December

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I always await Advent and Christmas with great excitement. It’s my absolutely most favorite time of year.

Zawsze z wielka ekscytacja oczekuje adwentu i okresu swiatecznego. To moj absolutnie ulubiony czas w roku.

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This time I had a vision of how much time I would spend studying Bible and praying, how many new delicious recipes I’d try  and how I’d decorate our house. However, in reality, it was a very exhausting month because, apart from usual duties, every day we had some family activities from advent calendar , we read Bible with Jesse tree decorations, we baked gingerbread cookies and houses few times with girls’ friends and an elf on the shelf came to spend  Advent with us, who did lots of mischief.

Tym razem mialam wizje tego jak wiele czasu bede spedzac na studiowaniu Biblii i wszelakich praktykach modlitewnych, ile nowych wspanialosci upichce i jak udekoruje dom. W rzeczywistosci jednak byl to bardzo wyczerpujacy miesiac, poniewaz oprocz zwyklych obowiazkow, codzien mielismy jakies rodzinne zadania z kalendarza adwentowego, czytanie Pisma swietego z dekorowaniem drzewa Jessego, kilkakrotnie wypiekalysmy pierniczki i chatki z piernika z kolezankami dziewczynek i odwiedzil nas elf z bieguna polnocnego, ktory bardzo psocil wokol domu.

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Advent calendar and Jesse tree have been our traditions for years now. This year, though, for the first time, just for fun, while Anabel still believes in Santa, we had an elf on the shelf. Luckily, internet is full of inspirations for elf. I must admit, that evening preparations of elf’s mischief gave Misi and me lots of joy and brought lots of laughter. We called our elf Snowflake. Girls favorite elf’s activities included rope gliding, stealing money from piggy banks, wrapping their backpacks with wrapping paper and decorating toilet with Christmas lights. We all laughed the most when Snowflake took Rosie’s tooth from underneath her pillow and left a letter that she saved the tooth from some naughty fairy who tried to steal it 😀 .

Kalendarz adwentowy i drzewo Jessego sa juz nasza kilkuletnia tradycja. W tym roku, dla zabawy, dopoki Anabel jeszcze wierzy w Swietego Mikolaja, ugoscilismy elfa. Na szczescie internet pelen jest zbawnych pomyslow na psoty elfa, z ktorych chetnie korzystalismy. Musze przyznac, ze wieczorne przygotowania owych psot przynosily mi i Misiemu niesamowicie wiele radosci i smiechu. Nazwalismy naszego elfa, a wlasciwie elfetke 😀 Snowflake( Platek Sniegu). Do najulubienszych przez dziewczynki psot nalezaly: zjezdzanie elfa po linie, kradniecie monet ze skarbonek w masce, opakowanie plecakow w papier prezentowy, owiniecie toalety swiatecznymi swiatelkami. Najwiecej smiechu bylo jednak, gdy Snowflake zabrala w nocy Rosie zeba spod poduszki i zostawila list, ze przepedzila wrozke zebuszke, ktora probowala ukrasc zab :-D. 

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For the first time we went to Santa experience and we were very impressed with it. I had expected it to be a short visit, something like Santa’s grotto but it turned out to be so much better. All experience consisted of visiting few rooms. So we got to pet Santa’s reindeer in a stable, ride on Santa’s sleigh, see how elfs sort letters from children in a mail room and of course, we met with Santa who gave us some toy presents. Anabel pointed out to elfs that there shouldn’t be any penguins there as they live in the South not North pole.  Poor elfs had to come up with some quick excuse for penguin’s presence 😀 .

                Po raz pierwszy pojechalismy na santa experience i bylismy pod wielkim wrazeniem. Myslalam, ze bedzie to krotka wizyta, cos w stylu grotto Mikolaja a tymczasem bylo na prawde super. Cale doswiadczenie skladalo sie z kilku pokoi, kazdy stylizowany na inne pomieszczenie Mikolaja. Poglaskalismy renifery w stajniach, przejechalismy sie saniami Mikolaja, zobaczylismy jak elfy sortuja listy od dzieci i oczywiscie spotkalismy sie z samym Swietym mikolajem, ktory podarowal nam zabawkowe prezenty. Anabel zwrocila uwage jednemu z elfow, ze wsrod zwierzat nie powinno byc pingwinow bo te zamieszkuja biegun poludniowy a nie polnocny. Biedne elfy musialy sie jej tlumaczyc skad sie wzial tam pingwin. 

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Eventually, just before Christmas, me and Misike got sick so we had to cancel Christmas meetings with friends. From time perspective I think that it was a blessing because I was forced to slow down and  take care of myself. In the end I spent Christmas just like I always wanted to, with books and family games.

                     Ostatecznie na same swieta ja i Misike sie rozchorowalismy wiec bylismy zmuszeni odwolac swiateczne spotkania z przyjaciolmi. Z perspektywy czasu, mysle jednak, ze ta choroba byla blogoslawienstwem bo bylam zmuszona zwolnic tempa i zadbac o siebie. Ostatecznie spedzilam czas tak jak zawsze chcialam, wsrod ksiazek i gier rodzinnych.

