When You Don’t Want Your Children To Grow Up

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“Now, Maxie?” Josephine shouted.

“Not yet, GoGo!” Max responded.

They were sitting on two little roller coasters that you push with your feet, waiting one for the other to go down the little slope.

And, because her big hero brother said “Not yet” she waited and said, “Okay, Maxie…”

Then he would count, “One, two, three, GO!”

Their chubby little feet would paddle the ground and they would begin the slight decline down the coaster to soar onto the open floor.

Smiles and joy and squeals accompanying their little rides.

Then one would shout, without hesitation, “Let’s do it again!”

And off they’d push their cars to the top to begin again.

Friends—my two Littles are utterly exhausting.  I’m like super tired.  And they fight.  And they roll on the ground.  And they don’t like their food to touch—or when I cut their toast the wrong way.

My eyes are held open by VERY strong coffee…

But it’s ALL so worth it.

And my stomach is already nostalgic for the future loss of my Littles.

My decade daughter, as she calls herself, was once my Little…and I enjoyed every minute of it (let’s not relish in her own toddler tantrums that also split my hairs 😉 )…

She, in all of her innocent wonder, was my sunshine on any cloudy day.  And, believe me, in Poland there are a LOT of cloudy days.

Now she’s the epitome of beauty and grace.  She is tall and slender and lovely with a touch of awkward.  And growing.  She will, without any doubt in my mind, be a beautiful, successful, creative, and compassionate young lady—I already see that in her.

But it does not mean I don’t miss my Sweet Adelyne that used to skate on flour and make tea parties for her daddy with all of her dollies.

She has phased into young lady—that, very thankfully, still likes to occasionally play dolls, too!

And as my little miracle approaches his fourth birthday, I think.  No, I know that I am already missing him.

My toddler, naked bottom Max—without a care in the world.

Can I squish him into Little-ness forever?

Probably not—but I capture every moment of each of our days—the good and bad—on the reel of my on-going memory maker—the core of my heart…because I know that, as they grow, I will enjoy each new phase—but it will not mean that I will not miss the last one.

Josephine asked Maxie if he was ready—and he said “Not yet.”

Maxie—I am not ready, yet, either.

Please don’t grow.

But just like they paddled their feet and took off, I know what fate awaits me…

Their wild ride.

***

Photo credit:  Inga Rurek

My daughter asked about the first miracle of Jesus…How do you tell her it was wine?

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My husband has taken to telling stories at the dinner table that encourage my daughter for school. This past week marked the end of the first month of Polish school that she has started and nearly completed.

Woot-woot. Victory.

She seems to have fared fairly well. We’re even doing okay keeping up with the homework. And she is even eating school lunches—which are vastly different than American school lunches (like couscous and meat sauce for day 1 or ham and other random meats soup for day 4). This is a big victory, too, as she has had to readjust her palette upon returning to Poland.

For example. They put fresh parsley on everything. Potatoes, Meats, Soup. Everything. Which is great—when you’re an adult. But when you are 8, it is like, “What is this green thing that they are putting on every piece of food I am eating?!” We’ve had to start telling the restaurants “Without parsley, please,'” as she readjusts to the Polish cuisine. But I also told her, “Ada girl, you better start eating it because soon school will start and you won’t have a choice.”

At home, parsley was a battle, but at school it seems to have been a non-subject. She just eats what they serve and likes it 😉

Life with kids, eh?!

It is cute, however, because she was playing “restaurant” at home the other day and made the menu. 3 of the items were Polish specialties: Zurek, Barszcz, and Pierogi. So we are making progress in the food arena…Especially if she includes barszcz on a menu (it’s beet soup).  Now when she makes a menu that includes mushrooms, you know we will have won!

School.  Oh, it is so difficult.  Everyone asks if we kept up with Polish while away.  The answer is a Big Fat No!

We originally intended to keep up with Polish, but, you have to understand, our daughter had never lived in the United States.  And so every experience was like Disneyland.  And every day was a big ball of bubbling joy.

