We are the 2…

But we did not go crazy!

Just had a date…without kids.  I ate mushroom soup.  He had zurek.  I had super gooey hot chocolate with whipped cream.  And we split a cheese pizza.


And now he is still working at 1:30am.  So I am posting this photo to prove that at least we had an evening together 🙂

In other news…

He and Ada had a tremendous time in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Colorado.

We appreciated everyone that Rich got to meet and share with in regards to our work!  (Find us on Facebook for the time being~Bread of Life~while we work on getting our website up and edited)

Ada got to share about being a multi-culture kid—super excited about that.  I think she ended up speaking to nearly 170 mostly kids but some adults too.  She said she had so much fun.  Funny fact:  She did the majority of her presentations in Polish.  I asked her why.  She said she was less nervous to do it that way 😉  And I guess the biggest hit of all was “Kupa Zupa” (What little kids would call Poop Soup) served once a week at school.  Haha!  If I was a kid, I would find that great fun to learn about, too!

The littles and I barely survived—snow.  Freezing cold.  Many wooden fire nights.  Coal.  More coal.  Have I mentioned coal?  And then 8 days of sickness.  And then 1 glorious last week before Rich and Ada returned where the sun started to peek through and the babies weren’t puking.

So, truly, before they re-arrived back in Poland, I was able to straighten the house, make food, and somehow regain a bit of sanity.

But we’re all still super tired.  Poor Ada has been going to sleep at 4am, 2am, and tonight midnight.  Well, I guess midnight is progress, eh?

And Rich has now officially gone to bed while I am busy typing this—makes sense since he has a 7am meeting.

Perhaps I should follow?

In the meantime, Rich and Ada have only been home for 4 full days but it already feels like a blessed eternity.

SOOOO happy to have my husband and my first beautiful miracle back in my home.

And not just because I want him to stoke and clean the coal—and light and clean the fire.

I promise 😉

xo for now (I’ll post Minion Mom’s devotion tomorrow—OOPS.  I think that I better get back online to keep up)


P.S.  Sunday we got to take a few photos at church—So, this is just a day plus a few hours after Adelyne arrived back home.  You should note that she chose to wear her dress from the wedding she was in last year in Botswana—and so, of course, Josephine had to wear her beautiful dress form Ivory Coast.  Maxwell, to be honest, I am happy that he just let me put him in clothes and that he didn’t choose to go naked to church or in his baseball pajamas.  It’s a rare day when Maxwell is actually dressed.

Overall—What fun!


Caution. Don’t eat raw chicken—even for a man!

“I will do anything for love…”

Richard and I had barely started dating the month before.  So, to this point, our relationship included awkward conversations, competitive tennis matches, fumbling kisses, basketball games of P-I-G, and getting to know one another.

And then that big red day hit—Valentine’s!

My husband is a total romantic.  How he ever asked out such a tomboy, I’ll never fully understand.  Perhaps I once did my hair?  And my makeup?  Perhaps I once DIDN’T wear sweats?  Who knows.  It’s all foggy to me.

Due to his romantic nature, I should have expected him to do something phenomenal for Cupid’s Day.

And he did.

A beautiful setting, under a gazebo, near a small creek.  Flowers.  Balloons.  Rich in a suit.  China place settings.  And raw chicken?

Raw chicken?!

A million thoughts were swirling through my mind.

First and foremost—oh no!

You see, my husband’s family is full of mega-watt healthy eaters.  Like Raw Foodists (not nudists), Vegans, Vegetarians (are there any more categories?).

Yes.  I know chickens are not vegetables.  But I didn’t know if eating “Raw” chicken was a new way to “Go Green” (on your plate).  You see, I am a meat and potatoes (meaning—hamburger and french fries with an XL Coke, please) type of gal.  And I really evaluated, mentally,  “How much do I like this guy?  Enough to eat one small piece of raw chicken?”

Seriously…Eating raw chicken literally crossed my mind.


Perhaps in love???

