It’s Reading Time!!

Samuel is learning to read!! He gets LOTS (and lots) of homework from school and by the looks of it, they are really practicing their alphabets and recognizing words. Thankfully, Samuel usually likes to do homework!
He and I worked for about 45 min this afternoon on some papers and then he practiced reading a poem. You are hearing him read this poem just after he sounded out the words with Ben and I!
Way to go, Samuel!! (words below)
“I Need You”
Kittens Need Cats.
Heads Need Hats.
Balls Need Bats.
And I Need You.

Tow Trucks N’ Muffins

¬†I love fall! Have I mentioned that yet? ūüôā It’s been so nice to wake up to crisp cool air and wear long sleeves and jeans. The boys love getting in “cozy” jammies at nighttime and wearing sweatshirts when we go out. Homey, comforting foods and changing leaves, snuggling under snuggies (a must have!) and drinking hot chocolate…

Oh yes! I love fall!

 On Sunday after church we came home to find a big tow truck preparing to tow away a junky car that had been sitting in front of our apt missing a wheel. The second we got upstairs, the boys rushed outside on the porch to watch the goings-on very intently!
¬†I mean enthralled. Have I told you that Samuel says he “might” want to be a tow-truck driver when he grows up?:)
¬†I love the things that capture these boys’ hearts and minds!
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I have been searching for ways to bake up these delicious apples we picked before Ben eats them all (ahem!). My first apple pie of the season turned out beautifully on Sunday! Just in time to share with some wonderful friends of ours! I cut up enough apples to freeze a pie insert, too!
And then I decided we needed some yummy apple bread or muffins to grab for our early school mornings. This is what I found:
Turned out DE-licious! Ben and I may have snuck one tonight:)
Apple Streusel Muffins
Ingredients:
3 cups flour (I used 2 cups white/1 cup whole wheat)
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet/tart apples are)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I substituted apple cider for 1/2 of that)**may need to add more liquid
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled apples
Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 TB butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 18 muffin cups.
2. In a lg bowl, measure dry ingredients together and stir with whisk until combined. Beat eggs in a small bowl; add milk/cider, vanilla and melted butter.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined. (I found the batter to be very thick and added more apple cider at this point; probably 1/4 cup or so) Add chopped apples and fold in.
4. Fill 18 muffin cups. Mix streusel ingredients together and sprinkle liberally over muffin batter. Dot tops of muffins with tiny butter pieces.
5. Bake at 400 for 18 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

They smell awfully DELICIOUS when baking!!!

A New Week and Zany Zakkai!

Thankfully, we had a good start to our week today! Nevermind the drizzling rain this morning. Even driving in the rain is fun in our “new” Hondyssey! The boys accidentally helped us come up with that one. Samuel said something about our “Hodyssey” which made me laugh and then Ben and I very cleverly came up with “Hondyssey.” We have way too much time on our hands…

Samuel is doing GREAT in school! With 3 weeks under his little belt, he was comfortable enough to line up outside with the rest of his class today. His teacher has been so sweet with him, hugging him in the mornings and taking the time to help him adjust. And he LOVES getting homework! I know, record this right? Let’s see how he feels in about 10 years…. He gets stickers on a little card for turning in his homework and is so proud.

The only drawback? Homework for him is like homework for us, too! Man, I thought I was done with that stuff! Samuel does come home very tired after a long day. I feel so bad for him because you can visibly see his need to decompress. I have to remind myself to go slow with him and not bug him about what happened at school because he is extra emotional when he’s so tired.

Whoever thought almost 6 hours of school for a 5 year old was okay?!

Anyways. Zakkai is loving’ being a big kid. He discovered painting at preschool and comes home covered in paint every.single. day. Again, whoever thought white shirts for a school uniform was a brilliant idea for a 3 year old?! Someone with no kids, I say!

Thankfully it’s washable paint and as soon as he gets home, he changes clothes and I wash his shirt in the bathtub. He has been bringing home the most vibrant paintings, filled to each edge with color. He very proudly hangs them on the boys’ art wall!
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Speaking of Zakkai….he has done quite a few….well, Zakkai-ish things lately! I have to write this stuff down so I can torture him someday, right?!

He really wants to be helpful, this little man. He hates to be told that he can’t help with something but honestly, it’s SOOOOO hard to let him help sometimes because I know it means a bigger mess for me! We had friends over last weekend and he desperately wanted to help mop. Finally, after Ben finished most of the mopping, we gave him a mop to mop the bathroom floor with. It was already damp and we figured he couldn’t do much damage.

Wrong.

As I was rushing around finishing cleaning and cooking, I suddenly noticed it was too quiet and the bathroom door was closed. I opened it just in time to see Zakkai lift the mop out of the toilet and slosh it on the soaking wet floor! He was “helping” and it’s so hard to get upset with him because he means well! I think.

So Ben had to “remop” the bathroom floor with bleach:)

And just the other day, Zakkai decided to “help” us clean off the porch and get rid of all the leaves that have collected on there. He brought¬†a cupful in to show to Ben and Ben told him to throw them away. He did throw the first cupful away. But the second?

Ended up being flushed down the toilet. And clogging it up. And while the toilet was being flushed, he also filled my candle with water and our toothbrush holder.

Never trust Zakkai with water! Or permanent markers. Come to think of it…there are many things he shouldn’t be trusted with!

He won’t be getting a driver’s license until he’s at least 20.

Or 30.

Apple Picking 2010

This year’s favorite fall pastime:)
 The usual mouth-watering shot of our very favorite pumpkin and apple doughnuts! Our boys have very much enjoyed this delicious treat!

 My guys! These are 3 of the very best apple-pickers!

 The apple-baker and her little princes:)

¬†“I don’t want to hold this bag, mommy!”

 Daddy lifting up Samuel to pick the juiciest apples!

 Zakkai was a little freaked out by all the branches in his face and opted to pick from safer ground:)

 Enjoying some freshly picked apples!

¬†The fruit of our labor….no pun intended!

Two happy boys! They had a lot of fun and the whole trip was made even more enjoyable as our first family trip in the “new” van! Ben even let me drive; wasn’t that nice?! We love the space so much!

And I must say, slightly begrudgingly and definitely humbly, that the last 6 weeks of car-torture was actually good (sigh)¬†because we wouldn’t have been able to get the deal we got without all the experience we acquired. We learned more each time we had a car failure and even though it was really tough and discouraging sometimes, God saved us from buying some really bad cars and taught us a lot in the process. I love that we can grow through challenging times like this, holding tighter to each other and learning to keep our eyes on God.

I sure hope I get the hang of trusting Him before I am 90!

First

Today for the First time:
*We ventured out of Toyota land and into Honda world
*We said goodbye to our trusty, much-loved 4 door sedan
*We can relax
BECAUSE:
We bought a Honda Odyssey!!!!!
Please meet…Van. It has no name yet. Are you a car namer?
My beloved, protective husband, seeing how hard this was on me, took all the papers, left at 10:30am today and came back at 5:20pm with a “new” car!
I cried very happy tears when he called me! I am SO thankful to have this car business behind us!
And we get to take this baby out for a little Apple Picking tomorrow.
What a great start to the weekend!!