Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Oh, how helpful!

"Where's Zoja?" I ask the kids. "Upstairs," comes the reply. But there's no answer when I call up to her. That's always suspicious.  So I climb the stairs and find her in the bathroom. She's got a toothbrush in her hand and she's carefully cleaning every crevice of the toilet with it. "Zo?" I ask. "What are you doing?" "My job," she says. "I cleaning the toyet!" So proud of herself. "I think the toilet is clean now. Thank you very much." "You wecom," she says as she turns to leave. "Um, Zoja? Did you use this toothbrush too?" I ask, pointing to another brush perched precariously on the edge of the counter. "YES!" she replies. "I hepping!" Yes, so very helpful. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the store to buy 2 new toothbrushes...

Sunday, December 4, 2016


This guy is 13 today, if you can believe it.

Which I can't. Because I still see this little boy when I look at him...

...and this little boy

...and this one.

And he still is this little boy. Full of questions and overflowing with exciting stories and wild imaginings...

And he's still this little boy, eager to engage with the world around him.

And that little boy who liked to build things and pretend things? He's grown into a bigger boy who likes to build things and pretend things...

And a young man who loves his family and God...

A young man who makes me proud to be his mama, proud to be witnessing the unfolding of his life. Happy 13 Ziven! I'm sure your teenage years will hold plenty of exciting new adventures and I can't wait to see where the next few years take you. But even though you are growing into such a young man, you know you'll always be my little boy, too!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Funnies

I was on Mass duty alone today, it being Chester's drill weekend. I was trying to settle the baby as he started to fuss, so Zoja decided to maker herself "helpful." As she tried shoving a pacifier into his clearly reluctant mouth, I told her just to hold onto it for later when he would need it. Persistent as only a toddler can be, she then asked if she could hold Maciek. Gently, but firmly, I told her "No. Mommy's got him for now." At which point she clearly lost patience with her mother for not letting her play with the baby because she shook her head and let out a "Dang it!" that set 3 of her older siblings into uncontrolable fits of giggles. And who could blame them for it, really? I could barely contain myself either...2 year olds are funny people!

8 is Super Great!


You are so full of joy and energy. Constantly searching for a prank, you love to pull one over on people. Like locking people inside the bathroom, or this "black eye" courtesy of your sister's makeup... Never a dull moment with you around!

You still love cooking and helping in the kitchen. You have a tender heart for your little sisters and any injustices done by others to your brothers. Your smile lights up my day. 

Your soft spot for babies makes my heart happy. I love it when you ask if I can have 50 more babies!

You are always up for adventure and a good time. I think giggling must be your favorite form of communication!

I love you to the moon and back, Sonny Boy! Hope you have a great birthday.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sticky Situation

Zoja comes upstairs fussing and crying from the basement. 

"Am Tuck!" she cries.

"You're stuck?" Says I.

"YEAH!," she says in her super-exuberant way.

And then I glance down at her dress and see...Tape. Wound around her waist several times, up over her shoulder, across her chest like a sash. 

"Are you stuck in tape?" I ask.

"YEAH!" (with a look of incredulity, like she has no idea how this situation developed, like the tape just reached out and grabbed ahold of her...)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Maciek Christopher 

Maciek Christopher, 3 days old

Maciek: Polish form of Matthew, meaning "Gift of God"

(In Polish, ci makes a ch sound, so think of his name spelled Machek and you'll know how to pronounce it... MAH-check)

Christopher: In honor of Chester's older brother

Hello, World! 
Weighing in...

Little Machie arrived at 5:50 am on July 23.

He was eagerly greeted by his 5 older siblings, all eager to hold him and finally meet their newest brother...

Oles meets his baby brother...
...And Tait. With Zoja making sure she gets to be right next to Baby.
Tola, such a proud big sister... and Zoja getting right close to baby.

Biggest Brother Ziven gets his turn...And again look who isn't far away...

