Friday, May 18, 2012

Elder Kennedy departed Lublin... Like I've said before, I love the missionaries in Poland. We get a little attached. They become our boys and its hard to send off your boys. Especially when they really aren't your boys and so you don't know you'll see them again. This is the case for Elder Kennedy. His family doesn't reside in the Western U.S. so meeting up with him again will not be just as easy as going home.
There are many favorites of Elder Kennedy. He is an amazing example of fearless missionary work accompanied by all the bold questions! It is impressive! His mother would be proud! He lived abroad for many years with his family until he was 15 and so he can relate to the situation my children are in. He has stories that bring them peace because he has been there done that and remained not only normal but better for it! Bless him! :) It makes me feel like my own children might not be mental cases for our decision to move from our Comfy Arizona home...
Elder Kennedy works his buns off! Nearly every single Wednesday we fed him while in Lublin... And the cool part of that was that nearly every single Wednesday he brought an investigator to teach with him. We loved it! Marlyna is in our branch and her son, Sabastian is 14. Sabastian hasn't been baptized but after months of studying the gospel with the Elders, he has finally decided to be baptized! We are so excited for Lublin! More priesthood to come!
Top 10 Favorite things about Elder Kennedy: It was hard to limit it to 10... 10) He blushes when you talk to him about Anna. We think Anna is lucky. We only wish we could meet her. His red face and beeming smile are a dead giveaway how he feels. :) 9) He claims his mother and his brother are his best friends. I believe this shows that he came from a loving and very stable home. 8) He has a firm understanding of self worth. Elder Kennedy undoubtedly knows who he is and it is evident by the way that he serves one master (whole heartedly). 7) He sticks up for me. One day the boys thought they would be funny and try to embarass Mr. Mecham and me. They started by sharing a story with the missionaries which ended up backfiring on them thanks to Kennedy. It went like this: "when my dad gets home from work my mom and dad sit and kiss like this... mmmmmmm. mmmmmm.mmmmmm." To which Elder Kennedy said, "its fun! You'll like someday." Since the boys think the world of him they started thinking that maybe mom and dad aren't disgusting beasts afterall. 6) He is passionate about teaching the gospel to the Polish people. NOT a single thing will get in his way... NOTHING! Watch out! 5) He is driven. He has a plan and a purpose... and you better believe that he knows where he will be in a week, a month, a year and a decade. 4) He is talented. He shares that talent unabashadly. Talents range from musically gifted with a beautiful voice to making people feel good. 3) He is grateful. We feed the missionaries every week. They all have been thankful young men. ALL of them! But wouldn't you know it... Elder Kennedy calls me after he gets home and thanks me one last time every.single. time. I love it! 2) The boy can talk. He can talk to anyone! He is never awkward with a single person. Even Bailey can hang with Kennedy because he makes an effort to talk to and make all of us feel like his friend. And he can speak languages beautifully... which probably makes it easier for him to talk. We will ever be thankful for his ability to translate... 1) Follows rules with precision. If Mr. Mecham isn't home then Kennedy will not come in. If it is raining outside and I am the only one to offer a ride, Elder Kennedy will get home drenched walking. If its 8:30 and we aren't finished with our lessons... then we get er done... because President Nielson said, "be home at 9". If he was given 40 minutes to talk he talks 40 not 41. If he is instructed to Not watch movies but there is one on in the family room... then you'll find Elder Kennedy in the kitchen. The list goes on and on. and on. and on. I know for a fact that we can never get ahead of the Lord. Never, not ever. And so it is that Elder Kennedy has a lot of blessings still awaiting him. I am excited for the bright future which awaits this fine young man. Now...excuse me whilest I go and wipe a tear since I am remembering all the reasons why I didn't want him to transfer. Well done Elder Kennedy... Well done.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Over a month ago Cole had a birthday. I kept thinking I would post something to honor my favorite red headed boy in the world. But then the month got away from me... Let me try again...
(picture taken on COle's 8th birthday while he played with his army fleet of legos... Fav past time.) A little heart warmer story about Coley Wooley: From October to December the children were in Polish school. There was no such thing as English speaking for Cole in school. The kids had not learned it yet. His teacher didn't speak a lick. Each morning when I would drop him off he would thank me for letting him go to school and learn. One day In December, just before we went back to the United States for Christmas holiday, I decided to ask Coley why he thanked me every day for school. What exactly was it that he loved so much about Polish school? Afterall every day when I picked him up he was sitting on the bench all alone while all the other children played. Could it really be that fun? His answer, to this day - and probably forever, makes me tear up: "Every day I am happy to go to school, because I know you will pick me and take me home with you when its over." That is when I decided POlish school wasn't for us. That coupled with the fact that the kids were only learning Polish and it cost an arm and leg while we were getting further and further behind. So Cole's kindness made him the family allstar... Allstar for me because of his optimism. Allstar for Bailey and McKay because no amount of hate, anger or fear for Polish school could get them out of it, but Coley's kind words did the trick for all of them! There are a million little heart warmer stories of Cole... Here is another from the past year: Grampsydoodle and Grandma Chrissy along with Grandpa and Grandma Mecham had planned to come out and visit in the spring and join us for Cole's baptism. As April approached, so did aunt Merilee's due date and Grandma and Grandpa understandably wanted to be home for the big arrival and to help Mers. As they should be! And so we pushed Cole's baptism date back to May. Then Kyle decided he wanted to come to Poland but couldn't come until June. So we started to push back the baptism date again... because Kyle was coming with Grampsydoodle and Grandma Chrissy. We thought this is what Cole wanted! And we were all so excited for the Grands to come out. One afternoon while I was getting dinner ready Cole came in with a very serious face. "mom," he began, "I don't want to wait until June to get baptised. I want the Holy Ghost as soon as I am 8. I want to get baptised on my birthday or atleast a week later." He was ever so worried about the feelings of others, but understood the importance of his decision so much that he wasn't willing to let anyone push it back any longer. I was proud of that kid! So were his grandparents.
