My Average Child…

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“Average Ada” age 2 at the NLC

Keep soaring, our girl!

I can seriously not stop laughing.  My daughter, my firstborn, my pride and utter joy has written two different things that she would like me to help edit.  The first is part one of a children’s book—seriously the cutest book ever.  Can’t wait to share it with you here!

And then.  Then there is her resume.  My daughter is saving all of her gift and babysitting money to buy a phone.  But, as we all know, phones are very expensive.  Well, my little ray of sunshine, my decade plus 2 daughter, will see her Nana and Papa for a few weeks this summer, so she has decided to submit a resume for them.  On her resume, which I won’t share the entire thing, she wrote:  Average student.  If that was not brutally honest enough, the rest would make you laugh out loud.

Things such as:  Good at—Loving her grandparents.  And so much more.

My “Average Daughter” is just so ABOVE AVERAGE in the good feels department!

And, to be fair to her, she studies in the Polish language, all her subjects.  So those average grades are really QUITE impressive for me 😉  Her father and I will take them, at least!  I can barely help her study for her History or Science tests (no smile and wink here).

Oh, my average daughter, I love you so average PLUS much!

Thanks for bringing sunshine to my EVERY DAY!!!!!!!

 

It’s amazing when life comes full circle!

richard and jarek_together!!!!!!

This beautiful soul with my husband is one of my favorite people in the entire world.  And I know a lot of people all over the world.

This man, let’s call him the English name Jared, hugging Richard is one of the FIRST men that ever walked into our soup kitchen in Poznan, well over a decade ago.  LONG before I even had my first child (and she is a decade plus 2).

In fact, after we returned with Adelyne to Poznan/Poland, at around 5 weeks old, bringing her to our soup kitchen around 6-10 weeks old, HE was actually one of the first to hold our baby.  At our soup kitchen.  In Poland. It was the Holy Start soup kitchen (HS closed a couple years ago).

This beautiful soul that ALWAYS brightened my every day that I saw him…He is now the AMAZING volunteer at an unbelievable SOUP BUS located in Poznan, Poland, with the charity christianer.org … (find them on Facebook—it will BRIGHTEN your life)

Isn’t it AWESOME how you can watch one man go from served to SERVING!

Life — in full circle — makes my heart burst with joy.  Tears. Happiness.  And just an overwhelming sense of #itiswell .

It truly is.

It is well, with my soul.

Jared reminds me of that!

May Jared be your reminder to always invest in the beauty and hearts of others.  Your full circle will come.  And it IS worth it!

God bless.

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

“Everyone has a need to serve others…”

“Everyone has this need to serve others.  And, to me, Bread of Life gives me opportunity to accomplish this desire.”

Monika Bacik, project coordinator, Betlejem z Bread of Life 

When I write for And 2 Makes Crazy, I write, for the large majority of the time, about my personal family life or issues that deal with my family personally.

I usually leave the church my husband has been pastoring for the last 17 years out of the blog posts (Poznan International Church).

I hardly speak of our work to help Rescue the Forgotten around the world…

But I want to share with you this.

Why now?

Well, part of what makes the 2 of us actually crazy is the fact that as newlyweds, at 25 years of age, we started a foundation in a foreign country that began to rescue the forgotten individuals left and alone on the streets and in the train stations of Poland after decades of communism and extreme unemployment, suffering from horrible drinking problems that also left them in states of complete hopelessness.

This foundation was started with the mere fact that we could feed them bread for a day, but we wanted to give them love for a lifetime.  And we believe with our entire core that love comes from Jesus.

But we were not fools.  In a post-communist country where weather falls below freezing for months upon end, we knew that love was good for the heart and soul—and food for the body.  So we incorporated both.  On top of loving them with all of our hearts because Jesus loves us, we also fed and clothed and opened a home for individuals on the street—hoping to meet their very physical needs so that they would be safe and warm and fed and realize that their precious lives were worth fighting for.

Years later, our foundation serves consistently in 3 countries (Poland, Moldova, and Ivory Coast) and has been built up to more than just serving the homeless and forgotten.

Today we also focus on education and medical.  We focus on counseling and families—for the children and mothers or fathers lives.

We focus on people.

How can we best help people?

By doing all we can in their times of greatest needs!

This video shows a program in the city of Poznan that does just that.  We fight alongside of 3 precious warrior heroes: Ania, Artur, and Klaudyna.  We fight alongside of their families, and we let them know that their battles are Everest, but we are there to walk beside them to provide the oxygen they need to conquer their mountains!

And that is what we do.  365 days a year.  For the past 17 years.

We walk.  We climb.  We keep going.

Humanity without Barriers…to help the smallest to the oldest.  The most frail to the most lost.  To know that they are not forgotten.

Their lives are worth fighting for … And we will walk next to them in their battles!

Enjoy the Poznan Betlejem z Bread of Life video of one amazing day where we fought for 3 children by collectively coming together as a city to raise funding for 3 precious warrior heroes!

And find us on Facebook to like and follow to keep up with what is going on in the world around us and how you can get involved and help out:  https://www.facebook.com/boflministries

Thank you!

Brooke HJ Nungesser, Co-Founder Bread of Life International

 

 

THEM…Campaign THEM!

what so special about you

It’s fitting that today, as we work in Kalisz to raise money for precious children fighting for their lives, that this blog memory popped up on my Facebook page:  Campaign THEM!

Here’s a portion…I really hope that you will read more and be encouraged!  xoxo b

…I studied Special Education in college.  When I became a teacher and it was time for the awards ceremony at the end of the year, I realized that none of my students would ever receive a special award from the school based on the school’s criteria.  After all, the school demanded great grades, superb attendance, active participation in school functions/sports/clubs/so forth, wonderful behavior.  As the list went on and on and on I realized that not a single student of mine would meet any of that criteria.
Why?
Because—they were crack babies or FAS kids.  They suffered from brain damage or constant epileptic seizures.  They had such severe learning disabilities that they couldn’t even read or spell rat/cat/bat/fat in the 7th grade.  Some smelled so badly, it was required they took showers upon entering school premises in the nurse’s office for their sakes.  And, to be honest, the behavior of many of them was more gangster than Dangerous Minds.
Yet, to me, each and every one was so extremely and uniquely special.  Don’t get me wrong.  Many afternoons, when the school bell dismissed the swarm of teenagers, I sat behind my desk crying—amazed that I made it through another foul language-laced day filled with fights and security escorting students from my room.  There were even times I wondered if the student was going to or planning on harming me. 
And, still, each and every student remained special.  Somehow, in some way, I was able to look beyond what they had become to what they could potentially have in store.  In a sense, I felt as if I was the only one at times to think this way…

A picture really does speak a thousand words…

photo for blog

Here are 20,000 words for you…

May we remember that what will be seen are NOT just stories in the news but lives of people in them.

If only we could do more.  Alas, please, without ANY hesitation, do what you can.  There is so much need around the world, find what ignites your heart on fire and help as much as you can.

May your life speak more than a thousand words…

xoxoxo,

b

Click here and share to see 20 photographs of the year found on The Guardian:  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/dec/26/the-20-photographs-of-the-year