I am very happy to report that it was a wonderfully, peaceful, uneventful night last night. Ben slept peacefully all night and woke up feeling SO much better and I, whose eyes were red, puffy and burning like I’d poured lemon juice in them, blissfully surrendered to dreamland at 8pm and with only 2 brief child interruptions, slept until 7:30 this morning.


B’s medicine doesn’t make him feel the best, a little dizzy and a little blech, but all in all, we are both so glad his horrendous pain is gone and pray the dr’s will be able to give us wisdom this week.

We spent a completely quiet, boring day at home recuperating today. The boys were ecstatic when I offered to make new playdough with them after getting E down for her nap. They literally spent hours playing playdough today!

 You are never too old for playdough! (I should know:) Samuel requested orange playdough this time.

 I don’t even have to ask the boys to pose or smile anymore when I whip out the camera. They just automatically put on a goofy grin and say “Cheese!” They are well-trained:)

Z requested red playdough but unfortunately, the more red food coloring I put in, the more hot pink it turned out. Oh well….he was happy!

Later this afternoon during playdough round 2, even I got in on the action, helping the boys make pigs and pretend food and all sorts of fun things.

Like I said, you’re never too old for playdough! And just in case I’ve tempted you to try out a little playdough for your kids or even for yourself (don’t worry, I won’t tell!) here’s the recipe. Take less than 5 minutes!

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp oil
food coloring.

1) Add all ingredients except food coloring to a medium saucepan and stir together with a wooden spoon. Heat over medium-low heat and add food coloring to desired color. Keep stirring continuously until playdough starts to thicken and unstick from sides. Will start to form a ball (your arm will be tired by this point!)

2) As soon as playdough forms a ball (or close enough) take off heat quickly. Scrape out playdough onto a clean surface and knead until smooth. It will be hot and a little sticky at first but the more you knead it, the less sticky it will get. Knead until nice and smooth! Enjoy!


Middle of the Night Trauma

Well, we had an exciting night over here….but not in a good way:( In the middle of the night, Ben woke up suddenly asking me if we had anything for stomach pain. It took me a minute or two to clear my foggy brain but I found him some tums. He told me he had severe pain in his upper abdomen/lower chest area.

He followed me into the hallway and I saw immediately in the light that he was pale and breathing hard. I realized quickly that this was no minor pain or heartburn that he was complaining about but something far more serious. We decided to call 911, seeing how miserable he was and I was really afraid he was having a heart attack.

I got him down to the couch and got one shoe on before the paramedics showed up. They asked him a few questions and then took him to the local hospital. I was just standing in the living room shaking and praying with my whole heart and wondering what to do. Should I wake up all the kids and take them over or just wait? Did I have anyone to call to come help me?

I finally got ahold of Ben’s mom, letting her know what had happened and it gave me such great comfort to know that I wasn’t the only one praying for him.

Thankfully, not long after arriving in the E.R., Ben’s pain subsided a bit and they were able to determine after monitoring him for a couple of hours that it wasn’t his heart but possibly a gallbladder attack or a bad ulcer. They released him with some medicine to take over this next week until he can get in to see his doctor.

I piled the crew into the car at 4am to go pick him up. The boys were scared at first and jerked awake when I told them where we had to go. We all came home and tried to snatch a little more sleep. The kiddos went right back to bed til about 7:30am but Ben and I were up off and on because he started feeling bad again.

I was so nauseous this morning, probably from little to no sleep or from eating what Ben ate (we think the food plus severe stress probably triggered whatever happened) so he and I were pretty much worthless! B has been sleeping off and on all day, having moments where he feels and acts better and then times where I can see that he is feeling bad again, although with the pain not as severe as in the middle of the night.

If you think of us, please pray for wisdom for the doctors to find out what’s going on for sure and for protection over our family, as we have really been battling fear over different things this week and feeling under attack.

I’m hoping for a better night tonight! We all are…


is going through a phase, one of many, and often drives us up the wall with his determined, stubborn spirit and willfulness. Funny how people’s strengths can also be their weaknesses.

