Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Fun

Vacations "home" in Ohio are SOOOO busy! Hence the lack of blogging:) We have so much family time to soak in to fill us back up for when we go back to our family-less home.

We had a really nice, insanely busy exhausting Christmas:) Our children were so blessed by our families and even a Secret Santa. It brought tears to my eyes numerous times, being so unexpected. We weren't able to provide much for our kiddos gift-wise, which is fine since that's not what Christmas is about anyways but it gave us such joy to see our boys' faces light up and for each of them to get their "Wow" moment.

Zakkai's favorite gift at the moment is a talking cash register. He carries it around everywhere, trying to convince anyone within reach to buy something:) Samuel is enthralled with his Hot Wheels Christmas! He has a little suitcase to carry his cars in and a garage/ramp now.

We've had 4 family Christmases, all wonderful and crazy and approximately 1 really good night's sleep:) Last night the boys got prob 13 hours of sleep, Eliana got almost 15 and B and I got at least 8 and I can't tell you the last time that happened! We were stunned to crack open our eyes and see that is was 8am. Wow!

So thankful we have even more days of family time to soak up! And fun adventures like a date (gasp! thanks to gift cards and free babysitters:) a movie for the boys with their cousins, a New Year's Eve party and of course, more relaxing. I hope.

Good night!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho!

We made it! We had a surprisingly easy travel day yesterday with little traffic and mostly happy children:) E almost took a nap.....

Eliana's been adjusting to traveling really well! She took a nap shortly after we arrived and woke up absolutely hysterical. I think she had no idea where she was and got scared:( But since then, she's been happy, babbling, trying to walk (6 tiny steps today!), sleeping well and enjoying her Christmas!

The boys are having an absolute blast! We got to have Christmas with Grandma (B's mama) today and we were all so blessed with the gifts that she so generously gave to us. Samuel could hardly tear himself away from his new Hot Wheels Garage tonight and Zakkai got a lava bubble thing that he's been carrying around everywhere!

Tonight we all dressed up in our Christmas Eve finery and went to a church service with our family. And now our boys are tucked into bed in their new homemade jammies from Mugga, with the birth story of Jesus fresh in their minds, dreaming of a wonderous day ahead....

Merry Christmas! Pictures coming:)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Busy Day

wow, what a day, what a day! I got to bed around 1am and was up at 6am, beginning our busy day. I know I accomplished a lot today but it seems a little fuzzy at the moment:)

 (Missy eating spaghetti last night...or at least inspecting it:)

Samuel headed off to school today in his pjs. His class had a fun Polar Express day where a conductor took their tickets to the train (a.k.a. the classroom!) and they got to watch the movie while drinking hot chocolate. With marshmallows and whipped cream.

I want to go back to first grade!

(I was calling E's name when it was time for her breakfast and wondered why she didn't come.....She was busy:)

Zakkai was SOOOO excited for his school party today and couldn't wait to bake cookies. Of course, this morning I realized that the dough had to chill for 2 hours. Oops. A little over an hour seemed to be enough so Z and I worked hard making gingerbread men and snowmen for his friends to decorate.

Zakkai decided he was in charge of flouring the cutting board:) In between cookie batches baking, my little helper and I finished folding last night's laundry and put it away.

We rushed over to the party just after lunchtime and it was a big hit with his pre-k class. There was ornament decorating, pin the nose on Rudolph, decorating (and eating) cookies, a game of "Hot Penguin" (formerly known as Hot Potato), Freeze Dance and a Christmas story. Then they all got a bag of goodies and just like that the party was over.

We moved on to the next countdown of traveling! We had a little over an hour before we had to pick up Samuel so Z, E and I raced home to do some organizing and packing. Well.....I did the organizing and packing, E threw all of her clothes out of her dresser drawers and Z played with his new treasures from his goodie bag:)

I'm checkin' my packing list more than twice and hoping that it all fits in the van! We have a lot of stuff we're bringing/returning to family that's taking up a lot of room. As long as we fit in the car, I think we're okay...

Well, that's it for my lame post. My brain is only firing on a couple of cylinders at the moment. I'm off to catch a few zzzzzz's before it's Go time!

I'll be updating throughout our trip with pics and stories so don't run away....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Burnin' the Midnight Oil!

I am swamped over here with so much to do before we leave super early Friday morning, including finishing my last gift which is taking FAR longer than I expected, folding laundry which I just washed, cleaning, baking cookies, helping at Z's preschool party tomorrow and packing!

