Yes, last Friday. Stefko has been home for about four months, and the first report is due back at 6mos. Writing and sending and translating is allowed 2mos, which seems long to the novice and about-right to a bit short to those who know.
Stefan is doing well, and has gained weight, broadened his attention span, and is firming up his relationships with us all. Mostly that's good, but he and Small Porgies have developed a bit of an I-punch-you-punch-me dynamic, entirely at the instigation of S.P. This is disappointing, but I also have to remember that they are brothers, and its bound to happen at some level, and it's never escalted into a fight. They are also generally well-matched - Stefko is tough, strong, and big, S.P. is fast and accurate. It's not my favorite thing when they pick at each other, but I think it will pass as they get older, and I don't see any malice. Stefko and his littlest sister are buds, and get into mischief together, sit in the same cozy places in the same way (though he never sits for long), and bolt for the same opened doors when people are coming and going. Life is not slow, but there is so much to be thankful for.
Also, Stefko has very much figured out that there is food after church, and though he get's pretty antsy towards the end, he does a good job generally, though he's cautious about the Eucharist (man with spoon - possible medicine - evasive maneuvers! - he's only partaken once, but glory to Jesus Christ for that). But there is in Orthodoxy a bowl of bread for anyone to take after the chalice (to wash down the Eucharist), and Stefko is all over that. And many friends slip him extra bits.
Mama is tired, but got to go hang out with the church ladies last night, which I think was a success, judging by a late return and buoyant mood. In the meantime, my friend and I juggled seven kids and assembled a large (4' x 8' x 6') double-deck play-work structure for the kids to use. It has been a hit, and this morning before work I got to sit up top with S.P. and Took and read a chapter from The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader". Lewis is an old friend to me and a new one to the boys, and it's with much joy that I get to share a treasure of my youth.
Ana is plugging along, her school continues to be positive, and her school nurse was overjoyed to meet fellow Christians - there are a lot of LDS in our area, may God bless them to meet Christ the only-begotten co-eternal Son of God.
Thank you for your prayers, we are just living life as God gives it, and if you don't hear from us often, it's because there's not much to say, plugging along here in the finally-cooling desert. But please be in touch if you'd like, we're always happy to hear from friends!