Mark has been doing all the blogging until now, so here goes my attempt.  I have been fighting with the computer to upload some photos for all of those who are clamoring to see pictures and decided since I’m sitting here anyway I might as well write a few things, too.  We’re spending our days shopping and unpacking.  It really is a luxury to have the time to learn how to do all the day-to-day chores before we get into language learning, and it’s a big blessing to have team members who take us everywhere and translate for us – not to mention those who move furniture and appliances!  And some who also have a good eye for color and understand how much we should pay for things here (thanks, team!).

I’m trying to keep up with the laundry since we don’t have much room to hang things for drying.  We purchased a much-used drying rack which certainly helps with the space issue; however, it’s going to take some getting used to having very crispy jeans, t-shirts, socks, and everything in between.  It’s one thing to have crisp sheets and another thing altogether to have crunchy towels and washcloths!

While Mark was home recovering from the stomach thing that we’ve all passed around, I purchased a really big couch today.  There aren’t many choices for furniture here in Darhan, so when we found a couch in a neutral shade and fabric (not lime green, plastic orange, or shiny gold leopard print) for a good price, we knew it was meant to be ours.  Just for the record, Mark did see it yesterday before I actually purchased it.  However, in our small apartment the size is a bit overwhelming.  I may need to re-arrange my furniture a few times to figure out how it’s going to work.  At least it has 4 sections so that gives me a few more options.  Mom, I know you would love to help with this challenge so feel free to draw some diagrams as you get time!  (No comments about the rug — it’s borrowed temporarily).  I’m just happy to have a comfortable place for us and our guests to sit, and also very glad to be done with that part of the shopping.

We want to say a big “Thank You” to all of you who have blessed us with your prayers and your financial help.  You’re an important part of everything that God is doing in our lives here and we need you all.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.  We start language classes one week from today, so we would appreciate your prayers for that transition.  Annika also starts 2nd grade that same day!  We still need to arrange for childcare for Toby, but we feel really good about the possibilities available here in Darhan.  Pray for us to make the best decision for Toby regarding his caregiver.  We love you guys!

Here’s a picture of Annika by the drying laundry (in the living room pre-couch).  Annika posed for me yesterday while Toby was napping, so she’s in most of the recent pictures.

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