Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I am quite dull tonight! Samuel and I are coming down with colds and you know how that muddles your mind?! I promise I will think of something exciting to write about maybe my new Jillian Michael's exercise DVD or maybe the yummy white chili that we had for dinner last night or possibly the adorable shirts I am "attempting" to make for my friend. We'll see!
Hope you have a good day tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spites, Kindles, Bees and other things

Oh goodness, I have so many reasons to smile each day, whether I want to or not! I just have to look into the adoring eyes of my faithful companion and husband, the sweet, tender blue-grey eyes of my firstborn or the bright blue, mischevious eyes of my baby boy. I'm a lucky, blessed woman!
Speaking of blue-eyed babes...Zakkai has been making up words lately and it's hilarious because he is so serious about them! One evening we were eating dinner, pizza, I believe, and Z told me that his mouth hurt. He kept insisting that it was hurting and wouldn't eat so I took a flashlight and peeked in and saw that he had a small cut on the inside of his cheek. Somehow, in my explanation of cut and bit his cheek, Zakkai came up with the word "spite." He has had "spites" in several different places since then: his mouth, his sock, his foot....and it never gets any less funny!

Another thing that has been pestering him lately are "bees." I'm not sure if he is feeling a funny sensation and that's how he can describe it or what. The first I heard of these invisible "bees" was a couple of days ago when he insisted that he had bees in his bottom, this following a rather large dirty diaper. He has had bees in his leg, his arm and in his belly since:)

Then after his nap today when I carried him out of his room, he whimpered and told me that his leg "kindled." I still have no clue what that means but I can see that life with this adventurous, talkative, descriptive little boy is going to be fun!
Off to bed now!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lost in Translation

I noticed over these past few weeks, since we have experienced a lot of health fear, financial issues and exhaustion from busyness, that I have felt...kind of lost. I realized last week that I have felt really out of it and kind of detached from real life. It could be that I have really been into some great books lately(!) or just my mind's way of coping with mental exhaustion.

So you can see why that, coupled with several social evenings last week, has affected my blogging lately. So, if anyone is reading anymore, if I haven't been great about returning emails or phone calls, please don't be upset, I am still here! Just picking putting back together the pieces and regrouping. Sometimes we have seasons like that.

We are doing well though. Eating lots of apples and adjusting to the sudden fall temperatures. I went on a walk with the boys before church yesterday and it was so relaxing, early in the morning, to be chatting about squirrels, the chilly air, the flowers, the falling leaves. Life is so simple for children. I envy that.
Speaking of children, I was thinking today about the fact that my children love me SO much in spite of myself. I mean, really, in spite of my impatience sometimes, or my busyness, or my lack of desire to get down and play trains again or not feeling myself...they still love me. They show it when they cry out for me when they get hurt and a quick kiss from me quickly erases pain and tears. Or when Samuel's face crumples with sadness when I leave for a bit. Or when Zakkai climbs in my lap to have me read him stories over and over. The spontaneous hugs and touches. Their willingness to forgive and forget so quickly. Their bright laughter and sweet kisses.

I am so blessed to be loved.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple Picking 09

After hours of fiddling around, I finally was able to post a slideshow of apple picking yesterday! It was such a nice day! There was the threat of rain looming overhead so we were a bit worried but it turned out to be a lovely fall day. Not much sun but around a cool 70 degrees (my fav temperature!) and not very crowded. There were a couple school groups but they stayed in their own areas so we pretty much had our section of the orchard to ourselves!

The trees were so full of apples that the branches were hanging down to the ground. Large, juicy ripe apples just begging to be picked! We got two full bags of our favorite apples to be made into apple pies, apple pankcakes, apple muffins, applesauce, apple cake, everything! And of course, a bunch for my boys (esp the big one) to munch on!

We took our time loading our bags and then grabbed a package of scrumptious heavenly doughnuts on our way to pay. Oh, those apple spice and pumpkiny pumpkin morsels of goodness! The smell of them....Oh goodness!

After gaining 5 pounds just from breathing in the heady scent of freshly baked doughnuts, we headed to the kid's farm where we checked out all sorts of adorable baby animals and where Samuel took a "ride" on a huge red tractor:)

It was a fully satisfied family that pulled away from the County Line Orchard, already dreaming about next year!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Over the Hump

Two sweet boys reading together quiet, for once!

