Thursday, August 15, 2013


Seriously, it is already AUGUST!!

Since I have been home I have been meaning to update this about my last few weeks in Poland and life back home. However, summer has taken off in all its busyness and here we are in August. And what a jam packed summer it has been. I have been living at my parents cabin for the summer and I found job as a nanny and cabin cleaner. Living at a cabin on a beautiful lake is everything it seems it would be: amazing. My weeks are quiet and move quickly and before I know it there is a crew up for a weekend of boating fun. Our boat has probably clocked the most hours of any boat on the lake. My dad has successfully pulled 5 skiers behind the boat, which has just geared him up to increase the number to 6 (maybe this weekend his dream will come true). I have mastered the 360 on the wake skate, but I still don't look as good as the 'good at everything' Thomas Schoen. :) I have played with Bennett and he loves to say his favorite Auntie's name: 'Neeeena!'  Summer has been full and successful. And with summer coming to an end it leaves one very important question hanging in the air...

'What's next, Hannah?'

This is a very good question and highly important, especially to my father. And one that I do not have the answer for yet. For a while I was searching for social work jobs in Bozeman, MT, however after applying and seeing what little jobs are available in a smaller town I (think, I think) I have decided to move my job search a little closer to home. The twin cities area. So, the job hunt begins for a job in social work working with children and families. maybe, hopefully. I continue to pray that God would point me in the correct direction. And I continue to fill out application after least I'm doing it while sitting next to the lake or feeling the lake breeze. So the search continues and thankfully summer continues on as well.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

where did the time go?

Ok, now seriously...wasn't it just september and I was just unpacking my bags? Where did the time go? I feel like I just got here and now I'm packing my bags to head home. wow, how time flies. My flight leaves monday afternoon, and I arrive home late monday night. And the past few months I have gotten so busy that I have not blogged. My friend, Hannah, reminded me that people are still looking at this and I should update it. And now since it has been so long...I don't know where to begin.

So I will start with the current time and my thought is it add more stories and such when I get home and have more time (hopefully). So, stay tune.

I am in my last few days here and I can hardly believe it. The past few days have been filled with many goodbyes. I had a goodbye party on friday night with some friends and it was so nice to sit and chat with each one. Also on friday, one of my classes threw me a little surprise going away party (also a good excuse for them to get out of school work!). Since I am friends with many of them on facebook one of the girls decided to go through all my pictures and find the most embarrassing or goofy pictures of me and made a slide show for the whole class. They thought they were pretty clever and had a few good did I. We played games and of course ate food. Here is a picture of some of the boys playing a goofy game. This class with their high energy and teenage characteristics was one of my most challenging classes, the only one I had to call for the principle's reinforcements one day, so you can imagine my surprise when they were so sad to see me go. As they walked out the door I gave the girls hugs and shook all the boys hands, which the boys throughly enjoyed. It was a wonderful way to end my time at Arka. Thank you 6th class!

Leaving Poland is bittersweet for me. I am so excited to see and spend time with my family. I cannot wait to spend the whole day with my nephew, Bennett, while his parents are at work. I'm a selfish auntie. I will soon my smothered by my brothers and father wanted to wrestle and be goofy. And I will enjoy time talking with my sister (Carly is off touring europe) and mom. I have missed my family dearly. I'm excited to see my wonderful friends again too, and celebrate so many weddings this summer. It will be a filled summer. But, I will miss all my polish friends and the kids I have worked with. Thankfully there is facebook, emailing, and skype so those relationships can continue. But I will miss them as well. Poland and the people have been so good to me.

Now you are caught up a little bit, I am off to finish my packing. Some how I must fill it all in my suitcase. Yikes. 50 lbs limit is no fun. Next post will be written in the minnesota sunshine (hopefully no snow...right?).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Let me start be saying thank you. I know I have said it before, but seriously THANK YOU. I have been so encouraged by so many people, so many facebook messages, goofy videos, imessages, emails, hits on my blog, and skype chats. You have been so encouraging to me. So, now I return the favor.

