Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012!!

 We've had 3 Christmas parties so far, with one more still to go! On Christmas Eve, we got to spend a really nice time with Ben's mom, a.k.a Grandma!

Here's Missy Girl wearing her brand-new Minnie Mouse backback! She has loved opening presents this year:) Her favorite toy from Grandma was a really cute tea party set! We drank lots of pretend tea that afternoon..

The boys got some brand-new Angry Birds slippers from Grandma! Now they can have toasty feet in our drafty home!

To say Zakkai was thrilled with his Leapfrog Explorer, would be an understatement! He brings it everywhere we go now:)

Christmas Eve night, the boys opened up their new pajama pants I made for them:) Missy fell asleep on the way home from the Christmas Eve service and I wasn't able to get a picture of my 3 in their finery:( boo.

The munchkin slept til 8 on Christmas morning! Then she got to open her stocking. Ben is doing his impression of....well, I can't tell you but he's bad is all I can say!

We got all ready, packed up our presents and brunch contributions and headed over to my mom's on Christmas morning to spend time with family and open more presents! The kiddos each staked out a spot and surrounded themselves with their loot:)

We went around and let them open a gift one at a time, youngest to oldest.

They got some really fun stuff!

My wonderful grandparents!!

My sis and her hubs!

I at least snuck in a quick picture (or two) before we crashed for the night last night.

It was a super fun couple of days but really tiring! Today we have been stuck inside with a winter storm wreaking havoc outside. At least we got our "white Christmas" the day after....

So thankful for all of our blessing!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Merry Almost Christmas! I haven't felt like blogging much lately for a few reasons. We've all been sick yet again and my head feel SO foggy when I have a sinus infection that I can't think clearly.

We finished up our last week at school before break. I am really glad to have a little break. It was tough to send the boys to school this week with everything that happened last week. I felt more anxious about them than I can ever recall feeling. Thankfully, they were safe and now are ready to have fun and celebrate Christmas;)

We have been busy baking cookies, cleaning and packing today. We head out for our big Christmas trip tomorrow, bright and early! We're looking forward to staying with my sis, her hubby and their adorable baby girl. It'll be busy and fun!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My sewing machine and I have been buddies lately:) Each of our kiddos is getting a new pair of pajama pants, a book and a toy for Christmas from us. Keeps it simple and not too expensive!

I also sewed a pretty Christmas jumper for E this weekend, which she was happy to try on immediately, along with her 2 new bows:)

All ready! She randomly says, "Chistmas" several times a day and seems very excited for presents:) Ever since her birthday, when she sees that a package or box comes in the mail, she quickly exclaims, "Present!!" It will be fun to have her taking part in festivities this year.

It's coming so fast and I feel like I have so many things to do to get ready to travel. It would help if I felt better. But our family likes to share everything, including germs. This past weekend 4/5 of us were snotty, miserable messes. Samuel is the only one that seems to escape with minor cold symptoms for a couple of days and then seems fine. Lucky kid! I'm really hoping we'll get healthy for Christmas and can enjoy time with our family.

In the mean time, I am procrastinating doing anything useful. My sewing machine is calling.....:)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Zakkai's homework.
(to complete the sentence below)
"Today a polar bear rode my bus to school and......"

  The polar bear ate the bus driver and the bear drives.

This kid slays me.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Keeping Busy!

 It was not easy to send my boys off to school today. They were in my thoughts and prayers throughout the entire day. How could they not be? One way I found to keep my thoughts occupied was to let my Fissy Girl do something I am ashamed to say she has never done before.

Paint! Isn't that awful? I felt really guilty recently when I realized that I have done very little in the way of arts and crafts with her, unlike with the boys when they were little. Of course, granted, she just turned 2 and I still have plenty of time. Starting now!