I don't know about anyone else but this has been a loooooooo-oooooooong week so far! Could be the weather, could be that I'm awaiting test results (STILL), could be early winter caginess setting in (can that happen in September?), could be that we're really looking forward to apple picking on Friday.....who knows!

All I know is that I'm thankful wednesday is almost over!!


Here's a recipe I have been wanting to share:

Peachy Peach Bread (or Muffins)

2 c. flour

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 can (15 1/4 oz) sliced peaches in natural juice

2 eggs

6 TB melted butter

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon


  1. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup juice (I always save slightly more). Finely chop 1 cup of the peaches; set aside.
  2. Place remaining peaches with reserved juice in food processor; add eggs and butter. Cover and process until smooth. Stir peach mixture into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add cinnamon. Fold in chopped peaches.
  3. Spoon batter into 2 greased 5 3/4in x 3in x 2in loaf pans or a muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. for loaf pans and 18-20 for muffins. Cool 10 min before removing from pans. Can serve with peach preserves for added peachiness!

We love these flavorful muffins SO much! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Photo Op!

A photo shoot of the Thomas boys:) Unprofessionally shot and presented by yours truly, with commentary!

"Samuel, come sit over here so mommy can take your picture. That's it. Now say, 'Cheese'!"

"Samuel, please stop sticking your tongue out. I want a nice picture. Please? Oh, Zakkai, you want to come over, too?"

"Samuel. Samuel, let Zakkai come up. And put your tongue away!"

"yeah....let's try another one..."

"Put your arm around each other. Oh, that's nice!"

"Look at the camera. The camera! Here, up here!" sigh.
"Samuel, be nice please!"

"Wait! Boys, please? Please! I just want a nice picture of the two of you!"

"Okay, now give each other a five!"

"Okay, well, you can try again.."
"Samuel, look, Zakkai is trying to give you a five!"

"Okay, boys. One more time. Last time, I promise!" No, my fingers aren't crossed behind my back!

That's more like it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Good evening! Getting a late start tonight after a busy day but here is a look at our week of G's!!

G is for: Samuel's Art class with Ms G.! (no I didn't make that up:)

Making these GREAT Granola Bars! (recipe at bottom)
Taking turns stirring

"Zakkai, you're not doing it right!" says Samuel the boss

Pouring in already measured ingredients (GREAT way to cook with kids!)

Patting it down...These granola bars are so good!

G is for Getting Dressed!

Mowing the Grass
Spending time with our friend George whom Z called "Curious George":)

The letter G made with "grapes!"
G is for Giraffe!
Books we read: "Goodnight Moon", "World's Greatest Grandma," Gregory, the Terrible Eater", "God Gave us You" and "Curious George Takes a Job."
G is also for: grandmas, grapes, green, grass, gorillas, geese, girls (only one of those in our house:), Gordon the Express engine, green beans and good!
Stay tuned for a photo shoot with the boys:)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ramblin' Mind

Not too much to report, thankfully, after last week's multiple dramas:) We've been visiting friends, going to Samuel's Art class and are now enjoying the beginning of our first free weekend in over a month! We SO enjoyed having our families come visit us; so much so that Samuel recently said, "Mommy, I hope our three families will come see us again!" He also asked, when informed that today was Friday, who was coming to visit us:)
I am so enjoying the beginnings of fall weather. The coolness to the air, the first colored leaves fluttering to the ground, the thought of apple picking next week (you might remember this entry? those incredibly delicious mouth-watering doughnuts? I'm drooling.), smelling the inviting aroma of hot soup bubbling merrily on the stove or in the crockpot, the excitement of football games (well, the Buckeyes anyways!), ah....I could go on and on.

Too bad fall only lasts for about 3 weeks here. Sigh.
The other day I was carrying Zakkai to his room for naptime and he looked intently at me, poked my eyebrows with a wet finger and said, "Mommy, do you have owbrays?" Yes, Zakkai, I do have eyebrows:)
In other news, I am completely emersed and addicted to the Harry Potter books that my sister lent me. She warned me about the sleepless nights, the inability to concentrate on normal activities, the craving to read at odd hours of the day.....I didn't believe her. I started the books last Tuesday after they left and now am over halfway through book 6. Let's see...that's about 3050 pages of reading while raising two children, running a household, being social, etc. I need help!

Speaking of Harry Potter...I'd love to write more but I have to...go to bed now! I just might read a chapter or two first....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Little Piggy

You have probably heard of the Nursery Rhyme "This Little Piggy." However, you probably have not heard Samuel and Zakkai's version. Without further ado:

Samuel: "This little toe went to the market,

This little toe stayed home.

