One thousand gifts

1000 gifts

There are books which we read for pure pleasure and relax, to run away from  reality and travel to another worlds. We read it, put it away and go on another paper journey. There are, however, books that shake us up, destroy our world view and build foundation of a new one. Books, which we can’t shake off and to which we come back again and again.

Few months ago I came across a book by Ann Voskamp called “One thousand gifts”. On christian blogs and sites I read so much good about it that I knew I had to have it. I read it and absorbed her words about thanksgiving, about catching blessings of everyday life, about joy despite all.

Sa ksiazki, ktore czytamy dla czystej przyjemnosci czytania i wypoczynku, dla ucieczki od rzeczywistosci i podrozy w inny swiat. Przeczytamy, odstawiamy i ruszamy w nastepna papierowa podroz. Ale sa ksiazki, ktore nami wstrzasna, zburza nasz swiatopoglad i zbuduja fundamenty nowego. Ksiazki, z ktorych nie mozemy sie  otrzasnac i do ktorych wciaz wracamy.

Kilka miesiecy temu natrafilam na ksiazke Ann Voskamp “Tysiac darow”. Na blogach i stronkach chrzescijanskich przeczytalam tak wiele pochlebnych recenzji, ze musialam ja miec. Czytalam i chlonelam jej slowa o dziekczynieniu, o wylapywaniu blogoslawienstw kazdego dnia, o radosci mimo wszystko.

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Inspired by the book, I created my own Gift Diary, in which I write every day few pearls- moments that bring a smile to my face, things and events I am especially grateful for. Sometimes they are great things  like health, marital love, peace in our family, but usually they are those little every day gestures, views, smells, meetings, words.

Such a Diary is a list of things that make us happy. It is a wonderful way to practice happiness, to appreciate everything that is given to us on everyday basis. After few days we realize how full of goodness and little miracles our live is. But what’s most important, we notice how many of those things are gifts, God’s blessings, acts of love, created and given to us solely for our joy and pleasure. He is like the best lover, always looking to surprise and wow us.

Zainspirowana ta ksiazka, zalozylam wlasny “Dziekczynnik”, w ktorym codzien staram sie zapisac kilka perelek- chwil, ktore codzien przywoluja usmiech na mojej twarzy, rzeczy i zdarzen, za ktore jestem szczegolnie wdzieczna. Czasem sa to wielkie sprawy, jak zdrowie, milosc malzenska, pokoj w rodzinie, ale najczesciej malutkie codzienne gesty, widoki, zapachy, spotkania, slowa.

Taki dziekczynnik to lista rzeczy, ktore nas uszczesliwiaja. To cudowny sposob na cwiczenie sie w szczesciu, na docenianie wszystkiego, co jest nam dane i czym codzien jestesmy na nowo obdarowywani. Po kilku dniach zaczynamy sobie uswiadamiac, ile w naszym zyciu dobra, ile malych cudow. Ale, co najwazniejsze, zauwazamy, ile z tego to dary, boskie blogoslawienstwa, akty milosci, stworzone i dane nam wylacznie dla naszej radosci. Bog jest jak najlepszy kochanek, zawsze probujacy nas zaskoczyc i zadziwic. 

A gdy nadciagna czarne chmury, wystarczy siegnac po Dziekczynnik by wszystko wydalo sie znowu piekne i dobre.

Serdecznie polecam ksiazke i zabawe w wychwytywanie szczesliwych chwil.

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Summer reflections

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We’ve been back for few days now and even though it’s dark and pouring outside, good moods don’t leave us. Because there’s no place like home.

It’s always wonderful to visit my homeland, family and friends, but my home is here. Upon visiting Poland, I always face the same question from different people: if I wouldn’t like to move back to Poland. Well, believe it or not, I wouldn’t. I know to some, it sounds like heresy but this is the way I feel. It doesn’t make me less Polish. I was still raised on same books, cartoons, movies, jokes and food as any other Polish my age and so it is very easy for me to bond with other Polish here or anywhere. But I left Poland twelve years ago and all the most wonderful things in my life happened here and happen every day.

