Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hairy Boys.

I found this picture on my computer from almost exactly one year ago. Where in the world did my baby go???

Now she talks, she throws tantrums, she climbs all over everything, she walks, she tries to run, she has bruises on her forehead, chin and legs from her falls, she has glasses and she bosses her brothers! Can't even imagine what she'll be like a year from now...

Today was Samuel's last full day of school! He is really sad about ending the school year and saying good-bye to his friends for the summer. Not that he won't see some of them for playdates! Tomorrow he goes for one hour. Isn't that just the silliest thing you've ever heard?

Then we kick off our summer (still hasn't sunk in for me yet!) with our special slumber party! I'll try to have Ben take some pictures on his phone for memories:)

After school, we braved the rainy, nasty cold day and went to the library for books. Because you can never have enough books! We spent our time in the children's library. Eliana LOVED being free from the stroller but it's quite a chore to keep her from taking a hundred books off the shelves and leaving them around in disarray. She also tried to escape out the doors behind some other lady! Girl wears me out:)

Before I fed my ever-hungry children, I finally did what needed to be done long ago: cut the boys hair. I only wish you could be a fly on the wall during this tedious process. If you were blind, it would sound like we had tied the boys to a chair and were plucking out their toenails one by one. Seriously.

I tried bribing them with stars for their reward jars if they didn't scream and cry. Both of them cried. But at last they were clean and a lot less hairy and we have at least 6 weeks before we have to do it again.

I think it'll be Ben's turn next time:)

Now I'm going to recuperate. Busy day (and night) tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Yesterday I was sitting in big overstuffed chair with my feet up on the ottoman, resting for a few minutes. Zakkai came up and laid his hand on my leg while telling me something very important. He stopped in mid-sentence and ran his hand over my shin again, giggled and said, "Mommy, your frickles tickle me!"

I burst out laughing and it took me a few minutes to question him. I said, "Frickles? Do you mean....Prickles?" He wrinkled his cute, little nose, smiled and said, "No! I mean...Freckles!"

I said, a little confused, "Do you know what freckles are?" He grinned as he pointed to my freckle-covered face and said, "It's those and you have them all over!" (which I don't, thank you very much!) Then he inspected my leg again and said, "See they're all bumpy and they tickle!"
I said, dryly, "Those are prickles. Not freckles."

Maybe it's time for a new razor.....:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In a Nutshell.

Early morning, baby crying, leftover strawberry shortcake for breakfast, walking Samuel to school, watching Zakkai and Eliana play trains together, E down for nap, reading on the porch while Z played with dump trucks and water, eating lunch together, coloring a welcome mat with sidewalk chalk, catching up with a neighbor, feeding the baby a snack while walking to get Samuel from school, hanging around outside, back home again, devouring honeydew for snack, boys playing outside with friends, smiling at Eliana wearing her purse on her shoulder, making dinner, feeding the bottomless pits that are my sons, bathing the spaghetti covered baby, rocking her while reading, calling the boys inside, snuggling with them and reading, praying sweet little prayers, shutting the door, the day is done.

Amazing that you can sum up 14 hours in one paragraph:)

Book Review

Please pardon this interruption from my regular blogging for a book review:) Today's post coming later!

I had another opportunity to read and review a book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers!

The book I chose this time was "Redemption" by Olympian Gold Medalist Bryan Clay. I wasn't sure if I would really get into this book as it is a big change from my normal reading preferences.

However, I was hooked easily beginning from the introduction. Bryan Clay journeys you through his very painful and heartbreaking childhood to his ultimate success as a medaling Olympic athlete. I was really impressed with his ability to reason through his behavior as a child and to really reflect on what happened to cause him to be such an angry troubled child. I think it was so perceptive and obviously life-changing for his chidhood counselor to suggest getting him involved in sports to save him.

Bryan Clay's story is a beautiful reminder of how God can take the most broken and "damaged" of human beings and change them into someone who glorifies and honors Him.

Not only was I drawn in to his personal story of triumph but also intrigued by his accounts of training and preparation for Championships and the Olympics. I have never been a Decathlon fan or have really known what was involved in it but I can honestly say that I'll be paying a lot more attention this summer during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Bryan Clay has a new fan rooting for him!

I would recommend this book as a good summer read.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Funnies.