8 things I love love love about Coley Wooley boy: 8) He is truely the kindest person I have ever met in my life. 7) Cole has your back. One day when Nate wasn't around the kids and I were joking about something funny he does. Appearantly Cole thought we were making fun of him. And like a defender in shiny armor, Cole got right in our faces and said, "That's not funny or true!" and he stuck up for his dad until we let it die. He has done that for many people. 6) Mr. COley tries hard at everything he does. In 1st grade he was sloppily jotting down his spelling words when I inquired, "COle, don't you want to practice wrighting your words in your best penmanship? Why would you use your practice time to do sloppy work?" To that Cole erased his work and started over. He has never again penned a letter sloppily. Infact, his penmanship is better than many adults and several of his teachers have been BLOWN Away at how beautiful it is. 5) Cole has the best and biggest smile of anyone I know. My stomach still gets butterflies when I see his dimples. Cutey Coley... 4) Prayer time has always been exciting! When Cole was just learning to talk every time we prayed for our beloved prophet Cole would repeat, "Our big Big prophet!" He also said super funny things in prayers. A few months ago he told me that he had memorized a prayer so that he could get er done quickly. Insert talk about memorized prayers... And since that day Cole prays like he is at the pulpit of general conferance. He thinks about every word. 3) I love that Coley boy is so easy to teach. That he never forgets a single thing and that he learns quickly. 2) When Cole was a baby I asked Mr. Mecham to bless him with a sence of humor. BoY HoWdY!!! Did he ever!!! That Cole has the greatest sence of humor around... He always has us laughing. What a treat to have in our home. 1)Loving. Cole is so gentle and loving. He gives the world's best hugs... it's been his trademark for years! All the missionaries put out their hand to shake and COle just wizzes past and goes straight for the hug from day one. It usually takes them a time or two to remember how to hug but they figure it out quickly. Everyone knows Cole hugs not hand shakes. He is loving to his family and friends. He can show and tell you love like I've never seen another. It is a quality that I only wish I could polish like he has... He loves so easily and is so easy to love. Happy Birthday on April 3 Mr. Coley boy! I love you so much.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The past year has been unique for me. Mostly because the previous 10 were spent with Sunday dinners at mom and dad's, I was within minutes of their house, I called mum any time I wanted to go to lunch, She was endlessly supportive in helping me with my children. She is a listening ear, a good laugh, a great friend and a killer mom! When I was home during the holidays I was having an exceptionally difficult time. Mom and Dad were well versed in all of it. They mostly listened, gave council when they felt most inspired and supported me, prayed for me and loved me through all of it. I will never forget. One day mom went visit teaching, as she so faithfully does each month, and later that day she shared with me the message... which I know she knew was for me. I will forever be greatful for her wisdom and council and for endlessly inspired words and teaching moments. This past year she taught me that I will never be too old to want to crawl into her arms for council. I will still cry on her shoulder and she will still calm me down. I learned that a mother's work is truely never done. As I look back on the blessed year I have had I recall the difficulty of moving; both physically and mentally and Mom was tirelessly by my side. I recall the painful goodbye as she and dad quietly wept at the air port... And my gut which told me I was doing the right thing but my heart begging me to stay in my comfort zone. I recall many phone calls, e-mails, packages and support beyond words that came from not only my mum and dad, but my mother and father-in-law. I recall many prayers of gratitude to a kind and loving Father in Heaven for such people in my life. I am thankful to be eternally tied to these people. I think of difficult moments in mothering homesick children and what would my own mother do. I remember happy weekend trips. I see Heavenly Father's vision and love for people globally... even when they don't choose to do the right thing. I have seen many things in travel; The rolling hills of Poland seem to never end. The historical museums, castels and monuments are breathtaking. The cathedrals are posh. The food is tastey. There is no word to describe the majesty of the great deep or the enormous seas... the softness of the powder white sand on the Baltic, or the relief of an airplane landing safely at destination after 24+ hours of travel. The birds all over the world are a constant reminder of God's creativity. I have loved slowing down my car for the occasional hedgehog to cross, the red fox to quickly pass by and even to call my boys from poking the dead badger on the river banks. Words can not portray the beauty of the vintage city, Prague nor the green colors in Germany. The golden flowered hills of spring make me think I have arrived on the other side... The money in London, England seems to have an endless account with its royal castel standing at the heart... and yet through all of the beauty that mine eyes have beheld, not a single thing stands to more deeply touch my heart than the very love I have for my sweet mother. Happy Mother's day to the best mum in the world... and to the mother of my sweet husband, who has touched my life in countless ways. Together these women have changed my life. I sure love you.