Bucket List? Become a Musher!

Mushing Nungessers

Okay.  So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher.  And really figure out what it meant.  I mean, we went dog sledding.  That one is obvious.  Musher.  I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right?  That sounds like a musher.  You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.

Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!”  Making me a Musher Mommy, right?

Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong.  Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.

So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.

Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are:  Richard (the dad), Adelyne (the decade plus two eye roller), Maxwell (the Half-Musher as he helped the Main Musher French Fred), and Me (Brookie—the Mommy Musher).  Josephine was not a Musher.  She was a Musher’s company—meaning that she was plopped into her daddy’s front part of his sled and got to enjoy the VERY bumpy ride.  Good thing Daddy Musher did not tip, eh?!

Anyhow, dog sledding was an absolute and lovely blast that I highly recommend for all!

You first have to arrive where all of the dogs are chained up (just like in Iron Will) and then prepare with the instructions of driving your sled.  Let me tell you, I nearly wanted to be a passenger after the mini-Mushing-class (kid you not timid smile and nervous laugh inserted here).

Our instructor, Elizabeth got out a sled and said, “OKAY!  Here is your brake.  It is VERY important.”

Yes, Elizabeth—you were SO right!  Holy COW!!!!  Know how to use your brake!

Then she said, “ALWAYS hold onto your sled.  IF YOU LET GO, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO RUN AFTER THEM…In the mountains.  In the snow. ”

BRRRRR.  And, NO THANK YOU.  I don’t even run after my own children, much less DOGS!

Finally she said, “BE THE BOSS!”

Yeah, right!

Easy for a lady that WAS the boss of the dogs.

But, in the end.  She was right.  You had to be the boss or those crazy huskies would roll around on the snow and want to go whichever way the butterfly traveled.

Okay—so there weren’t really butterflies considering it was like 19F, but, whatever.  Those dogs were hilarious.

Therefore, not only did you have to be “The Boss” (Sorry, Springsteen) of the dogs, you HAD to…Like a MUST…know the lead dog’s name.  Without that name, the dogs following were like, “La-di-da-da-da!”

With the lead dog’s name and a rowdy, “Let’s go, Chaussettes (Socks),” the others would pop up and follow your Socks (literally, the name of my dog in French was Socks). Which would then give you an opportunity to “Woo-hoo” while holding on tight—at times, bending the knees for the little “pop” over the crazy hill so you could feel like you were a true Musher and sway with the sled (lest you fall off and then are dragged while HANGING on so your dogs don’t run away for like…ever).

And there you have it.  You have officially become a Musher. For an hour.

And the hour goes FAR TOO QUICKLY.  And you wish you had the whole day. And you loved every minute although you and your family laughingly recall the moments you almost went over the railing of the bridge or smashed into the tree or tilted to the extreme sideways as your dogs did not stay on the path but crossed the icy hill ahead of you to take a shortcut.  Those lazy dogs (smile and wink for the feistiness of the husky).

Yes.  All things that pretty much happened in your hour as a professional Musher.  Or your professional Bucket List kicker!

Which is, after all, what you just did!  Filled and kicked that Bucket List right up with an awesome experience that your GoPro actually recorded so you have evidence of every “Woo Hoo” and “WATCH OUT FOR THE BRIDGE” moment.

Life with children can sometimes be mundane.  Messy. Tiring. And well…a million other things.

But life with a Bucket List and littles keeps life #fresh and #exciting and #exhilarating.

And Mushing.  Yes, I recommend putting that one on your list.

As long as you #hangontight!

The beats of my heart!

Life can be lived in the simple moments of family and nature, enjoying two of God’s priceless gifts.

I reflect, and often, on how my life was once full of sorrow at the hope destroyed of a baby we lost, bitterness at a marriage struggling, fear of a son dying, and exhaustion that it all never seemed to end. Seasons that seemed to toil forever.