Since being here I have been reminded the impact a person can have on their community, neighborhood, church, family, co-workers, and friends. Today in church, (yes, church where I wore headphones to listen to the sermon translated to english....very cool. I did feel goofy wearing big headphones in church) a story was told of a man who received a bible. He was an addict and didn't have much use for the book so he passed on to his girlfriend. In the same boat, she passed it on to her brother. Her brother took an interest in it and decided to read. And there his relationship with Jesus began. He did not keep this a secret and shared his new found life with others and soon he had 18 of his close friends and family, including his sister and her boyfriend experiencing God's grace as well. God used this one man to impact so many.

And I know this story can seem cheesy, and in a way typical, heard it all before. But I think we have to look beyond that to see how God works through us. He is a relational God and works through our relationships. He may use our words, deeds, and actions to show people his grace and love. And this makes sense because these are the people we see all the time, we share life with these people, there are commonalities, trust, shared culture, and memories. It's natural. And yes, God calls some people to share the gospel to far places, unknown territory. But for the majority of christians the mission field is in your hometown, work, child's schools, campus, and backyard. And that is exactly what God calls you, us, me, we to be.

OK, this is a blog I wrote along time ago but never thought it was finished because I felt I couldn't put into words what I wanted to say. Until I read an article which basically said everything I wanted to in a very perfect let me get out of the way and PLEASE read this article. 

                                          Here it is: We need Boring Christians. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Poland in the Summer.

Please, let me tell you what is happening in Poland this summer.....CAMPS! Lots of summer camps! Arka, the school I work at, holds a english summer camp and they are in need to native speakers for the camp. There are three camps, each camp a week long. They are in need to native speakers for any or all of the camps. So, does this make your heart beat fast? Or just sound like a great opportunity? Well if you are above the age of 16 and can speak english good....I mean well...then you are welcome to join in the fun this summer.

Please check out the website where you will find more information about the camps. WEBSITE Link! Also, feel free to contact me with more questions, I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

There goes February.

It looks like February has flown by and it snuck out without a single posting from me. It has been so long I even had to log into blogger because they didn't remember me. I would like to say Hello again and I'm still here. I hope you are as well.

February really has completely flown by and I am beginning to realize that May will be here before I know it. How does that happen? In September, I remember thinking that May was lightyears away and now it is just around the corner.

In the month of February I realized how very clueless and go with the flow I am here. Now, let me explain this cluelessness before my brothers makes fun of me for this statement. :)

I really realized this when my friend Ali came to visit me. We were walking around the town and she would ask me why people do this, or why that is there, what is that for, what did they say. And my response was always, "I have no idea." She soon found out that this indeed was true. But there is a trick to must act like you know what is going on. For example, Ali was impressed with my language skills at the check out register. I would answer the lady's questions and act like I knew what I was doing. However, I am just assuming I know what the woman is talking about and hoping I answered appropriately. It's actually a big accomplishment if I can get through a whole transaction without the person knowing I don't speak much polish. It's like I am tricking them.

I further realized this when I went on a ski trip with a few Polish women. They would fill me in of their conversations and their plans. But sometimes they would forget to tell me where or what we were going to do next, which was ok because I just followed right along. There were a few times I would ask what we were doing and they would laugh and apologize for forgetting to inform me.

I have learned that yes it is nice to know what is going on, but sometimes it is nice to sit back and enjoy where life takes you! And it is ok to have no idea what is happening. haha.

Monday, January 21, 2013

minnesota nice.

I don't think I truly understood the term 'Minnesota Nice' until I was away from it for 4 months. I will try to explain my experiences for those who have never been to mn and for those who have never been away from mn long enough to really appreciate it.

Minnesota Nice (according to Wikipedia-This isn't no college paper!!): a stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understandment, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation. Also, can occur in traffic, when a car slows to let a person go infront of them.

