The Gneiting's Corner
Welcome to our little corner of the world!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sister Gneiting is almost home!! 11 days!!!! YAY!

Here's some pictures of Mindy enjoying the Siberian Winter.
This is her zone in Novosibirsk and the picture they sent to all of their parents in a Christmas card!
Modeling some of her winter wear!
Not sure if they are dancing or doing Karate. But it looks like she is having fun as usual.
Playing dress up?
Sister Gneiting with Russian members.
Mindy's time is winding down. She will arrive home on Jan 6. I cant believe that it is time for her to come home. It really has gone by very fast. It has been a joy to have a missionary again, from our family, serving the Lord. It really has brought such a sweet spirit into our home. Her emails have been a weekly gift that we have looked forward to and enjoyed and we will truly miss those emails.
I am having mixed feelings about her time being almost done. I am so excited to see her again of course but I know how much she has absolutely loved her mission and my heart feels sad for her that this wonderful experience is almost over for her. I know that she has met some wonderful people in the past 18 months and I know that she will have a hard time saying goodbye to her fellow missionaries, but especially to the wonderful people of Russia. And of coarse it has been wonderful to see her testimony and faith grow over the past 18 months.
We look forward with anticipation to feeling of her spirit when she gets home and of coarse
to get to hear her speak Russian.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No more wrapping woes!!


I remember when my kids were little I would procrastinate wrapping the Christmas presents and then I would be up all night on Christmas Eve trying to get everything wrapped.
It drove me nuts and sometimes ruined my holidays.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Well if any of you do the same thing I have found the solution to the problem. I saw this on my friends blog and this could change your life!!!! (well maybe just a little!)

This would save alot of time and alot of headaches and you could actually enjoy the holidays.

No more "wrapping woes"!!!

To see what I'm talking about go HERE!!

Merry Christmas and you can thank me later for helping to
make your Christmas more enjoyable!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Eating Tips!

I posted this valuable information last year and thought that it was important enough to share again.

I hope this will help everyone enjoy a guilt free holiday.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving fudge.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-oholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. STOP! Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's! You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Holiday cookies, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each! Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day??

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:
"WOO HOO what a ride!"
Enjoy your holiday munching!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A light Unto All: A Christmas Gift

Here is the Christmas story told through missionaries from 25 countries. This is a must-see video clip that will move you; it will move anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and wants to feel the spirit of the season. Share this one as much as possible.
If you want to add it to your blog you can go HERE.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
(Make sure to pause my music below first.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude!


It's that time of year . . . .

. . . I'm feeling an Attitude of Gratitude coming on!!!!!

I know that I shouldn't wait for Thanksgiving to express my gratitude . . . .
but I am grateful that we have this holiday that reminds me to focus on what is important in my life.

I am so blessed and have so much that I am thankful for.

The gospel, my family, good friends, blogs and other forms of media to keep in touch with those I love, a roof over my head, heat to keep me warm, running water, food to keep my belly full, to be living in this beautiful country where I enjoy so many freedoms, a car that gets me to and from the places I need to go, hot chocolate, computers, good books to read, the Lord's blessings over me and my family especially my daughter that is in Russia, good music, my Ipod filled with good music, exercise equipment to use while listening to my Ipod, airplanes that can take me to see my family and bring them home to us, toliet paper :), toothpaste, clothes and shoes, laughter, snow plows . . . well you get the point!!! My list is really endless and I am forever grateful to my loving Heavenly Father who continues to love and bless me even in my weakness and failings. I see His hand in everything in my life and the best way for me to thank Him is to try each day to be a better person and try to be more like He wants me to be.
I am trying . . . .but I know that I can do better!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Powerful Book

Ok, So I started reading the Book of Mormon once again.

It is such a powerful book and there is so much to learn from reading it. Everytime I read it there are different things that stand out to me. I wanted to share some of the scriptures that stood out to me yesterday and touched my life. (sorry this is long but I just felt like I needed to share)

Simple truths that
touched my life in a powerful way!!

At the end of 1 Nephi 6:6 Nephi explains that the Book of Mormon is written for our benefit when he says that he doesnt want to "occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men." I have heard this before, of coarse, but it really stood out to me that as Nephi was deciding what to write he made a conscience decison of what was important and what to include that would benefit us in our lives. Because of that I am trying to pay more attention as I read to the little things that can make me a better follower of Christ.