A few recent funny boy one-liners and stories:

Samuel: (At the store tonight) "Mommy, what's this called? Is it a fruit or a vegetable?" I look over to see him holding a package of cut rhubarb.

"Oh, that's called rhubarb and it's a fruit."

Samuel said incredulously, "It's called fruitbar??!"

Zakkai: Ben came down this morning looking for a drink of water. Unbeknownst to him, I had placed the water pitcher in the refrigerator to get cold. (It's been out on the counter through the winter.) He looked around and saw it missing and said, "Zakkai, do you know where the water pitcher is?"

Zakkai said, "It's in the refrigerator!"
Ben said, "Did you put it there ?" Zakkai shook his head no.
Ben said, "Did mommy put it there?" Zakkai shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know but you definitely didn't put it in there!"

We were preparing to go to Zakkai's school picnic last Monday and I said, "Zakkai, I have to go pack the picnic now." Zakkai's mouth dropped open and he said, "We have to pack the picnic for the whole school??!!"

Samuel~ "Mommy, why do you have yellow teeth?"

Zakkai: "Ah!! Missy's all laked!!" (Laked = Naked).

While talking about our upcoming slumber party:

Zakkai: "Ooh, and we can have brownies and cookies. And some suckers, too! And you think of some ideas, too, Mommy!" Think he has a sweet tooth? :)

Yesterday during Sunday school, Zakkai marched in the door and announced, "My baby sister's here today!!" And during coloring time, he started laughing awkwardly If you know him, you can picture this!) and looked up at the other children and teachers around him and said, "My baby sister's here and she's coloring but she doesn't know how!"

He was SO proud:)

Samuel: "But, Mommy, I want to sleep with you. Please? I can come sleep in your bed and Daddy can go sleep with Zakkai."

I said, "How about we sleep next to each other during our slumber party, okay? I can't just kick Daddy out of bed, buddy."

Samuel thinking for a minute, "Fine. We can pull out the couch and Daddy can sleep on floor or go upstairs."

Poor Daddy!

There are so many funny little things that these boys say and do and I often am too busy to write it down and I forget! I want to savor these little moments...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Tidbits.

*Turning on our air conditioner for the first time this year. 97 degrees today!

*Eating Hobo Packets on the grill tonight. So glad our stomachs are feeling so much better today!

*Filling up 25+ water balloons for the boys and neighbor friends.....Brought back memories of water balloon fights with my cousins and grandma's neighbors:)

*Starting my sixth 400+ page book in less than a week. Guess I read a lot more when I feel cruddy!

*Taking stock of my huge "Sell" and "Donate" piles in my bedroom. Can't wait to get rid of them and have a normal bedroom again!

*Watching Eliana feel pretty silly and drink out of two cups yesterday:

*Listening to the boys yell at each other and then less than 5 minutes later, hearing them giggle and watching them hug each other.

*Watching Eliana's eyes flutter close at bedtime tonight and soaking in the peace on her face.

*Savoring the cool, fruity sherbet we had for dessert. The perfect summer treat!

*Realizing this is our very last school week! Only 3 days and 1 hr left of this school year. Imagining not packing lunches for almost 3 months... (Picnics excluded!)

*Seeing Zakkai stop and smile at me with the brightest, cutest little face today.

*Having Samuel backtrack, peek around the doorway and say, "I love you, Mommy."

*Working on my quilt again last night. Determined to finish it.....someday....

*Being able to shake 2 disabled veterans' hands in front of the store and say, "Thank you." One nodded humbly, the other looked surprised. Wish I had the courage to do it more often!

*Reading and loving the comments you leave here on my blog. It always encourages me, touches me and gives me the motivation to keep writing! Thank you.

Good night!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

He hears.

I had a few things that I was going to post tonight but in light of what happened a few minutes ago, I'm tossing it all out the window!!

It was a tough day for me. I still don't feel great, especially the first half of the day for some reason (B, too) and Ben went to work so it's just been me and the rambunctious kiddos most of the day. Zakkai was acting up most of the day and Samuel had an attitude part of the day and it just seemed like I was upset with one or the other of them ALL day. We have days like that occasionally and I don't like them!

So I told the boys to get in bed and wait for me to tuck them in after I put E down. I was feeling so defeated, wondering why it seems like years of children-training has gone to pot. I read Missy her story and just held her and rocked while I prayed over her. And I started to pray for all 3 of them, with a heavy heart and tears clogging my throat.

