August JAM 2014


Recently Marie and I have joked that we should write a book with the above title. Whilst in the States we celebrated our one year anniversary. I have to say that we are both loving this thing called marriage. So we are now old pros and know all there is to know about love – kidding.

Life truly is “Better Together”. (Not to mention having someone to watch your bags at the airport when you “need to go”)


One nice thing about being from a big family is that there are lots of weddings to go home for! Jono and I had a really lovely time visiting my family in the States for a few weeks in July to celebrate my youngest sister’s wedding. She, of course, was a stunning bride and the ceremony was beautiful. I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of this special day in her life.

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June JAM 2014

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139)

This is a wonderful description of what is taking place in Marie right now! Yes, we are pregnant. Thanks be to God!

Marie’s Corner

I read an article recently about first time parents. It talked about how these newbies read through baby books together and go to doctor’s appointments together and generally dream about what life will be like when their baby finally arrives. This seems like a pretty apt description of us at the moment!

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May JAM 2014

Pull Out Some More Adjectives!!

This month my class, along with all grade three students across Australia, will sit NAPLAN tests. If you don’t know what I am talking about, consider yourself blessed. One of the tests focuses on writing. We are trying to help the students improve their writing with adjectives. When was the last time you read something and were transported into another realm, not because of the plot or the philosophy, but purely because of the choice of words? Words are powerful. They move us, inspire us, challenge us, motivate us, captivate us, arrest us, embolden us and empower us – and then there are times when the dictionary and the thesaurus combined do not contain enough or the right words to describe how we feel.

Life In The Big Smoke

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April JAM 2014


If you were a fly on any staffroom wall towards the end of a busy term you would probably hear the word “tired” over and over. But not just in schools. People are tired at work. People are tired at home. People are tired in their pursuits. People are tired in relationships. People are tired serving others. What is the antidote to tiredness? REST! You need rest. We all need more rest.


Today the Real Estate agent rang to say that our house has been sold and the new owners would like to move in so we have to find a new place by the time our lease runs out in June. So it looks like the little Miller’s Nook we set up here is not going to last a year. It’s time for me to dust off my ridiculous collection of empty boxes and find a new place. Friends with trailers beware!

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JAM March 2014

The Sun in Scotland?!?

My picture was printed in the Scottish Sun Tabloid last week. I was with my friend Simbo 7 ½ years ago and . . . well he saw it first, so he tells the story.

“They say every picture tells a story. Well what a story this one tells today. It was taken on October 11th 2006, me and Jono Miller soaking up the atmosphere on Independence Square, Kyiv, a few hours before Ukraine beat Scotland 2-0 in Euro2008 qualifying. Kenny Miller missed a glorious chance at 1-0, there was a dive for the penalty that made it 2-0. Anyway, this picture appeared TODAY (88 months later) in a Scottish newspaper as the draw for Euro 2016 was revealed. Today, while thousands in Scotland looked at this picture and thought about football, I was on Independence Square in Kyiv, sharing all kinds of emotions with thousands gathered to remember the 88 people who died here in the last week, fighting for a better future for this country. And today, I added the Saltire you see round Jono's neck, to the many other flags hung from the Independence Square Christmas tree, a few feet from where this picture was taken.”

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JAM February

Six Foot By 2 Foot

How much do you really need?

You can’t have wings and roots!

Recently I have toyed with the idea of putting down roots, choosing a place, saving for a house deposit. Throughout history mankind has had a love affair with land. They have sought for it, fought for it, bought it, thought about more of it, caught it (inheritance), tried to thwart others from having it.


Miller’s Adventures (through Marie’s eyes)

A recap of our summer trip: We started in the South Island in Christchurch and stayed with some cousins for a day before heading up to “sunny Nelson” where we stayed a week with Jono’s aunty and uncle. We spent one day walking around Lake Rotoiti which was a beautiful hike through beech forests. Another day, we went to the Abel Tasman National Park and saw some beautiful beaches.

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JAM January 2014

Holiday Time

Marie and I are enjoying holidays in NZ and will have reports and photos in our next JAM. For now we would like to thank those who love us and encourage us.

UTSIM UPDATE (Sveta's own words)

"Natasha told me that you wanted me to write a few words about how the things are going here. Ok, I'll try..

Holidays are coming! I'm glad there will be a little break, ready for it.. :)

We are still renting the same room at the Culture House, which is a big blessing - very convenient and central spot. Because of the New Year's season there is a big Christmas tree (the main one of Rzhyshchiv) just outside my window so I can enjoy the lights from it when it's dark :) and also there is another one inside. That's a beautiful time of the year!

The kids are also beautiful ;) Some of them are very beautiful - so obedient and so sweet!!! Some have behavior problems, nothing has changed - it has always been that way... :)

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