So, since time is a-wastin', I leave you with some truly delightful shots of the glamorous neighborhood Christmas decorations.

Try not to be jealous.

 We like to call this one "Alien Tree." Oh and I should mention that the orange lights are held up by a giant candy cane fence. Lovely.

You win an award if you can come up with a name for this one!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gettin' Down.

Today our baby girl turned 14 months old! It wasn't as hard of a change as turning 1 was but we still can't believe that yet another month has flown by.

She continues to light up our days with her eager exploration of her world, her new words and communication, her sweet love for her family.

This past month:

* E has started saying more words! We hear "Moh" (more) around the house (esp the kitchen:) often. A new one is "Boo" (Book without the "K") b/c she loves books! She decided if her daddy's heart wasn't mush enough (it was, trust me) that she would say his name constantly. She says "Dada" in the highest, softest little voice. It's so cute! For a day or two, she was trying out Z's name "Ah-eye" but we haven't heard it lately.

*New signs are "Tree" "Fan" "Outside" "Up" "Hear" "Sleep"

*She is now blowing kisses at night time. Adorable!

*She got a much needed hair trim! She was starting to look pretty scraggly so I trimmed her hair and it looks much nicer now:)

*She is practicing standing on her own ALL the time now! She will spend many minutes a day standing up in the middle of the room without holding on to anything and stand as long as she can before she plops on her bottom:) It's coming...

*She took 2 steps yesterday and today!

*Eliana LOVES when we are on the ground with her and will get so silly falling on us, climbing over us, tucking toys into our laps and all sorts of things. Poor thing never gets any attention around here....:)

*Has been sick the entire month:( Her congestion is finally better but her cough continues to linger. Hopefully this next month will be a healthy month!

*She is just about to get a front tooth. We are going to miss her fangs!

*Still in size 3 diapers and wears 12 month clothes. She holds out her arms for me to put into the sleeves and inspects her clothes if they have shapes/objects on them:)

*Current nicknames are: Baby Goose, Missy (still), Biscuit, Sweet Girl, Muffin

*Started dancing, as you will get to see! It's very cute and shows her inherited dancing skills. On Ben's side, of course:)

Some things to note:

*She desperately needs a bow in her hair so try to ignore that

*I sound very strange b/c my voice has been hoarse so try to ignore that too..

*She resembles Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder when she dances...

Eliana Gettin' Down!

Happy 14 Months, Sweet Girl!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Behind the scenes...

Behind the scenes of every cute family/child picture are a few pictures like these:

Without fail, there are always 1 or 2 people looking different directions, blinking, making faces they would never want to show in public....

 Or crying because the mommy tried to take one picture too many!

This is why I always take many pictures at a time, hoping that at least one will turn out!

Can't hold a thing against this little munchkin though! She's too cute:)
Family updates:
*We are all in varying stages of a cold but no one is terribly sick, thankfully! It seems minor compared to the sickness drama of a few weeks ago! Eliana is finally making improvements after more than a month of sickness. Now if she would just sleep well again.....

*Zakkai's poor nose is raw and he has a cough but seems to be holding steady. Samuel's had a sore throat for 2 days and I am praying that will pass soon. And B and I are fighting sinus infections and hoping to be healthy (enough) for Christmas!

*We are gearing up for our annual trek to OHIO!! We wake up everyday and countdown the days. The boys, especially Zakkai, are beyond excited. Z's had his bookbag full of toys/books packed for 3 days now:)

*I am making my ridiculous packing list and checking it twice! I always figure as long as we remembered the children, everything else can be replaced if we forget it:) Thank goodness for the van!

*My foot is finally making huge improvements after 2 1/2 weeks! Suddenly in the last day or so, my swelling decreased quite a bit, the cut closed up and stopped bleeding and I can put more weight on the injured side. Although wearing a shoe is still not comfortable but I know that will come in time.

*I've been meaning to share this Christmas radio station that B and I have been listening to. Is anyone else sick of Delilah and her cheesiness? Not to mention the same old Christmas songs every hour? (Ooh, some of my favorites: "Christmas Shoes" "Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart" and "Where Are You Christmas?" Ugh!) Ben discovered a refreshing station with old-fashioned music from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Go to and in the upper right hand corner where it has you type in a radio station, type "Blue Light Christmas" and click on the station when it comes up, then hit play. And then enjoy! No more Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey~hooray!

