|From 2008 edited|
Dear Family and Friends,
“To Live Is To Thank” (T. Styczen)
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! As we reflect on another year of living we thank God for so many blessings He bestowed on us in 2008.
As a family this year of homeschooling and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd we have been receiving graces flowing from the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist since we had a first Communicant in our family (more about that later). We decided to go on our own family retreat designed by Kasia. At the end of the three days Elizabeth said: “Mommy, three days are not enough for me”. Kasia’s mom, Lucyna was there with us and she really liked it too. We all came back from it refreshed and a bit more peaceful.
We have been working on our homeschool together and decided to make the theme of this year “Being A Disciple” honoring the Year of St. Paul the Apostle.
We have been doing a lot of geography using our beautiful Montessori wooden puzzle maps of the world and continents.
Our Atrium has been a great joy. We have made many works since last year. We introduce new works and always try to make our Atrium a more beautiful and peaceful place. It is one of the most enjoyable times of the week.
We and especially the girls have been learning all about money- allowance and all. They wait for that time of the week to get and separate their money into four different categories: one for charity, one for long-term savings, one for other and one for self. They also enjoy making decisions of how to spend their money.
We have also done a “Democracy and US Presidents Unit Study” as we prepared for the 2008 presidential election. It was fun. We have learnt that Abe Lincoln was the tallest president of the United States. He also took a little boy and put his dirty feet on top of the ceiling and made foot prints after his step mother had joked with him about not making the ceiling dirty with his hair (he was so tall). When his stepmother saw the footprints on the ceiling she laughed and told Abe to clean them off. They had a good laugh and Abe cleaned the mess. Our kids really liked the story.
|From 2008 edited|
We have been into getting to know Helen Keller for a long time. We have finished reading the story of her life with enjoyment. We have also been watching our all time favorite series Signing Time (ASL) and each one of us have learnt quite a few signs.
In April we took a week of vacation and while we stayed around the house spending time with Kasia’s mom who was about to go back to Poland, we pretended we were in France: talked about a different French saint everyday, we traveled to the National Shrine of the Little Flower & the Shrine of Blessed Solanus Casey, we ate French food, had Fr. John over for lunch and learnt some French prayers.
|From 2007 edited photos|
Blue Lake Fine Arts Family Suzuki Violin Camp near Muskegon, Michigan was a really fun and educational experience. We played a lot of violin, attended a lot of concerts put together by a lot of children including ours.
We walked a lot and ate ice-cream. Violin lessons are going well. Even Karol asks Mommy to help him play his box violin. He hums many advanced songs to which he has been introduced through live playing and CDs. We had an all girls night on which we left the boys to explore trucks (Karol’s hobby) and we went to Hill Auditorium to see and hear a world-renown violinist in live concert. It was a wonderful experience for all three of us. We saw her signing CDs after the concert.
We spent a weekend in Cleveland with our friends from PA ... and went bowling and to the botanical gardens. It’s always good to spend time with like-minded people.
We are also grateful for our family vacation in Alpena. Boat rides, playing at the beach, visiting with new friends, swinging, playing games and visiting the under water museum in Alpena are just the highlights. On the way back home we stopped in Frankenmuth and had a lot of fun.
We went to a Cinderella play put on by the local Catholic high school this summer. Wow! What a beautiful experience! We saw “A Honey Pot of Pooh” stories at the Wild Swan Theatre on Karol’s Birthday.
The girls and Mommy put together a Christmas play in Polish and presented it to the Polish community before Christmas 2007. We plan to do another one this year too.
Every year we have a lot of fun dressing up as saints and participating in All Saints Eve Party at our parish. We like playing games and collecting holy cards and sweet treats. This year was a special year for our family. Read more and you will find out why.
We have made a few trips to visit Scott’s parents. All Scott’s siblings and their families were able to get together for a bonfire in October. What fun. We roasted potatoes, sausage and marshmallows. We took rides on grandpa’s wagon and had lots of fun.
We have celebrated birthdays, namedays and baptism anniversaries. Any reason to celebrate is welcomed here at this house.
Karol Cyprian (2years old) is a delightful little boy. He likes to talk and speaks in sentences in both Polish and English. His most recent ones are “Unkind Mama” (he likes to say it when Mommy does anything he doesn’t like) ... and the sign of the Cross in Polish. He repeats everything the girls say and makes up his own rhymes, like “Bye-bye windy wind”.
It’s delightful to see our “Little Prince” grow. He really likes trucks and gets exited to stand by the window on Wednesdays (our garbage day). He is really funny and likes to joke. When Mommy says: ”Let Daddy change your diaper”. He responds: ”No way” and runs away laughing.
For his piece of art, which he entitled “Bear In the Garden” he won a 1st Place ribbon in a Popsicle Stick Art Contest at St. Patrick Parish in Ann Arbor and got tickets for our family to go to a performance by the Wild Swan Theatre.
Julia Hanna (4 yrs and 9 months) is a precious little girl who likes to joke and make Karol laugh. She is very well coordinated and likes to do gymnastics. She really enjoys reading and is passed Dick and Jane and into real books. She enjoys Signing Time and the Peter Rabbit series.
