Saturday, February 28, 2009

This is the boy who....

saw a nicely, organized recipe box...
and made a B.I.G. mess....

It's a good thing he's so cute!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zakkai's Day

Caution: This post contains a lot of pictures and and over-use of the word "birthday" :)

The Birthday boy wakes up!
Such a happy boy after a yummy birthday breakfast of...oatmeal!

Daddy Birthday Hugs!

Going on a special birthday walk to the store with daddy (and kitten and kangaroo)

Mommy and Samuel icing cupcakes!

The ornery birthday boy eyeing the cupcakes!

Birthday cupcakes in ice cream cones!

Zakkai, Luca and Samuel

Samuel enjoying his personally decorated cupcake, involving lots of RED sprinkles, of course!

Mmmmm....chocolate! Like mommy, like son!

A Birthday Mustache:)

Opening...BIRTHDAY presents!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

So now I'm a mama of a 2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old. That sounds really close together! Those boys alternately fight and scream or are the very best friends you've ever seen in your life! Especially when they are doing things they shouldn't like, oh....hiding in the closet doors and pulling the door off it's track or sneaking out of bed or getting into things they aren't supposed to have....not that they do those things....because we all know that I have perfect angel children! Right?! Right?

Samuel said two of the sweetest things to me last week. I let him do something one day and he looked up and exclaimed, "Mommy, you're a WONDERFUL wady! (lady)" And then we came home from visiting a friend and he randomly said, "I like you SOOOOO much, mommy!" It's always nice when your child likes you!!

That sweet Samuel has another side though; a very "stinkerish" side that is coming out. (That has to come from Ben's side:)He has been talking back a little to us (gasp!) and doing a lot of sneaking out of bed. He seriously has no idea how we can "sense" that he is out of bed (the magic monitor!!!) or how we can guess who filled Zakkai's crib with 82 Lego's and stuffed animals. Hmmmm....It's those eyes in the back of my head! So we have come up with a plan: we have a chart with a Thomas picture on it with lots of squares on it (7 squares for each day of the week) and he gets to color a square off everytime he listen right away without talking back and when he stays in his bed. The prize: Rhineas, a Thomas train! This chart system works WONDERS with this child! He went to sleep with a smile on his face last night dreaming about his prize! And this morning? He got to color off the first square for staying in bed! Ah, the power of praise and positive reinforcement!

I will post pictures of Zakkai on his birthday soon! We had a cupcake party with a few friends. 6 2-3 year olds, cupcakes and icing, lots of balloons and you've got one happy boy! And mommy, too:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Dear Zakkai Nathaniel,

February 20th, 2007 is the day you made your entrance into the world! A 7lb 4/12 oz screaming baby BOY!! From the moment you were born, you have been filled with spunk and life. You make your needs known and you have the orneriest little spirit I have ever seen:) I love to see your bright smile and the way you stare right into my eyes with your baby blues!

You have captured my heart with your sweet softness, your chubbiness, your love for your brother, your sweet giggle and a million other little things that make you YOU! God knew exactly what He was doing when He knit you together in my tummy.

We love your name, special boy, and chose it with love. Your name is Hebrew and means "Pure; Righteous; Innocent." It is unique and it fits you:) You call yourself "Kai" and have very definite ideas of who you are and what you want! I am guessing that is a trait that will stay with you as you get older. I hope that you pour all of the passion and energy inside you into your love for God!

You are most definitely a two-year old! You started little tantrums long ago and often fill the house with your ear-piercing screams:) But our home is also filled with your laughter and squeals and the pitter-patter of your running feet; your humming as you hold "rays" and suck your little finger and your sweet breathing as you snuggle close. And those are sounds I will cherish forever, little Z.

We thank God for you, little man, and pray that He grants us wisdom, peace, patience and love as we raise you and Samuel. We want you to grow up to be loving, gentle, kind, respectful, life-filled and most of all a child of God. As I write this, I hear daddy reading a birthday story to you and tucking you in for a nap. I can picture you like you are everyday, all snuggled in bed with your blankies surrounding you and that sweet little finger in your mouth. Sweet dreams, my precious son. Mommy and Daddy love you!

Zakkai Part 2!

