Slodkie Czary Mary

Making candy that we are so quick to gobble up is a beautiful process perhaps far too under appreciated!

On our recent trip to Wroclaw, we were able to see a sweets shop make little bits of hard candy like grandma would give you and finish with the grand finale of a heart sucker. It was a hot yet delightful experience—and I literally felt as excited as a “kid in a candy shop” !!!

To begin, the candy base has to be heated until it reaches the perfect temp. Then it is dumped onto a granite tabletop to cool for a period of time.

Aren’t we all a bit like candy? When we are a little too hot, we also need a cooling off period.

While it is in the process of cooling, the Candy Gals begin adding the colors for their upcoming projects.

After, the candy is cut and the second process begins—it’s nearly like a play-doh factory.

You begin by folding and pounding the candy.

Which then leads to stretching it…

After stretching, they begin the process of separating their colors and building their desired result/s—which this one would eventually become a heart lolly.

Along the way, however, was almost like a “dessert break” because they took a portion of the sucker and made it into tiny little pieces of hard candy which they promptly served to our room full of eager eaters.

The candies were still warm, sour, and brought me back to grandma’s house.

While we were all sucking on our nostalgic delights, the final project was expertly being finished with twisting, turning, cutting and shaping…

Until finally, voile! The heart lolly!

Which then goes for sale at the store, Slodkie Czary Mary!

Am I patient enough to make candy?

Perhaps.

Am I eager enough to eat it?

Pretty sure that’s a resounding You Betcha!

Do I recommend stopping in and watching this process?

Absolutely!

Did I feel just like a delightful kid in a candy shop?

The entire time!

Hence, we should all find ourselves watching how candy is made because then we have truly experienced time travel…even if just for a moment!

#wroclaw #poland #slodkieczarymary

Questions in Greece…

 

photos from greece

I got questions all the time while in Greece.

Where was I from?

Why do I live in Poland?

Is my husband Polish?

Did business bring my husband to Poland???

We went on a tubing ride in the Ionian Sea, and the loveliest lady that owned the little “surf-type shack” loved asking these questions…

So, I thought a moment and told her my husband was not Polish, he was 100% American, but he is a pastor.  So, in a sense, I guess he is a businessman in the “Business of God” — to which she beautifully proclaimed with her Greek enthusiasm and delightful accent, “The best business of all—the business of God!”

And then she reached her arms over her head and spread them across the sky and said, “God overall!”

We all wholeheartedly agreed and traipsed into the lapping waves of the sea, where we hopped onto a UFO-type raft and allowed the Greek captain of his small speed boat pull us haphazardly through the sea where we screamed, maybe cried a little…laughed a lot and Adelyne belted, “Kumbaya, my Lord!  Let me live!”

The ride ended much to our mutual disappoint and actual thrill, and we went back to collect our items from the Greek Surfing Lady and we all proclaimed, “God bless you,” “And you!”

And smiled one last smile before we trailed down the beach, leaving footprints in the sand, to enjoy our last sunset in Peloponnese…

Greece, we agree, one God overall.

Thank you, beautiful country, for a sun-kissed delightful week with my precious namesake and firstborn.

I saw the paintbrush of God every evening in the sunsets and the stroke of his perfect clarity each time I looked out at His blue seas!

And to you, our perfect surf-shack lady, thank you for reminding us that being in the business of this amazing painter and God is TRULY the best business of all!

God bless you, our friend!

OPA!

Life in Ruins…

There is literally nothing more humbling than seeing the greatest in ruins.

Life is very short, my friends.

Live, treasure, love well!

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

#thankfulforeternity #faithendures #lovegod #lovebig #lovepeople #andthesethreeremain #faith #hope #love #olympia #greece

Jet lag is like a fly

fly

Do you know that pesky fly?  The one that swirls around you?  It actually, even though an insect, begins to cause you self-doubt.  About hygiene.  Do you really smell that bad?  I mean, you know that you traveled for basically two days—but you thought you showered.

Or did you?

Or did you dream you showered?

Or were you DREAMING about a shower?

Or did you shower the kids but forget about yourself?

The fly won’t leave you alone and now you wonder if you need a shower!!!!!

#jetlag

It’s killing my sanity.

This is what my last 5 days have looked like:

Day 1:  Airplane (3 to be exact).  I slept approximately 1 hour on all 3.  At the airport, in Munich, I laid down on the benches after having my husband SWEAR on his very life and beard that he would WATCH our children with his 41 eyes and make sure no one stole my purse in the meantime, then I crashed.  For approximately 2 hours.

