Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Steps

Let's find something new to talk about rather than health drama, shall we? We are slowly improving and pray this continues.

B's feeling better in the flu/sinus department but not so much with the lungs. Hopefully that will be fixed soon...

Samuel was back to school today and thrilled to pieces! He was SO excited to see his friends again and wondered if they missed him:) They did. When asked tonight before prayer what he was thankful for, he said "I'm so glad I got to go to school today!" Boy, I wish I got energy back as quickly as he does!

In fact, I asked him if I could have some of his energy and he said I had to become a kid again to get some. He said, "Mommy, I know why you didn't get your energy back as quick as me. You got dehydrated. I didn't." Smart kid!

Zakkai remains untouched, thankfully! He is busy as can be, talking our ears off. He has been taking a Rocket Reader's class through the PD where his preschool is and he's starting to recognize words! He is very proud to point out words like "And" and "Look." He thought having Samuel read to him was going to work for a lifetime but I think he's starting to change his ways;)

Miss E has been doing some fun new things! In all the yuck around here, I forgot to report that she has officially taken her first step!! She took one last week on Wednesday and another on Thanksgiving. She's done it a couple more times since then and loves when we cheer for her! Can't believe she'll be walking soon...

She is also learning new words and signs! She said "Wow" tonight in the bathtub for the first time:) It sounds like "ooo-oww." And she has finally really started calling me "Mama!" She says "Mam-mam." She just started yesterday and it melts my heart! Talk about a quick way to melt away any grumpies or tiredness~just have that sweet little voice looking at you, saying 'Mam-mam!"

She's still big into showing us "Lights" especially since we have Christmas lights up. And now she points out "Fans" and she did "Sun" and "Tree" for the first time today! It's amazing how her desire and ability to communicate has grown in the past month. You can just tell that she's looking around looking for things that she knows the signs/words to so she can tell us about it. So fun!

Hopefully I'll have the energy to take pics tomorrow and you'll probably enjoy them more than you would've of pics taken with us all pale and disheveled and in our pjs! I look out for you. I really do.

It's baby steps 'round here but we'll take 'em!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Health Drama Continues...

They always say it's 1 step forward, 2 steps back, right? Right.

Samuel and I are doing much better, thankfully. S's fever and yuckies left in the middle of the night. This afternoon, Samuel suddenly perked up and said, "I feel SO much better!" He's still pale and not eating too much but is raring to get back to school with his buddies.

Zakkai is still holding strong!

E had a terrible night with crying and coughing. She woke up crying this morning with a fever. A little tylenol and a good nap later seemed to help her and she perked up this afternoon, too.

I saved the worst for last. Poor Ben is where I was Sunday. He seems to have had an asthma attack late last night due to cigarette smoke filtering in through our vents (someone was smoking down in the common basement area) and couldn't breath well. He also came down with the flu in the middle of the night. And then this afternoon, woke up from a nap wheezing and feeling the peanut back in his lung again.

Poor guy was just so miserable between the flu, the sinus infection, the breathing issues and the peanut so he headed back over to the ER just before dinner time. Oh yes. Visit #4. (Watch out for your offer, D, we may take you up on it;)

He was given a breathing treatment which helped with his wheezing and saw a GI dr, who will be taking a look at his lung with a scope tomorrow. Please continue prayers for us! We've been hit hard with stress this fall and it seems that our bodies are paying for it....

I made a trip out to the store today and came home with lysol, 2 huge containers of clorox wipes and another cleaner and spent what little energy I had spraying down the house and doing tons of "sick" laundry.

I can only hope we'll have a more peaceful, uneventful night tonight sleeping in nice, clean, germ-free beds.

Happier post tomorrow, I hope!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The night from H-E-L......

Wondering why you haven't heard anything from me? We've had an unbelievable weekend, especially last night. And not in a good way....

It all started on Friday when I got a letter in the mail from my dr saying that I wasn't crazy for all the the miserable symptoms I've had over the past weeks, including horrendous lower back pain, and had a uti. It came complete with a prescription. The only problem? I went to the dr TWO weeks ago and they just now informed me!

Anyways, started antibiotics Fri night, hoping for relief. Felt better Saturday but yesterday came down with the most violent, awful stomach flu EVER. 6 hours after continously getting sick and having horrible back pain, we got worried that my uti had gone into a kidney infection so we woke up all 3 kiddos last night and headed to the ER.

I sent B home to get everyone back in bed and settled in for 6 hours of fun times at the ER. You know how it is: wait, wait, wait and wait some more!

