June 28, 2013

From the garden + black and white

I can see progress in my growing plants. The combination of sun, warm and rain makes them thrive. Too bad I started so late this year:(

I still regret getting sick and not having energy to plant my garden properly.
I find such a joy and peace in taking care of my garden. The weeding doesn't feel hard and I love to put my bare hands into the soil and step with my naked feet into the ground. Refreshing and calming.
What a therapy! One of those days or years I will make it work better.

One of my twelve tomato plants.
Blooming cucumbers.
Red pepper.
Part of my potato forest.
My beets and carrots before weeding:)
 Black and white, joining the theme with Cari.
He grows in my garden too:)
 One more. I don't think that flowers should be shown in black and white, but I run out of ideas.
Thank you for touring with me my garden. Next time I hope to show few fruits of mine, and nature's work!

June 26, 2013

Noc Swietojanska


A year ago I have decided to introduce my children to "Noc Swietojanska"- the eve of St. John the Baptist, which of course is the 23rd of June.

In Poland there is a famous legend about "Kwiat Paproci" - Fern Flower that bloomed only for short time on the eve of St John's. The story goes that whoever finds it, will possess the riches of the world, but under one condition, the "lucky" one can't share it with anybody, otherwise the he will lose the wealth.
There was young poor man who found it and became rich. He was happy on the beginning, but after realizing that all that wealth won't make him happy, like the family and love does, he decided to let go of it.

So a year ago I read this story in Polish (!) but then translated it into English. The girls liked it, even though it made Zuzia terrified. The legend was written in more frightening way that mine. The night was dark, the sounds of the forest sounded spooky, there was howling, screaming, steps, wailing of a child. The young man tried to find it for years, and finally he succeeded...

I made for my girls  their own blooming kwiat paproci. The search wasn't as dramatic as the story told us, the girls did not have to look for it in the spooky forest and I did not come up with terrifying sounds:) Late in the evening after it became very dark, they had to go to the garden and find their little treasure. But after listening to the story, they were a little anxious.
The good thing was, that they could share their treasure, but they actually were very happy to keep it to themselves... .

All of us liked it so much, that we decided to make it a yearly tradition. Last Sunday was an eve of St John's. The Sunday was hot and very busy, after very busy Saturday in Fitchburg, we felt that we needed more rest, but it turned out that we had a lot of the plate that day. Even though we were dead tired, I couldn' t postpone the eve. We would have to wait for a year. I made plan for the night, wrote the schedule, ( made few spelling mistakes )...

 ...and off we went:)

We hit few roadblocks though:

-Kubus fell asleep before 8pm, and couldn't look for his treasure.
-I have misplaced somewhere the book with the story and could not find it.
-Right when my girls have found their kwiat paproci, the battery in my camera died, so I could not capture the moment:(

Overall we remembered the legend and few other traditions, made s'mores, lit the sparkles and found the blooming fern. The tradition is established. I am glad that I can bring them closer to the Polish legends and culture even more.


June 23, 2013

The run

Kateri is a runner.
I am so happy that she has the opportunity to work on her talents. The running is a little in her genes:)Andrzej was training track and field and I wasn't slow either, although given the opportunity to train, I couldn't do it for a lot of reasons.

Kateri has started training three years ago in CLCF. We quickly have discovered that she has a potential. Even though she wasn't winning all of the events, mostly shorter ones, she was always in top five. She claimed that her favorite distance is 400m. It is not easy run, but she likes it.

Kateri loves to participate in the meets. The adrenaline is pumping her motivation so high, that she gets her best times there.  She has tried a couple of times to get to Hershey meet in Pennsylvania. There are only 8 best runners in each category from the whole USA and Puerto Rico and parts of Canada. She did not make it there, but she made good time. Since last year she made a promise to herself to get to Hershey this year. I am concerned a little though. Kateri hit the age of growing up and changing. Her body shoot up and gain some weight. It seemed to me, that she needs to reevaluate and recalculate and approach the training a little differently this year. And the thing with Kiki is, that she loves to compete, but not really train, Unfortunately the first one is not possible with other regardless how talented one might be...

Going back to meets...
Even though the Hershey is a dream of every young runner, mostly because the kids get to go to the Hershey Park:), more prestige are meets of USA track and field - Junior Olympics.

Yesterday we took 70 mile trip to Fitchburg were first part of Junior Olympics was taking place. Kateri has competed in 400m and 200m, 400 being her favorite of course.

The meet was very long. Kateri was feeling nervous, Zuzanna bored - she played DS most of the time, and Kubus had a surge of energy. It was all worth it though...

Kateri had third best time in her age group. The first eight runner qualify to the next round. This time in NYC.
 I have a feeling that there will be plenty of meets that we going to attend this summer. I better stack up on good coconut water to replenish the lost electrolytes, few more DS games and store extra energy to chase Kubus:)

Waiting for the run to be announced. It took a couple of hours...
Right before the run. Andrzej watching Kubus, Zuzia watching Kiki:)
Taking the lucky 7 position and fixing hair...
 Almost done, but the hardest meters still to run!
She got it!
See you in NYC,

June 21, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Last Sunday was Father's Day. It was also annual Will Speck Memorial Father's Day 5K Race in our city.

Andrzej preferred to postpone his breakfast in bed to the participation in the races. He indulged in big brunch afterwards:)

There were races for every age group for the kids, and then official 5k for the rest. Last year the girls participated in the kids races and I in 5k. I really enjoyed it and got good time of 28' 30'' ( at least it seemed good to me ). This year it looked tempting again, but since I was not in shape due to my illness, I did not want to start running only to finish walking. Instead of me,  we encouraged Kubus to participate in, 3 and under, 50 meter race:) Kiki run 800m and Zuzia 400m.

