{Janet’s Germany} Weekend in Poland

selah_candace_rose_poland_1The drive to Kraków was long and beautiful, with a KFC every few miles! The bridges were fantastic and the forests dark and mysterious. Clouds kept the drive from getting too hot and added interest to the drive. We spent the weekend in Kraków. There was so much to see there we didn’t explore anything else. selah_candace_rose_poland_2Our host’s dogs, Onyx and Amber, like to play soccer with their ball! Onyx is good keeping the ball going and Amber is good at chasing Onyx and cheering her on. selah_candace_rose_poland_3Lori took us into Kraków for a short tour the evening we arrived. Kraków started as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and is the second largest, and one of the oldest city in Poland. It dates back to sometime int he 7th century! By 965 it was reported as a busy trading center in Europe.selah_candace_rose_poland_Following the invasion of Poland in September 1939 by Nazi Germany, Kraków became part of the Nazi’s General Government and eventually its capital. It was headed by Hans Frank who was based in Wawel Castle. The Nazis envisioned turning Kraków into a completely German city after removing all Jews and Poles. selah_candace_rose_poland-1Legend says women saved this portion of old city walls from being destroyed by the men. They told the men that if this wall were taken down, the wind would gust through the market square and lift the ladies’ skirts on their way to church, thus embarrassing the women and making the men think badly of them. So the men did not tear down this wall. This is how the women saved the wall of Kraków. selah_candace_rose_poland-2There are roughly 120 churches registered in Kraków. We walked by many, and went into only two (St. Mary’s Basilica and the other were a wedding was taking place, so no pictures were allowed). selah_candace_rose_poland-3 Cloth Hall was originally designed in the 14th century as a center for international trade. The ground floor is continually used for commerce with its many souvenir shops and cafés; upstairs houses the Gallery of the National Museum. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978.selah_candace_rose_poland-4We did not spend much time at Wawel Castle because we had so many other things to see, but it was lovely! And the other tourists were a HOOT to watch!selah_candace_rose_poland-5Legend tells about a dragon, Smok Wawelski, who was terrorizing Kraków during the reign of King Krakus, the city’s legendary founder. Each day the evil dragon would reign down destruction across the countryside, killing the civilians and devouring their livestock. The king wanted to put an end to the dragon, but his bravest knights failed. In desperation, the King promised his beautiful daughter Wanda’s hand in marriage to anyone who could defeat the dragon. Great warriors from near and far fought for the prize and failed. One day a poor cobbler grew tired of the ongoing terror. He stuffed a lamb with sulfur and set it outside the dragon’s cave. The dragon ate it and became incredibly thirsty. He turned to the Vistula River for relief and drank and drank, but no amount of water could quench his aching stomach and after swelling up from drinking half the Vistula river, he exploded. The cobbler refused the princess’s hand in marriage because his wife would not be happy. Read more legend versions about the dragon here. selah_candace_rose_poland-6During the reign of Casimir III the Great (1333 to 1370), St. Mary’s Basilica was rebuilt on the remaining foundation of an earlier church destroyed in the Mongol invasion. Vicar Jacek Augustyn Łopacki had the interior rebuilt in the late Baroque style in the 18th century.selah_candace_rose_poland-7Legend says two brothers were hired to design and build St. Mary’s Basilica towers, but they wouldn’t work together. This is why each tower is different. The brother who built the shorter tower was jealous of the other’s tower so killed him. The knife hangs in an arch in the Cloth Market across the square.selah_candace_rose_poland_2

Every hour a fire fighter climbs to the top of the main tower to sound a trumpet call, the Hejnał mariacki. The melody is plaintive and historically was played to signal the open and close of the city gates. It stops unexpectedly mid-stream to salute the famous 13th century guard who was shot in the throat by an arrow while playing the tune to warn the city of the coming Tatar invasion.selah_candace_rose_poland-8

The extravagant Altarpiece is the largest Gothic altar piece and a national Polish treasure. It was designed and carved out of lime (linden), oak, and larch wood by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz) between 1477 and 1484. During the German occupation, the altarpiece was dismantled and shipped to the Third Reich on order of Hans Frank. It was sent to Nuremberg Castle in Bavaria, where it survived heavy bombing to be recovered and returned to Poland in 1946. It underwent major restoration and was put back in its place at the Basilica 10 years later.

