Russian Women Discussion

RWD Discussion Groups => Trip Reports => Topic started by: calmissile on November 23, 2014, 08:27:20 PM

Title: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 23, 2014, 08:27:20 PM
Finally, step-daughter gets to see America.   Wife and daughter arrived today at LAX for 6 month (or longer) stay on multi-entry tourist visa.

Photos caught as they were exiting customs.  Note 5 year old Lisa pushing her own cart.   ;D

Things are bound to change in this household.   Cats are already looking for new hiding places.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on November 23, 2014, 08:37:25 PM
Great to see they are are finally here Doug. Tell Larissa Olga and I say Hi.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AkMike on November 23, 2014, 08:42:53 PM
That's great News! Good for all of you!!!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on November 23, 2014, 09:17:52 PM
Nice pics Doug; thanks for sharing.

What about schooling for Lisa during this 6 months?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on November 23, 2014, 09:50:27 PM
Congratulations and best wishes to you all!!   :clapping: ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on November 23, 2014, 10:25:12 PM
Congratulations.   :clapping:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Photo Guy on November 23, 2014, 10:40:56 PM
Doug that's great! It makes me hope that my Larysa will be here in about a year or less with her two sons, ages 3 and 6.
-doug
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: sleepycat on November 24, 2014, 01:54:47 AM
How much excess baggage fees did the airline slug them for?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on November 24, 2014, 03:04:02 AM
How much excess baggage fees did the airline slug them for?

Plus the charge for wrapping the cases...   :devil:

Seriously, Doug, congratulations on getting past the latest hurdle.  May they enjoy the USA as much as most of those who live there.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Chicagoguy on November 24, 2014, 09:02:48 AM
Nice
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 24, 2014, 10:34:03 AM
Nice pics Doug; thanks for sharing.

What about schooling for Lisa during this 6 months?

After a few days of adjustment, we will enroll her in pre-school.  I had already paid to reserve her a slot at the school a few months ago.

So far, it looks like she will need very little adjustment. First night she slept in her own bunkbeds, a good sign.  She calls me papa and is very loving.  If this is any indication of how things will go, it will be fantastic.

Too bad it took so long for them to get here.  The pool has cooled off and Lisa is crazy about swimming.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 24, 2014, 10:41:02 AM
How much excess baggage fees did the airline slug them for?

The excess baggage fees depend on the airline and origin of trip.  We paid $100 per extra bag.  Larissa bought 5 new suitcases for the trip.  I noticed while checking the airlines for excess baggage fees, they ranged from $80 to $200 per bag.

They took Delta (operated by KLM) from Kiev to Amsterdam to LAX.  I have used this route several times and like it best.  I also admire KLM for their service.   The tickets were about $1030 each round trip.  The cheapest I have ever got with a major airline and only one stop.

Emergency medical and trip insurance for both of them was $77 for 6 months and includes all the baggage insurance, etc.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 24, 2014, 10:51:27 AM
Plus the charge for wrapping the cases...   :devil:

Seriously, Doug, congratulations on getting past the latest hurdle.  May they enjoy the USA as much as most of those who live there.

Thanks, it took about two years going through the Ukraine courts with everything contested from divorce, custody, child support, etc.  Ex-husband had no interest in his daughter.  Was using the child as a weapon of revenge.  The courts saw through his arguments and ruled appropriately.

To find such a gem as my wife, I would do it all over again.  It took a  lot of patience and $$$, but worth every bit of it.

I woke up to blini and tea on the table, and borscht on the stove.    ;D


Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on November 24, 2014, 11:14:40 AM
Thanks, it took about two years going through the Ukraine courts with everything contested from divorce, custody, child support, etc.  Ex-husband had no interest in his daughter.  Was using the child as a weapon of revenge.  The courts saw through his arguments and ruled appropriately.

To find such a gem as my wife, I would do it all over again.  It took a  lot of patience and $$$, but worth every bit of it.

I woke up to blini and tea on the table, and borscht on the stove.    ;D

Great story Calmissile, thanks for sharing. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Gator on November 24, 2014, 12:54:05 PM
Congratulations Doug!

Welcome Larissa and Lisa!

Getting them here was a huge hurdle.   And now to the next hurdle, and the next,....at least from now on you will be together, and that is the important part.

You were wise to reserve her a spot at a pre-school.  How well does she understand English?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: LAman on November 24, 2014, 02:57:16 PM
After a few days of adjustment, we will enroll her in pre-school.  I had already paid to reserve her a slot at the school a few months ago.

So far, it looks like she will need very little adjustment. First night she slept in her own bunkbeds, a good sign.  She calls me papa and is very loving.  If this is any indication of how things will go, it will be fantastic.

Too bad it took so long for them to get here.  The pool has cooled off and Lisa is crazy about swimming.

Heat it up for her Doug!!! What is another couple hundred????

Congrats for you and your new family

Signed,
A foreigner living in LA( courtesy of poster AC)  :o
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 24, 2014, 06:22:41 PM
Heat it up for her Doug!!! What is another couple hundred????

Congrats for you and your new family

Signed,
A foreigner living in LA( courtesy of poster AC)  :o

Actually, I only heated the pool once in the winter...for a Karaoke party I had.  $350.   Never again.
I installed all new pool equip when I remodeled and did not replace the heater.  Have plumbed it for solar, so will add solar when I have time.

Thanks for the congrats.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 24, 2014, 06:39:15 PM
A little humor for today.
Wife's romantic, welcoming home gifts.
2nd photo...I now have 2 housekeepers.     ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on November 24, 2014, 08:00:03 PM
After all the "cleaning"  you were doing  I am surprised there was anything left to clean !! ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AkMike on November 24, 2014, 08:10:04 PM
Doug, a buddy of mine got his wife a romantic set of snow tires for Christmas one year and a beautiful new vacuum  cleaner the next one.  :D

 Yes they are still married but he had a few bruises for a bit afterwards.

 He doesn't do this joking around with her much anymore!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 24, 2014, 10:25:12 PM
After all the "cleaning"  you were doing  I am surprised there was anything left to clean !! ;D


There wasn't anything to clean.  The cleaning crew did not like my old tank type Electrolux vacuum.  I bought the same exact model they were using.  It is made special for picking up pet hair.  Was just a good time to buy a new vacuum.    LOL

The little one has to try out everything and this is what she was doing when I got back from the store.

It's been a great first day together.  I was worried that overprotective mama was going to shelter Lisa.  When I had to go to the store today, I told Larissa I was going to take Lisa with me.  She said NO, I said YES.   Lisa gave me a hug and we went shopping.  She enjoyed it very much and gave me a hug and said 'thank you' in English.   I gotta feeling we are going to integrate very nicely.  She is still chasing the cats all over the house.

Bought Larissa a new Samsung Galaxy S5 cell phone today.  Now, how to figure out how to get Russian for the display.  It's seems to be only available for the keyboard.  Good incentive to improve English quickly.   

Borscht and a rice dish for dinner.

Tomorrow is a work day, so it's jacuzzi and then off to bed. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Muzh on November 25, 2014, 12:30:53 PM
Doug, nice 450 SL in the background. Early 70's?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Larry1 on November 25, 2014, 04:22:50 PM
Congratulations Doug.

Lisa looks so cute  pushing that Swiffer. ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 25, 2014, 06:39:39 PM
Doug, nice 450 SL in the background. Early 70's?

68 or 69.  Going to sell it to buy some kind of mini-van I think.  My life is changing.  No more playboy.     ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on November 25, 2014, 07:02:24 PM
68 or 69.  Going to sell it to buy some kind of mini-van I think.  My life is changing.  No more playboy.     ;D

That is you Doug!! I think the SL is quite a bit later model year than that!!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: lonedrake on November 25, 2014, 07:40:28 PM
The excess baggage fees depend on the airline and origin of trip.  We paid $100 per extra bag.  Larissa bought 5 new suitcases for the trip.  I noticed while checking the airlines for excess baggage fees, they ranged from $80 to $200 per bag.

They took Delta (operated by KLM) from Kiev to Amsterdam to LAX.  I have used this route several times and like it best.  I also admire KLM for their service.   The tickets were about $1030 each round trip.  The cheapest I have ever got with a major airline and only one stop.

Emergency medical and trip insurance for both of them was $77 for 6 months and includes all the baggage insurance, etc.

Congratulations!! 

I also like the Delta/KLM route through Amsterdam.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 25, 2014, 07:53:32 PM
That is you Doug!! I think the SL is quite a bit later model year than that!!

Senior moment.... ;D   Had to look at the registration. It is 1987.

Was me!  Now #1 priority is the raising of a 5 year old and mama needing transportation.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 25, 2014, 09:02:47 PM
We are having a pre-Thanksgiving pot-luck tomorrow at work.
Wifey making a large pot of borscht to give the employees a taste of FSU food.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AkMike on November 25, 2014, 09:08:03 PM
She really looks like a happy cook!  :clapping:

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 26, 2014, 12:12:41 AM
She really looks like a happy cook!  :clapping:

Tonight would have made a good comedy skit.  Several exchanges of 'crazy husband', 'crazy wife'.   :)
She previously told me she had never baked a turkey.  She calls me out to the kitchen to 'help' her.  Mistake #1, I went to help her.  She decided to marinate the turkey the boss gave us for Thanksgiving.  First order was to go to the store and get a turkey bag.  What the hell is a turkey bag.  Clerk found them for me.  She put the turkey in the bag and poured some liquid with vegetables in it in the bag.  I asked her if she took out a bag of body parts from the chest cavity.  She looked puzzled and said no bag was inside.  I have never remembered a turkey without the heart, gizzard, liver, etc being in a plastic bag.  She said to look for myself.   

How in the hell do you get a big fist inside the turkeys asshole to search for a bag?  What a scene. I was getting frustrated and all she could do was laugh and say 'crazy husband'.   In desperation, I texted my boss and asked if the innards were in a bag.  He said yes, so we both searched the inside of the turkey for the bag.  By this time the damned thing looked like it had given birth and clearly there was no bag inside.

So the bird is now sitting in a roaster in the garage marinating, I guess.  Will ask the boss tomorrow about the heart and gizzard......that is if he can quit laughing long enough to answer.

Lisa's tablet could not connect to my wi-fi, so I decided that I probably would have more success with that project.  Presto...problem solved.  I then decided she will be the expert in the kitchen and I will stay with the electronic projects.     ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 27, 2014, 08:47:45 PM
Thanksgiving Day

How the heck do children stand 55-60 deg F. water (swimming pool)?

Ah, the jacuzzi is warmer.       :)

I don't know why she tried to scare me by saying she had never cooked a turkey, only ducks and geese.  It came out wonderful.  It was a little strange eating it with what seemed like tartar sauce rather than gravy, but it was great.

With her broken English, she can be humorous at times.  After complimenting her on her turkey she responded with "I am American girl now"

Tonight it's relaxing in the jacuzzi with the Nemiroff she brought.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on November 27, 2014, 09:25:15 PM
Tonight it's relaxing in the jacuzzi with the Nemiroff she brought.

Is that some sort of pleasuring device ?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 27, 2014, 09:51:08 PM
Is that some sort of pleasuring device ?

In an indirect way.      ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on November 27, 2014, 10:11:38 PM
OK, don't let the effect go to waste.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 28, 2014, 03:01:27 PM
All the comments about every FSU woman will clean the house no matter how well it was done earlier.....is certainly true.    ;D

It also can have an unfortunate side affect........ how did all these former girlfriends find so many nooks and crannies to hide their underwear?   Must be a sign of marking their territory?

What would we do without Skype?  Larissa has been chatting with her UA girlfriends and family daily.  As best I can determine, her conversations have been all positive about our culture.   She has already made friends in the neighborhood and a couple neighbors have came back for seconds on her borscht.

Lisa is like a fish.  Jacuzzi every day. It's hard to get her to come out and into the house. :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AkMike on November 28, 2014, 03:08:05 PM
Wow, deja vous!!!
  Then there was the foil packets found somewhere in the back of the closet, luckily the code dates were way old.. I didn't know that there were any date codes on them!  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on November 28, 2014, 07:35:14 PM
Ochka is probably 1 in a million women.

She used shampoos, lotions, etc. left by other women;
and even still wears some clothes left by others for working out doors.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: I/O on November 28, 2014, 08:03:13 PM
Cal: Word for the wise if I may - foster the happy times, enjoy the intimacy (of which there will be plenty), love the food supply and be ready. Unexpectedly, possibly weeks, months or even years down the track, there will be a (maybe many) sad time. Catzenmouse (Ken) made a super remark many years ago that fortunately, struck me at the time, on this exact subject - he remarked that he had learned when to allow his wife enough space simply to be sad for a time. You may succeed on many fronts but if you fail on this one, your marriage will fail.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 28, 2014, 08:30:42 PM
Cal: Word for the wise if I may - foster the happy times, enjoy the intimacy (of which there will be plenty), love the food supply and be ready. Unexpectedly, possibly weeks, months or even years down the track, there will be a (maybe many) sad time. Catzenmouse (Ken) made a super remark many years ago that fortunately, struck me at the time, on this exact subject - he remarked that he had learned when to allow his wife enough space simply to be sad for a time. You may succeed on many fronts but if you fail on this one, your marriage will fail.

Thanks for the advice I/O.  I can imagine normal times she might be sad such as a family member dying or something similar.  I was married 23 years the first time and learned a lot about women in general, but is there something unique about FSU women that you can elaborate on (with regard to sadness)?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: I/O on November 29, 2014, 05:04:12 AM
but is there something unique about FSU women
She isn't 'home'....
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 02, 2014, 11:06:09 PM
Just a little update about the first week after arrival of wife and stepdaughter.
Everyone's experience is probably different but this is what we experienced in our house.....
Remember that we met two years ago and have been married for a year and one half.

The integration of the family has been great without any issues or incompatibilities so far.
While I had the house cleaned by professionals, as stated in many posts, the wife cleans the whole thing again anyway.
The date of their trip was a last minute decision and I had not cleaned out the closets and drawers to make room for their 7 suitcases of clothes.   Me bad!    No problem for Larissa.  As I cleaned out the closets and drawers, she calmly moved from suitcase living to normal.

Within a few hours, she had completely taken over the kitchen.  Found every gadget I had bought (and not used) over the past 20 years.  In spite of our confusion over not finding the bag of turkey gizzards, etc. the turkey dinner was fantastic.  The only unusual thing was being served what looked like tartar sauce rather than making gravy.  All in all, still a great dinner.

The stories about not drinking cold drinks is apparently true.  I first noticed it when I bought Lisa a smoothie while we were waiting for her new cell phone to get programmed.  Lisa had no problem with it, but when Larissa took a taste she bolted and said too cold.  The next thing I noticed was that she takes the orange juice out of the refrigerator and warms it to room temperature in the microwave.,   :)
Lisa seems to care less, but this is mamas ritual.

I am sure there will be other strange differences that will come up, but it's been pretty smooth so far.

As to the language arguments and opinions on the forum.  My opinion is that if you find a real gem for a wife, the language barrier is something that can be overcome without being a big deal.  It requires patience and understanding, sometimes frustration, but if you love each other you can work through it.  If the FSUW is motivated to learn English she will do so in a short time.  At least where you can communicate even if not fluent.

Things have been moving really fast this week.  I am working full time and there is a lot of coordination and running around that makes it a very busy time.  I am not going to buy another car until Larissa gets her California drivers license.  On Monday I called the school district and had a friend pick up the packet of information and requirements for kindergarten and delivered them to the house.  Other than the proof or residence, birth certificate, etc. it looks like the only thing was a requirement for a physical exam for Lisa and a translated copy of her immunization records.  Luckily, I was able to get an doctors appointment for her in a couple days, so she should be ready to enroll by the end of the week.

I also inquired about ESL classes for Larissa and discovered that they are part of the Adult Public Education System.  The only classes in session now is Intermediate English ESL classes.  The woman said that Larissa could come in and take the test today, but would need to have a good grasp of English basics to pass the test and be enrolled.  She passed it with flying colors and went to her 1st class the same evening.  When I picked her up from class, she was beaming and said she really liked it.  It turns out the other new student was from Belarus.  Also, her instructors wife is from Ukraine by coincidence.    She seems to be fitting in just fine so far.   :)

I suspect that she will have no problem making friends.  The neighbors are already making a big to-do about her and her personality is very social.

There were some pleasant surprises concerning my 5 year old stepdaughter.  Over the past few years her biological father had only visited her a couple times and it was coincident with court hearings they were having over the divorce, custody, etc.  For the past several months we have been on Skype daily and she is usually in the room bouncing on the bed and saying "I love you papa" , etc.  The time we spent together is Kiev left me a little worried because she is so overprotected like many young kids in UA.  She had slept with her mother since birth I think.  When I was in Kiev and Crimea we had a problem of Lisa not wanting us to sleep together.  I think it was a combination of jealousy and insecurity being separated.  After I came back to the states, Larissa and I discussed the issue and she said she would wean her off sleeping together.  It seemed to have worked.  Lisa has her own bedroom here and is very happy that it is 'hers".  While the closeness built steadily with Lisa over the months we were on Skype, I was not prepared for the reaction when they arrived.   All the hugs and kisses was unexpected since she was a little reserved toward me when we were together several times in Kiev.  It is a real heartwarming experience for me.  I almost feels like she was starved for a father figure in her life.  Tonight, I remembered when we first met in Kiev.  Larissa, Lisa and I were walking somewhere shopping and out of the blue, Lisa took Larissa's hand and placed it in mine as we walked.   It's amazing how young minds seem so adult at times. 

Next week Lisa should be in kindergarten and Larissa will be busy in ESL classes.  I think the next big hurdle will be for Larissa to get a drivers license and then buy a car for her.  I got a Russian language version of the California Drivers License Handbook, and she is already studying it, so she seems to be anxious to make that leap.  It should be a breeze as she is an excellent driver.

Lastly, I want to remind newbies to take their time in selecting a potential wife.  There is something more important than boobs and legs (took me many years to discover that).  It is the personality fit between the two of you.  My first romance in UA could have easily been a train wreck because I was determined to get married to someone that I did not really know that well.  Stop and think about it.  Would you marry someone in the states you only spent a few weeks or a couple months together with?  It's an expensive and time consuming exercise to do it the way we did, but I am much more confident that it is a marriage that will last because we spent so much time together as a 'family' before making the big move.

In a few weeks I may add to this thread if there is anything interesting or unusual to pass on.


Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Patagonie on December 03, 2014, 03:26:41 AM
Well Done CalMissile

Be ready to suffer from the necessary adjustments, personal and cultural. Also she will feel without roots at a moment. Especially the first year, but not necessary on the beginning. The first year is the most difficult.

"Lastly, I want to remind newbies to take their time in selecting a potential wife.  There is something more important than boobs and legs (took me many years to discover that).  It is the personality fit between the two of you.  My first romance in UA could have easily been a train wreck because I was determined to get married to someone that I did not really know that well.  Stop and think about it.  Would you marry someone in the states you only spent a few weeks or a couple months together with?  It's an expensive and time consuming exercise to do it the way we did, but I am much more confident that it is a marriage that will last because we spent so much time together as a 'family' before making the big move."

More and more i am discovering now the links between the before and after relocating means.
The way you date her, the way you spend time with her PRIOR her relocating, will determine the future of yuur marriage, or your divorce.

There is a whole education and whole process about this with many items that you will not find in any books, and which are missing in a classical local relationships.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 03, 2014, 08:22:00 AM
  It should be a breeze as she is an excellent driver.

No, it will not be a breeze.