Then in the next chapter, 1 Nephi 7, it talks about how after they went back to Jeruselem to get Ishmael and his family to join them - some of them including his own brothers turned against Nephi and in their anger they bound him with cords and wanted him to die.

Can you just imagine how Nephi felt to have his family and friends turn on him like that?

He must've really felt discouraged and alone.
(Have you ever felt discouraged and alone? I know that I have many times in my life)

Well just as things seemed very bleak Nephi prayed to the Lord and he said in vs. 17: "O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound." And just as he said these words the bands were loosed from his hands and feet.

Nephi prayed for strength to be able to change his circumstances.

I realized that we can pray for the Lord to change our circumstances but sometimes we can pray for the strength to make the changes ourselves. That was so powerful to me! The Lord is willing to help us but we need to be willing to work hard and prove that we are worthy of his help. I appreciated in Mindy's last letter she said that she realized that even though she had been working hard at the missionary work she can always work harder. I feel that same way as well. I can do better in many areas of my life.

Then one more thing that stood out to me was in 1 Nephi 8 when it talks about Lehi and his vision of the tree of life. Lehi is telling about this dream that he had and in vs 7 he says that he found himself in a "dark and dreary waste." And in vs 8 he says that he "traveled for the space of many hours in darkness."

Do you ever have days when you feel like just giving up - that your world is full of darkness, despair and no hope? Satans loves it when we feel like that - and I'm sad to say that I have far too many of these kinds of days.

It was at this point though that Lehi began to pray to the Lord to have mercy on him and show unto him His tender mercies. It was after that prayer that he saw the vision.

Once again we are taught the importance of prayer
and relying on the Lord in our times of need.

As I read this it hit me that many times we travel in darkness in our lives not knowing what to do or where to go or what direction to take in our lives. It can be a miserable feeling to be so lost and alone. . .

. . . . but it is in those kinds of moments when we feel like there is nothing left and we are losing
our faith that we are humbled enough to turn to the Lord and we inquire of Him in an
attitude of learning.

We become humble and teachable and that is when the
Lord can mold us into who He wants us to become.

Life is hard at times
and yet it is through these hard times that we see the growth in ourselves IF [keyword]
we will pray to the Lord and turn our lives over to Him and then be willing
to walk the path that He wants to lead us down.

Again such powerful words from the book of truth. I am so grateful for this powerful book that was written by inspiration for us, in these latter days, to help us as we walk along this, often-times difficult, journey called life. I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that if we will read it and heed the counsel in it we will be much better people because of it.

If you are still reading this Thanks for letting share these feelings with you. I hope that you can find the peace, hope, comfort and knowledge from this great book as I do when I read it.

If you would like to read this book you can find it HERE.

To learn more about
The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints
you can go

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You need to try this

All I am going to say is
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad!
If you love it ~ you will love this!!!
If you havent eaten it ~ you need to try this!!!!!!!!!!!!
And you can find it HERE!!!
Amazingly yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
. . . . enough said. . . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Someone help me please!

Ok all of you blog experts out there - I need your help!!

I have heard that you can actually print your blog into a book or something.

Can anyone tell me how to do this?

It seems like I saw it once on here somewhere but now I cant find anything . . . .

I would appreciate any help that you can give me.

THANKS!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Domestic Violence Awareness Month - Oct 2010


Did you know that Oct is Domestic Violence Awareness month?


Thankfully I have never experienced this in my own life but I have had some close friends that have. One of my good friends had to actually run for her life in the middle of the night to protect herself and her children from her abusive husband. I also had a class awhile ago where I did a lot of research about abuse. The personal accounts of abuse survivors horrified me with the violence and pain they suffered through, but inspired me with their courage and resilience. What I learned touched me deeply and motivated me to advocate for victims and for an end to violence.

Did you know?
Nationally. . . .