Welcome, Little one! We are so excited to have you in our family and we cannot wait to see what life has in store for you. God has surely blessed us!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The 2-yr old Birthday post, a little belated...

This little cutie just had a birthday. She's 2 now, if you can believe it! And she's learning so much every single day...

She runs, with her arms up by her armpits; She jumps, usually with any sort of rope-like thing in her hand (headphone cord, string, dog leash...), apparently in imitation of her big sibs who have been jumping rope lately; She undresses herself, which is really swell (and has caused us to cut the feet of her jammies and put them on her backwards so she can't disrobe every night at bedtime!); She wants to do things "myself" and will proudly proclaim, "I did it!"

She's quite a Daddy's girl, this one. If Daddy is home, nobody else will do-- to change her, bathe her, feed her, brush her teeth... She knows how to work the room to get people to share bites of whatever tasty treat they're enjoying. And now that she's 2, she's certainly learning a thing or 2 about saying "no!" and throwing fits. After all, it's hard to be 2 some days... But she's such a delight in our lives and we are so blessed to have her as part of our family! 

Happy Birthday, Sweet Zo-Zo!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fantastic 10!

Happy Birthday, my dear, sweet Oles!

I can hardly believe you are 10 years old. You keep us all laughing with your impersonations and sense of humor. You are so gentle and sweet with your baby sister. You get along well with pretty much anyone. Truly you are a delight and we are so very blessed to have you in our lives!

While I was in labor with you 10 years ago, I kept singing the song "Show me the way" during my contractions. Not sure how or why that song popped into my head, but it was prescient because in so many ways you do show me the way, and I'm grateful for your companionship on my journey of parenthood and life.

God is good, and I'm certain great things await you. 10 is such a milestone and I'm so proud of the 10 year old you've become! Happiest of days, my dear boy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sweet 5

                                              Happiest of Birthdays to this sweet little girl...                                      

 Who isn't so little any more!

She brought some much needed pink into our lives and we are blessed every day with her cheerfulness and sunny disposition.

She's kind and generous, always up for a good laugh and watches over her baby sister like a second little mother. She loves to love on her baby dolls and take care of anyone who needs taking care of. 
She's my right-hand woman in the kitchen and is very eager to learn new things.

Now that she's 5, she informs me that she knows A LOT more than she did when she was 4! I have no doubt that there's some truth to that, and I can't wait to see what this little one has in store for the next year... 

We love you, Miss Tola! Happy 5th birthday! May you climb to great heights this year!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

returning from a long hiatus...and Zo-Zo speak

I have been absent from my blog for a long time. But the other day, Oles asked to read through the posts at Puppy Dog Tales and joyfully related all the stories he'd read over there. It made me realize how many precious family memories I captured on that blog and then over here, and how many in the past year or so that I've missed recording. So, I'm recommitting myself to keeping up with the little happenings in our family in this space!

First up? Zo-Zo speak, ed.1:

Zoja is now 19 months old and has her own unique way of communicating with her family.

Her favorite word by far is "Da-eeee!" ("Daddy!") Which is always said with an exclamation point... She says everyone else's name as well, except for Ziven. She just looks blankly at you when you try to get her to say that one. So we have "Oh-wee", "Daaaite," and "Ohla" (Sometimes that one comes out with an extra emphasis on the L sound, so we get "Ohlala").

When she wants something, anything, she points at it and says "ah-hah!" I can only surmise this stems from answering questions of "Do you want..." with "uh-huh" and then extended to an expression of want in general. Lately she's taken to adding the sign for please while she requests the object, rubbing her chest vigorously. She usually ends up with what she's asking for, because who can resist that?!?

And then there's sundry other words, including "Dakes" (Thanks), "No," "IdoIdo" (I don't know...)
I'm sure there are a few I'm forgetting, but she babbles on all through the day, and we can't always make out exactly what she is saying, but slowly those sounds are beginning to form more and more actual words. It's such a fun and enjoyable time!