Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Holy Guacamole!!

Wow, that's a big avocado! Guacamole, anyone??

Today was an amazing SIXTY degrees outside! In January. In Chicago. What?!

The sad thing is that you know that it's not spring and spring isn't anywhere close to coming. I'm sure we have many more ups and downs to come. I'll enjoy the ups while they come!

A wonderful, sweet friend of ours came to visit today and had a little girl time with E and I:) Eliana doesn't respond well to most people (little stinker) but she does really well with Miss E (our friend) and really responds to her calmness and gentleness. I can only pray that she will do as well when my mom comes next week to help out after my surgery.

The boys whipped out their scooters this afternoon and enjoyed the fresh, warm air with no winter coats! It was nice not to have to coax them outside;) Even Eliana enjoyed the fresh air and stood at the back door where I left the screen door open a crack and banged and yelled at her brothers. I told her before she knows it, she will be out there running around with them, riding on her special little toy:)

She does have to actually start walking first though. Crawling + Muddy Grass = Extra laundry for Mama. No thanks! I've got enough washing to do!

Off to bed now...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Better Things

Aside from a couple recent creepy neighbor incidents, upcoming surgery (next Fri~yikes!), some bad kiddo wipeouts and medical bills, I'm so glad that I have better things to focus on.....like this:

The other stuff can take a hike! I'll just enjoy these moments:)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

Or 2 hours:) Yesterday we enjoyed an entire day together! We rarely get those so it was very much enjoyed. The zoo was not at all crowded because not many people think a windy, cold day is a great zoo day....except us, of course!

We spent most of our time inside the Hamill Family Play Zoo, which houses small animals such as iguanas, snakes, lemurs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.

Oh no, one of the lemurs escaped!! Oh wait, I know him....:) (you can see a real one behind him)

 Next, we talked a couple of reluctant boys into some face painting. Daddy had a secret weapon...

 He joined in! It is so much more fun when your daddy gets silly with you:)

 This picture explains so much of what my life is like....:)

Missy escaped her stroller to play with some puppets and snakes, not real ones, thankfully!

 "Please don't stuff me back in the stroller! Please?"

This picture also explains much of what I experience in my life....;) He thought his mom would enjoy this!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Happenings

Whew, another day done! Samuel had a happy day at school, made even better by a 100% on his hardest spelling test yet. Hooray, Samuel!

Zakkai got to go to a birthday party that he was really looking forward to and came up all sugared up.

Eliana made the usual mess of the house and practiced a little walking, although not quite as much today. It's good to rest sometimes:)

I had my MRI this afternoon. I went all the way to the place (about 20 min away), only to find the door locked. I called the number and told them it was locked, only to find out....that location had closed and the phone number was being rerouted to the new location and someone had forgotten to tell me! They allowed me to still come to the new location~a 40 minute drive with all the wonderful Chicago traffic.

So, 3 1/2 hours later I straggled home after my fun experience in the machine that sounded like a jackhammer!

The thing that made any stress disappear? The exuberant shouting from the boys "MOMMY!!!!!" The joy on their faces, the giddy giggling from Eliana who was sitting in her highchair waiting for me to get close so she could touch me with her food encrusted hand, was the most beautiful thing in the world!

I felt really special:)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Best Thursday!

"This is the best Thursday ever!"

~A quote heard by 2 little men around here this afternoon and whose sentiments are wholly felt by their mommy!

Samuel, upon getting in the car after school and finding out that our very special friend, Miss D, was waiting at home for them said, "This is the best Thursday ever! I got to have a lunchable for lunch (a special treat!), I got to go to school AND Miss D is here!!"

And then Zakkai chimed in: "This is MY best Thursday ever! I got to have a lunchable for lunch and go to school and Miss D is here!"

And now, sitting here, thinking about what my day could've been and how it turned out with the special company of a wonderful friend...I also think it was the best Thursday ever:) Thank you, Miss D, for hanging out and having dinner with us and blessing us with your company! (We love company!)

Missy being silly:) She is learning a new word every couple of days and her walking is really taking off! As my friend pointed out....just in time for her mama to go lame:) Good timing, E!

