Archive for February, 2010

I don’t want her to go…. :(

The past twenty days have gone by incredibly quickly. I apologize for not updating more! A lot of what we have done is kind of mundane, but still fun (i.e. going to basketball games, school and around Washington)…but not very interesting to read or write about. But I digress. Let me update you on the last couple of days (which have been extremely eventful!).

For about the last week, we (meaning the whole group of Polish students and their American host families) had been looking forward to Friday night, because we were all going to go up to Planet X in Cedar Rapids to play laser tag & arcade games. After school on Friday, were were all milling around the school getting ready to go. But for some reason, our parents (who had insisted that they must drive us northward) would not let us leave. Imagine our surprise when they tell us that we are not all going in separate cars, but in the hugumboginormous Expedition limousine that was sitting outside the school!! Needless to say, we were all quite psyched out of our minds. So after snapping quite a few pictures, we were off to Planet X.

At Planet X, we had a great time. I learned that I’m really bad at laser tag (my accuracy was 6%, but apparently I’m still qualified to be a Galactic Sergeant or something…oh well, at least it was really fun!) and Monika is superbly amazing at Ski-Ball!! She beat the high score on the machine with a whopping 51,000 points!!!! We also played some arcade games, rode on bumper cars & “Space Bikes”, and I think Monika tried the climbing wall. Overall, a very enjoyable time.

This, friends, is a space bike.

After Planet X we traveled down to HuHot in Iowa City for dinner. Again, we had fun and made a few memories (plus, the food was delicious). All of the Polish students and their host siblings sat at one table, while our parents sat at another. It was neat to be able to have everybody who’s going to be together in Poland this summer (plus a couple of extra people) together in one place. You got to get to know people better and see them interact. (Not that we haven’t been interacting before, but I guess these interactions were just different. I feel like this was the first time we were meshing so perfectly together.) Sitting and talking with everyone got me really really excited for this coming summer.

Tonight (Saturday night) our whole group got together in true Midwestern style for a potluck at the Kalona chamber building. There was delicious food, music from all over the world, and a game of Dutch Blitz featuring gigantic cards. The whole evening was great, but it was also kind of sad. I realized that this was most likely the last time that this exact group of people would ever be together in the same place at the same time. Yes, most of us will be together in Poland this summer (to which I am counting down the days!!), but some of the hosting students won’t be traveling overseas with us. Our whole group seems to work together really nicely and enjoy each others company, and I hate to break that up. I’m glad that almost all of us are traveling together.

Polish peeps and their host siblings...great times at the potluck

This time has flown by! Twenty days is too short! It almost seems like we’ve just gotten to know everyone so well, right before they must leave!

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Monika. We get to take her to the airport, and then I won’t get to see her for three months. We’ve become good friends in the past 20 days, and I wish we didn’t have to say “See you later” so quickly. (Because I think it should never be “goodbye”…”See you later” sounds so much nicer!!)

Please pray for safety for Monika and all of the other Polish students as they travel to Washington DC tomorrow.

Well folks, that’s all for now. The night is no longer young, and I am tired! So, I will bid you all “dobranoc” (good night) and say farewell (or “do wiedzenie”, if you prefer :) )

Much love,


Weekend fun

This past weekend was a fun one for all of us. Monika enjoys shopping, so given the fact that there aren’t exactly tons of stores in the Crawfordsville area, we made the trek up to some “greener pastures” in Des Moines. That’s right…we went to the Jordan Creek Town Center.

We spent most of the day on Saturday shopping. Hollister + Delia’s + American Eagle + Rue 21 + Vanity + Cheesecake Factory + many more = a very eventful day!!

Our hotel was in downtown Des Moines, so on Saturday night Monika and I laced up our skates and got the chance to go ice skating. We weren’t quite Olympic caliber, but we didn’t fall down too much. Most importantly, we had fun. :)

Monika has also been teaching me some Polish while she’s been here! Let me pass a little bit of my learning on to you…

Polish word: Dobrze

My poor attempt at a pronunciation: “dohb-zheh”

Translation: good

Polish word: Proszę

My poor attempt at a pronunciation: “pro-sheh” (make sure you roll the ‘r’ “)

Translation: Please, or “Here you go”, depending on the context

Polish word: Dziękuję

My poor attenpt at a pronunciation: “djay-oo ku yay-oo” (although there are a few little back-of-the-throat “oOoo’s” in there that I’m not so good at saying, let alone typing)

Translation: Thank you

Enjoy, my friends! (I meant to post this much earlier this week…sorry!!)

Much love,


She’s here!! :D

Yes indeed, our friend Monika arrived with us on Monday evening. She, her teacher, and the four other Polish students arrived in America last weekend and spent some time in Chicago. Then, they drove down to IMS, where we (the families) got to pick them up.

This past week has gone by very quickly! Some of the highlights include: Baking snickerdoodles (you’ve gotta love those crazy names that we Americans give to our cookies ;) ), shopping at Coral Ridge Mall in Iowa City, attending an IMS girls basketball game (and yes, all of the Polish students got to experience a real IMS roller coaster!), and a snow day on Tuesday.

It’s really neat having a sister. :) Monika and I are actually fairly similar…we are both only children, we both play the piano (she’s very good!!), we both enjoy sweets quite a bit, and we both like to travel.



 Monika has also taught us all some things about Poland. Here’s just a sample of what we’ve learned:

1. Łódź (Monika’s hometown) is not actually pronounced “loads”, as it looks to us Americans who don’t have as many letters in our alphabet. It is actually pronounced more like “woodge” (although that’s not quite right either….I find it helpful to think of the words “wood shutters” and then just remove the “-utters” part. So it’s more like “wood-sh”. Kinda.)

2. Shoes are cheaper in America than they are in Poland.

3. Polish students (and teachers) have a two-week long winter break in the month of February. (This is nice for the students that came here as they won’t have as much homework to make up when they get back).

4. The polka is not actually a Polish dance, but Czech.

 Well folks, that’s about it. I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day and a fantastic week! I’ll try to update often…things are super busy around the Fulton house at the moment, so I apologize if that doesn’t happen! (and I will try to post some more pictures soon as well!!)


ps – Yes, I wrote this yesterday ;)

Tony, the Polish students (minus Misia) and their teacher.

Our principal, the Polish students (minus Misia) and their teacher.


Preparations are currently underway for Monika’s arrival (which, by the way, will occur in T-minus 4 days). We’re cleaning, organizing, and even doing a little bit of redecorating. As many of you know, our current guest room was my baby room quite a long time ago. Thus, the wallpaper in said room is very…well, nursery-esque. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, but sometimes it’s just time for a change of pace. So, last weekend, the former baby room went from this wallpaper:


*drumroll please*


*ta da!*

I myself am rather partial to the color…”Cocoa Bean” is what the paint chip called it.  This will be Monika’s room while she stays with us.

Speaking of Monika, we got the chance to Skype with her and her family last weekend! For those of you who don’t know, Skype is this really cool internet dealio that lets you use your webcam to talk to other people over the internet. (That was a really horrible explanation…I apologize. Just check out their site for a better one.) Anywho, we got to meet Monika, her parents and her dog via webcam, which was very very cool. I’ve been emailing Monika and my parents have been emailing her parents for a couple of weeks, so it was really neat to be able to finally ”meet” them. They speak very good English, and are a very sweet family :) I’m quite looking forward to this adventure, and I think Monika is also.

Please remember Monika and all the other Polish students in your prayers as they fly to America tomorrow, February 5.

Well folks, that’s all for now. May your days be merry, bright and blessed!