Boys!

 Our boys have been very busy lately! They are full of life, energy, questions, ideas, jokes and creativity. And sometimes they wear me out:) Only sometimes, though!

Zakkai has been a little bookworm lately! He started reading “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” last week and he carries a couple copies around with him most places. And he is actually reading them instead of just paying attention to the pictures:)

Isn’t he handsome! He looks so old in this picture! One night at dinner last week, I looked at Samuel and he looked just like Ben and I told him “You look so much like your Daddy.” Zakkai piped up immediately and asked, “Do I look like anybody?” I told him that he looks so much like my side of the family! I often see my sister, my grandma and my mom in him. He really liked feeling special! And then he said, “So, I look like the girls??” ha!

Samuel is pretty handsome himself! He is growing so much. He struggles with a bit of teenager-y attitude, which we constantly have to work on, but he is quick, sharp, funny and very smart! He used a belated bday gift card this weekend and got a magic card trick set and in 2 days, learned 5-6 very cool tricks!! He is practicing so he can put on a show for our families at Thanksgiving:)

We got a free table and chairs several years ago and they have been used well. I even recovered them and painted them a couple years ago but slowly they have deteriorated and some of the legs of the chairs and table have barely been hanging on. This chair finally bit the dust this weekend! We usually kept it in the spot where one of the boys would sit on it but it had gotten moved somehow and I happened to be looking at Ben right as he was in motion to sit on it and it was like slow-motion. I called out, “Nooooooooo!” and he looked so surprised as he slowly collapsed to the floor. It was a little funny:)

Needless to say, a table and chairs will be added to our growing list of someday furniture replacement !

This was a picture I took of my wild animals to send a “Happy Birthday” message to their cousin, Dylan! I so wish they could live closer…

And this weekend, we made flubber!! I found the post on pinterest, of course, and it was super easy to make! The boys were SO excited and kept bugging all weekend once we told them we would make it. Here they are pouring in the glue…

And stirring in the food coloring. They agreed on green:)

After some mixing…flubber!

Ready to play with!

The boys were ready to play with flubber after homework this afternoon! Zakkai was nice enough to share with Eliana, who just loved it! She used some playdough tools to cut it and make shapes. I’m glad we tried this one!

It was a little warmer today (low 50s) and sunny so after a busy morning of cleaning and laundry, I took my little big girl out on her pink scooter and to the park, which she has dubbed, “The Hello Kitty Park.” Even though it has nothing whatsoever to do with Hello Kitty:)

We were the only ones there and it was just fun to hang out with her! Too bad it didn’t wear her out enough for a nap….

Tomorrow I’ll be working on Halloween costumes!

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Cheesy Grins and Pumpkins!

I am so far behind on pictures and stories due to my blog neglect. I will try to catch up!

Before E’s birthday, I did a quick little project and made her an apron from tea towels I bought at Ikea!

I really thought she would choose the pink ones but at the last minute, she went for blue:) It’s a cute little apron with a pocket ready for treasures! She was very busy talking on her calculator phone when I was snapping pics:) Which probably was a good thing, considering every picture of her now contains a cheesy grimace that she considers a helpful smile….sigh.

And what is a post without a picture of Baby Anna! Since it has gotten so cold outside in the mornings, Baby C now wears shoes and Eliana pilfers them in the day for her own baby:) Such a funny girl!

Here are the pumpkins we carved last weekend with my mom and stepdad!

Here’s Mugga’s charming pumpkin. He actually looked scarier not lit up!

Guess who’s?! Samuel and Daddy carved this masterpiece!

This was Papa’s pumpkin, which we voted the creepiest!

And Zakkai’s pumpkin, which since the picture has lost some teeth due to squirrel stealing! Apparently, squirrels like pumpkins! (which makes the boys so mad!)

For her birthday, Eliana got some cute Dora wall decal stickers! We headed upstairs immediately so she could stick them on and boy, did she have fun!!

The first couple of days I had to stop her from ripping them off and crumpling them up and rearranging them. I think she’s settled down a bit and just loves to look at them!

And here is Eliana’s very first self-portrait!! In the middle of this week, she just started drawing people out of nowhere! We didn’t even know she could! First she told me she could only draw boys and didn’t know how to draw girls. Ha! I thought Daddy would get a kick out of that;)

But then yesterday, she sat down at the table and drew herself! She says she doesn’t know how to draw legs but even legless, we thought this was adorable!! Definitely a keeper.

So there’s Eliana overload:) Stay tuned tomorrow for something fun the boys got to make tonight!!

Birthday Overload!

 When I say birthday overload, I mean birthday overload! Not only do I have pictures of our fantastic three year old and her very pink birthday, I also have received news of FOUR births of friends and family in the past week and a half!

