Forbes, Matt Walsh, Momastery—what do they all have in common? My blog!

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And 2 Makes Crazy Celebrates 1 Year!

I have had a fun time looking through the stats this past week to summarize and celebrate And 2 Makes Crazy’s first year of blogging. Today I went back through and found the Top 10 most clicked on external links mentioned at some point in a blog posting here over the past year.

If you can remember which post the link is from, kudos! If not, perhaps you’ll want to click on their links anyway and have a read. I originally included them in a blog posting because I either enjoyed reading them myself or learned something valuable from them.

Let me know your thoughts or share a link you think I may also enjoy!

xo from here to there,

b

Top 10 Most Viewed External Links:

1.  Forbes: 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors that Keep Children from Growing into Leaders

2.  Don’t Drink the Water:  Translated Travel Tips for Coming to America

3.  Experiment that convinced me that online porn is the most pernicious threat facing children today:  By ex-lads’ magazine editor Martin Daubney

4.  24 People Who Applied for the Toughest Job Were In for Quite a Surprise

5.  When Life Demands to See What You’re Made Of—Author and Life Coach Lisa Skabrat

6.  The Naked Truth XXX—Pastor and Speaker Chad Moore

7.  These kids say what they really think about mom, and her reaction.  Priceless.

8.  Your husband doesn’t have to earn your respect—Professional Blogger Matt Walsh

9.  Happy Hooligans

10.  Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt—Author and Blogger from Momastery, Glennon

Now…the following 5 did not make the Top 10 most clicked on external links, but I think that you should click on them anyway…

1.  EZ Spaces—my brother-in-law and sister’s business, a co-working place just for you!

2.  Polish Housewife—my fellow Poznanian-living, from Arizona, blogging friend.  And her recipes are divine!

3.  Bread of Life’s Christmas in the Square—Kalisz, the oldest city in Poland, has a beautiful Christmas village to raise funding for kids with cancer and other illnesses and disabilities.  We heart Team Bread of Life!

4.  Whit’s End Radio Programs (online and for free) for Children

5.  Why Miscarriage Matters When You’re Pro-Life

Top 10 pictures viewed on And 2 Makes Crazy over the past year…

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Well, this has been fun reliving the first year of the blog with top posts read (and my top 10 that didn’t make the top 10), top country readers, and now for top pictures viewed.

There were over 700 clicks on photos from the blog.  These were the top 10 pictures viewed from this past year.  I was surprised by a few.

Hope you enjoy a stroll down And 2 Makes Crazy’s year of photos on memory lane…

xoxo from here to there, b

Question of the day—do you recall to which blog posts these belong?

Top 10…Not these posts. But they are some of my favorites.

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Over the last year, one of my favorite things about this blog was seeing all of the countries that were reading. There have been 97 countries. 97. It’s been a blast watching a new country pop up as a reader on varying days for varying posts. It was always interesting to see what posts drew which countries.

And, out of the countries, these are the Top 10 reading countries WordPress has recorded from this past year:

1. The United States
2. Poland
3. The United Kingdom
4. Canada
5. Italy
6. Australia
7. Germany
8. Norway
9. Taiwan
10. Sweden

Fun fact. Out of the Top 10 reading countries, I have actually been to 5 of them.

Now, these may not have been the most popular blog postings.  In fact, I don’t even know how many views they have, but they are a few of my favorites.

I hope that if you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, you will get a chance today.

In no particular, my Top 10 (of some of my favorites):

1. Children notice skin color,but it’s what we teach that matters: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-kp
2. Get Ready. Get Set. Get the Eggs: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-1eT
3. Adelyne. That word says it all: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-17g
4. Raising a Bilingual Child: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-14x
5. A Copper Miner’s Wife: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-fu
6. Babcia Conned…Ouch: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-fY
7. I am a tiger that has earned her stripes.  Roar:  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-8o
8.  Why you, Mommy, should surrender to your pirates:  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-180
9.  It takes a village.  Now would someone please help me pick up the pee:  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-1dS
10.  You may be the only Bible some will ever read:  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-ol

If I could add an 11th of 12th—I would add one of my “Confessional Sunday or Monday” postings.  But you can search those in the top right corner of the blog.  Those were always fun to write, too.