If I could have anything in the world, it would be for my 3 precious children to know and love God and to learn to be kind, loving, respectful, wonderful people! And that's what I prayed for.

I tucked Missy in bed and went into the boys' room. I sat on Zakkai's bed and had a long talk with him about his behavior today and then I told him how I want him to love Jesus and asked him if he wanted that. He nodded and I told him all about when I asked Jesus into my heart as a little girl. Samuel was sitting on his beanbag listening and he perked up when I told the story, as he loves when I tell stories about when I was little. Because I think it's hard for them to grasp that we ever were little people like them:) They asked some questions and I told Zakkai, "When you are ready to do that, when you are ready to ask Jesus to wash allll that yuckiness out of your heart and make you as white as snow and help you learn to love others and be kind and just like Him, you tell me and I'll pray with you."

He nodded and I got up to say goodnight to Samuel and do all the little things to close up shop: closing blinds, turning off lights, etc. I was closing the closet door when Samuel came up beside me, tugged on my arm and said really softly, "Mommy, will you pray with me, too?" At first I thought he meant our bedtime prayer but then I quickly realized that he wanted to say THE prayer.

He first prayed to ask Jesus into his heart almost exactly 2 years ago, May 23rd, 2010. He has a page written in his journal from that night that says, "I love Jesus" in it and a sweet picture. But he doesn't remember that night too much since he wasn't quite 5 years old yet and he said he wanted to pray tonight since he is older.

Tonight my sweet boy became a child of God (again) and it was such a blessing to me because I felt like God heard my cries. Things have been tough lately for a few reasons and I've been asking God if He hears my prayers, especially those I seem to pray over and over with no immediate answers.

Tonight He heard, He knew what I needed and what Samuel needed and He answered. My heart is full. Thank you, God.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


 This afternoon, Ben and I finally turned a corner! We both started to feel more "human" after some soup and a nap. We are hoping that with a few more days of boring, bland food, we will be back to our healthy-ish selves:)

In other news, our camera did officially die. I have no idea how or why it turned on enough for me to get my pictures off from the weekend but I am very thankful! We never said anything to Zakkai about spilling the water on it because he had no idea that it happened but he must've put some pieces together because yesterday out of nowhere he said, "Mommy, I'm really sorry I spilled water on the camera."

In the sweetest, saddest little voice you've ever heard. Who could be upset with that? We have had an offer from a great friend to give us their old camera, which is the biggest blessing! Hopefully, I'll have better pics than the ones from my phone soon!

Zakkai officially graduated from preschool on Tuesday! I dragged my sick self to that school, knowing what an important day it was for him. He has talked about this day non-stop and kept saying, "Is this my special day?"

I would've gone even if there was an earthquake outside and i was missing a leg!

Samuel and Eliana came with me and poor Daddy couldn't come because he was so sick at home:( Zakkai's class sang the cutest "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz" song while wearing little bee constumes! I can hear it in my head and picture those cute 4 and 5 year olds dancing and showing their stingers;)

Then they sang a "Tickle the Tiger" song, which was also very cute! Zakkai looked really uncertain as he sang but kept his neighbors in line, showing them the right direction to turn when they were backwards:)

I asked a friend to take pictures for me and would you believe, her camera battery died after one picture! She said someone else took a picture for me but who knows if I will ever see it;( This is the best I got with my phone. Mr Zakkai Thomas getting his diploma! This was one happy soon-to-be kindergartener!!

And here's Moosie Foo reading a book today:) She just LOVES to read and will ask to come up on the couch and then ask for a book. She thinks it's so fun to sit with us. I hope she's a big reader like her mommy and daddy!

Today alone, she learned at least 5 new words! She's in a big repeating stage right now and in the past few days learned "Tuttle" (Turtle) "Beah" (Bear) "Buppy" (Button) "Bapple" (Apple) "Fow" (Flower) "Belby" (Belly/Belly button) "Ga" (Giraffe) "Bee" (Bee) "Cah" (Cat) "Chee" (Cheeks) and more! It's amazing how her language is exploding! She just loves to talk about things she knows and point out objects in books. It's a fun age!