Three are from our former house group and we are so happy for all of them! Two little girls and one little boy! And just yesterday, my cousin’s baby was born! You may remember my post from last month about the adoption that literally fell into their laps and the outpouring from friends and family was absolutely amazing! Tomorrow they will get to hold their little guy in their arms for the first time. So, so exciting!

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures I can share of all these birthday babies, so you will have to make do with MY birthday baby!

Cheese! Think she will do??

On Friday night, my mom and stepdad arrived from Ohio! The boys had just been tucked into bed but as soon as they heard the voices of their beloved Mugga and Papa, they ran down the stairs for hugs! We sent them back to bed quickly, with the promise of parties and fun on Saturday:)

We were up early and my mom had the great idea of going on a pumpkin hunt so we could carve pumpkins!

We decided not to drive far to a pumpkin farm and spend any extra money, so instead we checked out a local farmer’s market for pumpkins (way too big!) and ended up buying some at the grocery store. Lame, I know, but we were pleased with our picks! Everyone sat down get their creative juices flowing and plan out their pumpkin faces while I made lunch and a birthday cake!

Eliana played while some football played in the background:)

Finally, it was time to don birthday hats and sing to a birthday girl!!

Eliana and her big bro:)

Pink table!

In happy remembrance of my grandma’s cakes she used to make for us (with Barbies!), I made a Dora Dress cake!! Eliana was SO excited and a little confused when she saw Dora sitting in her cake:) We assured her that Dora would be just fine after a bath!

Eliana is into these new “cheesy” ham grins these days. Sigh.

A few raspberries for garnish and she was ready! Eliana blew out the candle in one quick blow! After Ben cut a few of the pieces out, Eliana peeked at the cake and said, “Dora’s naked!!” haha.

After we gobbled up our pink vanilla cake, we got to give some presents to our excited birthday girl!

From us, she got an adorable (if I don’t say so myself!) doll set which included a bouncy seat, a pack n’ play (or as E calls it, a “Pack n’ place), carseat, clip on high chair and diaper bag! She LOVED it!

Then while Daddy was putting together her gift from Mugga and Papa (stay tuned, pics below!), Eliana got to check out her new doll equipment. Let’s just say that Baby Anna is one lucky baby doll!

“Reading” a little birthday card from Grandma:) She also got a couple of magic bottles and 2 doll onsies from Samuel and Zakkai. Again, huge hit!

See what I mean about the cheesiness??

Tada! A little mommy bird told Mugga and Papa that this little girl has been hankering for a pink scooter of her very own and voila, she got one! She just loves her new wheels!!

 
A special box arrived from Grandma which had some playdough (always a huge hit!!), a new snazzy purse and a Minnie Mouse hat in it, which she insists on wearing every day! Even the boys got into playing with the playdough:)
 
 

 Afterwards we lined up our cool pumpkins for a pic. Mugga’s, Samuel’s, Papa’s and Zakkai’s, which started out having a “booger” in it’s nose but thankfully, Zakkai decided to remove it! Boys.

We decided to let E paint her pumpkin instead! So while I whipped up some pizza dough for dinner, a very tired girl did a little painting. She didn’t last long after this!

 
Hard at work!

Naked Dora!

More tomorrow!

p.s. If you notice some blog changes in the next few days, I am not crazy; I know I just “redecorated” but I got notice that my free blog background will be deleted in the next week or so because the lady who does them is no longer offering them free. Bummer! So I’m on the hunt for some new backgrounds. Bear with me!

Birthday Girl!

 I have SO many pictures from the last couple of days of celebrating but I only have time to share a “few” from today:)

My mom made Eliana the most precious dress for her birthday! I took her outside after lunch for a little photoshoot:) Here she is “reading” her birthday card from Grandma:)

Such a beautiful girl!

Love her pretty hair!

Ben and I got her a little doll set for her birthday with a carseat, a pack n’ play, a clip on highchair, a bouncy seat and a diaper bag. She is crazy about it and had a chance to test out her new carseat this afternoon when she went to the store with me:)

She had me strap her in just like I strap Baby C in! I wish you could’ve seen her at the store with her baby in the carseat tucked next to her, riding in the cart. She got a lot of smiles!!

For her “pink dinner” tonight, we had strawberry smoothies, pink (ish) eggs (so weird, I would never do that again!), ham and toast with strawberry jelly:) She was happy!

When we got back from the real store, E hopped in her car and took baby Anna to the “store.” You can see her new purse from Grandma tucked next to her and Baby Anna stashed in the back! She is such a cutie.

Dear Eliana,

Happy 3rd birthday! From the moment you were born, we were determined to enjoy every moment of your life, knowing how quickly the years pass. We really feel that we have done just that. You have been such a gift; such a source of joy and laughter.

You melt your daddy’s heart with a quick bat of your baby blues and a swish of your soft, blond hair! You made my heart smile when you throw your arms around me and give me big hugs and I hear your little voice say, “I love you, my Mama!” You make your brothers feel special when you call out their names excitedly at school after not having seen them all day. You make them laugh when you climb on their backs and try to “wrestle.”