*A funny story: Zakkai often shares with me his plans for his future house (that will be right next door to ours.) His latest plans are to decorate with Christmas lights~colored on the roof and one bush and blue lights on the other bush (apparently there will only be 2 bushes.) He will also have colored lights on his two Christmas trees:) He said that I can stop by anytime to visit him and can ring the doorbell if he's not home. But he will be home in the mornings, just not in the afternoons b/c he'll be working. (nice job!) And then he told me that he will have 2 "kids" and a mommy (a wife). The 2 kids are going to be girls!

Then the 2 kids turned into 6 girls and when his 6 daughters grow up, then he will have 1 boy and 1 girl, followed by 1 more boy. And there might be a 10th child but he isn't sure about that yet:) Also, he said he will be sleeping on the couch because there will be no bedrooms in his house! When I asked where the children would sleep, he said they could sleep on the floor. Ha!

But he soon changed his mind and said there would be 6 bedrooms with bunk beds in a couple of them:) Love this kid's imagination!! And I will love reminding him someday that he is going to have 9 or 10 children...

*And now I am off to work hard on my remaining Christmas presents. I only have 3 days left! Yikes!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The beauty of Snow.

 I love snow.

Well, first snow. The first snows of the season. The fresh snow before it is run over by dirty cars. Snow as it is falling; so white and clean. Soft and beautiful.

I love the excitement of children when they see the unique snowflakes falling from the sky and wake up to a frosted ground. I love the excitement I feel when I wake up to an unexpected snowfall!

I love snow.

This morning the boys were the first to discover our surprise snow dusting. They spent long minutes watching it fall out the window and were eager to don boots, coats, gloves and hats after breakfast so they could go build an igloo.

While there wasn't quite enough snow for an igloo, it was beautiful packing, snowball-throwing, castle-building snow. They begged me to come out and I hesitated, thinking of my long to-do list. I could see the disappointment on their faces and as I turned around I thought to myself, "This would make their day to have mommy come out and play." So I packed myself into my own winter gear and felt such joy when I saw their faces light up when I came outside!

Later, when I was back inside, Samuel came running up to the door to show me the tiny, perfect snowflakes falling on his coat. This was the best picture I could take with my so-so camera but it was so cool to see a miniature little star! To think that each snowflake is unique?  Amazing!

After an hour or so of play, my rosy-cheeked boys tumbled inside leaving muddy wet puddles all over the ground. They got cozy on the couch with blankets and little cups of warm apple cider and watched a little cartoon.

A good kind of morning:)

And to see my sweet ones playing with and loving each other?

Made it the best kind of morning:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Dishwasher

As you may know, we have never had a dishwasher until we moved here this summer. Well, except for me:)

 It took us awhile to even start using it because we were so used to washing by hand! But now...
Now we really use it! 5 people make a lot of dishes! But I have a helper...

 She's very good at pulling dishes out and throwing them on the ground..

And she figured out that she can climb on the door to get better access to the dishes.

Gotta start training them early!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crafty Crazy

I am feeling the pressure of getting Christmas presents done over here! Mostly because I have 2 big packages to send out of state and only have 1-2 days left before I can send them out to get there in time for Christmas.

The clock is ticking. My floor is being swept multiple times a day due to fabric scraps and threads littering its surface. I walk around picking thread off myself all day! Or hobble, I should say:)

I have had such a bad headache for 4 days now and I think it's due to sinus issues. It's made it so hard to think clearly and focus. So if you see me and I look sort of glassy eyed....that's why!

Eliana just loves her little ride-on toy she got for her bday! She thinks it is the best when we take her on a little ride around the house;) It plays the most princessy, fairy, girliest music you've ever heard and it gets stuck in your head.

I can hear it now....Tra-la-la-la-la-la

I figured since I am working on so many gifts, I ought to whittle down my "to-do" sewing basket. In it are many pairs of the boys' jeans which have ripped in the knees. No one ever told me boys were so hard on their clothes!!

I have patched SEVEN pairs of jeans this fall! (a couple of them twice). My little hobo boys;)

I am offering you a sneak peak of some of my projects! I usually really do NOT like what I make. It never turns out well...or I may be a perfectionist or something like that. Maybe, I said.