She did things like swim team and dive team.  She did things like soccer teams for girls and softball.

She joined chorus for two years and the running club for one.  She even went to circus camp.  CIRCUS CAMP!

It was awesome.

School in America.  You can say whatever you want about school in America, but we loved school in America.

It taught character traits and exploration.  It taught teamwork and discovery.  It taught respect of authorities and looking out for others.

School in America was AWESOME!  So awesome, in fact, that my daughter continues to wear her school PRIDE shirts even while in Poland.

Our intentions were to continue her Polish while in the States—but, you know what, living in the States is an invaluable experience that I wanted her to soak up and enjoy.  I wanted her to live every minute and smile as much as possible.

I wanted her to play freely, read much, and learn about everything.

Now she is back in Poland.  And she sits.  And she does workbooks.  It’s okay.  Her teacher is precious and her friends are grand.  But we are so happy that while our daughter lived in America that she got to experience America.

Funny insert story.  The other day at PE the PE teacher said to the kids, “Okay, boys, follow me!  Girls go over there.”  The boys went and played football (soccer) and the girls were put in a small ball pit.  My daughter was not amused and did not find it fun, as it was a lot of girls crowded into a small pit of balls.  She said, “Mom, she didn’t even ask if any of the girls wanted to play football!”  Oh my precious daughter—hang in there!  And we told her, “Next time tell the teacher that you want to play football, too.”  But that is hard for an 8-year-old to do.  I understand.

Anyhow…Back to the blog posting.

All of the above brings us back to present day Poland.  She is in the 3rd class.  And she works really hard each and every day.  She receives two hours a week of Polish as a Second Language, and we send her for study hall twice a week.

It’s different and the language will largely be a barrier all year.  But she is trying hard and that’s exactly what we’ve asked of her—to try hard!

But that brings me to the first miracle of Jesus.

We were talking about firsts in the Bible.  And then we asked her what story she wanted to hear about in regards to the Bible.  She said, “What about the first miracle of Jesus?  What was that?!”

Rich and I glanced across the dinner table at each other and paused.

Well, hmmmm…How do we tell her it was wine?  Because, honestly, living in Europe, she would find that a bit fun.  And funny.  And the significance on the miracle might be lost on the fact that while it was not healing a leper, it was still a miracle of God takes on the elements and the disciples believed proportions!

And so we sat for a moment.  And we thought.

And this is what we said…

You know, Adelyne.  The first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine at a wedding.

Giggle.  Yep.  We knew that would happen.

“Why?” followed.  Fair enough.

Well, you see, Adelyne.  Jesus and his mother and some disciples were at a wedding (See John 2:1-11).  And the wedding was a very special event, as all weddings are.  And Jesus was not yet known to many to be the Son of God.

Big eyes.  Listening.  Because, at 8, every story she has ever heard is about how Jesus is the Son of God.  I think sometimes we forget that there was Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, before he revealed himself to the world as Jesus Son of God.

And they ran out of wine.  And so his mommy came and told him that there wasn’t any more wine (maybe in hopes that he would help somehow).

Look of confusion.

But, Adelyne.  This is where it gets really special.  Did you know that Jesus didn’t just run out and buy some more wine?  Or he didn’t just make any ol’ plain wine.  He made the BEST!  Out of water he made the BEST wine.

Eyes widen.

Let me tell you, honey…That is exactly how Jesus takes care of each and every one of us each and every day.  He doesn’t run out and look for other people to solve our problems.

He doesn’t just do a so-so job.

He doesn’t even wait until the very end to give us our gifts.

Jesus takes control of all of the elements and gives us the best!

He cares for us the best.  He loves us the best.  And he saves us the best.  Because that is who he is.

So Daddy and I want you to know that when you encounter something in your life, you go straight to Jesus because he has your best intentions in mind.

Nodding head.

What do you think about that Adelyne?

“Can I have some wine?”