Julia took us to the Jewish Quarter where we saw a few Synagogues and an ancient Jewish cemetery. I learned how in the Jewish culture, stones are left on the headstones to tell the family that someone stopped by to pay respects. selah_candace_rose_poland-9And thus ended our tour through Kraków. The next day we went back to do our tourist-ly duty of shopping and souvenir buying before we drove to Auschwitz, which I am posting about next week.

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{Springbrook} Erickson Family

One sunny Autumn day, three rambunctious boys, a baby, and a set of parents went exploring the winding trails of Springbrook Nature Center. There was dancing, jumping, frog and turtle hunting, chasing each other, and tree climbing.kandihamble-erickson-family-1This family is a blessing in more ways then 6, and they love to invite others into their 4-boy-2-dog-action-packed crazies. The good kind of crazy that keeps you on your toes and slathers love on everyone within reach and pulls out a smile of even the worst kind of day – maybe even a full on laugh!kandihamble-erickson-family-2 They have their share of troubles just like the next family, but that doesn’t stop them from loving well and staying on the go with four busy and growing boys, all of whom can now walk! kandihamble-erickson-family-3Getting such a family may be hard to get everyone still and looking at the camera long enough to get a ‘picture perfect’ Kodak moment, but the pictures are more real, more Them. kandihamble-erickson-family-4J1 likes exploring and learning and giving hugs. His smile lights up the room and can melt hearts of stone. His generous heart is selfless and honest and loyal. He has a LOT to say and will share what’s on his mind to anyone who will listen. He is a helper, go-getter, and includer.

J2 has an innocent grin, but his eye warn of mischief – if you’re paying attention! His love of reading is equal to his love for his family. He likes to bake and paint and play Minecraft when his nose isn’t stuck in any book that catches his eye. He is a laugh a minute and says many crazy things which gets everyone laughing! He is smart and charming and creative.kandihamble-erickson-family-5J3 is the MOST active boy I have ever known. He needs to move the way J1 needs to talk! He is super curious and is so loving. He loves to give hugs, and sometimes will almost sit still to have a book read to him. The only one with brown eyes in the family, he can look at you and melt your heart. While J2 has hidden mischief, J3’s mischief is all out in the open for everyone to see, enjoy, and sometimes shake their head at. He loves playing games and painting (at least when I go over!).

J4 is a bright miracle and bundle of laughs. His personality is really beginning to shine. He has just decided to walk and soon will be getting into everything. He is a LOT like J1 when he was a baby, but yet so different! His grin is so big and cheerful it’s hard to stay sad around him. He likes giving kisses and snuggling when he isn’t too busy chasing after his big brothers or the dogs. He knows that pop is good and fudge is delectable. When he’s done eating he feeds the dogs – so they never go hungry.

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Looking Forward to a New Year

Every year, many people I know pick a Word of the Year to define the upcoming year. I’ve only started this in the past few years, and have noticed my Word of the Year doesn’t really follow the calendar year.

Two years ago, I chose Trust as my Word. I struggled with trusting God for all that life was throwing at me, and it seemed like a good first Word. When 2016 came around, I was praying about a new Word, and felt like I needed to keep Trust. So I did not change it.Wall of Trust

I have the word Trust on my wall, along with some other words that point me to trust. As 2015 and 2016 progressed, I wrote Bible verses and quotes from authors and friends which spoke of trusting in God and pinned them to my wall, forming a Wall of Trust.

A few months ago, I go the inkling that my Word was changing. It started with a verse:060716_mg_4278

This is at the end of the Valley of Dry Bones and I have always loved these verses.