You captured the heart of the neighborhood children, who love to wave at you and tell, “Hi, Missy!” You earn many smiles and compliments when we go out in public because of your pink glasses and dimpled smiles.

You are adorable on the outside but sweet and girly on the inside. We always tell you that we want you to be kind and loving because that is more important than how you look!

You are sassy, confident, funny, sweet and oh, so loving! You don’t want to sleep very much because you love life so much and just love being with us all the time. Probably because you get so much attention!

We pray you will grow up to be a young lady who loves Jesus and knows that what is inside her heart is so much more important than her outward beauty. We want you to be kind, loving, compassionate, strong, courageous, and selfless.

Always know how very much we love you and that we treasure you, our little gift!

Love,
Mommy

Hump Day…

 It was such a long day today and I am admittedly glad it’s almost over! Samuel kept saying tonight, “It’s hump-day!” And I am glad! Hopefully the rest of the week will be a little easier.

Eliana is very excited for her upcoming birthday this weekend. She doesn’t fully grasp what a birthday is, except it is special, involves singing, cakes and presents and her’s is coming! Yesterday when we went grocery shopping, she said, as we entered the store, “Is there a birthday at this store?”
She is also requesting her “Pink Dinner,” as you may have seen on FB, so I am in the process of deciding what that will be! So far I have a pink tablecloth and some Dora plates….:)

Samuel working hard on his homework! Once we got over that rough patch the first two weeks of school, I have heard almost no complaining about the amount of work he has. He just comes home, enjoys his “grace period” and whips out all his work. Often he doesn’t need any help! We just keep telling him over and over, it doesn’t matter if you get all perfect scores, it only matters to us if you tried your hardest.

It’s what my mom always said to me and it has stuck with me and now I am passing it down!

Silly girl watching a cartoon:) She has ramped up her Dora obsession lately and wants to watch it all the time! Can’t believe how big she is getting. I hope she will be happy and surprised with her Dora cake this weekend!

Speaking of the weekend, we have special guests coming! Almost a week ago, my mom and stepdad decided to come and help us make Eliana’s bday special! We are so excited to have them, especially since we celebrate most birthdays alone as a little family and we often miss having extended family to share with.

Should be a good weekend!

Weekend Pics!

 #1. Baby Anna playing in Baby C’s exersaucer:) Eliana got her all situated so she could play!

#2. Eliana talking on her calculator phone to Mugga. She kept saying, “I need to ask you a question, Mugga.” 🙂

#3. I was Mystery Reader in Samuel’s class on Friday and the baby came with me. He was a HUGE hit with Samuel’s class! Samuel was so surprised and really happy! I read the first chapter of “Mrs Piggle Wiggle,” which is such a cute book.

#4. Eliana suckered her Daddy into doing his first ever toenail painting!

#5. Zakkai is crazy about the new rubber band bracelet making that is all the rage here! We don’t have a kit but he was trying to figure out a way to braid them himself!

#6. Showing off her “pretty red” toes!

#7. We took our last ever pictures of Eliana in her crib!

She was posing for us;)

Cheese! It was really sad to take down our crib after 8 years of using it! But we haven’t dwelled on it too much because Miss E is SOOO happy about her “new” big girl bed!

#8. The bed! I found it at a garage sale and a pair of sheets on clearance at Target. She is really hoping for Dora sheets so I’m keeping a lookout!

#9. We could hardly tear Eliana away from her bed to get her to eat dinner! We got a little rail to stop her from rolling out the way her big brother did so many times!

#10. Sleeping so peacefully last night! She did GREAT! She fell right to sleep and slept all night and didn’t even climb out this morning. We’ll see how long that lasts:) She has a little opening at the top to climb in/out and a little stool. She is crazy about being independent these days so she loves the idea of getting in and out of her bed herself!

When asked this morning how she liked sleeping in her “new” bed, she said, “It is so comfortable!” haha:)
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This week was Fire Prevention Week and the boys had the fire department visit the school and tell them all about fire safety. Today they had an open house at the local fire station to raise money and teach the families about fire safety. We went for a bit this afternoon because the boys were so excited to go!

They had little fire hats to give out, coloring, face painting, demonstration and even fire truck rides. That was pretty cool! We had to wait in a long line but everyone loved it. I’m sure the neighbors were tired of hearing the sirens for 4 hours as they looped around the block over and over!

We met the nicest firemen, who gave us great tips “just in case” and it even possibly rekindled a bit of Zakkai’s desire to be a firefighter! He was going to sleep tonight dreaming of putting out a spark in a big building;)

Eliana just loved going and spent the rest of the afternoon wearing her fire hat, calling herself a “fire girl” and pulling around her fire truck, which was really Ben’s shoe attached to a string:)

Our weekend in a nutshell!