She will succeed, but not a breeze.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 03, 2014, 08:23:23 AM
  There is something more important than boobs and legs (took me many years to discover that).

So you finally became a fan of butts ?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 03, 2014, 08:24:12 AM
Nice write-up Doug.  Thanks for sharing.  Best to you three.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Wayne on December 03, 2014, 02:12:26 PM
You might want to check the laws in California because she might be able to drive on an Ukrainian license for 6 months or longer. Also, she would probably need a social security number in order to get a license, and that comes after the green card.
 
It is much more difficult to get a Ukrainian license than most in USA.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 03, 2014, 06:33:49 PM
You might want to check the laws in California because she might be able to drive on an Ukrainian license for 6 months or longer. Also, she would probably need a social security number in order to get a license, and that comes after the green card.
 
It is much more difficult to get a Ukrainian license than most in USA.
]
]
Thanks Wayne.  You are correct, she can drive for 6 months on her Ukraine license.  The problem is insurance.  I am with AAA and since she is family, they will not insure her until she receives her own license.  In other words she is excluded from driving any of my vehicles until she has a  California license.  That is next major project for her.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 03, 2014, 10:15:21 PM
Are you sure about this Doug?

I have been with several major insurance companies and ALL have provision that states I am insured for any vehicle I drive AND anyone who drives my vehicles is insured under my policy.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 03, 2014, 10:19:30 PM
Are you sure about this Doug?

I have been with several major insurance companies and ALL have provision that states I am insured for any vehicle I drive AND anyone who drives my vehicles is insured under my policy.

I was sure after I checked into it, but its been months.  I will check with them again.  Thanks
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Slumba on December 04, 2014, 01:13:52 AM
You might want to check the laws in California because she might be able to drive on an Ukrainian license for 6 months or longer. Also, she would probably need a social security number in order to get a license, and that comes after the green card.
 
It is much more difficult to get a Ukrainian license than most in USA.

Is an SSN different from an ITIN?  Because you can get an ITIN very easily, pre-greencard I think.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on December 04, 2014, 01:38:35 AM
Nice write-up Doug.  Thanks for sharing.  Best to you three.

 :clapping:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Wayne on December 04, 2014, 09:30:40 AM
Doug, I had AAA insurance all my life since I was 16 years old. When they found out that my step-daughter was driving on an Ukrainian license, they refused to insure me so I went to a different company.
 
In my state, when you get a driver's license, they take away your old license. When your wife goes back to Ukraine, she will need her Ukrainian license. She could say that she never drove before, but they might have her take classes and the written and driving tests.
 
You can apply for a tax identification number if you do not qualify for a social security number. However, you might want to do a joint US income tax return since you have been married for a long time already.
 
Where are you at with the immigrant visas? If you are married at least two years when she goes to the embassy for the visa interview, they will issue IR1/IR2 visas, which means you skip the conditional status.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 04, 2014, 07:20:46 PM
Wayne,

I am going to check again with AAA, however it might be overcome with events.   I was not considering her getting a license when she visited previously.  She is studying the license handbook now, so expect her to pass the written soon.  If she gets her Calif license soon, I don't think the insurance will remain an issue.

Havn't decided yet which route to take for the path to a green card.  We won't be married for 2 years until July.  We are looking into the options.

We will get her a fed tax ID # very soon.

I had a surprise today...... I took both Larissa and Lisa to my dentist for a routine exam as well as complying with the school requirement for Lisa to have one.

Lisa's teeth has quite a few issues, even though they are baby teeth.  The work that was done on her teeth while in Ukraine was very substandard.  In fact she is in need of several "baby root canals" (I don't remember the technical term).  The decay around the work is even visible to the naked eye.  Watching her brush her teeth every day, I don't think it is lack of care and she eats very few sweets.

Larissa also has several issues that have to be treated.  Same issue.  Poor quality dental work.

The only reason I bring this up is to caution those bringing family to the US from UA, is to have their teeth checked very early so that it gets resolved as quickly as possible.

Everything has been going smoothly.  Lisa starts kindergarten next week and Larissa goes to ESL classes twice a week.

Next major project is drivers license for Larissa.

We are planning to go to Seattle for Christmas and stay with my family.  Also hope to hook up with several forum friends while there.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Photo Guy on December 04, 2014, 08:26:16 PM
Thanks for the update Doug.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Wayne on December 05, 2014, 08:47:39 AM
Dental work in Ukraine can be very poor to good. Denists get low pay. They are behind in materials and equipment. Of course, some people have a lot more trouble with tooth decay than others. They probably don't get the Flouride treatments there either.
 
Doug, did you apply for the visas yet?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Photo Guy on December 05, 2014, 11:55:58 AM
Me or the other Doug? :)
No- probably in January....
-doug in AZ
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 05, 2014, 09:28:15 PM
Life continues to be interesting in the Wilson house.   :)
Larissa Skype'd me at work asking for cottage cheese, vanilla sugar, and gelatin.  She said she wanted to bake a cake.  I had no idea what vanilla sugar was, but picked up vanilla extract and the rest of it on my way home.  While trying to read the news and relax before dinner, I was asked how many grams of gelatin are in each packet, which I converted for her.  Next, what is a tsp measure.  Pulled out the set of measuring spoons and showed her what the different measures are.

Ah, now back to reading the news.  That didn't last more than 10 minutes.  Next thing, she came running into the lab yelling fire!  OMG, what now?   Running to the kitchen, I found there was no fire but lots of smoke.  It turned out she had the oven on Broil instead of Bake and the top of the cake caught on fire.  My next accessory for the kitchen is going to be a fire extinguisher!   ;D

After showing her the difference on the knob of the oven, we exchanged our usual "Crazy Husband", "Crazy Wife" comments and ended up laughing and hugging.

Tomorrow is Larissa's birthday (41).  We have been so insanely busy I am unable to put together a birthday party for her.  I instead decided to take her out to dinner followed by going out dancing with some of my friends and their wives she met earlier on another trip.

Leaning over my shoulder, she just advised me that we are going to jacuzzi tonight.  Hmmmmmm....sounds like a good way to wind up a busy week.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 07, 2014, 11:34:22 PM
An update on the adjustment process.....

As I indicated earlier, I did not have time to prepare a birthday party and invite friends for Larissa's 41st birthday.  She took it in stride and she and Lisa baked a birthday cake.  We had our own birthday party and the cake turned out fantastic (like everything she cooks).

A new experience I had not encountered in 30 years.....finding and hiring a babysitter.  Guess I will have to get used to it.     :D
As planned, we went out for dinner at Black Angus.  The food was fine but the service was terrible.  Took 20 minutes just to get a cocktail delivered to the table.  The steaks were fine, but it is hard to watch someone eat a well done fillet steak.

Following dinner we went out dancing to a place that some of my friends frequent on a regular basis.  As expected, Larissa was very well received and everyone was full of questions.  She is always asked "How do you like America?"  Her answer is always "I love my American husband".  After being asked again she responds that she likes America very much.  One thing for sure.....she is a cheap date.   One drink and she is social and friendly, two drinks and I think she would be dancing on the tables.    :D   She has some nice moves on the dance floor and the husbands were standing in line to ask her to dance.  All in all, we had a great time.  The band announced her birthday and everyone sang Happy Birthday to her.

I don't know about other UA women, but the food and cooking has a few quirks.  Larissa cooks large pots of things and then we eat it until it is gone.  I am not a fussy eater, but am more used to a variety.  Since it is always tasty, I don't mind.  Another thing, everything is served with sour cream and/or mayo.  Doesn't matter what the dish is.    ;D

Communications with Ukraine is on a frequent basis.  She chats with her son, mother and many girlfriends.  At least at this point she seems to have no reservations for making the move.  I was going to call FIOS and see about adding Russian language channels and their appears to be no reason to do so.  She watches regular TV and Lisa watches the Cartoon Network in English.  In the past couple of weeks, both Larissa and Lisa are speaking more English every day and each day I hear them using new English words they have not used previously.    Larissa's ESL class is no doubt going to accelerate it even faster.

We had an interesting Sunday afternoon.  Larissa wanted to us to take Lisa to the park with a playground.  There is one near the house, so off we went.  While I was watching Lisa play on the playground equipment, I noticed that Larissa was talking to an attractive blond lady that had a toddler with her.  It is not like her to talk to strangers.  I learned that the woman overheard Larissa speaking Russian to Lisa and inquired about where she was from.  It turns out that the woman is from Ukraine.  She came to America as a single parent with her son and went to medical school locally.  She met her (now) husband in school.  They married and both finished school.  He is a pharmacist and she is a doctor (physician).  The two gals were chatting for quite a while and ended up exchanging phone numbers and addresses.  It turns out they live just a couple blocks from us.  We were invited to come over to their place anytime.  I was glad to see Larissa making new friends on her own.

There were a couple interesting statements she made while we were chatting.  I had mentioned that Lisa's father did not have any interest in participating in raising his daughter.  She stated that is typical in Ukraine.  The responsibility of raising children is totally on the mother in the UA culture.  She also stated that she is glad that she married an American man because he is active in raising their daughter.  She even mentioned specifically that American men will take their children to the park, etc.

This should be a lesson for men searching for a UA woman that has young children.  Based on what she said as well as what my wife told me early in our relationship..... They are looking for a good father for their children.  It is no guarantee of finding a '10' every time, but there is a good chance of moving up the scale if you present yourself as a good father to her children.  Larissa indicated that my interest in Lisa and doing things together as a family was very important to her.  Just some food for thought for those that will consider a woman with young children.

A little humorous event while at the playground. I noticed a tow truck near my truck in the parking lot and went over to see what was going on.  It turned out some black guy ran onto the park and stole a couple backpacks off a bench and then sped away in a car.  The backpack had the guys keys to his car and they were towing it away.  I asked the UA women (physician) to please explain in detail to Larissa that she always needs to watch her purse, etc.  She laughed and said "She should already know that....she is Ukrainian".    :D


Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 09, 2014, 09:05:59 PM
Yesterday I mentioned to Ochka about the sour cream or mayonnaise on everything.

She does not put such on everything.

But then tonight, she fried some sliced zuchinni.

She called me over, and laughing said:  You mentioned about Doug and the mayonnaise, and it reminded me that I might want some on my zuchinni.  Do you want on yours also.

I said:  No.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: southernX on December 09, 2014, 09:37:13 PM
Quote
Dental work in Ukraine can be very poor to good. Denists get low pay. They are behind in materials and equipment. Of course, some people have a lot more trouble with tooth decay than others. They probably don't get the Flouride treatments there either.

dental work iv encountered has been good in ukraine, the surgery was well equiped and modern , price was also good & no flouride is not in the water ime


cal you are now expereincing the fulltime job of love and support that is required in the first 2 years usually

love reading your posts, reminds me of our expereince so much lol

i agree totally in regards to the advise on being a good father for your ladys children , its vital if you want success ime , the child will thrive , just watch them grow and develop

SX
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 09, 2014, 10:27:29 PM
Thanks SX.   Having read about a lot of folks having adjustment issues at the beginning, I feel incredibly lucky.  It feels strange, almost like we have been together for a long time.   I think the daily Skype chats for over a year, plus the in-person visits might have something to do with a smoother transition.

What surprises me the most is the affection from 5 year old Lisa.  She has called me papa from the time they got off the plane.  She also frequently tracks me down in the house and gives me hugs and kisses, as though I was always her father.  Also, greets me when I come home from work.  It really warms the heart to have such a nice, affectionate child in the family.





Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Photo Guy on December 09, 2014, 10:36:18 PM
That's wonderful.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: southernX on December 09, 2014, 10:40:52 PM
Quote
What surprises me the most is the affection from 5 year old Lisa.  She has called me papa from the time they got off the plane.  She also frequently tracks me down in the house and gives me hugs and kisses, as though I was always her father.  Also, greets me when I come home from work.  It really warms the heart to have such a nice, affectionate child in the family.

CAL , YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE !!! 

if your a warm loving guy , you will get it back in triple

if you love and care for your wifes child , she /both will return it in immense measure ,

this is the kind of ''be the man '' stuff that is required for the long term success ,
family first always before self ime

a bloke i knew , once stated , ..i cant ''make my wife love me '', but i sure can make it dam difficult for her not to !!! 

hope to read more happy posts from you guys   ;D

SX
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Wayne on December 10, 2014, 10:40:55 AM
Perhaps we could have more posts in MARRIED section?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 14, 2014, 11:22:05 PM
Some more tidbits of how the adjustment period is going....
For one thing, time seems to be slowing down.  This is a good thing.  So much more activity each day and weekend.  Seems like I wasted a lot of time before wife and daughter arrived.

Lisa is adjusting to kindergarten very well.  One of her classmates is a Russian girl and they have become good friends.
East/West relations seems to be good here also.  The girls mother is Russian and Larissa and her struck up a conversation at the school .  They exchanged phone numbers and addresses.  The following day, it was raining cats and dogs and the lady called Larissa on the phone to ask if Lisa was going to school in the rain.  The lady came to the house and picked up Lisa and Larissa and then drove Larissa back home.  They seem to be hitting it off nicely.  Larissa invited the lady in for tea and I guess she asked about where Larissa bought the cake they were eating.  Larissa told her that she made the cake and the lady offered to pay her to bake for her.  She has 2 more kids and says she does not have time to bake.  I guess Larissa's cooking not only meets my taste buds but her friends as well.  There was also talk about Lisa going to a gymnastics class with her daughter out of town and the lady indicated that they could take turns taking the girls to the class.

I had a pleasant surprise one morning last week.  There was buckwheat on the table for breakfast.  I had never tried it and suspected I would not be too fond of it.  It turns out it has a sweet flavor and I think I prefer it to oatmeal.  Since she prepares breakfast before she wakes me up, I don't know if she adds something to it to sweeten it, or if it is the natural flavor.  In any case it's not too bad.  I felt sorry for Lisa whenever I was in Ukraine.  It seemed that every morning she had buckwheat for breakfast.  Now I dont' feel so bad.   LOL

I finally was served something I could not eat.  I don't know what it is called but it had vegetables in it and was in a clear geletin substance.  The sight of it did not look appealing to me.  Larissa took it in stride and no hurt feelings.

Since we are going to be in Seattle for Christmas we decided to get Lisa's gifts early.  We bought her her first bicycle (with training wheels).  It was at Walmart.  It probably could have qualified for one of those humerous Walmart photos.  Not only did Lisa have to try out the bike in the store, but so did Larissa.  Larissa in her short skirt riding down the isle on a childs bike got some attention.  They both were told twice "No riding bicycles in the store".  I apologized and told the clerks they don't speak English.  So they tried Spanish......sorry that didn't work either.

Lisa started with not even understanding how the pedals or brakes worked and within an hour she was racing around the patio at home.  Only fell over twice and ran into the wall once.  Fast learner.  LOL

We had minor tradegy this week.  Lisa's favorite cat is missing.  Don't know if someone picked her up or became another coyote meal.  Larissa tells me that while walking to kindergarten every day Lisa is calling out "Sugar, Sugar" hoping she will return.

Lisa is learning English quickly.  She is also a very social girl. While in stores and on the street she is saying "Hello" to everyone she sees.

I was trying to rush to the IRS office on Friday after work to get Larissa and Lisa a Tax Identification Number.  Since we are married it is necessary for us to file jointly on our 2014 taxes. It was raining to beat the band, at night, and traffic was almost a standstill.  Turned out I was one street off and we were 5 minutes late.  Oh well,something to do next week.

Hopefully Larissa will take the written driving test in the next week or so.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: sleepycat on December 15, 2014, 01:31:51 AM
Obviously your lady is not scared of heights, with her tiptoeing on top of that step ladder!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 16, 2014, 11:09:07 PM
Obviously your lady is not scared of heights, with her tiptoeing on top of that step ladder!

Your right, she was't scared, but she scared me.     :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 16, 2014, 11:36:28 PM
With reference to some suggestions to discourage Larissa from making contact with local UA and RU women, I have formed a different opinion (at least so far).

The Ukraine lady (a local physician) that she befriended at a playground a week ago called her on her cell today.  Larissa  informed me tonight they are going shopping together on Friday, her day off.  Great idea!!!  I am not fond of spending hours walking around in stores.

Also, the Russian mother of a classmate of Lisa's drove Lisa to kindergarten when it was raining last week.

As far as I can tell, these women are very well adjusted and happy to be in the USA and I get no negative feeling about them 'corrupting' Larissa's attitude.  They are also very friendly and do not have a 'sharp tongue'.  Of course they are happily married which might make a difference.

Her borscht is becoming a hit in the neighborhood.  While I was at work one of the neighbors was chatting with her and sort of hinted they would like to have dinner (borscht) with us tonight.  The couple raves about her borscht.  I think it is good, but don't really see the reason for so much excitement over it.  The word seems to be spreading, so I expect more visitors in the future.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 17, 2014, 09:17:08 AM
Doug, thanks for your continuing updates.

Anything is possible with respect to interactions with other FSU women.

However, it is much too early for conclusions about the character of the two such that Larissa has met to date.

The sheeeeeet could hit the fan at any moment.

Also, you are ignoring the idea that such interactions will delay the learning of English by Larissa and other integrations into life in USA.

I would still contend that the potential negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to this situation.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Chicagoguy on December 17, 2014, 09:26:33 AM
Lucky for you and Larissa. My wife has not had much luck here. Sure, there are Russians and Ukrainians near us but it seems there is always a little something off putting about them. Yes, she does see them and talk to them but only because that is all there is.

The problem for us it that most of them live on the other side of Chicago and/or in the parts of the city we don't frequent. We tried Meet Upbut they were all younger. One thing she has done is find some very nice happily married women on the Internet. Alas, they are in other parts of the country.

There are plenty of women out there who complain about husbands and the U.S. but they are best avoided. I remember a few years ago one member met his wife at the airport and as they were driving she turned to him and said "I Am Home".

My wife now calls it home but that is 5 years down the road. Still, I'll take it.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Shadow on December 17, 2014, 09:35:15 AM
Seems that the adjustment is going well.
I am a bit surprised at the borscht. I still remember Mila cooking it for our neighbours and them not going further than a polite taste of the ´beet soup´. Manti and salads were received a lot better.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Gator on December 17, 2014, 09:36:39 AM
With reference to some suggestions to discourage Larissa from making contact with local UA and RU women, I have formed a different opinion (at least so far).

Agree.  One who insists on choosing friends for a spouse is a control freak, to the extreme.  I would never accept my wife saying something like I can't have golfing friends because they gamble, drink ......  :D

Larissa needs friends.  Let her find friends.  It will be far easier now making friends with FSUW than with AW.  She will eliminate the FSUW who are not fun, friendly and uplifting.  Larissa sounds as if she has an optimistic attitude.  Optimists do not surround themselves with pessimists.

As she becomes more engaged with American life, she will make AW friends. 

Discussing what her various FSUW friends are doing will become a good topic between you, much like telling your wife about your friends.   And it is revealing.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: northkape on December 17, 2014, 12:35:41 PM
Thanks for the updates Cal,,,
It's good reading, and too far between,, at least for a site like this.

A few points though for the readers,, based on my experiences,,

I agree with you Cal, about the knowledge of English, from the start,,
Some readers might remember my previous opinion and posting about this.

http://www.russianwomendiscussion.com/index.php?topic=16628.0

Don't let language problems get in the way, when you find a woman with great "chemistry"
A language can be learned, a personality not....
FSU women are generally well educated, and capable of learning a language very good.

