Party

It’s been a fun day today! Mostly:) The only non-fun part was poor little E, who will NOT let me out of her grasp and screamed hysterically all morning. I have no idea what is going on; probably a combination of things.

But other than that….Z and I spent a lot of time this morning finishing our cleaning. I let him help me vacuum which was the best thing ever. Note to self: If you ever need to keep Z occupied, hand him a vaccum and watch hours of free entertainment happen!

Just as we stepped out the door to get S for lunch, Mugga and Grandma-Great pulled up! They had so much fun seeing the boys and getting to help drop them off at their schools. My grandparents grew up in nearby neighborhoods so it’s always fun to hear stories about what life was like back in the 30s and 40s:)

It’s just a little bit different now:)

We ate amazing southwest chili with cornbread for dinner, followed (sometime later) by apple dumpling. Mmmm, good!

Now I’m mixing up dough for homemade cinnamon rolls for the morning. It’s a regular party over here. We love company!! (hint, hint!)

Our Day in Clip Art.

Today we had to drive

to school because
 it was yet another rainy day. The sun peeked out for about 6 minutes this afternoon.

 After we dropped Samuel off at school, Zakkai and I got busy cooking in the kitchen!

 Today was his turn to bring snack to school! We made apple cookies with a vanilla glaze and sent along some milk for the perfect snack:) It was a big hit!

To make the rainy day brighter, my good friend Miss D came over to visit!

 She’s really cool and I wish I could be like her:) She taught me something SO fun today that I have been wanting to learn for a couple of years: crochet!

 She’s really good at it and whips up booties and sweaters and all sorts of pretty things.

 I also did some laundry. It feels like I am always doing laundry. Little people get dirty veeeerrrryyy easily.

 While I was driving to school, baking cookies, doing laundry, learning to crochet and socializing, Miss E was being her usual cute self:) She still a bit off from being sick and spent a lot of time, especially this afternoon before bed, wanting to be held. Even if she’s grumpy, I still love her;)

 Ben was kind enough to do a man-chore today and take our car to get emissions testing (something we have to do every 2 years.) I do not like to do “car business” because I don’t like to deal with gruff, scary car mechanics and feel like they are cheating me because I look entirely too innocent.

 We warmed up on this cold rainy night with some leftover spinach tortellini soup and to jazz things up, grilled cheese made in the waffle iron. It doesn’t take much to please my family:)

But now I have to get to bed and get some sleep because

I still have a lot to do tomorrow. (or every day:)

 Instead of folding laundry and practicing my crocheting, I probably should have finished cleaning:) Oh well. There’s always tomorrow…..morning…

Til the Grandma’s come to visit (picture does not in any way portray the actual lovely persons coming to visit)!!!

Double Bath!

Well, if it’s not one thing here, it’s another! Miss E has finally turned the corner (Hallelujah!) and actually ate, smiled and played today. She still has a puppy whine going on and wants to stick close but there was a noticable change. Plus she only woke up once briefly last night:)

I hate to admit this but now I have a cold. Please don’t worry, Gma! I will be fine on Thursday!! I am spraying down the house so you can come in health and peace:)

Tonight was S’s t-ball night so it was just E, Z and I. Weird how much quieter it can seem with just 2 kiddos around! Most Tues nights, we wait to eat til they get home but tonight Z and I ate and then Zakkai, who spilled his soup all over himself, insisted that he wanted a bath.
He begged me to let him climb in the back of the tub with Eliana to wait his turn. And she loved having her brother in the bathtub! It was like putting extra hot fudge and whipped cream on the sundae:) She crawled around trying to steal his car and shrieked at him happily. It was pretty cute!
I will spare you all the other details of my fairly boring day (cleaning, organizing, carpooling, rain…) and leave you with another delicious recipe:)
This is for Spinach Tortellini Soup. I made this last winter (have made with/without chicken) and was stunned at the amazing response from the boys. I thought for sure they would turn up their noses at the extremely suspicious green vegetables floating around (because if you didn’t know, to children: green+vegetable=BAD).
We assured them that they wouldn’t even be able to taste the spinach. I think they were lured into trying it because it features their very favorite tortellini!
And maybe by their secret desire to be like Popeye.
Either way, I was thrilled to be told that I’m “the best soup maker ever!” tonight by both boys:) It is a high compliment, my friends, and one I do not take lightly!