• 25% of all women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.
• 1 in 4 teens is shown to be a victim of dating violence.
Each year, domestic violence costs over $4 billion in healthcare costs and billions more in workplace absenteeism and lost productivity.
• 60% of victims cited job loss, including being suspended and fired, as a direct or indirect result of domestic violence.
• Pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause.
• 75% of domestic violence related deaths occur during or after leaving the abuser.
• Adults who physically abuse their partners typically enacted a first episode of dating violence by age 15.
• A woman is beaten every 15 seconds.
• While women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall,
women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.
• 4 million women are victims of severe assaults by boyfriends and husbands each year and about one in four women is likely to be abused by a partner in her lifetime.
• Each day, more than three women in the United States are murdered by a male intimate partner.
• There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion.
• It is estimated that anywhere between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness domestic violence annually.
• Research demonstrates that exposure to violence can have serious negative effects on children's development. Witnessing violence between ones parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
• Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically
abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.

Shocking statistics but this is reality for many women in our country!!

Even more shocking is the fact that these women are in our communities and are our neighbors.

If you want to read more facts about this subject and why it matters go HERE.

If you are as passionate about ending Domestic Violence as I am, share your voice to raise awareness during the month of October.

One way that we can help is to donate our old cellphones to give victims of Domestic Violence a voice. Go HERE or HERE to learn more.

If you want to learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of thousands of victims, survivors, and their families, go HERE.

If you are in an abusive relationship or you know someone that is please call for help at the

National Domestic Violence Hotline at

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Breaking the cycle of Domestic Violence begins with awareness!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Zucchini Pineapple Bread



I dont know about you but we have had a TON of zucchini and I've have been trying alot of different recipes with it. I have tried a couple of different bread recipes and this one has been our favorite one so far. So I thought that I would share it with you.

Zucchini Pineapple Bread
2 Loaves (or 3 smaller ones)

3 eggs
1 c. cooking oil
2 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c. shredded zucchini
8 oz crushed pineapple
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 c. flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c. raisins (opt)
1 c. chopped nuts (opt)

Beat eggs. Add oil and sugar. Beat until thick and foamy. Add vanilla. Stir in zucchini and pineapple. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and nuts. Stir into zucchini mixture. Pour into greased pans.
Bake at 350ยบ for 40 mins to 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.
(This is a very moist bread and isnt too sweet.)
Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The birthday boy!!

Has it really been a whole year since I got the call from my son telling me that I was a GRANDMA!!!??

And has it really been a whole year since I jumped in my car and drove all the way to California to welcome this little bundle of joy into our family?


I dont know where the time went but YES . . . . it's been a year!!!
And our little buddy just turned
ONE YEAR OLD!!!

Joe and I went down for the birthday boy's big day!!!
It was so fun to be there and celebrate with him!

And yes . . . we spoiled him!!!

I cant believe how much he has changed over this past year.

It is amazing to see all of the things that a baby learns in their first year.

Scott and Amy were very good at sending us pictures of the little guy so that we could see him change and grow. He is a very active little boy and into everything. YAY!! I'm so grateful that he has a strong little body that is growing and developing just like he should be.

He is always on the move.

We bought him this little chair and he loved it. He would just sit in it and be very content.

It was the only time that he ever sat still!!

He really seemed to enjoy all of the attention that he was getting and of coarse all of the fun new toys that he got!!! (Actually he loved the boxes just as much and maybe even had a little bit of sensory overload from getting so much stuff.)

Like I said ~ WE LOVED SPOILING HIM!!!!!
One of the best things about his birthday was his experience with his
birthday cake!!

Words cant describe how much fun it was to watch him start out slow . . . . just exploring with this colorful item placed in front of him. And then getting more and more excited about it and how yummy it was until . . . .


. . . he went in HEAD FIRST and just kept saying
Mmmmmm . . . . . . .Mmmmmmmm!!

It was priceless!!
What a blessing this little one has been in our lives and I cant wait to watch him grow and change this next year!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE MAN!!!
Grandma and Grandpa Gneiting love you!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And we're off . . . . . .

. . . . to see some one turn ONE!!!! Yay!!!


It's time to party!!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Breakfast at Ginger's- golden retriever dog eats with hands

It's been awhile since I've posted something. I will be back soon but until then I thought that I would share this cute video with you. Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The time has come!!

I didnt want to do it. . . . .

But I'm going to join many in the blogging world. . . . .

I'm going PRIVATE!!!

June 15th is the big day!!!

Please leave a comment with your email if you would like to continue viewing my blog.
Or you can send it to me at: mommagneiting@yahoo.com

Thanks friends!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I did it!!!