Daddy and Z having a special story time:) They got to have a special breakfast together this past weekend, a daddy-son bonding time that was long overdue. Zakkai came back glowing!

We are really looking forward to this weekend, as Ben will be taking Saturday off to spend time with US! We are going to make good use of our new zoo membership we received as a gift this Christmas and just enjoy time together, even if we spend the whole time indoors with the lemurs.

I'm sure lemurs are good company, too:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One small step...

Why my life is about to change....

Someone is enjoying practicing her new skills and cheering for herself, too:) Too cute to hear her saying "Yay!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ramblin' Tuesday!

Howdy! (that's for all my Texan relatives:) It was the craziest day today but we managed to survive!

*Eliana is walking a bit more now! She took about 14 steps on Sunday~the most ever! And has done a big chunk each day this week. Yikes! I was beginning to think she'd be a lifetime crawler.....

*I went to the podiatrist today and found out I do have a severed tendon and will be having surgery shortly. Only I could do such a ridiculous thing that would end up with such consequences! I have several appointments lined up in the next 2 weeks including: an MRI, another appt with the podiatrist next week to discuss results and surgery dates and an appt with my reg doc in 2 weeks to get medical clearance for take-off, I mean surgery. Wow. It kind of hasn't sunk in and I think I'll leave it that way for a bit. No sense getting myself worked up over my fear of surgery and having to recover ALLLL over again.

*Ben keeps making ridiculous jokes/puns like "Well, you have to just get your foot in the door.." and "Just take it one step at a time" and "You need to have both feet on the ground." He does make me laugh and if this helps him deal with it, then he can go ahead and use my injury as a joke board! Feel free to join in.

*Zakkai is turning 5 in only a few short weeks and is happily helping to plan a party. I hope we can still have one now! He is also getting invitation after invitation from fellow preschool birthday-ites and get this: one invite even specifies what kind of gift to buy!! Wow again.

*Made and ate lasagna tonight and it was good! Okay, okay, so I didn't have a miraculous healing and am now loving lasagna. Sorry to get your hopes up that I will lead a normal life now. It was Mexican lasagna. No mushiness. No ricotta cheese. Even the baby gobbled it up!

Off to attempt exercising with strange men in biker shorts! Okay, that sounded weird...

Monday, January 23, 2012


I love this kid.

He may have some frustrated tendancies to torture his younger brother into screaming rages, have excessive energy after school and not always use it wisely and ask 1,381 questions a day...especially at the end of the night when my brain is ready to turn off...BUT...

His sweet, gentle heart just shines through sometimes, especially when I take the time to sit and listen and just let him be himself. We have started this thing called "Talk Thursdays" (thanks, Mr J. for the name suggestion!) with possibly another day added, where I climb up in bed with Samuel and let him just talk about whatever comes to his mind. My initial reaction when he has requested this, I am ashamed to admit, has not always been gracious or welcoming. I am tired at the end of the day and especially Thursdays, which is one of my solo days.

But I find that I cannot resist the pleading of those sweet blue-gray eyes and I have started hoisted myself up the ladder and into the top bunk to listen. And what a reward I get! I have found that I learn things about him that I never knew: things he is doing at school, things he is looking forward to or even afraid of and oh, the questions! He asks some of the most thought-provoking and deep questions. Like about heaven and dying, the future, your soul, how things in the world work, etc. Wow.

Tonight, even though it was so late because of swimming lessons, he had a few more questions up his sleeve. He gave me his usual routine of 2 kisses per cheek, one on the nose and a big hug and then he sat back and asked, "Mommy, are we always going to hug and kiss?" I said, "Well, yes, probably. We'll always hug and we can kiss as long as you want to." He said, "Well, can't we do it when we're grown ups? You and Daddy kiss." I chuckled and said, "Daddy and I are married! That's why we kiss."

He looked at me so sincerely and said, "Well, when I grow up, I'm going to be married to you, too!" He has said that in the past and it always breaks my heart a little to have to tell him he can't because he is so earnest and so sweet.

