Today I was the wicked stepmother and my boys were Cinderella. In boy form. Oh yes, I made my miniature slaves work their tails off this morning! Muhahahaha! Oh, sorry.

My boys suffer from the usual “messy kid” syndrome. It comes in different forms for each of them though. Zakkai just doesn’t clean up after he gets toys out and it snowballs into a huge, gigantic, overwhelming crush of legos, books, papers, crayons, puzzle pieces, you name it! Very overwhelming. Especially to a little boy who has ADD tendencies!

Samuel’s form is more along the lines of “pack rat.” I may or may not have possibly been one in my former life. Maybe. Although his is extreme. I am talking not only the usual little boy treasures of rocks and special cards but trash. TRASH. Milk carton rings. Wadded up napkins. Ripped open envelopes from mail. Mulch pieces. Dead leaves. Plus rocks, cards, special notes, special teeny tiny toys that are never played with, socks with holes in them, papers with random drawings or scribbles on them. It drives me crazy! And it has gotten worse lately. No idea why he is doing this but we are trying to distinguish with him the difference between Trash and Treasure. Trash=bad. Treasure=good.

So you can imagine what their room often looks like! I worked my wicked motherly ways and we spent a good two hours in there cleaning! I even finished up with vacuuming to pick up those bits of toilet paper, dust bunnies and scraps of paper that were everywhere! Let’s see how long it stays this way….I should take a picture for proof that it was clean once!

We went to the park before dinner last night. Here is Mr Z, fresh off his bike:)

And showing off his reading skills! He has really improved over the summer and I can’t wait to see how he takes off with reading this year!

Ben and Samuel spent the whole time throwing the baseball in the field and Eliana did a little swinging. “Cheese!”

She’s a keeper! She looks so big these days. Sniff.

Here’s her funny “cheese” face:) She knows she’s being cute when she does this one! Yesterday she started to have an accident in her panties. After we got everything finished and cleaned up, she was running around half naked. She said, “I don’t have no panties!” When she said it a second time, I said, “You don’t have any panties.” She insisted, “I don’t have NO panties on!” I repeated my correction, to which she replied,

“I don’t have no ANY panties!” Gotta love this kiddo!

The USA and Baking Soda.

Today was such a beautiful day! I very much appreciate the sun after days of heavy, snowy skies and it is that much brighter when it reflects off of the white snow! The boys are sad to see the snow melting already but I know that everyone is itching to feel the warm rays of spring on their faces.

Only 2 more weeks before we get to enjoy the warm, beautiful Florida sun! I have been busy getting things ready. I went through the boys’ summer clothes to see what they have/need since we will have to pull some out for our trip. I was really surprised to see how little they had! I can pass down a lot of things from Samuel to Zakkai, which leaves Samuel barren in the clothes department. Boy, these kiddos grow! Maybe I’ll have to stop feeding them so well:)

Eliana LOVES to do puzzles and everytime I leave her in her class at church or at MOPS, they usually tell me that she’s been busy doing puzzles or coloring. One of her newest favorite puzzles isn’t an easy 12 piece puzzle for a 2 year old! It’s a puzzle of the United States!

I was straightening some things in our room the other morning and I heard her pull out the puzzle in the boys’ room. I came in a few minutes later, when she called me for help, and this is what I found! I was so amazed that she could do all of this by herself!

And then, Ben just popped my bubble and told me he’s the one who helped her with this. Stinker! She does know where several of them go and I still think she’s a smart cookie even if she didn’t do this by herself:)


And in a totally random note, I got this book back on our date a few weeks ago at B&N all about cleaning with baking soda, lemons, vinegar and salt. It has tons of recipes for laundry, stains, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, killing bugs and more!

Ben’s been really intrigued by the idea of cleaning with more natural ingredients instead of spending lots of money on harsh chemicals. We’ve tested out a few things in the past week and let me tell you it works!!

I washed down our dingy, hand-printed walls last weekend with a vinegar mixture. No paint removal, no streaks and it looks much brighter and cleaner! Today Ben offered to scrub the bathtub with one of the recipes. We’ve had a really hard time getting the tough scum off the bathtub and we’ve tried many things. It seemed stuck there forever!

But Ben poured some baking soda all around the bathtub and used 1/2 a cut lemon to scrub. He said it took a few minutes and all of the sudden the layer of yuck came off and he could feel the tub getting smooth again. Let me tell you it WORKS! Our bathtub is sparkling clean and looks brand new! I absolutely recommend this.

He also scrubbed the tiles with another mixture and got any mildewy stuff off and as I write is trying a natural drain de-clogger with baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. I’ll let you know if it works!

We must be very simple people for this kind of stuff to thrill us:) I guess that’s a good thing, right?