Friday, November 30, 2012

Graffiti in Georgia

Georgia has very little graffiti, maybe it's the cost of the paint?  They do love to write in English, they think it is cool to do so.


The lights had been flickering a little more than usual - but we really didn't worry about it - "We're in Georgia!"  So I was home alone on a Sunday night when the electricity turns off.  No problem - I have candles.  Luckily it was not a cold night.  E. Reese checked to make sure we had paid our bill. We were surprised that it was not on in the morning and finally around 11 we called our landlord.   The landlord brought an electrician who checked all the lines and found the problem.  10 minutes later we were back in business!  This is the electrical wiring he fixed outside our apartment door - we have seen much worse!

Pres. Lawrence is the President of Europe East Area.  He came to visit our mission and spent a day in Georgia.  They are from Fresno, CA and I have been to their home there!  We had a lovely dinner with them, the Carters and the Pratts and then a fireside with the branch.
 The next day was spent with the missionaries in a zone conference.  Sis. Lawrence talked about the house of Israel - she is very inspiring and informative.

Halloween in November

Sister Mzia learned about Halloween many years ago from the missionaries.  When she became Primary President and I was her councilor, she wanted to have a Halloween party for the kids.  Well, we were too late for October 31 - but the kids don't know when Halloween is - so we had our party in November!  I was asked to do the games and crafts.  I had so much fun getting ready for this party and we had a great time.  We started with making plastic plate ghosts.  E. Reese did the lovely artwork!
 Then a game of pin the nose on the pumpkin.
 I love the donut on a string game but had to substitute cookies because they don't have donuts here!

 We played a cupcake walk game to music and then we just had fun doing FREEZE dancing!  I had the Monster Mash song taped - it was perfect.
 Lots of games of Halloween Bingo

 I had taken about 10 pieces of 12 foot yarn and had it going all around the room.  It went under and over and through chairs and tables.  It was our spiderweb.  Each child took one end of a string and had to wind it back up - going over and under and through!
 We finished with some cute witches - I think the moms had more fun with this one!

When we were done with the fun upstairs, Sis Pratt and Mzia had soup and sandwiches for dinner downstairs.  Each child also got a goodie bag full of candy.  It was a great party!

Turkish Bath Falls

When we lived in Ortachella we often went by the Turkish baths.  E.Reese walked by them most mornings on his walks.  They were doing some construction behind them that he would investigate.   So here is the finished product that we went to visit on one of our trips into Tbilisi.  There is a lovely walkway going beside the baths and behind some homes leading to the falls.

 This shows one of the bridges and a circular stairway going up to the shops.  Georgians like to get out and socialize on nice evenings.  I think this will become a favorite spot.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Alexandria is our English speaking investigator here in Rustavi.  We really enjoy spending time with her.  Last month she turned 30 and we had a small birthday party for her.  I made cupcakes and the missionaries brought the balloons!

Alexandria asked the missionaries what an American pie was and how it was made.  So we invited her over one evening.  E. Reese taught her how to make the pie crust and I showed her how to make the filling.  Then we put it in the oven, which as you remember takes careful monitoring!

 This is what we were watching!
 Luckily it turned out beautiful - we were so proud!
 With a little ice cream - it tasted delicious!
Alexandria offered to show us around the local Bazaar.  She took us up and down every isle and all around. There was every item imaginable there - clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff, bedding, electrical, and lots of produce and food.
 This was the best area to get produce - she picked potatoes out of the back of the truck!  We found a truck full of pumpkins and got a great one.

How thick do you want your steak?  This is how they butcher their meat in Georgia - even at the grocery store.

 We are waiting for the bus to take us back home after a productive day at the Istanbul Bazaar.

Relief Society Activity

We met at the Didube metro stop - it was fun visiting while we waited for everyone to arrive.  I like this stop - it is one of the few that are above ground.
Then we all loaded on 1 marshutka - we bought all the seats so that we had our own private driver! (and really we only had 2 or 3 empty seats - at a lari each - no problem!)

 We went to the old church in Mtskheta and then walked over to another old church.

On the way we saw this shop advertising what kind of meat it sold!

 Here we are on the grounds of the second church.  It was interesting to see them go through the church - this was the religion that most were raised in and they still had tender feelings for the traditions of their fathers.  Of course we finished the day at the Lobio Restaurant with lots of yummy Georgian food.  I love these wonderful women!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

comfort food

It's the little things that keep us going here in Georgia!
When we were in Yerevan, I found this box of Lucky Charms at the store.  I carried it around for awhile - trying to decide if it was worth $7.50.  That's a lot to pay for a box of cereal!  I am so glad I did - it just makes me happy to be able to eat a bowl full of yummy cereal!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Pres and Sis. Carter came to Tbilisi to welcome Iza home.  They had room in their car to take us back with them and so we planned a senior couples outing!  We left Georgia and went to Yerevan Armenia.
The ride was beautiful!  We saw lots of great scenery.  Here is a beautiful 1000 year old bridge.
What a bonus to see this beautiful rainbow!
We stopped to get a little spending money - hmmmm - I think 30,000 ought to last us awhile!
You know on trips like this it really is all about the food!
 YES - creme brulee for dessert!
We are always trying to see who has the best 'stuff' - Georgia or Armenia.  We have McDonald's and that puts us way ahead - put they just got a Cinnibun store - I think they're catching up!  (We did bring 2 Big Macs with us for Elder Eyre!)
 We were able to stay both nights in the Mission Home.  The Carters are wonderful Hosts.  The first morning we were able to see Mt. Ararat from our balcony.  It is usually covered in clouds.  Elder Reese did have to climb a ladder and hang out to get this shot!

Our first day out we drove about an hour away to the Geghard Monastery.  It is at the end of a canyon and was carved out of a huge rock.  They started with a hole in the top and carved down.  It was amazing with some great carvings on the walls too!

Then we went to the Garni Temple that was first built in 100 AD - it was destroyed and then restored.

We spent the afternoon at the mission home with all the senior missionaries talking about missionary work!  It is always great to get together and share stories and ideas.  They are an amazing group of people!
 That night we hung up the painting of red flowers that Alex had painted.  It was hung in the upstairs red kitchen and we all wore red in honor of the occasion!
 The next day we met in the mission office to see where all the serious work gets done!  Then we headed out for some local sights.  We started at the Armenian Genocide monument and museum.  What a sad history.  People come and place flowers around the eternal flame - very somber.

 To lighten the mood - Elder Reese and Elder Eyre were entertaining us with Up in the Air Jr. Birdman! 
 We visited a fort that was being excavated and had a great view of the city.
 Our last meal together was cooked by a member who works at a restaurant.  Here he is taking our dinner our of an oven in the ground - it was yummy!
We took the midnight train to Georgia and got home just in time to shower and go to church.  We really had a great time.  Thank you Armenia Senior Couples!!!

Sister Iza

Sister Iza came home from her mission in Scotland/Ireland.  We helped her leave on her mission 18 months ago - so this was a real treat to be here when she got home!
She was dressed in a Scottish kilt and looked great.  Her Mom and Dad were so excited to see her! 
The next day she reported on her mission and was released.  She is one of the happiest people I know.  It is always fun to be with her.  She will be a great addition to the Branch.