Sunday, January 27, 2013

Answered Prayer

You all know Krakow was not our "home." It was fine. I'm glad we lived there for the year and a half we did, but it never felt like home. There are many things that contributed to our "tough time" but a major one was Ella's school experience. It's not to say that Ella wouldn't have had similar struggles in an American school, but to know we took her out of the only culture she knew, dropped her in an all Polish speaking school within 10 days of arriving, and were not able to really help her because we couldn't speak the language added to the struggles...or at least didn't help matters. Ella has always been my flexible, easy going, joyful kid. I didn't worry about her. But she did not have a great time. The kids at school were unkind and very exclusive of Ella. It broke my heart. I slowly watched the joy drain from my baby. She became more and more withdrawn and a bit depressed. And I couldn't really help her.

So when we moved north, our main prayer for Ella was a friend. Just one good friend could make all the difference. Oh we begged God for a friend. Well Ella's new school has been so different. She has been so much we still struggle a lot with school and completing assignments on time and taking our time on our work or tests, but she has friends. She has been to 3 people's homes on various occasions and had people over to our home.

One girl in particular, Misia, is not only in Ella's class, but also goes to our church. Huge answer to prayer! Today we spent the afternoon with her and her mom. Her mom told me that last year she and her husband had prayed for Misia to find a new, good friend. So for them, Ella was an answer to prayer as much as Misia was for us. God is so good.

Here are some pics of the girls sledding down a small hill. It was like 10 degrees outside and not quite enough snow but they had fun.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pancakes and College Girls

I have been hanging out a little bit with some of the university girls from our church and I love it. They are way fun and help me with my Polish. :) Yesterday one of the girls, Sara, and I were going to meet for a little while. We were discussing where to meet. I suggested I could make an American breakfast and she could come over. So that's what we did. What would you make for an "American" breakfast?

I'll start with what we have generally had for Polish breakfasts when we have been to places here. Bread or rolls, lunch meat and cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers an hot tea. This is quite normal.

So I was deciding to make either eggs, bacon and biscuits (no one knows what a biscuit is) or eggs, bacon and pancakes. They eat pancakes here but they are more like crepes stuffed with cream cheese or jam or fruits...not the same as ours. I went for buttermilk pancakes and homemade maple syrup. Well Sara was in shock that this is what we would eat...all together. She didn't know how to eat it so she said she would watch me and then eat. I was cracking up! It was so crazy to me for someone to be so shocked by pancakes, eggs and bacon. Lol but in the end she really liked it.

While we were talking, I asked when her birthday was...turns out it is today! So I told her I would bake a cake for last night for our Bible study time. I ended up making cupcakes. I brought 14 cupcakes with me. There were 6 girls besides me (and I didn't eat one) and I didn't bring any home. Haha! I think they liked them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


A couple weeks ago, we were having dessert at a cukiernia (We have 2 kinds of for sweets and one for breads...this is the sweets one.) anyway we were having dessert with some sweet friends from Texas when a little girl came over to our table to play with Ella and Macie. Her mom of course followed. She spoke perfect English, but I kept trying to speak Polish to her and especially her little girl who was 15months old. She asked what generation Polish I was. I corrected her and told her I was only American. She assumed because I spoke Polish I must be Polish.

Well we said goodbye and left. As we walked down the street, James and talked about what a friendly lady she was. I felt like maybe I should go back and ask if she'd meet with me and help me with my conversation skills. So I did. She was very willing. We texted a few times and decided to meet today at the same place.

We spent about 2 hours together. This is so far out of my comfort zone! I was a nervous wreck!! Well we had a wonderful time!!! We actually have a lot in common. She lived in England for 10 years and another 2 in Italy. She now feels like Poland is not quite home, like she doesn't quite fit in anywhere. She asked if I feel the same way. Wow!! I needed someone that could related with me. She asked me questions about being a mom. We talked about our family. And a lot of this was in Polish! She was so patient and helpful.

We ended our time and she said we could meet weekly if I was interested. Wow!! Thank you God! I'm so glad I was willing to go back and ask for her number and then follow up. Can't wait to see where this relationship goes!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Craziest Night Ever

Ok so what we did tonight is something I would imagine some crazy high school/college guys in west Texas to come up with sometime because they are either bored or drunk...or both. And yet not only did I participate, I allowed my children to as well...and PAID for this activity. What is it you ask?

Well what I thought was a horse drawn sleigh ride through a beautiful snow covered meadow was a little bit more. There were horses and they were pulling a sleigh...but lined up behind this sleigh were about 5-6 small wooden sleds tethered to each other with a rope between them. Then 3 people sit on each of the sleds. Then the horses did pull the sleigh...and the sleds as well. Yeah this was a safe idea. Ella rode with her friend, Blix and his mom. (they were the ones that invited us on this endeavor.) James, Macie and I rode on the last sled because that is where James wanted to be. Before we started James said, "There is going to be a jerk." Yeah...there was. I don't think the horses were quite in the right state of mind. About thirty seconds into this ride we made our first turn and James slid off the back of the sled followed by myself and then Macie. A lady a couple sleds up fell off as well and then another sled hit her back. She was in tears. What a great idea! NOT!