And it's also a tiring age:) Off to catch up on sleep!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wacky Hair Day

 I will be so glad when this week is over! It is not fun being sick and especially when your spouse and only help is also sick. The good news is that we are mending slowly. Ben has finally passed the worst of it and has been fever-free today and even ate a little toast and soup! I feel like a vacuum cleaner sucked out all the life from my bones and refilled them with jelly. Oh, and also like someone punched me in the stomach. Fun, huh?

However, we are mending and thank the Lord, all three kiddos are still healthy! I hope it stays that way!

So B and I may not be having the greatest week but Samuel is having fun because it's Fun Week for the first graders since it's their last full week of school! Monday was Mismatched Sock Day, yesterday was Hat Day and today was Wacky Hair day! Samuel gets very nervous about doing things out of routine or normalcy so I was pretty surprised when he asked for spikey hair and actually left it like that! He had a bit of a meltdown after he saw himself in the mirror because it wasn't what he was expecting but I think he was glad he did it since most of his friends had pretty crazy hair, too.

Here's my Wacky Boy:

 He liked it so much that he didn't want to shower tonight and wash it out:) I may never be able to cut his hair again....

And then Zakkai thought the whole hair thing was pretty cool so he asked me to give him a mowhawk, which I had to fix about 16 times today:)

He burst into giggles after he saw his silly face and hair in this picture:)

Happy Wacky Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I will be brief tonight and just ask for your prayers. Ben and I are both sick, especially my poor hubby. He has been very sick with a really bad virus/stomach thing since the middle of the night Friday night. We peaked with our very worst night last night. Ben had to get an IV and medicine and I became sick during the night.

It's been a rough few days and I would especially ask for you to lift Ben up, as I rarely have seen him so sick. Be back soon with healthier updates, I hope!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eliana Cuteness!

Hiding in the toy shelf:

Joining brother in Time-out:

Love this cute outfit from Grandma!

Holding court with her many admirers:)

Everyday is filled with something fun and new! Happy 19 months, Missy! (yesterday:)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Zakkai's Big Day!!

We've had such a busy weekend that I've barely had a chance to think, let alone blog! Friday night we had the rare pleasure of spending time with wonderful friends! We had pizza and a delicious tomato salad, followed by a grasshopper pie. The best part? Lots of laughter!

Then yesterday there were lots of outdoorsy activities and Zakkai had a birthday party to go to. In the evening after dinner, we walked down to a neighborhood Street Dance to see what it was like. There were vendors selling food for outrageous prices (surprise, surprise) and a DJ under a tent playing music. We sat for awhile watching the little kids and one drunk elderly lady boogy down. Then Missy decided she wanted to join the fun:) She tried to get her brothers to join her but they were pretty exhausted from the busy day in the hot sun and decided they'd rather be party poopers.

I would've taken pictures of our little peanut in the middle of the big kids boppin' around but our camera suffered a freak accident when a certain son of mine tossed his lidless cup on top of the case and our camera drowned.

Somehow it revived enough for me to get pictures from yesterday's big day but I can't turn it on/off or view any taken pictures. I'm praying for a miraculous healing since we can't afford another one. And you know how I like my pictures!!

Speaking of.....

Yesterday we decided it was time to take off the broken training wheels and give Zakkai a chance to learn to ride a two-wheeler!!! Here he is at the beginning, receiving instuctions from the master teacher....

Getting some momentum and preparing for solo-flight...

Almost ready to let go!!!

And there he goes!!! The crowd went wild, cheering him on!!!

We couldn't believe how quickly he learned! He was nervous at first to have a couple of neighborhood friend watching, as well as Samuel and E and I but he quickly got over it when he realized he could do this!! Not everyone gets their very own cheerleading squad!

A video of his new skills!!! Way to Go, Zakkai!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Popsicle.

The bos have been begging for popsicles lately, especially since the weather has been warmer. Well, warmer every 3 days or so:)

So, during my grocery shopping the other day, I spotted some super cheap popsicles at Aldi (our new favorite store) and decided to buy them. I "surprised" the boys after school with a treat and decided maybe Missy could try one, too!

She kept taking little licks and saying "Mmmm."

And then after several covetous glances towards my orange popsicle, she decided to ditch the grape one and pulled out every little girl wile she had to steal mine.

It worked:) Towards the end, she kept making some of the funniest faces you ever saw, either because it was too cold or tart or something! I'm pretty sure you can tell from this orange mouth that she thoroughly enjoyed it:) So much so that she learned a new word: "Nummy!"  (Yummy).