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June

June is crazy this year. It started with rain, as usual. Kids had time of their life playing with gigantic paddles and I let them jump until their gummy boots were full of water and we had  to squeeze water from socks and trousers before entering home.

All short sleeves and sandals were packed already waiting impatiently for July and our holidays in Poland and Hungary where they definitely will be of some use. But the weather played a trick on us and we had few amazing days when temperature reached 29°C. We even got burned, which is nearly impossible in Ireland 😀 .

On days like those, Ireland is perfect place to live being surrounded with seas and the ocean because beach is never far away 😉 .

Czerwiec w tym roku szalony. Rozpoczal sie jak zwykle deszczowo. Dzieciaki zwariowaly bo mega kaluze i pozwalalam im skakac, ze az przed wejsciem do domu musielismy wode z kaloszy wylewac i skarpety wykrecac. Pralka pelna. 

Wszystkie krotkie rekawki i sandaly spakowalam juz do walizek bo zaraz lipiec i wakacje w Polsce i na Wegrzech wiec tam sie chociaz przydadza. A tu pogoda splatala nam milego psikusa i przez kilka dni temperatura dochodzila do 29°C.  Spalilismy sie nawet, o co w Irlandii nie latwo 😀 . 

W takie dni jak te, Irlandia jest swietnym miejscem do mieszkania bo otaczaja ja morza i ocean wiec plaza jest zawsze gdzies w poblizu 😀 .

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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 :-).

Too hot to blog

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We’re counting days to our Hungarian-Polish holidays this year. Even though we have few more weeks to go, I feel one leg there already 🙂 . I can’t focus on our daily routine, I don’t feel like cooking or cleaning, I even started packing. Girls are not themselves either. Anabel is jealous Rosie doesn’t have to go to school anymore, Rosie asks every day if today is the day we’re going to Hungary. Luckily, it’s much easier to wait when the weather is so merciful to us.

We took kids to Funderland for the first time ever. After the first ride on a jungle river, they didn’t want to go on anything even slightly above the ground. Even one of the workers couldn’t stop laughing at them when after sitting in a caterpillar mini roller coaster wagon and realizing that tracks went up and down they unstrapped themselves and run away with panic in their eyes. The best part to me was candy cotton. I know it’s practically cloud of sugar  but I can’t control myself :-).

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After two years of living in this house, we have only recently discovered this beautiful place just behind our estate. It’s so quiet, rural and green. And you can see an old Celtic cemetery just meters away.

 

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But the moments I like the most are those spent in the backyard.

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Hey, that’s my fish!

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Some of my most beautiful childhood memories are playing board games, cards and dices with my parents. Well, actually, we had only one board game- ludo, but we spent endless hours playing it. And there was only one rule- I had to win or, otherwise, my parents were risking a major tantrum 😀 .

When Misi and I were engaged, we played monopoly, risk or even twister on date nights in. By then I had got over myself and let him win once in a while without a tantrum 😉 .

Today,  there are not many things I collect (except for books and cookie cutters) but our board games collection is steadily growing. They are our favorite way of spending time together. And since auntie Ania’s partner owns a game shop mag planszowy , she is our major supplier 🙂 . Lately, she surprised us with “Hey, that’s my fish!” and immediately it’s become Anabel’s favorite.

You get to build your board by joining hex-shaped ice tiles with fish on them. Then you move your penguins among tiles in straight lines trying to collect as many fishes as possible. Meantime, you try to block other players. Winner is the player with the most fishes. It’s fun and it teaches counting and strategy thinking.

Jedne z najpiekniejszych wspomnien z mojego dziecinstwa to chwile spedzone na grach planszowych, grach w karty i kosci z moimi rodzicami. Wlasciwie, mielismy tylko jedna gre planszowa- chinczyka, ale gralismy w niego godzinami. Byla tylko jedna zasada- ja musialam wygrac, bo inaczej rodzice ryzykowali wybuchem placzu 😀 .

Kiedy zareczylismy sie z Misim, podczas randek domowych gralismy w monopol, ryzyko a nawet twistera. Do tego czasu wyroslam juz z placzu po przegranej i czasem pozwolilam mu wygrac bez focha 😉 . 

Dzis niewiele jest rzeczy, ktore kolekcjonuje (poza ksiazkami i foremkami do wykrawania ciastek) ale nasza kolekcja planszowek regularnie sie powieksza. Sa nasza ulubiona forme spedzania czasu razem. A ze mamy chody u cioci Ani, ktorej partner jest wlascicielem sklepu mag planszowy , zawsze nas czyms zaskoczy. Ostatnio podarowala nam “Hej to moja ryba”, ktora Anabel natychmiast obwiescila swoja ulubiona gra.

Samemu budujesz plansze z szesciokatnych kier lodowych z 1-3 rybami na nich. Nastepnie przesuwasz swoje pingwiny w prostej lini probujac zebrac jak najwiecej ryb, jednoczesnie blokujac innych graczy. Zwyciezca jest gracz z najwieksza liczba ryb. Gra jest piekna i bardzo ciekawa a przy tym uczy liczenia i strategicznego myslenia. 

