Saturday, March 01, 2008

Random Pics from Vacation in Oklahoma

OK - Here are just some random pictures from our time in Oklahoma this past Christmas. We really enjoyed our time with family and friends. Unfortunately we weren't able to see everyone. We didn't make it down to Texas, but family was able to come up and see us in Oklahoma. We will make the rounds when we are there for 6 months beginning this August. It is hard to believe that we will complete our first term in about 5 months. I didn't take the majority of pictures while there so there aren't any of opening presents and such. Those are on Bryan's camera. Enjoy!

This picture shows Mikaila and Bryan before they head off to Mikaila's first ballet. We took the opportunity of being in OK during Christmas to take Mikaila to The Nutcracker ballet. We thought Ethan was a little too young to enjoy (and also sit still the whole time) so it was a daddy/daughter date. She enjoyed it so much! Hopefully next year I can go too. While Bryan and Mikaila went to the ballet, Ethan and I went to see a movie - Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was pretty good. My brother and my nieces and nephew joined us so that was good to spend some time with them.

Here is Ethan outside of Wal-mart. He loves these things and he just had to crawl in beside Garfield. Watch out! He is a crazy driver.

Here is Ethan with his cousin Wesley. They had a blast together and anytime there was a decent sized area with carpet - they wrestled! Wesley actually knew what he was doing so Ethan got hurt a few times. He is also smaller so that had something to do with it too. Ethan misses having boy friends to do things with.

Before we left for Poland, Bryan's parents bought two trees to plant with the kids in the yard of their rent house which we had stayed in while in between our time in Estonia and Poland. I don't remember which is supposed to be Mikaila's and Ethan's. So anyway... Here are both of the kids in front of both the trees. All have grown very much these past 3 years!

They still had their fascination with water fountains! They didn't have to stop at all we saw this time but most of them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A New Student

One day a few weeks ago Jasmine decided to join Mikaila during school. Just like a cat to not only join in but to come and plop wherever! She started pushing buttons so I had to take her and hold her which was really no problem. I love my cat.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Big Announcement

McDonald's is going to start serving breakfast here! Starting February 1st at 8am. We are excited and already planning to make a trip on Saturday morning. We would go on Friday but Ethan has to be at school by the time they open so we will celebrate on Saturday. They don't have everything on the menu though. It is funny what we get excited about over here. (like Dr. Pepper - but at $2 a can we can't be excited too much)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How Do You Eat Your Chili?

We had chili for dinner after our worship time last week at our supervisors house. It was interesting to see and talk about how each team member liked to eat their chili. We have one who likes spaghetti noodles in her chili. Some put french fries in it. Others crumbled chips in them. Some put cheese in theirs. Some even liked theirs plain I think. I used to eat mine with just saltine crackers on the side but since moving to Poland where there are no saltine crackers I have switched to crumbling corn chips into mine. So, the question is - How do you eat your chili?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

At Church This Morning....

I saw something interesting. I have noticed it before but since my recent lack of stuff to blog about I went ahead and decided to let you all in on what went on this morning. We arrived and took our seats just like we always do. We usually sit in the same area towards the back because of the kiddos. They used to have children's church for them but recently stopped so the kids are out in "big" church the whole time. Mikaila and Ethan usually sit in front of us with the other kids on our team and are easily entertained for a while with coloring and such stuff but as time goes on they get restless. They did really well this morning in the 2 hour 20 minute service! That's right - the service was 2 hours and 20 minutes long. This is pretty normal but we had been spoiled the past two weeks with shorter services. It was hard for even me to stay put for that long. We all managed except maybe one of our teammates who has been know to be able to sleep with her eyes open. She was sitting by me this morning and I don't think she fell asleep but I know she wanted to after getting up to listen to the OU vs. Mizzou in the wee hours of the morning here. It would have been easier if she had been routing for the right team though.

Anyway, to the interesting part..... There are several young kids in our church and I still have a hard time knowing which ones belong to which parents. Why?? Because most of the adults help out in the role of caretaker while at church (and probably a little even outside of church). It is normal for these kids to be wandering around during the service and going to different people all the time. This morning a little girl wandered up to the front and a lady went and got her and sat down with her and another girl headed to the back at some point to sit with someone else. All while the service is going. It just struck me as interesting this morning for some reason. It reminded me some of while Bryan was on staff at FBC Perkins and how Mikaila was passed around alot at church when she was a baby. It seems different here. I guess maybe because it changes during the service and it is no big deal. If someone needs to go the the bathroom during the service they have to walk past the preacher to get there so it might be just a little more relaxed atmosphere that makes it different too.

