Thursday, 9 April 2009

Happy Birthday

Special times enjoyed in Moscow are the Family Home Evenings shared with the other senior couples each week. On my birthday this past month, it was our turn to host FHE. Instead of the usual spiritual discussion, we decided to have more of a party and invited the couples to supper first. Chris brought a cake, and everyone sang "Happy Birthday" and gave me a nice card. After eating, we played the "Couch Game," which Doug told us about and none of us had ever played. Instead of using four chairs, we thought it would be hard enough for "seniors" to play using three chairs. Our teams were men vs. women, and one of the three chairs was empty at the start of the game. I had previously written down everyone's name on slips of paper. For the game, we assumed the name of the person whose name we drew out of a dish. The person sitting on the left hand side of the empty chair called out a name, and the person assuming that name exchanged their seat for the empty seat. They then were designated to call out a name. The goal is for your team to get all three chairs filled with three of your team members. It turned out to be a fun game, and we laughed as we tried to remember whose name to call to bring a team member to the empty chair, especially when a man might have a woman's name and vice versa. I reluctantly admit that the men won both rounds we played - but not easily.

Our apartment - FHE - Narene's Birthday
Clark Mason, Narene & Sam, Steve & Linda Rees,
Dennis Rasmussen, Renee Mason, Sandy Rasmussen,
Chris Shepard, Sharon & David Jorgensen
(Greg Shepard took the picture.)

We had observed that when someone at the Service Center had a birthday, they brought a cake or treats to work and shared them, so I made peanut butter balls and took around to share a birthday treat on my birthday with our friends at the Service Center. Later in the day, I got a little embarrassed when people started bringing me flowers and candy. Of course, I really appreciated their thoughtfulness; but I hadn't realized before that this was the other part of the birthday tradition. I hadn't expected anyone to give me anything and didn't want them to think I gave out the treat so I would get gifts. Well, anyway, I loved the flowers and enjoyed the candy, so it did make my birthday special sharing in a Russian tradition. Nactya and Anna also came to the office and brought me flowers, and I added them to the bouquet Vlad brought me. I do feel very fortunate to know these special friends we have come to love in Russia.

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