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I was so excited about the vision of spending full 6 weeks in my parents house, that I hadn’t thought how much I would miss Misi and our life together. That separation wasn’t easy on girls either. Anabel cried nearly every day and she told me : “No child should ever be away from her daddy for so long”. I don’t think we will ever do it again. But having said that, I’m glad we actually did it. Coming back to all I have, made me fall in love with it all over again. Not things, they’re just things. But my husband, my abilities and possibilities, things we do together, we grow or create, we go through.

It’s good to be home but enriched by those beautiful memories. Here my children don’t have granny and grandpa on daily basis, they don’t run wild in big gardens, meadows and fields, they don’t ride on wheelbarrows, spend weekends with cousins, explore garages, stables and barns, hang from trees, eat berries straight from bushes or plums straight from trees, don’t wake up to cock’s crowing, hardly ever see stars. Those are our Polish holidays treasures😉 .

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The damage is done

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Our visit to Poland was filled with visits of friends and family, but besides that, it was a rather calm time for us. Perhaps “calm” is not a right word to use to describe our holiday, or to describe anything related with Misike in that matter. He made sure we were never bored🙂  . My family is going to remember that visit for a long time.

During those 6 weeks in my family house, he managed to break a glass coffee table, a hoover pipe, a mop, six plates and few glasses, some utensils, my cousin’s car emblem, my nephew’s and his own toys. He kept unplugging tv, modem and other devices on daily basis, he turned on a blander with an open cap with smoothie inside causing unbelievable mess and learned to open front door by standing on stool or toys. We where busy, indeed😉 .

Luckily, in the mean time, he made everyone love him with his smiles and cuteness.

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Oh so graceful🙂

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The only toys he was interested in, were a lawnmower and a hoover

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Grandpa had to build a “fence” to keep him in the garden, away from the garage 

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Trampolines

We don’t own a trampoline. Misi and I talked about it few times, but we have so little garden space, that we feel it would simply be a shame to waste such big part of it on a trampoline. But who knows, maybe our kids will convince us some day. It is a fact that girls love jumping and any time we visit friends with trampolines, they’re sure to spend lots of time on them. So we were thrilled when Rosie’s godmother and my cousin- Weronika, took us to a trampoline park GoJump in Wroclaw. Girls had such grate time and if I didn’t have to look after Misike, I would gladly join them and jump out of few calories myself ,-) . Unfortunately, Misike had more interest in scaffolding and tools of a handyman doing some work in the building than in trampolines themselves. I think I still managed to burn few calories,though, trying desperately to keep my boy away from those tools  :-D .

 

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Electrified

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Wroclaw Zoo

Our time in Poland is slowly coming to an end. We have spent here full 6 weeks. Weeks full of noise, meetings and even little trips. On one of those trips girls were taken to Wroclaw Zoo by my parents. We have been to Wroclaw Zoo few times already but we hadn’t seen the famous africarium. And since Misike is simply to small and to energetic for zoos yet, he stayed at home with me.

My parents tell me, the Zoo belonged to Rosie on that day. Everyone inside could here her screams of excitement. And the one animal she absolutely wanted to see, was an anteater🙂 .

Though, when I asked girls afterwards, which animal they liked the most, they both answered :” cow!” . Apparently, they spent the most time at farm animals section with cows and goats. It’s so strange to me that my children need to go to a zoo to see a cow while I remember watching my grandma milk our cow on daily basis when I was their age.

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Hungary 2016

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As I had mentioned before, we went on holidays, we took a break from normality and due to limited access to internet I also took a break from blogging. But even though we still have some lazy time ahead of us, Hungarian adventure is past us. Even though we had visited Balaton many times before,  this holidays was filled with many new experiences. First horse ride, first bob ride, first visit to the circus, and for Misike first foreign trip, first flight and first bath in a lake. Luckily, he feels in water like a fish🙂 .