I said as gently as I could, "Well, Buddy, you can't marry me because I'm already married to Daddy. And you can only be married to one person at a time." He got so serious and said, "Will you get underrested if you marry 2 people?" I told him yes, probably because it's against the law and plus, God wants only one man and one woman to get married to each other, not two!

He got sad and his sweet eyes filled with tears. "But why? I wanted to marry you. Daddy can go marry someone else and I can marry you!" I stroked his freshly washed head and said, "But I like being married to Daddy and we're going to stay married because we love each other. And someday you will meet a nice girl (I pray!) and love her and want to marry her. And then you'll have your own children that you can hug and kiss all you want."

"But how do you know I'll do that?" He asked me. And I said, "Because I know that you'll love them as much as Daddy and I love you and you'll want to hug them and kiss them and tell them you love them all the time."

What a precious heart. May I treasure it and care for it always!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fort Thomas

It isn't indestructible. It didn't take long to build. It doesn't defend our country or even our city. It has no weapons inside. It's made of blankets, an old kitchen table, a few chairs and contains pillows, a portable DVD player and a couple of soldiers.

It's Fort Thomas:

What could be better to pass the afternoon in fun?

 Meet Seargant Samuel and Captain Zakkai. Watching Cars 2 in style. Off duty, of course!

 Uh-oh! Look who discovered the secret fort. It's the Baby Destroyer!!

She only managed the turn off the movie once or twice til she was captured by her broth....er, Captain, that is.

Yep, that's a good way to spend an afternoon, I'd say:)

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Yesterday our little Darling turned 15 months old! I know that eventually I have to give up these monthly "birthday" posts but will you allow me a few more? I like to sit back and take these few moments to think about all the amazing changes in such a little person in just a month.

Truly amazing!

Her silliness has really come out in the past month! Miss E loves to pull all the pillows off the couch and roll around on them. She loves to crawl and put one leg up in the air and turn to see if you're watching her be silly. She twists her body all around on the ground and giggles and grins with her 5 little teeth and it's just hilarious! Such personality coming out:)

 Even though there is much silliness, she is still as sweet as can be! She still melts her "Dada's" heart with the sweet way she says his name. She looks for him and calls for him up the stairs on days where he is gone all day at work. They adore each other.

She also melts my heart even when she calls me "Dada" persistently. I think she enjoys calling me that even though she slips and occasionally calls me "Mama." Hmmm...she's a sneaky one!

 So many new words these days! "Hat," "Bipah" (Diaper), "Book" (now with the "K!), "Yook" (Look), "Dassa yight" (That's a light), "Ay-ee" (Baby), "Bwubuh" (new one! ~ Brother) "Wow" "Yeah, yeah" (always in two's :) "uh-uh," "Mo mo" (no, no, no!) "Oup!" (Ouch) and more!

She even did her very first wall coloring! I am so proud! Sniff:)

She loves to push her baby Danny around in the walker/stroller, go for rides on her ride-on princess toy, sing ("ya, ya, ya!"), talk and "ooh and ahhh" about everything, eat, be silly with her brothers, be near her family, imitate us and make big messes.

Life is so exciting for this little angel these days and we love every second of it!

Even the big messes:)

Friday, January 20, 2012


Like the wintry background? I was bored for a minute or two today and had a random desire to make my blog look like it does outside...snowy:)

Had a nice day: Zakkai was happily entertained ALL day with a buddy who was over to play.

Watched several inches of beautiful snow (although treacherous to drive in!) fall from the safety of my warm home.

Watched the boys run and tromp through mounds of snow on the way home from school and help their Daddy shovel the sidewalks.

Enjoyed homemade Hawaiian pizza and Friday night dessert and watched E.T. with the hubby. (Wow, never knew that movie was so cheesy!)

Now I'm ready to go to bed and gear up for a snowy day tomorrow:)

(the view from my car this afternoon~don't worry, I wasn't driving!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keepin' Busy.

Apparently, winter is here to stay...more snow tomorrow! The boys are thrilled to finally get their chance to build a snowman, although both are saying they are ready for spring.

