happy wedding anniversaries. May God continue to grow you closer and closer to Him which will also draw you closer to each other.

And we also hope to share some more Cape Cod moments with you…

On the Cape...Jamie and Dasha

Album debut

How exciting to receive this notice from Jamie! He and three other musicians who perform as the James Peipon Quartet are hoping to produce their first album. And you can help!

This message speaks for itself:

Click here to learn about this new project.

(And, just for the record, kickstarter.com is most likely a great location for many of you artistic talents out there! Take a look!)

Please spread the word to your friends…the window is only 30 days!

Music snippets

Jamie sent me a couple of snippets of the James Peipon Quartet. Wish they were video, but I’m happy to get what I can get!!

The first one is entitled Montreux:

And the second one is Ups and Downs:

Jamie is the composer and is on the vibraphone. Or should I just say vibes?

Proud of him.

Enjoy these little snippets. More to come. Maybe full length??

Chatham light

This ornament always makes me smile. And especially this year. Kolya and Dasha will be experiencing their first Christmas in America — and they’ll be in Chatham! Does it get any better? Jamie and Dasha will be there for several days, I think. And Jeanne and Kolya will be driving up in time for Christmas Eve and then will enjoy the weekend there.

My sister and her husband live just a mile from the house where they will be. And Jim’s brother will be visiting them from Martha’s Vineyard on the day after Christmas. Little reunion.

We, on the other hand, will be spending our first Christmas in Kathmandu with Anna!