The kids had fun before the races. All of them got freebies !!! As if free participation and meeting friends on early Sunday morning wasn't enough!

Here is my {phfr} edition, as I join Like Mother, Like Daughter for weekly edition of capturing the context of contentment in our daily life.
{pretty} and {happy}
My pretty and happy children after the races with their ribbons!
Checking the freebies:)
Andrzej getting ready for Halloween:)
( not really )
The kids worked real-ly hard!
All of us had fun. I hope to be able to participate next year and improve my PR!

June 20, 2013

Theme Thursday: Water

Joining Cari.
There is plenty of water falling recently from the sky. At least I don't have to worry about watering my garden!
Sometimes gets hot enough for the kids to enjoy in the backyard though:)


June 18, 2013

The graduation, sort of...

Kiki has graduated today. Ok, not really. The first graduation she had experienced, was from preschool. We enrolled her for three days a week for two and a half hours. I know sounds like a waste of time and money. But it worked for us, and for her. Her younger sister was just born, and because she was colicky, it gave this social butterfly like Kiki, a little entertainment and fun time with other kids. I wish I could post a picture from that cute event. Yet the pictures again are safely stored away. I can't get them...

The next graduation she experienced, was in kindergarten. Sounds serious again, right? I felt proud anyway:)
Then the official graduation festivities stopped. No first grade, or second, third and so on. If she continued her learning in the public school, she would graduate this year. Out of elementary school into middle school. But she didn't. Due to unpleasantness, bulling and over all hard time with her peers, we decided to look for a new school for her. She wanted to get out too. We have found a perfect match. A school with a class like no other. The kids actually got along with each other. It was a real blessing for all of us. This catholic school that she attended for the last two years lasts through middle school, with a graduation after the eight grade.
Yet again, after thinking it over, we have encouraged Kiki to try for a special program for gifted children call Pegasus. She was accepted and begged us to let her go there. We had agreed.

So yet again she skipped the graduation.
Today was her last day at St. Mary's school. She was happy, and she was sad. Mixed feelings, a lot of hugs, few tears and promise of visiting her old school. She had two good years. Not a surprise there. Awards for writing, in math, social studies and finishing with high honors throughout the whole year. The surprise for her and us though, was her first place in National Mythology Exam. She had the highest score in years in that competition.
The look on her face said it all. The surprise, joy and pride - the good one.

So I kind of think about it as a graduation. So far she has achieved a lot and she is looking toward the challenge and learning in Pegasus program.
Good luck Kiki. We are proud of you and we love you very much. Enjoy your summer!

Waiting for the ceremony to start

The presentation of all six awards looked the same
Getting medal for a first place in National Mythology Exam 
Kubus started to get bored, it all looked the same to him:)
 Showing the medal with pride
 A hug from Kubus.


June 17, 2013

For tata:)

I am late to link my {phfr} edition of Father's Day at out home. Celebrating the man who chose to be "tata" a beautiful, Polish way of saying dad. Zuzanna is still convinced that that's his real name and I think that there is no better proof of acknowledging the importance of  him being a father.

Yesterday I opened up my facebook page with news feed to be bombarded with wishing the "Happy Father's Day to the Best Father in the World", or "The Best Father that my children can have".
I did not follow the trend, I did not want to follow the crowd, and wanted to chose something different.
But for me, who struggles with words and writing in general, it wasn't coming easily. How can you celebrate the father of my children, who was always happily welcomed  a pregnancy news ,who had tears in eyes while setting them on the newborn baby for a very first time, who took over the caring for a colicky, fussy, baby every time I couldn't do it anymore. How can I describe a father who sings a lullaby to his children, even though singing is a talent that God had forgotten to give it to him? Who makes sure that he is that parent that sends every child to sleep?

Will my children remember who first taught them how to swim, to bike, to skate, to ski? Who took them for two day skiing trips? Will they remember the fishing, squidding and kayaking? The endless times of taking them to swimming practices, swimming classes, track meets, basketball games, girl club meetings?

How about those long hours of waiting for them at the practices, when all he wanted to do after long day of work was to stay at home and rest?
Can I give justice to the time that he spends making sure that kids have good college funds, that they can go to college?

Who reads the kids books to be able to discuss them later with youngsters? Will my daughter remember that tata fulfilled her dream of meeting her favorite author? Will she remember that he took her to father/daughter dance, even though the dancing fall into the same category as singing? Will she appreciate that everyday driving her to school even though she could take a bus a tata could sleep a little longer?

There are so many acts of sacrificing and unselfish acts of love that Andrzej is giving to his, our children, it is hard to name them all. I know I forgot a lot. So how can I make a justice by saying simply, Happy Father's Day to the Best Tata that my children can have? Can a breakfast of Eggs Benedict show the appreciation, or crayon colored, pencil scribbled handmade father's day cards, or 100 grand candy etc. Those are small things, but I think they can, they are given from a bottom of my, kids hearts! And while I know that he is not perfect, nobody is, I can't imagine a better father for our children! Thank you Andrzej!

Kinga :)

June 13, 2013

Theme Thursday: Dad

This Sunday is father's day, so I think it came naturally to Cari, to chose a theme for today - dads.
Obviously the Sunday or Monday edition will be dedicated to the father's day festivities, so I am not going to write a lot today. Just post few of my favorite and recent ( going back to a year ago ) pictures of the best father that my children could have!