Turns out my uti has cleared up but I got a shot of an antibiotic to make sure, I had the stomach flu and was dehydrated and had a ruptured ovarian cyst. Fun times.

Oh wait! The story's not over yet! While I was receiving fluids and feeling like I had been run over by a Mack truck, B calls and reluctantly tells me that Samuel is now at home vomiting. And on top of that? Ben has inhaled a peanut into his lung, can't cough it out and is running a fever! He called the ER, the very same one where I was, and they told him he needed to come in.

So at 4am, B woke up our kiddos, sickness and all, came to pick me up, helped us get home and tucked in bed and headed out for his very own ER trip. Complete with the same dr and nurse, who were asking how I was.

Seriously. You couldn't make this stuff up!

B had to get x-rays and they weren't able to spot the peanut but think he either has a scratch on his lung from it, which should feel better by tonight, or the peanut is still there and he has to come back in tonight or tomorrow to get it pushed out.

Ridiculous. So, please keep us in your prayers so that we can heal! And pray no one else gets hit with the demon flu.


Friday, November 25, 2011

A Christmas-y Day

Christmas is coming to the Thomas household. Well, the decoration part anyways:) Today, to the great delight of the boys, we got out our Christmas trees (1 big, 1 small) and lights and ornaments and decorated.

Not a one of us were dressed yet. That's part of the fun of special days at home after all:) The boys worked very hard putting ornaments on while asking questions about where each one came from and remembering certain ones they'd made in school.

 Can you tell this boy was excited??

And not long after we finished, Missy woke up and came down to a winter wonderland! I love the look on her face! She immediately started telling us about the lights...

But she wasn't too sure at first about touching that weird spiky green stuff...

But finally got enough courage to reach out a chubby, little, curious hand. Hopefully she'll leave the ornaments on the tree!

And then late this afternoon, long after we enjoyed a delicious lunch of leftovers, we headed for a special lights parade in Naperville. We got stuck behind a crowd of people so Z got a special seat:) He wasn't too sure at first...

But some nice people made a nice little spot for the boys to squeeze through finally and even were kind enough to help get a few candy treats that were being handed out for the boys.
 The parade ended with Santa and Mrs Claus and not long after there was a countdown....
And Santa flipped on all the pretty lights downtown! Zakkai was completely amazed that he could turn on all the lights at once:) And I'm sure if he could've gotten anywhere near that switch, the lights would've been going on and off, on and off!

It was a nice relaxing day full of sweet family time, Christmas music on the piano, and fun memories. I'm thankful for days like these!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I am sitting here, totally sated by turkey and all the trimmings (the ones that turned out anyways:) The hubster and I have been up since 6am preparing our Thanksgiving feast.

We started out with cranberry scones, eggs and fruit for breakfast which lasted B and I til our big dinner at 3pm. The boys snacked a little in between. It's hard to ask the little people to wait hours and hours to eat!

I just knew something wasn't going to turn out as I'd hoped, it always seems to happen that way. This time it was the stuffing. Lesson learned: do not stuff the turkey with stuffing (no matter how loosely) and definitely do not put stuffing around the turkey. Put it in a different pan!!!

Soggy stuffing just does not do the trick.

But all the rest turned out perfectly....or almost!

Turkey (with lots of leftovers!!!), mashed potatoes (my first perfectly turned out batch!), gravy, fresh green beans and homemade herbed dinner rolls. Mmm, mmm, mmm! And for dessert?
 Pumpkin Streusel Pie and Texas Crunch! Oh and definitely don't forget the whipped cream:)

 Z enjoying his treat:)

Missy gobbled up turkey, mashed potatoes (with a little gravy!) and green beans. It was fun to eat with her at (or near) the table:)

 Samuel showing how happy he was to have such a full belly!

 My wonderful hubby who worked his tail off today, and me:)

We also made a Thanksgiving craft together: A Native American and 2 Pilgrims:) The boys had a blast!

We also got to skype with my family as they were still gathered together. I could just picture myself right with them and missed all the hugs, the laughter and the ornament making. We missed you all today!

We all chose at least one thing to thank Jesus for tonight:

Ben: That Eliana's heart is healthy, for our wonderful family and food to fill our bellies.

Samuel: For breakfast, lunch and turkey dinner, for dessert and for his Pilgrim:)

Heidi: For my wonderful, loving husband, for my sweet precious boys and darling daughter and for our food.

Zakkai: For Christmas.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let the festivities begin!

It felt like such a strange day today, almost like a Friday! The boys haven't had school all week so we've just been hangin out, having fun being sick and all. B was finally done with teaching this afternoon, an event we all were anticipating. Hopefully good health will come to all of us over this long weekend!