At this point Macie was crying and saying she didn't want to ride again. Who could blame her? I didn't want to ride again. I wasn't about to force her. Well we got off along with Ella and her friend and Ute, my friend. Ute said the horses were not ok. Ella decided it was because they were in such a small area and felt squished...maybe. In spite of this, they went on with some crazy people sitting on the sled. Ute then talked to some people and asked if this big tractor that was hooked up to a different sleigh...and of course a line of sleighs...could be used instead of the horses. They agreed and we decided we would give it a go...afterall, we did pay for this, right? The tractor was smoother but the guy driving liked to swerve so James and I (still sitting in the back) fell off 3 more times. After the second time, Macie got to go sit in the sleigh. Remember roller skating and everyone held hands to make a big snake or whip and the person in back got jerked the most? Yeah that is how it felt.

Now we started going through a nice snowy meadow. It was beautiful!!! But after we passed through this meadow, we crossed a street...a STREET. A street with a fork where 2 streets joined the one. And James, Macie and I are at the back. Good grief. After that we were mainly on streets that had a light layer of snow/ice...on wooden sleds with metal bottoms. We just kept laughing because we could not believe this was really happening. Finally, after about 45 min, we arrived back to where we started and got off. NEVER AGAIN!!!

Oh and our small group bible study leader had just been telling us about this idea to do with our small group. It was kind of what I was picturing and had thought it didn't sound super safe. Well I think we will be busy this weekend. Haha! This is an annual event for the group of people we were with. WOW!!! And so now I leave with pictures to see what it looked like. :) Anyone else done anything like this?

Lined up with the horses.

Ella sitting with Ute and Blix

After the crash and before the next ride.

Mace was so glad to be off!

Take 2 with the tractor...

It's a bit blurry but this is the snowy meadow that would have been great if we had stayed in.

You can see that we are on the street.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ski Day

A mom from Macie's class told me about a place to ski not far from us. She had taken her daughter this weekend. So I looked it up and found it. It's about an hour from us and cheap! For ski and boot rentals and 10 lift tickets each it was less than $25.

We generally have something going on each day of the week except Thursdays. We try and make that a day for us. Both girls don't finish school until after 4 or 4:30. So today was a perfect day to check out the "slopes!"

We have some great powdery snow at our house. Well these slopes did not. It was pretty packed which made stopping or slowing a little more tricky. And of course the lift is always my biggest problem! I hate them! But all in all it was fun couple hours.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


We have been talking about getting a guinea pig for about a year and a half now. Ella loves animals. (Macie does too, but Ella LOVES them.) We had to leave our 2 French bulldogs, Gertie and Simon, in America when we left, and it was very sad. Anytime we are at a mall or anywhere that has a pet store, Ella always asks to go in.

Well yesterday, James and I were alone at a new shopping center that happened to have a pet store. We went in and saw an adorable little guinea pig with the exact coloring and hair that I like. It was all alone in the cage. We talked to the sweet lady about what all we would need and daily care and food, etc. (this was all in polish so we didn't catch everything. Thank goodness for the Internet!) Long story short, we walked out with a 2 month old baby guinea pig whom I named S'mores. This is because, well, she looks like a s'more, don't you think?

The girls had no idea until the came home from school what was waiting for them. They were so excited. That poor thing hardly saw the floor last night. She was hugged and rubbed and snuggled. Both asked if we could buy clothes for her to wear. Oh my!

She is just as sweet as can be. Very calm and easy going. I think we will have many years of fun. (They can live 5-7 years, eek!)

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Growing up in Texas, I have not been around snow all that often. Moving to Poland, we thought our winters would consist if tons of snow. While we got a few decent snows, it hasn't been what we thought. Well the past couple days we have had snow oh my goodness!! It's been wonderful...except shoveling. James would shovel the sidewalk and before he was finished, it would again be covered. Crazy!! We got the girls a couple plastic sleds to use in the backyard. They've had a blast!!

London pt 2...

Our trip began with a cancelled flight...blah! However, Lufthansa made up for it by putting us up in a super nice hotel, providing dinner and breakfast and taxi service to and from the hotel and airport. The girls loved the hotel!

Once we arrived in London we spent the first day at Harry Potter World...after that we did some sightseeing and hanging out with our friends...which afterall, is why we went! We had a wonderful time, and I am so thankful we were able to go! 

 All of the streets were decorated for the 12 Days of Christmas!

First London Eye spotting

Each year Norway gives a Christmas tree to London as a thanks for held during the war...I believe. This is in Trafalgar's Square.

On the Tower Bridge

The door and steps of St. Paul's Cathedral

YEA!!! She finally saw Big Ben...up close and personal!!!

We walked out of the tube stop and this is literally what we saw! 

 We got to see Buckingham Palace...Pretty cool!
And below are quick views of Olympic Stadium.

Medea's mom was there so one night we got to have a parents' night out! We had toppas at a yummy restaurant and then dessert at this amazing OLD pub. It was so cool! 

All in all, it was a fabulous trip! I am so thankful that we were able to do this and for great friends who helped make it all possible!