¬†Woohoo! I finally figured out how to get pictures from my new phone to my computer! Now to figure out videos…..because I have some cute ones of Z doing his Tae Kwon Do:)

So, let’s play picture catch-up, shall we?

I met a friend at the zoo a couple weeks ago. I brought the stroller just in case, even though Miss E insisted she didn’t need it! She was in and out the whole time;)

Our very favorite thing we saw were the polar bears!! They were swimming and having the best time!

There is a cool place underground where you can go watch the polar bears swim over you. Very cool!

Their paws are just massive! We could’ve stayed there for hours:)

We went back to the zoo the following weekend as a family, with some friends. The weather is perfect for seeing animals~sunny, not too hot and not too cold! Look closely and you’ll see the elephant is standing over another elephant taking a nap! So funny.

I want one, I want one! Red pandas are adorable! We watched this cutie scale a tree to join his friend, who was napping.

Beautiful (and scary) tigers snoozing!

The brown bears were devouring a delicious snack that was being tossed down to them from way up high.

We learned a few things about bears in the 10 minutes we watched them. One, they like fruits and veggies. Two, they do not like banana peels and can slice them open quickly and eat the insides out. Three, they have razor sharp claws. Four, and teeth! They can eat a raw sweet potato. Try gnawing on that!!

Since it was the day before Easter, bunnies were out in full force at the zoo:) Eliana usually doesn’t like things like this but she wanted to go right up and give “Miffy” a big hug. Who is Miffy anyways??!


There were several bunnies to choose from but the only other one she was willing to hug was Buster and we talked the boys into joining:)

Love, love this beautiful trio!!!

We had another eye re-check last week. Goodness, look how big she’s getting! Anyways, the goal is to match the vision in both her eyes as best as we can. Her prescription is now pretty good but her new dr added in another element….

The patch. I was really taken aback when he said we had to do this but understand the reasons why, even if I don’t like it. We have to patch her right eye (her dominant eye) 2 hours a day for awhile (possibly 6 months) to give her left eye a chance to gain strength focusing, etc.

Surprisingly, she has taken to it really well! She asks to do it each day, which is a relief, because it’s one more thing in my day, which is hard. She has to do focusing activities while wearing it and often towards the end of the 2 hours, per dr’s suggestion, I give her a little time on her brother’s Leapster Explorer as a reward for doing so well (plus it really makes her eye focus!) She has 3 girly colors to choose from so I let her pic each day what she would like.

More on patches later!

Lots of rain and storms lately but also more emerging sunny days! Yea for outside time!!

Ben had to work this weekend so he missed some time seeing the chickies. They are all over him like white on rice if he gets down on the ground!! (Samuel was there, too, but was off sulking because of an “injury.” ūüôā

Our weekends are very busy now!! Samuel started baseball practice Saturday and Ben is the assistant coach! As you can see, his team is the Phillies, which is funny since no one on the team likes the actual Phillies! Samuel LOVED going to practice and even game home sporting dirt from a “slide” on to base;)

And while Ben took him to practice, I took Mr Z (and E) to Tae Kwon Do. We met back at home for lunch and then B had to go to work til after midnight. Yuck.

But we enjoyed a really nice day yesterday, complete with a visit to the park and some DQ!!


Easter 2015

¬†Happy Easter! We had a very full day on Sunday, which has been unusual for us in the past few years. We stopped traveling for Easter awhile ago, being such¬†a short weekend. (Guess what? In Ohio, they actually get Good Friday off of school! Gasp!) So, we haven’t had Easter with anyone for a long time.

We got two Easters this year to make up for it:)

I forced them to pose for me before church! I absolutely cannot believe how much they have grown. Especially Samuel! We measured him last night and he’s grown an inch since Christmas! Man, they are a good-lookin’ crew!!

Eliana had too many cute dresses to choose from (the pitfalls of having a girl;) so I let her choose one for church (the above white/blue sailor dress) and I chose one for family gatherings (this adorable pink one!) Then I embarrassed my boys (can you guess who, specifically??) by asking them to kiss their sister:)

Ben’s aunt was sweet enough to take a few family pictures for us! They are so few and far between that I never say no to that!! I do wish Eliana was smiling a bit more (but that is hard to do when the sun is in your eyes!) and that my hair didn’t look quite so lions-manish but overall, pretty cute!

The kiddos were blessed with two Egg hunts and we were stuffed with delicious food.