She wasn't even totally sure what to do at first, just mixing paint around. But soon I got her going and she ended up painting 3 pictures, even her hands by the end:)

The boys had their last swimming lesson of the session yesterday afternoon! Here's Zakkai swimming down the lane. The teacher accidently put him in the second lane (more advanced), thinking he was Samuel (who just got moved to second lane a few weeks ago.) He worked so hard to keep up and the teacher apologized once she realized her mistake. He just has a little more work to do before he gets to move up for good!

Samuel doesn't enjoy swimming lessons, as he hasn 't been on friendly terms with water most of his life. For obvious reasons though, swimming lessons are required by me! The instructor said he is very timid but slowly making progress:)

We have a busy week ahead of us with the last week of school before break and getting ready to travel this weekend. Hard to believe that Christmas is a week away, isn't it?

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I haven't really known what to think or write this weekend. I've had my own personal hurts and disappointments this past week but what does that compare to losing your child in a senseless violent act?

I was on FB Friday, before knowing about the shootings, and someone posted the words, "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." The words immediately struck me and I felt as if they were for me, as I have sown many tears this past year over some things and have been praying for God to speak to me, to show me He hears my prayers.

And then yesterday, I was playing the piano and felt like playing a hymn. I have this amazing hymn book that my MIL gave me that I love so I opened it up and the first song I came to was a hymn called, "They That Sow in Tears." (coincidence, right? ;)

                  They That Sow In Tears

"Though it seems that your prayers have been in vain,
Though your faith the world would destroy
Though your heart should ache 'til it breaks in two,
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy,
For God is on the throne.
Though you've prayed 'til it seems that your heart would break,
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy!

Though the mists of despair cloud the sky above,
Do you pray 'til His face appears?
In your heart do you know that you've touched the throne?
They shall reap in joy who sow in tears.


Does your heart fill with doubt when alone you pray?
Does the world your soul annoy?
Lift your sights! Look beyond! God is standing near!
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.


If you are going through anything, struggling with anything, praying for something with your whole heart, let these words speak to you. It says in Psalm 126:5 these very words, "They that sow with tears shall reap in joy." He hears. He is near. He loves you.

I am learning to believe that with my heart. And "even if" xyz happens or doesn't happen, my heart will choose to say, "Blessed is the Name of the Lord."

Friday, December 14, 2012

This Day.

I don't know about you but I am so completely heartbroken over the tragedy of today's shootings in Connecticut. My sister texted me around lunchtime, asking if I'd heard about it. I hadn't so as soon as I got Eliana down for a nap, I sat down at the computer to look up the story.

And immediately when I saw a picture of little children running out with a look of terror on their faces, I started crying. I can barely even let my mind fathom what it would be like to send your innocent baby to school and not be able to take them home again. Or to have a child in the school and be so thankful that your child survived and feeling guilty that other's didn't....

I had to fight a very strong urge to run over to my boys' school and pick them up early or at least make sure they were okay. I got texts from both Grandmas, asking me to hug my kiddos a little tighter today for them.

As soon as I came around the corner and saw Zakkai waiting for me with his happy face, a big lump filled my throat and I had to fight back tears. Knowing that my sons came home safely today. But somewhere out there, in a state far away, there are so many devestated, heartbroken families who have to figure out how to go on. How to even take one more step.

Why? Why is there so much evil in this world? So much heartbreak? All my heart can say is, "God, WHY?" and "Please come back soon!"

I will be joining thousands across this country in praying for the comfort only God can offer in a time like this. For Him to carry those going through such a dark time. And for Him to be holding tight to all those little children who were welcomed into Heaven this day.

And I'll be hugging my little ones a little closer and a little tighter, thankful for each precious day with them. Because life is precious.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Playdough, Pouts and Baby Blues

 Long time, no see! Honestly, it's been a pretty crummy week around here for a few reasons, hence my lack of desire to blog. But now I'll show you a few pics of my cuties, who always give me a reason to smile!

Take this for instance:

A 2 year old's pout is VERY hard to take seriously:) love this face!