About dentists in Ukraine,,,,,,,
14 years ago when marrying with Lena,
I didn't even think about using a Ukraine dentist for fixing her teeth, because of the substandard work generally done in Ukraine.
And ended up paying a small fortune for having it done at my dentist here at home.
Today, I know a lot better, as with almost everything else, it depends on who is doing the work.
This summer, I have personally used a talented female dentist outside Kiev,
for a serious upgrade of all previous dental work done throughout my life.
Not only is she and her staff doing better work than my local specialist, but at a fraction of the cost.
The kind of time she is using, for making a perfect repair, is no longer feasible in a "high cost" country like Norway.
I can't imagine customers here, that would be willing to pay for the extra amount of hours.
(and in addition, spending that much time in her chair)
And she would also make a lot less money, by striving so hard for perfection.

About Russian speaking friends for your wife,,,,
In my opinion, it's for her to decide what kind of friends she wants to mingle with.
I saw this with Lena, sharing a native language can make up for a lot of unwanted personality traits among newfound "friends".
Based on my experiences, I don't think men in general understands how isolated you will feel, when cut off from your native language.
Throughout my life, I have seen what kind of bonds a common native language can create.
All the way from my childhood days, when my parents moved from the far north, to the south of Norway.
Just the difference in dialect, made it very difficult for them to find new friends.
Our family at that time, ended up visiting other couples from the north, in neighbor cities, for social evenings.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 17, 2014, 06:52:17 PM
Thanks for the comments Northkape.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 18, 2014, 09:12:35 PM
Oh Happy Days    :)

Today, Larissa passed her written Calif drivers license test.

I thought the day was going to end crappy.  She was nervous Nelly and did not think she would pass.  It was the second day in a row that I took time off work to take her to the DMV.  Yesterday we went there and were told that the test is only by appointment.  They gave back the application and made  an appointment for 3:40 PM today.  Came home from work and spent a few minutes working with her over a problem she was having with the Russian description of Red light vs. Red arrow.  Finished that and headed for the DMV.

Upon arriving at the check-in counter the gal started the application and then asked for the form I-94.  I did not know what it was.   She then handed us a tiny slip that states Calif. law requires the printout of a Customs and Border Protection form I-94 which verifies how long a person is allowed to stay on each visit.  Even with the stamp in her passport/visa, they still had to have this duplicate info.  Nice, it is now 4:00 and you have to start the test by 4:30 or make a new appointment.  Crisis time!!!  How am I going to find a place in town to download a government form,  print it out, and get back to the DMV by 4:30.  I first went to Barnes and Noble.  There were several people waiting in line at customer service and even after asking a lady if she would mind if I cut in to ask a quick question, it was no-go.  The clock was ticking and I ended up leaving and rethinking the problem.  The Verizon store is not far away so we raced down there. I explained that it was urgent and I spend about $500 a month and need a big favor.  The clerk downloaded the I-94 and printed it out.  We raced back to the DMV and proceeded to turn in the application about 4:25.

After a few minutes we were sent to a window with a somewhat grouchy civil servant lady.  She immediately told us that we were too late to take the test since it was now 4:32 (by the time she typed all the forms, etc).  I went over to the testing room and explained our dilemma to the testing supervisor and asked if he would please accommodate Larissa taking the test.  If he answered, I did not hear it, but I noticed he was still hanging around.  When the woman finally finished processing the application she asked a co-worker if the test supervisor was willing to test her.  He apparently said yes.  Lisa and I waited holding our breath while Larissa took the test.  After about 20 minutes she was through and called me in to answer/interpret some questions he had.  He seemed to be unfamiliar with new licenses for foreign drivers.  The previously grouchy woman came in and interrupted him and told him to just issue her a temporary license.  Done deal!  She can now drive (alone) for 2 months and needs to go back and take the driving test to get her permanent license.  I am glad I kept my cool when she initially told us we were too late.  I thanked both of them upon leaving.

The afternoon got even better.  I told Lisa we could go to McDonald's and celebrate if mama passed the test.  Naturally, I could not re-neg on that deal.  One our way, Larissa got a cell call from her new Ukrainian physician friend that is taking her shopping tomorrow.  She invited us to dinner at their house tomorrow night after their shopping spree.  The reason I offer some of these details is to illustrate how warm and friendly the Ukraine and Russian people are that we have met.  The next step is to prepare her for the driving test which should be a breeze if she can lighten up on the accelerator.     :D

Edit:  I forgot to mention that Calif DMV does not keep any foreign drivers licenses.  The do need the information off it to enter into the data base however.  Saying that she did not have one, or did not have it with her would have been a mistake.  If she had not had it, she would have been issued a learners permit and could not drive alone.  This question was asked up-thread, and thought I would clear up that issue.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 24, 2014, 01:02:06 AM

The integration of our family has moments of great humor.  Probably common for all families but it's been a long time since I raised a little one. While we were chatting tonight I got the update on Lisa's monkey business while I was at work.  It seems that Lisa was eating her lunch which included some meat patties similar to hamburger but different in some ways.  Larissa was busy in the kitchen and was bugging Lisa to eat-up and quit watching TV.

Larissa caught Lisa out of the corner of her eye ducking down and leaving the room.  The next thing she heard was the toilet flush down the hall.  She looked over at the plate and it was empty.  When Lisa returned she told mom "See, I ate it all".  Lisa figured out she flushed the last patty down the toilet.  She was then sent to her room for punishment.  Lisa told Larissa to not tell papa that she was bad.  LOL

As I was rolling on the floor laughing, I then found out how Larissa knew about these antics.  She related a couple stories when she was young and did the same thing with a bowl of borscht.  Her mom caught her and refilled the bowl and promptly dumped it upside down over her head.  A lesson about wasting food.  LOL

She also pulled a favorite American teenager trick.  Her mom was given some wine by her colleagues at the University and while she was at work Larissa invited her girlfriends over and had a taste of the wine.  They poured water in the bottle to bring it back up to the original level.  When mama got home the girls were blasted and she was busted.  No wonder she is so much fun to be with. Her pranks seem to have paralleled mine.

All in all, the year is ending in the positive column.  Larissa is spending time with her Ukraine and Russian (new) girlfriends and being shown where to shop as well as getting acquainted with all the local parks, attractions, etc.  We have had dinners with them and their families and they seem to be super people.  Larissa will go back to ESL classes and Lisa will go back to kindergarten after the Christmas break.  In addition Lisa is getting signed up for ballet classes. At home things are going very well.  I wish I had not wasted 10 years being single. You just can't recapture the time that could have been enjoyed in a family environment.

We will be flying to Seattle to visit my family and have dinner with some of our RWD friends. Tonight I was getting briefed on the gift giving customs and the dates.  I had to learn about which date for Lisa to get her gift from Father Frost as well as something about the parent forgetting about it which then means the child gets the gift she wrote about requesting it.  Not sure I understand it in detail, but Larissa will take the lead and make sure I don't screw up anything.

The owner of the company I am working for had a chat with me today about my desires to continue with the company now that my original contract and objectives have been met over a year ago.  Basically I was given a choice to continue as a full time consultant or to convert to a full time salaried engineer/manager and gain the benefits everyone else has.  This choice also involves a promotion that is really in Title only.  Instead of a raise, I decided to take the promotion and get the benefits since I need medical coverage for Larissa and Lisa.  Also I enjoy working for the company and have created a great team of techs and engineers so will continue probably until I croak at the bench or my office. I told the owner when he hired me I will work for him until it is not longer fun to go to work in the morning.  Also  with two more mouths to feed, the extra money will help keep the lifestyle and hobbies funded.  I can never imagine me sitting in a rocking chair on the porch.  It just isn't me.

We wish all our members a very merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on December 24, 2014, 03:27:09 AM
Doncha just LURRRRVE happy endings?

Best wishes Doug, to you and your new family.  :couple: :toocool:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on January 02, 2015, 08:22:27 AM
Happy New Years Doug, it was great having dinner with you, Larissa, Lisa, Kevin and Rita at Chandler's. Olga enjoyed speaking her native language over dinner. Hope to do it again someday.  :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 02, 2015, 12:53:33 PM
Happy New Years Doug, it was great having dinner with you, Larissa, Lisa, Kevin and Rita at Chandler's. Olga enjoyed speaking her native language over dinner. Hope to do it again someday.  :)

Thanks Hector.  We enjoyed your company as well.  Any future Seattle get-togethers by us will be in the summer.   :D
I caught a nasty cold as a reminder why I moved to California.   Perhaps this summer we can do it again.
The food was fantastic.  Perhaps BillyB can join us next time.  I believe he had minor surgery preventing him from joining us this time.

Keep warm!

Edit:
BTW,  we tried to go up the Space Needle and when we arrived the wait was 2 hours in the freezing rain.  Also, the restaurant was booked solid for the whole day and evening.  We did  not expect this in the middle of winter.  Instead we tried to go to my favorite restaurant (Ivars Acre of Clams) on the waterfront and the whole waterfront was torn up and businesses closed.  We ended up going back to Chandlers for dinner.  Scallops again.....Yummy.
 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 11, 2015, 04:38:34 PM
Things have been going smooth since their arrival.  I don't even consider it an adjustment period anymore.
There is no longing over leaving Ukraine and family behind.  She is on Skype with her mother, brother, and son on a weekly basis.
Larissa is anxious to try to do an AOS rather than the CR-1/CR-2 we had planned to do.  She wants to stay here and not return in the immediate  future to Ukraine. 

We still have a rented apartment in Yalta, an apartment in Kiev, and commercial properties to do something with, but everything can sit and wait.  Larissa says no one has any money to buy anything now anyway.  Same problem with her car.  So might end up giving it to a relative.

The friendship with her two new FSU girlfriends has expanded.  The UA physician and Larissa seem to have a weekly Friday shopping day and last Friday when I got home from work, Olga was here at the house after their trip.  Larissa had made pork chops like I had never eaten before.  They were breaded in something with spices and it was delicious.  Olga, asked for two helpings and commented on what a good cook Larissa is and how lucky I am for her cooking skills.  I agree.     :)

Yesterday, I decided to take Larissa out for her second driving experience.  Unfortunately, I have a Toyota pickup and she is used to her small Mitsubishi Colt.  She manged to back out of the driveway without taking out the iron gates.  Good first start!  I then told her to drive wherever she wanted to.  She was a little reserved for a few blocks, but adjusted quickly.  After a while I decided to take her to Trader Joe's to see if they had anything that she didn't see in our local grocery store.  The only problem she had was parking in the parking lot.  The pickup has rounded front fenders (looking from the drivers position) and you can't see where the front really is.  Nevertheless, she got it parked in one try.  Backing out was another thing.  It took her several tries and as you can imagine she could not tell how close she was to the cars parked behind her.  It took her at least 3 tries to back out and be oriented where she could drive forward to leave.  Fortunately, the cars that were piled up waiting for her were patient.  No one gave her the finger or honked at her.  I was surprised.  Hopefully in the next few weeks she will take the driving test and have her license made permanent.

Lisa is rattling off English sentences most of the time.  I am amazed.  She is on Christmas break from  kindergarten and her English appears to be learned from watching English cartoons on the Cartoon Channel and Nick.  The way things are going, I don't think it will be necessary to subscribe to the Russian speaking TV channels.  Larissa gets all the news she wants on the internet.

So far..............so fantastically good.
 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Wayne on January 12, 2015, 10:36:38 AM
Selling property now might be difficult. Perhaps she could rent it out to someone?
 
Glad to hear that the adjustment is working out.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: southernX on January 13, 2015, 11:59:27 PM
nice to read some good news doug,  ;)

so far your girls seem to be settling in well , that is really good for all of you
keep up the reports , there nice reading on here  :clapping:


the driving lessons will keep you on your toes , lol no one learns like a FSU lady ime , it can be a lesson in patience , fear and laughter /love all in one go !!!!
one tip though doug , keep each lesson to about an hour , longer than an hour in the early stages takes a lot of focus , especially if language is an issue

i learnt the easy words for left ,[levo ]  right [pravo ] straight ahead [priama ] etc pretty quickly to ease my wifes concentration efforts to just learning  to drive
not translating too much as well at the same time , it might help you also  ;)

SX
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 14, 2015, 10:23:56 PM
nice to read some good news doug,  ;)

so far your girls seem to be settling in well , that is really good for all of you
keep up the reports , there nice reading on here  :clapping:


the driving lessons will keep you on your toes , lol no one learns like a FSU lady ime , it can be a lesson in patience , fear and laughter /love all in one go !!!!
one tip though doug , keep each lesson to about an hour , longer than an hour in the early stages takes a lot of focus , especially if language is an issue

i learnt the easy words for left ,[levo ]  right [pravo ] straight ahead [priama ] etc pretty quickly to ease my wifes concentration efforts to just learning  to drive
not translating too much as well at the same time , it might help you also  ;)

SX

Thanks for the tips SX.   Actually she is doing pretty well.  I am making her drive everywhere after I get home from work.  I had to insist in the beginning, but now she does not give me any fuss about it.  Whether it's to the store, her ESL lessons or Lisa's ballet lessons, she is driving and this includes night time.  She is using English asking me questions.  She has  Right, Left, Straight, Stop, Go all down pat.   :)

I was planning to sell the Mercedes 560SL because it has no rear seat and there is no way to legally put a child's booster seat in the back.  After giving it some more thought, I might do the repairs that need to be done (A/C, Cruise Control, etc) and give it to her to drive during the day.  I will be at work with the Toyota pickup so it will be just Larissa and Lisa, so the lack of a back seat might not matter.  Also, being smaller and closer to the ground she probably will find it much easier to park.  All I need to check on is to make sure that it is legal to put the child seat in the front passenger seat.   In order to get used to the lack of a clutch, she is having to place her left foot to the far left to get out of the habit.  She still reaches for the gear shift but catches herself before moving it.     :)

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 14, 2015, 11:15:14 PM
I have concluded it is a very good idea for wives to find Russian speaking friends.  I have read some contrary opinions, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

Having friends that speak the same language has been great for Larissa.  Since she is in ESL classes,  I don't think it is going to slow down her English learning very much.  The second concern expressed is that a FSU woman may turn her into a bitch is just plain not going to happen.  If you use some examples on the forum to form an opinion of what FSU women are like after coming to the USA, it is a big mistake.  We have now met several FSU women from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus and they are all normal, friendly, helpful and sociable.

In addition there are a lot of 'girly' things that I am not an expert in such as finding a good hairdresser, a Russian food store, a good female doctor, etc.   Having locals of the same culture has been a godsend for her.  Furthermore, they pick her up at our house and show her around town.  It is this type of behavior that I form my opinions on rather than stereotypes and a few examples I read elsewhere.

Redlands seems to have a lot of FSU couples.  We have added a new one tonight.  A Belorussian piano teacher for Lisa.  We went to their home to talk about lessons. Probably a $1M home in the ritzy part of town.  I did not meet the husband as he was working late.  The teacher and her daughter both give lessons and are very charming. It sounds like these women teach all the Russian speaking children in the area. They showed me concerts that their students have played in, including 50 at the same time in their home.  The teacher laughed when she told me they had to rent 50 chairs for the concert.

To give newbies an idea of how it worked for us, let me give an idea of how it unfolded although it was not planned....
The first FSU person we met was a doctor at a playground we were visiting near our home.  She is married to an American pharmacist.
The second person was a Russian woman that has a daughter in the same kindergarten class as Lisa is in.

At Lisa's ballet class I met a Russian parent with a daughter the same age and class as Lisa.
I asked her if she knew any Russian speaking piano teachers for children.  She informed me that she met a very good teacher and she also had met my wife because her daughter is also in the same kindergarten class.  She said she would check with the teacher and discuss it with Larissa when she would see her at kindergarten.  When I got home tonight from work, the two women had already worked everything out and had an appointment with the piano teacher at 6:30 at her home.  Lisa will be taking piano lessons twice a week.

Let's see, $40/wk for ballet lessons, $80/wk for piano lessons.  How did anyone come up with the expression they are cheaper by the dozen?   :)

Also learned the the owner of the local gas station has a young Ukraine wife and she and Larissa have been chatting of the phone.  Also learned that there is a well established Russian population in Big Bear.  It's an hour drive on a winding road, so not likely to develop close friends their.

I learned that a local company is responsible for so many FSU folks living in and around Redlands.  The company is ESRI and it is known worldwide for it's GIS software that is used by military, governments, and industries.  The piano teacher from Belarus told me tonight that the owner of the company went to Belarus and 'bought up' all the talent at the same time.  I know that they also employ a lot of Russians and Ukrainians as well.

In addition, we have Loma Linda University and Hospital next door and they also have a lot of students from the FSU.

Based on our experience, I suggest that anyone bringing a FSU wife to the USA to make a concerted effort to seek out at least one Russian speaking resident and befriend them.  From there, she can network and wifey can have her cake and eat it too.   :)

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 22, 2015, 11:35:32 AM
As I mentioned earlier, 6 year old Lisa was diagnosed to have substantial dental problems, mostly from the poor dentistry in Ukraine.  The result, $4500 worth of oral surgery scheduled for 6 A.M. this morning.   2 1/2 hours under general anesthesia.   Larissa was a wreck!  First of all, getting up at 5 A.M. does not fit our biological clock.  Not being able to understand directly all the stuff the dentist and anesthesiologist was saying didn't help either.  I did everything I could to comfort her but she was still a nervous wreck.

At least she still had a little humor left in her.  We took a break for breakfast during the surgery at Carls's Jr. near the medical facility.  When I asked her if she wanted milk or coffee with her breakfast, she replied "Vodka".    :D

Lisa was brave throughout the whole process and did not even flinch when she got the injection for anesthesia.  She is home now in mama's arms and I have to go to work.   All will be well in a few days.

All in the life of raising a curtain climber.   :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on January 23, 2015, 09:59:51 PM
Aren't these the baby teeth that will come out in a couple of years?

Didn't know they would do so much work on these teeth.

Many kids get a few baby teeth knocked out here and there . . . so that was not a viable option . . . pulling, that is.

My kids both lost one tooth via accidents.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 23, 2015, 11:43:13 PM
ML,
Yes, they are all baby teeth.  However, they would fall out in a couple years if they were healthy now.  We always treated baby teeth as you inferred.  i.e. don't fuss a lot about baby teeth because they will fall out later anyway.

Apparently there is a lot of focus recently about keeping baby teeth healthy as well.  When both dentists had us look in her mouth I was shocked.  I think a  kid with a putty knife could do a better job of fillings, etc.  She had 4 teeth that either had roots exposed or the tooth had erupted.  The massive decay was so apparent on the X-Rays that a novice could point it out.  There may have been some procedures that could have been put off or eliminated, but I don't want to take any risks with her.  It was explained to me that by leaving the decayed teeth in place, it can affect the permanent teeth before they even grow in.

As I recall, she had 4 extractions, 5 stainless crowns, space maintainers, and other work on teeth that were salvageable.  All in all, she now has a 'clean' mouth and a good chance of the permanent teeth coming in fine.  None of the extractions were front teeth, so no visible signs of the procedures.

She was a real trooper throughout the process.  Mama was the one that was a wreck.    :D  Once the anesthesia wore off and a short crying spell, she became the energizer bunny within a few hours and has not even mentioned her teeth or pain.  Lisa is already back to her ballet lessons, piano lessons, and kindergarten. 

Her birthday is tomorrow (6) and its kind of a bummer that we did not plan a big birthday party for her (expected she would be miserable).  We are having a few of her Russian speaking friends over tomorrow with their parents and tonight mama is baking a birthday cake for her.  After her piano lesson tonight we went to the toy store and bought everything she could carry out with both arms.  A wonderful child that brings us both a lot of joy.