Z's Slideshow Part 1

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

"The Naughty Corner" (as Super Nanny would say:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Jumping on the trampoline
Samuel and Miss Sarah
Little Tiger

Yesterday was Samuel's last OT appointment! I didn't talk to many people about it because I don't feel Samuel should be defined by a "term" but Samuel went to Occupational Therapy for 7 1/2 months to help with some sensory issues and was discharged yesterday! He is doing SOOOOO well and we are excited about all of the new things he can do and the amazing confidence he now has. We will forever be thankful for Ms Sarah and how God used her in our lives!
Today the boys were stinkers! They didn't get the greatest night's sleep for whatever reason and woke up WAAAAAAY too early and were so crabby!! Which meant a fussy, whiny, screamy, ornery kind of day! So this afternoon they somehow found my chapstick and got into it. Samuel had it on his eye (who knows!) and said, "Mommy, I have some...some cha..chast...stap...stapchi...stapchick on my face!"
Who couldn't smile at that?!
Zakkai's new phrase is: "Hey, mommy! Hey, mommy _______." He's so funny because he has this gutteral "H" sound and almost sounds foreign or something:) He also has been saying "ma" instead of "my."
Ex. "I hah (have) ma water!" or "Hey, mommy, I hah (have), I hah ma ray (blankie)."
It cracks me up everytime! Who knew there could be so much spunk and life and ORNERINESS inside an "almost" 2 year old!! Speaking of which...Someone turns the big TWO on Friday!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Love

Summer 2008
Taking a nap with Zakkai

My boys

Daddy and Samuel

Daddy and Zakkai
The things I love about you:
1. Your smile
2. Your beautiful eyes and how they look at me
3. Your hands
4. Your voice
5. Your laugh (even if it's loud sometimes!)
6. Your honesty
7. Your genuineness
8. Your tenderness
9. Your williness to change if needed
10. How you love funny movies
11. How you love to make the boys laugh
12. Your passion for you work
13. The pure pleasure you got from cutting your sons' hair
14. How you tease me "because you like me"
15. How you always tell the boys that I am beautiful
16. That you call me "sweetie" without even thinking about it
17. How you know so much more than me
18. That you want a little girl that looks like me:)
19. Your occasional vulnerability
20. Your strength
21. How you are strong when I am weak
22. Your puns
23. That you love music
24. Your whistling
25. That you are the pizza and cookie checker
26. That your favorite color is green
27. Your love for pizza
28. Your willingness to try any food
29. How you always compliment my cooking
30. That you are such a hard worker
31. Your dedication to your calling
32. Your deep desire to be a good father to your boys
33. How you love to play and sing Christmas music with me
34. When you bring me flowers, they are either red or yellow because you know that's my favorite color
35. My memories with you
36. That you love to go to the zoo with us
37. Your stories about your grandpa and how much you loved him
38. Your loyalty to family
39. That we have such a good time with K and T together
40. Your stubborness (although most of the time, it drives me crazy!)
41. That you want to make my dreams come true
42. That you were born on Valentine's Day
43. You let me talk before we fall asleep even though you're so tired
44. That the boys' voices and words melt your heart
45. Your absolute commitment and faithfulness to our marriage
46. That you are the car packer when we go on trips:) And you do such a good job!
47. That you like to snuggle with a blanket with me when we watch a movie
48. Your deep desire to please and honor God
49. The man you have become since I have known you
50. The man that God created
I love you, husband, and I wish you the happiest birthday ever! You make my life full and you are without a doubt, the best friend I have ever and will ever have. I look forward to 70 more birthdays with you! (although you'd be 99 by then and REALLY old!!:)

Friday, February 13, 2009


I left the boys eating breakfast at the table this morning while I went in their room to get their cups. I heard them talking to each other so I stopped to listen. And smile.

Samuel: "It's sunny outside. Is it warm out today?"

Zakkai: (mouth full of egg) "It's warm out 'day."

Samuel: "Zakkai, you only have 4 bites of eggs left!"

Zakkai: (still eating) "Four eggs left."

Samuel: "Can you use your fork, buddy? Good job! You're using your fork!"

Zakkai: "No, use my fork!"

Samuel: "Yes, Zakkai, you have to use your fork so you won't get messy. Look, you only have 2 bites of egg left!"

Zakkai: (barely understandable with his stuffed mouth) "All gone eggs!"

I love how Samuel looks after Zakkai and tries to teach him manners and new words and how to play with toys! It makes up for all of the other times that he steals his toys just to hear him scream....
I had a WONDERFUL visit with a WONDERFUL friend whom I miss so much today. My friend, Melissa moved from Chicago last April and took the time to come see me during her busyness in seeing people:) I got to meet her newest precious son, Zachariah! It's funny because both of our firstborns are Samuels and our second born sons have similar names both starting with a "Z!" It was such a nice way to spend the morning! I miss you, Melissa and thank you for taking the time to visit us!
Samuel is SO excited about Daddy and Zakkai's birthdays! Daddy's bday is tomorrow. He's a Valentine's Day baby:) We are going to the grocery store today and getting necessities, as well as ingredients to bake a special cake. Samuel is so excited about helping! This is what he told me recently:
"Mommy, when daddy has his birfday, we'll make him a birfday cake and Samuel can have a piece, too! And when Zakkai has his birfday, we'll make him a birfday cake and Samuel can have another piece!"
He has it all planned out:) Stay tuned tomorrow for a Happy Birthday post to my dear hubby!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Explaining Why