This little Birdie is having so much fun with "new" toys that I've pulled out. (a.k.a. the boys' oldies but goodies). Actually the boys are having fun with them, too, and we've had to set up rules because before we know it, they are playing with the baby toys and E is driving cars!

She does make a pretty mean car noise....

 The boys and I were feeling kind of sad today over not traveling so I kept us all busy cleaning, switching out toys (best trick a mommy can have!) and looking forward to daddy coming home.

Here are the boys in deep conference over something important:)

The boys have recently started collecting baseball cards ~ a hobby that may or may not have been instigated by Daddy:) They weren't too sure at first but are really getting into it, especially now that they know Daddy collected as a boy.

Tonight B pulled out some of his carefully guarded collection to show the boys. It was the cutest thing I've seen! They all took it so seriously talking about how to take care of the cards and why, who the players were, what years the cards were from (to them 1989 in OLD!!). Ben is so excited to share this with his boys:)

And for the past hour and a half, B and I have been chopping, mixing and preparing what we could for our first Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. See, there is this old, old story called "The Little Red Ben" that we like to talk about around here. The Little Red Ben claims (jokingly) that he does not have to share in the Hen's (a.k.a. Heidi) feast preparations but can merely enjoy the fruits of her labor instead.

Thankfully, he decided to reverse the story and help me instead, in great humor:) I think Ben, most of all, is looking forward to tomorrow. His sick body and weary mind crave rest and relaxation. He works hard and needs this little break. And as hard as it is for me to miss family and special traditions, I am glad to help create a happy Thanksgiving for him and for our family.

Pics tomorrow!

Tonight I am thankful for my mom, who is being so understanding about us not coming, even though she is so incredibly sad. She has such a compassionate, gentle heart and loves me unconditionally. I love you, Mom!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To be Thankful.

We got the official good news today that E's heart is just fine!! Her murmur is small and functional and will cause no symptoms so she can run (someday) and play, eat and be active (which she is) as much as she wants with no problems. Yea!!!

So thankful.

Z has turned the corner and is finally improving ~ more yea! He was more himself today and his cough is nasty but much, much better, as in not sounding like he has bronchitis or croup.

So thankful.

Unfortunately, my dear family has shared this lovely illness with me. I just finished some hot tea to sooth my poor sore throat. I am hoping that somehow I will get a mutant germ that never fully develops and I'll wake up tomorrow feeling grrreeeaat. Right.

Not thankful.

Made our second ever trip to Aldi today. I have been scared of Aldi's ever since visiting there with my aunt back in the 90s. It didn't have the greatest reputation for awhile but apparently Aldi's is the bomb these days. It's Ben's new favorite store. He loves the whole quarter/cart thing.....And we love that things are waaaay cheaper there than Target. (Sorry, Target. You had 100% of my business until you started raising your prices like crazy. Good way to kick a person while they're down.) Glad for a chance to save a little $!


About to spend our very first Thanksgiving in our own home. While we are very sad about missing family (and especially those we haven't see in FAR too long!) and special traditions, we are really looking forward to relaxing together and making special memories. And hopefully making a nice turkey. And mashed potatoes that don't resemble brick mortar. Not that I've ever done that or anything....

So thankful.

I'm thankful that I've found at least one thing to be thankful about every day this month, even on the toughest days. It's a good habit to get into, forcing yourself to weed through all of the distractions, the stress, the nitty gritty in your life and in your day and find at least one thing, one blessing to be thankful for.

Chances are you'll find a lot more than just one. And maybe you won't notice or focus on the not-so-nice things quite as much.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Be Still My Heart.

 This little chickie had her echo with the cardiologist today. She did great! Well....except for the weighing and measuring and blood pressure part:)

It's hard to ask a 13 month old to lay still with probes and gel all over and a strange man trying to take pictures of her little heart. For 45 minutes!

I did a lot of praying before the appointment because they told me if she wouldn't cooperate, they'd have to send her downtown to be sedated.
 But God answered my prayers in more ways than one! First, the technician was wonderful and did such a great job with E. Secondly, she only fussed a little bit towards the end but he got all the pictures they needed!
But most of all, even without the official results yet, it looks like she's going to be just fine. It looks like a small functional murmur, no big heart conditions or surgery. I hope to hear from the dr soon but we're feeling pretty good about it!

Now if we could just get healthy around here~we have 4 down for the count now.

