Spring Break Part II!

 This week has been the boys’ spring break! We did not take an exotic vacation, unfortunately (money and all that jazz;) so we’ve been hangin’ around here. Samuel really really wanted to go to Chicago this week but we want to wait until Ben can go. I’ve been trying to come up with little things to occupy everyone!

First, a few pics!

Eliana and her little cousin being silly at JoAnn’s:)

I got together with a friend of mine last week so our girls could play and we could make some snacks! We made fruit roll-ups and granola bars. Yum!

We filled out a little bracket for a friendly family competition and Eliana, who was very proud of her bracket, chose Virginia because that’s where her cousin lives! We haven’t broken the news yet that they lost….

Fun news! Zakkai is now taking Tae Kwon Do!! We have been wanting to get the boys involved in something but it’s really expensive and time-consuming! We found a great class through our church and it meets three times a week (he only has to go at least twice.) We have thought for the longest time that martial arts would be so good for him; to build self-confidence, learn self-discipline, respect, etc.

Z has hemmed and hawed when it comes to choosing a sport but after trying this class, he LOVES it!! I had a chance to go watch him last night and it was just adorable! Pics coming soon:)

And Samuel will be starting baseball next week, I think! He is excited about it. We are waiting to hear what team he gets on and if Ben will be a volunteer coach. Boy, if our schedule wasn’t busy enough already…..
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This week has seemed long and different. I have been teaching preschool this week (as E’s spring break was last week) so the boys hung out with their Grandma both days. They had a lot of fun!! On the off days, aside from running errands here and there (grocery store, library, etc), we have done a couple fun things using some Christmas gift cards the kids got like going to see a movie (“Big Hero 6” SO cute!) and getting ice cream at Graeter’s (an Ohio specialty!) The weather is “eh” this week so unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to do outside play or parks. Watch next week be gorgeous:)

I’m still trying to decide what to do with them on their last day tomorrow. We have to plan something or we feel crazy being cooped up! Spring fever, anyone??

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A toast!

Howdy! Hard to believe we are at the end of another week! Our days are so full that the weeks seem to fly by. Eliana is on spring break this week, which means I am on spring break so no preschool or teaching this week! It has been weird and nice to have a quieter week. I am getting used to running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I guess!

On Sunday, Ben and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. We didn’t have any big plans and it actually was a very busy day. Zakkai got up with me bright (dark) and early to go clean the office I clean at 6am, since I couldn’t fit it in later in the day. (You know, I kind of actually wanted to see Ben on our anniversary!!) We rushed home in time to get ready for church but had to drive separate cars since Eliana had a movie birthday party right after church. We got to go see Cinderella! We both really loved it!! She dressed up in a pretty dress that her Mugga made for her, complete with a tiara, of course! It was fun.

We came home to find our 3 best guys watching a movie and hanging out. Eliana was beyond tired after a busy day Saturday and no nap on Sunday so we had to get out of the house to help her make it til dinner. It was beautiful and sunny and warm so we all went and walked a trail at a nearby park. Halfway around the trail Ben said, “You know, this is the way we should spend our 12th anniversary.” Surrounded by our little family, evidence of all that God has given us and brought us through in the past 12 years!

We fed those munchkins super fast, got them all in bed early and celebrated with dinner by ourselves!! It was like eating out….except without the tip, intruding waiters and surrounded din:)

We feel so incredibly blessed that we are standing strong, hand in hand, after so many very challenging years. We are quite simply, the very very best of friends and companions; ready to walk the next 60+ years together with God at our side, continuing to fall in love and learn more every day what it really means to love the one you committed yourself to.

I couldn’t have imagined all those years ago as a love-struck 21 year old what it would really feel like to have your soul knitted to another person as deeply as mine is to Ben’s. And though the years don’t go as smoothly as you dream of when you’re floating down the aisle in your white dress or nervously perspiring up by the altar in your black tuxedo, they are richer, fuller, deeper and truly more amazing than you really ever could have dreamed of. Good times, bad times, sick times, healthy times, dry times, bountiful times, silent times and full times. All of them!

“There is no more lovely, friendly, or charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.”  Martin Luther King.

Trio!

 A brief Trio Update!

We have been trying to find ways to challenge Samuel academically at home so we signed up for Kahn Academy, a free educational website that is pretty cool! Samuel said, “Ugh! This will be SOOO boring!” (in true pre-adolescent form!) but before he knew it, he was happily ensconced in learning about computer programming!

Eliana has a nasty little cold this week but I promised her since it was so nice out yesterday, she could play outside for a bit yesterday. She felt so bad Wednesday that she took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon and went to bed by 6:30pm! She was just miserable and had those pathetic “sick eyes” that break your heart. She was a bit better yesterday but only lasted outside for about 20 minutes before she got tired. It did make us look forward to spring though!!

Zakkai sat next to me on the front porch for a bit, finishing some homework. He was in the middle of telling me something when I snapped this picture. Boy, can this kiddo talk!! He is really funny though. The other day, we were walking into church and I was pressing the alarm to lock the car and couldn’t hear it lock the first time so we all jumped when the car horn honked!

A minute later Zakkai (who’s brain had been busily working) said, “Mommy, what if the astronauts in space heard the car alarm go off and then it scared them and their rocket ship took off?!”

He makes me smile:) Actually, they all do!

