Our Valentine's Day morning was simply beautiful. Every once in a while, the frost clings to the trees and it is just the most magical thing. Here are a few of my favorite frosty morning photos:
A close-up of the frost on branches
A frosty tree against the blue morning sky
Karaganda has a large central park that we hadn't yet fully explored, so we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic stroll.
Folks celebrate Valentine's Day here much like in the States - we saw girls carrying flowers and there were chocolates and cards for sale at all of the local stores. We even saw a few hearts-and-flowers billboards with professions of love on them!
Our Valentine's Day was low-key - two fabulous visits to the baby house to play with our little girl, PB&J sandwiches for lunch, and a walk in the park. A lovely day with the person I love best in the world. Here are a few choice shots from our afternoon:
Here's Jamie on one of the pretty little bridges entering the park. The bridges actually go over the hot water pipes, so it's prettier if you just crop out the pipes and focus on the bridge and trees :)
This is the ferris wheel in the park - there's a little amusement park with rides and food stands, although the only thing open this time of year was the cotton candy stand! We didn't get any, but that was a whole lot of cotton candy for 100 tengue (70 cents)
This is a beautiful small Russian Orthodox church on the edge of the park. Oxana said that it was constructed without a single nail, log cabin style.
There's a big pond in the center of the park. In the summer, they must have paddleboats, but they're beached now and the pond is used for ice skating and ATV rides!
We are getting really excited about court. There's still the lingering panic that everything is going to go wrong and we won't be approved, but we know that's just paranoia talking. Most of the time, we're just really excited to be so close to the decision that makes our little girl a Morningstar. We're studying up on the court speeches, wrapping gifts for the folks we owe so much to (baby house workers, doctors, and the fantastic WPA staff in Karaganda), and enjoying this calm before the storm that is three children.
Sasha started using two new signs - "more" and "all done"! Is our kid brilliant or what?
Prayer requests: Our lives and minds are totally consumed by court right now, and we sure appreciate all prayers for Monday's hearing. Pray for our speeches, that we will be able to articulate our love for our daughter and our ability to provide for her. Pray for all of the paperwork, that t's are crossed and i's dotted and that there are no more paperwork snags to hold up the process. But most importantly, pray for hearts - that the judge and everyone in the courtroom understands that Sasha is already a part of our family and comes to a quick legal decision confirming that!