I am thankful for prayer and answers to them. Sometimes it doesn't look at all like what you were asking for, sometimes it's so much more than you were asking for. Sometimes it is yes, sometimes no and a lot of times the answer is wait. But I'm so glad God listens and cares, whether it is something small or something that seems impossible. I want to pray with thankfulness and a heart full of faith and hope.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Splish Splash

 A nightly game I love to play,

I wait for this moment through the day.

Finally, my dinner is done 

And now I know the time has come,

It's bathtime!!

I laugh, I splash, I crawl, I play,

I'd wiggle and giggle in the bath all day,

If only mommy would let me,

It's bathtime!

Back and forth, up and down,

Lots of smiles, never a frown.

It was love at first bath a year ago,

I love my bathtime!!

~HKT copyright 2011~

I'm so thankful for my little girl, whose sweet preciousness brings a smile to our faces every single day. She's a light and a joy, a pure delight. To watch her learn and change and grow is such a miracle.

Happy 13 months, Sweet Girl!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friends, Sickness and Hope.

Yesterday we were blessed to spend time with lots of friends! In the morning a friend from my old mom's group came over with her two little girls to hang out. And in the evening we got to enjoy dinner and fun conversation with one of our favorite couples:)

My friend's oldest daughter, who is one month older than Z, (not pictured) brought this lava bubble thing over and Zakkai seriously spent almost the entire time watching the bubbles, flipping it over and doing it all over again. I absolutely have to find one of these for him!!

Poor Z is so sick:( His cold took a turn for the worse Thurs night and his cough has been progressively worse, which is his pattern unfortunately. Then this morning he started having terrible tummy pain and vomiting. We are watching him closely, trying to determine if he's gone into a secondary infection and needs to be seen by a dr or if it is a virus on top of his sickness and will pass.

He is sleeping now, thankfully, so we will see....
 Eliana, who also has a little cold/cough, spent some good time driving cars (and throwing them) today. She even made some pretty good car noises! Such a busy little person these days...
 As soon as Samuel gets down on the ground, she is stuck to him like glue. He LOVES when she crawls all over him! Couldn't resist this adorable picture:)

I guess my exercising is rubbing off on the family and Eliana thought she'd try her hand at it today!
But it isn't so easy to pick up weights that are 1/3 of your weight! Such a silly girl:)

Hoping and praying that sickness leaves this house in time for us to enjoy family time next week.

I am thankful for unexpected conversations with people that lift your spirits and give encouragement and hope. It is such a blessing and like finding a bright spot of color and hope in an otherwise dreary or dark day. God knows when your spirits need lifting:)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 Little Indians

Now don't get all "politically correct" on me! I'm just following what the school said:)

Today Zakkai's class did a special Thanksgiving Feast at school, using the book "Stone Soup" and talking about the Indians and the Pilgrims. Can you believe that the parents were NOT invited?? I am still upset about that!

They practiced and performed a little play on stage and not one single parent was allowed to come. Is that the most bizzare thing?

Zakkai has been talking about this for a week now and today when I picked him up, he was wearing his yellow Indian hat with the red feather very proudly:)

Samuel's face lit up when he came out of school and saw Z proudly standing front and center with his red-feathered hat on. Let's just say that Z received many curious looks from the students!

So this afternoon after hanging up coats, hats, mittens and bookbags, the boys got right to work decorating a hat just for Samuel:) It was so cute to listen to them because it's usually Samuel instructing Zakkai but this time it was the other way around. They finished decorated the coveted hat and ran off to play Indians and Castles or something like that;)

No one ever said Indians couldn't live in castles.

Tonight I am feeling thankful for the delighted looks on my boys' faces when I jumped in their Indian/Castle/Putting the bad guys in the dungeon game. It doesn't take much at all to make your child's day and I wish I could remember that more often. It was so fun to hear their bursts of giggles when I played a very silly bad guy and surprised them with lots of tickling and silly singing. What special boys I have and what a fun memory to think about!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Simpler Life.

If you've read my blog for a little while, you'll remember last spring when I wrote a lot about simplifying and organizing our life; something that is an ongoing process.

I get into a kick, almost like "nesting" and go crazy for awhile purging, cleaning with a frenzy, rearranging and then things die down and we live life. Messy life.

And then something happens to jump start the urge to simplify and organize again. What is it that makes me want to have so much less clutter around me? To not have to clean all the time? To have a house that is more pleasing to the eye? A feeling of guilt for all of the material possessions we have and don't need?

I think, for me, it is a desire to lead a more peaceful life. One in which I am not caught up in all of the things I have to or need to do but one in which I am able to enjoy what I have, namely, my family.