I was excited to go but also a bit anxious that with three little children in a new place, it would be more of work than rest because I still would have to keep my eyes on them, clean and wash every day. So I rebelled in the kitchen and announced that during holidays I wouldn’t cook. We ate delicious Hungarian langos all the time.

Jak wspominalam, zrobilismy sobie urlop, przerwe od normalnosci a ze wzgledu na ograniczony dostep od internetu, przerwe takze od blogowania. Ale, choc jeszcze troszke byczenia sie przed nami, to jednak wegierska przygoda juz za nami. Choc nad Balatonem bylismy juz wielokrotnie, byl to czas wielu pierwszych razy. Pierwsza przejazdzka konna, pierwszy zjazd bobem, pierwsza wizyta w cyrku, a dla Misike, pierwszy zagraniczny wyjazd, pierwszy lot samolotem i kapiel w jeziorze. Na szescie okazalo sie, ze czuje sie w wodzie jak przyslowiowa ryba🙂 . 

Cieszylam sie na ten wyjazd ale obawialam tez, ze z trojka dzieci na obcym gruncie, to bedzie dla mnie glownie praca bo nadal trzeba miec oczy dokola glowy, sprzatac i prac codzien. Zbuntowalam sie wiec w kuchni i zapowiedzialam, ze podczas wakacji nie gotuje. Zajadalismy wiec wegierskie langosze naokraglo🙂 .

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Anabel on Kocus

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Rosie on Mini

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Give it a go

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Today was a very exciting day for both girls. It was the last day of school for Anabel since we’re leaving for Hungary on Monday. She signed a card and gave presents to her teachers. She was both excited and upset. She got so attached to her teachers that realization that she won’t meet with them in September (since she will have a new teacher) made her cry. Only my promise that we will send them postcards from Hungary and Poland calmed her down.

Rosalie, on the other hand, is starting school from September and today she met with her new teacher and the class. I had to leave her there for 40 min and I was a little worried since she can be a bit shy and she is such a loner. But when I went to collect her, she didn’t want to leave. She’ll do just fine.

And since we got all Anabel’s work from past school year, I thought I’d share the best bits. They had a notebook called “Give it a go” in which they got to write their own stories every week. They could make up whatever story they wanted, just to practice writing. Most stories were about ponies and princesses but few were different.I had never seen that notebook before and when I opened it in a car while waiting for Rosie, it made me cry from laughter. Seriously, I had to fix my make-up before leaving the car. You have to read this.

Once upon a time there was a woman. She had too many kids, she did not know what to do.  So she gave them soup with nothing and gave them a kiss and sent them to bed.

Here is another one, with reference to Poland🙂 . It’s a good thing we will spend summer in Poland because it looks like Anabel has a very grim vision of our homeland.

Once upon a time there was a girl. Her name was Emma. She lived in a poor house and she lived in Poland. She worked very hard but they got little money. Emma said why don’t I get a new job? and then they got lots of money. the End

Teacher commented that she was happy for Emma🙂 .

And the last one is from the “weekly news” notebook . It’s not that funny but it’s, well, honest.

On Friday the 3rd of June we went to the church.The class and Claire and Ms X were there. We sat and genuflected when we found a seat. It was boring.

For last two weeks I have been packing and repacking us. Either I pack extra things because they seem absolutely essential, either I unpack them because I packed too much again. I am ready for all kinds of weather, from heat- wave to snow storm, because you never know🙂,  and all kinds of occasions, from weddings to funerals. And there’s an even more intensive weekend ahead of me of checking everything and most likely repacking again. Packing took Misi, though, less then 30 seconds: 2 t-shirts, 2 shorts and some underwear. Yet again, the differences in functioning of men and women hit me. Because there’s 3 hours of travel by car, then another 3 hours on the plane and again 2 hours or so in a car, thinking of girls, Misi is packing tablets, laptop and game console, while I  am printing games, tests, crosswords and coloring pages from printoteka.pl and superkid.pl. Gender differences are truly fascinating.😉

Dzisiejszy dzien byl niezwykle ekscytujacy dla obydwu dziewczynek. Byl to ostatni dzien szkoly dla Anabel poniewaz w poniedzialek wylatujemy na Wegry. Wypelnila kartke i podarowala prezenty nauczycielkom. Byla zarowno podekscytowana jak i smutna. Tak bardzo przywiazala sie do swoich nauczycielek, ze na mysl o tym, ze nie beda jej uczyc we wrzesniu (bedzie miala nowa nauczycielke), rozplakiwala sie. Jedynie moje zapewnienia, ze wyslemy im mase pocztowek z Wegier i Polski, ja uspokajaly.