But I have to say that I am thrilled to pieces about these dresses!!! The pattern was so easy to make and I actually feel like I did a decent job! Aren't they cute?? One of them will be E's Christmas dress and the other is a gift for my niece. Which one do you think Eliana should have? The boys are voting on the candy cane one...

Off to rest my tired fingers...:)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A few good things.

Today almost feels like a blur to me. I had the worst headache alllll day and just in the last couple of hours after 3 doses of meds, is it finally gone! Hooray, I can think again!

Some good things that happened today:

1) I am officially stitch-free! Thanks to an awesome doctor that I know;) I still have a ways to go with healing, as it is very sore and bruised still. Oh and I can wear a slipper now. I look awesome going out on the town!

2) Eliana started saying "Zakkai" tonight!! Cutest thing ever! I was getting her in her jammies after her bath and Zakkai started talking to me from the bottom of the stairs. She looked in the direction of the door and I noticed she kept saying, "Ah-eye, Ah-eye." It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what she was saying but it clicked when he came upstairs and she looked at him and kept saying it! It made him SOO happy! (well, at first he was like "My name isn't "Eye!" But then he thought it was cool:)

3) The boys got haircuts tonight which they desperately needed. Zakkai overheard me telling Ben last night that they were getting mullets which needed to be cut a.s.a.p. So tonight he looked at Ben and said, "Daddy, tomorrow you can cut my mole off." I about died when I realized what he meant!!

3) Zakkai is SO excited to go to OH next week that he made a chart to X out a box everyday. The only problem? His chart obviously runs on Zakkai-wishful-thinking-time. He started out well, marking off a day the first 2 days. Then on Sunday morning he said, "I marked off 3 days today!" I said, "Zakkai, you can't mark out 3 days in 1! It's one day at a time!" But of course, my logic isn't good enough b/c I don't know anything so he ignored me.

Then this morning as I was coming downstairs, I heard Ben say, "Zakkai, why are all your boxes on your chart marked off?" I heard Z respond, "Because I marked them all off today! There are no more days left!"

It would be nice if things worked like that!

4) It's hard to believe that Christmas is so close. It really came fast and I feel like I lost so much time with all the sickness/drama around here. I am working like crazy to finish our few Christmas presents, especially those that have to be mailed out of town. Hope I meet the deadline, otherwise I'm going to be the Auntie on the naughty list!

5) And finally, if I haven't said it before....Missy is spoiled rotten by her daddy! And he freely admits it! She lights up when he comes in the door or upstairs from his dungeon/work office. He picks her up anytime she begs. She even stands outside the bathroom door, banging on the door laughing and saying, "Dada! Dada!"

He says he's doing it to make it difficult for any man who wants to date her someday:) Daddy's little princess!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Deep, Insightful Questions and Thoughts.

1) My neighborhood could win "Gaudiest Christmas Decorations of the Year" Award. What is up with giant snowglobes and oversized candy cane fences? Or plastic santas with all the reindeer? Or the nearby neighbor who made a giant "tree/teepee" out of blue lights, made a candy cane fence and randomly looped orange lights around the candy canes? We have dubbed it "Alien Christmas."

2) Christmas time never seems as "Christmas-y" without snow.

3) Why do people who work at JoAnn's seem so annoyed? Shouldn't people who work in such a delightful place be perpetually happy? Crafters unite!

4) Most of my former Aldi stereotypes have disappeared. Don't know why we waited so long to try it! Most everything we have gotten from there has been so good and is SO cheap!

5) My boys look like scarecrows or puppies or something when they need a haircut.

6) I am so excited for my sister and her husband who are expected their first little one and who found out today that it's a little GIRL!

7) Only 1/5 of us is sick at the moment which is better than it has been lately! I wish it wasn't E that was feeling crummy though. Nothing sadder than a sick, snotty, fussy baby:(

8) Also, can you freeze cookies that have icing on or in them? Anyone?

9) Does it bother anyone else that the radio announcers have to say "Happy Holidays" and can't just wish someone a Merry Christmas? My sister even said when she cut down her tree this year, the tree farm was advertising "Holiday Trees." Who cuts down a tree for a different holiday other than Christmas? I'm beginning to loathe the word "holidays..:

10) I actually managed to get a shoe on today! Nevermind that it was incredibly uncomfortable and my toes are now more swollen. What matters is that I didn't have to endure the stares of people as I limp around in one boot and one brightly colored cozy sock! Stitches come out soon!

I leave you with pictures of my many small children.