Kid updates!

What is it about weekends that they fly by so quickly? We didn’t do anything particularly special this weekend. We’ve been in the process of fixing our van this week and we had the last appointment yesterday. We were able to eek out enough for new tires in December, after being told countless times that we needed a new set before the worst of winter. Fun. Then we got hit with a huge laundry list of car repairs but we had to hang on until we, hopefully, could get enough of a tax return to fix it!

Thank the Lord, we did get enough and were able to make our much-needed repairs this week. Our van is now sporting new rear brakes, a new passenger side tie rod, new wheel bearings on our sliding door (that has been out of commission for 3 months since being stuck open in December), aligned tires (which had to be done after getting the tie rod fixed) and minor things like oil change, filters, etc. Whew! It is one happy van and we are very thankful that we were able to make it so long without anything dangerous happening!

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 Eliana got her newest new lenses a few days ago and they were able to raise her bifocal up 3 mm, which seems to be just enough to help her! They can’t be raised up any hire or she won’t have any room to see over the top. We have noticed an improvement and hope that her eye dr says the same when she goes for her recheck in a few weeks. When I took her to get them, she was really confused and said (with a little bit of an attitude,) “But I already got new lenses!!”

Wearing her new(est) lenses:)

“Listening” to some music….on some unplugged earphones:)

Just having an early Sunday morning tea party with her babies!!

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Zakkai has a cold (again). He gets a million colds a year but thankfully, most don’t seem to make him feel very bad at all. Just a nuisance. We always wonder if he has allergies or something. Who knows. He is enjoying using his new dictionary that we got him for his birthday to look up new words. We are still teaching him how to use it correctly but are really glad he enjoys it so much! In the past week, he’s learned the meaning of new words like, “jutted,” “kerchief,” “emblem,” “intelligence,” “battlement” and more!

Samuel is just really into his new series lately about Greek mythology and we can hardly tear him away to do anything else! We are definitely entering a new realm of parenting with him, figuring out how to relate to this kid-turning-pre-teen. It takes different communication and understanding and more mature discipline, too. Sometimes it’s scary for me!

In other news, we would appreciate some prayers for wisdom and guidance about the boys’ school. While they have adjusted well to the transition and have friends, the school is disappointing us quite a bit academically and the boys just aren’t being challenged or having their needs met. We need to have some meetings and make some decisions soon and would definitely be thankful for any and all prayers!

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And to leave you on a funny note, the other day as I was tucking Eliana in for a nap she said, “Mommy, when I turn a hundred, I want a pink hang glider, a pink skateboard, protective glasses and a watch to tell the time.”

Haha, I just love that she is planning a full and adventurous life!!


In Like a Lion..

 We had such a busy weekend following our busy week last week! On Saturday, we got up and drove to the United States Airforce Museum, which is a little over an hour away to meet some good friends of ours from way back in the day from Chi-town:) Now we only live a couple hours apart and are trying, through sicknesses and weather to meet up every so often!

On the drive, Eliana drew this cute little picture. I rotated it but it reverted back for some reason so just tip your head to the left and try not to feel silly:) It’s a monkey wearing red shoes and juggling strawberries and that is his pet monster next to him!

The museum was very cool and the boys, especially were really excited to go! (okay, you can’t tell that from the picture but they really did have a good time!) They are standing by a huge landing gear wheel:)

There were enormous planes inside and so many interesting historical facts! You honestly could spend 3 days there to take it all in…

We went underneath a huge bomber plane and this was looking up inside it. It was a little scary being underneath! The funny thing was, I ran into an old friend of my mom’s while we were underneath the plane! It was a strange place to meet someone from the past;)

A nuclear bomb.

It was a lot of fun and we will definitely be going back!

We woke up to lots of snow on Sunday and it took us quite awhile to shovel and get everything cleared off to go to church. We went early to participate in a meal packing event for the poor. It was a lot of fun! We are so glad we can do things like this as a family; even Eliana had a little job! The goal was to pack 750,000 meals over 5 days and they were over 650,000 at the end of our shift! Very cool.

 In the late afternoon, when Z and I got back from my office cleaning job (he was my chosen helper for the week!) we went outside to build snowmen, since the snow was great for packing! Samuel worked hard to roll a huge bottom!

Samuel and his snowbuddy:)

Z and I had to help him lift the middle on because it was heavy!

Eliana and I built a little mini snow”girl,” complete with raisin eyes and a carrot nose! She was very proud of that snowman.

And Zakkai couldn’t stop long enough to look at me for a picture! He was building a snowfort and took a break here to build a table and chairs:) Such an imagination!
 
Unfortunately, some little 6th grade punks decided it would be great fun on their way home from the bus yesterday to kick down both of our snowmen and throw them all over the yard. I wasn’t quick enough to get out there and yell at them (and I would have!!) but I did get to the door fast enough to watch them walk down the street and took note of the address of one of them.
 
We paid a little visit to his house once I collected the boys from the bus stop and asked for an apology. He denied taking part in it but I got my 2 cents in and then had to pray to let it go. That kind of stuff makes me SO mad because it shows such thoughtlessness and lack of compassion for others. And it affects my kids, who were innocently having fun! Grrr…..

A little pic of all the shoveled snow piled in my grandparent’s yard. They’ll have snow til June!

Don’t they say that March comes in like a lion??