Five and half years ago I decided to take a couple of classes at BYU Idaho just for fun.

After a semester I decided that I wanted to do more than just have fun ~ and I began my journey to obtain a Bachelor's Degree. I love a challenge!!

And a challenge it was!!

I set goals - I worked hard -
I loved every minute of it!!
It became my passion - you might even say an obsession!

After taking many tests, writing tons of papers, spending hours upon hours of studying, losing sleep, sweating over assignments, at times feeling overwhelmed, stressed, inadequate and unsure of myself . . . saying many prayers, making many new friends, and learning all kinds of new things . . .
and after taking 134 credits. . . .

I am now officially a
Bachelor of Science in Sociology
with a minor in Marriage and Family Studies.

Graduation was great!!
But what was even greater was that my family were all here to support me. (Except for Mindy of coarse who is serving a mission in Russia. I cant believe that they wouldnt let her just make a quick trip home for her momma's big day. hahaha!)

But having my family here meant more to me than they will ever know.
I love them so much! It was great to share this special day with my most favorite people in all the world!!

It was an amazing experience!

Yep that's me in the front row. Right on the end. We were clapping and showing appreciation for our family, friends and teachers that helped us get to this special day!



There were 1544 graduates, biggest class yet at BYUI.
I graduated in the top 5% with a GPA of 3.93.
(Not bad for an old lady . . . hahahahaha)


Sitting with my comrades waiting to receive our diplomas!!


Receiving my diploma!


I couldn't have done it without this special friend. Thanks Brittaini!!


When Amy graduated from BYU Hawaii they have a tradition there of giving the graduates lei's.
So after I graduated my family all gave me a lei to celebrate my accomplishment.
I thought it was so cool!!

It takes a family to graduate a mom!!!!

Thanks to their support, love, encouragement, sacrifice and help I was able to accomplish this goal of mine. Thanks kids ~ I appreciate you all!

And now my best friend gets his wife back!!!
This has been a wonderful journey for me. I have learned so much more than just secular knowledge. I have learned alot about myself. I have grown so much and have gained more confidence in myself and in my abilities to do hard things. I know that I can face any challenge that comes my way. But most importantly I know that the Lord walks beside me daily. I have felt his help and strength helping me get through these past 5 yrs. I give all credit of my acheivement to Him. Yes, I put in the time and effort but it was through His inspiration and guidance and Him filling in the gaps where I fell short that I was able to accomplish this goal.

I hope now that I can use this degree and my new found knowledge to reach out and help
and strengthen others.

So on to the next phase of my life . . . . what ever that may be!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

One more pic. . . .


What a happy boy!!! He loves Disneyland!!!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More pictures of Mr. Trent

Amys mom gave her the piano that she learned to play on. She drove it all the way to CA herself to take it to them. What a nice mom she is!!

. . . . and it looks like we have a "piano man" in the family. Or as Scott and Amy are calling him "Little Mozart!"


He is getting so big. I cant wait to see him!!! I think that they are coming to my graduation next week. In fact. . . all of my kids (except for Mindy of coarse) are coming. I'm excited to graduate but I'm way more excited to see all of my family.

But since we are talking about my graduation. . . I have one week until I am done. I cant believe that I have finally made it. Some of my professors arent going to be able to be at our graduation because they have a conference to go to, so last week we took pictures with them. This is about half of our class. The rest of them arent walking and they didnt want to be in the picture. Oh well . . . they missed out on being in a great picture. So here is a sneak preview of what I look like in my cap and gown.

These are my three favorite teachers.

Here we are ~ Class of 2010!!!

Just in case you cant find me

I'm the youngster that is 3rd from the right/middle row!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surf's up!!

I think we have a "surfer dude" on our hands!!!


Scott and Amy live so close to the beach and I think little Trent feels right at home there!!

Scott and his little buddy!!


Trents Uncle Josh teaching him how to surf!!! I think he is loving it!!
He may be surfing before he's walking!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This post in is honor of Sister Mindy and the great work that she is doing. She is such an example to me and she inspires me to be a better person and to try to do my part in furthering the great work of our Heavenly Father.



This quote is about missionaries . . . but arent we all missionaries?

I just really liked this quote when I heard it and I thought that it is a good one for all of us regardless of our callings. We all must endure to the end and work hard at spreading the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. We dont have to officially be called on a mission to do that.

