Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Ben sent me a link for a Turkish article on the inscription that they found last week. For those of you who read Turkish, happy reading!! And for the rest of us.....there's a picture at least!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Meet Rufus Riley, the puppy that has been terrorizing my boys:)

Looking out at the puppy

Playing with the rocks on Mugga's driveway

Having a snack together:)

Playing on a sunday afternoon....


After! (Ignore the fact that I just woke up and look terrible!)

My Summer Do!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I'm alive!! I have been so busy with traveling and getting adjusted, okay getting the boys adjusted to a new place, time change, lots of people...I've been too busy to blog! So far my "vacation" has consisted of traveling, sad boys, picking up cat poop, dog poop, training a 7 month old puppy, cleaning the house, organizing the fridge, etc! It's been very nice to be here to help my mom since she's been hurt. I know she's glad to have a little help!
The boys are doing okay. They are super attached to me right now since Ben is gone and they have gone through so many changes in the past 2 weeks. They are like my two shadows! Samuel is really enjoying seeing his Mugga, Papa and Grandma as well as a myriad of other relatives! He either plays with Thomas trains all day (did I mention that he's aqcuired a few more since we've been here??) or playing outside. Zakkai is learning new words every day! He greeted me with, "Mommy!" this morning in a very chipper voice:) Then he started saying, "Daddy!" and looking towards the doorway as if he expected him to walk through.
Speaking of daddy, Ben is doing really well. He is very tired all the time because of the hard work and getting up at 4:15am everyday. And he is ecstatic because they found an inscription this week!! It was in his area and he and two other friends were the first to get to read it since it's been written (2-3,000 years ago!!)...It's been big new with important people flying in and media. There was a Turkish article written about it, too! Ben and the other 2 philologists (aka: language-buffs) will get to translate it this weekend. Ben is having a blast!
I miss all my friends at home. I had such fun at our girls' night before I left. Watchin' Step 2 and hanging out:) I must admit it's nice to get a little break from the "CITY" because it's so quiet and peaceful here....
I'll have more to report soon and some pictures to post so keep checking in!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I feel like I haven't blogged in awhile...but I guess it's only been 3 days. Does that tell you how long my week has been?! I am procrastinating packing at the moment. Usually I love to pack but I'm dragging my heels this time...
It's been a tough week. I'm sure we'll adjust soon and it will help to spend time with family. Samuel told me at breakfast, after crying over many things this morning, "I am having a sad day today, mommy." The morning started out with him asking me if he could give daddy a hug. On a normal morning, if Ben were here, I would get the boys up and dressed and they would run and give Ben a hug. I felt so sad to remind him that daddy wasn't here. It all went downhill from there...
Last night, I had housegroup at our house as usual. I got the boys in bed, got buzzed, grabbed my keys and ran down to let the group in. All was well, until we got off of the elevator and I looked at my keys and realized that I had grabbed Zakkai's set of play keys (real keys but they don't work anywhere!)!!! I was so upset. I knocked on the janitor's door and he wasn't there. I started shaking and crying. It was the last straw to a bad week!! My friends were so wonderful and caring. They were all over there trying to break into the apt with credit cards, keys....while I was calling the janitor and the police. Finally after 20+ minutes, Ivan (the janitor) came and unlocked the door for me. I felt so bad because he had to come home from wherever he was to help me! He was very kind and gracious. The police showed up 15 minutes later, even though I had called to tell them I'd gotten ahold of Ivan. It's a good thing the boys were in bed!!
Well, there's my saga of the week. I'm off to begin packing now....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our past few days...

Here are some pictures from the past few days.....
Zakkai throwing a mega tantrum....(isn't that the cutest stubborn face!)
Samuel playing "bowling"
Brotherly love:)
After a morning in the Mommy Hair Salon
Snuggling and waiting for daddy to call
Well, we've made it 4 days so far....and I'm tired and lonely (just to be honest). The boys are doing pretty well, all things considered. We just talked to Ben on the webcam and Samuel was really sad when we had to say goodbye:(
We are getting ready to travel and see family for the next 3 weeks. It'll be a nice distraction for us. Samuel checks everyday and makes sure that we're still going to mugga's house! He also has a huge list of toys that he wants to bring:)
Ben says it's hot in Turkey (102 tomorrow) and very windy but unfortunately they have NO air conditioning! Pretty miserable...Today was the first day of digging. They had to be on the bus at 5am to drive to the Tel (the mound). He also told us there are shephards who live on the mound and raise cows and sheep. Some of them are helping on this dig. Ben is already learning Turkish (surprise, surprise!) and was teaching us phrases for "How are you," "I'm good" and "And you?" I have no clue how to spell them so I won't even try...He even had Samuel repeating them:) Always the teacher....He is sleeping for the night as I write.
Have a good Tuesday!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Safe and sound!

