Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm So Thankful

So Samuel and I were talking about Thanksgiving on the way home from church on Sunday and I was trying to explain what the holiday is for. We ended up saying things that we're thankful for. On Samuel's list was signs, meat, Thomas, his legs and food. Good list! But it also started me thinking about what I am thankful for. So here is a partial list of what I am thankful for:
  • God: So thankful to know God, who loves me and whom I can talk to anytime..
  • My sweet family:A loving husband who works hard and two boys who fill me with joy
  • My mom: my mother and friend whom I can also pick up the phone and call anytime
  • My grandma: who loves me and finds such joy in her family
  • My Family
  • Friends: What would life be like without friends to share in the sorrows, the joys and the everydayness of life?!
  • Health: I am so thankful that we don't have any serious health problems
  • A warm home
  • Food:I take for granted what I have when there are many people esp in other countries who don't have nearly as much as I do
  • My brother-in-law: who put his life on the line for 15 months for you and for me and for all the other soldiers
  • Laughter: I love to laugh with Ben, with friends and family.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate does a woman good...
  • Cheaper Gas Prices: I'm thankful we can travel home for Thanksgiving;)
  • Christmas Break: A time of renewal for my family and teaches our boys to celebrate Jesus' birth.

I know I have much, much more to be thankful for! It's good to think about these things; to focus on all of the blessings in our life instead of all the worries and anxieties or the hardships. What are you thankful for this year?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Conversations with Samuel

Today we dropped daddy off at the airport for a weekend trip to Boston for a conference. We didn't tell Samuel until last night at dinner because we were worried about his reaction (still hasn't quite recovered from Turkey...). He seemed okay, just wanted to talk about it. I overheard Ben and Samuel talking last night as they are looking at the map we have in the hallway...
B: Samuel, see this? This is Boston. That's where daddy will be for 3 days and 3 nights. What
letter does Boston start with?
S: "B!"
B: "And here, see this? This is C*****, where we live! What letter does this start with?"
S: "C"
Insert a few more rumblings and then Samuel comes running into the bedroom where I am
getting Zakkai dressed.
S: "Mommy! Daddy is going to Bostom and it starts with a B!"

Fast forward to this afternoon as we're driving away from dropping daddy off. We are having a running discourse on what daddy is doing and the whole process of flying:
Mommy: "And daddy is going to stand in line and get all checked in, hand them his ticket..etc,
etc. The plane will take off and he will fly to Boston and he will call us when he gets to his
There is silence for a few minutes as Samuel digests this information...
Samuel: "And daddy will be in Bostom and then I am going to get on an airpwane and buckle
myself in and fwy to Turkey!"
Mommy: "You are?! Wow!"
Samuel: "Yeah, but I'm not gonna fwy on a big airpwane cause big airpwanes might make me
cwy. I'm gonna fwy on a small airpwane."
Mommy:"Oh, I see. Maybe we can all fly on an airplane together sometimes."
Samuel: "Well, maybe Zakkai and Samuel can fwy on a small airpwane since we're small wittle people and you an' daddy can fwy on a big airpwane cause you're big people!"
Mommy: "Oh, you think so?"
Samuel: "Yeah. Zakkai, you wanna fwy on a small airpwane?"
Zakkai: "small air-pane"
Samuel: "Zakkai says he wants to fwy on a small airpwane, too!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


One Year Ago

Cardboard Testimony

I saw this on another blog and it really touched me. I am amazed at how God works in all of our lives, in so many different situations and all at the same time! He's amazing! I think my cardboard testimony would be "Wounded and Fragile"/"Healed and Strengthened by HIM!" What would yours be?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My sweet little angels have become hellions at bedtime. (Nice opening line, huh?) You cannot imagine how much I am wishing for a third bedroom right now! Last night was the WORST it's ever been! I am so thankful they are buddies...but not at night! They were awake for 2 hours after we put them in bed last night, giggling, jumping on their beds, sneaking out of bed (okay, that was Samuel, not Zakkai)...we must've gone in there 549 times!! We have tried every trick in the book, that we know about, to nip this in the bud and it's not working! Help!! Any suggestions??? We're going to revert back to separate bedtimes for a little while to see if that helps because we're getting frustrated! (us, frustrated? No.....)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Wanted: The Leader: Sneaky-Eyed Samuel
For: Sneaking out of bed and jumping in laundry
Description: The leader of the pack; he's big-stuff and
easily lures young innocent brothers into his schemes! He's
blond haired, blue-eyed and looks a lot like his daddy! About
39 inches tall and 32lbs, he's tall and slim. He's quick and looks
innocent and he's hard to catch in the act! So be on the look
out for a giraffe-lovin', finger suckin', giggly, sneaky criminal!
Reward: Some cuddles and some silliness!