Anyhow, I hope that you enjoy some of my picks from this past year of blogging.  I still can’t believe it has been a year.  Happy Blog-o-versary continues for And 2 Makes Crazy.  Yea!

xoxo from here to there,

b

I wore my winter jacket and beanie in September. Yes. Everyone stared.

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We moved to Poland September 8, 2001. We moved from Arizona. We packed what we thought were warm clothes. Turns out, warm clothes from Arizona are merely “thick” t-shirts.

We arrived and were freezing our tails off.

Seriously. It was raining. It was cold.

The heat wouldn’t turn on in our flat because the city controlled the heat in our flat and it was not yet deemed “cold” enough by the city to turn on the heat.

I was an Arizona Desert Rat. Instead of melting, I was living in an ice box gathering ice crystals.

I will never forget how cold I was.

I was so cold, I convinced my husband that we must run out and buy warm jackets.

It wasn’t even technically warm jacket season. After all, it was only September. Little did I know how cold November, December, and so forth would get if I was cold in September, eh?! To me it was already like Siberia.

We were off.  We went to buy winter jackets.  I found one.  Floor length and brown.  And a brown scarf.  And a brown hat.  And brown gloves.

I went all out.

I tell you, I was cold.

And then we went out.  Literally.  Out.  In public.  For all to see.

I was wrapped from head to toe in my beanie, my gloves, my scarf.  You could barely see my eyes.  But, worse than any of that was my jacket.  My floor-length, brown, winter jacket.

I was so toasty warm.  And it was evening.  And we decided to walk to the city square.

Oh, tears are in my eyes right now recalling the numerous stares and mumblings we got as I walked around all wrapped like an Eskimo, yet technically still living in Polish summer.  So funny.

Ah…memories of when we first arrived in Poland.  And although I laugh now, I know then I was freezing.  To my bone freezing.

Oh, I forgot to mention how cold it was.

About 60+F (around 16C).

To a desert rat, 60F is akin to the North Pole.  And that is where I felt we lived.

Needless to say, my jacket and I really learned what cold was when actual winter hit.  And then I dreamed about the return of those “warm” Polish evenings.

Haha.

I hope that there are folks still enjoying the attack of the mummy at their dinnertime conversation.

In any case, with time, I learned how to actually dress appropriately for the weather.  And eventually I learned that September was not the right time to run around in floor-length jackets, gloves, scarves, and beanies, with only your eyes peeking through.

But, even after all of these years in Poland, I am still that same desert rat, freezing and cold.  Just better adjusted for the weather.

Now, here are the TOP 10 most read posts this past year as And 2 Makes Crazy celebrates its one-year blog-o-versary.   If you haven’t read one of the following posts, I hope that you go on back and have a read.

Enjoy.

xoxo from here to there,

b

(Top 10 from the entire blogging year in order of Most Read)

1.  I don’t love Jesus.  Can we still be friends?  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-ln

2.  How to be a Good Wife.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-ue

3.  Knockdown, drag-out fight in Costco.  Today, I appreciate family!  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-Mo

4.  Marital Un-Bliss and Lack of Sleep had a devastating Effect on My Eyebrows.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-3i

5.  Belly Josephine.  And my Ada and Max.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-gp

6.  How to Keep the Romance Alive.  Or Kill It.  Your Hair May Choose.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-50

7.  My Nose Ring was “Snot” a Good Idea.  And We Got a Puppy.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-6B

8.  Porn on Sunday.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-ww

9.  O-M-G, Christians, watch what you say.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-rZ

10.  Hidden Bookshelves:  Poland.  And when we first arrived.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-da

And because it is always interesting to see which one comes in 11th…

11.  Raising a Nutty Kid.  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-wT

 

 

One Year…Really?

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Well, it’s been quite the ride. I’m a year into blogging, which probably means that I’m not new at it anymore.

I still feel a bit new at it. On a windy road.  Not really going any one direction.

But I’m trying.

Sometimes they’re pretty decent.

Sometimes they’re pretty boring.

Sometimes I think that I shouldn’t have written them at all.

Haha!

Oh well.

All I have actually enjoyed writing, and I hope that you have enjoyed reading.

This past year has been a really rocky and great one all wrapped into one.  Richard and I have watched our family go from 4 to 5.  And we’ve changed our mailing address back to Poland.