Rosalie natomiast we wrzesniu zaczyna szkole i dzis miala spotkanie z nowa klasa i nauczycielka. Musialam ja zostawic sama z dziecmi i nauczycielka w klasie i troszke sie tego obawialam poniewaz Rosie bywa niesmiala i jest raczej samotnikiem. Kiedy jednak przyszlam ja odebrac, bawila sie w najlepsze i nie chciala wyjsc. Wiem, ze sobie poradzi.

A skoro dzis otrzymalismy wszystkie prace i notatki Anabel z calego roku, pomyslalm, ze podziele sie najlepszymi fragmentami. Jeden z notatnikow byl przeznaczony do kreatywnego pisania. Co tydzien dzieci pisaly krotkie, zmyslone przez siebie opowiadania. Chodzilo o praktyke pisania. Wiekszosc opowiadan bylo o ksiezniczkach i konikach pony ale kilka bylo innych. Nigdy wczesniej nie widzialam tego notatnika a gdy otworzylam go w samochodzie czekajac przed szkola na Rosie, poplakalam sie ze smiechu. Serio, musialam poprawiac makijaz przed wyjsciem z samochodu.

Dawno, dawno temu byla sobie kobieta. Miala za duzo dzieci i nie wiedziala co robic. Wiec dala im zupe z niczym i pocalowala i wyslala do lozek.

A tu kolejne, z odniesieniem do Polski. Dobrze, ze spedzimy lato w Polsce bo wyglada na to, ze Anabel ma bardzo ponura wizje naszej ojczyzny😀 . 

Dawno, dawno temu byla sobie dziewczynka. Miala na imie Emma. Mieszkala w biednym domu w Polsce. Pracowala bardzo ciezko ale mieli malo pieniedzy. Emma powiedziala dlaczego nie znajde nowej pracy? I potem mieli duzo pieniedzy. Koniec

Nauczycielka skomentowala, ze cieszy sie szczesciem Emmy🙂. 

Ostatnia notatka pochodzi z notatnika “Wiadomosci tygodnia”. Nie jest az tak zabawna, ale, coz, szczera.

W piatek 3-go czerwca poszlismy do kosciola. Byla tam  cala klasa, Claire i pani X. Po znalezieniu siedzenia, siedzielismy i kleczelismy. Bylo nudno.

Ja od dwoch tygodni, nas pakuje i przepakowuje. To dopakowuje rzeczy bo wydaja mi sie niezbedne, to wypakowuje, bo jak zwykle za duzo nabralam. Jestem przygotowana na wszystkie typy pogody, od upalow po sniezyce, bo kto wie🙂 oraz na rozne okazje, od slubow po pogrzeby . A przede mna jeszcze intensywniejszy weekend ostatecznego sprawdzania i zapewne kolejnej serii przepakowywania. Misiemu natomiast pakowanie siebie zajelo niecale 30 sekund: 2 t-shirty, 2 pary szortow, troche bielizny. Po raz kolejny uderzyly mnie roznice w funkcjonowaniu mezczyzn i kobiet. Poniewaz czeka nas 3 godziny jazdy samochodem, potem kolejne 3 godziny lotu samolotem i znowu jakies 2 godziny w samochodzie, Misi z mysla o dziewczynkach pakuje tablety, laptopa i konsole do gier podczas gdy ja drukuje zadanka, cwiczenia, krzyzowki, duble i kolorowanki z printoteka.pl  i superkid.pl . Roznice plciowe sa fascynujace🙂.