Life is good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Mystery Reader.

Today I surprised my son at school. I secretly set myself up as the very last Mystery Reader for the 1st graders in Mrs S's class and today was the day. I hit up the library for a great selection of books and then nervously made my way to the school office to sign in.

Nervous? Sounds crazy, right? What could possibly be nerve wracking about reading to a bunch of opinionated, trying-to-be-cool-but-they're-still-little first graders?

I was just worried that I wouldn't pick the right books and they wouldn't enjoy them or something. Then I reminded myself about how I was going to make my little/big boy's day and how kids LOVE to be read to so I went in confidently. Mostly.

As soon as I rounded the corner, I spotted Mrs S standing outside her door with a smile on her face. She said that the kids were trying to guess who it could possibly be. She leaned in the door and said, "Are you ready to find out who your Mystery Reader is?" And I heard the roar of 20+ first graders shouting "YES!!!"

As soon as I showed my face in the classroom, they all yelled "Samuel!!!!" Samuel's face registered shock and his mouth dropped open! He quickly made his way up to me, beaming. I am smiling from ear to ear as I write this!

Mrs. S asked him to introduce me to the class and his sweet face was red as he told them I was "Mrs Thomas." I got to sit in a big rocking chair at the front of the room, while the kids were sitting indian-style on the carpet. I brought 3 books, just in case, not sure how long I would get to read. I got to read all of them. As soon as I held up the first book "Rhyming Dust Bunnies" by Jan Thomas, they reacted with a lot of joy and shouting of "I LOVE that book!!"

I pretended to be disappointed and said, "Aw, then maybe since most of you have read it, we shouldn't read it today..." They quickly overrode my suggestion with glee:) They loved all the bright pictures and laughed at all the silliness and then we read "The Doghouse" by the same author. Only a handful of the class had read that one and they all seemed to really enjoy it, too!

Then we got to read an easy chapter book about "Mercy Watson" the pig. It's just the greatest feeling in the world to have a whole class dancing in the palm of your hand because you're making a silly, imaginative world come alive for them. They smile, they look worried, they laugh, they frown at all of your voices and all of the twists and turns of the story. Looking around at their sweet little, captive faces, makes every nerve fly out the window and pure happiness and enjoyment takes over.

Especially when you look down at your feet and there is your sweet boy feeling like the luckiest boy in the world because his mommy was the special reader that day.

I loved it.

A few pages until the end, things got a little hairy when a giant beetle joined the group on the rug and caused some chaos. Mrs S quickly got them under control and we were able to finish with a few minutes to spare til the bell rang. They all said "Thank you!!!" together:)

After they all had their bags on and were lining up to go outside to meet their parents, one of the girls asked me how my foot was. I told her it was much better and then a boy asked me if I'd gotten their cards. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned that the entire class made me get well cards the day of my surgery and they were the cutest cards in the world! I got asked many times if I got to ride in a wheelchair and told by so many classmates that Samuel was awesome and cool and he was a good friend:)

I thanked them for the cards and told them how much I had loved them which made them so happy, you could tell. And then right before they marched out the door, one of the girls turned around and shyly said, "You're so pretty." And the girl next to her nodded and said, "Yeah, you are." So sweet!

It brought back all my memories of wanting to be a kindergarten or first grade teacher so long ago!!

I hope Samuel remembers this day at least a little. I know I will:)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tub O' Eliana

* This is Missy's favorite new game:

Being buried in the block tub:) The boys started it and now she wants to do it alllllll the time. We finally had to hide the tub because she kept trying to climb in and out and fell out a few times. Little Monkey!

Monday, May 14, 2012


 Tonight, instead of sitting down at the computer and wasting time reading and browsing, I decided to take a walk! I actually wore my tennis shoes without pain and took a 30 min walk! That's a good start for old Scar Foot, I'd say:)

There is nothing like taking a walk in the evening of a nice spring or summer day. It's quiet. It's peaceful. I can think and pray and look at all the cute houses and don't have to say a word to anyone. It's a nice way to end the night.

On Friday after school, we drove to a new park we've never been to and right after we got there, the ice cream man drove up! He wasn't too creepy looking and other kids were buying from him, so we decided to let the boys pick out their very first ice cream truck treat! They never say no to a treat:)

Missy could've cared less. She was too busy climbing and enjoying the sunshine!