Zakkai playing in our dusting of snow we had a few days ago:)
E helping herself to some cereal:)
S working studiously on his homework!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Slumber Pics

As promised, pics of our wild party last night continued into today:)

While I tucked the little Princess into bed and finished mixing up the cookies, the 3 men of the house relaxed and watched the first half of the movie:)

Some of our cookies, which are delicious! The tray on the left was decorated by Zakkai and the tray that has 5 lbs of sprinkles on it is Samuel's:) We also made these, which we first made last year. They are SO good and melt in your mouth!

 Then we "glued" together our gingerbread houses (a.k.a. graham cracker houses) and set them to dry overnight. Then it was time to make the beds. The boys love when the couch bed is out and were rolling around like wild animals until we had to be the party poopers and make them stop!

We got all the beds made (2 cozy beds on the floor for the boys) and snuggled together to finish the movie. By the time we were all settled in and ready to go to sleep, it was 10pm! Wow. We all fell asleep fast;)

But we were awakened bright and early this morning by this chickadee, who wanted to make sure she hadn't missed out on any fun, and by daddy who had to sneak off to work.

Missy is standing at her stool where she usually gets to munch on cereal in the mornings while we're getting ready for the day:)

I barely held the boys off from decorating until after breakfast! They spent about an hour or more carefully decorating their houses...
 It was intense work!:)

Tada! Samuel finished with his masterpiece.

 Looks good enough to eat!

Z was way too busy to come pose with his so we'll see if he'll show it off tomorrow. For now you'll have to make do with mine:) Samuel asked me what the big brown ball was on the side of the front door and I told him (after some quick thinking) that it was a chocolate bush! I wish...

The back with the Christmas tree:)

 We'd exhausted every last possible activity by 3pm and I was desperate for something entertaining. I was using the masking tape for a project and suddenly came up with the idea for a masking tape hopscotch! They were thrilled!

So was Missy:) Something new to inspect! Nevermind that her brothers were trying to jump...


They kept their blankets downstairs all day and they became the hotspot for fun, as you will see. So funny to see this little girl playing so wildly with her brothers!

Samuel asked me when we can have another slumber party.

I'm thinking in about another 2 years or so:)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Slumber Party

Still in progress.


*Making cookies.

*Confectioner's sugar on the baby's head.

*Musical parade by the boys with marching and drums.

*Noise everywhere.

*Happy little faces.


*Decorating the cookies.

*Eating the cookies.

*Watching "The Muppet's Christmas Carol"

*Beds made on the floor and the couch bed.

*Beginning the gingerbread houses (to be finished tomorrow)

*Late night.

*Sugar, giggles, memories.

Slumber party.

Pics to come!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Old Hop Along.

 Thursdays are my long solo-day so I often don't get to the camera. Plus I'm gimpy, so that doesn't help:) So there are no pictures today!

Not too much to report:

*Ben remains in touch with his inner peanut. Long story short? Wrong doctor. Wrong procedure. Peanut lives. the end.

*Well, not the end. He now has an appt scheduled with a pulmonologist (or something like that) but can't get in for awhile so maybe he'll miraculously cough it up in the mean time? Frustrating.

*My shoe experiments failed once again today. Beginning to wonder if I'll ever wear a shoe again....

*Planning a fun family night tomorrow night! Ever since Samuel found out what a slumber party was, he has been requesting one...with our family:) So tomorrow night we will be decorating gingerbread houses, baking cookies, watching a Christmas movie and sleeping in the living room. The boys are SO excited. I'm not sure how it will go "sleeping" with them....we'll see;)

*Eliana does not get to sleep downstairs with us. What she doesn't know, she'll never miss!

*Apparently we're supposed to get our first snow tonight! It won't be much but it'll be nice to see a little white on the ground. I have a sinking suspicion that we will not be having a white Christmas since I don't see anymore snow forecasted in the near future.

I'm sure it'll come in February.

*Tonight I fell asleep while reading the boys a story about how different countries celebrate Christmas. Obviously it was a really exciting book:) I vaguely could hear them asking me questions and after getting no response (or at least not an intelligible one!) they kept saying, "Mommy? Mommy? Moooooommmmmmyyyyyyyy!"

Maybe I'll go to sleep a little early tonight......:)


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Blessings.