Umm…

Someone asked me today how our weekend was and my mind totally blanked out! I was like, “Ummm….it was….ummm…” And inside I was thinking, “Crap! What did we do? How was our weekend?” My mind thankfully sputtered to a start and I was able to get out a semi-intelligent answer:)  Anyone else ever had that happen?

The weekend only ended yesterday and already I’ve forgotten it. Bad sign of the aging. Bad sign…

Of course it could have to do with my sick little peanut who had me up with her half the night….and half the weekend, now that I think about it! I remember when I was about to have Samuel and I thought, “I won’t be able to send the baby anywhere. I have to care for this baby 24/7 and can’t go home at the end of the night..”

It was a little frightening but then you have the baby and you just do it. You love them and take care of all of their needs and you rise up to the challenge when things come up like changes in schedules, phases (and they are ALWAYS in and out of phases!), sickness, etc.

It’s not like I’m tralala-ing in the night, skipping my way to her bedroom but as she cries in my arms and I rock her and whisper a prayer over her, I know that no matter how tired I am or how enticing the thought of my soft bed is, there is no one else in the world (besides Ben, of course:) that I would rather have doing this for her.

Here’s our little sickie today with her sad little “sick eyes.” This is about the biggest “smile” that we got out of her all day. She pretty much wanted me to hold her all day and whined like a little puppy:( She didn’t eat much but she did get some good, very much needed naps in today so maybe a day of sleep is what she needed. She hasn’t woken up since I put her to bed for the night and at this time last night (9pm) she had already woken up twice crying. I can only hope that we have passed the worst of it!

In happier times….here she is from last weekend sporting her pretty pink Buckeye dress and leg warmers:) Very stylish!

Even though they stink this year, she will always be a Buckeye-Baby:) The boys have Buckeye sweatshirts they received as a gift and they wear them often right now because they are cozy and have hoods (they LOVE hoods). We get a lot of, “Oh. You’re Buckeye fans?” haha.
Zakkai started his preschool carpooling today, just in time for a cold, rainy day! I was so thankful not to have to drag Missy out today! Z was so excited to ride with his new friend:) He also had basketball again today and B said he’s improving already. Now he wants his very own basketball!
This morning he said, “Mommy, I didn’t sleep ALL night long,” as he yawned. I said, “Why didn’t you sleep, Zakkai?” thinking he was going to tell me he didn’t feel good or was scared or something.
He said, “I didn’t sleep because Samuel’s foot was hanging down and I had to watch it allll night. It was hanging in my bed.” I burst out laughing and told him I didn’t think Samuel’s foot could reach all the way out of the top bunk down into his bed but he was pretty insistent! What a funny guy:)
Samuel is doing so amazing at school, it is hard for me to believe one year ago he couldn’t read or spell much! He has regular reading assignments each week that he brings home and has to answer questions about. He reads with such ease, sometimes effortlessly reading big words and stumbling over more common words:) He almost always gets 100% on his spelling tests and another daily assignment called, “Daily Fix It.” His teacher writes 1 or 2 sentences up on the board with some mistakes in it (misspelled words, missing punctuation/capitalization, etc) and they kids have to write it down the correct way on their papers.
He is SO proud when he comes home and shows us his 100%s and stars she writes on his papers;) Today he said, “Mommy, when I stay for lunch (every MWF) my friends (he named off a few) try to see who can be fastest to sit next to me!” That made him feel really special:) So proud of this kid!
And last but certainly not least, we are having 2 special visitors this week! My mom and Grandma are making a special trip up to see us for a couple of days and we are very excited;) I am working hard to make sure our home passes Mom/Grandma inspection….something that isn’t easy with 3 little whippersnappers doing their best to make it look as if children live here!
They do a good job:)

Sick Babies and Apple Addictions

I don’t have too much time to blog tonight…I have a poor, miserable little baby who needs her mama:( She crawls around the house crying this pathetic little cry and can’t sleep. We spent many twilight hours together last night and it looks like we’re in for the same tonight….

Other than that we are doing well. Ben’s eaten approximately 437 apples since Friday and is still going strong. The boys want to eat them all day long from the moment they wake up until dinner. It may be time for an apple intervention around here!