Lisa has already surpassed Larissa in learning English.  Lisa is speaking to me in English and mama in Russian.  I kidded Larissa tonight that she should start watching Lisa's cartoons (in English) if she wants to catch up with her.   :)

The driving situation has been a piece of cake.  Larissa has been driving the 560SL around town while I am work and so far not even a fender bender.  It's a blessing to me because it is difficult taking time off work to take her to appointments and shopping.  I figure anyone that has driven in Kiev for 15 years can probably handle American driving pretty well.  Tonight was the first minor incident.  I had a doctor appointment and could not take Lisa to piano lessons.  She said she would take her.   On my way home from the doctor she called me and said she was lost.  My cell phone went dead during the conversation thanks to waiting for over 2 hours for the DMV to  pick up my call while at work.  I was a little worried.  I could not plug it in in the truck because a fuse had blown the day before.  I was home only a few minutes changing the fuse and she drove up.  At least she found her way back home and we got to the piano lesson on time.

It's been over 20 years since I raised my daughter so quite an adjustment for me.  I have to admit it is actually more enjoyable this go-around.  I have a lot more patience than when I was a single parent raising my daughter.  There is just something magic about a child wrapping their arms around you and saying 'I love you papa'. 

I would do it all over again.  I hope guys that have the temperament  and desire to raise children don't overlook the vast number of Ukraine women with a young child that are rejected by others simply because they have a kid.  There are some real prizes out there.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 24, 2015, 10:15:32 PM
Today is Lisa's 6th birthday.  Larissa worked all day cooking for a hastily planned birthday party.
We had a Ukraine/American couple and a Russian Couple with their kids over for dinner.  Larissa's Belarussian couple friend is out of the country on vacation and could not make it.   Larissa's fantastic cooking was a great hit.  Not sure what it is all called in Russian, but the photo shows in the foreground the salted salmon on bread, a popular Russian/Ukrainian salad, in the middle some sort of ground turkey breaded and baked (very good), in the background thin steaks covered in onions and cheese.  Furthest back is a tossed green salad and a rice dish.

The Ukraine physician reminded me how lucky I am to have such a great cook for a wife.  All very nice couples that interact with each other at kindergarten, ballet lessons and shopping.  It's nice to have a completely new circle of friends.

It was a little amusing to watch the women consume vodka and wine during dinner and then turned into chatterboxes for an hour afterward.   :)

My project for the weekend is to get Larissa's car ready for her driver test next Friday.  After getting lost the other night, I installed a GPS for her today.  The windshield washer does not work and the blades are shot.  Hopefully, tomorrow I can finish up the project.  She likes driving the 560SL because it is small and easy to park, so guess I will not get another car after all.  I will be crossing my fingers for next Friday.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on January 24, 2015, 10:26:14 PM
Thanks for sharing Doug.  It's great to have a valuable contributor like you share so much about his family life and the real life of a Ukrainian woman married to an American.  Congratulations to your daughter on her Birthday.   :clapping:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on January 25, 2015, 02:23:53 AM
Congratulations on how well things are going.  However:

My project for the weekend is to get Larissa's car ready for her driver test next Friday...The windshield washer does not work and the blades are shot.  Hopefully, tomorrow I can finish up the project.

I don't know what licensing requirements are for cars where you are, Doug, but here that car might not be allowed on the road.  We have to present cars for a roadworthiness inspection every six months (once a year for cars less than five years old), and cars that don't pass their Warrant of Fitness inspection can't be registered.  Even something as minor as worn wiper blades would be at least a warning, and probably a fail, although the windscreen washer wouldn't.  Operating a car without a current WoF and/or registration would cost several hundred dollars in fines - far cheaper to replace worn parts when you first notice them!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: mendeleyev on January 25, 2015, 10:55:31 AM
Awesome, Doug!

Great photos...the smiles are priceless.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: jone on January 25, 2015, 11:00:25 AM
Congratulations on how well things are going.  However:

I don't know what licensing requirements are for cars where you are, Doug, but here that car might not be allowed on the road.  We have to present cars for a roadworthiness inspection every six months (once a year for cars less than five years old), and cars that don't pass their Warrant of Fitness inspection can't be registered.  Even something as minor as worn wiper blades would be at least a warning, and probably a fail, although the windscreen washer wouldn't.  Operating a car without a current WoF and/or registration would cost several hundred dollars in fines - far cheaper to replace worn parts when you first notice them!


Please, please, let me take you to East LA sometime soon.  Your road worthiness inspections would cripple the latino and black communities as almost all of the East LA cars would fail.  (That was humor, LifeFromUkraine, not a blanket statement.)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 25, 2015, 12:10:31 PM
Kiwi, thanks for the comments.  Our inspections are much less stringent than yours.  In our system, we do not have routine or scheduled government inspections of the vehicle.

However..... there is an exception.  The government inspector that rides with someone during a drivers test wants to know that the vehicle meets safety requirements and therefore they do make an inspection prior to beginning the driving test.  As I mentioned, today is my project to fix anything that fail inspection.

For the most part, any violations of vehicle safety are noticed by cops on the road or when you are pulled  over for some other violation.  Other than not wearing a seat belt (you will be fined), you get a ticket that allows you some time to repair any defects that are noticed by the cops and there is not usually any fine as long as you fix them.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on January 25, 2015, 03:09:39 PM
For the most part, any violations of vehicle safety are noticed by cops on the road or when you are pulled  over for some other violation.

Fine, but most people keep to the road rules anyway, so wouldn't get stopped.

Other than not wearing a seat belt (you will be fined), you get a ticket that allows you some time to repair any defects that are noticed by the cops and there is not usually any fine as long as you fix them.

Cold comfort to the widow of the guy killed when your worn tyre blew out, or when your defective brakes packed up completely at just the wrong time.

Unfortunately, most people on middle or low incomes don't get their cars serviced regularly enough (mainly because of the expense - they have other priorities, such as food and rent payments), so at least a system like ours picks up stuff that needs attention.  Of course, not everyone here is a saint who follows all the rules, so there are plenty of cars that run around without valid WoFs.  I just hope that none of them come anywhere near me.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 25, 2015, 03:23:54 PM
Fine, but most people keep to the road rules anyway, so wouldn't get stopped.

Cold comfort to the widow of the guy killed when your worn tyre blew out, or when your defective brakes packed up completely at just the wrong time.

Unfortunately, most people on middle or low incomes don't get their cars serviced regularly enough (mainly because of the expense - they have other priorities, such as food and rent payments), so at least a system like ours picks up stuff that needs attention.  Of course, not everyone here is a saint who follows all the rules, so there are plenty of cars that run around without valid WoFs.  I just hope that none of them come anywhere near me.

Agree, an annual inspection would be good from a safety standpoint.  Unfortunately it would create a huge bureaucracy just to handle inspections and that translates to tax dollars to fund it.  I suppose it could be added to the periodic smog checks that are required at specific intervals without creating a new tax burden.

In reality, there are relatively few accidents or deaths caused by mechanical malfunctions.  Many accidents are caused by cell phone usage and bad weather conditions associated with excessive speed for the conditions.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: cc3 on January 25, 2015, 03:24:17 PM
Beautiful family, Doug! Thanks for your PM words of encouragement. Expatua is my daily forum participation site. I come here occasionally for laughs and Mendy's wisdom; nothing from the less than stellar intellects here who might be critical of me has any effect. I live in UA's best city, Lviv, with one of UA's best women...life is good!

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 25, 2015, 03:38:29 PM
Beautiful family, Doug! Thanks for your PM words of encouragement. Expatua is my daily forum participation site. I come here occasionally for laughs and Mendy's wisdom; nothing from the less than stellar intellects here who might be critical of me has any effect. I live in UA's best city, Lviv, with one of UA's best women...life is good!

 :thumbsup:

Thanks for the comments.  I follow your posts on both forums.  I am happy you found a wonderful UA woman.  Someday we need to have a beer together.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on January 25, 2015, 03:41:23 PM
Sorry to stay somewhat  :offtopic:, but I work in an industry where health and safety are absolutely paramount.  One error and I have dead staff to worry about.

Agree, an annual inspection would be good from a safety standpoint.  Unfortunately it would create a huge bureaucracy just to handle inspections and that translates to tax dollars to fund it.

Ours is self-funding, as far as I know - a car inspection usually costs $40-$50.  I can't see any increase in bureaucracy, other than more people being needed in your DMV to update computer reports.  The inspection fee could easily be set high enough to cover any overhead costs such as this.

In reality, there are relatively few accidents or deaths caused by mechanical malfunctions.  Many accidents are caused by cell phone usage and bad weather conditions associated with excessive speed for the conditions.

You can't do much about idiots using cell phones, although it's illegal here to use one while driving.  As for your last point - have you thought about how many of those accidents might have been prevented, or have been less serious, if the car involved was in top mechanical condition?  You know - tyres that weren't worn, so that it didn't slide straight off the road when the badly uneven brakes were applied.  Or wiper blades that cleared enough of the heavy rain on the windscreen for the driver to see the semi-trailer which had jack-knifed across the wet road?  Even one life saved because of those compulsory inspections would be worth it.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 25, 2015, 03:52:52 PM
Sorry to stay somewhat  :offtopic:, but I work in an industry where health and safety are absolutely paramount.  One error and I have dead staff to worry about.

Ours is self-funding, as far as I know - a car inspection usually costs $40-$50.  I can't see any increase in bureaucracy, other than more people being needed in your DMV to update computer reports.  The inspection fee could easily be set high enough to cover any overhead costs such as this.

You can't do much about idiots using cell phones, although it's illegal here to use one while driving.  As for your last point - have you thought about how many of those accidents might have been prevented, or have been less serious, if the car involved was in top mechanical condition?  You know - tyres that weren't worn, so that it didn't slide straight off the road when the badly uneven brakes were applied.  Or wiper blades that cleared enough of the heavy rain on the windscreen for the driver to see the semi-trailer which had jack-knifed across the wet road?  Even one life saved because of those compulsory inspections would be worth it.

We have a philosophical differences between our cultures but we understand each other.  'Even one life saved' is an excuse used by pro-government folks to promote a lot of programs.  I am reminded of the differences when they want to put a Stop Sign on every corner.  'If it saves one life it is worth it'.    :)  No consideration of the traffic jams and cost of the signs. 

No sense in discussing the differences, we simply think differently.  Thanks for the comments.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on January 25, 2015, 04:08:17 PM
We have a philosophical differences between our cultures but we understand each other.  'Even one life saved' is an excuse used by pro-government folks to promote a lot of programs. I am reminded of the differences when they want to put a Stop Sign on every corner.  'If it saves one life it is worth it'.    :)  No consideration of the traffic jams and cost of the signs. 

No sense in discussing the differences, we simply think differently.  Thanks for the comments.

That's taking it to an absurd extreme, and it's not a viewpoint to which I would subscribe, even though I would be very thankful if it was my life saved.  However, with the horrendous costs of medical treatment in the USA, surely something which might would help reduce those costs would be worth investigating?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on January 25, 2015, 04:12:41 PM
That's taking it to an absurd extreme, and it's not a viewpoint to which I would subscribe, even though I would be very thankful if it was my life saved.  However, with the horrendous costs of medical treatment in the USA, surely something which might would help reduce those costs would be worth investigating?

Your right, it is where you draw the line and what the risk analysis shows.  Health costs in the USA is a concern I have and have yet to see an honest analysis of where the money goes.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on January 25, 2015, 09:15:01 PM
Now - back to our usual programming...  :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 07, 2015, 10:41:44 AM
This may be only of interest to a few, but thought it might be worth passing on.

My wife has an account at Privat Bank in Ukraine.  Her mother, still living in Kiev also has a debit card on this same account.  Larissa's logic was to bring her card with her to the US so that she could deposit money in the account and allow mama to withdraw money as needed.  It turns out this is much more difficult than we imagined.

Here is what we learned through several hours of effort going to numerous US banks, emails and live chat with Mastercard and Privat Bank.

1.  Using the Ukraine Mastercard in US ATM's....There is no option displayed to make deposits.
2.  You cannot withdraw cash from an ATM
3.  When using at a merchant, it will not work in the Debit mode, but the transaction will work in the 'Credit Card' mode.  You can use the card to make purchases in stores, restaurants, etc.
4.  According to the officer at the bank you cannot make deposits to foreign Mastercard accounts like you can within Mastercards within the US.
5.  The officer indicated that if you plan to bring a foreign Mastercard to the USA, you need to make sure you have already deposited the money you expect to spend while in the USA.

I had heard of SWIFT in the discussions about the economic sanctions threads, but this is the first time it ever came up in my personal experiences.
Last night Larissa received an email from Privat Bank (I think) that provided the details of how to accomplish this task  to make the deposit to her Ukraine account.

Here is a summary of the key items in the email.....

Beneficiary:                 Wifes name
Account:                      Wifes account number at Privat Bank
Bank of Beneficiary:    PRIVATBANK            Swift Code:                 Code number
Intermediary Bank:     JP Morgan Chase Bank      Swift Code:      Code number
Corresondent Account:     10 digit number
IBAN:                           long number preceded by letters UA

The email said to take this info to Chase Bank and they will know how to make the deposit into the UA account.
We are going to try this procedure this morning at Chase Bank and see if it works.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on February 07, 2015, 11:08:55 AM

Here is a summary of the key items in the email.....

Beneficiary:                 Wifes name
Account:                      Wifes account number at Privat Bank
Bank of Beneficiary:    PRIVATBANK            Swift Code:                 Code number
Intermediary Bank:     JP Morgan Chase Bank      Swift Code:      Code number
Corresondent Account:     10 digit number
IBAN:                           long number preceded by letters UA

The email said to take this info to Chase Bank and they will know how to make the deposit into the UA account.
We are going to try this procedure this morning at Chase Bank and see if it works.


You're wiring money from bank to bank. Scammers have been known to use this technique besides Western Union. Nigerian scammers get someone's bank info to wire them a large sum. It's safe since the info the victim is sending can't be used by the scammer to drain their bank account. All the scammer ask for is half the money back that they send. A victim may verify $10,000 was wired into their bank account and think the scammer was honest so the victim wires them back $5000. A week later the bank tells their customer the funds did not clear for use so the $10,000 is pulled out of the victims bank account and the $5000 wired to the scammer comes out of the victim's pocket. You should be fine Doug as long as you don't have a Nigerian helping you on this task. ;)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 07, 2015, 11:30:21 AM
Thanks Billy.  The communication was directly between Privat Bank that started in a phone call and then ended up with the email they sent.  I think we are ok.  The first transaction will be limited to a few hundred $$ to try it out.      :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AkMike on February 07, 2015, 11:35:41 AM
Doug,
 We've taken a debit card from our local CU to UA for our step son to use if needed for emergency funds. We deposit on our end as needed, if ever.  Just make sure the bank on this end has a travel use noted or it'll get shut down after 1 use. There'll  be a few % extra for he conversion to hyrivna,  but not too bad.

 Swift transfers have taken us up to 3 weeks to transfer to UA.

 AND 1 little tid bit to be aware of.. Our bank in UA, Aval has said that our dollar account is no problem and we can withdraw at any time.. Until I needed to withdraw some last week. Then they said that they needed a few days to bring dollars in and then only 12,000 hrn worth of dollars per day. Then about only worth $950.


EDIT TO ADD!!!

 If you wire money to someone else in UA, they can be stuck with something like a 30 % tax on it. This is something that's just happened in the last year or so.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 07, 2015, 04:13:39 PM
Doug,
 We've taken a debit card from our local CU to UA for our step son to use if needed for emergency funds. We deposit on our end as needed, if ever.  Just make sure the bank on this end has a travel use noted or it'll get shut down after 1 use. There'll  be a few % extra for he conversion to hyrivna,  but not too bad.

 Swift transfers have taken us up to 3 weeks to transfer to UA.

 AND 1 little tid bit to be aware of.. Our bank in UA, Aval has said that our dollar account is no problem and we can withdraw at any time.. Until I needed to withdraw some last week. Then they said that they needed a few days to bring dollars in and then only 12,000 hrn worth of dollars per day. Then about only worth $950.


EDIT TO ADD!!!

 If you wire money to someone else in UA, they can be stuck with something like a 30 % tax on it. This is something that's just happened in the last year or so.

Thanks for the reply Mike.

Well, the plan was to take 1/2 this morning and go to Chase and wire the money directly to Privet bank in Kiev.  I should have known it is never this easy....even with detailed instructions.    :)

We started at Chase and everything seemed to go well on the wire transfer using the instructions provided by Privet in the email......... until they asked me my account number at Chase!   They will not make any wire transfers unless it is from a qualifying account at Chase.  Since we did not have one, I asked what is the cheapest account I can set up today and make the transfer?  Answer was a checking account with a debit card linked to it.  Unless you keep a $1500 balance the monthly fee is $10 whether you use the account or not.  In addition there is a fee for the wire transfers.  I am beginning to get annoyed at this point.   :wallbash:  The banker advised that I can send the wire transfer from Wells Fargo (my bank) also, but it will also go through Chase since they are the Privet intermediate bank partner.

We went back to Wells Fargo and explained everything again and they began the wire transfer.  The only issue is that all international wire transfers are $45.  At least they can do it!  I am getting so frustrated at wasting so much time with this, I decided to bite the bullet and just do it.  We decided to send $500 to granny and hopefully I won't have to go through this often.

Larissa had a brilliant idea (as usual).  When she came to the US last time we set up a new joint account at Wells Fargo.  We got two debit cards.  When she went back to Ukraine last time she used her card on the joint account and it worked well except for the limit she can withdraw at any one time.  Her new idea was to get a duplicate card with her name on it with a different number but on the same joint account.  We can't get another card with grandmas name on it because you have to physically be in the bank to do so.   At least she can prove that Larissa is her daughter and it is legit using her card in case she gets questioned.  In the future she can just get money from the ATM in Ukraine and I won't have to make any more wire transfers.  I will have to remember to call the bank and tell them that the card will be used in Ukriane so the account does not get frozen up.

Hopefully this is going to solve the problems with transferring money.  Considering grandma is living on a pension and is reluctant to ever ask for help when needed, I want to make sure she has quick access to money if she needs it.

I hope this experience might be helpful for others in a similar situation.

Note:  Disregard previous posts I made about using a Walmart pre-paid debit card for transfers.  It worked for about a year and then it was cut off from use in Ukraine and other 'risky' countries.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AkMike on February 07, 2015, 06:27:35 PM
The name on the card won't matter unless she goes inside a bank to use it. The ATM's don't check!  ;)

 Just set up an acct with Wells Fargo with a minimum amount and get the card to her. Not thru the mail either.. That's a no no..  If she needs some she'll get in touch and you can add to the account and she can draw that amount. I don't know what the max amount from an ATM is now though. The guys at the EX place will know that number.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 08, 2015, 04:27:09 PM
Just a little update from notes I have taken over the past few weeks.  Nothing serious, just the crazy life with a wonderful Ukrainian wife.

Lisa and I try to allow Larissa to sleep in on weekends.  While she was sleeping I was checking emails, forum posts, etc. and Lisa came into the lab with a plate with bread and melted cheese on top.  She said "I cook breakfast for papa."  I assumed that Larissa had got up and allowed Lisa to fix the melted cheese on bread.  NOPE!  While walking to the kitchen I discovered Larissa was still sound asleep.  Naturally, this created fear in my mind that Lisa was using the gas stove and a pan to melt the cheese.   In the kitchen I noticed Larissa's step stool in front of the stove.  OMG, is my daughter going to burn the house down?  After Larissa woke up she explained to me that she showed Lisa how the microwave works.  I did not know it, but Lisa had woke up Larissa to ask what number to put on the control panel to make the cheese on bread.  She told her 10, so I assume Lisa set it for 10 seconds.  I asked her about using the gas stove and she said that Lisa is forbidden to use the stove.