It seems like it has been a long week over here. I think it is because I am slightly out of my routine, not able to really go places and do things (besides school runs). Ben actually did the grocery shopping with Zakkai late yesterday! That was a first:)

Day 5 of old stitch-foot and still not able to wear a shoe yet. I am hoping to be able to try again tomorrow. The boys are counting down with me til I get the stitches out because they are hoping I will be all healed by then. What, Gimpy Mommy isn't so fun?

Zakkai gets so bored in the mornings when Samuel is at school and just is chomping at the bit to be involved in something. I came up with a quick craft this morning for us to do together. First I was just going to help him with his but he was genuinely sad that I wasn't going to do my own tree so...

 We both decorated our own Christmas  trees;) Zakkai took this picture himself!

This afternoon we got our daily courtesy knock on the back door from Mikey, the boys' neighbor friend. They quickly bundled up (it was cold out today!) and went out to play. They quickly discovered some ice on the ground and spent the longest time stomping on it and chopping it up to bits. Like I always don't need many toys with kids!

 Biscuit has really been wanting to be near her brothers lately. She crawls around after then and is just dying to join them in their fun. She stood at the back door for awhile, banging on the glass and yelling for them:)

I guess I'm just not quite as fun as her big bros! Can't believe how much this Peanut is changing. She kept trying to take steps today about 1-2 at a time (or more like 1 1/2). She is correcting her pronunciation of a couple of words, too. "Yi" (light) is becoming "Yi..T" and "Ah" (eye) is becoming "Ah-ye."  She is also saying "Uh" for Uh-Oh, which is usually one of a baby's favorite words! Works well for throwing food or toys:)

She just looks for ways to engage us, make us laugh and show off. We can't believe how big she is getting so quickly. So thankful for her light that makes us smile even on the toughest days!

And for Zakkai's silly songs and requesting me to sing "Fleece S'navidot." (a.k.a. "Feliz Navidad")

And for Samuel's sweetness that soothes my soul....his hugs and kisses and "I love you's."

And for Ben's shopping for me, helping with things around the house, doing a few extra pick-ups and drop-offs this week.

I'm blessed:)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Miss Busy

Dear Mommy,

I like to make your very uneventful life exciting! I am SO glad that I can crawl and pull-up and reach onto shelves now. Have you noticed how I love to stack things up now and unstack them, too?!

Take your towels, for instance! Who needs their kitchen towels all folded up? It's much easier to grab a new towel when they're out in the open instead of all tucked all
away in a basket, don't you think?

Not to mention, the basket makes an awfully handy stepping stool! And didn't you think I was so clever today to take that magnet from the refrigerator and throw it in the toilet?? I just don't understand why you keep the bathroom door closed when I could have so much fun....

I know I keep you on your toes but don't you like life that way? I bring a little zest and spark into a dreary day. Like when I get tired of my food and throw it on the floor for you to pick up and I say "Uh!" (short for "Uh-oh!") Or let's see, when I scream anytime anyone tries to take something from me. I'm just doing that to show you that I'm big girl now.

Just wait til I start walking.....

Miss Busy

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Scary Blog:)

It has come to my attention that maybe, just possibly some of you are afraid to check my blog anymore due to many recent, er, unfortunate events.

Goodness, I'm afraid to write on my own blog!!

But nothing terrible to report today. Whew! Sickness-wise, we are almost all healed, except for a lingering cough for E and B's slowly disappearing sinus infection. The infamous peanut gets removed early tomorrow morning so we'd love your prayers! Pray the doctor find it and removes it safely and that Ben recovers and heals quickly. He is tired of this!!

My foot is all sorts of black and blue colors and swollen and sore, especially in the morning! I am nervous about finding a shoe to wear tomorrow when I actually leave the house. Yuck.

The boys are getting SO excited about Christmas; mostly to be traveling to OH to see our families:) They talk about it everyday, asking over and over which day we are leaving and how long it takes to get there and what we are going to do. Samuel wants to make sure I am going to put their stockings at the ends of their beds on Christmas morning, a tradition that I grew up with.

I remember the wonderful, innocent excitement of childhood! It's not quite the same as an adult but still wonderful to spend time with your loved ones especially when you live so far away from them.

Can't wait to see everyone!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oh, Brother(s), Where Art Thou?

