Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!


Halloween is definately one of my very favorite holidays! I get so excited to see all the cute little costumes. I love to plaster my house with Halloween decor! I look forward to all the parties and soups... and JoDee's cinnimon rolls... and mom's witch finger rolls. I get excited about the chili cook off and trunk or treat! I think its fun to drive around and see the pumpkins aglow... and I love the carving pumpkin party! I just LOVE Halloween!
This year it is different for the Mechams. Halloween is not a celebrated holiday in Poland. The Day of the Dead is a national holiday tomorrow and so the Catholics here believe that Halloween is taboo... and the frown on it! And Catholisism is really what governs all the holidays here. Even though it isn't mandatory and religious freedom exists... The Roman Catholic church is the strong arm here. They honor this day of the dead with a sad celebration of their anscestory on Nov 1, how could one joyfully make fun of ghosts the night before? It is similar to Memorial but on steroids... and sadness. And so we will not delight in costumes this year. But we are Americans. And proud to be we are! And so we are having a fall party! haha... and carving pumpkins and playing throw the sticky eyeball on the spider and eating real fatty sloppy joes! And we invited peeps to that little fall party... And the missionaries they invited peeps. And there are just enough intreged people to confirm no less than 60 people. And we will all cram into our little church house... and you never know what will come of it! we are excited! Very! And lots of prayer has come over this party... because we hope we made enough food. And we hope we have enough space. And so we hope the halloween angels will bless our party tonight. There are halloween angels... right?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A sweet hook up

One day while Mr. Mecham and I were going to get the Elders for dinner we came upon them in the scenerio below. It made me laugh! I said to Mr. Mecham... "these boys aren't afraid of anyone! Take a picture for their mothers!" and so we did! And then we happily waited for almost 30 minutes for them to finish their conversations with these Catholic munks. Yes... Munks.

These guys work their fannies off! They will talk to anyone and everyone... that is why they are so tired... We love them! Yesterday I mentioned that they hooked us up... but today we found out how much they really did HOOK US UP! The Mechams thank them for keeping us in mind... and making our little home town an easier place to live!
The missionaries met Andzej. He is well connected and made a few phone calls. Next thing I know I am the most popular American in Poland! He invited a ton of families to our Halloween party so we could meet them all! He introduced me to headmasters at schools! He got my children in to a private school that was completely full... But I have to go look at their curriculum next week! He has info on music teachers and good deals on musical instruments! He showed me the farmers Market where to purchase large amounts of produce completely fresh for pennies! He explained customs, teenage life here, religion, holidays and he has many friends to teach us more Polish! On Saturday he and Nate will take the children to a new pool... one that is less crowded than the spa. And then they will go over to Andzej and Eva's. While they are swimming Eva and I will be baking cookies and preparing food for the Halloween party... Now that we have people coming we must make some food! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Missionaries are cool!

The missionaries have been working over time out here. They found a friend who has children, they speak English and they are the most connected and well educated people we have met here. We went to dinner with them last night. It was so fun to talk to them and hear about growing up in communism, how even just 15 years ago they had to go to the store to use the one phone in their village, and how their children live a completely different life! We asked them about the customs we have been taught. They assured us that there are some that think that way, but there are many who are forward thinking and want something else! We were delighted to meet people like us. Just when we were certain that we couldn't stand one. more. day... those missionary angels saved us again! They lead us to friends!
We are beyond grateful.

This morning school was a HUGE Success! Cole was writing poems and I couldn't have been more proud of his venacular. It went like this:

Animals, Animals Everywhere
by Cole Mecham
When I grow up and have room to spare,
I'll have animals everywehre.
I'll have a pig on the floor.
And a pigeon near the door,
A jackass on the chair.
And I'll take good are of them jackass.

such a proud moment.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cultural obsenitites

Culturally we have disgusted this country. We have successfully violated all of the customs in Poland. Its a good time.

1) We wanted to meet our neighbors. So we thought...make American cookies and write a note. For Family Night we would walk around and deliver them to the homes that didnt have a man eating dogs sitting out by the front gate and say HELLO! But we found out from the Nate's secretary that that is a violation of customs. The people will not like us but rather think we are strange. They will not eat our cookies because why would we make and give cookies to a stranger unless we had evil intentions? It just isn't done. Period. How were we to know? The gardener neighbor dropped off zuccini and tomatoes. We ate them! Maybe he was made we moved in and they were poisoned? Lucky we didn't die! sheesh! He must have been trying to mislead us.