I am left with mixed emotions about Lisa creating future problems, but on the other hand she is so bright I hate to discourage her development.  I think I will just try and monitor things more closely.  Lisa helps mama with almost all the housework including vacuuming, loading and unloading the dishwasher, making great meals together, etc.   We will see how this goes.    :)

The language barrier..... I am coming more convinced that the language barrier is not as big a problem as many people make it out to be.  Larissa is enrolled in ESL however I am surprised how slowly it is advancing her 'conversational English'.  Looking at her homework, it appears that the ESL classes start from scratch and teach all the details about sentence structure, grammar, language rules, etc.   I don't even remember all this stuff from primary school.   My impression is that ESL does not teach conversational English, instead it is a complete, thorough English language class.

As far as daily communication, she knows enough English words that we can communicate fairly well, even if the sentence structure isn't always correct.  I will admit, if your wife already is fluent in English it would be much easier but if you are in love with each other it is a minor issue compared to  personality and compatibility.

Last night we went and saw "American Sniper".  I tried to discourage Larissa from going suggesting that she would not like a war movie.  She insisted, so we found a babysitter and saw it together.  She reminded me that it was her first time seeing a movie at an American cinema.  I really liked the movie and found that is was very well done without a lot of blood and guts scenes.  On the way home I asked her what she thought about the movie.  Her reply surprised me.  She said "Why would a man with a beautiful wife and young children go to a foreign country and fight for them?  Why does he not stay home with his family since his country is not being invaded?"

Larissa's mother is much more educated in world affairs as she is a retired professor at a major Kiev university.  Apparently, Larissa never followed international politics, so it is easy to understand her response.  I guess I have to educate her about the West supporting democracies and freedom for nations that cannot defend themselves against much larger aggressors.  Of course, explaining our useless US president's policy and most of Europe not supporting Ukraine will be difficult.

After Lisa's cooking exercise in the kitchen this morning and my concerns expressed, Larissa got into a chatty mood and told a couple stories about her son when he was young.

Apparently after getting their first microwave oven, grandma put two whole eggs in it.  Larissa was in the other room and heard the explosion.  Granny learned a lesson.    :)

While preparing a cake, apparently her son put a cigarette lighter in the oven earlier and Larissa did not see it.  The lighter exploded and there was a fire!

Her son had a cat and after washing it, he was about to put it in the microwave to dry it.  Larissa caught him at the last minute and saved the cat.

Larissa often comes into the lab and says "Help me".  Today I followed her into the master bedroom and she was complaining that the vacuum cleaner was not working.  It turns out she had somehow found the rug shampooer.  I had to explain that this was not for vacuuming and I asked what happened to the new vacuum I bought.  Apparently it quit working and she found what she thought was a substitute.  She brought me the vacuum.  It is the new Dirt Devil I bought her for a housewarming gift as a joke.  It is one of cyclone type devices and I had never used one, but it works very well and is especially built to accommodate pet hair.  It turns out the dirt collection chamber was fully packed and she did not know how to empty it.  After retrieving the owners manual I managed to show her how to empty and clean it.  Presto, it now works like a champ........  OOOPS.

Next help was to explain why the vacuum cleaner died while she was using it.  There appears to be no thermal reset button on this machine.  The manual says to wait 30 minutes for the motor to cool off.  Trying to get a Ukraine women to wait 30 minutes for anything is a challenge.  She wanted to get the old vacuum out and finish the job.  Oh well, the crazy Wilson house continues with our adventure.

Larissa has a thing about locking the house and turning on the alarm even if we are just going next door for a few minutes.  Almost an obsession about locking the house.  It's not necessary in our neighborhood, but her habit doesn't hurt anything so I just let her do it.

So far there is no homesickness.  Her local Russian speaking friends seem to fulfill her a social calendar.  The physician and Larissa have a 'shopping day' every Friday and Larissa makes Borscht for her every week.  On the weekend, Larissa and Lisa spend a couple hours with grandma on Skype.  Grandma has a strong interest in how Larissa and Lisa are adjusting to life in the USA.   So far so good!

While thinking about Lisa's antics in the kitchen, I remembered an incident when I was raising my daughter many years ago.  MY daughter and her little girlfriend were making flour dough and baking various little items in the oven.  How cute, I thought.   Later I learned that they were making pot pipes.  Here sat dad without a clue what was going on.   :)   This time around I hope to be a little more astute about what the kids are doing.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 24, 2015, 07:25:27 PM
Today is a happy day in the Wilson home.

Larissa passed her drivers test after failing the first attempt.

After not taking the advice of other immigrants and neighbors as well, we ignored the advice to not take the driving test in Redlands.  I figured with 20 years of driving experience in Kiev, how could she fail......bad assumption.

This time we went to Riverside to take the test.  She passed and the examiner was pleasant.

For those having wives about to take the driving test in California, I have attached a copy of the worksheet the examiner uses during the driving test.,  It would have been helpful if we had known how the test is scored as well as what needs to be demonstrated in advance.  You will notice she failed to know how to operate the defroster.  My fault for not teaching her and not knowing she would be tested on it.  She is an excellent driver and I am comfortable with her driving anywhere.

Congrats to Larissa.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on February 24, 2015, 07:49:36 PM
Congratulations to Larissa!! And you of course. :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on February 24, 2015, 09:48:00 PM
Doug, give our best to Larissa on this achievement.

I never even thought about those operational things being on the test, but . . . I checked out Ochka on pretty much everything and had her demonstrate to me several times that she knew how to operate most everything.

And for some reason, she had a lot of trouble using the gas pumps initially.  Some of it wasn't her fault as a bunch of screwy things kept happening at various stations.  But now she seems to have it down fairly pat.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on February 24, 2015, 10:45:20 PM

Grats to Larissa! I don't know about you Doug, but I was happy when my wife got her drivers license. I hate shopping and I had to tag along since I had to do all the driving.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 24, 2015, 11:22:59 PM
Grats to Larissa! I don't know about you Doug, but I was happy when my wife got her drivers license. I hate shopping and I had to tag along since I had to do all the driving.

Yes Billy, I was happy she got her temporary license a couple months ago.  She can run the Soccer Mom errands and I don't have to run home to do it anymore.  I also don't like shopping, but her and her Ukrainian friend go shopping every Friday while I am at work. 

We still hope to meet up for dinner some time in the future.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 24, 2015, 11:36:02 PM
Now that we have been together in the USA for a few months I thought I would provide an update on my opinion about the topic.

Larissa is taking ESL classes at Adult Education two evening a week.  The class is free, but it wasn't quite what I thought it would be.  The teach English grammar from step one and it is thorough.  All of the language rules and definitions that we learned in English class in grade school through High School.  The class is very slow to actually accomplish 'Conversational English'.  No doubt she will end up learning proper English grammar as well as vocabulary which is important for finding a good job, but it is painfully slow.

Our 6 year old daughter started kindergarten a couple months ago and within a couple weeks was coming home using English words to describe things and now at 2 months she is speaking English in complete sentences.  Basically she speaks to me in English and mama in Russian.  It's kind of funny that she now correcting mama and completing sentences for her.

I think it would be ideal for a new wife to take an 'Conversational English' in order to learn to speak and understand more quickly, while in parallel take the formal English class (ESL).  We rarely need to use Skype or translators very often anymore.

Anyway, that's my update on the language barrier topic as it relates to our experience.

I still maintain that finding the right woman is the most important thing, and if you both are in love the language issue is something that can be overcome with a little effort.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on February 25, 2015, 12:44:30 AM

Our 6 year old daughter started kindergarten a couple months ago and within a couple weeks was coming home using English words to describe things and now at 2 months she is speaking English in complete sentences.  Basically she speaks to me in English and mama in Russian.  It's kind of funny that she now correcting mama and completing sentences for her.



The older we get, the harder it is to learn a new language. Kids soak up information like a sponge. Your daughter observed the other kids speaking and quickly picked it up much faster than your wife will pick up the language. I bet your daughter will lose her FSU accent by the time she finishes high school. It's important that she keeps speaking to her mother in her native tongue otherwise she'll lose it.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on February 25, 2015, 12:47:05 AM

The older we get, the harder it is to learn a new language. Kids soak up information like a sponge. Your daughter observed the other kids speaking and quickly picked it up much faster than your wife will pick up the language. I bet your daughter will lose her FSU accent by the time she finishes high school. It's important that she keeps speaking to her mother in her native tongue otherwise she'll lose it.

Kids learn a lot easier because they don't think too much or over analyze things.  What kids actually do is mimic what they are hearing and soon they are fluent.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 25, 2015, 12:59:45 AM

The older we get, the harder it is to learn a new language. Kids soak up information like a sponge. Your daughter observed the other kids speaking and quickly picked it up much faster than your wife will pick up the language. I bet your daughter will lose her FSU accent by the time she finishes high school. It's important that she keeps speaking to her mother in her native tongue otherwise she'll lose it.

It would be my desire for Lisa to speak to her mother in Russian and me in English.  She will remain bilingual that way.  I have no desire for Lisa to loose her Russian and Ukrainian language.

The teenage son of Lisa's music teacher (Belarussian) says he does not use his native language and sees no reason to do so.  His parents have argued with him to stay fluent in it.  His position is that everything in the world is English, so why bother?  Seems he is winning the battle.  I hope I don't have that problem with Lisa.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: KenInUtah on February 25, 2015, 07:42:37 AM
Absolutely encourage her to keep speaking Russian/Ukrainian.  I am an Executive recruiter and I constantly get requisitions for multilingual professionals.  The kid is right, everything HERE is English but not overseas.  Business is international and companies overseas operate in a native tongue.  There is tall cash to be made here for people that speak multiple languages.  Why would someone give up that skill?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2015, 09:04:00 AM
Well done on the Drivers license!


Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2015, 09:05:27 AM
The grammar that she is learning will bring some funny situations to your life as she will begin to catch any mistakes you make.  :D

Absolutely agree with the others on the importance of remaining multi lingual.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 28, 2015, 09:22:38 PM
Photo from a couple weeks ago on our way back home from Phoenix.  We stopped to visit one of my buddies from Seattle that lives in Indio, Ca.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on February 28, 2015, 09:39:49 PM
Nice pic; thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on February 28, 2015, 10:11:48 PM
Great photo Cal, Congratulations.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: onlyFSU4me on February 28, 2015, 11:07:42 PM
Nice picture Doug, you make a great looking family. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on March 08, 2015, 11:33:04 PM
Taking the ladies out for dinner on Womans Day.

While shopping the thrift stores for work shirts today, Larissa spotted a nice dress for $5.  She is wearing it to dinner.  Nice to have a gal that is thrifty.  She could have any dress she wanted.   :)

Dinner was wonderful.  Lisa got a free child's dinner (BBQ chicken) which we did not know about in advance.  My medium rare filet was wonderful.  Larissa's well done filet with mayo was something I will never understand.   ;D

Both girls have two weeks off from school.  How does anyone learn anything will all these holidays from school?

Our waiter said he had a Ukraine wife.  Turns out she was a green card gal and lives in New Orleans.  The guy is about 6 ft and handsome (40 years old).  He said he is taking a break from women, but when he resumes he still wants a UA wife.   LOL

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on March 16, 2015, 01:28:20 AM
Today turned out to be a typical,  exciting day in the Wilson family.  Lisa (6yrs old) and I reserve Sunday mornings to have a father/daughter breakfast at IHOP while we let mama sleep in.  Today was no exception.  She quietly came into our bedroom and tugged at my arm whispering "Papa it's time to go to breakfast".  It is a real joy for me for us to have a little private time together.  No jealousy from mama either.  She seems to promote our relationship on a daily basis.  Lisa is learning English very fast in kindergarten. She speaks in complete sentences and even uses proper English like "yes" instead of ya, etc.  A couple times I asked her to translate for Larissa.

For the past week Larissa  has been haranguing me about getting the documents ready to submit for the AOS application.  In particular, she doesn't understand why I spend so much time reading the forum and all the news about Ukraine via the internet.   It finally got to the point today that I had to work on my truck as it was running rough and her Mercedes 560SL went to the dealership on Saturday.  Having to work tomorrow, it was important that I spend the day working on the truck so I had transportation to work tomorrow.

As expected she came out and suggested that I should be working on the documents rather than the truck.  While taking a break, I printed out a calendar and discovered that she has 9 weeks and 5 days before her visa expires.  I printed it out and showed her how much time is left.  Her face got red and she blushed after discovering she was BS'ing me about the urgency.  Her comment was something to the affect that it needs to get done as soon as possible.  In this respect she seems like any women I have known.    :D

Back to working on the truck, this turned out to be a challenge.  Lisa decided she was going to be my assistant mechanic and insisted on helping me whether I needed it or not.  Asking questions constantly and peering over the engine as I was working on it, she became a nuisance but I did not have the heart to tell her to go play in the house.

In the V-6 engine I got to plug #5 and discovered it was frozen.  Being an aluminum head I just knew that if forced I was going to strip the threads out of the head creating a very expensive repair.  After a few hours of penetration fluid and playing with it I finally said to hell with it, it is not going to come out.  Time for the 1/2 inch drive and force it out and see what happens.  Must have been my lucky day.  Even though it was difficult, the plug came out and the threads looked ok.  The new plug went in smoothly.     Passed that hurdle, but one plug to go........

In the mean time Larissa came out to the truck and asked me if I love her.  As usual she asks 'How Much?'  I told her very much.  She says "Very, very much"?  I said "yes, very, very , very".  She then brought out an object she was hiding behind her back.  It was some gadget for the kitchen that had two blades in a plastic center that was totally mangled.  I assumed that she took one of the recent gadgets I bought her for the kitchen and tried to  grind up something hard.  Nope, I should have known.  A victim of the garbage disposer!    :D   I asked her why she asked me if I loved her before she showed me the victim and she just giggled and walked away.  Gotta love this woman!

Now back to the truck, its already 11 p.m and I have one spark plug to go and have to work in the morning.  This was a first.  The spark plug has dual ground lugs on  the bottom of the plug and both were missing.  Only the center terminal was present.  Have no idea what happened to the ground lugs.  The plug wire end of the spark plug was missing the contact terminal and apparently the resistor was totally absent.  Have no idea how the coil was able to produce enough voltage to spark across  the extra 1 inch of gap without the resistor assembly.  Clearly this must have been the cause of it running rough the past week or so.  Once everything back together it runs great.

Larissa says "Mr Fixit, I knew you could do it"    LOL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on March 16, 2015, 01:47:42 AM

Larissa says "Mr Fixit, I knew you could do it"    LOL

Did you tell her you consulted RWD chat "experts" for ideas on how to extract that plug?
LoL !! ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on March 26, 2015, 12:32:58 PM
Things have been running smoothly the past couple of weeks.  The truck is running great now that the spark plug problem is resolved.  Now there is a problem with Larissa's Mercedes.  One of the brake calipers is intermittently sticky and sometimes the brake pedal goes to the floor.  Needless to say, she isn't driving it until I have time to fix it.

Yesterday was a big load off my shoulders.  She has been haranguing me daily about getting the AOS documents submitted and I finally mailed them off.  About 2 1/2 pounds of docs costing $50 to send Express Mail.

I had planned to work on her car after work yesterday, however she has now re-prioritized my 'honey-do' list and decided that enrolling Lisa in swimming lessons was more important than her car.  Easy for her to say, I now have to play taxi to all the ballet, piano, and ESL classes.     ;D

It's amazing how you can live in a city for 20 years and not know all of the buildings and community services that are available.  When researching swimming lessons, I found the YMCA web site on a  Google search and  Redlands has a swimming program.  Last night we went down there and discovered a huge building with a non-descript entryway that I had never noticed.  It turns out hidden in the back is a huge building.  We joined the YMCA and were lead through the building for a tour.  It is amazing.  They have two indoor pools, an outside pool, and many rooms for teaching dancing, a large gym with new machines and many other rooms and facilities.  Lisa's lessons start Monday, so I guess  her pushing the priority up was a good idea.  I suspect that the family will use the facility a lot now that we know it exists.  When we walked by the gym Lisa noticed all the people on various workout machines and patted me on the stomach indicating I could use some workout.  Larissa thought it was pretty funny.  I tried to ignore her laughing.

I suppose we are in a waiting pattern now waiting for the notifications from USCIS that they received the documents.  Perhaps I will have some  time now to continue working on the 'honey-do' list.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: jone on March 26, 2015, 01:58:21 PM
Don't forget to join Indian Princesses while you're at it.  Some of my children's best friends came out of the tribes of Indian Guides and Indian Princesses.  It makes a subset in your community here in Southern California.  Plus its a great group of guys that you get to be friends with.  Your daughter will go off and play with her friends, while you sit around and drink beer.

In the winter you go to Camp Whittle.  In the spring you go to Camp Fox on Catalina.  Great weekends with your daughter.

The Y's an Open Door.  Since 1844.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on May 11, 2015, 07:22:11 PM
Just a few photos over the past couple of months...
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Steamer on May 11, 2015, 08:41:40 PM
You have 2 very attractive ladies there!
Grats Cal.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on May 12, 2015, 08:03:06 AM
Beautiful photos Doug. Thanks for posting...


HDL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: AC on May 12, 2015, 09:49:49 AM
Great photos Cal.  How does your wife like the heat of California compared to the cooler temperatures of Kiev?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on May 13, 2015, 12:36:51 AM
Great photos Cal.  How does your wife like the heat of California compared to the cooler temperatures of Kiev?

So far they both love it here.  It hasn't reached the 100 plus temps yet, but they won't complain.  They both love it here in America.

Daughter is nearly fluent in English with just 5 months in kindergarten.  Mama is trying to catch up with her with ESL classes.  The little one speaks to mama in Russian and me in English.  She gets a kick out of sometimes translating what mama says to me.

We are fortunate to have a large company located here that has hired a large workforce from FSU countries.   Larissa has made many friends and I think it helped allow her to settle in very quickly.

She is always in a great, happy mood.  It makes my life so much more fulfilled than it might otherwise be with someone else.  Our daughter keeps us in stitches all the time as well.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Slumba on May 13, 2015, 04:16:06 PM
I'm not very tactful, but I don't believe I was being hard on him.  His skin color looks horrible and sickly.  The only time I have seen people with that "natural" skin color was people who had clogged arteries and heart problems.

There is no way I would be pursing a relationship, getting married, or taking on the responsibilities of a family and child if my skin looked like that.   I'd be getting medical attention and getting my final affairs in order.

He insulted me, so I defended myself.  People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Calmissile is a level 9 Cleric with rejuvenation, life extension, and magic smoke ability, something you seem unable to determine.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Muzh on May 14, 2015, 07:52:34 AM
I can't believe this was moved to "Members only" because some idiot decided to become a health expert.

Like the old commercial: "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV."
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: LiveFromUkraine on May 14, 2015, 07:58:37 AM
That is one adorable little princess you have there Cal. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: fathertime on May 14, 2015, 08:00:42 AM
One comment regarding the daughter in the pool as I viewed the picture.   Get her out of those 'water wings' ASAP...at her age swim lessons are appropriate, or hop in and show her the ropes.....if she is swimming around in that 'water wing' and the air comes out and she sinks, it could ruin people's day.....does mama know how to swim?   