For a long time now, like many other people, I have been fascinated with the Amish. What a unique lifestyle! There is something about their quiet, peaceful life that speaks to our hurried, harried, stressed culture. Something that makes us stop and go, "Huh."

I've often imagined, especially after reading a book about the Amish, what it would be like to live in a world without a television, without lights or my camera, without a dishwasher (my newfound joy!), without a car (no more expensive repairs!) or a microwave (is it possible??!). I've wondered what it would be like to wake up before dawn to milk the cows, bake the bread and do all of the little yet numerous chores that are required to run such a household.

I've often wondered if I could ever live such a life? I could if I'd been born into it!

The difference between a poor, underprivileged person in another country who lives in a world without electronics and material excess and an Amish person is choice. The choice to live a different life. One free of the hold of materialism and one that focuses on hard-work, living a moral, upright life, and taking care of one another and having deeply knit families and community.

While I'm not ready to sell off everything and join a strict sect of Plain People just to see what it's like, I am ready to look around at what I have and what I really need. (again.) I would like to walk in my home and feel comfortable and uncluttered and not stressed about what needs to be done or cleaned up. (oh, to imagine!!)

I want to enjoy my family in our peaceful haven. I want a Simpler Life. One that's a little more organized, a little less-cluttered, and a little more centered around our love for each other and for God.

An excerpt of something  simple yet pround that I found written by an Amish person:

"The Greedy Heifer"

One evening when I was helping my husband do the chores, I decided to feed the heifers so that he would be done with his work sooner. After I had fed them all and they were eating contentedly, I walked past them with another shovel full to feed the dry cows. As I walked past, a young heifer tried to snatch a mouthful off the shovel, ignoring all the feed she had before herself.

"You silly, greedy heifer," I couldn't help but think. It was disgusting, really. She had all the feed in front of her that she could possibly eat, and yet she was trying to snatch away some of the other cows'.

But later on, after thinking it over, I had to wonder how often we are in the eyes of God like that greedy heifer. Blessed with plenty to eat, warm houses, good homes, family and friends, and all the material things we will ever be able to use and more, and yet we look about and lament when we see others who appear to have more than we do.

Are we in the habit of counting our many blessings and appreciating all we have, or are we often wishing for and wanting what others have?

I'm thankful that I have what I need today. I have a loving family, a warm home, my stomach is full of a homemade dinner, I have a soft bed calling my name. I have no need to worry about tomorrow. Just to be thankful for what I have today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When You Know...

You need to move bedtime up a little:
sometimes I forget that he's only 4:)

Just got back from Zumba and it was a great class! The hour went by SO fast, I couldn't believe it. There were two older guy that joined the class for the first time out of curiosity. They take yoga from the same instructor and I was impressed at how well they did!

Especially after they started bragging that they were 68 and 74 years old. You're never too old for Zumba!
Parent teacher conferences are next Monday but we couldn't work out a good time so Mrs S. let us meet with her today. B was going to take all the kiddos home so I could meet with her alone but she invited all of us to come, so we did!

She had the nicest things to say about Samuel:) It feels so wonderful to hear that your child is respectful, fitting in well with classmates, learning and likeable! She showed us test scores (they take all sorts of standardized and state tests these days) and we were really surprised to see how well he did. He is in the advanced reading group at school (which he never told us!) and is testing at a 2nd grade level. I guess reading all these books with them pays off;)

I am happy B and I are passing our love of reading on to our children!

I was wondering how he was fitting in, being one of the youngest in the class. You hear a lot of things these days about people holding their kids back from starting school, especially boys so there are a lot of 7 year olds in his class. I specifically asked his teacher about it and she said he is doing wonderfully and fits in perfectly. I am so glad!

I am so thankful that God gave her to our son for a teacher this year! We prayed for a good fit for him, someone to challenge him and yet remain compassionate to his areas of struggle (which become less and less each year!). God answered perfectly. Better start praying for next year.....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Silly Girl and Growing Up.

 These past couple of weeks, Eliana has been changing SO much! It's amazing how their little minds just know they are one all of the sudden and how they should grow and change.

She has added "Doggie" and "Fan" to her signs and has started saying "Eye!" although it's more like "Ah." She has pointed to Baby's eyes and nose since she got her and we have been repeating over and over what they are and a couple of days ago she pointed to Baby's eye and said, "Ahh!" Yeah!

We can really tell that E wants to communicate with us a lot. She wants to show us what she knows (ex. LIGHTS. She knows where every light in the house is and tells us about them 627 times a day!) and wants to find a way to tell us about things she hears or sees but doesn't know the words/signs for. It has been really fun to watch her connect the dots and start to pick up language.