So not bad at all, but just interesting to me this morning. Also, we sang one of my favorite songs in Polish this morning which was a blessing I enjoyed.

2 weeks until we leave for Oklahoma. We are getting excited.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Writer's Block!

I hate it when it happens. I have had a hard time coming up with something to write on here or I haven't had time to sit and post when I did think of something to blog about. I know I haven't even posted pictures from Ethan's birthday back in August! It's crazy. I will try to do better.

Thanksgiving was great and I am getting excited about going to Oklahoma in 3 weeks for Christmas.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One Crazy week!

This week has been crazy and I can't wait till tomorrow! TGIF!

We have been working to get all kinds of paperwork together for our applications for our new karta pobytus - which allow us to be able to stay here in Poland. We have been to several offices, had pictures taken, had someone come over and help us fill everything out, several emails have gone back and forth between people for items needed and we just returned from a trip to the embassy in Warsaw for some needed paperwork. Tomorrow we will go pick up some things being translated, take our application to the office, make copies (3 each I think) of everything, pay some money, turn everything in and wait. Hopefully all will go well.

On a fun note - We got to eat at Burger King, we bought a new Wii game and tomorrow we don't have language so we can relax a bit. Also, we have a new team member coming on Monday! Our SC is going to sign on an apartment for her tomorrow.

We are ready for this week to be done.

And now it is actually tomorrow! I am going to bed because I have to get up at 5am! Should have gone 2 hours ago but I've been catching up on stuff from while we were gone.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Volunteers at Gietrzwald

Sorry to those that have been waiting on this. We have been really busy. All is going well and today is the volunteer teams last day in Olsztyn. They will leave tomorrow morning for Warsaw and then down to south Poland for a couple of days.

On the first day we visited Gietrzwald which is a small community about 20 minutes away from Olsztyn. In the town there is a shrine to Mary and is also a validated (I don't know if that is the right word.?) location by the Vatican where a sighting of Mary happened (I think it is the only one in Poland, but don't quote me on it!). If you want to find out more about it you can visit the website-

Here is the church/shrine and some of the grounds that it includes.

This picture is the focus of the church. It shows Mary holding Jesus as a baby.

The volunteer team walked along paths and prayed all the way around the grounds.

One more of most of the group.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Looks a little familiar.....

We live really close to Ameryka! - Which is pronounced just like America.

What about this Ameryka? It is nothing like the America we are used to but you take what you can get here sometimes. The main thing here is a place where people send their kids for a month or so or the summer to get some fresh air and relaxation. I just took a picture of the sign so you guy could see. We pass through Ameryka every time we go to Warsaw. Which we are doing today to get the volunteer team from our home church. We are excited that they are coming to prayer walk in different villages, cities and areas in Olsztyn. Should be good. I'll try to post some pictures while the team is here for you guys in Perkins so you can keep up with what they are doing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vacation to Gdańsk 2007

So here are some pictures from our vacation. It was a much needed time of relaxation and fun. We were not able to do all that we wanted because of the weather (unseasonably cold and rainy) but it was fun and will be remembered by all. Our hotel ended up being really close to a beach which we were thankful for because we could end our day there with a little playing in the water and sand and looking for amber. We went to several beaches and we liked the one by our hotel the best and the one in Hel. Yes, you read that correct. Hel, Poland is on the tip of a peninsula and we drove all the way out there just so we could say that we had been and we planted a geocache there too. It ended up being cool because there were some bunkers still intact and a it had a big gun on one of them. You can see the picture of it down below to know what I am talking about- I don't know exactly what its kind is called. Anyway... I will start off with a picture that should be in brochures!

Isn't this just a beautiful pic. We saw some beautiful sunsets. This was taken at the beach by our hotel on our last night. The waves were really choppy.

This is a picture you wouldn't want to see in a brochure! It is raining really hard in the pic just in case you can't see it really well. The rain did not stop us from getting out though. We went out armed with rain gear.

Here are the kids playing along the beach. They might be looking for jellyfish at this point - I really don't know. I pointed them out at first because there seemed to be quite a few and I wanted them to be aware of them, but after that I didn't have to say anything because Ethan would scream "JELLYFISH" everytime he saw one.