This little toe had roastbeef to eat,

This little toe had...none.

And this little piggy went WEE WEE all the way home!!"

Zakkai: "Dis little foot went to market,

Dis little foot had done.

Dis little toe had roast beast

Dis little toe had done

And dis little piggy went WEE WEE WEE!!!"

I'm pretty sure they are poets in the making!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Year

I am sitting here listening to the gentle noises of a sleepy city: honking cars, passing buses, airplanes flying overhead, the distant sound of music (if you can call it that) and a girl singing as she walks down the sidewalk.

Um, you there! Yes, you down on the sidewalk! Up here, 3rd story? Yeah, I don't know if you knew this but....your singing is really terrible. No really. You aren't on key at all. And it's 9:35 at night and you're...loud. See you.

Moving on. I was thinking yesterday about how fast time is flying. I swear it didn't go this fast when I was a child. It took about 2 years to get to Christmas time or my birthday. Each day was like a week and a a year at least! But these days, I blink and a year has gone by.

So bear with me while I reminisce for a moment, please. One year ago Ben got back from spending over 2 months in Turkey. Crazy. I remember the butterflies in my stomach as the day of his homecoming grew closer and closer. It could've been that I had to drive to O'Hare for the first time or it could've been nerves (nerves?) at seeing my husband again after a whole summer. Will he have changed? Will I have changed? Will we know how to talk anymore after having only skyped for 9 weeks? ;)

I cleaned all three of us up (the boys and I) and left for the airport too early. We sat there for awhile with another wife waiting for one of Ben's friends who traveled with him. We waited for the long, long customs lines to go down and then all of the sudden the other wife screamed her husband's name and leaped OVER the chairs and went running to him. My heart started pounding and I was turning around every which way trying to figure out what was happening. There were these 2 guys walking towards us. One was a tall skinny young man with a teenager-ish looking mop of hair on his head and a stubbly growth on his face. My eyes flitted past him and then zoomed right back again. It was Ben sporting a nice Turkish haircut and a weight loss of 20lbs.

I look back at the picture now and realize how BABY my boys were. Samuel was barely 3 years old and Zakkai was only 18 mos old. Ben couldn't believe how much Zakkai had changed while he was gone. One of the boys started crying at the sudden chaos and then we were reunited as a family.

It took several days to get used to being around each other again and for me to believe that he was really home again. It was a really wonderful special time. You learn to appreciate each other all over again.

And since that time SO much has happened to us as a family. Ben finished a heavy load of classes, took his comps, I broke myself:), Z turned 2, Ben had surgery, proposed his dissertation, S turned 4, B started teaching and a million other things. A year. Where did it go? I know we'll look back on this time of sacrifice and hard work with fondness. A special time for our little family. And who knows what'll happen in this next year...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sleepy Time Potty

So...there is this magical hour where I wake Samuel up and cruely force him to sit on his potty, stationed next to his bed, to avoid middle of the night accidents. It is usually around 10pm to 10:30pm where I enforce this terrible motherly punishment. Samuel has been asleep for around 3 hours at this point, just enough time for him to be in a very deep sleep.

Now if I was a nice mother, I would let my sweet peaceful child slumber away at will. But...I'm not. I am selfish and heartless and wish to avoid waking up at 2:30 or 4am and hear, "Mommy! Moooommmmy! MOMMMYYYY!" And so, I creep into the dark, quiet room, with the hall light blazing in the backround (just for cruel effect, of course) and I peel back the covers from the warm, slumbering body. I whisper his name and tell him it's time to go potty and then after rubbing his arms and making him stir, I sit him up. Sometimes, like tonight, he's like a bobble head with his eyes closed tight and he tries to lay back down. But as part of my nightly torture, I lift him out of bed, gingerly set him on his feet, and prepare him to sit on the potty.

He has gotten used to it, in his sub-conscious, and usually goes fairly quickly, longing for his now-cooling bed, giraffees and faint remembrances of Thomas the Train dreams.