2) Striking up a conversation with somebody we don't know. strange. What could be more strange than looking at your shoes all day? I'll tell you... talking to somebody you don't know. Or worse.... saying hi to a complete stranger with a smile. That is a NO NO! Just put your head down, look straight ahead at your stylish shoes and walk quickly. Thats all.

3) Gifting. Keep your gifts to i tunes cards and lotion. They are sacred and should only be passed out to people you really really know and love. It is not okay to say thank you with a gift and it is very strange to write a thank you note.

4) Don't say hello... but you better not forget to say goodbye! Don't talk to a single soul but when you leave an elevator, the grocery store line or any public venue if you don't give a shout out, "goodbye" then you are rude. And the better part... you say goodbye and everyone... EVERYONE... shouts a goodbye back. YEP, That makes sence!

5) Parties. Gathering of people in your home is not okay unless you know them well. I mean friends... which how do you make friends?... parties/gatherings are taboo in your home unless you are family. How do families even form here?

6) Sharing religion. Unless you are a Roman Catholic, you belong to a cult or you don't believe in the Almighty at all. It is terrifying for one to receive a Book of Mormon which is an official invite to join my cult, be a sister wife and move to my compound or I will make you loose your job, destroy your family and eat your dog for breakfast right before your eyes. This is my personal favorite! It is so ironic that Poland was the first country behind the United States to adopt religious freedom into their constitution... and they even proclaim their religious freedoms today... but they don't live them.

Needless to say, the Mecham's have violated all of these rules. We have come to an understanding that making friends is not as easy as it used to be.
We are thankful for the "out on the limb" Polskis who joined our cult... because somehow they also adopted a forward thinking culture into their lives where they will say hello, talk to you and even invite you over for a biscut...

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Frosty

I have been sick. It was YUK O LA! Strep is my least favorite sickeness. I only remember having it one other time and I swore it off. Then I moved to Po land and I think the strep bugs are bigger here and I found one. It brought its companion bug, a cold in the lungs. The lungs are still gurgley but the strep is def. gone...

Dear Neighbor who is DR. Ernest,
Thank you for calling me in an antibiotic. It is still wreaking havoc on my guts but my bones dont hurt, my headache is gone and my skin can be touched again. Oh yes... and I am certain that it helped the infection in my lungs as well.

On another note, The gardens were all tilled last week. Every garden was harvested, the extra was burned off, they were tilled and fertilized. They are prepped for winter.

And just in time... for frost.
Hello October frost! It's been a while.

I didn't tell Uncle Gordon Happy Birfday. But I do know it was on the 21st. Happy Birthday buddy! Hope it was great! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

no more counting... District Conf

I can't count any higher. It wasn't intended for a count up or down anyway... It just ended up being that way but the counting fun is over.

We went to District conference in Warsaw last weekend. Cody and Jasmine went too, but they met us there on Sunday because we had meetings on Saturday so we were there for the whole weekend. Cody and Jasmine are medical students in Lublin at one of the universities. They are in their 3rd year and then they will head back home to Thaiwan. I can not say enought about these two. Cody has been a member his entire life while Jasmine is a convert of 2 years. They are the most dedicated, wonderful people I have ever met. I love them. Eveyone loves them! I mean everyone! They have 10 trillion friends who have the upmost respect for them and they make friends with every. single. age group! They are a blast! One day, in the not so distant future, they will get married. I hope I can go.

This is a picture of all the branch president's here in Poland. They are a worken' bunch of men! Brother Staples, standing next to Nate, moved here about the same time as us and he works for the Embassy in Warsaw. They have a daughter Bailey's age and we love their family. Too bad they aren't next door neighbors.

Bailey finally got to go to Young Womens. It was acutally a youth meeting so all the young men were invited too.. but she couldn't wait! It was awesome! She made a friend, Grace, who she instantly fell in love with and they traded numbers and made some future plans! We are so thankful for friends! Grace's dad works for the Embassy. He was put in the District Presidency on Sunday and he gave a talk in Polish. Which is amazing to me since he doesn't know Polish. But he did an amazing job!

At conference all the speakers spoke in Polish except Pres. Nielson. So we all wore an ear piece that had a translator speaking into so that we could understand what was going on. It was pretty cool.

Monday was a hard day for school... But Tuesday we totally turned a corner. We figured it out! Not only was it pleasant, it was fun! Then last night I got sick... strep sick.
Today Dr. Ernest (next door) called me in a Rx for antibiotic and probiotic. Bless his little heart.

Happy Birthday Keetchy boy! I love you!

And the best news of the entire year.... drum roll... Aunt Merilee and Uncle Loran are having a baby! Congrats to them! We can not wait to see the wee one... We are already in love.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 58 School has arrived!