But best of all, the service at church was so so beautiful and touching and I walked away full of the hope of a Risen Savior!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

¬†He is Risen! We had a beautiful service at church today. So very thankful! And then 10 seconds after we came home, I forced our spiffy crew to step outside for pictures! Good thing I did, too, because they changed clothes faster than you can say, “I told you so!”

Aren’t they cute?!

Zakkai thought he was being funny to stick out his tongue. Stinker.

Mr. Z-man! A handsome 7 year old, if I ever saw one!

He has grown up so much this year. Sometimes we still have to remind ourselves that he’s not 5 anymore…

And the little darling! My mom sent her this Easter hat in the mail and she thinks it’s pretty fun to wear! My mom also supervised me making this dress for E! Eliana was excited to wear it!

Little Lady:)

Pretty girl.

Boy, this kiddos is 8 going on 14! He is so big and just maturing so much. Hard to believe he was once our little “Das B!” (his nickname as a baby)

So handsome! He’s getting some wiggly front teeth. I admit I am hoping he’ll lose them a little closer to Christmas so we can sing, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!”

I love these three!

Happy Easter from the Thomas Family!

p.s. as an interesting side, our church was chosen by NBC for the national Easter service aired on television¬†today. The times they aired the show (all NBC affiliates around the country had the option of airing a religious service today and if they wanted to, this was their option!) It was on very early in a lot of states but just in case you are interested to hear: It was pre-taped a few weeks ago so it wasn’t today’s service but still pretty cool!

Weekend Wrap!

 On Friday, Samuel was Star of the Day and we were invited to come and watch Samuel talk about his pictures to his class (we sent in 15 pictures of him from birth on up!) and answer any questions they had. At first he was a little embarrassed that so many of us came, haha. It was Ben and I, Eliana and C, the baby I watch. But he was also happy at the same time.

He pointed to every picture with the wooden pointer and explained in minimal detail about each one, which we thought was funny. He kept turning to me to ask when pictures were taken or how old he was. His teacher said, “Good thing your mom is here to help!”

The kids asked him all sorts of questions about the pictures or about the facts he shared. He put that he wants to be an artist when he grows up and one kid asked him what kind of art he wants to do! He didn’t really have an answer for that:) I am so glad his teacher does things like this to make each kid feel special!

It was gorgeous on Friday! Eliana and I sat on the front porch for a long time and played and then brought Baby C out to eat his lunch outside when he woke up. We were determined to soak up as much Vitamin D as possible!

Mr. C LOVES to take wagon rides and he thoroughly enjoyed the ride to school yesterday! He had a big birthday this week and we got to celebrate with him yesterday!

We got a special Easter box in the mail from Ben’s mom yesterday! Once we got permission to open it (how can you ask kids to wait??), I took it upstairs and assembled all of the Easter baskets. Wow, these are lucky kids!

They were sort of stunned at first and said, “Whoa!” Believe me, they were excited!

They stared for several long seconds and then dug in! Talk about goodies galore!

Happy kiddos! Thank you, Grandma!!

Eliana loves her new pink bunny and it has gone with her everywhere since yesterday! It sleeps with her, went to the birthday party and to church today:)

The kiddos picked out a pack of trucks for Baby C for his birthday since he loves to drive the boys’ matchbox cars and I wanted to think of something to go with it. Something homemade to show how special he is to us. This is what I came up with! It is a little mat made of felt for him to drive his cars on. Not perfect by any means but it was really fun to make!


A house with a little dog…

A man fishing in the pond. That was Ben’s idea:)

A park bench and some trees..

The swing set

And a truck. Kind of a fire truck/ambulance combo. Oh well! The boys were like, “How come you didn’t make anything like this for us when we were little??” ha. ¬†It was really fun to make a little special something for a special little guy. He’s been like part of our family for this past year and we all love him!

This is what Eliana looked like when she woke up this morning:) haha. She looks different every time she comes out of her room!

At church today, they handed out palm leaves to all of the kids, who waved them on their way out to their classes. Eliana got a huge kick out of the palm leaf and used it to torture tickle us on the way home from church. Stinker!

We cleaned our place all up spic and span for our small group this afternoon, only to have everyone cancel for one reason or another. At least we all get to enjoy a clean house! That’s¬†a nice way to start the week. Then this afternoon, I made some homemade yogurt and BBQ sauce. The yogurt won’t be ready to put in the fridge for another 2 1/2 hours. I am really really hoping it turns out!

