Your windowsill is important in Poland

parapetowka

Photo source

Your windows are your eyes to your world.  But a windowsill, in Poland, is so much more than that.

For example, when you move into a new home or apartment, in Poland, your windowsill becomes your welcoming table.

In fact, you throw a party BASED around your windowsill.  The party is even named after your windowsill.  It is called a parapetowka.  And this is what is involved:  welcoming drinks and snacks and more welcoming drinks.

What do I mean by welcoming drinks?  Well, in Poland, that generally means vodka.  I mean, it is Poland, right?!

If you are not big drinkers, no worries.  Set up juice on your windowsill and partner it with some salty sticks (or pretzels) and perhaps some cookies, too.

The entire point of the party is not the food, anyhow, it is the welcoming of your friends into your home.  Your new place where you will reside.

In fact, oftentimes, especially in the past, the parapetowka was when there wasn’t even a drop of furniture in the home.  Literally, no furniture.

You sat on the floor.  You had your snacks. You drank your drinks.  And you visited, with your friends, in your new home.

As uncomfortable as that may sound, when you are surrounded by friends, it completely makes up for the lack of cushions.

You are with those important to you in your home. Home is where the heart is. Hence your windowsills are the eyes to your heart, where, at your parapetowka, you see those most important to your heart and home.

***

How important is your windowsill in your life?  Does it hold any special meaning to you?  What about any other traditions that may help make your move into a new place a home?  I look forward to hearing back from you!

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Mombie Apocalypse 

You’ve all seen them.

You know they’re coming.

It’s not if.  It’s when.

There’s no stopping them. 

Ahhhhhhh!

It’s the Mombies!!!!

#mombiesgonnagetyou

But wait.  

You have time.  

First, they must: “Insert Coffee To Begin”

Next:  finish taking horrible Mombie selfies

In the end, these two things will give you a chance to flee. 

But not really.  

At your next recital or game or award ceremony or concert — or just even when you walk in the door from school with friends, these Mombies will be there.  Yes, perhaps, slightly better dressed and maybe even hair and makeup done — but plain ol’ embarrassing Mombies they will always be.

Well, basically it’s the #truth until you become a Mombie yourself.  And then we Mombies will buy you your very own T (shirt, that is).Welcome to the club!  

DISCLAIMER:  My children did not approve this picture or message.  Both mortify them (smile and wink).  Just doing my job, folks.  Doing my job. #mombievictory

My husband does not hear my voice. Proof!

  
My husband came in the door around midnight last night after an extremely long day of work.  I was so glad he was home to have a small spot of adult conversation before we went to bed.  You know that kind of conversation, it doesn’t revolve around, “Mom!  Watch me pee!  Mom!!!!  You’re not watching me!”  And since my littles are 3 and 5, this takes place approximately 1,234 times a day.  So, needless to say, even though it was midnight, I was sooooo happy he was home for a brief moment of adult conversation.

Well, that is—-until he started to speak.

You see, the thing is, I had always known my hubs didn’t listen to the words coming out of my mouth.  I just knew it—but his denial or reasoning always made me wonder if I actually said what I could have sworn I said.   

But last night changed everything for my husband.  He got caught.

Rich, the hubs, had to travel an hour home last night, and, so, during his hour, he called his parents.   We’re so thankful for this modern world of Internet and phone calls—you should have seen us in a foreign country during the days of phone cards and telephone booths.  Way different calling home.

Anyway, apparently he had a very enlightened conversation with his dad about something…

You see, we own a rather large plot of land in Poland that we are building into a ministry and retreat camping center.  It has a lot of grass/fields that need to be mowed.  We are thankful the former owner left us his old riding mower—but this thing is put together with tape it’s falling apart so badly.  Therefore, I have mentioned a million and one other ways for my husband to go about finding a good mower.  Including going to Germany to find a sturdy and proper one. 

In one ear and out the other.

Then my husband has one conversation with his dad, walks in at midnight, and declares, “My dad has a great idea!  I should look in Germany for a riding mower!”  

Poof and proof!

I knew he didn’t listen to the words coming out of my mouth.

But at least he still listens to somebody, eh?!  

Now, thanks to Grandpa George our Retreat center may actually be on its way to manageable one day.

No thanks, obviously, to me (smile and wink).

But, really, I’ll end with this—Ladies, just when you think they aren’t listening (yet again), be encouraged, “They aren’t.”  So if you really want to be heard, just get a man to say it.