 He expresses his opinions with great passion and earnestness. He is never wrong. He has to learn the hard way sometimes and it hurts me just as much as it hurts him.

He has a new “listening chart” that we made together today and he will get a star or sticker or silly face drawn in a square every time he listens the FIRST time. We are desperately hoping this will help!

He has so many different careers ahead of him. I love his ambition. He got to meet a retired fireman today and I could see the awe on his face. I wonder what he will really become?

He is fascinated with machinery and the mechanics of how things work. He was always the one to touch buttons and switches. To him they are like the red flag luring the bull. If you want him to NOT touch something, just tell him to touch it. It works like a charm.

He will follow any sort of workman around asking 1000 questions a minute about their work. It must feel good to them to have someone show such an interest….even if he’s only 4:)

He loves chocolate, plans on having a garden someday and a race car. I had to talk him out of speeding away from policemen when he grows up. He thinks he’ll be too fast for them to catch. I am going to start praying now….

He tries so hard to be well-behaved but his passion and impulsiveness get the best of him. It is so hard to teach him but it is well worth the effort. He adores his new light-up shoes, loves to splash in puddles, says he’ll have a zillion dollars someday and share half with us, talks in his sleep and loves to help cook and wash dishes.

He’s a very special little guy and I’m blessed to have him.

He is Zakkai.

*Pictures taken today while he was watching our handy man seal the driveway. So cute!


This is what happens when you leave the cereal bag within reach of the baby…

This is what happens when you pull out “forgotten” toys from the closet….instant fun!

This is what entertains the Biscuit all day long…..lids!

It doesn’t take much to entertain kids! I always say, give them a box, some crayons and paper, probably some glue if you’re brave, a few little odds and ends and they’ll entertain themselves!

I wonder what they would say if I told them I wouldn’t buy anymore toys for them? haha:) I’d probably have a mutiny on my hands.

But my house probably wouldn’t be so messy….


It’s official.

Morton, Melissa, Matilda, Melvin, Morty Jr. and Mildred are here to stay. Apparently our house rocks.

I was right in the middle of emailing my friend who sent me the ultrasonic pulse things (a.k.a. Scare-Away-Mice-Gear) and asking her how to tell if they were working when Ben suddenly called to me from downstairs!

I raced downstairs and he told me that he had just seen Morton racing from the dining room into the kitchen! Yuck. I just knew that rice hadn’t disappeared all by itself! We are suspecting it’s our neighbors who are harboring a mouse nest in their home since the only people who have called about mice problems are us and the people on the other side of our neighbors.

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

Hopefully they will be scared away with our new mouse armour!
The weather has turned colder again, probably for the last time. I think our brief streaks of beautiful Indian summer weather are over. And now we supposedly face the worst winter Chicago has seen in a long time, if ever.

Wonderful! I just love a good, hard, cold, never-ending winter! Oh wait. That’s what we have every year here;) At least we aren’t in an apartment with little to no heat and parking on the street this year!!
We have started reading the Magic Tree House series with the boys since Samuel started reading it in school. Hopefully it will be good! The books are simple enough for Samuel to read and will help build his confidence:) He’s a great reader but I think he’s afraid to read chapter books since they seem so grown up or something. There is a girl in his class that is on the 5th book in the Harry Potter series! I couldn’t believe it when I saw it ~ 1) that she can read that well at 6 or 7 years old and 2) that her parents would even let her read those books that young. Wow.

Zakkai’s teacher pulled me aside this afternoon to tell me a funny story about him. I guess in gym today this girl was trying to organize a game with everyone and all the classmates cooperated except…you guessed it! Zakkai.

The girl went up and told the teacher, “Zakkai won’t let me talk and play this game!” So Mrs. C. called Zakkai over and asked him, “What’s up, Zakkai? Why won’t you let Emily organize the game? Why don’t you want to play?” And Zakkai (and I can picture his expression quite clearly in my head!) shook his head and said, “Well…she’s just too much!”

It made the teacher laugh and she gave him a big hug:) He’s such a little character!