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Kilkenny castle

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I remember when, still in primary school, Ala’s parents took us on a trip to a castle. What castle was it? I don’t know now. But I do remember how we devoured views and atmosphere of the place. We promised each other to, one day, buy ourselves one of those medieval gowns. I haven’t fulfilled that promise yet. Castles, however, still make a huge impression on me so it’s not surprising that for our last destination we chose Kilkenny castle. Misi had wanted to visit some ruins but finally I managed to convince  him that Kilkenny would make a bigger impression on children (and me 😉 ).

We were positively surprised on a spot when we found out entrance was free that day. Anabel read patiently every board with information about castle and listened to tour guide in every room. Rosie, however, run through rooms touching everything she wasn’t supposed to touch. Misike wasn’t impressed with the castle at all, except perhaps, rollet laces 🙂 .

Pamietam gdy jeszcze w podstawowce, rodzice Ali zabrali nas na wycieczke do zamku. Jaki to byl zamek, dzis juz nie wiem. Ale pamietam jak oczarowane chlonelysmy widoki i atmosfere miejsca i poprzysiaglysmy sobie nawzajem, ze gdy juz bedziemy dorosle, sprawimy sobie takie sredniowieczne suknie. Jeszcze nie udalo mi sie wypelnic tej obietnicy. Zamki jednak nadal robia na mnie przeogromne wrazenie a ze w Irlandii ich stanowczo nie brakuje, nie dziwi, ze na cel naszej ostatniej wycieczki wybralismy zamek Kilkenny. Misi chcial jechac zwiedzac jakies ruiny, ale ostatecznie przekonalam go, ze Kilkenny zrobi na dzieciach (i na mnie 😉 )stanowczo wieksze wrazenie.

Na miejscu czekala nas mila niespodzianka, wejsciowka tego dnia byla darmowa. Anabel czytala kazda tablice informacyjna i sluchala z uwaga przewodnika w kazdym pomieszczeniu. Rosie natomiast przelatywala przez komnaty dotykajac wszystkiego, czego dotykac nie wolno. Na Misike zamek nie zrobil wiekszego wrazenia, no moze poza sznurkami od rolet i zaslon 🙂 .

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Girls looked at nursery room mesmerized. They found those old toys both amazing and creepy 🙂 .

Dziewczyny patrzyly na pokoj dzieciecy najdluzej. Uznaly te stare zabawki za niezwykle i troche przerazajace 🙂 . 

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Place in front of the castle was as wonderful as castle itself. Fountain, duck pond and ” the best playground in the world” (according to girls) make a splash among children.

Plac przed zamkiem jest rownie niesamowity co sam zamek. Fontanna, staw z kaczkami i “najlepszy plac zabaw na swiecie” (wg dziewczynek) robia furore wsrod dzieci. 

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If you decide to visit Kilkenny, you must know, that there’s one serious disadvantage- lack of parking places. We spent 20 min driving through the city until finally we parked illegally in some estate. But it was worth it 🙂 .

Jesli zdecydujecie sie odwiedzic Kilkenny, musicie wiedziec, ze ma jeden minus- brak miesc parkingowych. Krazylismy po miescie przez 20 min zanim ostatecznie zaparkowalismy zupelnie nielegalnie na jakims osiedlu. Ale bylo warto 🙂

Puszyste farby- puffy paints

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Girls share my joy of painting and crafting in general. Every day they create few drawings, for me, for an uncle or grandma. In the dining room , on a shelf, I have a box after casserole, where I put girls’ most beautiful creations. We try to experiment with different techniques, we reproduce most famous pieces of art.

Yesterday I found a recipe for puffy paints and they stole our afternoon, that’s how fun they are.

All we need are four easy to get ingredients:

  1. PVA glue
  2. shaving foam (not gel!)
  3. flour
  4. food colouring or paints

In a bowl mix a cup of flour with a cup of glue and 4-5 cups of shaving foam.  Divide the mixture into few smaller bowls and mix each with different colouring. To paint, you can use paintbrushes or ear pads but you’ll get the best results with piping bags.

Dziewczynki podzielaja moja radosc malowania i kraftowania w ogole. Codzien tworza kilka rysunkow, dla mnie, dla wujka lub babci. Mam na polce w jadalni pudelko po casserole, do ktorego chowam najpiekniejsze z nich. Staramy sie eksperymentowac z roznymi technikami, odtwarzac dziela slawnych malarzy.

Wczoraj znalazlam przepis na puszyste farby i skradly nasze popoludnie, taka to fajna zabawa.

Potrzebne nam sa cztery latwo dostepne skladniki:

  1. klej biurowy bialy, plynny (typu PVA)
  2. pianka do golenia (NIE ZEL!) 
  3. maka    
  4. barwniki spozywcze badz farby w plynie .

W misce mieszamy szklanke maki, szklanke kleju oraz 4-5 szklanek pianki do golenia. Miksture rozdzielamy do kilku pojemnikow, kazdy kolorujemy na inny kolor. Mozna malowac pedzelkiem badz wacikami do uszu, ale najlepsze efekty sa gdy uzyjemy rekawow do dekowania ciast badz torebek sniadaniowych z wycietym rozkiem.

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