For our Sunday night Breakfast For Dinner (BFD), we had our pancake-dipped apple slices! Mmmm….I was hard-pressed to get Ben to let me use a couple apples but it was worth it;)

I’m off to comfort my little sick lamb…

p.s. The outrageous photo of a strange man’s behind in yesterday’s post was most definitely accidental:) And I offered to erase it but he (whoever he is) thought it was very funny and actually encouraged me to post it. This is when his mom shakes her head and says, “He’s alllllll yours, Heidi. He’s all yours….”

Apple Picking 2011

On a cool, fall day, with the sky thick with clouds and the threat of a sprinkle that never materialized overhead, we went apple picking. Here is our story.

There were two little boys, who could hardly think of anything else but picking apples all day long,

 And their daddy, who lives for a freshly picked apple!

 There was the mommy and the baby sister, who, although miserable with a cold, experienced her very first apple picking and apple eating:)

 After a fun tractor ride, which the baby sister did not think much of, the family scrambled down at the sight of the lush trees full of unpicked shining apples, ripe for the taking.

 The strong daddy lifted up first one little boy….

 And he picked….oh, dear, let’s try that again…

 And he picked a red and green juicy apple, perfect for eating!

 Then the strong daddy lifted the other son high into the tree…

 And he, too, came down with a perfectly created apple!

 With the aroma of freshly baking doughnuts drifting towards them and the smell of tart, yet sweet juicy apples surrounding them,

 the apple-crazed father had to climb the forbidden tree one last time in search of..

the perfect apple to munch on. It went straight from its nurturing tree into the waiting and appreciative mouth of the man. He was happy.

The sad, pathetic, little baby girl decided she, too, wanted a taste of this seemingly glorious fruit that had the rest of her family closing their eyes in bliss as they munched. So the daddy eagerly searched one last time, for one last apple to present to his baby girl.

And she was happy. And it was good.
To enjoy past Apple Picking adventures..

Cuteness and Recipes!

 This morning while I was making breakfast for the boys, they did something truly astounding. They didn’t run around making an early day mess. They didn’t fight. They didn’t bug for things or dawdle.

They sat down together on the couch and Samuel read to Zakkai:)

It was SO cute to see Zakkai just soaking up the story, to hear them giggling together and to hear Samuel read like a pro! They must’ve read it at least 4 times!
Every Wednesday Samuel is able to get a book from his school library and this week he chose “Not A Box“, which is an adorable book we have read before. It is about a rabbit who invents all sorts of things out of his box. Simple words but a great, imaginative story line! Both boys borrowed it from preschool several times because there is just something about it that they love.
And I love to capture priceless moments like that:)
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Some wonderful things happened today that are such an answer to prayer! They may be small to you but to me…
First of all, I’ve met the nicest mom at Z’s preschool who has a son Z’s age and a baby girl 2 months older than E. We have really hit it off and today we’ve decided to carpool! That is such a blessing to me since I am van-less a few days a week and as much as I don’t mind the long walk now while the weather is nice, winter is another thing!
Also, we had an unexpected blessing today that showed us God is watching over us and He hears our cries! On the days I am tempted to worry and not to trust, which unfortunately is many sometimes, I am trying to change my outlook by saying (many times if needed) “We have what we need for today.” It’s too easy to look at tomorrow and worry or be disatisfied, even though God tells us not to worry!
But if you look around you, you can find so many blessings, big and small, and chances are, you’ll find that you have exactly what you need for today. And that is enough.
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As I’ve been trying to stretch the items in our pantry, I came across this recipe for Black Bean Soup, which I happened to have most of the ingredients for! It was so good, served with a side of cornbread. You know me and my bread!
And if you don’t…you should:)
Black Bean Soup
1/2 lb black beans, rinsed and soaked (I’m talking about dried beans!)
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1/4 lb cooked ham, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 jar (16 oz) chunky salsa (I only had part of a jar left and it still had great flavor!)
1 tsp cumin
Preparation:
1)Combine soaked beans, water, ham and salt in large saucepan or dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat; simmer 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender.
2)Mash 1/3 to 1/2 beans with a potato masher to thicken soup. Add salsa and cumin. Simmer over Low heat for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally. Can serve with shredded cheese and sour cream (shudder!)
I was going to make this in the crockpot…however, my crockpot kindly decided to die on me yesterday. It was a good crockpot while it lasted. Sigh.
Anyways, enjoy!
Also, I forgot to share my recipe for the delicious cheesecake we had a few weeks ago! Just so you know, it freezes well:) I had to wrap it all up in slices to avoid the temptation eating it all ~ not that we really could. It’s rich!