And Eliana was as sweet as pecan pie today:) She just wanted to be near us while playing and kept coming over to me, pulling up and laying her head on my leg. Then when Ben got home, she would not let him put her down. She just wanted him to keep on holding her and she was so happy! Of course, he is easily sucked in by her charms.

I can literally watch the stress melt away from Ben’s face as his precious little girl lays her head on his chest and then looks up at him and says, “Hi!” He asks her questions and she’ll say, “Yeah?” So cute!

This afternoon I banished the wild hooligans…er, the boys upstairs to their room to play so I could skype with a friend and Eliana stood at the bottom of the stairs for the longest time calling up, “Da? Da?! Dayayaya!” She wanted her brothers to come down:) They entertain her all the time, eliciting the most adorable giggles! She can see them better in the car now that she’s in her “big girl” carseat and they play peek-a-boo with her and sing her songs. I love it!

And to leave you with a smile….here’s something my dear hubby sent to me:)

10 Ways to know you have Lost Your mind.

1. You have to program everything in your phone (even if it’s on the calendar) so you do not forget. Including when to pick up your children from school.

2. You are behind on everyone’s birthdays and they are lucky if they get a gift a month later. Or even at all:)

3. Everytime you go to the store you are positive that you are out of carrots. So you buy a new bag. Only to go home and find that you already have 3 bags in the refrigerator.

4. You walk into random rooms of the house and pause for a minute or so, wondering why in the world you are in there….

5. What was I writing about?

6. You call your children and your husband by the wrong names. “Samu…Zak…Ben, whoever you are!!!”

7. You used to bee a grate speller and now you dont no how anymoore…thank goodness for spellcheck!

8. You have to make lists of your lists to remember what was on your lists. Lists are good.

9. You get so busy getting breakfast for everyone else, making lunches and rushing off to school that you forget to feed yourself.

10. You repeat the same stories to the same people because you forget who you told them to. Maybe one of those lists would come in handy….

If you’ve seen my mind, would you send it back to me?


A few pictures…

E’s very last time in the infant carseat on Friday ~ sniff, sniff! It was a chilly day last week and we had just come back from dropping S off at school and she wanted out! Hence, the pathetic face:)

 How a lot of pictures of her look these days….we’re much to busy to stop and pose for mama!

 Z listening to his book on tape:) One of the few activities where he’s actually quiet for a few minutes…

 I love how the boys look like little men in their robes:) Poor Samuel has another cold and he never quite recovered from his last one, with a cough hanging on all these weeks. Now he’s hoarse and I’m hoping he doesn’t get worse!

What we’ve had with dinner the past 2 nights….homemade biscuits n’ homemade apple butter! Deeeeeeeelicious!

*Samuel’s actual final t-ball game should be tomorrow, weather permitting. He loves Tuesdays!

*The boys are counting down until next Monday when they can dress up and get candy… Maybe now would be a good time to throw out last year’s Halloween (and Valentines…)candy that is still in their pumpkin buckets??

*As I was talking to my Grandma this afternoon, she unwillingly had to listen to a complete meltdown from the boys. As in screaming, crying, time-outs, etc. The consensus was that they were tired and I hadn’t fed them snack quick enough:) Promise our house doesn’t always sound like that, Gma!

*Eliana is making the funniest faces these days. She tucks in her lips and makes an “old lady” face which I think is because her fangs feel funny! Speaking of fangs, her 4th tooth (and 2nd fang) poked through on her bday. It’s funny to see her bite down on food and it’s pretty cute when you get a glimpse of those teeth!

*Suspecting that Morton isn’t quite as gone as I thought he was….My friend sent me some nifty gear to scare away the mice and we relaxed after we hadn’t seen any evidence (nor hide nor hair) of Morton and co. But, I became suspicious after I dropped rice the other night and left it to dry so I could sweep it up in the morning, only to find zero evidence of the rice in the morning. I laid down a test crumb in the middle of the kitchen a couple of nights ago and found that, too, missing.  Hmmm…must be time to put out the battle gear again!

Have a great night!