Friday, February 24, 2012

You Don't Know How Good It Is Until It's Gone!

This past week James has been at a leadership training conference in Switzerland...what a sacrifice, huh? Anyway, that left me at home alone with the girls for the a foreign country, with no family around to visit, and did I mention Ella was out of school and Macie's school was optional? Well we were going to make the most of it. I "opted" for Macie to go to school so that I could get some good one on one time with Ella for 5 whole days. And you know when you make plans they always turn out just as good as you planned...right?!?! So like I posted already, Macie had been asked to do this television show. That took up all of Tuesday and alone time and physical exhaustion at the end of both days. Thursdays are our weekly grocery shopping day with another family here, so Ella and I did that, and then I deep cleaned their room because there wasn't much time left for fun before we had to get Macie. So that left Monday and Friday for me and Ella. Monday we ran a few errands and then today we went to a mall because she had seen a drawing book she wanted to use some Christmas money to buy. We had a fun time. We had coffee/hot chocolate at a coffee shop and she drew and I studied some Polish personal pronouns...sounds simpler than it really is, trust me! Then we wandered around the mall some and had lunch together and then wandered some more and found a super cute outfit for her for Easter. So it ended well. Also...I can't believe I am disclosing this secret I have kept...I have been reading the Twilight series. The past 3 nights my teammate and friend, Traci, came over and we watched the first 3 movies. It was fun to have girl nights.

All in all, it was a good week. Now I have realized how much I take James for granted. He does a lot more than I give him credit for. I realized this in the evenings and some in the mornings but mainly in the evenings. I was having to fix dinner and entertain kids, clean up after dinner and entertain kids, give kids baths, get them ready for bed and all the stuff cleaned up from the day and in the mornings get everyone ready, lunches packed and breakfast made and cleaned up and everyone in all of the cold weather gear we all must wear. It was a lot more work and took a lot longer without an extra set of hands. So it took James going to Switzerland for the week for me to appreciate all he does. :) Here are a few pictures from our week.

Re-alphabetized all of our DVDs to include the new ones we have gotten since being in Poland...don't judge. You can easily find a movie when they are in alphabetical order!  

James suggested a waterproof case for my Kindle so I don't drop it in the bathtub and ruin it. 

Macie dropped her cute snowman she got from her friend Karolinka and it broke and was not repairable. We had much tears over this!

Ella made a friend at the TV studio.

She also got creative with the shoes in our entry way and made a "shoe lift" as she called it...this was while I was cleaning and reorganizing her room. 

Ella had gotten a Barbie hair thing for Christmas that you design the hair on a website and print it out on the hair things that came with the Barbie. We finally did that. They had a blast.

I made 3 new dishes this week. I made homemade baked fishsticks. I thought they were pretty good. The girls were not impressed and told me they liked the "real" fishsticks better. Ha! Also I found sweet potatoes at our grocery store. I was so excited because Ella LOVES sweet potatoes and they are hard to find. It didn't matter that I paid about $3 a pound to see the excitement on her face as she at an entire potato! I made eggplant parmesan for the first was my first time to even eat it. And I must say it was quite yummy! Ella liked it too...Macie wasn't quite sure. And finally we had to have something sweet. I made Cherry Coke Chocolate Cupcakes. Yumm-O!!! They were so moist and not as sweet as I thought they would be. 

Ella in her new outfit. This picture does not do justice to the cuteness it is. And can we talk about how grown up she has become? Hello...where did the time go and how is ok that she is almost 9? Good night!
So this was our week in a nutshell. I survived...well almost. James doesn't come home until tomorrow late afternoon but pretty much we are good! I can't wait to have him back!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Child Actors

A couple of months ago, the director of Macie's school asked to speak with me. I was a little anxious because I wasn't sure what she was going to say. Macie is good, generally, but she also has her moments of bossiness and throwing fits if she doesn't get what she wants. However, it was nothing pertaining to behavior. Whew' she asked if we would be willing to allow Macie to film a couple of episodes of a tv show, "Messy and Lippy." It is an educational program that teaches young kids English. Of course I said yes!