She becomes more of a busy bee every day. Climbing, getting into things, walking everywhere, trying to run, talking, yelling at her brothers. It's no wonder she crashes hard at naptime!

Zakkai is on his very last week of preschool! He's so excited for his graduation next week. I'm determined to soak up this extra time with him between his school ending and Samuel's ending in a few weeks. I know now that time is fleeting and once he enters kindergarten, everything changes.

My favorite memory from today was at dinner time when we were just finishing up and the boys were getting a little restless. Zakkai finished his milk and stuck his cup on his face and sucked in, making the funniest noise. We all turned to look at him and burst out laughing because it surprised us. He laughed so hard, his cup flew out of his hands and landed on the ground. Then Samuel decided he needed to try the noise, too, and before you know it the 4 of us were laughing SO hard! Eliana was piping up, too, laughing even though she didn't know why:) It was so fun to look around and see pure joy, red faces and just us enjoying each other. I thought in that moment, "I wonder if any of our neighbors hear this joyful laughter? I hope it makes them smile!"

I love my family:)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Dear Samuel, Zakkai and Eliana,

I thought a lot about being a mommy today. That sounds silly considering it is Mother's Day. I mean I could hear my heart and my head pondering all of the little things that go into mothering you all day long.

It still seems kind of odd to me to be celebrated when I should be only celebrating my own mother! But then I am woken up at 7am by my two precious, little boys who couldn't wait to come in and whisper "Happy Mother's Day" to me and try to get me downstairs so I could open their long-labored over gifts. And I realized I am the one being celebrated. Wow.

Sometimes I get caught up in the mundane, daily tasks. I wake you up, herd you through our routines of getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and getting ready for school. I drive you to school, sometimes running late, I pick you up. I scold you, I cluck, I guide, I kiss, I hug, I pick, I praise. I do a million little things each day to show you I love you and to care for you.

But sometimes I forget to just cherish you. I'll find myself thinking "Did I stop and look in his eyes when he was just talking to me?" "Have I hugged him for no reason today?" Sometimes I get so caught up in the cleaning and cooking, mothering and running of the household and family that I forget.

How precious and wonderful, amazing and little you really are. Such gifts to me.

This morning at church daddy and I heard a wonderful message about children. It was the kind of message that stirs all kinds of feelings and resolves in your heart and leaves you wanting to change your life. Or the lives of children like you.

The pastor talked about being like the little child. About how Jesus wanted the children (like you!) to come to him when the disciples told them to go away. Those loud, rambunctious, dirty, sticky, screaming, laughing, innocent children! (because I'm pretty sure that children were the same back then as they are now:)

But Jesus said that to be like a little child ~ with all of your innocence, your trusting hearts, your amazing ability to see the good in the little things when all we can see is the bad or the potential for bad ~ is to inherit the kingdom of God.

We see rain, you see puddles to splash in. We see a mess of toys on the floor, you see how much fun you had. We get a headache from sitting in traffic, you watch the cars around us and point out all the interesting people and things you see. We worry when you are sick and you ask us to pray for you, believing Jesus will hear and that you'll feel better.

And the challenge in that message we heard this morning was to protect your innocence from all of the yuckiness this world tries to teach you, to cherish and protect your trusting hearts, not to forget to just adore you on top of caring for your needs and most of all, to learn from you.

Because you have a lot to teach adults. We need to learn to see the world and people with your eyes. To hear God with your ever-listening ears. To pray with a trusting believing heart. To forgive without batting an eye. To love with a whole, unbroken, uncondemning heart.

You make me a better person every day. You help me be unselfish and more loving. You help me to let go of my grudges or grouchiness and forgive. You help me to love deeper than I've ever loved before.

You help bring Daddy and I closer so we can be a strong foundation (with God!) for you. You show us what kind of love Jesus has for all of us. I see all of the ways I feel I've failed you, you see all of the ways I've loved you.

And it's simply amazing.

So today, I am thankful and remembering. Thankful for my own mother and her constant wisdom, love and guidance that is helping to shape me into a mother like her (I hope!). Thankful to remember that it is a gift to love, shape and learn from you three every single day.

Remembering those who's mothers are watching from above, silently loving and guiding. And remembering and praying for those whose arms long to be filled with childen of their own.

