2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 13,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

New Mailing Address

Please do not send anything to our old address.  Today, Bogdan found a Christmas card ripped open.  Looks like someone was looking for money in Christmas cards. We don’t know how many cards were sent, but we received only one. So here is our new address:

Str. Zaharesti 310

Sat Liteni

Com. Moara

Jud. Suceava


Please let us know if you send any packages.  We will still have to go into the city to pick up packages and go through customs with them.  We love getting mail and hearing from you.

Christmas Program

Our Christmas program was scheduled for Dec. 16, but do to a snow storm which dumped so much snow I couldn’t get much past the drive way, and chicken pox in the village, we rescheduled it for Dec. 22. We still had a bunch of kids not able to come because of chicken pox and had to send another dozen home because they showed up with chicken pox (we gave them Christmas shoe boxes and sent them on their way).  But our program was still great.

The choir and Pastor Tibi from Diakonia made their annual visit and we really enjoyed it. The play was wonderful.  It was about a granny telling her grandchildren about the best gift ever.  My AMAZING mom made all the costumes!  The kids had never had such nice costumes.  I had one shephard boy would had on his tunic and when ever, I turned around he had another sash or even a cape on.  It would have been funnier, if it hadn’t been so crazy with so many kids. Thank you Mom for the great costumes. I won’t let mice have babies in these costumes!

This year because of the date change, only Ana was able to come, the rest of the volunteers had already left town for Christmas, had to work, or had other plans.  Ana didn’t have a ride to the program so she wasn’t able to come until the choir came. But not to fear. The kids and I talked and they were so well behaved that we were able to get the rehearsal and all the preparations done.  The teens totally stepped up and they arranged all the Christmas packages and helped pass them out. I couldn’t have done this a couple of years ago, but its amazing to see how the teens have grown and matured.  I have loved watching them grow up and become responsible! We had a blast passing out the boxes.  The children would be called up and gave their ticket to Maria. Then they would come to me. I would shot out “little boy” or “older girl” and the teens would find a good box for them.  When some of the poorer kids came up, I would call out: “get me a big heavy box!” Everyone went away happy.

Our sponsored kids loved getting their boxes! They love seeing their names on the box.  Thank you to everyone who made Christmas box.  The kids love getting their gifts and for most of them, its the only gift they receive at Christmas.

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Giving Christmas Boxes

I love handing out Christmas boxes! Its so much fun to see the children’s faces.  Last night, gathered the kids from Diakonia and some of there younger siblings.  Using a small Nativity set my grandmother gave me, I guiding them, the children told the Christmas Story. After that the kids sang some carols and we had some cake.  Then it was time for Christmas shoeboxes.  A couple of the kids who had never been to our group, want to start coming in the new year!  Pray that they will be able to!!!

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A Christmas visit to Dorohoi

My mom had a great idea for the kids in the orphanage. The kids live in a group home setting-6 to 8 kids in apartment with 5 staff members for each apartment who work 12 hour shifts.  My mom’s idea was to make up packages for “family night.”  She got folks to gather games, puzzles, cards, popcorn and hot chocolate.  Each apartment got a package. The director loved this.  He made a comment as we walked from apartment to apartment in the FREEZING cold that ” the kids no longer know how to play and the games will give the opportunity to play.”  He told as story about one apartment that lost their tv. It took a week to get a new tv.  When asked how it was without a tv for a week, they said there were so bored.  It was like they had lost a care giver.  So, the games were a great idea.

We opened the games and explained to the kids how to play.  Their faces were priceless.  I can only put up “faceless” pictures, but I hope you get the idea of what a joy it was to visit the kids and share a bit of Christmas spirit with them.

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First Delivery

We were able to take some clothes, shoes, and Christmas Shoeboxes to our old neighbors in the city.  They are a very poor family with 4 kids.  The 2 older kids were at school when we arrived, but the younger twins loved opening their boxes! What a blessing you gave to this family by your support of MBK!  The smiles on the boys’ faces were priceless.

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The shoe boxes arrived safely on Monday night at 11:30pm.  We had 36 boxes.  Containing some 200+ shoe boxes and only a couple had to go to the shoe box hospital (ie..rewrap because the paper was badly torn). We had fun organizing the boxes and even Matt got involved!  Thank you to everyone who made up a shoe box for the kids in Romania!

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Wednesday afternoon it was snowing. But we decided to go into the city. We wanted to deliver a box of clothes and shoes, and 4 Christmas shoeboxes to a poor family in the city.  Our road is rarely plowed, so it isn’t a good indicator of the roads.  We got to the main road and it was pretty clear.  We soon found ourselves in a long line of car following the snow plow. Excellent. Clear roads all the way into town.

We got out of the villages and in the farm land.  It was then that we realized that the other lane was blocked in many places by snow!  Ok, we thought, when the snow plow turns around, we’ll follow it and head home.  Except the snow plow didn’t turn around.  We started to go into town and decided to turn around and go home before it got dark.  The road was then blocked by the police.  Great!  So we pulled into a hotel at the intersection. We thought to stop and eat and wait for the snow plow.  Only the hotel restaurant had no food. There was a school bus full of kids sitting waiting on the snow plow there too.  Bogdan spoke with the police.  The snow plow wasn’t coming anytime soon and within 10 minutes the road was covered with snow drifts. It was then we decide to go back to the city and eat.  The snow hadn’t stopped and had actually gotten worse.  We checked into a hotel and stayed the night there.  We watched plow after plow clear the roads in the city.   We watched the news and turns out, it wasn’t just snowing, it was  a blizzard.

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We finally delivered the packages (see another blog soon) and did some grocery shopping before heading back home.  The roads weren’t great, but we got through.  Our driveway  was completely blocked with 2 feet of snow because of the drifts.


Praise God we arrived safely home.  And we even had a nice evening of rest in this crazy Christmas season!  And note to self: don’t go to the city in a blizzard.


Sunday we were able to surprise Ancuta, one of our dedicated volunteers,  for her birthday.  She didn’t suspect a thing!  I made little cup cakes for all the kids and we bought fancy mini cakes for Ancuta to enjoy.  The kids drew pictures for her and a beautiful bouquet finished off the surprise.  IMG_0605 IMG_0600

On Thursday, Giani and Florin surprised Bogdan with a birthday cake here at the house.

IMG_0612So the best part of so many birthdays in one week: CAKE!!!!!