We had the immense privilege of living in the United States amongst our family for the past year.  And now we have the immense privilege of living, once again, in Poland.  Amongst our “other” family.

There are so many emotions that came with moving back to Poland.   We left Poland after our son was stable enough to travel, at 6 months old.  I felt as if I couldn’t get out of the country fast enough.  It was such a heart-wrenching time in our lives, watching our second child struggle to live.  And yet it was one of the richest times in our lives.

How can watching your child struggle to live be rich?

The only way I can answer that is by saying watching our son nearly die brought us to our knees.  We re-evaluated our entire lives and realized that no matter the outcome in Maxwell’s life, we chose to honor and love God.

Now he is a little over 2 years old, and we are back in Poland.

It’s great to be back, but we do miss our beautiful families in America so much.

And my daughter does greatly miss American schools.  As she told a teacher that asked the other day, “In America, she gets to explore and discover!”  She loves her school here and friends, but it is a lot of sit at your desk and do workbooks.

Thankfully, however, she’s a child with an ever curious mind.  So we do a lot of explore and discover at home.

And she has additional classes at home, as well.

Did you know that she only goes to school 4 hours a day?  On Mondays-Wednesdays, her classes begin at 11:30 and end at 3:50.  On Thursdays and Fridays start at 8:00 and go until 12:15.

Teachers in Poland are paid by the hours that they teach.  We live in a village and the teacher’s at the school are paid for 45 minute sessions.  So after every 45 minutes, there is a 5-minute break.  There is no recess.

It’s a very different life.

But we’ve adjusted.  And outside of school she takes one additional hour of Polish, one hour of French and will begin one hour of music lessons.  Now I am looking for her an “active” activity to also do outside of school.

Oh, yeah.  Of course she is keeping up GRANDLY with her English.  I am actually quite proud of her.  She is a hard-working little gal.

And my other two.  Oh my other two, little Maxwell and Josephine.  They are soooo lovely.  Just plain lovely.

Maxwell is all two.  Blond.  Blue eyes.  Gorgeous and sweet (well, of course depending on his mood.  After all, he is two ;)).

And Josephine.  She just turned 8 months a day ago and is crawling like a professional, standing like a conductor, and trying to walk on furniture like a little daredevil.  Our newest little chub-a-love still retains the red tint to her hair, and I will be sad the day the red turns blond, like I see creeping below at the roots.

I love being a mom, and I soak up every moment throughout the day that I merely get to interact them.  Every moment is as if I have discovered a hidden treasure so valuable that it is inconceivable.  And, to me, being a mom is that inconceivable hidden treasure.

For every woman out there struggling with infertility, I feel your heart and your pain.  I feel your longing and your tears.  And I will simply say this—I pray that God will give you the very desires of your heart.  If they are not from your own womb, I pray for the children God delivers into your hands that come from your heart.  Oh how I pray for you!

And now, my dear And 2 Makes Crazy friends, I shall wrap up my rambling blog and say…Thanks for joining the And 2 Makes Crazy Ride.

Tomorrow I will post the top 10 blog postings from the last year, and other fun stuff.

I hope that you come back to check them out.

Much love from here to there.  Wherever you may be.

May God be your stalwart in your times of trouble.  If you are suffering, may he be your constant.  If you are in limbo, may he be your leveler.

And may He always bring you peace.  Peace and Joy.

Joy that surpasses all understanding.

All the time, God is good.

And I hope that you are well yourself.

xoxo b

 

People are more important than buses.

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The other day we were a bit early to pick up Adelyne from school.  So we were outside letting Maxwell run around.  One of her former teachers came out and stopped to visit with us.  After about 10 minutes of conversation, a big, white bus drives off.  The teacher looks at it and said, “Oh, that was my bus.”

Richard and I were so sorry and told her so profusely.  You see, in our village the bus only comes once or twice an hour.

She looked at us and said, “It doesn’t matter.  I believe people are more important than buses.”

And we continued our conversation.

On the day of our 13th anniversary since we stepped foot in Poland, I would like to say this is one of the greatest lessons I have learned while living in Poland:  People.

People are the most important.

Thank you, Poland, for teaching us such truths.