Eliana was introduced to playdough this week! The lovely pouty face above was because I wouldn't let her take the playdough off the table and walk around with it. So I asked her if she was done, she said she wasn't but wouldn't play with it. This went on a few times and I said, "Okay, we're done then. I'm putting it away."

And the pouty face turned into a cry of outrage and when on for several minutes. Toddlers are SO illogical...

But later after the brothers came home, the playdough came out again and drew them all to the table for a bit:)

And this morning, our Little Miss (who has a cold again:( discovered Mr Potato head earrings! She decided she wanted them on and got such a big kick out of wearing them most of the day. She's into saying "mine" and "I" and "my" these days so she said, "MY earrings."

Love those big baby blues!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Santa

We are one of the few people around that don't teach our children to "believe" in Santa Claus. We talked about it long and hard when Samuel was little and feel comfortable with our decision for a few reasons. They know who he is and the story of St Nicholas. We never made a big deal out of it, just preferring to tell them the truth, keep the focus of Christmas on Jesus and leave it at that. We teach them to be respectful of other kids beliefs about Santa so as not to burst any bubbles:)

Zakkai declared that he wanted to believe in Santa once last year (b/c he likes to do the opposite of what we say!) but never brought it up again. Then, they decided to write Letters to Santa in his class today. Most kids probably wrote about what they wanted for Christmas but not Zakkai.

Here is what Zakkai wrote:

Dear Santa,

Wiy cant you go in the dors.
Zakkai Thomas

Then he got really serious about putting it in the envelope the teacher provided and insisting that we have to mail it to Santa. He said, "Mommy, all the kids in my class wrote him a letter. That means Santa is going to get 22 letters! Can you believe it?"

I find the innocence of little children so refreshing!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

All He Has To Do...

 Is get down on the ground and they flock to him!

He tickles and tortures them.....

They scream and laugh.....And I take pictures;)

Just another nice quiet day at the Thomas house. Ha!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Zoo Lights!

 Tonight we decided to make good use of our last month of zoo membership and see the Christmas lights! It's something we've never done before as a family and we were all looking forward to it!

At first my camera didn't quite like the lights...

It was pretty cold so we all shared some hot chocolate to warm up!

Every year the zoo has community tree decorating and lots of businesses and different group decorate hundreds of trees lining the paths of the zoo.

Eliana's into this toothy cheesy grin lately:) It's so funny!

My boys! Man, they look so big here!

I have no idea who these people are but the lights are pretty:)

Our favorite zoo!

The Dinosaurs Alive exhibit is coming back to our zoo this spring so they had a cool section of dinosaur lights to promote it!

The boys begged me to take a picture of the volcano (last pic) and this one:)

One of the last things we did was check out the laser lights show! It was really cool. It was on a HUGE screen and they had animations to one of my favorite songs, "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" and some other cool stuff. It turned out to be our favorite part of the night!

It took forever to get out of the zoo as it was PACKED with hundred and hundreds of people and lots of traffic. We even got flicked of by a crazy angry guy who didn't want to let anyone in the car line. Aren't people so wonderful sometimes?

Aside from crazy dude, it was a really fun thing to do as a family and a fun way to end our Saturday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Would You Catch The Gingerbread Man?

Zakkai is doing such a great job learning to read and write in Kindergarten! Our house is completely overrun with papers from school though. The boys each bring home at least 5 pieces of paper per day. That's 50 pieces of paper a week!!

I can't keep every bit of homework or masterpiece that the boys bring home but I do try to keep special ones or samples of their progress.

This is a pretty cute one that Zakkai brought home today:

How Would You Catch The Gingerbread Man?

"I would set a oven in the mitl of the path and would set the oven for tin minus and the gingrbred man would be cotin."

(I would set a oven in the middle of the path and would set the oven for ten minutes and the gingerbread man would be caughtin. (a.k.a. caught:)

I love this!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Officially TWO!