Just a quick update to say that Ben has officially arrived in Fevzipasa (fev-zee-pa-sha) safely! He arrived very early our time this morning. He is exhausted and his body is confused from the last 2 days :) but he is doing well! We got to talk to him on Skype this morning and see him on the webcam. Samuel was SOOOOO excited to see daddy! Both the boys got to chat with him before we went to church. Samuel was fine until after we said goodbye and then he said, "I miss daddy so much, mommy because I love him." And then he had bad separation anxiety when I tried to leave him in sunday school:( It was rough but he did very well after a bit!
Thank you for your continued prayers!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Hi, dear friends and family. It's me again...sniff. As my sweet friend, Angela said it is my second night of putting the boys to bed by myself. I didn't sleep too well last night. I was up forever worrying, praying, trying my darndest to figure out the time difference, worrying and praying some more....I finally heard from Ben this morning through email. As of 8:30am my time, he was safe in Istanbul (that was 4:30pm his time) and was exhausted! He was having trouble using the phone card so I haven't heard his voice yet (sigh). He and his two traveling mates were staying in a hotel tonight (turkey time) and about right now he is on his third plane ride to some other city where they take the train to Fevzipasa (fun to say!) where he'll stay. I haven't heard from him since this morning so I am hoping and praying that he is okay!
You may be hearing from me a lot these days. What else am I supposed to do in the long, long quiet evenings??!! Well, I do have a few projects I want to work quilt, catching up on scrapbooking, learning how to crochet....any more ideas??
The boys were so good today, except for "minor" 2 hour tantrum from Z...gotta break that screaming habit! Samuel was an angel! He got 2 stickers on his chart and we took a special trip to Target (have I mentioned my love for Target??) where he got to spend a bday gift card and pick out a special present. He is now the proud new owner of yet another Thomas train...Neville, or "Nebille" as he says. He then got another present in the mail from Aunt D., a hooked on phonics computer! Maybe he'll be reading by the end of the summer!! Anyways, he asked a few times about daddy and kept saying, "Is Daddy digging in the dirt wif a shovel, mommy?" He was such a blessing to me today.
And tonight two wonderful friends came over to keep me company, one of which who's hubby went away for 6 weeks for army training. We're going to be buddies this summer! We had a good night...homemade pizza (turned out pretty darn well if I don't say so myself!!) and amazing brownies (gotta love Ghirardelli chocolate!)...Bless you, Abby and Emily!!
So, keep praying for Ben as he's still traveling. I will update more when I hear that he FINALLY made it to his end destination....

For now, I'll leave you with a picture of little Samuel almost exactly 3 years ago....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sad Mama....

I'm about to change my blog header to...."sad mama" for the next 2 months. Okay, I won't really! After much anticipation and dreading, T-Day has finally arrived. Ben left for the airport at 11am this morning. Samuel and I cried together for awhile before I called MY mama for some sympathy:) And then when Samuel was done crying he said, "Now can we go to Mugga's house?!" Well! children do bounce back, don't they?!
Ben won't arrive in Istanbul, Turkey until about 11am or so my time TOMORROW (that's 7pm Turkey-time!) and then...they have to stay overnight in a hotel and fly out of a smaller airport to another city (don't ask me to pronounce that one!) and then take a train to the little village where they will be staying for the dig (yeah, can't pronounce that one either!) That is one lonnnnnnnnnnnnggggggg trip! He's going to be very tired, I'm sure!
So, for now, I will be sad and relying on prayers and friends and soon, family! I'll let you know when I hear that he has arrived safely!

P.S. He only pack ONE book! Can you believe it?! Wanna know how my book-loving, study-obsessed husband managed to do that? He scanned about 2000 pages of notes and books into his computer.....Just a little light reading for the trip!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to....

Yes, that's right! Our Samuel is now 3 years old! And I don't think I have seen anyone so excited about their birthday in a long time! We came in his room in the morning singing happy birthday (didn't sound too beautiful with my croaky sick voice:) and he grinned from ear to ear the whole time!!