Hahahhahaha! oh, I'm sorry, that just slipped out. Um, spring is like 6 months away. I didn't believe my sister years ago, right before we moved to Chicago, when she told us there were two seasons here. Winter (9 months) and Summer (3 months.)

She was right.

A long-ago toy that has never lost it's magic:)

 Hey, Samuel, how about a picture? Oh, you want me to take another one? Okay...

There's my silly boy! haha! (Zakkai ran away when asked to pose for a picture:)

Miss Puddin' Pop is such a busy girl! She is learning all sorts of new words but her very favorite right now is "Uh-oh!" She uses it to mean "I dropped something" "I need help" "Can you open this?" and all sorts of other things;)

 We worked hard on her sleep last week, as she was in a bad habit of waking up and crying for hours in the night and was SO overtired and cranky through the day. She is now sleeping so much better, going right back to sleep in the night if she cries out (usually for her paci) and waking up much happier after naps. It's nice to have our happy girl back!

Eliana is also learning how to feed herself! Earlier this week, I had been putting a little food on a spoon and handing it to her and in the past couple of days, she has been "asking" for the spoon and wanting to feed herself! Such a big girl:)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sappy Mama.

*I am feeling very sentimental over here tonight! Samuel has a timeline of his life (all 6 1/2 years:) due on Friday so I have been working all afternoon/evening to help find pictures for him. It always breaks my heart a bit to look back at my formerly baby-faced, chubby-legged, guileless little boys and see how much they have changed. You may not notice it day to day but it's so very evident in pictures, even from a few months ago!

*And what is making me even sadder is that I cannot find my picture CD of Samuel's first week of life, birth and all. I have a few hard copies in his scrapbook but that's about it and it's making me SO sad:( I have looked everywhere that I can think of but somewhere a long the way, I must've taken it out of my CD collection, that is in order by dates, and forgot to put it back. They are only pictures, yes. I have my memories, yes.

But still. Those are my only copies of my pictures and if those get lost.....:(

*Aside from that, it was a pretty non-interesting day. Those are kind of nice sometimes! My last happy thought of the day was tonight, reading to the boys in the stillness of the house, impatient to get them to bed after a super-busy, loud afternoon and looking down to see both of them snuggled on either side of me with their hands resting unconsciously on my arms, Zakkai's head lying on my shoulder, listening, peaceful, so full of love.

I never deserve their love, their immediate forgiveness, their adoration and yet I have it. And I don't want to take it for granted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Tornado

What you are about to see is only a small glimpse of what the baby tornado is doing to my home on an hourly basis. This particular destruction took approximately 1 minute or less to occur. Prepare yourself.

I had a dr appointment this afternoon for my foot (more in a moment) and when I walked in my front door, I saw, scatter allllll over the living room floor, two kinds of big legos, Mr. Potato head and all his accessories, a play piggy bank and its coins, the shape sorter and its shapes, the picnic basket and its play food and some cars.

And when I looked questioningly around the room, all 3 male fingers pointed in the direction of Eliana.

Who will now be renamed the "Baby Tornado." Can I hire a cleaning lady???

So I have been referred to see a podiatrist (appt next Tues) for a possible laceration of the tendon on my 4th toe. My dead toe, as I have come to think of it fondly. Or maybe not so fondly:)

Until then, I have to buddy tape my toe to the one next to it and put on some cream that is supposed to help with the burning that comes from the nerve damage. Boy, I really did a number! Why did I have to be born so klutzy???!

We'll see what happens.

I found the boys some snow pants today on clearance because apparently you should wear snow pants during the cold winters! The kids aren't allowed to do a lot of things on the playground at school if they don't wear them and they will be having recess on all days it is above 10 degrees.

Samuel and Zakkai have never had any and they are thrilled to pieces! They wore them around the house this afternoon:) I bought bigger sizes so they can last 2-3 years for each of them.

As a matter of fact, they love them so much that they have decided I need a pair, too! haha.