He has snoring video in public to prove it.

I don’t even care.

Night 1 in Poland:  The 3 and 5 year olds did not sleep.  Nearly at all.  The 5 year old eventually waned off as the sun was rising.  The 3 year old is more stubborn than a mule and beat the sun.  She finally seceded around noon.

The decade plus one daughter was already OUTTA the house and OFF to friends.  Goodbye, my firstborn.  WE LOVE YOU…REMEMBER US!

Yeah, right.  We haven’t hardly seen her since.  One night at Wiktoria’s house (Victoria in English), Oliwia’s a second night, and now Nikola’s.  Yep.  The decade plus 1 missed her little Polska wies (Polish village).

Nights 2 and 3 and 4 also lost to JOJO the GIANT!  She won hands down each and every time.  The sun has NOTHING on the spirit of our 3-year-old.

Night 5.  Ah, lovely Night 5.  My hopes were in you.

You were my precious.  I held you in my hand.  I cuddled you.  I made you feel important.  I knew you had a big job ahead of you.  And I knew you, Night 5, were the one to do it.

And, alas, you won.  At 1am, the 3-year-old fell asleep with me stroking and singing to her.  Yes, I sing in private.  Heck, I sing in public—you people just don’t appreciate it as much as my spawn (smile and wink)…

And with the delicate balance of tiptoeing and delicately stepping over EVERY TOY in Max and Josephine’s room which is currently out so that every single marble and doll will know it is loved even though there was a 6-week-absence, I made it out of the room without any crash.

Voile!

I crawled into bed.  THE FIRST NIGHT I would sleep in bed.  If one in the morning is still considered night—and I closed my eyes.

My respite was sweet.  And short.

Oh so short.

The 3 year old came and told me that she DID NOT WET THE BED but her PANTS were all wet.

Yes.  That is called “Not wetting the bed—it magically wet me” syndrome.  It occurs often with our third.  The other two have bladders that could win Olympic Golds.

So I took the daughter that was victim of the vicious bed to the toilet—hastily cleaned her off and threw her in bed with me.

That’s when my victory became my defeat.

She was NO LONGER TIRED.  She was wide awake.  She jumped, and crawled, and laid, and sprawled all over me.

Could she see my phone?

Could she watch a movie?

Could she hold my phone?

Could she see the lullabies playing?

Could she listen to my ear—after all, my ear was making the SAME noise as a volcano.

No, my dear…That’s MY HEAD!  And you are the cause of that.  (I thought to express this to her—but, come on, she’s three…She wouldn’t even care if I did).

To TOP IT OFF…My husband is on the other side of my daughter shouting in his sleep, “I’m going to get you!” Followed with actual karate chopping motion and sounds, “Katcha-katcha!”

I kid you not.

Somehow, miraculously in the midst of the karate chopping albeit sleeping husband and the “NOT TIRED” toddler, I managed to coax her to sleep—legs on top of my head and all.

By this time, it is now after 3am and DARN HER…Guess who is not tired now?

Me.

And so I sit.  With this pesky night fly swirling around my very head.  Touching my hand and invading all sorts of personal space (I LITERALLY CANNOT STAND FLIES—I have a bubble, flies, respect it!).  Typing. To you.  Because you care, don’t you?

And if you don’t, don’t worry.

I’m still here with my fly.

He doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Just like Josephine’s jet lag.

Sigh.

I wish I could be like Richard, my sleeping husband, and “Get you, Jet Lag, katcha-katcha!” (insert super karate chopping action here)

Good thing today is Sunday—I need the glorious grace of Jesus to get me through the day and his ultimate gift of forgiveness because I ALREADY know MY FAMILY IS ALL GOING TO NEED IT as this Momma is going on 0 hours of sleep.

Thanks to jet lag…my least friend.

My Dzien Dziecka Celebrations…

18699634_856497267859280_4500748677557859018_o

Tomorrow, June 1st, is a very big day in Poland.  It is one day where the country stops and revolves around the children!

They are celebrated, hugged, loved, and spoiled.

And it was created to remind the world that the children need “Protection” === that the children should not have to fend for themselves—that we, as adults, should do everything in our power to protect earth’s most precious resource—its children!

That children should not be enslaved, abused, forgotten, stripped of their innocence, or abandoned.

That we, HUMANS, stand up and say, “You, child, are BEYOND precious to us!  We are here to stand up for you.”

