Thursday, September 27, 2012

Family Camp

During our visit to the north in April, we met with the pastor and an elder in the church in Gdynia. During our conversation, they invited us to attend their family camp at the beginning of June. This would be just 5 days after returning from Austria, plus another 9+ hour trip each way. But we decided it was worth going. So we registered, paid our money and packed our bags. Me being the introvert I am was quite apprehensive. We knew not one person. I was scared out of my mind. But with a good attitude we arrived day 1 of the 4 day trip.

It was a great test of language skills. I feel like I failed. It was so hard. Every break I wanted to run to our room and hide. (And I often did!) I wanted to leave a day early to go back home. But we didn't. And honestly I'm glad we didn't. It was the last afternoon/evening that I felt we made some connections. The girls made some friends and are looking forward to seeing them again in August. Ella even met a girl who go to the American Elementary School.

Amidst all the anxiety and frustration, it was a good time. The worship in the church is amazing. Each night we had praise and worship was such a blessing. Poland played their first game of the EuroCup that weekend and it was fun to watch it with a big group...I don't even like soccer. All in all I'm glad we went. Here are a few pics from the weekend. I only had my phone that weekend but it's all good.

Actually no pics because apparently I deleted them from my phone. Oh well. Next time. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last Days of School

The girls finished their last days of school at the end of June. We were actually able to attend BOTH of their programs. Easter and Christmas were on the same days at the same times so we had to split. Actually, now that I am remembering, James was already gone and did not get to go to Ella's, but we were both able to go to Macie's.

Macie had her usually big production at the Japanese Cultural Center in Krakow. I cannot say enough good things about her preschool. It was an amazing opportunity for her during our 18 months in Krakow. She was so blessed to be a part of it. Here are a few pictures from her program. 

My little "Krakowianka!"

Macie also graduated this day from Pre-k. Didn't expect that and yes there were tears!

After the program the twins' mom (remember the twins who were not so friendly to Macie when we first came?) invited Macie to spend the night. It was very spur of the moment but we said ok. So I left Macie with them for her first sleepover. She did great!! 

Ella's last day of school was full of awards and recognitions. Ella also played one final recital with her teacher. I liked her piano teacher quite a lot! I am sad to have left her. I am praying we will find a new teacher in Gdynia. 

School in Krakow was definitely different than any of the schools in Texas, but we all survived. Looking forward to new schools in our new city with new friends and better language skills!
Ella's class in Krakow at Uczen
Receiving her 2nd class certificate
Ella and her precious piano teacher, Pani Ola. 


On June 22nd, James and I celebrated our actually tenth anniversary. I remember "years" ago having friends who were celebrating their tenth anniversary and thinking how cool that was and how far ahead of us they were. Now here we are! 10 years...a whole decade. We have seen a lot in this time. We have had 2 babies...who aren't babies anymore. James was a student minister at 2 churches. We were house parents to many teenagers for 2.5 years and are blessed to still have connections with many of them, including one whom we have taken into our family officially. We have moved 2.5 times in Texas (the half was when we moved to our mission house in Temple) and now twice internationally. We have been to numerous states together and at least 10 countries...soon to be 11 in July. We have buried all of James' grandparents and my last great grandma. We have learned to love each other better and encourage one another. We have prayed together and watch God open and close doors. We have laughed and cried. We have fought and made up. But most of all, we have loved each other for 10 years. I am so thankful for James and the godly man he is. I am thankful for the way he is willing to make hard decisions for our family that even mean moving out of America. He is my rock! I love him so much!

For our anniversary, he planned everything and surprised me. He did a great job! He made reservations for us to attend a piano concert of Chopin music, and then have dinner at the restaurant in the same place. I LOVE piano music. It was perfect!! We were able to sit at a window overlooking the Rynek in  Krakow's city center. It was a beautiful night!! After dinner, we took a carriage ride around the city one last time. Then we went home...without kids thanks to our good friend Traci and her sister, Ami. When we go home the house was lined with candles and rose petals. It was breathtaking!!! He planned every detail...including chocolate cover strawberries...also made by Traci and Ella. Here are a few pics of our evening.

I love you, James Roberts!

My anniversary band James got for me. I love it!

This guy was amazing!!! I LOVE piano music. It is so calming and makes me happy!

I can't remember how many courses we had but we were full when we left. These are just 3 of them. We had a chilled pea soup that was so yummy!  Then we had the best pierogi I have had! Finally, we had roasted duck...which is funny because after our wedding, we ate at the French Room at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and I had duck. It was the last time I had eaten it until this night. It was pretty good tonight. 

This was our view from the window at dinner. I LOVE the city center of Krakow. It was a nice view as we watched the sun set!

Apparently asking waitresses or carriage drivers to take a decent picture is too lofty of an expectation. Oh Well...we will take what we can get!

James planned every detail of the night. It was PERFECT!!!