Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Control and God's Love

So I have started a reading plan from my iPhone Bible app. It is The Essential Jesus in 100 days. Each day I read a passage from the Bible...Old or New Testament...that helps show the significance of Jesus. Yesterday my passage was Exodus 16. This story is one I have heard so many times since I was a kid. It was the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness and God giving them manna from Heaven. When I read it yesterday God showed me how this story relates to me.

The background is that the Israelites have been freed from slavery in Egypt. They have seen God's protection and provisions over and over including the parting of the Red Sea and the death of Pharaoh. But instead of being in awe of God and worshiping Him they decide to grumble and long to be back in slavery because they would have food. V. 2 says, "And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled..." And verse 3 says they wished that they "had Egypt, when we sat by meat pots and ate bread to the full." They go on to say that God brought them in the wilderness to let the die of hunger. Oh how many times have I felt this way? I have grumbled to God about my present dilemmas and wished to be back to time when life was not as good because I remember the "good ol' days."  And how does God respond? Does he say, as I would, "Fine...if you don't appreciate all I have done for you, then go ahead and starve!!!" Not even close. In verse 4 He tells Moses that He will send bread from Heaven for the people each morning and meat each night. WOW!!! What grace.

God also gives instructions for using just the amount of bread that each person needs and not to let it sit over night. But what do the people do? They don't trust God and decided to store the bread for the next day. As a result when they wake up it is full of worms and stinks!!!! Oh how often I try and have control of my own situations and what happens? It is full of worms and definitely stinks!!!

God continues with his blessings. So they don't have to work by gathering bread on the Sabbath, he provides double on the 6th day. Sure enough, the bread kept and was good for the next worms, no stink! 

Maybe this is just me but WOW!!! Why do I not trust God? God is faithful. God has always been faithful and has given me no reason to believe He won't continue in His faithfulness. Read this whole chapter and let God speak to you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thumb Sucking Update

About 7 or 8 weeks ago Ella got her retainer to help her stop sucking her thumb as well as to begin to straighten her teeth where her thumb has pushed them apart and up. I wanted to send you an update on our progress. When she first got the retainer she was doing ok. But about a week or so into it, Ella realized she could take it out at night. So we would come in and the retainer would be in her hand and the thumb in her mouth...UGH!!!! This was going to be harder than I expected. We would take her thumb out and put the retainer back in. It would then stay in all night. So I thought well maybe as long as she had it in the majority of the night it would work on her teeth. But we weren't breaking this habit. I decided to consequence her for taking it out of her mouth. At first she would leave it in but stay awake until 11pm or midnight because she couldn't sleep. Then I guess she just got too tired and didn't care about the consequence. Will this ever end? Almost 2 weeks ago, something clicked. We were still taking out her thumb and putting in the retainer, but in the mornings Ella was so proud that she had left her "apparatus" (as she refers to it) in all night. She had no memory of us talking to her in the night about it or that she had even taken it out. We decided to just go with it. Since then, it seemed to have built her confidence and the retainer has stayed in all night. We never have to put it back in. I am so proud of her!

And as far as is the retainer working? I will let the pics tell the story...



We went the orthodontist on Monday and she compared her teeth with her molds. It was unbelievable what 6 weeks did. Her teeth have come together nicely and now she is working on pushing the teeth back and down. I am excited to see how much it changes in the next 2 months. Go Ella GO!!!!!

Just for fun here is a pic of her having molds made....

Bubbles and Blueberries

Summer in Krakow, Poland has been a completely different experience than any other summer I have had living in Texas my whole life. We knew the temperature would be cooler than Texas but still warm enough to feel hot for at least a few weeks and we would not have AC. We were warned to get fans early because they go quickly. So we did. They temps are up and down. We might have a really warm day or low to mid 80s and then it rains and temps drop to the 70s and sometimes 60s. (As I am writing I have jeans and a hoodie on.) However, the temps are so nice that we can play at the park a lot. This week James' mom sent the girls Crayola colored bubbles. I didn't know what to expect but WOW!!! I was so glad I thought to suggest we go to the park before we opened the bubbles. What a mess but oh what fun! We had many kids following us around. My kids could care less about being messy but the Polish kids seemed a bit more reluctant. Here are some fun pics!

We met this little girl while we were playing. She followed Ella everywhere. It was very sweet.


I absolutely LOVE this pic of Ella. I am not sure what it is about it but I love it!

In addition to the bubbles, it had rained recently and there was mud everywhere. Needless to say, we went straight home to the bath tub!

Markets are every where here! And fruits and veggies are amazing. We eat cucumbers, red bell peppers, asparagus, apples, bananas, avocados, broccoli, strawberries, raspberries, etc from our markets. This week I bought a pound of tiny wild blueberries. They were amazing!!! But I had so many. I made blueberry muffins, blueberry syrup and blueberry pancakes. They were so yummy! And there were more that went to waste because we just couldn't eat them fast enough. They were so sweet. The difference in the produce here and what we are used to is that here it will go bad quite quickly (like in a day or 2 with fruit) but in the States you can keep them for days or even a week or more and all is well. Haha! Here are pics of the pig shaped pancakes and syrup just for fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Uczyn Fifth Anniversary

(I realized I never posted this for a couple months ago.) Last Saturday (first Sat of May) we celebrated the 5th anniversary of Ella's school. We are so blessed by the schools that our team leaders picked out for our girls to attend. Ella goes to a private Christian school school here in Krakow. The director is absolutely precious and loves God and has a passion for children and their education. Her name is Pani Nina. She doesn't speak a word of English and I really don't speak much Polish but we make do. She started this school 5 years ago out of a passion for children. Here are a few pictures day.

This man does something with international Christian school accreditation and presented the director with a certificate. He is American so I understood what he was saying. Haha!


A few weeks ago we spent the week in Wisła (Wee-swa), Poland for our cluster meeting. We are part of the Central European cluster with people from various countries around us. We, grown ups, spent our days in meetings and worship times. It was so nice to have grown up time and be able to share what is happening within our teams and hear what others are doing. We were able to make new friends and see people we already know but hadn't seen in a while. The kids, on the other hand, were taken care of by sweet people from East Cooper Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, SC. They had VBS everyday with crafts, music, Bible verse memorization etc. And each afternoon they took them swimming at the amazing indoor water park at the hotel. They had a blast! Macie of course made plenty of friends...including our pastor for the week. Haha! Ella was so glad to be around kids her age that spoke English and got her! She had a terrible time leaving. She cried for 2-3 days and still carries around her group photo from the week...the frame it is in has a chip on the corner from being bumped on something. She is having a MUCH harder adjustment than I ever expected. Please pray for her and us as we help her deal with our transition. We hear the 6 month mark is sometimes the hardest hump to get over. So I will leave you with a cute pic of the girls doing their program. I forgot my camera so I have no other pics. Haha!

Macie is the blur in pink and Ella is hidden behind the kid in the crown. Haha!