Someone gave us a bag of a few cast-offs they thought we might want, including this hideous orange vest and a Thomas hat.

Eliana claimed them as hers and dressed herself:)

She looked like a little homeless girl walking around. She struggled so hard to get that ugly vest on. We kept offering our help. "Can Mama help you?" I asked several times.

I got a determined little "Uh-uh. Fissy help you." i.e. I DO IT!!!

Boy, is she TWO!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three's Company

 After a foggy, not-fun few weeks of not feeling the best, I can finally say that I've turned a corner! My antibiotic left me feeling nauseous all day but that mostly lifted this afternoon, along with some more of the pressure in my head and I think I'm going to make it now:)

After homework was done, I let the kiddos watch a cartoon. The boys were so sweet and said, "We can watch Dora so Missy can watch, too." What good brothers!

She loves to do whatever they do so it's adorable to see her settle herself right in between them or plop herself on her tummy like them. I love this picture!

Eliana played a silly pillow game with Daddy tonight. She is such a confident little thing! And bossy, too! Right in the middle of dinner she pointed to the stairs and commanded, "Mama! Go sweep, Mama!" (Go to sleep!)

Here is her post-dinner face. Obviously, I did not wipe her mouth off, knowing it was almost bathtime:) I made this cute little shirt for her for Thanksgiving. She says it's a "pretty shirt."

Off to get my rest before it all starts over again.....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Silly Girl!

This morning I was getting Eliana's breakfast ready and chatting to her as I prepared it, as usual. I came to the table carrying her pancake and said, "I'm bringing your breakfast and Mama is...." And I paused just long enough for her to sneak in a word.

"Twouble! Mama is twouble!" Boy, she's a smart one! We tease her often, telling her she is trouble because she's such a stinker! She made me laugh:)

This afternoon, she fought her nap until late and I had to leave her at home with B while I picked the boys up from school and took them to basketball. When we got back and I was making dinner, she looked up at me and said, "Mama! Nap!"

I said, "Oh, you did take a nap finally, didn't you?" She smiled and said, "Pyer nap. Bwanket nap." (Pacifier nap.) It's a silly game we play when she is starting her 2 year old obstinence and refuses to do something.  I make a silly joke and ask her if her stuffed animals or something around her is ready to take a nap. She thinks it's funny and will answer me yes or no. Sometimes her bed takes a nap or her fan, her blanket or her pillow:)

She makes me smile!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Park Play

 Thankfully, we are continuing to improve over here. I think it's going to take me awhile to get all my energy back and feel like my old self but at least I'm on my way! I admit to feeling as depleted in the patience department as much as the energy department.

I can't believe how warm it is for December. Perfect for walks and playing outside or at the park! Samuel prayed for snow tonight:)

Zakkai seems to be mostly recovered today, with minor complaints!

Eliana and I took a walk this afternoon while Ben took the boys to swimming lessons. She was so cute, just pointing out all the little things she saw along the way. We had a close encounter with a very curious squirrel, which delighted her to no end:)

Playgrounds are even for Daddies, too, apparently:)

Samuel is apparently too cool for pictures these days. Oh, he exasperates me!!! He climbed into the swing next to Eliana and got stuck. He was not happy with me for taking his picture!

I teased him the rest of the time taking pictures with the camera or pretending with my hand, just to drive him nuts. Little stinker!

He thinks he's pretty sly:)

Z can get almost halfway across the monkey bars now before he falls off!

Time to go back home! Eliana and Z got to ride in the wagon, since we have been making him take it easy on his leg this weekend.

And that made Samuel do a little 7 year old-going-on-14 year old pouting. Ai, the 'tude of this kid this weekend!

It's funny, Samuel and I tend to butt heads a little more because we are very much alike and Ben and Zakkai butt heads more often, both being very similar in their stubborn natures! I SO do not look forward to the teenage years. I hope God gives us a lot of grace!!