Back to the chicken.

So, as my “date” was serving up the food—all of it raw vegetables (again—family of raw food eaters), he got to the chicken. That’s when he asked, “How much chicken do you want?”

And I gulped, said a silent prayer, and also made a mental note to myself, “Remember, Brooke, if you get salmonella poisoning, let the ER know immediately that you ate raw chicken…All for a man.”

Then I looked up into his green and sparkling eyes, his bright and beautiful smile, and I said it, “One, please?!”

Slip.  Slide.  Raw chicken meat now on my plate.

Gulp.  Sigh.

“I will do anything for love…???”

He sat down across from me—so happy and proud.  And we held hands while he prayed.

Well, at least I think he was praying because I was busy in my own mind hollering, “Dear Lord God—save me from salmonella.  I know I am foolish to eat raw chicken, but I REALLY like this guy.  He went to all of this work for this beautiful Valentine’s dinner.  SAVE ME, LORD!”

I think I heard an “Amen”.  So I looked up and smiled sweetly (probably batting a few eyelashes as well).

Where do I start?  Perhaps I can nibble on a raw carrot while I see HOW he eats his chicken?  Perhaps I can eat all of my raw veggies, requesting more, and then “filling” up on raw veggies and discreetly toss my raw chicken over my shoulder when he isn’t looking?  Perhaps I can…

Wait.  What’s that?  What is he doing…

He’s pulling out a lighter.

He just lit something on fire.

And then I noticed something on the table that SHOULD HAVE been quite obvious before.

A fondue pot.

Slap my head and call me insane.  I was about to eat raw chicken.  For a man.  On Valentine’s Day.

I remember being in a Tom Sawyer play as a 5th grader, and one of Tom’s lines was, “I’ve been such a fool, Becky.  Such a fool.”

Well, I think that I can officially rephrase those lines today, “I was nearly such a fool, World.  Such a fool!”

A fool for love…

“I would do anything for love…even eat raw meat!”

And fly in small tarp planes with new pilots.


Crazy Brooke!  Keeping it real…for love.

xo for your big red day of love,



Picture is Richard as a new pilot prepared to fly Brooke, the reluctant passenger, in the Piper Super Cub.  Anything for love?! 

How to Keep the Romance Alive…Or Kill It. Your hair may choose!

Today:  Tips for keeping the romance alive

Qualifications to speak on this:  Woman.  Wife.  Enough said.

Warnings:  Some photos are hazardous to all sanity and health.  Perhaps close your eyes.

Goal:  May you avoid my mistakes, live through your own, and get a good chuckle out of a few past hair faux-dos.  Also—may you find a few ideas that are actually on the up side of right.  Enjoy…and may romance stay alive in your lives!  (At least every so often, right?!)

Today I come to you as a professional nobody with a huge resume of what not to do!  Therefore, I invite you to observe, take notes, and cringe (when appropriate) as you traverse the years of my mistakes.  THEN I invite you to continue reading so you will see that, while everyone makes mistakes, SOMETIMES things can be done right…And the romance, in your lives, can live on!

Come all ye tired and weary…and haggard and worn. 

Come all ye messy and sloppy…and, well, you get the idea! 

Just come!

So before leaving for Europe, the continent of fashion (come on, we’ve all seen The Devil Wears Prada—or at least heard of it), I was quite the fashion-ist-not!

My favorite attire, when not in appropriate, mature, educational attire while at work, was overalls.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  Overalls.

I wore them every second that I was not at work.

Wouldn’t they start to stink?  You may ask.

Why, no!  For I had more than 1 pair.  More than 1 color.  More than just long.  I even had overall shorts.

I was quite the fashion-ist-not!  My. Poor. Husband.

And then we did it!  God called us to Poland.  We were thrilled.

Upon arriving, however, I was slapped with a HUGE wake-up call that was called===Overalls are SO NOT COOL!

Take me away, Calgon!