The setting: My friend's apartment (same building) upstairs late yesterday afternoon.
The character: Samuel "Why" Thomas
The action: Peeing in the potty

I am sitting on my friend's couch chatting away when Samuel comes up and says, "Mommy? Can you unbuckle my belt? I really have to go potty!" I unbuckle his belt and help open the bathroom door, etc. A couple of minutes pass and I hear a shuffling noise and see my friend Jennifer, who is facing the bathroom, smile and cover her mouth. I look over and see Samuel shuffling out with his pants and underwear down around his ankles. I got up and herded him into the bathroom.
"Samuel, you need to pull your pants up before you come out of the bathroom!"
"Why, mommy?"
"Because people don't want to see your bottom!" (even if it is the cutest little 3 yr old tushy you've ever seen!)
"But why don't people want to see my bottom?"
"Because...they just don't! It's a private thing!"
"Why? Because....because it is!"
Setting: Bedtime, all 4 of us situated on mommy and daddy's bed
Character: Zakkai "One-Volume" Thomas
Action: Reading stories

So, lately we have been really trying, even more than usual, to make bedtime a calming experience because the boys (especially the littlest one) have been kind of wild and stay up too late giggling. So we get them all dressed in jammies and speak in really hushed tones and stay really calm, hoping it will also settle the boys down (yeah right!). Samuel gets it. He whispers or talks really quietly but Zakkai....

We were reading stories softly and Samuel was interjecting with soft questions occasionally (usually "why" questions;).
Daddy: Can you see where the mommy tiger is hiding?
Samuel: (softly) She's hiding in the grass!"
Daddy: That's right! And there's the baby tiger sleeping
Mommy and Daddy: Shhhh! Let's whisper!
Daddy: (whispering) The mommy tiger is hiding in the grass. Let's talk quietly. It's na-night time.

Seriously! This child is super loud and we can't figure out how to fix his volume button! If I didn't know better, I would almost suspect he had a hearing problem that makes him yell! And as I sit here and write: Zakkai is screaming at Samuel. Sigh....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

100 Posts!!

Congratulations to me, Congratulations to me, congratulations dear meeee-eeee, congratulations to me! (sung to the age-old tune of "Happy Birthday!" which, by the way will be sung TWO times in our household in the next week and a half..)
Why the celebration you ask? Well, this post is my 100th post! How should we celebrate? Something thought provoking? Whitty? Sentimental? Something new?
How about some random facts and interesting (I think!) tidbits about me and my fam?! In no particular order..
1. I have wanted to be a mother since I was about 3 years old...ask my mom! At one point, even wanted 6 kids! Now I don't want quite as many...
2. I LOVE, love, love ice cream! Chocolate flavors are my favorite! I really want to go to Friendly's when I go back to Ohio because I have such great memories of eating ice cream sundae's there growing up! mmm...
3. If I was forced to have plastic surgery, I would get calf implants. Is there such a thing? I have tried my whole life to get calf muscles, to no avail. Sigh...
4. My husband would kill me if I got plastic surgery.
5. Have I mentioned I'm afraid to have any surgery? period?
6. I have been poor my whole life. Sometimes I dream about what I would do if I won a lot of money on Deal or No Deal or the lottery. The funny thing is, I guess you have to play the lottery to win the money! I hope I would do good and selfless things with the money...that is, if I miraculously won the money:)
7. I have really, really flat feet. I hate my feet but Ben affectionately calls my feet his "rabbit feet." I'm never quite sure whether to be flattered or offended....
8. Injustice to children makes me crazy mad and breaks my heart. I cry easily at stories involving children.
9. I adore children with all of my heart. I totally thought I would have girls. I don't. I adore my little boys but I definitely would love to give them a sister someday! or two:) I loved being pregnant and would highly recommend it:)
10. The best moments in marriage for me are when Ben and I have little inside jokes and we laugh uncontrollably over silly things. Our little jokes and stories make no sense to anyone I stopped telling them a long time ago to avoid the blank stares and uncomfortable "I don't get it" smiles! Besides, it's fun to have "secrets" together:) I think laughing together creates and strengthens a bond.
11. I think it's so neat that Ben and I both "get" to share a birthday month with one of our boys:) Ben and Zakkai get February (14th and 20th) and Samuel and I get July (6th and 8th)!
12. I would like to go back to school when the boys get older. As of now, I think I would like to be a speech or occupational therapist and help make a difference in kid's lives.
Well, now that I've probably fascinated you with my extroidinarily interesting life...I'll leave you with a funny video! I saw the older guy in the yellow shirt in another video and his laugh is REAL! So funny:)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The best part of the day...

