New Blog

Hi all! I just wanted to let anyone who might still be reading this or come upon it that I have started a new blog (mostly because I don't live in Russia anymore, and lizinrussia didn't seem an appropriate title anymore.) You can check it out at Thanks!!!

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Okay, so I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this as I haven't posted in forever. I will try to soon, but if you'd like to see things like pictures of our wedding it might be faster if you look me up on I have already posted them there and would love to add you as a friend. It's really easy and a great (and very safe) way to network with people you know! Look me up! You know my name :-)


Hi everyone!
Well today is our Polterabend (I'm too lazy to put a link in, but you can look it up in wikipedia). It's a German tradition where friends and family get together to break dishes to bring good luck before a wedding. Usually it is the night before the wedding, but in our case it will be 3 months before, so that we can celebrate with Karl's German family and friends.
My sister is here with her kids, which has been really great. YOu should check out her posts. There are some great pics and stuff you can check out. I will post some when I have more time (if that ever happens.)

Catching up again

So, for those of you who are confused about where I am and what I am doing, here is the big catch up...

On February 19th I left Russia and moved to Germany. Many of you probably remember me talking about some changes in visas that made my plans to stay in Russia until May impossible. It was of course sad, but I will be visiting from time to time, and keeping in touch with friends now.
The, I went back to the U.S. for 12 days (it was great to see those of you I had I chance to get together with!) We had meetings in Newberg about the future of our work in Russia. As it stands now, I will continue to be a part of the Russia team until the end of the year (at which point we will evaluate where God is opening doors for me, and if I will continue to work with the Yearly meeting during my next 3 years in Germany.) During this year in Germany I will be exploring where God is working, and will be visiting Russian speaking Friends in places like Georgia, Latvia, Belarus, etc. I will also be looking to see what kind of doors God opens in working with European Friends and in Germany. So, it will be a very interesting year, with lots of hard work and networking!
Right now I am in Celle, Germany (near Hanover). I am staying with a German family, and trying to pick up a bit of German. It's been really great so far (especially with Karl only 10 minutes away!) It's nice to finally live in the same country, and get to know his friends and family a little better. That's all for now, I guess. I look forward to seeing you soon, as I will return to the U.S. on the 22nd of May to begin preparing for wedding stuff, and I will also possibly be speaking at some churches. Write and say hello if you have the time!
st basils

A slice of Russian life

So, a bit about my life today... Right now I am packing up and getting ready to move to Germany (as visa requirements have changed and I can't stay in the country any longer for right now.) So, my life is full of packing, and trying to sell, give away, and donate some things that I can't take with me. So far that's all going well. I've sold the main stuff I needed to (TV, Stereo etc.)
Some of my students came over today and we made pizza. It was yummy! They also gave the Neiferts cat's some attention.

Also, today I looked out the window and saw a man going through the dumpster near my house. I thought...hmm, I should take a picture, as it seems there's always someone going through my garbage, and it's an interesting part of life here. As I was taking the picture another man walked into the frame and started "relieving himself" on the fence. So I got a real panorama of how it is here sometimes. I laughed so loud when I was taking the picture that I think the man heard me (I was taking the picture from my apartment on the 7th story) and turned around. I had to duck down really quick so he didn't see me. ANyway, here's the picture. Thought you might enjoy it. Don't worry, there's nothing graphic in it.

Okay, that's all for now. I'm off to packing and sorting some more.

Catching up on life

So, life as usual has been busy busy busy.... I haven't written for a couple months, but all of you out there must be getting used to it, because I didn't get any reminder e-mails to let you know what I'm up to. You should remind me, otherwise I will just keep forgetting. Maybe you've been busy too.

So, I was able to spend Christmas with Karl and his family in Germany. It was really nice getting to spend more time with them. It was fun seeing all the German traditions for the holidays. We went to a big old church for the Christmas eve service, which of course was all in German. They did sing "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" (Silent Night) which I remembered from the year of German I took in high school (I didn't pay attention to anything else, but somehow all the songs have stayed in my head.) There were real candles on the tree in Karl's parent's house, which was really cool, and we had goose for Christmas dinner which was really yummy. Also I got ot go to a German Christmas market, which was also really neat. It's outdoor with lots of handcrafts, and homemade treats and really good bratwurst. I definitely reccomend Germany at Christmas time. Here's a pic of the Christmas market in Celle (the town where Karl and I will live after we are married...although I guess I'm moving there in a couple weeks anyway...)