Wanted: The Accomplice: Bbbbad to the bones-brother
For: Giraffee-stealing
Description: He's a slippery little man with blond hair and
big innocent-looking blue eyes. Don't let him fool you! He's
about 34 inches tall and under 30lbs but he's fast and strong!
He's known for his sneaky moves like coloring on the walls,
playing with daddy's guitar and stealing toys. He's considered
armed and dangerous! He's armed with an ornery grin and eyes
full of mischief and can very easily melt your heart. Beware! He's
a dangerous one and we need to catch him!
Reward: A hug and slobbery kiss!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My boys

My Samuel. You are such a bright little boy. Always figuring out ways to get what you want and getting cleverer by the day! You are going to be so much like your daddy. We think you will do great in school because you just soak up the things we teach you! But it might be hard to keep you challenged because that's what happens when you're so smart! You also happen to be incredibly funny:) You make me laugh especially at dinner time and when we spend one on one time together. You are always looking at me or at daddy to see what our reaction is to the funny thing you are saying. Always making up silly words that make no sense and using your crazy 3 year old logic!

I love to hear you teach Zakkai how to talk and say words. You are going to be a teacher like daddy maybe:) Although I wish you would only teach Zakkai good things instead of ornery things, too! You are a good big brother and SO happy to have a playmate. Always take good care of your little brother!

You might be a big boy of 3 years old but you still L-O-V-E your giraffees! There is nothing that can bring a smile to your face and melt your heart quicker than the sound or sight of your precious "Best fwiends!" And when I peek in on you at night time, you are always cuddled up close to your buddies, looking so peaceful and happy. Oh the life of a three year old!
You have a wonderful laugh that makes me smile and such beautiful blue eyes that I love to look into. I love to stroke your soft cheek and kiss your spiky blond hair. And I love that you still have that calic that you were born with on the right side of your forehead. It's a stubborn little calic, just like you!! I was quizzing you the other day on what my name was and your name was and how old you were while we were driving and you, very decidedly, told me your name was "Schmuwic!" just like daddy calls you:) (Schmulic) You don't like it when anyone calls you "Sam", you insist on your full name. And that's fine with me, sweet Samuel, because we LOVE your name! You are a bright, sweet, sensitive and very stubborn little boy and I wouldn't trade you for the world! I love you, Samuel Benjamin.

And you, my crazy sweet little Zakkai! You captured my heart even before you were born and have held it captive since! I love, love, love your orneryness and your spunk! You do everything with such a great big smile that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me not to smile back! Even when you're doing something you shouldn't! I definitely should be harder on you sometimes but man, it's so hard to get stern with you when you are so full of joy!

You have been loud from the minute you were born, which drives your daddy crazy! But now you don't scream nearly as much as you used to and you are talking so well! It's so fun to hear Samuel teaching you how to say words. I love that you have named yourself now. I love to hear you ask for things now. "Peaz have cwacker Kai!" We used to call you "Baby Kai" when you were little and before Samuel could say your name and now you call yourself "Kai." So sweet.
You can't stay angry very long. You try to give me little scowls and grumpy looks when things aren't going your way but it doesn't last long because all I have to do is smile at you or imitate you and immediately the sunshine is out again!

You are very persistent and it's hard to get you to stop doing thing like, closing the doors!!! I'm sure that quality will come in handy someday but for now it just drives us crazy!! You are so sweet and love to snuggle and be with mommy. You are so obsessed with your blankies or "rays" as you call them and it's amazing how fast the sight or touch of your blankies can comfort you. I have always wondered how such a tiny finger can make you happy, but it does!
You are beautiful and I love your chubbiness, your bright, happy, blue, blue eyes and soft blond hair. You are special and unique and bring joy to our lives. I love you, Zakkai Nathaniel.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Happy Birfday" and "Bubberfwies"

"Happy Birfday, Gwamma!!" I meant to post this on Friday but time got away from me with a little sick one in the house. These little monkeys and their mommy and daddy love you SO MUCH!!! We wish you the happiest birthday ever with a new year full of love, hope, joy and many blessings!!