She continues to play her violin. Ms. Karen Roth (her violin teacher at the summer violin camp) was a real hit for her. She still talks about her.
She likes to imitate voices and is really good at it. Her acting skills are very good. She loves to talk about saints and how she will hug them when she goes to heaven. Our parish organizes All Saints Eve Party on Halloween Night. Julia wanted to be St. Lucy this year. She won a prize for her costume. She was very happy about it.
She likes playing with dolls and pretends they are her children. Julia’s best friend and companion is her sister …
|From 2008 edited|
Elizabeth Thérèse (7 yrs. old) is a wonderful little girl who made her First Penance in January 2008 and First Communion this year on Easter Sunday 2008. What a wonderful celebration it was. She was very reflective and excited. She sang in the King’s Choir a song of Thanksgiving right after receiving her First Communion. We have a wonderful picture of Elizabeth kissing the Body of Christ before receiving Him. Many people from our parish commented on how touched they were by that. Many people cried as they witnessed it.
She still dreams of becoming a mom when she grows up. As for right now she lives out her motherhood in a very caring way with her brother and sister and with all her dolls.
Elizabeth is an artist. She continues to make many arts and crafts. She also loves to play the violin. She enjoyed the violin summer camp. She enjoys writing stories and prayers. She is really good at math and enjoys doing it.
She also reads and writes chapter books (which she likes to illustrate).
Elizabeth and Julia performed at their 2nd violin concert in March. Elizabeth played Allegro by Dr. Sinichi Suzuki and Julia played Twinkle Theme. They both did a wonderful job on stage.
Elizabeth, Julia and Karol participated and completed our Ypsilanti Library summer reading program and won prizes: including ice-cream, swimming pass, free meals at local restaurant and a grand prize a new book that they could choose.
Kasia has been doing one on one dates, or as we call them rendezvous, with the girls. They really look forward to that. Kasia continues homeschooling our children. She enjoys it very much. She went to a Montessori enrichment workshop at the Weber Center in Adrian. She is very grateful for establishing the Montessori School in our house. She is also grateful for gleaning wisdom from Dr. Sinichi Suzuki. She organized and hosted a Montessori Tea Party at our house with a wonderful friend and speaker – a long time Montessorian Patti Yonka.
She is especially thankful for having such a wonderful woodworker & husband, Scott, who helps build many beautiful works. Working together as a husband-wife team is really fun and helps us work out our differences, especially those connected with the metric system.
She was the main speaker at a women’s retreat this year. Everyone really enjoyed it, including Kasia’s mom. She also led a 5-day retreat for 10 girls from the Little Flowers Girls’ Club. We all had a lot of fun and enjoyed learning much about St. Therese and virtues. Elizabeth and Julia enjoyed being at a beautiful retreat house and spending time with their friends.
Scott is a very lucky man with a wonderful, spirit-filled wife and 3 beautiful children, a humble, cozy abode where we love to entertain and pray with visitors and truly make a difference in people's lives.
Scott wrote an Icon of St. Michael the Archangel this summer at a class sponsored by the Diocese of Lansing. Scott is learning how to play the violin and all about Montessori / Atrium works right along with the kids. He really appreciates being able to support our school with his woodworking talents. He also helped us have a magnificent garden. Our Sunflowers were 14 feet tall in the front yard, where the kids could fit inside like a little house because they were planted in the shape of a triangle with one wider opening. Scott bakes all the bread, muffins & cookies our family can eat. Who could ask for anything more?
Scott took Elizabeth and Julia to A Father Daughter Dance at our parish and they had a lot of fun with English Square Dancing, dinner and visiting with other dads and their daughters. Scott is grateful each day for his growing professional relationships and parish social service ministries, which he coordinates in Ann Arbor.
As a family we have made some remarkable discoveries this year, especially .... books ... series and books. We also enjoyed many wonderful trips to the Petting Farm with hayrides and seeing a cow-calf being born. Kasia and the kids went to the 4-H Fair while Scott was at his icon -writing workshop.
The Movie "Whip It " about roller derby by Drew Berrymore was filmed in our neighborhood this summer, which provided lots of entertainment, and especially big trucks from Hollywood. Really!
As parents we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this year. And we enjoy many blessings and challenges that raising a young family brings with itself.
We had Kasia’s mom, Lucyna with us for three months January - April 2008. Kasia especially enjoyed having her mom present at her birthday (the last time they were together for that occasion was 18 years ago). Celebrating Easter together was a highlight too (1st time since 1995). We did not make it to Poland in 2008 as we had hoped, but we are thankful about the possibility of being reunited next year in Poland.
We were overjoyed with the news of our friends who gave birth to their healthy and beautiful babies and we can’t wait to see the ones that are still in their mommy’s wombs, especially Tomek and Sarah’s (Scott’s sister and brother-in-law) twins.
We wish you abundant gratitude this Thanksgiving.
Love and Prayers, The Wrights