The proof is in the mower.

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

Dzien Matki — Mother’s Day in Poland

I am pretty sure I just ate candy my son gave me from his grubby fingers—and I am not sure the last time he washed his hands.  Or went to the bathroom and forgot to wash his hands.  I am actually gagging a little bit right now.  Really.  My stomach is not feeling so well.  Hashtag “truemom”.  EATING NASTY GERMS FROM GRUBBY DIRTY FINGERS.  Sigh.

Therefore, let’s just say that I am VERY VERY VERY happy to be celebrating the upcoming day about ME in Poland.  Dzien Matki.  May 26th.  Mother’s Day.

In Poland, Mother’s Day is the same day year after year after year.  Kind-of like Women’s Day, Wigilia, your birthday, your anniversary, New Year’s … MOTHER’S DAY!  It is set in stone and NEVER GOES AWAY!

Kind of like our kids, eh????!!!! (smile and wink)

Anyhow, this upcoming Mother’s Day I think that I am going to set expectations for my kids:

  1.  I am going to expect for them to make me frustrated.
  2. I am going to expect for them to make a mess.
  3. I am going to expect for them to NOT leave me in peace when I have to pee OR merely pick up the phone—EVEN THOUGH, moments before, they had forgotten about the very existence of me.
  4. I am going to expect for them to cry over their hair styles or crust.  YES—the crust on their bread.
  5. I am going to expect for them to have a small accident in their underpants—just enough so that they will not want to wear the same pair and not enough to make a mess on the floor.  The in between stage of wet.  Enough, however, where they will then declare that they must STRIP NAKED and be.  For the rest of the day.
  6. I am going to expect for my toddler to wake me at 3am.  Or 5am.  Or 6am.  And not at all appreciate that they day is about ME!
  7. I am going to expect for the pre-teen (nastolatek) to give me grief.  I don’t know about what.  About the volume of my voice or the fact that SHE CANNOT WEAR MY SHOES.
  8. I am going to expect for them to fight and argue about the 1 block.  On the floor.  When there are 1 million and 12 other blocks right next to the 1 block.  And there are 500,000 of those 1 million and 12 blocks that are exactly the same as the 1 block that they are rowing over.
  9. I am going to expect them to stub their toes, blacken their eyes, break their teeth, or scrape their knees.  I know this because it will happen.  My three year old currently has a black eye and a huge forehead mark from tripping onto the training wheel bike tire and also falling on the side of the trampoline.  All in a day’s work.  So I am going to expect a trip to the hospital, a broken bone, or a bandaged knee.  It will happen.
  10. And, lastly, I am going to expect a gazillion times over for them to tell me that they “Love me the most!”  And fight over it.  And cuddle me.  And then fight over cuddling me.  And then fight once again about who loves Momma the most.  Because it will happen.  I expect it.

And number 10 makes up for 1-9.

As I expect it should.

So, you see, Mother’s Day in Poland is really no different than Mother’s Day anywhere else in the world.  If you come from a dirt floor or a mansion that touches the sky, being MOM is full of a million and one expectations that always start with DISASTER…But that one moment (#10) will make up for all of the tornadoes that will come in and hijack your day.

In the end, however, you don’t mind.  Because it’s a nice feeling.  Being mom.

But NOT eating the grubby food from their fingers.  Leave that behind on Dzien Matki.  I am pretty sure that is not a nice feeling.

Not at all.

Happy Mother’s Day from Poland to YOU!

Eyebrows Make A Man…

the crazy naked littles

Okay, we have had a lot of laughs on this particular blog site about eyebrows.  I, alone, am a living, walking, talking, breathing eyebrow failure of a woman.  BUT TODAY…today it was all about a lesson my son was teaching my youngest daughter.  And, I am willing to bet, it’s a lesson that YOU, AS WELL, didn’t even know 😉

Maxwell (age 4), sitting at our lovely farmhouse renovated table, messy hair, and slightly hoarse morning voice, eating the “talking” cereal with his little sister, GoGo Bean (aka Josephine Diane), looked excitedly at her and proclaimed, “JOSEPHINE!!!!!  You’re growing EYEBROWS!  Soon you’re going to turn into a MAN!”

And as excited as he was for Josephine to turn into a man, this newfound knowledge did not sit as well with his 3-year-old sister who then proceed to cry, “I DON’T WANT EYEBROWS!”

Entertainment abounds, my friends…

Even in the art of eyebrows!