Fathertime!   
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on May 14, 2015, 08:24:40 AM
One comment regarding the daughter in the pool as I viewed the picture.   Get her out of those 'water wings' ASAP...at her age swim lessons are appropriate, or hop in and show her the ropes.....if she is swimming around in that 'water wing' and the air comes out and she sinks, it could ruin people's day.....does mama know how to swim?   




Fathertime!


I understand your comment and agree with your reasoning, however it is not as it appears.   Lisa is taking swimming lessons twice a week and is close to graduating.  Her mother is an excellent swimmer and so am I.    She uses the water wings when she wants to putter around our pool at home particularly at the deep end.  Either her mother or I , or both, are always at poolside monitoring her.  I tried to take a photo of her jumping off the diving board without the 'water wings', but she was always under water by the time the shutter clicked.  Thanks for your concern.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on May 30, 2015, 05:13:23 PM
Just a little update for those interested in raising your young step-children.

Things have come along very smoothly.  Larissa and Lisa have been here 6 months now while we wait for her Adjustment of Status to be approved.  I decided it best to allow mama to handle any discipline of Lisa.  It has worked well, and leaves me out of the middle until recently.

Today was the second time that Lisa has come crying to me about evil mama punishing her.   ;D   I have been careful to not undermine Larissa's authority and have waited until she indicates that she wants my assistance.  For the most part, Lisa follows my direction and has not caused me any problems.  She does however, tend to ignore what mama tells her.

Today Lisa was in the pool and mama was supervising her.  I was in the lab getting some work done.  Lisa came into the lab crying and said that mama will not allow her to go into the Jacuzzi.  I went with her to see what the problem was with mama.  Larissa indicated that she told Lisa to put on her thongs when she gets out of the pool because the pool deck is dirty and she does not want to get the jacuzzi dirty.  Lisa ignored her and would not put on her thongs (shoes).   Larissa indicated that not allowing her to get into the Jacuzzi was her punishment.

I had forgotten how much drama there is over little things when raising a young child.   ;D   I explained to Lisa that when she does not do what she is told, there will be consequences such as time-outs, etc.  Lisa understood.   I then asked her to apologize to mama for not following her direction, which she did.  Since Larissa did not indicate any time limit to the punishment, I suggested to Lisa that if she waits 30 minutes, maybe we can get mama to let her get into the Jacuzzi.  Larissa agreed.  Problem solved.  I have to admit it is much easier playing referee in this role compared to raising a child alone and being the 'bad guy' with no support from another parent.

Here are a couple photos from the pool within minutes after the punishment was rescinded.  Everything is fine.  Also, for FT's benefit, while playing on a plastic chair, she fell out of it in the deep end and swam to the edge of the pool.  I am getting more confident of her swimming abilities and she will continue swimming lessons at the YMCA for at least another year.  She is not allowed to be in our pool without our real-time monitoring.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on May 30, 2015, 06:48:49 PM
Today was the second time that Lisa has come crying to me about evil mama punishing her. 



Kids like to divide and conquer. It's important parents back each other in front of the kids. Behind closed doors....that's another story. They can argue all they want on how to raise the kids. :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on June 26, 2015, 07:23:46 PM
Larissa called me at work today to tell me that she and Lisa received their Form I797C Notice of Action from USCIS today.  The notice is a  Request for Applicant To Appear For Initial Interview.  The date set is for the end of July.

There were a few surprises.  The USCIS status page on-line does not show the NOA action.
Also, the Employment and Travel approval which normally precedes the Interview has not been granted yet.
The instructions for the interview requires that we bring the tons of documents that were already provided with the applications.

At any rate both gals are happy campers and look forward to the interviews and getting their green cards.

Lisa is out of school for the summer and we are fortunate to have a YMCA that offers a day camp for kids all summer.  They have many varied activities and she is having a great time.   She has also improved her swimming ability and jumps off the diving board and swims to the other end of the pool.

Things are going well.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: fathertime on June 26, 2015, 07:33:42 PM
    She has also improved her swimming ability and jumps off the diving board and swims to the other end of the pool.
 


You should now be home free regarding her being safe in the water, unless she has an accident such as bumping her head, holding her breath too long etc etc.. 


Fathertime!   
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 03, 2015, 10:44:01 AM
I would like to wish my wonderful Ukraine wife a Happy Anniversary today.  2 years of marital bliss and counting. :couple:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Faux Pas on July 03, 2015, 12:59:01 PM
Congrats to you and the lovely Misses cal!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Larry1 on July 03, 2015, 01:01:47 PM
Congratulations on your anniversary
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on July 03, 2015, 03:48:26 PM
Congratulations to you and the Mrs.


HDL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on July 03, 2015, 03:52:47 PM
Congrats-- and may your good luck and good health continue !!!! :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on July 03, 2015, 11:47:34 PM
Congrats-- and may your good luck and good health continue !!!! :D

What he said!  After your rocky start to this venture, I'm glad that you have found such happiness and joy.

 :couple:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 05, 2015, 05:48:54 PM
Thanks to you all from Larissa and I for the congrats.

Kiwi, I don't necessarily consider it a rocky start.  I would do it all over again for the education and opportunity to live with the village people.  It beats the  heck out of just reading about it.   LOL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 05, 2015, 05:59:59 PM
As reported earlier, July 3 is our anniversary (2 years).  The night before, Larissa had spent 2 hours preparing an ‘anniversary cake’ for us to celebrate with the following day.  I had asked her about finding a babysitter so that we could go out in the evening dancing or Karaoke to celebrate.
 
I am not sure if this is a cultural norm for Ukraine or unique to her, but her response was “Why do we need to go out?  We are family and can celebrate at home as a family.”  Works for me, as we don’t have a babysitter available anyway.

One of her Ukraine girlfriends called her and told her about an international food supermarket in Claremont, about ½ hour west of us.  We decided that we would give it a try the next morning and check it out.  She was told they have unbelievable prices on nearly everything and a large selection of produce not available at our local supermarket.  Since she is a fantastic cook, anything I can do to assist is to my benefit.   LOL

As we pulled out of the driveway, Larissa noticed that the mailman just left something in our mailbox.  She bailed out of the truck even before I completely stopped.  She came running back all joyful holding two envelopes.  I knew it had to be from USCIS/Homeland Security by the expression on her face.

As I pulled away she opened the envelopes and soon had a puzzled look on her face.  It was difficult to read anything while driving, but taking a glance at them it appeared that Lisa was sent two identical copies of Form I-512L Authorization for Parole of an Alien Into the United States.  Larissa received only a Form I-797, Notice of Action.  Approval of I-765 Application for Employment.  I was not able to read the details at the time.  Larissa was concerned that Lisa had received permission to travel and then return to the USA, but she did not receive the same document.
I decided it was time to test her sense of humor.  I told Larissa that the government granted permission for Lisa to leave but she cannot leave.  She is stuck with me whether she likes it or not.  Good thing she has a good sense of humor and can tell when I am kidding.

We did find the international food market in Claremont.  It is a chain called Super King.  True to her friend’s word, the prices are incredible.  Fresh produce from ½ to 2/3 off from our local market prices.  The selection is incredible.  Produce I don’t even recognize.  We ended up spending about $340 and had to make 2 trips to the truck to load it all.

After arriving back home, I pulled out the documents she received today and read them carefully.  It appears that the mail from USCIS got separated and in the next few days she should receive the missing ones.  Larissa asked about the specifics of the document she received and I explained that she was granted permission to work, and should do so ASAP.  She grunted with a smile out of the corner of her mouth.

After reading her I-797 in detail, it turns out it is a notice of approval of her I-765 employment authorization along with form I-512L her parole document (travel document).  The I-797 is simply a notice that both have been approved and it states that the actual I-765 and I-512 will be sent under separate cover.  Hopefully they will arrive in the next few days.

To keep this in context, remember that we were married in Ukraine and both Larissa and Lisa came to the US on a Tourist Visa and then decided to do the AOS rather than return to file a CR-1 and CR-2.  When doing the AOS, you can apply for everything at once.

I was reviewing the appointments for Larissa and Lisa for the immigration interview and discovered that they have appointments 25 minutes apart.  I was expecting that it would be a combined interview.  Not sure what to expect.  Did other members have separate interviews for young children?

Upon arriving home, we put away the groceries and Larissa asked me to BBQ steaks for our anniversary dinner.  We had purchased what I thought was a Filet Mignon roast at the new food market.  Larissa asked how thick to cut the steaks and I told her about 1 ½ inches.  She brought out a plate of the ‘steaks’ that I could not recognize.  They were not even steaks.  They were pieces of meat and gristle that fell apart.  Not sure if I made a  mistake in not knowing what I was buying or if this mess comes by some other name.  I usually buy Filet roasts and cut the steaks to the thickness I want.  I ended up cooking the mess anyway and it was acceptable, but not what I am used to.  I won’t be buying the same thing there again.

Later in the evening Larissa called me for dessert and she presented the ‘anniversary cake’, complete with 2 candles for 2 years of marriage.  She also found an unopened bottle of Baileys I had stashed away a long time ago.  It was great.  Larissa laughingly told me that Lisa did not understand why she did not get dressed in a wedding dress and get married in a church today.  She had to explain to her that you don’t get married every anniversary, it is just a celebration of another year of marriage.

The following day is July 4 and Redlands has a large celebration all day including parades, picnics, live entertainment, etc.   It is capped off with a large fireworks display at the University of Redlands stadium.  You can either sit in the bleacher stands or like thousands, camp out on the grass with blankets and your coolers and food.  We chose the picnic scenario on the grass.  The performance was fantastic.  There were aircraft flyovers, and about 12 parachutists that landed in the stadium.  It culminated with the awsome fireworks display.  Larissa was worried about Lisa’s response to the fireworks explosions, as she was in fear of the explosions from Maiden when they lived within a mile of there during the protests.  Lisa took it in stride and did not seem to be affected.  I remember that when in Kiev, Larissa would turn up the music so that Lisa could not hear the gunfire, bombs, etc.  All is well that ends well.  Lisa is also a little scared of policemen in uniform.  During Maiden, the militia parked their vehicles outside their apartment and had visible rifles while camped out there.   The residents were afraid to go outside until they left.  I expect she will get over this fear with some time.

Lastly, a little humor about advantages of UA women with a nice figure and high heels.  We parked about a mile from the fireworks location.  Parking was unbelievable.  I ended up parking in a face in angle parking spot.  When we returned to the car, traffic was backed up all the way from the stadium.  It was single lane and there was no way in hell anyone could back out into the stopped traffic lane.  Larissa said “Wait a minute, I will help you” and bailed out of the truck.  I look in the mirror and here she is stopping traffic and waving for me to back up.  Standing in front of the car that stopped it’s a wonder she did not get an earful from them.  Legs exposed, high heels, blonde, gets things done.  LOL.  I had to chuckle as we joined traffic and the other guys are still stuck in their parking places.

We need to remember that on my 'vacation trip' to Ukraine, Larissa is the one that drove to the airport and recovered my missing luggage before we ever met in person.  What a gal of action!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: southernX on July 05, 2015, 07:19:49 PM
congrats on the anniversay doug  :clapping: :clapping:

your family is welding together nicely & building some wonderfull  memories to look back on

beautifull pics of you all as well !!!!


id agree with your thoughts on the child discipline issues , i also found it worked better  to let my wife continue with the day to day discipline ,keep a united position on any issues  and only step in once invited to add my voice
however we did not really have a lot anyway


it is very usual in our home to celebrate ''in '' my wife firmly believes we  can cook and celebrate much better with family at ''home '' for bthdays , anniversarys etc,

however,  ballet, theatre , concerts and other events are all welcomed with excitement, and some pampering

SX

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on July 07, 2015, 06:02:03 PM
Beautiful family Doug. You all look so very happy. Enjoyed the story about Larissa stopping traffic!  8)


HDL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Muzh on July 08, 2015, 03:48:40 PM
Dude!!


You look like you dropped a few pounds!!!


And your skin!! Looks great! What's your secret?  ;)


Anyway, great pix. Everyone smiling.


Good job!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 08, 2015, 07:06:41 PM
Dude!!


You look like you dropped a few pounds!!!


And your skin!! Looks great! What's your secret?  ;)


Anyway, great pix. Everyone smiling.

Good job!
Only about 10 lbs so far.  Wifey doesn't seem to want me to loose weight.  It is hard to resist her cooking.   :D

Skin color......just change the lighting.

Thanks for the compliments.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on July 08, 2015, 07:22:17 PM
Dude!!


You look like you dropped a few pounds!!!


And your skin!! Looks great! What's your secret?  ;)

 :ROFL:

Classic!   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on July 08, 2015, 07:56:26 PM
Great pics Doug, and Happy Anniversary! May have many many more.  :clapping:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Muzh on July 09, 2015, 10:05:47 AM
:ROFL:

Classic!   :thumbsup:


I thought that comment was going to bring a hive of activity.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: jone on July 09, 2015, 06:15:02 PM
It really was a Beeautiful comment.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 11, 2015, 10:30:18 PM
There was a surprise waiting for me at dinner tonight.  I saw a photo recently on the forum (I think) of a beer bottle shoved up a chicken. Earlier this afternoon Larissa brought me a poured beer and I refused it because it makes me sleepy and I had a lot of work to do.  I just figured she drank part of it and was giving me the balance.

I sat down to chicken for dinner and it was the best, most moist chicken I can remember having.  It turned out she did the same thing that the photo portrayed.   Too bad I didn't know about it.  I could have taken a photo.

Have your girlfriends and wives give it a try.  The beer ads a delicious mild flavor and the chicken will melt in your mouth.  I wonder if the same idea would work on a turkey?  Mine always came out dry no matter what I did.   :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on July 11, 2015, 11:00:18 PM
Have your girlfriends and wives give it a try. 



I might get slapped if I tell my wife to shove a bottle up a chicken.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Muzh on July 12, 2015, 01:22:34 PM

I might get slapped if I tell my wife to shove a bottle up a chicken.


After what your MIL taught you about sex? I don't think so. ;)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: alex330 on July 12, 2015, 01:36:00 PM
Have your girlfriends and wives give it a try.  The beer ads a delicious mild flavor and the chicken will melt in your mouth. 

My wife does the same thing, but pours the beer into a jar and adds seasoning. Seems to be a favorite Ukrainian recipe. The American version is beer can chicken on the grill.
Title: Battle in the garden
Post by: calmissile on July 19, 2015, 02:28:51 PM
Just when things are going great, a new challenge arises.  Larissa planted a nice garden and has apparently invited all the neighborhood varmits over for dinner.  This morning she came into the house from the patio, madder than a wet hen.   Seems that one of the critters ate her prized pepper.  I can't eat them but she planted them anyway.  Lisa eats them like apples.

What I found funny is that whatever it was, spit out the red seeds.  It also ate the tops off the plant.  I hope the critter gets severe heartburn from the pepper, the same as it would give me.    :D

The peppers and some of the tomatoes are on the patio, so not practical to try and fence in.  I would love to rig a 50 KV electric fence, but with Lisa I can't.  So far, I am lucky that they have not eaten the tomatoes.
Title: Battle in the garden
Post by: calmissile on July 19, 2015, 03:41:37 PM
Mystery solved.  While I was adjusting the Infrared settings on the security cameras in order to catch the culprit next time, I took a break and was looking at the photos I posted.  Something looked strange about photo #1.  I went out to the half eaten pepper and sure enough my suspicion was correct.  It was  actually a bug that ate her pepper.

When Larissa got home from shopping I asked to go out and inspect her pepper and tell me if she saw anything strange.  Nope!  I then showed her the photo I posted.  Nope, nothing strange.  After pointing it out again in the photo, she went running out and inspected it again.  I wish I had a photo of her pouting over her lost pepper.    :)

With the help of Krassie and Slumba in chat, we learned how to protect from future attacks.  Larissa and Lisa are now out in the yard inspecting all of of her garden for these bugs.  The little bastard looks like he is about to explode.  I hope he got severe heartburn from the pepper.

Just another crazy day in the Wilson family.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: southernX on July 19, 2015, 06:29:43 PM
doug it is clearly one of the little buggers fav foods , so i dont think he will get heartburn anytime soon lol


simple  carbaryl type powder or spray should kill them

papriks [capsicum ] and chillis , tomatoes , cucmbers , red onions ,ruccola ,  potatoes and garlic make up the main summer salad staples from our garden ,

my wife does not use beer , she marinates all chicken in white wine , has the same effect , moist and tender as !!! melt in your mouth result !!

SX
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on July 19, 2015, 11:53:04 PM

Looks like butterfly larvae.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 29, 2015, 05:43:30 PM
Looks like America will be getting a couple more permanent residents soon.  Larissa and Lisa had their immigration interview this morning.  All is well, and was a breeze.

For details, for what it's worth.....
The interviewer was a hispanic woman probably in her late 30's to mid 40's.  She was very pleasant.  The only issue was to get Larissa to be quiet and not push documents to her that was not asked for.

The interview began with swearing in to tell the truth.  Then it was going over the application forms which was very quick.  She only asked a few questions about "have you ever been arrested, etc?"

From this point she asked "What do you have to show you are living as a family".  I explained that we made an photo album for her of our history from first date to current activities.   She browsed through it and had no questions.  She asked when we first met and then caught herself and said " I guess it's in the photos".  She then verified our first meeting (In Kiev) by the photos.  We also showed her Larissa's drivers license with the same address as mine and showed her our joint bank account.   That was pretty much it.

For Lisa's interview, she indicated I made a mistake by including Lisa on Larissa's Affidavit of Support.  She said I will have to resubmit it.  I then mentioned that the same exact info applies and could I just copy it and redo the front page.  After thinking about it, she said "never mind, I will do it for you".

The interview ended with her telling us that everything is  fine.  She has to do the background check on Larissa today and submit the recommendation.  She said that we will receive a formal approval letter in about 10 days, and the green cards shortly thereafter.  Furthermore, she indicated that since we have been married 2 years (barely) they will receive permanent green cards.

I feel that that I finally got lucky by drawing a nice civil servant that was helpful in getting through the process.  I also feel that since we did an AOS rather than a fiance visa was a benefit.  Someone that is married for two years and living together for several months has less difficulty proving it is a bonafide marriage.

BTW, there were no questions about coming on a tourist visa and then applying for an AOS.

I  hope others find the process as easy as we did.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on July 29, 2015, 06:34:59 PM
Congratulations! This is wonderful news.


HDL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on July 29, 2015, 06:57:50 PM
Congratulations to Doug and family.

Doug, you applied a month after we did, but we still haven't gotten interview date even.  But that seems fair, right. :-)

The interview schedules are all dependent on the local offices.  Some get their people through in a month; others are still waiting 8 months of more.

Actually, aside from the slight anxiety involved, we are glad that our interview will be in the Fall or later.  If it had been during this summer, then 2 years from now the next interview would have also been in summer which would screw up any possibility of advance planning for Ochka's annual summer trip back to visit with family.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on July 29, 2015, 10:46:29 PM
BTW, there were no questions about coming on a tourist visa and then applying for an AOS.



I've heard of people doing AOS while in country on a tourist visa without any problems. Yours is another testimony. Some guys like I may consider doing this route for in laws instead of having our spouses do the grind of getting citizenship and waiting years for approval for the in law to live in America.
Title: Re: Battle in the garden
Post by: jone on July 30, 2015, 12:42:08 AM
Mystery solved.  While I was adjusting the Infrared settings on the security cameras in order to catch the culprit next time, I took a break and was looking at the photos I posted.  Something looked strange about photo #1.  I went out to the half eaten pepper and sure enough my suspicion was correct.  It was  actually a bug that ate her pepper.