Zakkai is still sick but recovering. He isn't sleeping well because his cough keeps him up (and me, too!) but I'm hoping he'll be feeling better soon. He was just next to me coloring on a mini doodle-pro that we have and he held up his lovely baby-scribbles with pure joy on his face and said, "Bubberfwy!!" I looked and exclaimed over his lovely creation and said, "Oh! Is that a butterfly?" He said happily again, "Bubberfwy!!!" It will be all too soon that he will start saying words correctly so I am going to enjoy and write down these precious little things!

Speaking of precious things, I keep notebooks for the boys in which I write all of their milestones,cute sayings and precious memories because I know that while fresh in my mind now, someday these small little things will grow fuzzy and dim and then I will be able to look back and read over these tiny things, only precious to a mother, and smile. (and probably cry, too!) So I try to remember throughout the week the things my boys do. For instance, a friend from housegroup brought snack this past thursday night and she made a trip to Chinatown to bring some special Chinese cakes. Ben let the boys try a piece on Friday and told Samuel it was called a "Chinese Moon Cake" and Samuel said, "Can I have anovver piece of Chinese Moose Cake?" It's those things I write down and treasure:)

We just outside for a few minutes and saw our first snowflakes! It is FREEZING outside and feels even colder since 4 days ago it was 70 degrees! Ah, the joys of midwest weather:) We were lucky to have some extra summer-like weather in November! And now....here comes the winter! (groan)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoughts of Mine

My Zakkai-baby has been sick since Wed night with croup! We had a very scary night with him and he was so exhausted from being up in the night that he took a 4 1/2 hour nap yesterday! I feel physical pain when one of my boys is sick or gets hurt. I HATE to see them suffer. Half the time when they are sick there is nothing I can really do for them except to offer my presence, comfort and mommy-love. I remember when I was young and I would get sick, all I wanted was my mom. Just her presence was enough to comfort me.

There was a brief day or two or maybe only a few moments in the past couple of weeks where I thought Samuel just might be getting over his Thomas obsession. I was wrong. It is now fully renewed. Thomas comes with us EVERYWHERE and people now expect that they are going to see Samuel +Thomas. We have Thomas underwear, some Thomas clothing, Thomas cups, Thomas trains (x's a bazillion), Thomas movies, had a Thomas birthday cake, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas! And yet, he wants more. Honestly we have barely bought him any of it (except for the undies and cups!); most have been gifts. He now wants Thomas pj's and a train table to drive trains on (that's another story!). I am so amazed at how many other people out there have Thomas-obsessed children, too! What IS it about this little blue engine that draws the adoration and loyalty from these small child-hearts? When I figure it out, I'll let you know....

I will say this next part with much thought and caution. As a matter of fact, I don't want to post it at all, except, IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! I have been so upset in the past couple of weeks, but mostly this week, at how very disrespectful people have been to each other over this election. Even Christians! People who are supposed to be loving with their lives as well as their words. I personally feel that who you choose to vote for and why you chose to do it, is a private matter. Politics gets so personal with people and it is so easy for someone to feel attacked in this area. I have just been sickened over the gloating and the biting and the unChrist-like love coming from this nation. I know it is happening everywhere and not just in my own neighborhood, where the next President just happens to reside. Please, please be careful what you say and how you say it! We have Someone that we're supposed to be shining for.

And to end on a lighter note: I LOVE our new breakfast for dinner tradition! Have I already told you that? It works out so well (most of the time). Ben gives the boys baths and gets them in their jammies while I finish cooking whatever yummy, breakfasty treat we'll be devouring. This past Saturday was probably our favorite so far: crepes! We had slightly sweetened crepes with banana cream filling and topped with fruit and also regular crepes filled with eggs and sausage. SO good, so good, you see!! It's fun to come up with new ideas of what to have. And it's also nice that we're all in our pj's and ready for bed by the time dinner is done! I do need some more ideas, though, so please enlighten me with your favorite special breafast recipes!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday!