She likes to throw things now like beanbags, balls and toys:) She throws them a little distance, crawls after them and does it all over again. She also loves when we bring her up on the couch and she crawls around and lays her head down and just giggles. So silly!

 She likes to put treasures in special places now! She puts cups and little toys and lids as high as she can reach on shelves, the table and the stairs:) Soon we will be hunting around the house looking for missing toys! As long as she doesn't get ahold of the keys....
Samuel is just as crazy about her as ever and loves to talk to her, helping her to learn words and signs, and hold her. She will always know she has a friend and protector in Samuel!

She has been fighting some stomach virus for about a week now and was running a fever yesterday morning, although you couldn't tell from this picture! Today she seemed happier, although still having diarrhea as of this morning. We are praying and hoping it is on its way out...

This afternoon my phone rang and although I didn't recognize the number, I was expecting a call back from the dr (about E) and picked it up. There was dead silence on the other end. I said again, "Hello?" Then this muffled voice said loudly into the phone "HELLO." We repeated this one more time and I started to think this was a prank or something and said, "Who is this?" Then the voice said, "This is Adam. Is Samuel there?"

My 6 year old is getting phone calls now!!! I'm not ready for this. At least it wasn't a girl:)

S wasn't home the first time his friend called so I told him to call back in a bit. Sure enough, the phone rang just after dinner and you should've seen the look on Samuel's face when he started talking. It was adorable! He put it up to his ear and said hello and then the biggest grin crossed his face, he brought the phone down on his chest and said, "He said Hello!!"
And then he got all coy on us because, after all, we were standing there as a family grinning at him goofily, and he told us to stop staring at him!

Does taking pictures of him count as staring??

He had to keep asking Z to be quiet (something I have to do on a regular basis when I'm talking on the phone) and it was the silliest conversation I've ever heard in my life. Finally we asked him to wind it down and when he got off and got ready for bed, he was just full of energy:) So cute!

Tonight I am thankful for friends for my sons. Samuel was so nervous about starting a new school this year, so sad about leaving his old friends and not sure that the other children would like him. And now he can't wait to go to school in the mornings and see his new buddies, he is getting phone calls and told me yesterday that he thinks he loves this school better than his old one. And Z is learning how to make friends and find his own little niche in the world. I hope he finds some good buddies all of his own that find out how wonderful he is! I need to pray for good friends for my children!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Our last birthday message went over so well that we thought it would be a good idea to make another one....this time for my mom!

Unfortunately, my dear mother, E was asleep already and the boys were about ready to fall over with exhaustion so they wouldn't cooperate too well. Especially you know who!

I thought you'd still like to see them and know that we all love you SO much and are wishing you a happy birthday from over here! We miss you a lot and pray this will be a special year full of blessings:)

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Outdoor Fun

I am so thankful that today was a beautiful day with sunshine and warmer temperatures. Since I am solo on Saturdays, it really helps when it's nice enough for the boys to play outside and get lots of energy out!

They literally spent hours outside playing with their neighbor friend, Mikey. He spent the entire day hanging out on our backporch, whether the boys were out or not. A few times we had to open the door and ask him to stop staring in at us and come back later!

I peeked outside to see what the boys were doing and found Samuel looking like this! I love their imaginations:) (that's a catcher's net on his head!)

 I got a couple of pictuers of the boys in mid-run. Samuel saw me and came running to the door to say hi to me and to little Sis:)

 Zakkai having a blast! This is his new winter coat I got for dirt cheap at the end of last winter at Kohl's. I love to buy the boys' coats big so they last at least 2 years. Samuel asked me the other day how long his coat was going to last and wondered if he'd still be wearing it when he was a teenager:)

 The boys were playing train or something and the little boy who lives across from us, who's about 2 years old, kept peeking out of the blinds at the boys. He kept pointing to the trains and waving at them. It was cute!

And Little Missy spent a good chunk of time banging on the door trying to get her beloved brothers' attention and yelling "Da? Dadadayayaya!"

 And then she had a few things to say to me....

And then she found Zakkai's cup:) It's no wonder we share germs! (don't worry, she wasn't really drinking out of it, I took it away just in time!)
Tonight one of the books we read before bed was "The Berenstein Bears spent a week at Grandma's." Mama and Papa Bear go on a second honeymoon so the cubs, Brother and Sister, spent a week with Gran and Gramps. They weren't sure about it at first but ended up having a great time.

So after we finished the book, the boys went off to use the bathroom one more time (a nightly routine:) and Zakkai said, "What's a honeymoon?" They had described it in the book so I repeated, "It's a special trip that mommies and daddies take after they get married to celebrate!"

