Yesterday, I went out to Peris to visit the kids. I had not been out there in about 3 months due to the girl's house opening! Needless to say, I was a little excited to see all of my kids! I was greeted at the gate by Florin and Alin (who have gotten so big...they were in 2nd grade when I first started working at Peris and now their voices are changing!), Claudiu, and Gaj. They all expressed their happiness to see me. Then I went upstairs to the area where the girls stay. I was given so many hugs but the best was Oana. When she saw me, she hugged me and wouldn't leave my side. We hung out for awhile and then they got their afternoon snack....an apple. She wanted to give it to me, but I didn't want to take it. So, she compromised with me...she took a bite, then I took a bite. I tried my hardest to take small bites so that she would get more, but she caught on to my trick and started checking my mouth and watching the bites I would take. We went back and forth like that until the apple was gone. Oana has been like this ever since I've known her....very giving. If she has something, she always wants to share it with you. It's times like this that I pray and say, "God, protect me!" And I take another bite of her apple.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Last Monday, the girls started manicure/pedicure school. They were so nervous and excited at the same time. The first day they wrote 12 pages of notes! When they got home, they were so tired. I'm sure the tiredness had nothing to do with the fact that they had to get up at 6:15 so they would be on time. By Wednesday they were practicing what they had learned and did their first manicure. They are learning lots and have begun to do pedicures as well. Of course I don't mind being a guinea pig...Tomorrow is my pedicure day...oh the life of a missionary!
Here are the girls in front of their school...all ready to go!
Ready to write and learn all about manicures and pedicures!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
As a reward for finishing the probation period, the girls at GTH got to come along with the staff and Maggy and Leslie to Sinaia. First stop was the glass factory in Ploiesti. Everyone enjoyed shopping and we sure did enhance the economy for this factory. The girls were allowed to each pick out one glass Christmas tree bulb as a rememberance from the trip. From there we headed up to Sinaia. We stopped for lunch at the little pizzeria that we like and then drove up to the monastary. We walked up to the castle and the girls went on a tour of the beautiful Peles castle while the rest of us sat around and talked and had coffee. We did a little bit more shopping up by the castle, looked at the monastary and then headed home. For this trip the girls received an early Christmas present. They didn't really have any warm jackets so I decided to give them the gift now as opposed to at Christmastime. After I had all the jackets out and they had all four picked out the one they wanted they thanked me for the jackets and Catalina asked me, "Jenny, who else do we need to thank?" This took me a lttle bit by surprise because sometimes in the past the girls have kind of always thought they should be handed things on a silver platter. I was very appreciative of their thankfulness and told them that the jackets were a gift from God!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Saturday was Halloween and some of the staff decided that it would be fun to have a Halloween/Fall Party. The girls at GTH had also been asking if we could do something for Halloween, so we decided to have our first, probably to become annual, Halloween party at the girl's house in Snagov. Everyone was very excited and scurried around trying to find a perfect costume. I decided that I would be a princess, of course. We had lots of fun finding costumes and dressing up, playing games, eating "gross" foods, and carving pumpkins.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
On October 5th, the fourth generation of girls moved into the girl's transition house. There are four girls, two from Alexandria and two from Galati. They are lovely girls....very obedient and so excited to learn new things. During the first week, they learned all about our house and how things work. They also had their first recorder lesson, which they were so excited about! They will hopefully be performing a song for our Thanksgiving celebration. So, without further adieu, may I introduce you to the 2009/2010 transition house girls!
Catalina is from the girl's orphanage in Alexandria. She turned 26 years old last Sunday. We celebrated her birthday by coming in to Bucharest for church and then had a cake and presents out at Snagov when we returned from church. She finished school a couple years back and had been living in the school in Alexandria (not a very good situation). She is very docile and sweet, yet at the same time very boyish in the way she has her hair cut and in the way she dresses. She is very helpful around the house and is always the last one to help finish a task.
Silvia is also from the girl's orphanage in Alexandria. She finished school last February. She is a girl in every sense of the word. She loves to dress like a girl and spends at least a half an hour in the bathroom every evening. The other day when I told the girls we were going to have guests, she and two of the other girls went up to their room and made themselves up complete with makeup and cute clothes.
Mihaela is fromGalati and comes not from the orphanage but from a family. She gave birth to her son about 8 months ago and heard about our program from a missionary friend in Galati. She heard that we were going to be offering classes to learn haircutting and wants to make a better life for her and her son. So, she applied to our program. Her mom is taking care of her son during this year while she lives at our house. She is a believer and is so excited to share Jesus with others. She also loves to speak English and can't wait to learn all of the secrets from Sanda in the kitchen.