1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Oh, heaven forbid. Don’t make me speak English!

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I really try to be kind and courteous and real and friendly, but I have this problem.  And it’s called my mouth.

It gets me every time.

I am talking all the time.  Day and Night.  Even when I am sleeping.  It gets me there, too, because I even talk in my sleep.

So, this is what happened.  The other day I was at the grocery store in Gniezno.

It’s a rather large grocery store.  It’s a French chain, I believe.  So now I don’t know whether to blame the French grocery chain or the Gniezno store owner on this one…BUT…someone decided at this rather large grocery store to implement a one-line rule where everyone lines up in a single file line to wait for the next available cashier.

The idea isn’t bad—IF—it was a small store with few customers.  But this is a huge and busy grocery store.  It’s like we all line up as if to go through the cattle gate — our grocery carts and kids overflowing down to the chips and liquids aisle.  Imagine trying to get into a busy sporting event with kids and a grocery cart to boot.  It’s utterly ridiculous.

Yet, it’s what we all must do, and I am the one that chose to shop at that store, so I got in line.

One woman—out of the 30+ of us in line decided that as long as her cart was in line, she would keep shopping.

Duh, lady.  Don’t you think we would ALL love to do this?!

Well, her cart was there but the line was moving forward.  So, of course, there was a huge gap in front of her cart and the other customers in front of her.

Who was foolishly the customer/shopper behind this thoughtless lady?

Hand in the air.  ME!

But what happens with this huge gap of air space and the missing cart lady?  Why 3 new customers come along and hop in line.

The lady comes running back to her cart and says she was there.

Um.  No, technically you weren’t.  I am just a patient person and was waiting for you to move forward.

Fool count 1.

Well, after some exchanged words, she is defeated and now stuck behind 3 more people.  But that’s okay, because she goes back to shopping.

Air space yet again.  Because there is this thing called checking out and people do pay for groceries and lines do move forward in the grocery store.  But where is this random shopper lady?

MIA, Missing in Action, yet again.

And again, I foolishly wait for her to find her cart and push it forward.

Fool count 2.

Finally on Fool count 3, when there is a mile of space between her cart and the cutting customers in front of her and the MIA shopper, I take my cart and go in front of her cart.

Boy howdy!  You would think that this woman had a cart radar or something.  No sooner did I put my cart in front of hers did I then see her come screeching at me, yelling, “THAT’S my space!  I was there in line.”

Now, because I am a very mature 38-year-old mother of 3, I of course engaged in her argument, (in Polish), “No, ma’am.  You were not here.  And, this is the 3rd time that you have not been here.  This was free space.”  Yes, my Polish is lacking, so this is basically what I said.  Not so intimidating but enough to let her know it’s not okay.

Ooooh, boy!  She was steaming mad!  And kept yelling at me how she was there.  So, again, I engaged in this civil thing we were having (NOT) called a conversation.

“No, Ma’am, you were not here.  Again, 3 times you have left and gone shopping.  YOU WERE NOT HERE.  This was a free space.”

Yes, I am a Polish force (smile and wink).

And, yet again, she flew off of the handle yelling at me.  Imagine, “Yadda, yadda, yadda!”

There, lady.  You went and did it.  You brought out my English!  And I started in again—this time in my Mother Tongue…

“No!  You were not here!  This is ridiculous.  For 3 times you have left your cart to go shopping…(insert more)…This is not okay!”

After the shock wore off that I was no longer conversing with her in Polish, the entire line of people started to speak up, the lady that was now in front of the both of us turned around and said, “No, you weren’t here (in Polish).  You can’t keep leaving and shopping.”  The person in front of the lady in front of the lady spoke up.  The husband of one of the ladies spoke up.  And this fiery MIA shopper just kept getting louder.

It’s a good thing we were in a French grocery store.  This small riot didn’t seem out of place, eh?!  Haha.

Anyhow, after I started this small riot of vocalities, I realized that this lady was going to continue to throw her fit, so I pulled my cart out of line and let her go back in front of me, which she eagerly took and moved forward.

But, let me just say—she DID NOT leave her spot again.

And the check-out lady was super nice to me, too.  Nice or scared?  I don’t know which.

Oooooops.

So much for showing the love of Jesus at the grocery store that day.