Z paused and asked, "Did you and Daddy take a honeymoon?" I said that we had and he asked, "Were we with you?"

I smiled and said, "No, you weren't with us. You weren't even born yet!" I could see his little wheels turning and the next question was: "Were we in your tummy?"

I said, afraid of the next question, "No, you weren't in my tummy yet..." Zakkai paused again.

"Well, where were we? Were we in Grandma's tummy?" hahahaha! I just love his line of thinking and how he tries to reason through things he doesn't understand! But I was thinking that it would be a weird thought for a child to think "Where was I before I was here? Because I only know this life and how to be me."

So now Z is ready for B and I to go on a second honeymoon so they can go to OH and stay with family for a week!

I'm going to go spend a little time with my long-lost, hard-working hubby for a minute before he falls over on his feet!

*Today I am thankful for the sun. It is something you take for granted (unless you rarely see it which is often the case in the midwest!) because it rises and sets each day. But the sun has the power to lift your spirits and make a day seem new and fresh and brighter, in more ways than one. Nothing like a sunny day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Day in the Life


* Baby Girl woke up too early which meant an early nap. Which meant her whole sleeping schedule was thrown off. She likes to make life interesting.

*Samuel went off to school happily with lots of kisses and a joy-filled face at the sight of all his new friends.

*Z went on a playdate (can I tell you how much B hates that word??) with his new buddy and I had the WHOLE morning to myself!

* It was amazing. And quiet. Really, really, quiet.

* I cleaned a little, baked a little, and read a little.

* I avoided working out even though it would've been the perfect time.

* Z came home in the mood to talk. He always wants to talk. It wasn't quiet anymore.

* I missed him:)

* E and I left for my doctor's appointment and 3 hours later we straggled home through dead-stop traffic, road closings and 2 train crossings. We were really hungry and tired.

* So my husband put food on the table for his family and we ate and were happy.

* And then I forced myself to workout with the boys saying "Go, Mommy, Go!!" in the backround. My very own cheerleading squad...

* And then I ate a small piece of caramel apple cheesecake pie that I felt I deserved after 9 days straight of working out. Don't you think? It is Friday after all...

* And the hubs and I watched an old movie and now it's time to retire and join the chickidees in slumber.

Another day in the life of the Thomas's.

In a nutshell:)

* Today I am thankful for my brother-in-law and all of those out there who have served and are serving for our country. Most of the time I have no concept of what that really means or the sacrifice it really takes. Most of the time I take it for granted. Today I went on a website for helping wounded veterans and I was completely blown away by the realistic picture of what our soldiers are doing and how they have suffered so greatly for a country of people who don't take the time to care. Today I want to care. Today I am so thankful some of the blinders were taken off of my eyes even though it could be so much more. I am thankful for our soldiers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Amazing Mind.

I was thinking tonight about how much the boys are changing. Physically of course, growing taller and more slender and so "boy." But mainly, just how much their minds and ways of thinking are maturing.

We got some books from the library from the Eyewitness Series. If you've never heard of them, they are really informative books about all sorts of different subjects, with facts and pictures. We got 3 this time about Robots, Submarines and Earthquakes/Volcanoes.

The boys are absolutely enthralled with these books! It's amazing to see how, even though tired at the end of a long day, they perk up and ask the most insightful questions. You can practically see their busy minds turning as they try to fit the puzzle pieces together.

The past couple of night we've been reading the Earthquake/Volcano book, which is really high-tech and hard for me to even understand! I have to paraphrase a lot of it because I'm reading about the different layers of the earth and what magma is made of and different types of volcanic eruptions, scientific data, etc. Sometimes I'm totally stumped on how to explain things to the boys but I'm glad it's stretching even my mind a bit. It could use some stretching;)

The book has led to the boys wanting to watching volcano videos on youtube:) So tonight I bribed my buddies and told them after their bath, if they were super quiet (i.e. not stomping and talking at the top of their lungs and doing everything humanely possible to wake up their sister) while getting in their jammies, we could watch a few videos before dinner.

You wouldn't believe how quiet they were! (Filing away bribery tip for another day!!) We watched some volcanoes erupting, an earthquake knocking over power lines and a hotel and Hurricane Wilma hitting FL several years ago.

Youtubes pretty cool when you want to watch stuff like that;) Anyways, it's just fascinating to me to watch the boys' minds change and stretch and try to hold all this information that they can barely understand but want to so badly.