This is the result of blueberry oatmeal and a "special drink" that also had blueberries in it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Weekend!

We Cried
We Laughed
We played
We were silly
Yesterday was the LOOOOOOOOONGEST day ever! The boys were so messed up! They woke up just after 6am and I was so confused when I looked at the clock and couldn't figure out why they were up so EARLY until....it penetrated my poor confused brain, that the time changed! So the boys were off their schedule all day (as I'm sure every other child was!). They ate at weird times, slept at weird times, played at weird times....But we had lots of fun. We built a tent/fort just like my sisters and I used to do growing up!! We did an art project and made masks and had lots of "sprinkles" to clean up off the floor, we played trains, read books.....and still the day did not end!
Today they were up even earlier! At 5:30am, I heard the first murmurings coming across the monitor. Why, oh why!! Today was long but so beautiful outside! Samuel and Zakkai were so funny today so there was lots of laughter AND to make the day even better, they consumed a huge quantity of vegetables today!! I will mark this day down in history....just in case it doesn't happen again. Veggies for lunch and veggies for dinner! It's a kind of day I strive for all too often! Ah, the food-battles...
Zakkai has discovered that he likes dipping sauces such as ketchup and pizza sauce! Sometimes, he just wants the sauce and not the dippee:) He's getting a little pickier though as he ages, unfortunately. He won't touch a lot of bread, grilled cheese (no child but mine!), certain cereals....drives me crazy! But another thing that is really developing in him that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE is compassion. He was very upset when I was cutting Samuel's hair last week and Samuel was screaming (that's another story!) and kept trying to pull my hand away and make me stop and kept looking up into Samuel's face and crying with him. And when he has heard Samuel cry at all in the past few days, he listens intently and gets a worried look on his face and says, "Sad. Samel cwy." He wants to be close to Samuel and feels his pain with him. It's so endearing to see how much he loves his "Samel."
And Samuel is up to his regular funny stuff! His logic cracks us up! His nose has been running since his cold a couple of weeks ago and he wipes it constantly and carries around a "soft cwoff" (a burb cloth) everywhere he goes. Tonight we were getting the boys ready for bed and Samuel ran into our room buck naked and said (as he ran by),
"My nose is running, my nose is running!" Ben chased him into the corner and I said,
"Oh no! You'd better go catch it!" (okay, silly joke, I know!) So Ben said,
"Where is your nose running to?" And Samuel said,
"My nose is running to the cwoff!!"(cloth) We laughed and laughed! He surprises us when he makes such a quick comeback!
And Samuel is really into asking "why" questions these days. "Why is the rain wet?" "Why is thunderstorm coming?" "Why does this (name of food) have this color in it?" "Why? Why? Why?" And it's funny because only recently I was thinking about how he never asked or answered why questions! As you can see they are not easy questions either! We come up with the best answers we can or just say...because! Being a parent makes you realize how not smart you are! It's a very humbling experience!
My last memory of the day is hearing my little boy giggle and giggle with pure joy in their hearts. Samuel won a bouncy ball from his prize bucket tonight and those two had a BLAST throwing and trying to catch this little ball! I LOVE the sounds of their childish-baby laughter!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tiggers Trick or Treating!

Daddy helps the Tiggers get some candy..
Mommy holds her ornery tiggers

Our friend Luka the Lion
Last night, as a last minute decision, we decided to take our Tiggers trick or treating! It was their very first time (and mine, too!) and they had a blast! There is a street here that purposely has trick or treating for little kids and almost everyone decorates their house, dresses up and sits on their front porch to hand out candy to the bumblebees, lions, ladybugs and tiggers:) We got a lot of smiles and exclamations over the "two little tiggers!" One lady who was handing out candy, exclaimed in her british accent, "Oh, a tigger! Oh, double tiggers!!"
The boys were so happy about their candy! They each had a bucket which Samuel would silently hand out to the candy-giver. Zakkai just hung on to his bucket for dear life and looked totally confused about what we were doing! He did spy his very favorite piece of candy in his bucket though, which was a blue sucker! He tried several times to eat it through the wrapper:) Finally on the way home the boys each got to choose A piece of candy. Samuel chose a snickers and Zakkai chose...the blue sucker, of course! They were very happy, albeit messy, little Tiggers!!