I'll leave you on a funny note. Tonight I attempted Zumba again, modified. There is this middle aged guy who has started attending the class. He stands out because he is, after all, the only male in the class. And it could also be his skin tight biker shorts and muscle shirt, too.

Or maybe the way he gets so into the moves, you get a little distracted feeling like you've suddenly entered a zumba/kickboxing/ballet class. Anyways, I admit a giggle slipped out tonight when Mr. Biker Shorts got carried away with his movements and what he was doing and when the teacher darted over to turn up the music in the middle of the song, he started running after her!

Oh, it makes me laugh now to think about it! At least he's having a good time and that's what it's all about.

Oh and exercising, too:)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Long Weekend

We've had a pretty nice long weekend over here. Of course, I know I will be confused about what day it is for the rest of the week now!

Late as it is, we just got the boys bathed and in bed....after their very first swimming lesson! I've been wanting them to take swimming lessons for a long time but we've never been able to find a good place and it's usually very pricey.

Add to that, Samuel hasn't been able to tolerate water on his head until this year and you can see why we've waited!  But now we live by the Y and they offer affordable swim classes. Samuel was very nervous before they left, much like before his first t-ball practice last summer.

But they both came home beaming and couldn't wait to tell me all that they learned! Samuel wishes that they could have classes every day instead of once a week:)

(Eliana trying on her baby "Danny's" shoes:)

Today we also had some friends over to play! We miss a lot of our friends from H.P. and don't get to see them very often but were blessed with a good, long visit today. The boys were highly entertained with their long-lost friends and I got a little friend time, which is invaluable to me these days. A good day!

And yesterday our very good friends Mr J. and Ms D. came over to watch football/basketball and we munched on pizza and had a great time. Spending time with loved ones makes me wish a thousand times that we had a better community around us. I miss having close friends nearby. I miss living near family.


(A fun, inexpensive project of mine this weekend! I bought a cheap $4-5 cork board and decorated it with ribbon to hang school calendars and papers that are overtaking my fridge:) Easy, fun, and useful!)

And I forgot to write about Friday when Ben went to read to Samuel's class. Zakkai really wanted to go with him to sit in his big brother's class and see what it's like to be a big 1st grader. They happily marched out with book in tow, ready to surprise Samuel.

And boy, was he surprised!! Ben said his face just lit up when he saw his Daddy and brother standing in the doorway, ready to be the Mystery Reader. The class was ready, sitting on the rug and Samuel got to go sit right next to Ben while he read.

Ben said he could tell S was SO proud to have his Daddy reading to his friends and was really into the book, making surprised faces and funny faces to show that he was enjoying and perhaps, to show off for his friends a little bit:)

Ben came home beaming and I could tell that it did his heart good to know that such a simple, yet wonderful act made our sweet son feel so special.

I hope Samuel remembers that day for a long time to come!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snow Day!

We don't get typical snow days around here with canceled school and all that fun. But we do have snow right now and we had a long day at home so what else is there to do than create our own version of a snow day?

Gotta keep these boys occupied! So none of us lose our minds, of course:)

First they made a snowman craft. They love to do crafts and I don't always have the creative energy or time to come up with one. But I did a little research this morning when I woke up with the endless hours of solo parenting looming before me and this is what I came up with...
 Aren't they cute?! I told the boys whatever m&ms they didn't use, they could eat:) I got a bag of buttons at a thrift store for $0.50 so we put those to good use, too!

 Then I sent the boys out back to gather up some "clean" snow for us for a secret project later in the day. They were under strict instructions to skim gently off the top of a clean area, no where near footprints, no snow off of the bird bath, etc.

 I ended up using Samuel's bowl of snow because Zakkai's was a little suspicious....Plus, he lost my nice spoon in the snow.

I'm hoping we'll find it when the snow melts...

 Later, after lunch and a cartoon, we used that bowl of clean snow to make "Snow Cream!" I've never made it before but it was super easy and a smash hit. Beware of an ice cream headache!


Then Mikey showed up and lured the boys out to play. They spent a happy hour out in the bitter cold, shoveling and creating bases and forts.