There are many good parts to my day: going to bed, watching my boys play, when Ben comes home, etc. BUT one of my very most favorite (was that good grammar?!) parts of the day is putting the boys to bed. Oh stop! Not because I want peace and quiet...ok, maybe a little, but because they are so darn sweet!! There is nothing like tickling those adorable little soft bodies and kissing them and getting them all snuggly in their pj's. Lining up on our bed with boys tucked in between and on us, reading stories while breathing in their sweet smell (well, maybe I'm breathing it in b/c Ben can't smell!), kissing their heads, necks and soft cheeks. Feeling the warmth of their bodies snuggled up so trustingly in your lap or next to you and listening to the soft slurping of their fingers in their mouth as they hold giraffees and rays (blankies) up to their faces....I love, love, LOVE these boys!!!! And I love peeking in on them before I go to bed and seeing them sleeping so peacefully in their beds, praying over them and smiling at the innocent looks on their faces. So peaceful....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Learning from a child

This morning Samuel had a bit of an attitude problem (a little talking back and grumpiness, etc) and the last straw was taking toys from brother and giving mommy a little lip. So Mr. Samuel found himself in time-out for a few minutes (more on time out later!). After a few minutes, I let him get down and told him to come talk to me. He crawled up and sat on my lap (because 3 1/2 year olds are definitely NOT too big for mommy's lap!) and I talked to him about his attitude and how I thought we needed to pray to Jesus about his heart. He nodded and closed his eyes and this is what he said in the softest voice,

"Dear Lord Jesus, help me to be kind to mommy, and daddy, and Zakkai and please help my heart to be nice. In Jesus' name..amen."

I think I need to pray that prayer more often! More and more I am hearing from Samuel about God and Jesus and praying and I think he is getting closer to the age where he hopefully will accept Him into his heart. That makes me SO excited!! I love that he was willing to pray for a change in his heart, just like his daddy has always been so willing to do, and I hope he continues that practice!

And as for time-out, I have seen it in a different light lately. I always used to see it as a punishment for unacceptable behavior but more and more I am also seeing it as a chance for the boys, esp Samuel who is older, to have a chance to chill-out and be removed from a situation that is causing trouble. Sometimes we all need a little breather from each other or some situation and that's not necessarily a bad thing! Sometimes if Samuel is leading up to a point where we might have to take action, I will ask him, "Samuel, do you need to sit out for awhile?" Of course he answers "no!" but the behavior often stops. I think there is a difference between time-out and sitting-out. A punishment vs taking a breather/stepping back from the situation. And I am encouraged by that because I don't always want to be punishing my children every 5 minutes for things. I want them to learn to think about their behavior as they get older and make a decision to step back and change their attitude or behavior or go ahead with it and receive the consequences (hopefully the former!). So those are my thoughts:)

And randomly, I know there haven't been many pictures lately but my camera is full to the max and I need to empty the pictures onto a CD but am not up to making that trip yet and I highly doubt Ben wants to add that to his list! So more pictures of my angels will come when I free up the camera!

My pain has been improving little by little, which is wonderful! I still have to take it easy and rest a lot but I see a light at the end of the tunnel! Ben has been SO wonderful during this. Here's a true test of love; caring for your spouse in a time of illness or injury. My dearest husband has been running errands, doing laundry for the first time in 3 years, helping dress and feed the boys, fetching heat packs, cleaning.....and here's a secret: I think he's kind of enjoying some of it, too!! He says he wants to help more even when I get better:) What a guy!

And friends have been AWESOME and have been helping to bring dinners sometimes which is such a stress-reliever and one friend even came to play with the boys for awhile:) Having friends around helps so much since our families aren't here. I am so thankful and only pray I can be the same kind of friend when someone I know is hurt or sick. What a way to show love!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Design!!

Don't be scared away by my new design! It's still me:) Those of you who know me and come to my house, know that I often like to rearrange my furniture or reorganize things! Since I can't do that physically right now, I thought I'd give my blog a facelift instead! And I am very happy with it:)
Just tryin' to stay girly in a boy's world!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Naked Boys!!

Two of the cutest, funniest, orneriest, lovable, kissable, loudest, quietest, contagious, kindest, sweetest, loving, huggable, adorable, toy-loving, patient, impatient, gentle, squeezable, little naked boys I ever saw!!!!