Journeys end 

Today was our last full day of work here in Ulyanovsk. We finished texturing in the second bathroom, finished sheet rocking the stairs, and finished building a small tool room under the stairs. We spent a couple hours cleaning everything and making it look like a church again. We had burritos for dinner and for dessert after supper we had chocolate layer cake! We had a lot of free time after supper so spent time with the teens and young adults from the church and tried to learn some Russian. A couple of them know more English so that made conversing easier. It at times turned into charades as we tried to communicate what we were talking about! Tomorrow we are going to an outside market and then we fly back to Moscow around 2. We fly out of Moscow early Monday morning to come back and due to the time differences should arrive in Fargo around 9:30 pm Monday. Please pray that we have safe travels home. 

This is going to end well

Today we finished sheet rocking the basement, finished the flooring in the entry, worked on the various wiring projects, finished framing and nearly finished sheet rocking the stairs, lots of taping and mudding, and started framing a wall for a tool room. We had plov for supper which we also had in Moscow two years ago. It’s a traditional dish made with rice and pork. For dessert tonight we had torte which was delicious! The title of our blog post is what Craig said when he saw the torte 🙂 Work is wrapping up and we all end up in the same place tripping over each other (often on the staircase). Tomorrow is our last full day of work here in Ukyanovsk. 


Today for lunch they ordered pizza and had it delivered! It was different than we are used to. It had amazing crust, a white sauce instead of marinara sauce, unique cheese almost like cream cheese plus a melted white cheese, and toppings included something similar to Canadian bacon, ham, red peppers, and pineapple. Today we almost finished framing the basement, finished sheet rocking the second bathroom, painted the second coat on the first bathroom and the entry, and worked on the entry floor. Work also continued on the staircase, which is a never ending project! There have been several Russian teens here helping us every day and we’ve been trying to learn Russian to communicate with them. Today Stephanie successfully announced in Russian that we had pineapple in our food and the Russians were quite surprised! Rick is also feeling better and is back working with us again today. 


Today we started sheet rocking the staircase, continued sheet rocking the basement, worked on the second bathroom, and laid subfloor in the entry. The shower was also finished and works great! We had chicken legs for dinner that were delicious! We’ve also eaten a lot of buckwheat which is very good. Unfortunately, Rick has come down with the body ache flu and so he has spent the afternoon resting. Please pray that he recovers quickly and that the rest of us stay healthy. 

International Women’s Day

Sunday, March 8, was International Women’s Day. In our church service all of the ladies received a gift, a beautiful doily and a chocolate bar. The service was pretty similar to what we are used to, except for the fact that it was in Russian. We did have the sermon translated for us and a couple of the songs were ones we were familiar with, like What A Friend We Have In Jesus. The church also expressed their appreciation for our team by giving every member of our team a gift. 

We were able to go to a local grocery store before church and see what they have and a few of us bought some items. After lunch we went downtown to a souvenir shop. Ulyanovsk is famous for a certain type of stone, Simbirtsit, that can only be found here. It is an amber color and is said to give energy to the person wearing it. Maxim, the son of the local pastor, took us on a tour around the city looking at monuments from the war and other significant places like the house where Lenin was born. We were able to eat at a mall food court which is exciting when you can’t tell them what you want very well!
  • We got right back into the swing of things and continued on our projects. We continued framing and sheet rocking in the basement, worked on putting in a new shower, and continued framing in the walls around the stairs. The new shower was not successfully installed by the end of the night due to lack of instructions and other unforeseen mishaps. Hopefully tomorrow we can get it fully installed!

What a Saturday!

Yesterday ended late for Rick, who stayed up till 3 am to put in new stair treads while there was no traffic! As every day before, breakfast was at 8 followed by devotions and the day’s briefing. Today we accomplished hand texturing the bathroom and entry, continued working on the stairs, and started framing walls in the basement. We should mention that the staircase is 4 stories high so that’s why we keep mentioning different things involving it! Ken learned how to glue sheetrock to rough brick walls which worked great! As it is Saturday we also got things cleaned up for church tomorrow. For dinner today we had borscht, and the Russian version of hotdogs and mac and cheese. Supper was kabobs that were cooked over a fire outside. We also had a sort of cotton candy that is drier and quite sugary! 

Below are the guys still working on the staircase. 

Let the mudding begin

Today we sheet rocked, taped, and mudded the entry, taped and mudded the bathroom, started framing the staircase, finished gluing foam insulation onto several walls in the basement, and did other miscellaneous projects. Today at noon we had Russian versions of sauerkraut sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches. We’ve all been trying to learn Russian words with varying degrees of success! 

First full day of work

Today we continued working on insulating the staircase and putting new treads on the stairs, finished sheet rocking one of the bathrooms, primed it, and finished framing and insulating the entryway. We ate an authentic Russian meal which was schi (a brothy potato soup) and bleney (like a crepe) with homemade apple jam and sweetened condensed milk to go on top. 

Projects have been assigned

We are currently working on sheet rocking the entry of the church, installing a shower, and insulating and sheet rocking the staircase. Our supplies arrived promptly and we were able to get right to work, which surprised the missionaries! They are certainly feeding us well and the food is great. We’re all looking forward to a good nights sleep! 🙂

Arrived and ready to go again!

We arrived in Moscow late afternoon on Tuesday. All of our flights and connections went smoothly and we appreciate your prayers. We are 9 hours ahead over here so when we refer to time it will be our time over here. Currently we are sitting at the Moscow airport waiting to go to Ulyanovsk. As soon as we get there we anticipate getting right to work! Check back for updates on our projects!