Let me paint you a picture of tonight, however. Tonight I am certain that he did not crack open his sleepy eyes to see who was so rudely interrupting (or "interning" as S said tonight) his precious sleep. I quickly checked on Zakkai, who was sucking gently on his little finger in sweet ignorant bliss and turned around to see Samuel weaving and swaying dangerously on his little potty that is all of a foot and a half off the ground. I hurried over and placed an arm on his back, just in case he lost the battle and decided to sleep on the ground (which he may or may not have done recently.) He immediately laid his head on my shoulder and softly wrapped his skinny chicken arms around my neck for a moment before remembering where he was. On the potty. In the middle of the night. With his cruel mommy.

His head bobbled forward and back as he tried desperately to stay awake...or fall asleep, depending on which way you look at it! "Mommy," he faintly whispered through slitted lips, "Mommy, don'" But I knew that if I relented, I would be back in that room in an hour changing sheets and jammies, resembling a bobble-head myself and so I steeled my back and kept whispering like a siren, "Just go potty and you can go right back to sleep." Over and over...

Now in the midst of this, I most certainly did not sneak out of the room and look for my camera, hoping to snap a quick picture of Samuel with his mouth hanging open, head tilted back, sleeping while trying to pee. Because I wouldn't do that! First of all, Samuel's eyes might of jerked open if he had caught the light glinting off of the silver camera in the pitch black of his room and he might of stared at me curiously through a sleepy haze, wondering why his mother was thinking of taking pictures at a time like this!!!

I would not do that! Ahem. So finally after 10 minutes of sending potty prayers his way, he finally gave in and went potty, stumbling back into bed and falling asleep before the door even closed.

And I closed the door, I just might of caught a glimpse of a silvery object beckoning me from the floor and snatched it up, putting it in a safe place, hoping that Samuel thinks this was all one long dream and that I am just a nice normal mother. Because I am. Really...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

F Overload!

Welcome to the "F" edition of Alphabet weeks! I have a fantastic fever of F-filled Fun for you to enjoy:) No fewer than Five Fun F activities were enjoyed by my little fellows. Come see!

Making necklaces out of Fruity Cheerios!! (definitely a hit!)

"I'm working hard, mommy!"
S so proud of his FABULOUS fruity necklace:)

Z frothing at the mouth to enjoy his fruity-licious necklace

Making a stop to the local.....
Fire Department!

Where we feverishly discussed the firefighters and fire engines which we had the unFORtunate pleasure of enountering this week.

Playing Follow the leader up the slide no fewer than 30 times!

Delighting in another Family Weekend, this time with Ben's Fantastic mother!! We love you!

Grandma frollicking with the grandbabies

And for F's alphabet page....Zakkai chose "F is for Face!"
And Samuel worked hard on "F is for Frog!"

And we added featherlight F's to our alphabet wall:)

On top of the above activities, we read books such as "Kitten's First Full Moon" and "Just Follow Me", "Puppy Finds a Friend" and "Curious George and the Firefighters." We talked a lot about how F is for: faces, fingers, fast, family, friends (hello, friends!!), flowers, frogs, fighting, fish, fences, firetrucks, food, fruit, and FUN!!!
Thank you so much faithful followers for reading about our F week!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Long Week

Mommy was drained after Wednesday's trauma, so I racked my brain for an activity to keep the boys occupied in the afternoon so my brain could continue to veg...
The boys had a lot of fun playing, scooping. burying, shoveling, laughing and fighting....
And then last night I went into the boys' room to tuck them in before I went to bed and help Samuel go potty (to prevent accidents~hence the potty in his room:) and for a second my heart skipped a beat because his bed was empty. And then I saw this......

A closer look..
I have no idea why in the world he was on the floor! He is hanging over my shoulder now, staring at the screen saying, "Mommy, why did I want to get on the floor? Oh, I didn't know I was on the floor! That is silly!"
This morning while the boys were eating breakfast, they were chatting with each other....
Zakkai: "I saw daddy!"
Samuel: "Where did you see daddy, Zakkai? Oh, I saw daddy, too."
Mommy: "Where did you see daddy? He already left for work!"
Samuel: "We saw him out the window."
Zakkai: "He was wearing a green shirt!"
Samuel: "It was a t-shirt. Mommy, is daddy a teenager?"
I have no idea where they hear these things!
Zakkai has said some silly words lately) The classic: "P'sketti" (spaghetti). The mixed up letters: "Tikky Tac" (kitty cat). The adorable: "C'mon little men!" (referring to himself and S). He is such a character!
It's been a crazy week, full of physical ailments for the Thomas family. We are off to yet another dr's appt today, for Samuel this time but hoping to get well soon because Ben's mom is on her way to visit us! Family weekend #3!!