Giggle, giggle.  Sigh…

And then we prayed, together, as a family,  “Dear Lord, thank you for this example.  How you took control of the elements.  How you blessed this family.   How you turned water into wine.  And not just any, old wine.  The best wine!  Because you care best of all about us.  Please help each and every one of us to remember who you are—almighty Son of God—as we enter each new day and to believe in you.  Amen!”

And my daughter said, “Amen.”

You know.  I thought that it would be much harder to tell that story to a child.  But, in the end, it wasn’t. Because each story told in the Bible has great significance.  And there is no reason that any of us should falter in sharing any or all of them.  The difficult stories of the Old Testament.  Tell them.  The miraculous stories of the New Testament.  Tell them.

Because, and this is a big B, because in each story of the Bible, God is revealed.  God is glorified.  And we should never shame in sharing what it is He has shared through His word.

Why?

Because everything he does he does because he loves us best of all.

Amen.

absolutely, without a doubt, the right perspective!

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oh my dear friends. be prepared to laugh your way through this article i am about to share called give me gratitude or give me debt WHILE truly humbling your spirit and soul.

so many times since we have returned to poland i have GRUMBLED…GRUMBLED…GRUMBLED! believe me, i have just come from the land of mickey mouse—poland is a different life for me right now.

BUT this article brings up a hugely vivid conversation i had in our soup kitchen one day (our soup kitchen meaning our foundation’s soup kitchen: www.breadoflife.pl) with one of the volunteers.

setting: soup kitchen, basement of a church, around 2002 or 2003, poznan, poland.

we were preparing the food for the room full of homeless and elderly, very poor people (especially at that time in poland). it’s a very cold country, so not only was the warm food going to be a blessing but the warm atmosphere a godsend. and i was having a conversation with one of the brightest guys i know.  we’ll just call him mr. phd.  it was a time when poland was in the process of becoming an eu member (2004 they joined). and our conversation went like this:

“people in poland complain all of the time about how poor we are….but we are not poor. we have running water. we have electricity. so many around the world don’t even have those.  we are actually rich.”

now, the people we were serving were obviously not rich.

he wasn’t speaking of those.  he was speaking of the every day man or woman.  He was speaking of those that have but grumble about the “have nots“.

i have found myself being that grumbling person of late.  and it’s not a person that i like very much.

i would like to say that TODAY…today i am so thankful i read this post.  it’s brilliantly humorous with the perfect perspective attached to it.

and, today, after reading it, i hope that you, too, only worry about filling your kitchen with love.  love and dancing.  both simultaneously!

be prepared to laugh while humbling your spirit…

xoxo b

since glennon shared a peek into her kitchen, i will share a photo i took only two days ago (before i read this article) into my own kitchen.  hope you enjoy!

yes, my son, maxwell, in the diaper, was coloring in a book on the ground while eating a dry tortilla for lunch—which he also decided to decorate.  jojo sat in her chair for hours while i made pumpkin puree and apple sauce.  and adelyne…sweet adelyne made homemade play doh.  one recipe batch split into 6 colors.

so much fun in our kitchen!

now, here’s the article from Momastery just for you:

Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt!

also, for those of you that battle addictions, i think that you need encouragement from her about page.  Pretty awesome God:  About Glennon!

My Celiac Awareness Post

May is Celiac Awareness Month—this is one fantastic post! Hope that you have a read and share, share, share! xo, b

GlutenFree & Me…. (and everything in between!)

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May is for Celiac Awareness.

In the UK Celiac is spelled Coeliac, same in Australia and New Zealand. In the UK they have Celiac Awareness week, rather then the full month they do in the US. Its in May, so for me, May is for Celiac.

Celiac Awareness is not really needed on a blog like mine, because to me, Celiac Awareness is about reaching those who are NOT here on this blog. Those mums endlessly walking their screaming (undiagnosed children), those dads who scratch their elbows with a knife because their (undiagnosed) DH is itching so bad. The women who have been trying for years to become pregnant. Those who struggle daily with stomach issues and put it down to IBS or stress (yeah… could be undiagnosed celiac).

Of course, not all people with stress tummy or an itch or whathave you have undiagnosed Celiac disease. But the numbers speak…

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