When Larissa got home from shopping I asked to go out and inspect her pepper and tell me if she saw anything strange.  Nope!  I then showed her the photo I posted.  Nope, nothing strange.  After pointing it out again in the photo, she went running out and inspected it again.  I wish I had a photo of her pouting over her lost pepper.    :)

With the help of Krassie and Slumba in chat, we learned how to protect from future attacks.  Larissa and Lisa are now out in the yard inspecting all of of her garden for these bugs.  The little bastard looks like he is about to explode.  I hope he got severe heartburn from the pepper.

Just another crazy day in the Wilson family.
Doug,

You appear to have a Banded Sphinx Moth caterpillar.   These are particularly pretty moths if you allow it to grow to adulthood and then form a cocoon.

(http://www.discoverlife.org/IM/I_MPG/0232/mx/Eumorpha_fasciatus,I_MPG23249.jpg)

(http://www.discoverlife.org/IM/I_MPG/0232/mx/Eumorpha_fasciatus,I_MPG23242.jpg)

I have the feeling that you didn't let the little guy hang around.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 30, 2015, 01:12:12 AM
I appreciate your sympathy for this beautiful little creature.  However..... I suspect that Larissa would prefer to kill all of the little bastards that are eating her prized fruits and vegetables. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on July 30, 2015, 08:52:51 AM

I've heard of people doing AOS while in country on a tourist visa without any problems. Yours is another testimony. Some guys like I may consider doing this route for in laws instead of having our spouses do the grind of getting citizenship and waiting years for approval for the in law to live in America.

Billy, you are still misleading people.

To do what Doug did, a US CITIZEN files form I-130.

On form I-130, the US CITIZEN files for his/her spouse, parent (the US citizen's parent, not his/her spouse's parent), brother/sister (the US Citizen's brother/sister, not his/her spouse's brother/sister), your child (the US Citizen's child, not his/her spouse's child).

Also form I-130 can be used by lawful resident to file for his/her child . . . but only child, not parents or  brothers/sister.  This is how Doug was able to get wife's child included.

This is EXACTLY why, as you told, the spouse must 'do the grind of getting citizenship and waiting years for approval for the in-law to live in America.'

Only US CITIZEN's can get parents/brothers/sisters into USA for Green Card.

Simply read form I-130 and it's instructions.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Photo Guy on July 31, 2015, 09:36:39 AM
Congratulations!!!
Title: Green Cards Celebration
Post by: calmissile on August 25, 2015, 09:12:00 PM
Finally after nearly 3 years, wife and 6 year old daughter received their "Green Cards" in today's mail.  Time for celebration in the Wilson home.
Title: Re: Green Cards Celebration
Post by: BillyB on August 25, 2015, 09:46:56 PM
Finally after nearly 3 years, wife and 6 year old daughter received their "Green Cards" in today's mail.  Time for celebration in the Wilson home.



Grats on getting the green cards!!!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on August 26, 2015, 07:55:31 AM
This is great news! Congratulations all around.


HDL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on August 26, 2015, 03:16:23 PM
Hey, nice to hear Doug! Congratulations to you and the family!!!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on August 26, 2015, 06:44:07 PM
Congratulations!  :clapping:

But why are they called "green" cards when they're not????
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: tfcrew on August 26, 2015, 07:28:05 PM
           
               Sort of green
            Incredibly, this woman is 95 years old 
             


(http://opokuserebuoh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/US-Green-Card.jpg)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: southernX on August 26, 2015, 09:46:02 PM
another good news story  :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

congrats to you all doug , they will feel much more secure now with this news

best wishes to you all

SX
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on August 27, 2015, 07:12:41 PM
           
               Sort of green
            Incredibly, this woman is 95 years old 
             


(http://opokuserebuoh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/US-Green-Card.jpg)

Wow!  Botox???  ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: KenInUtah on August 27, 2015, 07:15:48 PM
CONGRATS!!! I love good news!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on August 29, 2015, 11:15:36 PM
Thanks for all the congrats comments.

A couple things to pass on to newbies.  My wife has found and made friends with many women from the UA that live in our area.  It allows them to feel an attachment to their homeland and reduces or eliminates homesickness or the feeling of being isolated in a strange land.

Skype is a necessity!  Larissa is constantly on Skype to chat with her mother and son still in Kiev.  Our daughter gets to chat with grandma all the time also.  It helps keep the connection as well as the family learning about daily life in our USA household.

Our neighbors are extremely supportive.  On Friday night they threw a dinner party to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and the receipt of their green cards.  One neighbor is from Hungary and we exchanged a lot of info about the cultures of Hungary and UA. Some of the neighbors are crazy about Larissa's borscht but the host would not allow her to bring it to the party even though her husband objected.

It all worked out very well, everyone decided that Larissa could make borscht on Saturday and we would all get together on Sunday afternoon at our house for a borscht feast.  It had no idea that so many people are fond of it.  There were about 20 people at the house party on Friday, so today we went out and bought more bowls and soup spoons.  ;D

I learned by accident that borscht is much better the second day after it is made.  I learned this by having to eat it until it was gone which generally took several days.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: John of Hesperia on September 01, 2015, 12:01:42 AM
Thank you Doug for your kind letters, and for a new kid on the block, it is much appreciated.  Plan to do a TR when I get back from my first adventure in Ukraine, and hope that I am half as lucky as you.

Of course, I have a couple years on you, and my lady has several on Larisa, but really believe that Irene (Irina) and I will begetting together in a few months with her K1 visa.  Just wish she lived in Kiev, a lot easier to spell and pronounce than Dnepropetrovs'k! :rolleyes:

Beautiful family, and that Lisa is precious!  If you get a chance to get through Hesperia, would sure like to see you all here!!!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on September 12, 2015, 04:55:13 PM
OK John, shoot me your phone number in a PM and if we get up that way we will stop in.  Would be nice to do so after your lady arrives.
Title: A laugh every day
Post by: calmissile on September 12, 2015, 05:06:14 PM
I have to say that since my wife and step-daughter have arrived, they keep me in stitches on a regular basis.

Unknown to me, Larissa was making dough for pizza in the bread maker.  She came into the lab and asked my about a little blender we bought that no longer worked.  I was busy but told her to get ready and we would go to the store and buy another one.  After we got home, she came into the lab laughing.  She said that she forgot about the pizza dough she was making and while we were out she inadvertently has now made a loaf of bread. 

While we were out our precious little 6 year old pulled the daddy's little girl trick as usual.  "Daddy, I have done everything that mama has asked me to do all week and also clean up my room like you asked me."   "Since I have been so good, can we go to the toy store while we are out?"   Yep, you guessed it, another $40 for some kind of cat toy that talks and has eyes that light up.  It's no wonder so much money is spent on kids toy advertising on TV. :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: KenInUtah on September 12, 2015, 05:59:52 PM
I love your stories!
Title: Re: A laugh every day
Post by: BillyB on September 12, 2015, 06:21:20 PM
While we were out our precious little 6 year old pulled the daddy's little girl trick as usual.  "Daddy, I have done everything that mama has asked me to do all week and also clean up my room like you asked me."   "Since I have been so good, can we go to the toy store while we are out?"   Yep, you guessed it, another $40 for some kind of cat toy that talks and has eyes that light up.  It's no wonder so much money is spent on kids toy advertising on TV. :D



Doug, you need some adult tricks to counter kid's tricks. Next time you tell your daughter when she wants a reward "You can have anything in the store this $10 will buy you." Then hand over the $10. I did that with my sons. They were still happy and it turned them into smart shoppers.
Title: Re: A laugh every day
Post by: calmissile on September 12, 2015, 06:48:52 PM

Doug, you need some adult tricks to counter kid's tricks. Next time you tell your daughter when she wants a reward "You can have anything in the store this $10 will buy you." Then hand over the $10. I did that with my sons. They were still happy and it turned them into smart shoppers.

Thanks Billy.  I will try that.......again.  Last time she wanted something more expensive and wanted us to drive back home and get the money she saved from the tooth fairy.  LOL   

It's really hard to say no to a perfect angel.  She is completely fluent in English in just a few months, gets perfect scores on her school assignments and is the most affectionate, loving kid I have ever seen.  The credit of course, goes to her fantastic mother.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: mendeleyev on September 18, 2015, 12:56:56 PM
Many congratulations to you and your family!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on September 27, 2015, 11:01:41 PM
Marriage to a FSU is always interesting.  You never know what to expect next.    ;D

Larissa decided that I need to grow hair on my balding head.  I put her off for a long time and finally I gave in when she said all I have to do is sit quietly while she applied her secret formula.  Allegedly, her magic grew hair on her balding brother and her fathers head.

"OK dear, just as long as I can watch the news while you are doing your magic".  So into my lab comes my wife with a bowl of something that looks like honey-mustard but does not smell too bad.  After a few minutes I have what looks like a mud pack on my head.  She said it will grow new hair within 2-3 months.  I am not going to hold my breath, but due to her great sense of humor I will let her experiment.

Part of the fun is waiting to see what the next surprise is going to be.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Gator on September 28, 2015, 07:55:45 AM
Good to read that married life has progressed well. 

You are correct to not dismiss her medicinal magic.  You do realize that when your hair does not rejuvenate, it will be your fault and scientific explanations will be deemed  meritless. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Muzh on September 28, 2015, 08:56:01 AM
Marriage to a FSU is always interesting.  You never know what to expect next.    ;D

Larissa decided that I need to grow hair on my balding head.  I put her off for a long time and finally I gave in when she said all I have to do is sit quietly while she applied her secret formula.  Allegedly, her magic grew hair on her balding brother and her fathers head.

"OK dear, just as long as I can watch the news while you are doing your magic".  So into my lab comes my wife with a bowl of something that looks like honey-mustard but does not smell too bad.  After a few minutes I have what looks like a mud pack on my head.  She said it will grow new hair within 2-3 months.  I am not going to hold my breath, but due to her great sense of humor I will let her experiment.

Part of the fun is waiting to see what the next surprise is going to be.


Before the comb-over, shave your head.


My Ranger son said I looked like a mean Mo-Fo. ;)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Gator on September 28, 2015, 10:03:40 AM

Before the comb-over, shave your head.


My Ranger son said I looked like a mean Mo-Fo. ;)

Maybe Trump should do this. 

Get ready for Halloween when many are planning to wear Trump hair.   Then there is this:


http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CKfaYXjUAAEV9gI.jpg
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on September 29, 2015, 09:27:48 PM
I will let her experiment.



At a minimum, you will get some nice scalp massages out of it. Make sure to tell her to rub it in hard and deep. If you do grow hair in 2-3 months, post photo evidence and we'll talk about bottling that secret formula to make millions and work on getting me a full head of hair but then I'll miss the times when a woman runs her fingers through my hair and bald spot.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on September 29, 2015, 09:32:46 PM
It's no secret. 

Everyone knows if you capture a significant quantity of dew from roses, and rub it on your scalp, that hair will grow there.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on October 15, 2015, 10:02:25 PM
I finally found time to take Larissa and Lisa to the beach.  It had been years since I had been there, but decided on Redondo Beach since I used to live there.  It was a great outing.  Larissa prepared the picnic lunch and Lisa had her nose glued to the window the whole trip.

It was a fun outing and I am glad I finally took the time to have a family outing.  Lisa has swam in our pool all summer and is a great little swimmer.  I was much less worried about her than I otherwise would have been.   Of course mama and papa were at her side.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: jone on October 16, 2015, 10:57:48 AM
My dear friend, I might need to eddikate you a bit.

That is the incline to RAT Beach, if I am not mistaken.  RAT Beach exists in between Palos Verdes Estates and Redondo Beach.  The city is actually Torrance.  So the beach was named by the locals:  Right at Torrance, aka, RAT Beach.

It is on our daily walks, when we are in the country.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on October 16, 2015, 12:02:58 PM
My dear friend, I might need to eddikate you a bit.

That is the incline to RAT Beach, if I am not mistaken.  RAT Beach exists in between Palos Verdes Estates and Redondo Beach.  The city is actually Torrance.  So the beach was named by the locals:  Right at Torrance, aka, RAT Beach.

It is on our daily walks, when we are in the country.

LOL!  Don't know if you are mistaken or not.  At the north end of the beach is Redondo Pier, clearly named on all the signs.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: jone on October 16, 2015, 12:44:42 PM
Yeah, I roller blade up there for late breakfasts on the weekend.  Fun place to be.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 03, 2015, 12:42:08 PM
Doug, how close are you to the San Bernadino shootings?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: jone on December 03, 2015, 03:39:29 PM
Doug is pretty close.  I do not wish to disclose the city he lives in, but he's pretty close. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 03, 2015, 05:50:36 PM
Doug, how close are you to the San Bernadino shootings?

The original shootout was about 8 miles from Redlands and the vehicle shootout was maybe 4-5 miles.  Turns out they lived about a mile from our home in Redlands.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 03, 2015, 05:54:23 PM
Turns out they lived about a mile from our home in Redlands.

Were they at any of your picnics?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 03, 2015, 05:57:43 PM
Were they at any of your picnics?

Not that I know of .   :D

I do know a few people that work for the Health Department from our visits to our Karaoke bar.  Anxious to see the list of who died and who survived.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 09, 2015, 10:21:14 AM
Doug, you posted this in the thread about sending money to Crimea.  "My wife talks to her (former) girlfriends in Crimea and they act like everything is wonderful, even though much of their food supplies are cut off,  the prices have skyrocketed, and they only have power for a couple hours a day."

It makes no real sense at all what these gals are telling your wife.  And they can't be of the age where they loved the soviet system.

So can you elaborate and describe more about exactly what these gals are saying and why they are happier now despite the hardships they are encountering. 

Tell some of the good things they say are happening.  Try to be objective.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 23, 2016, 11:29:15 PM
I have been remiss in updating this thread because my employment responsibilities are consuming so much time .  There are a number of events I will post when I have a little time.

Tonight I read the post of ML about women in the kitchen.   ;D  I could not resist posting today's excitement in the Wilson homestead.  As you probably already know, Larissa lured me into her web with her culinary skills.  Here is a typical FSUW surprise when you get home from work.....

I went shopping with a UA girlfriend today!  I found bird cages and I want a bird.
What kind of bird?
The kind that lay quail eggs.
We have two cats, the will kill the birds.
No, the bird cage will be outside on the patio.  My girlfriend has cats and dogs and the birds are fine.  I want to buy the cage and get a quail bird. They lay eggs we should eat.  They are healthy.  It  will give you a boner every night!

Oh SHIT!

I don't want a bird. I had them before.  They make a mess.  Who cares for it while we are on vacation, etc.?
No problem, the bird cage is on the patio.  When it rains they will stay in the birdhouse you will make.

The conversation ended with NO BIRD CAGE or BIRD!

I suspect that when I get home from work tomorrow,  there will be a frigging bird cage already mounted on the patio.   ARG!!!!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: GuppyCaptain on February 24, 2016, 08:22:03 AM
Laughing my ass off, Doug. Is this what I'm missing?!

 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 24, 2016, 12:29:26 PM
Laughing my ass off, Doug. Is this what I'm missing?!

 :popcorn:

Never a dull moment!     :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on February 26, 2016, 09:41:44 PM
Just a couple photos from the last couple of months.

Christmas time
Lisa's birthday party at Chuckee Cheese
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: alex330 on February 26, 2016, 11:35:57 PM
Happy girls  :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BorisS on February 27, 2016, 08:31:45 AM
Congrats CM. You have a nice family there.. :D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on February 27, 2016, 10:56:01 AM



Thanks for sharing Doug. Always nice to see happy families on the forum.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: danieln_2000 on March 02, 2016, 08:24:12 PM
Doug,
I appreciate your sharing your experience with this adventure. I'm a newbie, just looking into this. And, I find your experience too be valuable. I also find your happy ending inspirational.
Dan
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on March 03, 2016, 12:20:25 AM
Thanks for the compliment Dan.

A couple of items of advice I usually offer to newbies.....
1.  Spend as much time as possible in your ladies country.  Learn as much as you can about her culture and country's history.  It will show that you are interested in her, not just a warm bed partner.
2.  Take your time finding a mate.  You will find there are as many personalities in her country as there are in your own country.  Make sure you spend enough time together to be certain you are compatible.

There are a number of detailed trip reports describing the adventures of some of our members.  You might spend some time reading them. They can be both educational and humorous.

You can find mine at these links...
http://www.russianwomendiscussion.com/index.php?topic=15123.0   
http://www.russianwomendiscussion.com/index.php?topic=18377.0

Good luck in your adventure.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on March 03, 2016, 02:18:36 AM
Doug,
I appreciate your sharing your experience with this adventure. I'm a newbie, just looking into this. And, I find your experience too be valuable. I also find your happy ending inspirational.
Dan




Welcome to the forum Dan. Feel free to ask any questions since you're just looking into this. A wonderful woman from the FSU can be yours if you choose wisely.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on March 04, 2016, 11:02:45 PM
Just a couple photos from the last couple of months.

Christmas time
Lisa's birthday party at Chuckee Cheese

Nice !Very nice. ;D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on March 23, 2016, 10:39:39 PM
Have a moment to make a little update.

Lisa is doing great in the first grade.  She is completely fluent in English.  She still talks to mom in Russian and me in English.

Larissa is much slower becoming fluent.  She has been taking ESL classes locally, twice a week for over a year.  In order to get a decent job she needs to become fluent and she is anxious to begin looking.  As a result, we have signed her up for the English Language Program for foreign students at Cal State San Bernardino.  It is supposed to eventually end up with passing the TOEFL exams.  She needs this to take classes to convert her degrees from Ukraine.

We discovered why Americans are so upset with college costs.  The tuition for taking the 10 week class is about $3800. There are 5 levels of classes.  Hopefully, she won't have to start at the first level.  :)

Seems like every week she comes home with a  new FSU friend she met either through friends, or in some cases someone will overhear her talking to Lisa in Russian and comes up and introduces themselves.  I had no idea we have that many Russian speakers in Redlands and vicinity.

She has also been a bad girl lately.  She got 3 parking tickets, all  in front of Lisa's school.  You can't double park even long enough to drop your kid off.  Her latest one is for parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.  There was a car parked in front of her and the little midget fire hydrant was not visible to her.  Also, the curbs are not marked.    I should kid her about taking the $100 fine out of her allowance. Maybe not, she is good at payback.   :)



Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on May 08, 2016, 07:57:48 PM
Mothers Day - 2016

Lisa is doing very well in the first grade.  She is already fluent in English and has started correcting Larissa on her grammar.   :)

Larissa is taking a full time TOEFL concentrated English program at Cal State San Bernardino.  All day classes, 5 days a week.  Tons of homework, so I am helping with the house and preparing dinners (TV Style)   ;)

Lisa and I went to store alone yesterday and we picked out Mothers Day cards for Larissa.  Lisa woke up at the crack of dawn this morniing and proceeded to wake up mom to give her the cards.

We would like to go to Ukraine for a couple weeks this summer, but not sure we can pull it off.  With my work responsibilities and Larissa's college schedule, it is going to be difficult.  Larissa still has some businesses to tie up loose ends on so has to go there at some point.

We have a great buffet bar in Redlands and Larissa is crazy about the crab legs.  For Mothers day we decided to take Larissa there and let her pig out on crab.   Photos below.

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on May 09, 2016, 07:18:04 AM
Calmissle,


Such a beautiful family. Glad you all had a wonderful day.


Good luck to Larissa with her English Classes at Cal State.


