Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Two Years Later...

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Anna's arrival to America. Two years ago today Anna and the children flew from Moscow to Seattle, Washington where I was waiting to take them to their new home.

A lot has happened over the past 2 years and without going into a lot of detail, I will give a brief summary of the most significant highlights over the past 2 years.

Two months after her arrival, we were finally married on September 20th in the courtroom of the honorable Michael Reardon at the Ada County Courthouse. Alan Dein and Laurence Grissel from BBC Radio in London both attended the ceremony and even signed as witnesses to the event.

If you want to read more about the ceremony you can read more details here http://privetanna.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-weekend-to-remember.html.

You can listen to our wedding ceremony as well as hear the rest of our BBC documentary here

In October, 2013 we filed for green cards for her and the children and they were subsequently approved after a brief delay from our favorite organization (USCIS).

You can read more details about that incident which could have sent Anna and the children back to Russia here http://privetanna.blogspot.com/2013/11/request-for-initial-evidence.html.

Fortunately after that minor delay their permanent resident status was approved in March, 2014.

Upon receipt of the green cards, Anna was given the legal right to work and she has since done some part time work but she prefers to stay at home and work on making improvements around the house and working on her garden.

She has also tried to take up some new hobbies. She decided to try her luck reupholstering old furniture and if you ask me she does a darn good job. We also picked her up a nice sewing machine and she has been making her own pillows and curtains to use around the house.

Meanwhile the children have been attending school full time and their teachers have nothing but good things to say about them. They are learning very quickly and soon you won't even be able to tell they weren't born here. Maria begins high school this year and Ivan starts 5th Grade.

About 6 months ago Anna and I found an author that will be able to help us write our book. We are currently working with him and we hope to have a book ready to publish by the end of the year. We are also currently negotiating with a local songwriter that has written a number of hit songs. We are hoping that he will be able to help us write a song based on the 26 page poem I wrote to Anna while she was still in Russia and we hope to have the song recorded with my vocals around the same time our book is ready for publication.

Soon we will need to once again file for new green cards because their green cards will expire in March. This will require about $2500 and another mountain of paperwork to send to the USCIS. Hopefully we won't have as many problems as we had getting their first green cards.

That's about all I can say without boring you to tears. Check back with us within the next few months. Hopefully we can give you an update on the status of the book and song.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I must apologize that it has been such a long time since the last time I published anything on our blog but there really has not been anything significant happen that justified a new blog entry. I am sure our lives have followed a similar pattern over the past year as millions of other married couples with children.

2014 has been a good year for us. This has been the second New Year that Anna and I have been able to celebrate together.

Over the past year Anna and the children have been adjusting well to life in America. The children are back in school and are doing very well according to their teachers. In fact they the teachers say they are doing better than most children who were born here.

Anna has also been making good use of her time. She has found some hobbies to keep herself busy while she works on improving her English skills. She has been trying her hand at reupholstering and restoring old furniture As you can see in the pictures she is doing an amazing job.

She has successfully reupholstered 2 wing-back chairs and an ottoman. She has a number of other projects she is working on now. I will try posting pictures of more of her work as she completes it.

Overall it has been a good year. I can't say it has been easy though. Supporting a family of six on a single income has been difficult. Money has been a little tight as expected but we are making it okay.

Anna is looking forward to a time in the future when she is able to find a full time job and help contribute but we still have much to do before that can happen. She still needs more time to work on improving her English skills in order to make her more desirable to potential employers. I also need to teach her to drive a car so we can get her a driver's license and a car so she has a means of transportation to get back and forth to work. I have given her a couple of driving lessons but we still have a long way to go. Next time I take her on the road for another lesson I will try to make a video of it and upload it because I am sure it will be entertaining.

We are looking forward to the new year and we are hoping to have our book ready for publishing by the end of this year. We are currently seeking someone who can help us write it so if you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us on this project feel free to have them contact us.

That about sums it up. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and may 2015 bring to you peace and joy.