Then Karl and I got to go visit my sister and the Kelleys in North Africa (you can see some pics on her site ) It was really great, and my sister and the kids finally got to meet Karl. Here's a pic of us in the medina...

Then I came back to Russia, and started back in on normal life. Teaching, you know all of that... And a couple weeks ago Karl came to visit, which was great!!! We got to visit some friends, and we went to visit a monastary, about an hour and a half away, called Sergeev Passad. It was really pretty. Here's another pic...

st basils

Fun with Ira

So, life has quickly gone back to normal... I am teaching at the public school again, which is great fun. My students have been dropping by pretty regularly, and that has been great too. Unfortunately since Natasha's school closed (where I had been teaching some evening classes), I haven't been getting to see those students as much. My friend Ira (one of my former students) invited me to her new English class where some of my former students are now, and I ended up teaching, which was fun. She and I have also started taking German together, which has been a great way to spend more time with her and to learn some German for my upcoming move. We had our second lesson yesterday, which went well (although tough, as any new language is). Afterwards we ran into Johan and hung out with him at the local chicken place (think KFC, but with pizza, donuts, and no ice for your soda.) Then, as it was too late for Ira to take a bus home, I escorted her by taxi (her mom is afraid of letting her ride alone). So, I ended up there, eating some golupsi (wonderful Russian cabbage rolls), and laughing a lot... Ira has this new thing she is fascinated with. Actually I don't remember how it came up in the first place, but the other day I asked her if Russian doctor's check your reflexes. Okay, I know that's not the technical term, but you know how when you were little the doctor made you sit on that big bench thing in his office, and he would hit your knee with a little mallot and make your leg kick just out of reflex? Well, this is what Ira is fascinated with now... Apparently they don't do that here, and when I tried to explain it, I was faced with looks of confusion. So I had to demonstrate, and she was in awe. That was about a week ago, and last night when I was hanging out with her I watched her hit her knees with the wide handle of a butter knife for like 20 minutes. Every time she got her leg to kick out of reflex she busted up laughing, cause she just thinks it is the coolest thing ever. So then I couldn't stop laughing either...Anyway, it was really fun, and you never know what funny simple things are going to amuse people from another culture.

Back Home

Well, I'm safely back in Russia. Here is my quick list of positives and negatives about being back.

+ snow
- all the snow on the street that has melted into slushy puddles
- small holes that leak those slushy puddles into my boots
+ little russian kids all bundled up walking around like mummies
+ being almost in the same time zone as Karl
- jet lag waking me up at 4 or 5 am
- being jet lagged enough that a few of my russian friends have referred to me as being more "serious" - you know you're jet lagged when a russian thinks you look serious (even on a bad day I normally get accused of being too happy)
+ seeing old friends and students, and starting to teach english again
- hearing a not to good update on one of my students who has started drinking and using drugs
- the drilling that is going on in like 3 apartments near mine, and sounds like it is going on in mine
+ at long last Starbucks has opened a store in Moscow

Heading back to the Motherland

Well, I can't believe it, my time in the US is almost up, and my return date to Russia is quickly approaching. I am heading back to Elektrostal on the 27th of this month, in just 12 days. Everything has been great during my stay back in the US! I especially enjoyed getting to see friends, spend time with different churches, and I guess having my fiance here to visit wasn't too bad either :-)

So, as many of you may have heard, the visa laws in Russia have been recently changed, and I wanted to give you a little update on how they will be affecting my situation in Russia... So, the new laws make it so that for every 90 days we spend in the country we have to spend 90 days out of the country. When I go back at the end of this month, that means that I can only spend 90 days in Russia during the first 6 months of my visa.
Which means I will have to leave Russia near the end of February or beginning of March.
My plans before the new visa law came into effect were to stay in Russia until the end of May, return to the states to prepare wedding stuff, and then move to Germany after our wedding. However, because of the new visa laws, my plan is now to move to Germany at the end of February/beginning of March, and stay there until May when I will return to the US. Hope all of this isn't too confusing. Let me know if you have any questions!

Here's our wedding announcement. (If you think that I don't have the correct mailing address to send you an invite later on, please feel free to e-mail and let me know!)