Then I see these perfect mountains and I count 3 perfect children and I see a man I admire most on this earth and I realize that time can pull you through all things.

And God was there, steadfast, through it all.

Silence and struggle does not erase quiet, infinite care.

God bless you and yours, our friends, in your seasons of life.

#hisloveenduresforever #greatishisfaithfulness

Record the delights in your heart


I pulled out a journal that my mom sent me for my 40th birthday the other day.  There is so much for me to write and see and say, and I wanted to begin to record.

But pulling out my journal brought me back to the last several years of my life and marriage.

If you have followed this blog since its inception 3 years ago, you would know that my husband and I have had to work really hard at our marriage.

One point, while we were receiving professional help, my husband was journaling.  It was a good thing.  Yet is was a VERY depressing thing.

While it was both cathartic and healing—it was just SO SAD!

And every time I read it, it was hard to read.

Hard times in life are hard.  And we need to share them with someone we trust—but that doesn’t make it easy.

So when I pulled out my journal…during a hard day of just being me, being mommy, being wife, I decided to do something different.

I decided that I was going to write about the joys of my day.  And while my children sat screaming and crying and throwing fits, I remembered that ONE moment of the day where they were pure joy—

And I wrote that.

And I giggled while I wrote.

And I shared with my husband what I wrote.

And we smiled.

Through the tears, through the difficulties, through the hard—we smiled…because, really, there was something to smile about.

Take for example, my family photo above.  My 2-year-old delight (sarcasm inserted here) cried and pouted and shouted throughout our entire photo session.  She was tired.  She was sleeping.  And she is two.  TWO.  That, in itself, is an answer for everything 😉

She did not want to smile for any photo.  It was impossible.  And as much as we tried, we just could not get that ideal and dreamy family photo that I had envisioned on the drive to the palace gardens where we were taking photos.

So we had to come to the conclusion to either leave her out of photos or just go with the flow.

And we did both.

When she wasn’t in the photos, we clicked magnificence.

When she was, we just had so much fun with her two year old pouty expressions…capturing not perfection but real life.

At the end of the day, when the gardens were about to be locked up, we wandered to the exit and just let the children run and play.  After all, they could get dirty now that mom had what she wanted.  That is when the sun actually came out.

No, dusk was on the horizon, but our 2-year-old Josephine ran and played and laughed and smiled.

And that is when my husband took back out the camera that he had already packed away and started to shoot.

And that’s when we saw her smile.

You know…It’s good to record life.  The ups and downs and all arounds.

But sometimes we especially need to record the joys—because they remind us to smile!




Advent Activity #2: Wild Travels!


My passport is not too exciting.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a few stamps in it—after all, I do live in a foreign country.  But, for the most part, the places stamped are few and not what I would consider exotic—You know—where I have to travel on the back of an elephant, crossing a river, going uphill, and sleeping under the stars eating insects kind of fun!

Most of my traveling, as much as I might complain, is done very modernly—via car, train, or airplane.  Only on a few occasions have my travels included boat or parachute 😉

Can’t forget the flying car, too.

BUT—I did travel internationally at 35 going on 36 weeks pregnant with Adelyne via airplane.

I was huge.  An elephant had nothing on me.  I was uncomfortable.  And I was ready to burst.

Yet I hopped on an airplane and went over the ocean, across an entire continent, and landed in Arizona where I later popped out my first baby.

I did not have to have my baby in Arizona—I wanted to.  After all, it was my first baby, and I thought it would be really nice to have my first baby close to my family.

But, let me reiterate, I chose to have my first baby in Arizona.  Therefore, I chose to travel.  And despite my backside being bigger than the coach seat, at least it was not a donkey, right?

Can you imagine traveling while pregnant—via donkey?  I can’t.  Yet that is most likely how Mary traveled.

Which leads us to Advent Day #2:  The Journey!  