Yesterday was day 1 of filming. Oh my goodness. It was crazy. We were supposed to arrive at 9:30. Being that we don't have a car and had to depend on the tram and then walk another 10-15min (we have little legs) I wanted to make sure we weren't rushing to get there which would make me anxious and gripey at the girls about walking. We arrived a little before 9:00. Plenty of time to change and fix hair quickly. All was good. Then the other kids began to arrive and the Lippy the clown, played by one of Macie's English teachers. Turns out that another girl did not show up and I had Ella with us so they asked if Ella would be willing to participate. It was great...not only because they both go to be in the show, but it also occupied Ella for the day.

So they began filming. The girls were in 2 scenes of 2 episodes...4 scenes all together. The first 2 scenes were good, but by the last 2 the kids were tired and it was obvious they were checking out. They were all running around the set in between filming while the directors were trying to get cameras and lights and boom mikes etc all set. Oh my! And they also were taught their lines quickly and then filmed it. No real rehearsals or anything.

By the time we left at 3:00, I was exhausted. However both girls had had a blast. I'm afraid Macie has gotten a taste of acting and loved it. She hasn't not stopped talking about it. Good thing they liked it because we are back again today for two more episodes. Here are a few pics I took from a distance on my phone. They aren't great and it's hard to see Macie but I was trying to be sneaky.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tłusty Ćwartek

DONUT DAY!!! A fun holiday in Poland. Tłusty Ćwartek literally means "fat Thursday." They have this instead of Fat Tuesday but basically the same thing. But it is also pączki day. You see people everywhere with bags full of donuts. The donuts are not exactly the same. They are all jelly holes and no donut holes. The jelly is mainly rose flavored...yes rose like the flower. This is quite a popular flavor of jam. I am not a huge fan, but Ella and James love it.

SKIING...with kids

OH LANDS!!!! I had this bright idea to take the girls skiing. I have been dying to take them since we found out we were moving here. There is a great place about 30 minutes from us that is great for kids. Some friends have recommended it to us. FINALLY we got enough snow to go and the girls are on their 2 week "ski break" from school so it was a perfect time!!! We borrowed a car and headed out of town this morning. We got there around 11 and figured out where to go to rent skis and all the gear. Oh that's where the fun began...making sure boots fit and skis were the right length. (Remember too that our language skills, although better than last year at this time, are not superior.) But we did it. We then walked over to the ski instruction area to ask about lessons for the girls. Unfortunately it was a 2.5 hour wait. So we just ventured to the small slope on our own. BAD IDEA!!! The worst part was getting on the darn lift. It was a round seat that you wrapped your legs around and it pulled you up. Neither girl would do it alone. So we had to figure out how to do it with a kid. We finally managed to do it. I was not the nicest mom or most patient during these times. :(  But going down the slope was so great! Ella and Macie LOVED it. Next time we will definitely reserve a time for lessons before we get there. They will be skiing like the rest in no time.

Oh and the best part?!?! For the rentals of all our boots, skis, poles, helmets and 10 times down each the cost was only $50!!! It wasn't a 5 star place but it was a great place for our family who don't know how to ski well anyway.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

This was our first repeat holiday in Poland. This year the girls were out of school for Feria (winter ski break) so we had a fun day at home. I made apple pancakes in the morning for breakfast and then the girls and I made heart-shaped cupcakes in the silicone cupcake holders James and Ella picked out for me. It was a MESS and I do not like messes but I am working on making memories without worrying about the mess that comes with it. James and I left the girls at home with our fabulous babysitter Falyn while we went to see The Vow and have dinner. It was a great day!!!


This past weekend we took a trip to Wejherowo for me to see the little town that we may move to in the summer. There is a lot I had to process and am still processing. I wish I was more transparent but I'm not so right now I can't really type a lot of how I felt after the weekend. Please keep us in your prayers as we are making decisions about where we need to live for this next phase of our ministry.

The family we stayed with was so sweet. They were kind and respectful to each other and their dad. I was in awe at what servant hearts they all had. Their mom/wife died last year of cancer so they have had a rough go. It was nice to get to know them. The girls had a blast playing legos and just hanging out. We even took the 2 younger kids to see Hugo on Saturday afternoon. Sunday we visited the small church plant in the city. The people were so gracious as we stumbled through our Polish as well as just being friendly in general. It was a fun weekend and I am glad we took the trip.