Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Little Lucy.

On November 17, my cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Lucy. Today Lucy will have surgery on her heart. Please pray for her and the family. Follow her story on caringbridge.


Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in times of trouble. He knows those who take refuge in him.


Ok, so let me be honest. I've been homesick. I mean I have been homesick before this, but now I'm really homesick. So this is probably the reason why I have not blogged much in November. I'm not desperately homesick all the time. It's like a rollercoaster. Most or many days I am very fine and ok and satisfied here. And I really enjoy it. But other days I want to board the next plane home. I think having a cold, and then being sick this past weekend added to this feeling. It's hard to be fully enjoy life when your head hurts and your sinuses are plugged. :) But the past two days I have finally felt at full my energy level for the first time in probably two weeks thus my homesick level has declined.

This past saturday Ilona and I (well mostly Ilona) showed two of her friends around the city. It was a beautiful day and I was reminded how awesome of a city Wroclaw is. I guess I get so wrapped up in teaching and my daily tasks that I had lost the awe for the city. I remember when I came here and was looking on the city I told myself to always be amazed by it. How quickly I had forgotten. Saturday was a good reminder. Homesickness is also cured by skyping my family and Alli Lafferty; I'm so very thankful for skype. Yesterday I was able to watch my very adorable nephew Bennett eat his breakfast. I'm also very thankful for Imessage because I am able to 'text' my mom (and friends) from my ipod to her iphone. Technology is wonderful! It also helps to have a quilt from my mom that I can snuggle up in, I would suggest if anyone is going to travel...have your mom make you a quilt.

Saturday's walk around the city. 
The best cure for my homesickness is where I always find peace and comfort. Reading my bible. Woof, it helps. It takes my thoughts away from myself and current feelings to God and his bigger picture. That book is overflowing with goodness. Ultimately, he is in control and my current feelings are a drop in the bucket to his plan. So, I must be strong and courageous for the Lord, our God is with me where ever I go (Joshua 1:9). And in that I find true comfort.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

all saints day.

Since Poland is a very catholic country, All Saints Day is a national holiday. November 1st. Schools and stores close down. This past week many people traveled to the city for the holiday, which meant buses and trams were slow and late for the majority of the week. And since I live very close to a big cemetery I saw many of the visitors. People are traveling to the graves of their loved ones to pray for their souls. They also clean the graves, bring flowers, and light candles to remember and pay respect to their loved ones.

Ilona took me to the cemetery on thursday night. The place was full of people. Once we walked in I was in awe of all the candles. We walked up to the church and around the door people had light candles in memory of their relative. There were thousands of candles. It was beautiful. You could feel the heat. We then decided to walk around the cemetery. Each and every grave had a candle. There was not one without one. It was amazing to me. I'm sure some people traveled so far just to pay their respects. I am not catholic, but I found the holiday very touching. I don't believe that praying for their souls after death will lead to anything different for their souls. But I like that it is a day to remember family and friends who have passed away. It was a day to pay respect to them. To remember their life, and celebrate it.

So, naturally I thought of those whom I love that have past away and reflecting on their lives and impact on me. As we walked I thought of my selfless and graceful Grandma Lorraine, my donut loving silly Grandpa Cliff, my hardworking and goofy Grandpa Jerry, my second mom Colleen, and my dancing, blessed Uncle T.O. All are apart of me and make me who I am. I have been so blessed to have known them and share in their lives. The best part is I know they are all basking in Jesus' glory in heaven. I thank God for them and remembered all the fun times I shared with them. God has blessed me with an amazing family. And I'm so very thankful.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This week my lesson was on halloween. American Halloween. Halloween is not a big holiday in Poland, not really a holiday at all. Kids are trying to make it more popular, but it is nothing like in the states. Maybe 5 kids out of 100 kids had been trick or treating. I was excited to tell them all about halloween.

I started the lesson by asking what they knew about american halloween. They said trick or treating, and you dress up. I asked about the kind of costumes people wear, they said: frankenstein, ghost, wizards, witches, zombies, head less horse man, demon...basically all scary things. I had to broaden their minds so I told them what I dressed up as: princess (many times), cheerleader, pumpkin, boy, bumble bee, one of the seven dwarfs, homeless person. I tried to explain that some people dressed up as scary things, but many people dressed up in many different things and it isn't always scary. I also brought pictures of my past halloweens, they loved it. I told them how each halloween my dad would take us around the neighborhood in his tractor, and the whole neighborhood was alive. I shared about how my siblings and I would immediately lay out our candy on the floor, organize it, and begin trading. 

I shared about hay rides, pumpkin bars, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, bobbing for apples, haunted houses, and trick or treating. Then at the end of class I had the kids think of what they would dress up as and then they had to come trick or treating to my house. One by one they came to the front of the room and knocked at my 'door'. I would say hello, they would trick or treat? I asked what their costume was and then hand them a piece of candy. Candy from the states: starburst, dum dum, jolly rancher, and laffy taffy. They had fun. As did I . It is so fun to share my halloween traditions with others. I never really get that into halloween, so I was surprised how excited I was to share about it. I guess the traditions and memories it carries are what made the holiday special. So now, I cannot wait to share THANKSGIVING! My favorite family holiday. :)

This picture is too cute not to post (hope you don't mind Ellie and Paul). Here is the cutest little boy, my nephew on his first halloween. Happy Halloween.

Bennett's first halloween.