What you can have out if you so choose:  

a world map

a map of a place where you’ve been or traveled to

a passport to look at the countries and stamps

Materials you do need:



Coloring crayons or markers or paint

Printed Materials

Or blank paper

Before we get to the Scripture for the Day…

Part 1:

Before we read, as you are gathered as a family, take turns asking and answering the following question:

Where were you born?  Where were your parents born?  Your grandparents?  

Do you know your family’s heritage?  Where they came from?  Or what family they came from?  Do you have any royalty in your family line? 

There is a great chance that each member in your immediate family was born in a different place.  After all, I have 3 children, and they were all born in different cities or countries.  And I know my maternal grandma’s mom was born in Baja territory.  So the fun you will all have discovering where you come from will be great.  Quite a geography lesson, too!

Once everyone has had a chance to answer (or at least help the little ones answer), you can move on.

Part 2:

Tell your children that you are going to read Scripture today from Luke 1:1-5 and it is going to talk about a LOT of things, so keep their ears sharp for:

Caesar, Census, Roman World, Register, Nazareth, Bethlehem, House of David

Read Luke 1:1-5 (or have one of your children read)

Ask the kids:

Back then, Caesar Augustus was in charge of The Roman World and wanted to take a Census.

Who is in charge of your country?  What country is that?  Do you know what a Census is?

Explain that Census is something taken to record information of each person in the country/land.  For example:  How many women live in your country?  How many men?  How many children live in your home?   For fun, you can take a quick family census—and also throw in fun questions like:  If you had to choose your favorite color of the rainbow, what would it be—and record the results; favorite ice cream; favorite day of the week—just some silly but fun questions. In fact, one person could be the Census Taker 😉

Ask your children if they are registered somewhere?  Tell them that they are!  In fact, as soon as they were born, it was one of the first things you had to do for them.

If you have more time, you could have your kids fill out a registration form for you about them or about their pet or their favorite toy.  It could include:  Name; Date of Birth; Place of Birth; Mother’s Name; Father’s Name; Favorite Color; Eye Color; Hair Color; Favorite Food;  What Makes Them Giggle; What Makes Them Scared; Their Favorite Thing To Do…and so forth.  Or you could put your family name on a piece of paper at the top and then each member of the family answers the next order—so you’ll have a fun but funny family registration of all of your personalities.


Ask the children what they bring when they travel somewhere (Maybe a special pillow or stuffed animal.  Maybe they’ll say clean clothes).  Ask “When you travel, do you pack a big bag with too much stuff or a small bag with not very much?  Do you ever have to pack food? ”

Let them take turns answering what they would bring.

After you get a few answers out of them, you can produce this sheet and ask them what they believe Mary and Joseph brought with them on their travels:  Mary and Joseph’s Traveling Bag

Do this activity sheet together.

Following this activity, ask them the following:

Would you like to travel via donkey?

Do you think it would be safe?

Do you think it would be fun?

Fast travels or slow travels?

Bumpy or smooth travels?

Do you think it would be smelly?

Where do you think they had to park their donkey at night?

Do you think you would get “donkey sick” like people get carsick?

How do you think Mary felt during her travels?

Do you think she had a choice to travel or not to travel?

Do you have a choice when you travel?

Do have a favorite time when you traveled somewhere?  What was it?

Then you can end with the following if you choose:

Have your children pray and thank God for their family, and ask God to protect them each and every day as they travel.  Thank God that Joseph and Mary were obedient to Caesar’s request to travel for the Census because then what was foretold in the Old Testament and the place of the Messiah’s birth came to fruition (of course, use words for your children’s levels).

After you pray, they can choose one or all of the activities:  

Road to Bethlehem Word Unscramble

Road to Bethlehem Word Find

Road to Bethlehem Crossword

Road to Bethlehem Coloring Sheet

Or, if you don’t want to do the coloring sheet, you could have blank paper and art materials and fun supplies (or old newspapers or magazines they could use) and everyone could make their favorite place where they have travelled.

