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  • Writer's pictureNic

Letter to Friends 4.7.14


Hello Friends,

As Easter approaches we all have been bitten by the Pysanky bug.  Sophia chose to do her 9th grade long term project on Ukrainian Pysanky eggs.  Sophia and Sharon Leandre (formerly Sharon Bush, who came to Haiti with us and is now back in Pittsburgh) went to the Holy Virgin Orthodox church in Carnegie to get an introduction.  They were there for 3 hours and Sophia came home ecstatic with a gorgeous egg. To really see the intricate design she just needed to melt and remove the layers of wax from it.  

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It was 11:30 pm and we old people needed some sleep so we left her happily hunched over a candle, melting and wiping the wax from her egg.  Just as we were climbing into bed…

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(Shriek!) “No NO NO NO NO NO OH NO!!”  Yes, my friends, you create Pysanky with raw eggs and hers had slipped from her fingers and broken on the table.  We felt so sad for her and she declared she was done, for good! Never again!

But the next morning at 10 am we were over at our good friends Anne Melnyk’s house.  

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Anne took an entire Saturday to teach Tessa and I Pysanky and give Sophia another opportunity.  After a good night’s sleep she was ready to go at it again.  We thoroughly enjoyed the hours we spent.  First we looked at the incredible eggs her sister-in-law created

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and then we tried our hand at it.

We discovered that it is an art that is wholly absorbing, has a lot of meaning in the symbology,

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and can be enjoyed by anyone brave enough and careful enough to work with lit candles, dyes, and raw eggs for hours on end and all the risks that that involves (i.e. not a project to do with preschoolers or the very impatient).  


But Riah (his is the blue, green one to the far left) and Tessa (hers are the red and yellow fishes on black to the front corner and the flowers in the back) have created lovely eggs.  We have ordered all the equipment and dyes and are producing more eggs as we speak.

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Last Friday, Riah preformed in his final Spring Production at PUCS.  He did a wonderful job returning faulty superheroes to “Hero Mart” in the original musical production of Heroes based on the PUCS student’s writings about superheroes.  

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Tessa worked as usher, Mike made cookies for the bake sale, and Sam and Sophia sat in the balcony with all the PUCS alumni (PUCS is only K-8).  Much to their chagrin, we left immediately after the bake sale to head to our church’s retreat.

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We spent last Friday night  and Saturday at Ligonier camp and conference center attending the Bellefield Church retreat.  It was an enjoyable time of fellowship and our kids had a blast on the low and high ropes courses, including an element called of all things the “Vomit Comet”, but we’ll come back to that in a mo’ .  

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While the kids were out and about dangling from trees, playing lazer tag,  and flinging stuffed animals with frisbees (you’ll have to ask them, I’m still not clear about that activity)

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Mike and I worshipped, sat in teaching sessions, and prayed in small groups.  We all had a great time.  By the end of our 24 hours of retreat,  though the fun seemed to catch up with Sophia and especially Riah.  After the excitement of the night before as well as what was apparently an unholy amount of snacks and treats, he was feeling pretty queasy, and when our van (apparently a bit of a “Vomit Comet” of it’s own) arrived home Riah deposited a goodly portion of the snacks on the curb, eww!  Riah said, quite immediately, he felt better, and that while the snacks went down well, moderation would be a better course in the future 🙂 (This of course was a paraphrase of, “Oh man, Oh I feel better, I should not do that again!”)

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Pray for me as I search for a plan/architect/structural engineer to finalize plans for the classroom shelter for PUCS outdoor classroom.  We are excited to create more usable spaces at the kid’s school and I want it to be both affordable and excellent.  Pray for Sophia as we help her discern if she should leave Obama High School and transfer to  SciTech magnet school where Sam attends.  Pray for Mike as we try to discern God’s call for his next step towards ministry.  Pray for the church and the world dear friends, for they both are in urgent need of God’s tender mercies and guiding discipline.  I pray that God will reveal Himself to you, bring His word to your minds, and his truth to your hearts, as He makes you into His image.


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