Making new routines…
Well, we are moved in to our new apartment in Łódż and have quickly settled. We found homes for a few pieces of furniture that we didn’t need and was able to move everything over in one of ProEm’s vans.
I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to have our own place again!!
It’s a lovely apartment with two bedrooms and walking distance to their school. The girls aren’t thrilled about sharing a bed, but they are learning to make it work. I think the fact that the bathroom is the largest we’ve ever had makes the bed sharing more manageable!
We have quick and easy access to the buses and trams, so we’re becoming well versed in big city transportation! We have many shops if we need something quickly and only a 4 minute drive to the nearest Auchan (think Super Walmart). Location fits our needs very well! One of Kaylor’s closest friends doesn’t live that far away, so they’ve taken advantage of spending extra time together. Ahhh… it’s just nice to be settled once again!
Lauren is now attending the same school as Kaylor and is making new friends. This came as a result of the British International School asking me to come teach and help at their school. After receiving the green light from ProEm, I am now teaching there three days a week. The school has grown by 30% just this past year. They have 22 different nationalities! I’m enjoying getting to know the teachers there and have such lovely students as well. Because the school is growing so much, they are requesting Josh to come in and help, so perhaps after the start of the new year, Josh will be able to help out there, too! Never in a million years could we have imagined our lives to change in this way! But being part of the Łódż team now and living here, we hope that our presence in the school will aid in God’s purposes for this community.
Josh returned to the school in Tomaszow before I did (I wanted to get settled in to our new apartment and get a week under by belt at the British school), but we have really enjoyed reuniting with the students there as well. I won’t be teaching the primary level, but I did get to substitute for one of the 3rd grade classes and that was really fun to have that opportunity. I’m teaching grades 6,7,9 and 10. I am also taking 1/2 of grade 5 and 4 when they meet, but I don’t have to plan the lessons. They have realized the need for smaller class sizes when trying to teach speaking and listening skills, so I’m happy to be able to help in this way.
Winter is a busy time of year in the life and ministry of ProEm. We are full throttle with the Journey to Bethlehem outreach out at the camp and this year the Łódż team has been busy helping the Gingerbread House at the center of the mall at Manufaktura 10-8 every day. Josh has been the one working shifts there and providing much needed help.
Helping at the Gingerbread House!
The first weekend of Journey to Bethlehem we hosted a women’s event at camp as well. I was in charge of cookies as we had three stations for women to do things. My station was where women could roll and cut-out cookies and decorate them. I prepared 6 batches of sugar cookie dough ahead of time and managed keeping up with frosting! I invited my good friend who teaches English in Łódż to come and we made some great memories together that Friday night and Saturday! This was her first time to camp and meeting all these crazy women! Needless to say, she’s ready for the next one!
I’m writing this post as most people are busy making last minute trips to the stores for Christmas or on the roads traveling to be with family. There’s always a sadness during the holidays, particularly Christmas, when we are not with family, but we can skype and be included in the family festivities afar. My parents are alone for Christmas for the first time in 44 years as well, so I’ve got nothing to complain about!! We hope to make the drive to Tomaszow to attend Christmas Eve service, but Lauren has been sick with this virus that is going around. I haven’t felt great either, so we shall see. Otherwise, our plan is to have an evening of Christmas movies and a choice of soup. Christmas Day we will head over to one our teammate’s apartment and celebrate together as they are also without family from the States.
Kaylor’s back is to us, but she is going out for her tap dance performance for the school’s Christmas event. (pictures of the Christmas Event courtesy of someone from BISUL)
You can’t see Kaylor in the back, but Lauren is in the front row and these are year 7,8 and 9 students.
I had to include a snapshot of this crew… they are the primary students (Year 3-6) and all whom I teach! Their performace was a song that was hilarious!
We were all excited the other day for the snow at BISUL (the international school)! Sadly, it melted by the evening as it turned to rain, but in the moment it felt like a Christmas wonderland!Our Christmas tree that we finally bought and got decorated only a few days ago. Guess a year of living in Poland has rubbed off on us as this is the time most Poles go out and buy theirs!
This is at the women’s event on Friday night… lots of crazy activities and my friend is in the hat!
My friend and I just having some fun! She’s such an inspiring person!
We had a special treat… American pancakes! The men from two teams from the States (Mosaic Christian Church in Baltimore and Southeast Christian Church in Louisville) treated us women to pancakes Saturday morning!
Even Lauren joined my friend for the cookie fun!These are two of the cookie helpers! Genesis, in the peach sweater, is one of my teammates here in Łódż and we’ll be spending Christmas Day with her family.
The above two photos were taken a day before my friend came to our women’s event. This is her classroom and shows how we ended up meeting! She participates in a program where she has her Polish students video conference another school from around the world. Prior to our moving to Poland, my colleague from Nashua had joined the same program and our two schools were randomly chosen! This is the most recent video conference and you can see the students from my old school! I always am invited and get to say “hi” at the end, which is really fun to do! How cool is that?!
This is the front of our building. We are in the “orange” apartment complex, but our flat is in the back. I still need to take pictures inside, though!