Birthday Blowout!

Well, you know the story of the best laid plans of mice and men…?

I had this idea of having as “authentic” a cookout as possible for my birthday. I have a grill that I bought late last summer that is still in the box that I wanted to use. I thought I would cook hamburgers, have chips and other cookout food for my birthday party.

It is tradition that when a Ukrainian has a birthday, that the birthday person has their own party, so that was what I wanted to do. I invited 9 of my very best Ukrainian friends and was planning a cookout on the Dniper River so that if people wanted to swim they could.

That was until Sunday evening. I think I mentioned that while at church Sunday evening, it started to rain. And rain it did. It rained some on Monday and I knew that even if the sun came out, the ground would be wet for days!

Then Tuesday morning, I opened the windows and saw people wearing jackets! It had turned off cooler, so much that even I wore a light wind breaker yesterday when I went to the store. So I was even happier that on Monday I had made the decision to have the party at my house!

I found a recipe for a cake on a bag of Nestle mini chocolate chips that I have “horded” since sometime last year. I decided to make the cake and give it a shot. It was a “Crumb cake” and it turned out delicious. (Maybe I should ask Nestle’s to pay me money for the advertisement I just did for them?!)

I “baked” the burgers and got everything ready for my friends. It turned out to be a great evening. After eating, I opened the gifts they brought. We played a couple of games and then took pictures. We ate the cake and enjoyed coffee and tea in my kitchen.

Later we played some more games and had a great time of fellowship. It is during these times that I cherish the friendships that I have made here in Kiev. I thank God for my friends and the times we have together.

Around midnight I checked email and several people had sent me e-cards and I enjoyed watching them, reading the numerous congrats that I received and went to bed very content. It’s incredible to have such a loving, Christian family. Thanks for making my day special!

Oh, by the way, I get to do it all over again on Wednesday with my American friends. Later about that….