We were walking to dinner our first night after arriving and this huge green and white lion came out of nowhere and went after Ethan and Mikaila. Ethan was a little concerned but Mikaila seemed to know there was nothing to worry about.

Here are the kids while out looking for a geocache. We had to dig for this one so we were glad that we had the beach toys with us. We thought a beach was going to be nearby but we never got to it. The geocache was at the mouth of the Wisła river which runs through all of Poland. It was neat to see.

Here we are at a "good" polish mexican restaurant with our complimentary chips and salsa. Needless to say it wasn't Ted's! We miss the neverending setup that Ted's offers and the food. It was pretty good though. The salsa was the best I have ever had.

Here is the big gun that I don't know the exact name of. It was huge and sat on top of a bunker. It was neat to see. I don't know when it was last used (maybe in WWII).

Bryan, Mikaila, and Ethan wondering through the forest in Hel looking for a cool place to plant a geocache. The mosquitoes were terrible!

Here is the beach at the tip of Hel. It was the busiest beach we had seen but also the nicest day of our vacation too.

So, hope you enjoyed these few pictures of our adventures. We really had fun and we are looking at going back sometime but probably not to the same hotel since there was a robbery just 5 doors down from us on our last night there. We might stay on the peninsula. Fun times!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I am going to work this weekend on getting the pictures of Ethan's birthday party off of Bryan's computer so I can post them here - also the ones from our vacation. There are a few of those already on Bryan's website if you don't want to wait to see them here. I would recommend going and visiting his site anyway! You can learn more about Poland and our ministry at his site.

In other news....
We are so excited about some visitors coming in a week! A volunteer team from our home church in the states is coming to prayer walk several cities and villages. We can't wait.

We are going to be alone at Christmas - again. We were excited that we would finally get to spend a Christmas with our "overseas family" - our team and not be "just us" (which is good and fine) but we got word this past week that all the other team members are planning to go back to the states for Christmas. That is great for them but I am a little bummed about it. I will get over it!

School starts in a couple of weeks! For all of us. Bryan and I are looking forward to starting back to language. I am going to be home schooling Mikaila in 2nd grade and we are putting Ethan in Polish school again. He needs the socialization of school buddies since he is the only boy on our team. Please pray for Ethan. He did not like the school here in Olsztyn and really had the hardest adjustment to Olsztyn of all of us because of it. We are going to try some different things this year to see if it helps him. We'll keep you posted on that.

All for now

On the way home....

Here is a picture of one of the many lakes around our region of Poland. You can see it peeking through the trees and houses. I took the picture on the way home from church one Sunday when we visited the baptist church in Olsztynek (a church about 30 minutes away). What a beautiful sky!

What is wrong with this picture?

We were out and about and saw this interesting sign. It is totally upside down! We have passed by it several more times this past month and a half and it is still upside down. Don't know why and don't know if it will ever get fixed. Thought it was funny.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bryan's Party and 4th of July

YES - this is a catch up post. Bryan's birthday was a while a go and the 4th of July was a while ago too. I know I need to be posting pictures from Ethan's birthday here now. I will get to it in a few days because I have to get the pictures off of Bryan's computer. We had a blast though!

Anyway, we had a volunteer team here from VA when it was Bryan's birthday so we decided to wait and have a birthday party with our team combined with our 4th of July party. We had the party at our supervisors house. We had some cookie cake and fun for the birthday part. Then had a fun time celebrating the 4th as Americans in a foreign land. We blared "God Bless the USA" from someones ipod and had a cookout complete with smores and a flag cake too. It was fun.

Here is Bryan blowing the candles out on his cake. Couldn't put the needed amount of candles on because we had already cooked the cake!

We have really got into cooking since we have moved here (it's a stress reliever) and Bryan was wanting to try his hand at chinese food. Our friends got him a wok for his birthday so he could! It has been great!

These are the 2 journeygirls who are here in Olsztyn with us - Jessica and Amber- They are a blast and were so patriotic on the 4th of July. They were all decked out in red, white, and blue!

Here is Amber "dancing" around to "God Bless the USA".

And the flaming cake! How wonderful.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vacation, Here we come!

We are off for our vacation tomorrow morning! We are excited since it has been a long time since we have really had one. We are in need of some rest and relaxation. We will see how it goes. The weather looks to be cool and rainy for at least a couple of the days so we are taking some back up stuff to do (board games and puzzles) just in case. We will try to take plenty of pictures so I can post them for you to see.

See ya!