So I thought I would share this with you all and hopefully it will give you a boost like it did me ~ to try a little harder and to push ourselves a little harder in doing the work of the Lord. We can do it with our families, in our church callings, in temple service, in reaching out to the ones around us that need uplifting, and in finding those who are searching for the truth.

We can help the work move forward in our own way and in our own little corners of the world.

"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tinted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am lifted up in prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me”.
- Elder Henry B. Eyring

Thursday, March 4, 2010

To go private or not to go private

It seems that everyone is "going private!"

I told myself that I wouldn't!

But now I'm thinking about it!

There are strangers looking at my blog!!

And leaving weird messages!

Who are they? What do they want? Should I be scared?
Or are they harmless bored people?

Kinda freaks me out!

But I'm still not sure what to do!!

I want to protect my family ~ especially my little grandbaby and my daughter
living in a foriegn country.

But I know it's more trouble for you to have to
log into a "private" blog.

Will you still come check in on me once in awhile?

Tell me what you guys think.

Should I or shouldn't I??

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Update on Sister Mindy (long post)

Well Mindy has been serving on her mission now for 7 months. She is doing great. She loves Russia and the people. She has been in Novosibirsk since she arrived in Russia 5 months ago. It is Russias 3rd largest city, after Moscow and St. Petersburg, and is the largest city of Siberia. This is where the Mission home is located. She loves this city and has enjoyed serving there.

Novosibirsk Skyline

Mindy with a couple other sister missionaries
(picture retreived from Bro and Sister Simmons blog - thanks!)
She was transferred this past week. She is now serving in Irkutsk. She had quite a journey getting there. Irkutsk is approximately about 1800 miles from Novosibirsk. She took a train to get there and traveled for 35 hours. She crossed two times zones. On the Russian map below (sorry its not bigger) Novosibirk is right in the middle of the map toward the southern border. Irkutsk is east of Novo (about an inch) next to a long sliver, crescent shaped lake (Lake Baikal - more pictures below). Considering that this is almost 2000 miles apart on this map it kind of gives you an idea of just how big Russia really is.

She is now the Senior Companion with another american sister that has been out about one month less than Mindy. Mindys other companions have all been Russian and they have been able to help her with the language and understanding the culture, etc. So now she is going to have to rely much much more on the Lord to help her with her understanding and speaking the language. She has great faith - I know she will do awesome!!

I have been studying about Irkutsk and its history and surrounding area and it is very interesting. I am learning alot about Russia. So I thought that I would give you a some interesting tidbits on this new area that she is serving in.


FACTS:
It is one of the largest cities in Siberia with a population of 593,604.

In the early 19th century, many Russian artists, officers and nobles were sent into exile to this part of Siberia for their part in the Decembrist revolt (Because this happened in December the rebels were called Decembrists) against Tsar Nicholas 1. (Hence the saying when someone does something wrong, "You are going to get sent to outer Siberia!")

Irkutsk became the major center of intellectual and social life for these exiles, and much of the citys cultural heritage comes from them. Many of their wooden houses, adorned with ornate, hand carved decorations ( see picture below), are still standing there today.

It has the nickname ~ The Paris of Siberia.

It is a very prosperous cultural and educational center for eastern Siberia with many museums and universities. The architectural design of many of the buildings and churches is very beautiful and ornate.

Kazansky Church in Irkutsk

Epiphany Minster (built in 1718-1746)

Irkutsk railway station on the Trans-Siberian Railway
(This is probably where Mindy arrived in this city)

A Decembrist house with distinctive hand-carved trim

Irkutsk sits near Lake Baikal. It is called "The Pearl of Siberia". It is the deepest lake in the world (about 2,442 ft) and it contains a total of about 20% of the worlds surface fresh water. It has a surface area of 12,248 square miles and is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, 2/3 of which can be found nowhere else in the world.

The lake is completely surrounded by mountains, contains 27 islands (the largest is 45 miles long and is the 4th largest lake-bound island in the world. The lake is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers.

Irkutsk is toward the bottom of the lake on the left side.
Sorry that this post is so long but I thought that you might be interested in seeing and hearing about the new area that Mindy is in. I hope that you enjoyed learning something new about a country that most of us know nothing about.