I'm glad I get to be a part of watching it:)

Tonight I am thankful for the chance to make memories with my children. I'm so glad I have more opportunities each day instead of always feeling like I haven't done "enough" or they are going to have some deprived childhood. I am thankful they can grow up knowing how loved they are and how special it is to be a part of a family!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Van visits the Doctors.

Another busy day done ~ check! Today B started out the cold, rainy morning putting on our spare tire. Zakkai was never more than a couple feet away, soaking in every little mechanical detail:)

We had to do lots of walking to and from school today because of our car visiting the "doctors." B took the van over to Discount Tire and they replaced the tire with no questions asked! Definitely a great place to do business.

Then our van went over for check-up #2 where we got the news that the brakes had ground into the rotor and we had a disc brake instead of drum  (whatever that means) which meant we had to get TWO brakes replaced instead of one. Go figure.

So now our pockets are lighter but our van is safer and for that at least, we are glad!

Little Missy was a bit off today and we're wondering if her tummy wasn't feeling too great. She had some signs of tummy-upset and was in bed for the night by 4:30pm! The time change has messed with all of us....well, mostly the younger crowd in the house and sleeping has been off.

Hopefully a good night's sleep will cure the grumpy sleepies in this house!

Zakkai and I did a fun project together after dropping S off at school the other day. I noticed Z was collecting leaves on the way to school (see all the crumpled brown leaves on the bottom of the picture:) and so on the walk home I asked if he'd like to collect colored leaves and make a craft.

My boys always jump at the chance to do a craft so he picked up leaves with great zeal! After watching him pick up all the mottled brown dead leaves and proclaiming them beautiful all I could think was "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!"

We came home and colored a nice big tree and spent lots of time gluing our beautiful dead brown leaves on it:) Z loves glue! And dead leaves.

He also requested a red owl in the middle of the tree. I know it doesn't look quite like an owl but he was happy with it so no judgements!! Now our tree is decorating our door and brings a bit of fall inside:)

Today I am thankful for my Grandma. She is such a wonderful friend to me, offering a listening compassionate ear, a tender sympathetic heart and arms full of neverending love. I couldn't have been blessed with a dearer Grandma. I love you, Gma!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Busy Bees

Today felt like a non-stop day! I know I'm not the only one who has days like this. I left bright and early this morning with the kiddos to get them flu shots. Well, I shouldn't say was more dark and raining cats and dog or elephants or something:)

We sat in traffic for an hour before finally making it to the doctors. The boys did great! E got hers last week and was obviously still traumatized as she burst into tears when the doctor walked in and cried in sympathy with her brothers.  She actually had a reaction to hers and the doctor is deciding what to do with future shots. 

Both boys refused the nasal spray and opted for shots. Yup, those are my kids! haha. Samuel volunteered to be first, hopped up on the table, rolled up his sleeve and watched the whole process, tense but without a peep. I was SO proud of him! Shots have been so very hard for him in the past and I couldn't believe how brave he was.

Zakkai started out brave with the wonderful example of big bro before him but chickened out when it was his turn:( He had to be forcibly lifted onto the table and the nurse had to literally bear hug him to get him to hold still while I held his hands. I felt bad for him but he brightened up with the magical appearance of stickers. And later they each got their very first pack of baseball trading cards as a prize. Daddy may or may not have had something to do with that;)

Then we rushed back to get the boys to school. On the way back I noticed our tire pressure light came on and started hearing a weird "bump bump" sound as we were getting off the highway. Long story short, by the time all the errands/picking-ups/dropping offs of today got finished and we came home, our tire (almost brand-new tire I might add) was very flat. When B and I went out to look at it a little while ago, it was completely flat so we are trying to figure out how to get it fixed. Yuck.

On top of that, we are having brake issues and have to get that checked out a.s.a.p. And if that weren't enough, B got a call back from his dr and his blood tests came back showing definite signs of gallbladder issues. They want to do more tests, including a ridiculously expensive blood test and an ultrasound.

So. I guess the bottom line is, when it rains, it pours? Literally.

Praying for wisdom, peace and provision!!
I took some pictures the other day of all 3 kiddos just hanging out together on the floor:) They have all been playing with or near each other lately. It's really cute!

Eliana's been doing a funny new thing these past several days of randomly stopping in the middle of crawling, spreading out on her belly and kicking her legs for a few seconds. Then she gets back up and goes on her merry way:)

She has also really gotten into trying to climb the stairs in the past few days. She is getting awfully persistent and we are having to block her way now!

She thinks she's a big girl these days!

Today I am really thankful that the kiddos and I made it safely to the drs and back in the pouring rain with a bad tire. Thank you, God!!