This verse started a shift in my heart, and I knew my Word would be changing soon. And not waiting for 2017 to blow in like a frozen blizzard! A land has been promised me – a refuge, a home, a place to hide away and to invite others into peace. In this land I will be firmly planted by the Lord and there I will flourish.Firmly Planted

So my Word (more like a phrase!) is Firmly Planted and Flourishing. Living in this tension of the now and not yet has been interesting so far, but I am learning well that Jesus can be trusted, He has a plan filled with hope and a good future for me, He has not left me behind even when it fells like so many others have, I am a daughter of the Most High King of kings and He has lavished me with so many amazing gifts it will make my head spin as I start accepting them and opening them to share with those in my life.Flourish

Given my circumstances, my own land seems like a folly to hope for. But I know and trust that God has a plan for my life, and what He has promised me, He will fulfill. Just as Abraham received a seemingly impossible promise from God and kept hoping, so shall I.Keep Hoping

I am looking forward to 2017 with great expectation in my Lord. I can’t wait to see what He is working out in me! I am going to look for joy instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I carry this reminder with me everywhere I drive, thanks to the creativity and expertise of Revka at Fabled Treasures!Firmy Planted and Flourishing

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{4Js} Winter Fun

kandihamble-novbdays-1There was once a December day where many three generations gathered to celebrate two special boys, J2 and J4. They were both born Thanksgiving weekend, but with everyone traveling this year the party was a weekend later. kandihamble-novbdays-2There were balloons to punch and books to read and snow in the yard begging to be rolled up into snowmen. kandihamble-novbdays-3J4 had fun watching the snowman building from the comfort of the living room while he strummed a guitar. kandihamble-novbdays-4Then our two boys armed with their sweet tooth blew out flames and dug in to their gooey confections of brownies and muffins and cupcakes with frosting. kandihamble-novbdays-5Right before the party ended, gifts were opened and played with and packed up to go home. kandihamble-novbdays-6It was a splendid day celebrating these two little boys so greatly loved.

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{Springbrook} Sunburst

Springbrook Nature Center is my favorite place to visit on a good weather day. Different things can be seen by switching up which paths you walk on, what the weather is like, and the season. During the Fall the landscape changes weekly!selah_candace_rose_springbrook1-1 selah_candace_rose_springbrook1-2Springbrook has gone through many changes in the past year, most of which I am loving. During this walk I found a little path that took me to a little haven full of bright yellow happiness. selah_candace_rose_springbrook1-3The little yellow flowers above remind me of the sun emblem of Rapunzel’s kingdom in Tangled. selah_candace_rose_springbrook1-4 selah_candace_rose_springbrook1-5For a couple months there was this cool tree teepee deep in the woods. I knew some boys who would have loved playing in it, but alas! It was taken down before they could visit. selah_candace_rose_springbrook1-6

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{4Js} J4 on the Floor

Full of spunk and super sweet, J4 is fast crawling and soon will be walking. Somehow I found myself with just J4 for a few hours and we had fun playing before a second, unplanned nap.selah_candace_rose_joey_1Peek-a-boo! selah_candace_rose_joey_2Happy 1st birthday, little J!! You are loved. selah_candace_rose_joey_3And happy Thanksgiving, everyone else! I pray you have a blessed time with friends and family.

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This Business of Threshing

kandihamble-com_threshing-1While Janet was in town this fall, there was the Thresher’s show in Dalton, MN, and I was invited to go check things out! Being a city born and bred girl, I kinda geeked out at all the cool old engines I saw and watching two farmers thresh wheat! WHAAAAT?! kandihamble-com_threshing-2Chaff! Many of the machines were over a hundred years old! kandihamble-com_threshing-3All the belts and gears were fascinating! And seeing how the belts are repaired because replacement belts aren’t made anymore! kandihamble-com_threshing-4The little town there was sweet, with a church, store, and red school house. kandihamble-com_threshing-5We also watched a Railroad stake being made in the blacksmith shop! kandihamble-com_threshing-6 kandihamble-com_threshing-7There was a cute little old man sitting in the General Store. kandihamble-com_threshing-8

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