HDL (Cal State Grad '85)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 03, 2016, 06:02:38 PM
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY LARISSA.   3 YEARS JULY 3, 2016

Girls first fishing rods in America.   Practice casting into the swimming pool. :)

Fishing a small trout stream on July 3.

Life is wonderful.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: LiveFromUkraine on July 03, 2016, 06:03:44 PM
Congrats on the anniversary. 
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: onlyFSU4me on July 03, 2016, 06:28:47 PM
Happy Anniversary Doug and Larissa!  :clapping:


 It's great to see the success stories, I am really happy for the both of you!  :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on July 03, 2016, 06:53:39 PM
Congrats from me too!  Gee, Lisa is growing up quickly!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on July 03, 2016, 08:39:36 PM

Happy Anniversary. It seems like a small stream to fish in. Did you catch anything?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on July 03, 2016, 11:40:27 PM
Thanks for the congrats.   

Yes, it is a small stream.  Larissa had a pan size trout on her line but it got off when she tried to pull it out of the water.  Still have some fishing lessons to teach.  :)  It is a popular campground and stream that is frequently stocked by Fish and Game.  Was primarily a day for Lisa to run off some energy and try her luck at fishing.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on July 05, 2016, 11:35:54 AM
Happy Anniversary Doug. Wish you guys many more to come.  :clapping:
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on July 05, 2016, 03:57:17 PM
Happy Anniversary Doug. Wish you guys many more to come.  :clapping:


add me to that! Congrats to Larissa & Doug.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Wayne on July 06, 2016, 09:55:03 AM
I remember your trip reports about going to Ukraine and Crimea with a lot of photos. Some people here gave you a hard time! It seems like everything turned out for the best for you and your new family.

I hope you have many good years to come.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on July 06, 2016, 10:55:10 AM
Happy Anniversary to both of you. Wonderful photos also...


HDL
Title: Wonderful married life
Post by: calmissile on July 10, 2016, 05:40:19 PM
A beautiful Southern California weekend.  Perfect temperature for frolicking in the pool.
Should alleviate any concerns about our daughter leaning to swim.   :)

FSUW make such awsome wives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhPecCGXcUI
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: HoundDaddyLee on July 19, 2016, 09:19:27 AM
Heartwarming video Doug. Such a beautiful family.


HDL
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on September 03, 2016, 07:26:57 PM
It's been a busy summer.  Larissa continued her TOEFL English program through the summer and Lisa went to the YMCA summer program while we were busy between work and college.  Larissa has almost straight A's throughout the program.  I am proud of her.  The $4K every ten weeks is beginning to get old however.   :)

As all men married to FSUW can tell you, occasionally they come up with some gems that make you scratch your head.  I was working in the lab the other evening and Larissa came in and asked if we had any expired Aspirin bottles.  I told her it really doesn't expire, but what does she want it for.  She responded "FOR THE LAUNDRY".   I wondered if she was tipping a few when I wasn't looking.   :)

She indicated that putting 6-7 Aspirin tablets in with the laundry wash makes the underwear and white shirts come out very white.  She indicated that she does not like chlorine bleach because it attacks the fibers of the clothes.  She also indicated that the clothes come out feeling soft.  At the time I did not know if she was pulling my leg, but found her some Aspirin and was happy to get back to my project in the lab.

When it was time to retire, I went into the bedroom and was shocked.  A large pile of underwear was on the dresser and I was practically blinded by the whiteness.  Seems she was not pulling my leg after all.  I asked her how she found out about using the aspirin this way and she said that it was in college (Ukraine) in chemistry class.  She also said that it makes colors brighter and does not cause them to fade.

I took the story to work and as you might expect, everyone thought I was nuts.   :)  Several said they were going to try it and let me know the results.  I did look it up on the Internet and low and behold there are many postings about this.  I would be curious if any other members knew about this or have tried it.  Seems like in America we fall victim to advertising for all the fancy chemical compounds when something as simple as this will do the job.

Until her next surprise........ have a good day.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Anotherkiwi on September 04, 2016, 04:28:57 AM
When it was time to retire, I went into the bedroom and was shocked.  A large pile of underwear was on the dresser and I was practically blinded by the whiteness.  Seems she was not pulling my leg after all.

Such a shame that they were actually blue, green and red before that wash!  :D

Seriously, that's an interesting story.  I don't have any aspirin (expired or otherwise), but I will certainly pass on the tip.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: SANDRO43 on September 04, 2016, 05:10:57 AM
An uncle of mine was a hospital department head. For some forgotten reason we were talking about methylene blue - a histology stain - and he told me it was also used by their in-house laundry on bedsheets and pillow cases: very effective to restore their whiteness.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is very easy to produce synthetically: IIRC from my organic lab days at school, we just added acetic acid to benzene, heated and stirred the mixture and voilà.

BTW, what aspirin dosage per washer load? Before or after meals ;D?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Gator on September 04, 2016, 11:53:05 AM
Wife sometimes uses baking soda.  She never heard of using aspirin.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on September 04, 2016, 02:37:45 PM
An uncle of mine was a hospital department head. For some forgotten reason we were talking about methylene blue - a histology stain - and he told me it was also used by their in-house laundry on bedsheets and pillow cases: very effective to restore their whiteness.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is very easy to produce synthetically: IIRC from my organic lab days at school, we just added acetic acid to benzene, heated and stirred the mixture and voilà.

BTW, what aspirin dosage per washer load? Before or after meals ;D?

She said 6 or 7 tablets per load.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on September 04, 2016, 03:21:23 PM
She said 6 or 7 tablets per load.

For the guys that leave brown spots on their underwear, go with the higher number.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: SANDRO43 on September 04, 2016, 04:01:18 PM
For the guys that leave brown spots on their underwear, go with the higher number.
I don't recall if I told this before - a joke about our Sardinians, who used to live in one of our most backward regions, isolated from mainland Italy and mostly in the island interior, many occupied with sheep- and goat-herding:

An old Sardinian shepherd tells his young assistant: "Tonight is Saturday and we hit town, put on your underwear"
The assistant replies: "I forgot how"
Old Shepherd: "Simple, yellow in front and brown at the back"


:D
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on September 09, 2016, 09:12:00 AM
I don't recall if I told this before - a joke about our Sardinians, who used to live in one of our most backward regions, isolated from mainland Italy and mostly in the island interior, many occupied with sheep- and goat-herding:

An old Sardinian shepherd tells his young assistant: "Tonight is Saturday and we hit town, put on your underwear"
The assistant replies: "I forgot how"
Old Shepherd: "Simple, yellow in front and brown at the back"


:D

So the sheep and goats got the night off ?
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: SANDRO43 on September 09, 2016, 05:26:51 PM
So the sheep and goats got the night off ?
Just for that particular Saturday, unless the two came back disappointed from their foray into town and needed something warm and fuzzy for consolation ;D.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 05, 2016, 06:25:52 PM
Just a few  photo updates from the past few months.

1.  70th Anniversary party for our company held at Chino Airport museum
2.  Halloween
3.  Selfie
4.  Lisa School Photo  2nd Grade

1/2 glass of wine and Larissa becomes an instant model (helicopter and antique car photos)   ;D

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on November 05, 2016, 10:30:55 PM

Looking sharp. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on November 05, 2016, 11:28:56 PM
Thanks Billy,

Life is always exciting and often humorous with two blonds in the house.   I forgot to tell a story that happened a couple weeks ago.

I got a call from Larissa while I was at work.  She told me that her car had  broken down.  It was a little difficult to understand exactly where she was but I could figure it out within a few blocks.  On my home from Ontario, I called AAA and told them to have the tow truck driver look for the car.

When I arrived 45 minutes later, the tow truck driver had just arrived and I had the tow truck take the car to the house so I could evaluate what happened.  It turned out the engine blew a head gasket and overheated.

Later that evening I heard the whole story which cracked me up.  When the car came to a halt, she was on an uphill off-ramp from the freeway and she had planned to turn right on the arterial going to our home.  As it turned out the car was 'broke' and she did not know what to do other than call me.  People were honking behind her since she was holding up traffic for blocks for people on their way home from work.

So what does a blond do?  She pulled out her University English books and started studying for her exam the following day.   
;D   She said 5 guys finally came up to her window and asked what she was doing.  She told them she was studying for her exam.  They asked her why she was doing it in the middle of traffic?  She replied that the car was 'broke' and she needed to study while she was waiting for me.

Nice guys, all 5 of them pushed the car uphill and around the corner, where she was when I arrived.  I can imagine these guys going home and telling their wives about the crazy blond they had to rescue.  ;D

She did end up with a newer, nicer van out of it so she is all smiles.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: abashka on November 06, 2016, 05:03:44 AM
She said 6 or 7 tablets per load.

I use it too for the white clothes:))) It is not common though, and I found it out only several years ago somewhere in internet:)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on November 06, 2016, 09:29:23 AM
It turned out the engine blew a head gasket and overheated.


It's hard to do but we got to teach the ladies to pay attention to the gauges. When the head gasket blows, usually the coolant leaks out the block or into the cylinders and temperature rises. For future reference, tell Larissa if she sees steam come off the engine or white smoke come out the tailpipe, she needs to pull over immediately. She may save the block from cracking or head warping if she prevents the engine from getting too hot. Of course that's not necessary if the wife is wanting a new car. ;)

Later that evening I heard the whole story which cracked me up.  When the car came to a halt, she was on an uphill off-ramp from the freeway and she had planned to turn right on the arterial going to our home.  As it turned out the car was 'broke' and she did not know what to do other than call me.  People were honking behind her since she was holding up traffic for blocks for people on their way home from work.

So what does a blond do?  She pulled out her University English books and started studying for her exam the following day.   
;D   She said 5 guys finally came up to her window and asked what she was doing.  She told them she was studying for her exam.  They asked her why she was doing it in the middle of traffic?  She replied that the car was 'broke' and she needed to study while she was waiting for me.


That's funny and smart. Being productive while broke down in traffic. Reminds me of a story years ago of a friend who became a reborn Christian. If he said a bad word while driving down the road, he'd immediately stop the car and pray for forgiveness. I told him he also needs to pray for forgiveness for increasing chance of accidents and pissing off the people behind us.
Title: Wishing RWD Members a Very Merry Christmas
Post by: calmissile on December 25, 2016, 01:03:37 AM
From the Wilson clan, we want to wish all of our RWD friends a very merry Christmas.

Here it is Christmas eve and as usual there has to be a funny story as is the case for most days with a UA wife.  Larissa and I talked a little about Santa Claus and preparing for Christmas.  I thought she already knew the drill and I didn't give a thought to asking any questions.

Lisa (age 7) has become 100% Americanized in the two short years she has been in the USA.  She knows the whole drill about leaving cookies and milk for Santa.  We had a little trouble with Lisa getting to sleep.  She kept saying she was nervous and was worried that Santa might not find our house.  Larissa told me that she was also worried that she was not a good girl all year and would be better next year.  :)  The innocence and honesty of kids this age can bring tears to your eyes. 

I was finally able to go to the car and get Lisa's gifts from Santa and have Larissa to put them under the tree.  A short time later I noticed the cookies and milk on the kitchen counter and asked Larissa what she is going to do with them. After I got the 'deer in the headlights look', I told her that we needed to pretend that Santa had eaten them.  Her response had me rolling on the floor laughing....

"Santa is an old man.  Why would he eat cookies and milk"!!  So much for making sure you educate your FSUW as to all American customs. :)

A few weeks ago our Orange female, loving cat dissapeared.  She was either taken by someone or became dinner for the coyotes that roam the neighborhood.  Lisa was devastated  She wanted a orange kitten for Christmas.  It took several days of work to find a female orange kitten. As it turned out I finally found a orange brother and sister pair of kittens.  I swear, it is probably easier to adopt a kid than to adopt kittens.  The interviews, forms and contracts you have to sign are unreal!  At any rate, Lisa got her two kittens as an early Christmas present.

When working in my lab, one evening Lisa opened the door and wheeled in a baby carriage with one of the  kittens wrapped up in a blanket.  It makes us feel good that she has taken a loving, responsible care of the kittens.

In finding that photo, I accidentally ran across another photo of Larissa doing the traditional cleaning exercise that folks talk about whenever a FSU woman comes to your country.

I hope all have a very merry Christmas this season.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 25, 2016, 12:21:29 PM
Returning best wishes to Doug and his family . . . and to all the good folks here on RWD.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on December 27, 2016, 03:47:28 PM
I hope all have had a merry Christmas  and I wish a happy New Year to all.

Thanks again again Doug for posting of your happiness !! :)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Gator on December 27, 2016, 05:01:39 PM
And the big holiday is still a we four days away. 


Happy Holidays to Larissa, Doug, Lisa and the cats.     
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: calmissile on December 06, 2018, 09:38:17 PM
Thought I would add a couple photos.
Today (Dec 6) is Larissa's birthday.   The big 45.
Also photo of Thanksgiving dinner which also celebrated 4th anniversary of her being in America.
Lisa now 9 has a birthday in Jan and is doing very well in school.  She is a real peach of a kid.  Still the energizer bunny.  Never slows down or runs out of energy.  :)
I got promoted to Director of Engineering and as before work nearly 24/7.  Have to force myself to take time off for family.

Wish everyone in advance to have a Happy Holiday Season.

The Wilsons
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on December 07, 2018, 08:18:35 AM
Great to hear from you Doug, wishing you and your family a happy holidays!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on December 07, 2018, 12:14:24 PM
Nice pics Doug, thanks for sharing.

Would be good to see a pic of you also, so we can check out and analyze your 'color.'  :-))
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: northkape on December 07, 2018, 07:35:30 PM
Thumbs up for you and your family Doug,,,,
nice to hear that you are still doing well :-)
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: JayH on December 08, 2018, 05:54:33 PM
Agree.

For those not familiar with Doug's story --it is a very interesting read full of information that can help guys making a trip.
Like all TR's -- some of it is dated now -- but a great story and you can all see his latest update . :)
Title: Re: Merry Christmas 2018
Post by: calmissile on December 26, 2018, 07:56:24 PM
The Wilson's wish all on RWD a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Doug, Larissa, Lisa
Title: 6 Year Anniversary
Post by: calmissile on July 04, 2019, 05:19:48 PM
It's been a while since we have posted any updates to our family/marriage so thought it might be appropriate on our anniversary.

July 3 marked 6 years of marriage.  Rather than go out to dinner, Larissa suggested that we stay home as a family and BBQ at home.  I bought a couple 'cowboy' steaks which are ribeye about 2 inches thick.  The BBQ and steaks were great.  We all had a relaxing and laid back evening ending with a soaking in the hot tub.

We are very blessed to have a wonderful, happy family in spite of the large age gap and negative speculation earlier.  I am particularly fulfilled with the enjoyment in raising Lisa, now 10 and going into the 5th grade next fall.  She was fluent in English within 6 months of entering our public school.  She is very popular with everyone whether kids or adults and is probably due to inheriting her mothers personality.   I signed up for a monthly delivery of STEM projects for kids.  She looks forward to the packages being delivered with her name on it.  :)

Larissa has been much slower in becoming fluent in English.  She also has had difficulty in finding a job.  Part of the problem seems to be that she did not change her name and her last name is difficult for Americans to deal with.  She recently changed her resume to use my last name and has noticeably improved the responses.   Being able to communicate in fluent English with an interviewer also seems to be an issue.  I suspect that this is just due to human nature.  People hiring someone will take the easy cases first.  Also her double masters degrees are in Agriculture and Accounting and our accounting methods are not a direct match with how they do it in Ukraine.  There aren't any agriculture jobs locally making it difficult also. Sooner or later she will find a match.  Everyone that meets and gets to know her just love her and she makes friends easily, so her personality is not the issue.

The love and dedication I receive from Larissa makes me very happy I decided to take the plunge.  I am so grateful to have been given another chance late in life to share a marriage and raise a wonderful child.

I am somewhat surprised that many of my single friends met on RWD/RUA are still looking for a mate.  It seems to me that it amounts to wasting away your life while looking for that perfect "10" and missing out on the love and companionship you get from a compatible marriage.  I suspect that one of the changes I made to my personality has contributed to our success.  I have become less critical of things that used to piss me off and become an issue. It is much easier now for me to just blow it off and not dwell on it.

In some ways I am fortunate that Larissa allows me to have my own time working in my electronics lab and cnc machine shop and does not interfere or make unacceptable demands on my time.  Fortunately all this time is at home.  If it were away from the house I know that it would be a different story.  She has the 'FSU Jealousy' syndrome that makes sure you aren't somewhere playing around behind her back.  I have got used to this and just accept it as part of the rules.  :)  Not too much freedom to give up for the positive benefits.

We want to wish all our forum friends happiness and for those single men, I hope you find a wonderful mate before you get too old to enjoy it.  :)

Doug, Larissa, Lisa

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: krimster2 on July 04, 2019, 05:30:01 PM
wow...
an actual smart person!!!

how rare on RWD!!!!
someone should alert the press!

Title: Re: 6 Year Anniversary
Post by: Gator on July 04, 2019, 06:27:34 PM
Great update Doug.   :thumbsup:



I am somewhat surprised that many of my single friends met on RWD/RUA are still looking for a mate.  It seems to me that it amounts to wasting away your life while looking for that perfect "10" and missing out on the love and companionship you get from a compatible marriage.   

I imagine perfectionists don't fare well in mixed-culture relationships. 


Quote

I suspect that one of the changes I made to my personality has contributed to our success.  I have become less critical of things that used to piss me off and become an issue. It is much easier now for me to just blow it off and not dwell on it.


Yes, annoyances  pass quickly.   
Title: Re: 6 Year Anniversary
Post by: ML on July 04, 2019, 09:11:13 PM

Yes, annoyances  pass quickly.   

No they don't.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: ML on July 04, 2019, 09:11:49 PM
Nice write up Doug; thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Hammer2722 on July 05, 2019, 08:57:00 AM
Great to hear from you Doug. Hi from Hector and Olga to Larissa!
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: BillyB on July 05, 2019, 09:07:14 AM

Happy Anniversary Doug and Larissa! Thanks for the wonderful update.
Title: Re: 6 Year Anniversary
Post by: Gator on July 05, 2019, 10:16:25 AM
No they don't.

 :ROFL:

Stop taking those over the counter testosterone supplements.  :D


My wife is not mellow, and it annoys her that I can relax through anything.  I explain to her that in my long life, I have already seen everything, and the conclusion is the same: the sun'll come out tomorrow. 

Figuratively speaking, when something happens, I apply a "bandage" and allow my body to heal. And I don't participate in scab picking. 

 
Title: Re: 6 Year Anniversary
Post by: ML on July 05, 2019, 10:05:17 PM
Stop taking those over the counter testosterone supplements.  :D

Actually I take Proscar daily.  It destroys testosterone which, in turn, helps to shrink the prostate.
So taking testosterone in any form would counteract the good effect of Proscar.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: krimster2 on July 06, 2019, 07:15:49 AM
usually guys who were in the military...
leaned how to "let things go"
because that's how you learned to survive in there...

you think your lives are tough?
I have two teen drivers
one has already been in her first accident

and I feel just fine....

Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: Patagonie on July 10, 2019, 04:12:13 AM
Hi Doug, thank you to send some fresh news.

I am in the chase, but had been happily married for fours years and half, life goes on.
Title: Re: Arrival at LAX Nov 2014
Post by: northkape on July 11, 2019, 06:42:00 AM
Nice to see that you are still doing well Doug,,,

Greetings deserved for those floating on calm sea,,,
Waves of happiness in sight :-)