Andreea is also from Galati. She is a delight and joy to always be around. She always has a smile on her face, a song coming from her mouth, and a super attitude. She is yearns to learn new things and is accepting of everyone. Andreea has three sisters in Galati and has spent a lot of time with a missionary family in her hometown. She is excited to learn to play the piano. She speaks English quite well, loves Jesus and is eager to share her faith with others.
Marieta, one of the graduates from the third generation, was baptized at the end of September by the pastor at a little chapel in Bucharest. She was surprised and shocked that I would come to this special event in her life. I was so glad that I took the time from my busy days to go to her baptism. It was neat to see her dedicate herself fully to God!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
At the end of September, I went on a 4-day “working” vacation. Doina and Eugenia, two of the transition graduates from the first generation, received vacation coupons to use to go on a vacation. Doina and Eugenia had no clue how to use these or even what to do with them. So, I offered to take them and help them with all the details (thinking back, I don’t know what was in my head that I would be able to handle Eugenia for 4 days straight). I asked them where they wanted to go and they said to the seaside. It was at a time when the weather was a little cooler, but there weren’t as many people and it was a little cheaper. I made arrangements for us to stay at a hotel that was near to the Black Sea in Constanta that also had a restaurant. We walked along the beach, Doina swam in the sea for the first time, watched movies, stayed in a 3 star hotel, and ate good food. Of course Eugenia had her moments, because it wouldn’t be normal for her not to have a moment, but Sunday morning before we were to get on the train to come home, I asked them what had been their most favorite part of the trip. Doina said she enjoyed the beach, getting in the water, watching movies and taking pictures (our trip would not have been complete without taking a few pictures). Eugenia said the best part was that I came with them and stayed with them for four days. Looking back on the experience, that comment changed my whole attitude. The fact that I took time out of my busy days and spent time with them, made an impact and an impression on their lives. WOW!!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
For vacation this year, I went on a Mediterranean cruise. On August 28th, Jen, Kirsteen and I flew to Venice, Italy. I was a little nervous about flying the day of the cruise so we went one day early and spent one night there and did a little sightseeing. The sights we saw...plus a little shopping and a little gelato. :)
Here I am in front of St. Mark's Church at St. Mark's Square in Venice
This is the first day on the big "boat"! We had to try on our life jackets and then go for a non-voluntary muster drill
We at so much good food on our cruise. This was the very first night. I ordered Shrimp Ravioli. They were super yummy!
I decided to try a lot of different foods that I wouldn't normally buy for myself. Here I was trying escargots....I actually liked them. Of course they were drenched in garlic!
Trying caviar....I didn't like!!
This was our first formal dinner night. We decided to have a photo shoot out on deck. I really love this picture because I have this one hair that is just flying up in the wind.
After the outside photo shoot we decided to come inside, where it wasn't so windy! :)
One of our stops was Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey. We had booked a shore excursion through an internet based company, because it was a little cheaper. Obviously, we were the only ones because we got our own special bus, with my name on it (because I booked the excursion) and our own personal tour guide!
Here are Kirsteen and I with Ergin, our tour guide explaining things to us in the old city in Ephesus. It was really hot this day, but so nice to have our own personal tour guide.
Here I am in the Amphitheater where Paul supposedly preached. The seating capacity is 34,000 people and Ray Charles, Elton John, and Shirley MacLaine all entertained here.
This was in Santorini, Greece. The big boat in the background was our accommodations for the week.
I loved the beautiful pink bougainvillea in Santorini!
Every night, our stateroom attendant would come and turn down our beds and leave us a towel creation. The second to the last night it was a monkey. The last day we went to a demonstration and learned how to make these little creatures.
Every night we went out to watch the sunset. This was our last night on the boat. A perfect ending!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
With the transition grads
Making the jam
Dad and I on the hike up to "Dracula's" Castle
At Rasnov Fortress
Mom and Dad at Peles Castle
My mom and dad came to visit me in Romania. This was their first time out of the USA, other than Canada and Mexico. I, of course took them to our different ministry sites, and also up to the mountains to visit two castles and a fortress. We had a great time! We taught my fellow missionary friends how to play 3 to 13. We also made 3 batches each of strawberry and raspberry jam and had a BBQ and swim party with the transition grads!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Summer teams and such is winding down. It has been busy since we started in May and have pushed through to the middle of August. This summer, I led the camp team (6 mini camps with the Rosiori kids and 3 with the Peris kids)! Whew! My two most favorite camps were the two camps with the older kids. It was nice to have a little more free time with them and to bring them to swim in the pool at Pipera. I have loved spending time with my kids at Peris, especially Oana and Claudiu, who are my kids that I've become their "mom".