Thank you for making me feel so incredibly loved today with all of your extra hugs, your brightly colored cards, your special gifts and your many "I love you's." I love each of you more than you'll ever know. Until you have your own children:)


"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." ~Rajneesh

 "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life'. ~Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stranger Danger

We occasionally refresh our rules with the boys about talking to or dealing with strangers, especially since a certain someone needs constant refreshing. We go through scenarios and ask how they would respond.

For example: "If you were playing outside and a stranger pulled up in his car and offered you your most favorite candy in the whole wide world, should you take it? What do you do?"

Usually we get responses like "I would run away" or "First I would yell NO and then I would run to you" or similar answers.

Here's a glimpse into Zakkai's brain:)

Tonight Samuel wanted to know if I could scream really loud. I said I probably can but I don't like to. Of course he wanted to know why, since he likes to ask "why" 8,364 times a day. So then he went into reasons why screaming might be good, like if he and Zakkai were teenagers and they decided to go someplace together and a stranger pulled up and offered them two really yummy suckers. Then they should scream "HELP" really loudly.


So there's a pause after I say goodnight for the 8th time and as I'm trying to leave the room, Zakkai pipes up and says, "Mommy, if there's a stranger and he's chasing me and I have a motorcycle in the driveway, I will run to it and turn it on and drive away fast!"

This boy is a hoot!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Updates and Food!

One of the first thing I heard this morning, "Why, thanks, Samuel! You're a nice boy!" That Zakkai is a hoot:)

Miss Foos has had a cold for about a week and a half and just can't shake it. She goes up down, up down and definitely needs a little more TLC these days. Can't say I mind the extra cuddles!

Samuel was very excited to buy a Smencil at school to day for himself and his little bro. What's a Smencil, you ask? It's a pencil that smells! You wouldn't believe all the flavors they come in. Samuel chose Cherry-Vanilla for himself and adores the scent so much, he's about ready to eat the pencil.

And for Z, he chose "Waffle Cone." I had no idea waffle cones had a real smell but according to the makers of Smencils, it smells like sweetened cardboard. Mmmmm....

My Z-man has been so sweet and protective of his little sis lately! She doesn't always like it and lets him know in no uncertain terms but he's not fazed by it:) Love to see that side of him come out!

We found out a few days ago that Ben was awarded a dissertation fellowship! That means (drum roll!) that his department and committee is supporting him and sees all of his hard work is leading to a soon-to-be Ph.D! That's right, at this time next year (Lord willing!!) my hard-workin' hubby shall be named Dr Thomas!

The plan is for him to finish his chapters by the end of the summer/early fall and spend this next year revising, editing and preparing for publication. Oh and applying for the few jobs out there. Praying for a miracle!!

Our landlords recently informed us that the boys (and all other children that live in their buildings,) are no longer allowed to ride scooters and bicycles around the sidewalks. Boo. Apparently some people complained that they nearly got run over and that there were some near misses in the parking lots (from other children in the neighborhood~def not mine!!).

So now we have to find other activities to keep these guys occupied and save the bike/scooter riding for the parks. Samuel said, "Is this forever?" I told him only as long as we live here. Someday we'll have our own place and they can ride as much as they want!!

Tonight's delicious dinner idea is brought to you by...Moi! This is definitely worth a try! Everyone gobbled these up!

Veggie Tuna or Turkey Burgers

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup each shredded zucchini (or yellow squash) and carrots

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups soft breadcumbs

1 lb ground turkey (or one 6 oz can tuna, drained and flaked)

1/4 tsp salt

hamburger buns, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and pickles!!

1) In a lg skillet, saute onion and garlic in a tiny bit of oil for 1 minute. Add zucchini and carrot; saute until tender. Drain and cool to room temp.

2) In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, turkey, and salt (I used seasoned salt). Add vegetable mixture. Shape into patties (we got 8 patties out of ours but if you used the tuna, you'd get less).

3) Coat the same skillet with cooking spray; cook patties 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and able to turn easily. Do not turn the turkey patties too often!! They are very moist and will break up if you do not let them brown first!!

4) Serve on buns with cheese, lettuce and whatever other yummy things you enjoy! I served this with roasted potato wedges and corn on the cob! Mmmmm.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Zoo Day!

 On Sunday after lunch, despite the suspicious weather, we decided to go to the zoo and take full advantage of our zoo membership! Unfortunately, by the time we got there (and we live close!), a nasty thunderstorm was brewing.