Not that I’m going to eat it. Blech. I wish I liked it, believe me! But I have texture issues and yogurt causes an immediate gag reflex in me. So, this time I will have to rely on my families opinions to see if this recipe is a keeper! If it is, this will save us a ton of money. They all love yogurt and go through it so fast. It’s not cheap either! This recipe makes 4 qts and a little over a pint of yogurt for a total price of $3.88! It lasts for a month in the fridge, has the probiotic bacteria and you can add whatever mix-ins you want!

I’ll let you know it this works out! That’s our weekend in a wrap. Hope yours was nice, too!

That’s all for the weekend!

Happy Easter!!

From the Thomas Crew!

It’s been a really low-key day for us today. Ben, who got sick on vacation, was totally exhausted from the past 2 days of driving and not feeling well so he pretty much slept all day. I dressed up the crew and we headed off to church this morning with one of the neighbor kids.

The service was really beautiful and powerful and something I really needed to shake off the heaviness I was feeling and focus on the amazingness of the hope of Jesus! It was really sunny today and warm enough for the boys to go outside without coats and play. They’ve been playing for hours! We would still trade for the vivid colors of Florida in a heartbeat but for now, we’ll take our Midwest sun!

Prepare yourselves, Florida pics begin tomorrow:)

The Easter Bunny Arrives!

We love¬†getting packages in the mail! Really, who doesn’t? Today we got a total of 4 packages. Wow, what a day:) One was an origami kit that Samuel paid for with his own money and is so excited to bring for the long (very long) car trip to FL! The smallest pkg was the Dramamine that the above mentioned child has to have for every car trip to avoid getting very sick and possibly throwing up all over the car.

We learned that the hard way.

But the very best package of the day was timed just right! It arrived after the kiddos were home from school and homework was done. You should’ve heard the gasps and yells of delight when they realized that Grandma had sent them an Easter box!!

Now I thought about forcing them to wait and driving them up the wall but I was under strict orders from Grandma to put these kiddos out of their misery! I wouldn’t¬†have made them wait too long:) See that big box behind them?!

Grandma found some cute Bunny ears for each of them. They thought those were pretty cute and wore them around the house til bedtime. I looked at this picture and decided to torture them some more since Zakkai looks angry and Samuel looks a bit cheesy. Such a nice mama!

Two out of three ain’t bad! The table was a wreck of tissue paper and wrappers and special surprises. The boys said to tell Grandma “THANK YOU!!” They are especially excited about using their new beach towels in FL next week!

Park Play!

It was a different Monday today because both Ben and Zakkai had school off. So Ben walked down to the library to work in a child-less, hopefully quieter working environment and Zakkai had a buddy over to play!

Zakkai woke up not feeling the best today but perked up immediately after breakfast.¬†¬†I¬†was really glad that he could enjoy having a¬†friend over. They played cars, trains (yea!), legos, collected rocks, rode scooters and more! Zakkai doesn’t often get to do the little boy things that he wants to do anymore so it made my heart SOO happy to hear him playing with happy company:)

The boys got much-needed haircuts tonight much to their dismay. I took before and after pics so I could show them (and you after I upload them:) They start to look like shaggy, wild animals 6-8 weeks after a haircut and today was no exception! When we remembered that Samuel had picture day tomorrow, it was a great incentive to get movin’! They acted like we were torturing them and plucking out hairs one by one. You should have heard the screaming that came¬† out of Zakkai’s mouth!

On second thought, be glad you weren’t here.

Eliana is so obsessed with going outside! She can’t even stand it if she thinks someone is going without her. She is constantly begging for her coat and hat and even tried to persuade us to put on TWO coats yesterday:) Today for the first time, she dragged over my jacket, which I’d forgotten to hang up. There was much pleading and tears as she desperately tried to get across that she wanted to go out NOW!¬†
 (I just hate that some of her cutest pictures are ruined by a glare on her glasses:( Darn camera!)

Yesterday after a lovely Easter meal, we went to the park to work off some food so we could sample some chocolate pie later.

 It was really good. Mmmm.

Eliana did tons of climbing as you can see…..

Through tunnels, up the stairs, down the slides (with much intervention and life-saving by yours truly.) She had a blast!

Samuel spent almost the entire time swinging. It’s his newfound love! He tells me he swings all of recess at school, too:) Love that he’s having so much fun!

Such a far cry from the little boy who hated swings even as a baby. I don’t think he believes me:)

Zakkai spent his time throwing the baseball with daddy and rolling the baseball up the slide. He isn’t much for pictures these days so I have to be stealth and sneaky.

He’s pretty proud of how tall he is getting and how good and monkey-like he is with climbing:) They grow up SO fast.