And so I took a look at all the stylish and pretty Polish ladies around me and tried to take notes.

Note #1—Many Polish women have short, strikingly beautiful short hair.  It frames their faces perfectly and makes them appear ready to grace the covers of ALL fashion magazines.

So, short hair!  That’s the ticket!  Must. Cut. Hair.


Ugh.  What am I?  Half human, half porcupine?  Really, Brooke…My short hair rivaled my husband’s in length.  Note to all, Ladies—Never cut your hair shorter than your husband’s. 

Well, that didn’t work.  Let’s grow it back out…


Eek!  Glad I’m patriotic and all, but perhaps I better let America represent herself.  Umm…I am pretty sure that the clipped back hair and lack of style says it all.

The next hairdo has got to be a bit better, right?


Back away from the camera, Brooke!  My goodness…We don’t need to see EVERY freckle on your face.  Hmmm.  Still not sure that the curly goodness is the way to go.

Let’s move on…

Note #2—Since the hair is left wanting…have fun and play with your spouse.  You know, card games, board games, kissing games.  But never, and I mean NEVER, let your spouse give you a “mark” Right. On. Your. Forehead.


There are limits to the fun EVERYONE should have…and a forehead hickey is one of them.  Really, Richard?!

So, now that you have seen many “What Not to Do” moments (Don’t do your hair like mine.  Don’t leave a mark on your spouse’s forehead), let me help you figure out a few fun things that you CAN do to keep the romance alive!

Every so often dress yourself up, and go out on the town!  There’s probably not a husband in the world that doesn’t want you sporting some sassy pantyhose, short skirt, and black boots.  Just try to put together an outfit with a bit of flavor and go have fun!


Another thing you can do, sit in the “light” be it firelight, candlelight, Christmas tree lights, night light…Sit in the “light” and have some moments of sweet nothings.  A dimly-lit room makes the evening relaxing and peaceful.  Throw on Chopin (gotta throw in the Polish composer) and don’t turn on the TV or computer.  Just relax next to your spouse.  Visit.  Chat.  Kiss.  Cuddle.  Whatever.  Just enjoy basking together in the softness of the “light”.


Write romantic love notes to one another.  This can be a short note.  It can be a long note.  The point is it’s free.  It’s from your heart.  And it’s appreciated.

And then take it up a notch!  Grab a rose.  Grab a pan (any pan will do) and put your rose and your note in the pan.  Fill the pan with water, and then stick it (the note, rose, pan with water) in the freezer.

Later, when your spouse comes home, take the note and place it somewhere they can see it!  Oh what a fun surprise! (take it out of the pan by soaking the bottom of the pan in warm water and removing the entire ice chunk)

Unique.  Beautiful.  Thoughtful.  And quite the memory maker.  The best part—the ice has to melt before the note can be excavated and read.  Makes for an evening of suspense, too!


This was a romantic Richard gesture for me…And I loved waiting for my love note!

These are great ideas, Brooke…But I’m tired.  I’ve got to clean the house.  I haven’t had a shower all day.  I’m a mom…Oh, how I know the list could go on.

So, lastly, I leave you with this…Involve the kids.

What?  In our romance?

No.  But involve the kids in the fun of keeping the “love” alive…

Surprise your spouse with your quiet but public profession of love…Your love for him.  Your children’s love for him.



(Maxwell’s shirt says, “Handsome…Just like my daddy!”)

Truly, nothing’s sweeter.  And with these public professions of your love, take your spouse and your family out for dinner—make sure those all around you can see for themselves how special your spouse is.

And, it’s likely when you return home from dinner, you’ll probably have to bathe the kids and get them dressed for bed and read them stories and wipe their noses and remind them to go to the bathroom.  So many things that will make you too tired to be too romantic.  Don’t worry.  Simply curl up together, watch a show, and just enjoy the memory that everyone knows the one you love is the one beside you.

Romance can definitely be a hairy endeavor (pun intended)—but even the simplest things can help keep it alive!