So we decided to walk around the mall for awhile. We splurged and spent .75 whole cents on a car ride for the boys:) Aren't we generous? It doesn't take much to make kids happy!

They chose a red 2 seater (although it looks orange in this pic..). Samuel drove sedately, saying he was going to the store to buy a hat and Zakkai drove like a madman, making me very glad that he's not ready to be behind the wheel for a good 11-12 years! Whew.

When we came out of wandering around the mall, we found that the storm had passed, leaving behind a warm moist air and we decided to go to the zoo afterall. This little lady was SOOO tired and ended up taking a nap in the Moby wrap. I am so glad we can still use it!

Ahhhhhhh! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a.....giant bee? The boys were a little freaked out by this, especially since randomly, a strange buzzing sound would play and the pinchers would start opening and closing. Samuel kept saying, "What if there were really bees that big?"

I would never go outside. Ever.

We ventured over to the monkey house, which was my request:) These little monkeys were the tiniest little things, the size of a few month old kitten! I really wanted to take one home but Ben convinced me that probably wasn't a good idea.

We have enough monkeys anyways...

Apparently, the gorillas were being separated to welcome a new friend who is coming to the zoo, named "JoJo." Gorillas are really interesting! These were the girl gorillas. The big ape, the manly one, was off by himself and he seemed really disgruntled. I think he was missing the ladies.

Have you ever heard a peacock cry? It is the most chilling cry you've ever heard from an animal! Speaking of a "ladies man", this guy had 4 to choose from! Or maybe that's why he was hiding on the roof....not sure:)

"Giddyap, Lion!" The boys had a good time. We are able to keep our zoo visits short and sweet since we live so close and have a pass. We can pick a few animals we want to see, wonder around for an hour or two and go home instead of packing in an entire day and then dragging exhausted selves home.

At least B and I are always exhausted. I've yet to discover where kids get their energy......But when I do, I'm going to bottle it up and sell it for millions!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The 3 Amigos.


* Is 2 months away from turning SEVEN. Be still my heart.

* Has made it his life's goal to jump out and scare me. I hear "BOO!" 20 times a day..

* Is really into playing with friends these days.

* Really wants to play soccer!

* Says that he doesn't need a job when he grows up because he will be living with us. But when I told him he might want some money for clothes and to help with food, he said he might want to own a pet shop. A pet shop that sells cats, fish, parrots and hamsters but NO dogs!

* Really wants to have a cat.

* Notices every little ache, pain and throb in his body. I guess that's what comes with the territory when you've got SPD and are sensitive to everything!

* Loves to open up and talk at bedtime when we tuck him in. If we ever want to learn something new about him, that's the time!


* Five is a wonderful, agreeable, magical age for him!

* Says his favorite thing to play with is cars.

* Told his teachers at school that his favorite food is "Chicken Noodle Soup", he wants to be a "Tree Cutter" when he grows up and his favorite tv show is "SpongeBob Squarepants." Even though he's only seen it one time in his life.

* Loves to build crazy cars with legos.

* Is still obsessed with buttons and things that make noise. Oh, and batteries and lights.

* Does the goofiest, funniest things just because he can and just because he's 5 and he doesn't care what anyone thinks!

* Is uncannily great at playing "Memory" and "Guess Who." Like freaky-good.

* Currently sleeps with about 43 stuffed animals in his bed. Give or take a few:)


* Copies off of Big Brother and sneaks around saying "Boo!" and trying to scare us:)

* Loves to tell us "Day Dyu" (Thank you) for everything!

* Is turning into a climber. Everytime we turn around, she's climbed onto something she shouldn't and is standing and saying "Yook!" (Look)

* Has added to her vocabulary "See? See?" "Coa" (Coat) "Coe" (Clothes) "Dere is" (There it is) "Doe!" (Go!) "Bow" (Which she says for "Bow" "Open" and "Elephants" not really sure about the last one...) "Broher" (Brother) "Knee" "Ear" "Neow" (Meow for Kitty) and much more! She talks a lot, even if we can't understand a lot of it:)

*  Loves her "Kai!" She loves to call for him, lay on him, take his toys and sit with him in time-out:)

* Loves to find her belly button and knees and thinks all animals are "Doddies". (Doggies)

* Is a water baby! I think it will be fun to swim with her this summer because she just loves water so much.

Can't imagine life without my munchkins!