Going to admit something here. In days past, I took for granted the great opportunity of public school. I considered it a right... Shameful, I know. I am not a parent, nor will I ever be, that is naieve enough to think that it is somebody elses responsibility to teach my children. However, it was such a nice luxury to have a trained professional who loved to teach work my children ever. single. day. They did such an amazing job!
When we got to Poland we tried to find a public school that our children could attend. But because they don't speak Polish fluently, they are not permitted to attend the public schools here. It holds back the other students to have to stop teaching to caiter to the one child who didn't learn the language of the country for which they are studying in. I understand this concept well. So we congratulated the school district and the country on their firm and logical views and called good old Grandpa Mecham... who we knew we could trust to help us with our dilema. He joined us in our immediate search for a home school program that would sufficiantly sophoncify our needs. If we didn't thank you Gramps... then Thank you... from the debth of our souls for caring. You are AWeSOME and we love and miss you dearly.
We officially began the online courses a few weeks ago. But it wasn't until Mr. Mecham came home with all the books today that we got excited about the whole thing! OH WOW! This might even be fun!

Today I am thankful that Mr. Mecham made it safe and sound from Louisian, to Georgia, to Amsterdam to Warsaw to Home Sweet Home... and ALL his bags came too!

Dear papa Nate,
Thank you for bringing home to us some traditional baking supplies, the Halloween cookie cutters and treats from Grandma Chrissy and Aunt Lisers and Marci, the ziploc baggies, the cheese powder so the children can again enjoy their mac and cheese love and canned pumpkin. The missionaries will thank you tomorrow for the Cream of Chicken soup and green chilis when I make them chicken enchaladas. And the children thank you for the Halloween goodies you brought them since they won't be celebrating that holiday traditionally this year. And Cole is delighted that you brought back wart remover medicine for the wart that has taken up housing on his toe and is bothering him when he wears shoes. He really didn't want to give the dermatologist a whirl here...
Bless your heart for traveling with 5 suit cases all by yourself. You are such a stud!
Sure love you.

Day 57... Burrrr Baby its Cold out there!

Today was extra chilly outside. It isn't actually "FREEZING", as in below 32 degrees... But I was colder today than I've ever been in zero degree temperature. It is a different kind of cold over here. Something I've never personally experienced. For the record, I experienced some cold days durning my USU college carrier. I recall one day in Logan when the high was below zero. That was cold. AND... there was a cold canyon wind blowing from Logan canyon. Some of the buses froze. I simply layered and suited up and went my merry way. But this cold here.... OH dear... it is soooooo cold. The air isn't dry and so when you go outside it bites clear through your clothes and chills your bones. It actually doesn't even matter how many clothes you have on... I am thinking that a snow storm would be nice. In my experience it warms up before a snow storm... but then again, I've never experienced Poland snow. Wish me luck!

**Today I am grateful for Jo Dee Dillard's hot chocolate family recipe. Thank you Lindblom seesters for teaching me how to make such a treat.

AND... I am thankful for good old movies. Today it was "Cant Buy me LOVE". Patrick was a hotty back then too.

Today the duo saved my life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

days 48-56... not a total black hole

when the kids get bored because their mother is glued to the computer virtual learning site they come up with some pretty creative activities and ideas.
Cole's favorite it wrapping every toy he has in colored tape. Every day he asks me to take him to OBI (Poland's version of Home Depot) to get colored duct tape/electical tape. Then he comes home and successfully pulls all his toys apart and then tapes them back together. It is not an uncommon thing to find a wod of tape that is not garbage in our house, but rather a Cole creation! In the very center, under layers of wrap, there is a toy. And let us not toss out the empty tape ring... it also becomes a Cole creation. I know what Cole is getting in his stocking for Christmas!

we went to climb the obstical course in the trees again... it will close soon for winter and we wanted to get our fair share of climbs in before it snows in!

Cole finished his course about half way through McKay's second round and to pass time took the phone and some killer shots!
They went like this:
"mom, pull funny faces, k?"

and so I did. But why didn't he?
"mom, now kiss my face".

The joys of cell phone photographs! Cole has successfully take 3452839850928374 of them of himself, his shoes, the street, the neighbors dog and the counter tops this week. Bless him.

We have really enjoyed the beautiful colors of Autumn! Can't say enough how awesome it is! The weather was chilly... but in the last few days took a turn for the cold and we understand won't be getting warmer again until spring. YIKES! I wasn't ready for that yet! We were loving chilly!

this lovely fence is at the park... covered in crimson! Love it!

We wish we had a big pile to jump into... but walking through them and hearing the leaves crunch is pretty cool too.