After everyone is done, you could share or post them on a nearby window or cabinet for the Season.

Hope you have fun with Day 2—but, don’t feel as if you need to do these back to back.  In fact, i will probably only do 3 things a week.

Up next will be SNOW for Advent Day 3.  Make sure you come back to have some “Snow Day Fun” with us!



My Sweet Littles Saying Their Prayers and Dancing on Couches!

You must think that I only have two children with the fact that only Josephine and Maxwell appear to be in my videos.  Sometimes I feel as if I only have two children.  But I actually have three:  Sweet Adelyne, as well.  It’s just that, at 9 years of age, Sweet Adelyne has the most social of social calendars of ANYONE I know.  Not just of 9 year olds. Of anyone—9 or 90—that I know.

It’s awesome fabulous—because, you know, we live in this foreign land called Poland.  And it’s awesome fabulous that my daughter is not a foreigner in this foreign land—she is a Pole.  A proud one.  And she lives her life as a full-blown Polish gal.  Romping, playing, going to school, studying, extra curricular activities, and so forth.

She breathes White and Red.  I am so thankful to God for that!

But that also means when I am at home being Mommy 24/7…(last night daddy actually was home and by 6pm, so we had family pizza night.  twas awesome!)…


Anyhow…As I play this magical and amazing role of Mommy 24/7, I tend to video those subjects most around me:  Which would continue to explain the absence of Adelyne and Richard 🙂  Neither tend to be around me that often…

Hmmm?????  Perhaps it’s me?!  Haha!

Once again, I really hope you enjoy the videos of the Littles that steal my every moment—even my potty breaks.  But they fill my life with such amazing miraculous wonder, I can’t help but love my every minute.

Here continues the sweet adventures of my Littles, Jo and Max!  Enjoy.

GoGo, will you dance with me?  Asks her awesome Big Bro Maxwell!

Trying to get two toddlers that share a room to settle down and pray is oh so stinking sweet!

I walk into the living room and find Max on top of the couch dancing to Christmas music (yes—we’ve been playing it ever since the chill hit the air!).

I wish you all well and lots of warm love, Christmas music, and overall contentment with where God has placed you in life.

xo for now,


Laundry Mountain and Maxwell with his pretty shoes.

When you have one boy and two girls, you will most likely see your boy dressing as a girl than the other way around.  Now, mind you, he will have a wooden sword in one hand while prancing in pretty silver shoes at the same time.

But you do see his Batman underwear, right?

It’s like he’s all boy — with a dainty side 😉

Anyhow, I thought you may enjoy my laundry adventures with Max and Jo.  Which pretty much means I get no laundry done.

But I get the moments of love with my kids (although I am sure Josephine was feeling a little too loved tonight).

Have a great day and enjoy the episodes of Laundry Mountain!

xo b

Laundry Mountain and Maxwell Pretty Shoes!

Snow angels in the clothes!

GoGo my special sister!  Declares Maxwell.  Jo does NOT feel the love tonight 😉

I am a SAHM.  I should get used to it.

I am a working mom—yet find myself home nearly every day with my kids.  And it’s glorious but not glamorous.

I had a lot of fun one day documenting segments of my day with my kids.

Here is my glorious but definitely not glamorous life.

Get popcorn!


What you do for your children’s critters!

Is Cami finally happy 😉 ?  Nah.

Two kittens found their way into our basement.  The kids were thrilled!

Seriously—my bald baby has no idea how disgustingly dirty our basement floor actually is.  Gag!

If I wasn’t already the overly tired nearly 40 yr old mother of toddlers—I would have more energy for this 😉

Yes…to reiterate—I am wearing clothes.  Just meant I couldn’t head outside because was too chilly for my basketball shorts, tank top, and flip flops 😉

I actually filmed so many more but they refused to download.  Perhaps it was an electronic rebellion,eh?!

God bless—and kiss those crazy babies.  Glamorous or glorious—all moments are treasures.

Xo b