This past week was so good, but I am really struggling to remember everything that happened. I think our somewhat repetitive days (because a lot of how we spend our time has included either work work or working on the house) have started to blur together a bit, but here are some of the highlights.
Last Sunday we went to our first service at the Albanian church that we will be attending until we are able to start planting house churches in our community. I love the church so much, even though I can’t understand what they are talking about in the larger scheme of things (I can understand bits and pieces) because it is all in Albanian, but mostly all of them speak English as well, so it’s been really good to converse before and after service. I am looking forward to watching our friendships flourish the longer we live here in the city, and maybe our Albanian will improve as well!
After church our friends came and stayed with us through Monday afternoon. Our house is far from put together but it was so fun to have them stay with us and see our new knew place. We went to City Center together, took them to try our favorite pizza here (thus far), shared Philly Cheesesteakes, and simply spent time talking and playing with the kids. It was a fast visit but wonderful nevertheless.
This week we have also been getting around the neighborhood a lot more, talking to neighbors on the street and establishing the beginning stages of neighborhood community and eventually, friendships. We live by some really sweet older ladies…so it’s great for our kids and great for us. We definitely didn’t know that we were moving into an older community (but also lots of kids…because there’s kind of an age gap it seems), but it’s been great, because older in the city does NOT mean the same as it does in the suburbs or rural areas. These ladies might be old enough to be our moms and grandmas but they are full of life and sass, but mostly kindness.
Some mundane but exciting accomplishments this week include getting insurance set up and our power hooked up (we had power but they came to turn the meter on). We are also waiting to find out if Liv is able to attend the Charter school for our neighborhood which she is very excited about (if it happens) because the kids in our neighborhood all attend there which means not only will she be making friends but they will be friends that she can also see from home and not just at school.
Thursday was of course the Fourth of July and we had an amazing first experience here. Olivia and Leif have never been able to be around fireworks that we are ourselves lighting so it was amazing to see how excited they were. Of course Leif got a tiny burn because he picked up a sparkler stick after tossing it on the ground. Sigh. The things you don’t think to tell them (he knew to not touch the hot part while holding it but I guess that didn’t translate to also not touching it EVER).
Lots of change is in the wind and we are feeling so grateful for all of the new opportunities here in this city.
Saturday we attended an Albanian church picnic. If you don’t know anything about the Albanian culture, I’ll give you a little insight. Albanians are fun, generally happy, and very communal people. They also LOVE children so we never have to worry about what our kids will do or who they will play with (because there will always be other children or adults who are willing to keep them busy). We had such a great time connecting with old friends, making some new friends and also further deepening our relationship with those in the church we are currently attending. Our kids also took the opportunity to gorge themselves on all of the sweets (Albanians love their dessert!). We came home happy and tired and so, so thankful.
Are you going through changes too? If so, tell me about them in the comments section! Thanks for reading my weekly wrap up! The next trauma blog will be coming soon.
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