Dear Autumn,
why couldn't you have stayed longer? Two weeks just wasn't enough! We give permission for you to stay until the last golden leaf has fallen... our jackets for crisp mornings haven't had adequate wear and tear yet. And to be quite frank... we were falling in love with you.
Please note, we look forward to your grande return!
Bless you.

We woke up one morning last week to the delivery of our wood. We anticipate many days of romantic fires... the kids and I! Mr. Mecham is never home. He will be missing out.

dumped on the front lawn in the rain! It was awesome!

So I requested Mr. Mecham bring home some work gloves which he did. And the kids and I went to work. We had to take it from the front of the house and stack it under the deck cover in the back. Happy to report that this was definately dead and bug covered wood and that mushrooms were growing. We are excited to smoke them later.

The kids had a blast stacking it! It only took us about 2 hours of wood lifting and transport to complete the winter stash. This happened just in time for the cold.
Now... I will have to learn to build and light a fire in my fireplace...since I have NEVER in my life done such a thing. This should be fun. McKay assures me that he is really good at it though and he knows everything about fireplace fires, starting them and how to apply firestarter. I am nervous.

In celebration of the cold we picked up a few provisions to get us through the winter. Coats and hats. While Bailey went for the stylish mid length coats and vintage style hats, the boys fell in love with these beauties! They wear them all over the place!

By "all over" I mean even to bed. Cole has slept in his cozy hat for two nights. It is chilly in the house since I don't know how to keep the heat on... and Mr. Mecham is away on business.

Last week Mr. Mecham had some business duties in Louisiana. We anticipate his return later this week. That is when I will learn about inside fires and then we will be off to Warsaw for district conference on Saturday and Sunday. Bailey is delighted to get to go to Young Womens for the first time since we got here! Can't wait for the weekend... but since its only Tuesday, we planned an outing at Chata (Polish milk bar) for tonight's dinner. And then school and school and school for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

day 47 Sebatical

My friend, Lisa Skousen, moved to Europe when she was a little girl. I think it was like the 5th or 6th grade... Her dad worked for the Utah state University and he took a sebatical. I always thought that was cool. So... I am going on a blog sebatical until I figure out this home-school business. There are tons of things for me to learn and read to help my children so that they aren't totally behind when we get back... thus, I am done blogging until I figure it out.

day 46

Thankful for general conferance. Thats all. Totally thankful!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

day 45 A total boost

Last night Papa Nate took us to our favorite restaraunt, Dolce Vita. It is the yummiest Italian food and every time I eat there I think of Debbie Brenner and how pleased she would be with the nutrition they serve! I haven't eaten a bad meal there yet! Then we went to Polish class discussed "Polish phrases" taught by Elder Basha. He is really quite impressive with his language skills. He won't admit it, but it is completely impressive that he speaks as beautifully as he does.
Going out and enjoying old Papa bears company is so refreshing. Nate is gone a lot during the week and so we look forward to weekends like never before...
We vowed to adopt uncle Curtis's wise theory... That is that from now on and forever we will get all our work done during the week so we can enjoy the weekends. As in, Saturday is not going to be a day of work our heads off since we do that Mon-Fri and even in a different way on Sunday. But today we had to get a few things done and so we set a time at which we would stop working and go make some memories! 1:00. That was the time we set. Kabob Saturday started at 1:00. By 3:00 Papa and the kids were at the climbing park in the trees for the 2nd time this week. They had a blast. I was finishing up preparations for dinner and guests coming to watch conference... which started live for us at 6:00 p.m. via the internet.

Elder Marsing's birthday was yesterday so we let him choose the dinner that I made tonight. Taco soup and Chocolate cake. We ate and watched conference. I was inspired by L. Whitney Clayton's message about missionary work. I can relate to his message about there being few members and he gave me hope that one day this country will also enjoy the blessing of many members. I thought that Elder Paker's talk to the youth was a message of love and great concern and a warning that clearly was prophetic and from Heaven itself. We have to much hope in our youth. But my favorite must have been Elder Uchtdorf... "YOU MATTER TO HIM". He is so good at reminding us who we are and where we come from... And I really enjoyed Carl B. Cook's talk, "It's better to look up." But I was especially touched by the closing prayer when it was said something about member all over the world... And surely because I am in a far off place which in the past week has often felt forgotten, it touched me that the sainst everywhere are still thought about.

I Can't wait for tomorrow's conference. I will not only get to finish the 2nd session from today and watch the priesthood session which played for us at 3:00 a.m., but I will also get to indulge in the Sunday morning session. I look forward to it.