Eliana wants her brothers to be near her when they are home! If they go upstairs, she climbs on the first step or two and calls for them. If they go in the basement, she sits outside the door and yells. She is their fan club:)
* For me it was a quiet day at home. B took the boys to church this morning and I stayed home with E. All 3 of them came home renewed and in good spirits! That made me really happy:)

*We discovered serious evidence of Morton and Co. this afternoon. I had rearranged a few things in the kitchen in the past month and had moved my bins of baking goods to the lower shelf of my bookshelf. I slide the cloth bins in and out regularly to grab flour or whatnot but hardly ever pull the whole thing out unless I'm really searching for something.

Today I pulled a bin out and discovered (to my horror) that my flour (which I always seal in a Ziploc freezer bag) had been chewed through and there was (to more horror) mice poop everywhere. A quick look into the other bin where I keep baking nuts, chocolate chips, etc. showed more signs of a Mousy Thanksgiving.

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

You want to know what's even grosser?

We found a dead mouse in our vacuum canister earlier this week.

I am so grossed out. We've had 3 people come out to help us, who have failed and we thought the mice were gone since we've been using our plug-in pulsing things. The question is: Did the mouse do the damage and then crawl into (or shudder; get sucked into..) the vacuum and die? Or are there more than one?

Gross. Really gross.

*In happier thoughts, the hubs and I are into watching Christmas movies these days and are finding a nice selection at our local libraries. If you have any favorites to suggest, please let me know! Tonight we watched "Christmas in Connecticut" which is a very cute oldie!

*I did some more sewing today and remained unmaimed, to my relief. I now do my fabric cutting on the floor instead of on the table. Much safer that way!

*My foot is incredibly sore but my family is taking good care of me! The boys want to help me up and down the stairs (I usually scoot down or crawl up) and fetch things for me.  They told me they wished my foot could heal in 1 second. Such tender hearts!

*And E has FINALLY slept completely through the night the past 2 nights after a long haiatus due to illness. Too bad the boys both woke up with bad dreams last night:( If it's not one, it's the other....

Let's try for 3 nights and all 3 sleeping!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Real Meaning of Christmas.

Guess what?! No trips to the ER in almost 24 hours! Isn't it amazing?!

I spent a long day at home with the kiddos. The boys were very good about being my helpers today so I could limit my hobbling to things that were "absolutely necessary" like feeding them and such things:)

My boys were SO concerned about me this morning and tried to pry every gritty little detail out of me. They kept telling me today that they were "so sorry that I hurt my foot." We talked a lot about stitches, scars and cuts today:)

Little Peanut is standing in the middle of the floor a lot lately just looking like she's going to take off. Wonder if she'll start walking in time for Christmas?

 A new favorite game of hers is pulling the towels off the front of the oven door:) She likes to crawl around with them and I find towels all over the place! She's turning into a busy bee:)

Now that the boys are older, we are more and more trying to emphasize the "giving" part of Christmas, rather than the receiving. We are really trying to teach them about Jesus' love, a love that gives undeservedly, unexpectedly, unselfishly.

A love that surpasses all understanding.

It's something that is hard for even adults to grasp! We decided to find some projects to do with the boys to teach the love of giving and were thrilled when the church we've been attending announced a couple of opportunities to give to children who, otherwise, will receive nothing for Christmas.

We let the boys choose which one they wanted to do and whether they wanted to give to a boy or a girl. They chose a boy:)

Yesterday after school we went out as a family to the store to choose the gifts that would go in the shoebox for "The Boy," as we have been calling him. Over and over, as the boys' eyes were filled with the Christmas-y displays of colorful toys and gadgets they've "always wanted", we had to remind them: "Boys, this is not about you. Today we are buying for The Boy. This is about giving to a little boy who isn't going to get any gifts this year except what we are giving to him. Can you imagine how excited he's going to be when he opens up his box and sees a new toothbrush and gloves and crayons? We need to think about him right now and not ourselves."

They really started to get it after a few admonishments, gently given. And they were admonishments for ourselves as well. Why worry about what we can give, what we don't have or can't buy and just enjoy giving to a little boy and blessing him? The invaluable lessons we all are learning...

So today as I sat in my chair, the boys helped me take off price tags and pack everything from necessities to art supplies to a few little fun toys into the box. They were very careful and "into" their jobs, checking over each item and helping me rearrange so we could fit it all in.

They picked out wrapping paper, cut tape for me and helped me wrap up "The Boy's" special box, which now rests by itself under our Charlie Brown tree. And tonight we said a prayer for our Boy, that he will be blessed this Christmas and know that he is loved, not only by us but by his Savior.

The real meaning of Christmas:)