Whether or not we all do a good enough job of that, I say—We collectively don’t.  But there are those out there that do fight the good fight to #rescuetheforgotten!  Find a charity that does that, or, please, choose to join our fight!

On top of that, this week, I am going to hug my children to let them know that THEY ARE LOVED!  That they are NOT FORGOTTEN!  That they have a mom and dad that are HERE to protect them.

I wish we all would do the same for so many more—but, as Mother Teresa so clearly puts it time and time again, the BEST way that we can begin this fight is at home!

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

And hopefully through our love for them, they will also go forward and LOVE so many more!

Happy Children’s Day, my most precious—-Adelyne, Maxwell, and Josephine.  Mommy and Daddy love you more than life.  Thank you for walking this world’s path with us.  May you grow to see the value in every precious soul and share the love of Jesus with each person you meet.  I hope that you have a carefree and beautiful Dzien Dziecka!

xoxo

Momma

Your teenager’s brain. Fantastic listen!


So I thought I was crazy.  After all, my daughter is only 11…but it turns out I am not crazy—my daughter is changing from my small little girl into a budding teen.  And the amazing changes that take place in the teen’s brain are astonishing!

I wish I listened to this podcast last year when she was just 10 to help me prepare for this new phase of her life.  Perhaps I would have helped her enter it with more patience.  But better late than never, right?!

I hope this podcast helps each of you, as well, as it speaks of all of those crazy changes taking place in their brains—all the pruning going on.

Seriously…we just had a melt-down crying battle over hair on Monday.  I didn’t listen to this until Tuesday—MAN!  It would have really helped me as Mommy on Monday had I known a few of these reasons behind her reactions and how I aggravated it instead of helping her through it.

Anyhow, I guess what I’m really saying is this:  if you have a boy or girl either entering their teen years or are SMACK in the middle of them, this podcast will help you be a better and more understanding parent!

Enjoy the listen and be encouraged!

Xo B

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/focus-on-the-family/listen/understanding-your-teens-brain-i-597872.html

Becoming Diaper Free…Finally??? A potty blog for parents!

josephine favorite

Okay—I have an 11-year old.  She is diaper free.

Max is nearly 5.  He is diaper free.

Josephine is approaching 3 and 1/2.   As of last night, she is officially diaper free!

That’s old.  You may state.

That’s okay.  Another may add.

To both and each their own.

My little 3 year old is hilarious.  She has been advanced in walking and talking and eating and singing and bravery and living…

And not in pooping.  On the potty.

So much so that she would go for up and past 10 days, sometimes, without plopping a single drop.

One time, her constipation actually made her sick.  The doctor said—she just needs to poop.  Are you giving her anything to help her poop?

We were.  We had tried everything.  Foods, drinks, medicines…Bribery.  Tears.  Pulling out our hair.  And she still refused to poop.

Finally we had to goose the girl with a very uncomfortable czopek before she produced the results we needed — and her body immediately began to recover and heal.

Well—finally we were diaper free for pee and since she only pooped every 3-11 days, she would just tell us when she had to go.  Easy peasy pudding and pie…

Then our last pull-up disappeared one evening and we were too lazy to run to the store for more.

Josephine cried.

We cried.  (Ours, however, tears of ka-ching in our pockets—NO MORE DIAPER MONEY NEEDED)

And we refused to run and buy her a diaper.  Even when she had to potty.

Which, in our lives, was actually a really freaky thing.  We didn’t want her to be constipated.  We did not want her in pain.  We did not want to have to take her to the doctor or give her another czopek (glycerin tablet up the pupa).  We just wanted our little gal to be free.

Several days have passed since her last poopy—nerves were beginning in my mommy heart when last night—around 1am, I heard her cry out.

“Mommy, I need to pee!”

I ran into her room, raced her into the bathroom, and there she did.  HER FIRST EVER POOPY on the potty.

We immediately woke up daddy.  I am not sure he was as thrilled due to the insanely late hour of night—AND TODAY SHE RECEIVED A KINDER EGG!

A surprise for her surprise.

My friends.  If your children are a lot like my Josephine and have severe trouble pooping on the potty, please know that you are not alone.

It is a VERY hard road to walk down.

To some, it may seem like just a poop.  But to those of us in the situation, it is more that just a poop.  It is the health and well-being of our child…as well as sanity of our souls.

Give yourself a break.  Give your child a break.  And endure with great patience/pain and pray for the poop.

It’s okay to pray for the poop…

Just like it’s okay to cry when diapers are no longer in the budget 😉