We took the boys to the Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday for a birthday trip because Samuel really wanted to ride a little train they have there. He hopped on, sat on the bench and barely looked back at us! It was the highlight of the whole trip for him:) We

saw lots of animal as usual and went to The Farm part of the zoo where Samuel got to climb on the John Deere tractor and then we came home and after his nap he got to open a present. He opened Mugga's present which was train tracks for his Thomas trains. Oh boy, oh boy!! They've barely left his sight since! If we let him, he'd sleep with them! But we don't.... Then on Sunday he opened more presents (legos, a Thomas backpack, a percy train and a Thomas book, which we've read about 14 times already)

He got his requested chocolate cake, refused to blow out the candles and ate all the icing off and left the cake....oh well! It was a grand day for him! I remembered throughout the day when he was born. It was so exciting being our first baby and we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl...We spent the whole morning on the phone with our moms updating them while they made travel arrangements. The whole day went SO fast. We brought all sorts of things to the hospital to keep us busy and never looked at a thing! The labor started out slow and progressed very fast. They had told us it wouldn't be till around midnight or later so Ben went home at 7:50pm to feed the cat and suddenly everything started to happen! Ben's mom called Ben and said, "you'd better get back here now!" He came back and they said it's time to push and 15 minutes later at 8:46pm...we had a beautiful baby! I'll never forget that moment when the dr held him up and said, "You have a son!" He didn't want to cry so they pinched his foot to make him cry but he quieted down the instant I held him. He had soft fuzzy blond hair and he was SO beautiful. I can still see that sweet baby face in my now 3 year old. He's still so beautiful with his blond hair, big blue eyes and button nose.

Samuel, you have and do bring so much joy into our home and lives. You are an incredible little (big) boy and we love you SO much! Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July!! This is only our second 4th of July (EVER) not being with family. The first being when we lived in good ole Indiana and Samuel was due in 5 days (not the greatest time to travel:) and the second, now,....when gas prices are outrageous ($4.50 a gallon!!) and my hubby's leaving in a week...That's right, one week left until D-Day. Sigh...
We came back from our peaceful happy getaway (see pictures below if you missed them!) to find a sick child. My dearest Samuel has now shared his nasty cold with the rest of us so we've had a yucky week:*( As I write, it is 10:30pm (I know!! I should be in bed!!) and Zakkai is starting to cry..he has a nasty cough; kind of sounds like a smoker. Pray that Ben doesn't really catch this nasty thing because it wouldn't be a good way to begin a trip!
Tonight we had a picnic at the Point with our housegroup friends. "The Friends" as Samuel calls them:) We bbq'd and Samuel ate up the attention and acted like a wild-man! Unfortunately, the night ended with him in a time-out in the stroller screaming and Zakkai hacking and me blowing my drippy nose....Ah, the wonders of family life!! Hopefully we will all feel better tomorrow!!
Good news!! I had a thyroid check-up today and....I am officially in remission!!! I really feel like God answered lots of prayers and healed me. I don't have to see the dr. until November (Wow, 4 whole months of no doctor??!!!) Yea!!!
One week left until Ben leaves for Turkey! We are beginning preparations for his trip...getting things like gatorade (no repeats of our Israel horrors, thank you!), sunscreen, bug spray, etc. Now, how to pack for 9 weeks in one suitcase....I looked on the airline website this week and he gets one 44 lb suitcase and an 11lb carry-on. It will be a tough job for Master Packer Heidi! 44 lbs seems like a lot you say? Then you have never been married to someone who regularly reads books the size of a phone book!! And of course books are going to have to travel with him!
Here's the trip info for anyone wondering..He leaves on Friday July 11th in the afternoon and flies into Rome (cool!) with a couple of other guys in his program. From there they fly to Istanbul; they won't be getting to Turkey until Saturday! Long trip, yuck! They will be digging at a place called Zincerli (Zin-jer-lee). You can see it on Google Earth if you type it in! Ben will be an area supervisor (looks great on a resume!) because of his previous dig experience. The actual dig is 7 weeks long. Then the supervisors stay an extra week to write up reports and then Ben and two friends are traveling to Istanbul for 3 days to sight see. He will be home on September 9th. It will be a lot of hard work and really hot! I feel good about him going because he has gotten himself into amazing shape and feels SOOOOOOO much better than he did a few months ago. BUT we really really would covet any and all prayers during this time for safety, good health...and for Samuel who has been having a hard time with daddy going anywhere since we came back this week. This will be quite an adjustment for him; thank goodness we have Mugga, Papa and Grandma to see!!
Tomorrow for the 4th, we have a parade and another picnic/bbq to go to! Then this weekend is a celebration for Samuel! He is SO excited to turn "free" and has been waiting impatiently for Sunday to come! I'll have birthday pictures to post in a couple of days!!