Now, I would say this is a pretty accurate definition, and I fit the stereotype pretty well. And maybe some characteristics of mn are not the healthiest or most effective, some people may even despise Minnesotans for this; however, according to NBC and Forbes MN is the 5th best state to live in. Pretty impressive, huh? Anyway, I want to focus on the polite friendliness and courteous.

One day, while I was home, I decided to take a little trip to THEE Albertville Outlet Mall. I was shopping in Banana Republic and decided to try a shirt on. I headed for the dressing room, a women showed me to my room. She asked me where I got my scarf, because she was looking for one for her niece. I told her it is from Poland. She then asked why I was in Poland. And we talked for probably a few minutes more. Yes, maybe at first this lady was being polite to a costumer, but then she was genuinely interested. I decided to purchase the shirt so I headed to the cashier. Because this was only a few days before christmas I had to wait in line. I stood by an women and we began talking. We talked the whole time in line...about christmas, christmas shopping, stocking stuffers. When checking out, I asked the cashier how she was and had a short conversation with her. I walked out of the store with a smile on my face. People are just so nice. I know, granted, I couldn't have much of a conversation with people in Poland, but they do not converse with each other like Minnesotans do.

Another big change for me being here was that you do not say hello or good morning to people walking on the street. You do to the people you know, but not to complete strangers.  Nor do you politely wave to the car who has let you cross the street, although out of habit I still find myself doing so. Compared to in Winona when I would run or walk around the lakes I would say Good Morning to everyone I passed. This is something I do miss. It was refreshing to be around again.

So some can say that minnesota nice is people faking being nice, but I don't agree. I think most minnesotans are genuinely nice and care about you. And yeah, maybe sometimes we don't really care how that person is doing but we ask anyway and to that person it may mean a lot. I'm so very proud to be a Minnesotan, with my accent, politeness, pop (not soda!), and booooooat.


I am back to Poland.   I am back to blogging.

Christmas Dinner at the Cabin. 
The last post was written right before I left for home. And how good it was to be home. I was able to babysit my nephew (picture below), enjoy a concert with my brother Robert, shop with my sister Ellie, wrestle with my dad, sew with my mom, cook with my sister Carly, chow down on a cheese burger with my brother Thomas, and laugh with my brother-in-law Paul.

I mean seriously, can he get any cuter? 
My family spent christmas at the cabin. There is something is enchanting about northern mn in the winter. The trees are heavy with snow, it's quiet, deer in the yard, crackling fire place. It is really the best place to spend christmas, in my opinion. We also disturbed the quiet and untouched snow with the snowmobile and sled. :)

Between hanging out with my family I was able to see so many of my friends and be updated about their lives. I even snuck down to Winona one evening to surprise some of my college friends....and to enjoy a Bloedow's maple long john in the morning. I was honored to partake in my friend Molly  Brown, now Molly Moore's, wedding day! Just like old times my cousin, Breezy, and I seeing each other on christmas day decided we needed more time to catch up and  I went home with her for a sleep over. I had a evening with all my college girlie friends, which was so fun.

Before I knew it three weeks had flown by and I don't think I spent a single day without something happening. I wouldn't have had it any other way. My time home was so good, which meant leaving would be hard. The day came and after tearful goodbyes and leaving my parents at the security. I found my gate and took a seat. I then overheard a man talking to the women at the counter about the delay. So, I went to the counter to see if I would miss my connecting flight. Sure enough I would. It turned out the next flight I could get on would be the next day. I texted my mom and told her to stay put. Thankfully, they were waiting out traffic at Ikea. They came back to the airport to pick me up and we went home. I was relieved. God just knew that I needed a little more time at home. The next day we tried again, and with less tears I climbed the plane and headed back to Poland. I'm so very thankful for my time home, even though it was hard to leave again, it was so very needed! There is no place like home, right?