Then I called them in for a nice, warm bath followed by a delicious dinner of Southwest Chili and Skillet Cornbread!

Mmmm again:) I'll even share the recipe if you'd like to warm up with a nice bowl (or two) yourself sometime soon. Happy Snow Day!

Southwest Chili

1 lb ground beef

sm onion, minced

1 tsp garlic powder

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
(it's the powder, NOT the bottle of dressing!)

2 cans Ro-tel diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained. (if you don't like too much spice, use Mild. If you like spicy, use Hot!)

1 can EACH Pinto, Navy, Black, Gr. Northern, Kidney Beans; drained and rinsed.

1 small can summer crisp corn

1 small can tomato sauce.

1. Saute ground beef and onion in a little oil until beef is no longer pink. Add in other ingredients and simmer until cooked through!

Chili will look "dry" at first but as the tomatoes cook, it will get more liquid and be perfect:) Yuuummmy!

*Can serve over rice, with cornbread, with crackers or any way you like it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Little Star

 Zakkai completed his special week by bringing his favorite book to school to share! He was very secretive about his choice, only allowing me a sneak-peek right before we rushed out the door. He chose his brand new Eyewitness Astronaut book that he got from Grandma for Christmas!

He was very proud to share:)

We have really noticed a new maturity in Mr. Z, as he likes to call himself. He's still quite spastic, although learning how to be gentler and calmer. He has a great sense of humor but is learning to roll with the punches and not get quite so offended when others tease him. His sweet heart shows a humble remorse when corrected instead of always anger.

I cannot believe that he is going to be FIVE next month. He was my baby for so long, tagging along when I dropped Samuel off at preschool, keeping me company and always sticking close to my side, with his sweet little hand tucked in mine.

And now he'll be in kindergarten in the fall. Wow. Instead of being a little exasperated on Fridays when he has no preschool and he talks my ear off from 8:30-3 and constantly wants attention, I am choosing to treasure these moments with him because I won't have these times too much longer.

 I hope God does amazing things with this amazing, passionate, wonderful little man!

As a matter of fact, he's so cool that his little sister wants to be just like him:) That's a compliment!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Schizophrenic Winter.

 Buenos Noches:) Blogger has decided to cooperate tonight and let me post some pics. Wasn't that nice of them?

Here is Little Miss Grump-Grump, who has a 'tude this week. Probably due to the fact that she isn't sleeping well and has some new teeth coming in.

She's verrrrry busy these days! Sometimes I bring her down in the morning or after a nap and I turn around 5 minutes later and it looks like a hurricane blew through the house!
 She makes a circuit from the living room to the kitchen and back again, leaving destruction in her wake. Good thing she's cute!

 Who me??

We've had some amazing weather this week so I have practically been pushing the boys outside as soon as we get home from school. Go, boys, go!

I keep telling them, "This is it, boys. This is our last good weather til spring so go out and PLAY!" Of course, I've been saying this is our last good streak for about 2 months now. But I mean it this time!

Everyone has been puzzled over the strange mild winter we've had so far, especially after the dire predictions of doom and gloom. But we all know it's coming. It is coming.

Tomorrow as a matter of fact. We are going from almost 60 today and sunny to snowy and low 20s tomorrow. Brr!

I'd better go dig out my long underwear. Well, I would if I had any....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little Updates.

Good Evening!. I just got back from Zumba, which I did very carefully. It was hard to go from a great exercise routine (for a whole 3 weeks:) to absolutely nothing after my foot injury. I tried my first Zumba, with my foot wrapped, in C-bus with my mom.

What fun! We've been wanting to do Zumba together because we get each other giggling like school girls over our lack of coordination and hip movement. Her class had a totally different feel than mine and half her class wears these really fun jingly belts!

Must be a Plain City thing:) Either way, it's cool and I wish my class did it!

So I decided to try mine out tonight and I must say I'm feeling pretty discouraged about how my foot is healing. It looks like I do have some tendon damage and I have to go get it checked out a.s.a.p. and hope they can fix it. It would be nice to jump again and run (not that I run often~ha!) and do twisty Zumba-ish things again and be pain-free. Plus it would be nice not to have a "dead" toe.

Yeah. Moving on!

As I mentioned yesterday, Zakkai is Star of the Week! Each kid in his class gets a turn and he has been waiting anxiously for his. When it is their turn they get to make a poster with pictures about things they love, they get a show and tell day (today!), they get to be the teacher's special helper another day and the last day they get to bring in their favorite book to share.

Zakkai was so excited to carry in his poster yesterday which he helped decorate and today he brought in a new Christmas toy, a transformer that lights up and makes noises. He felt like big stuff today:)

Samuel doesn't know yet that his Daddy will be his class's Mystery Reader this week! I can just imagine how his face is going to light up in surprise when Ben walks in on Friday morning to read to the class. Wonder what books he will choose?

Eliana has been a goofball this week. One of her newest favorite activities is to pull all the pillows off the couch and roll around on them while shrieking with glee. She does contorts her body in funny ways and looks to see if we're watching, which of course we are!

She also threw her first roll-on-the-floor tantrum this weekend. Awesome. I have no idea why she was even crying but then she laid down on the ground, very carefully mind you, and rolled her body around and checked to make sure I knew how upset she was. I'm sure the effect she was going for wasn't to make me laugh:)

And to close, just wanted to say thank you for all the comments lately! It really makes my day to hear from you. So keep 'em coming, y'all!

And don't ask why I just said "Y'all." It just felt right:)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to the Grind!

Welcome back to reality, folks. That's right, it's Monday; school and life are in session again!

It was hard to jump back into routine. It's almost like you have to re-train yourself to remember all of the little well-oiled routines that make the day run smoothly. Taking a shower at night, packing lunches, making sure the folder is in the bookbag, teeth brushed, shoes on.....got your gloves? hat on? check.

Whew. We made it to school with 1 minute to spare this morning;) At least we were on time!

I am liking my new system of setting small daily goals. It makes me feel so much less overwhelmed, less like a failure and more motivated. So far I've accomplished what I've set out to do each day (for the past 3 days anyways:) and I am forcing myself not to think ahead but only to take things one day at a time. Much more peaceful that way!

And peace I could use!

We received news that our Compassion child that Ben started sponsering eleven years ago when she was only 3 years old, has been pulled out of the program by her family for unknown reasons. It came as such a shock to us and we feel a myriad of emotions: disbelief, guilt, sadness. Did we write to her enough? Is she going to be well taken care of? Will she stay in school?(her parents say they will keep her in school) What was the real reason for her parents insisting that she not be a part of a program designed to care for Daphka, nurture her, teach her about God and provide her with opportunities for the future?

Whatever the reasons are, we are at least thankful that we got a chance to be a part of her life for a little while and that we can continue to pray for her. They said we could write her one last letter and I am hoping that we can find the right words to say to her.

And on a sweet note, after dropping Zakkai off at preschool (who is Star of the Week this week, by the way~more on that tomorrow!), Eliana was napping so I snuck into our room to lay down myself. E had a horrible night's sleep and was up from 2:30-4:15 or so hysterical so, needless to say, mommy was tired.

Ben went in to get her from her nap and as he started to head downstairs with her, she said, "Mama!" She called me Mama for about 2 days and then I became Dada, too. Shows you her priorities!! I have been trying and trying to get her to say my name but she just grins with her 4 1/2 little teeth (one front tooth poked through!) and continues to say "Dada!" (which he loves.)

So Ben came into tell me since he knows how much it means to me and that sweet little girl, who was in her favorite pair of arms, lit up when she saw me and she reached for me immediately and just snuggled her little body close. I thought maybe I'd get to have a little longer than a 15 minute nap but she burst into tears when B tried to take her downstairs without me so, being the sucker I am, I gave up on the nap and came down with them:) It was worth it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Toys

 Lego Boys!
Can't you feel the happiness and excitement?!

 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1....Blast Off!

Cleaning up the world one lego at a time....:)

Here's Eliana enjoying one of her new Christmas presents:) Enjoy!