Catch-Up!

¬†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??!

Cheese!

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!!

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One Day at a Time!

This week has been one of those oh-so-busy, “just one day at a time” kind of weeks! It has been good just crazy busy. We definitely have a much busier lifestyle right now, with both of us trying to earn enough income to a)survive (and we have finally gotten to that point in the past 2 months, hooray!) and b)begin to pay off our mammoth debt. It seems light years away that we will not have this monstrous dragon breathing down our necks but we certainly look forward to it! Maybe a miracle will happen and the government will actually decide to help people with school debt!

Right…..I’m guessing pigs will be flying or something of that sort:)

This week, Ben has had a big week at work, taking over as acting manager of the warehouse. His boss went on vacation for the first time in a really long time, trusting Ben (who is unofficially assistant manager these days) to take over! So Ben has been working long days and picking up the slack of other co-workers who may or may not show up for work. After tomorrow, he will have logged in 26 hours of overtime in 2 weeks!

And I started teaching preschool and my newest cleaning job this week. I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed last Saturday night with the week ahead, but we have been constantly praying for each other, checking up on and encouraging one another and saying as our mantra, “Just one day at a time!” And now it’s Thursday and we’re breathing a big sigh of relief! Thank you, Lord, for the grace You give us each day.
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In children news: Samuel started some state-wide testing at school this week. Apparently, these tests do not meet with teacher enthusiasm and make things difficult for schools but they are pushed through by politicians using business methods. Samuel, weirdly enough, says he is glad to be testing because it’s something different and he won’t be bored! Can you tell what he’s been complaining about lately??

He is getting SO big and definitely showing some pre-puberty, pre-teen signs these days (a.k.a. moodiness, self-consciousness over body things, attitude, even needing to wear deodorant sometimes!) Ahh! He is within inches of matching my height and I just look at his sweet face sometimes and I can see the handsome young man he is turning into rapidly. How, oh HOW is my first baby turning 10 this summer?! I can’t think about it….

Z-man loves being 8 and it’s been a good first eight-year-old week for him! He’s been a great listener, lost another tooth and has been burying his nose in books! I do love that we have passed on our love of reading to all of the munchkins. He’s been into some new series this week. He’s funny because they’ve been learning about series at school and he absolutely insists on getting all books in order, even ones that don’t require it like Boxcar Children or Hardy Boys. We cannot sway him! So we make the rounds of libraries to get books in order:) Silly kid.

Eliana has not been adjusting to her new lenses well lately and we noticed a regression in her eye-correction so I took her back to the drs on Tuesday. We have to get her lenses re-made but thankfully it is still under warranty! We also have to start really teaching her to use her bifocals correctly, which will be interesting. She has some strong bifocals that help her eye tremendously but they have to be positioned perfectly on her face for her to use them. Really hoping the new lenses will work!

She’s such a sweetie though and was so patient with everyone taking her glasses on and off, staring at her eyes, doing little eye exams, etc. We had 4 different people in the room at the same time at one point, inspecting her and her glasses! She’s a trooper. She couldn’t have a sweet, more darling personality and character. I pray it always stays so!

So there you have it! A quick update in Thomas-land! Pics coming soon!

Beautiful Eyes!

 It has been the busiest week this week! So many appointments and errands, working, etc. Ben has had meetings and things every night this week except Tuesday and has to work double jobs tomorrow night. Whew! We are counting down until Saturday:)

On Tuesday, we finally got Eliana to her new eye doctor. She has been long overdue for a check-up because everything got put on hold with the move this summer. I was SO proud of her during this visit! She had to meet a new dr, go through the full check up (which takes almost 3 hours!) including eye dilation and she was an angel. The dr said that if all of the kids he saw were angels like her, it would make his job a whole lot easier!

She was too cute answering their questions and trying to see the letters on the screen. Whenever she wasn’t sure of a letter because it was too small, she would get really quiet and shrug a little and put her hands up like, “I don’t know!” They were so patient and sweet with her!

She has to get new lenses though. They completely changed her prescription in hopes of making her eyes match up vision-wise a little better. I always dread a prescription change because a) it costs a lot and b) it makes me nervous that it won’t help her or be the right prescription. Silly Mama.

I’ve been checking into the best options for getting new glasses or lenses because of the cost. We just got her current pair a little over a year ago and were hoping that she would have plenty of time to wear them and grow into the frame. A new pair of her glasses are $230. They said if we did lenses only, she would have to send in her current pair and they would be gone for up to 2 weeks, leaving her to wear an old ill-fitting pair. But the cost is a lot cheaper.We tried to explain that to her last night and tried on the old pair and she got really upset! She did not want to send in her new pair!

Today¬†we went¬†back to¬†the eye dr and spoke with the woman who handles new prescriptions and she agreed that Eliana was too stressed out over wearing the old pair and we should find a different route. She suggested taking her pair to Walmart and they can fit lenses in in less than 1 hour! Sure enough, I took her over there right away and they confirmed that they can do that and it’s no problem with her bifocal or anything (which sometimes causes issues!) So tomorrow morning she will hopefully have her new lenses and it costs a whole lot less than a new pair. We can save that for next year. Whew!
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The boys are doing so well. They both did some testing at school and got into some better programs to challenge them. Both have been expressing a lot of boredom, which we hate to hear! Hopefully everything will work out really soon.

And Samuel joined the student council! He has his first meeting tomorrow morning:) He has been alternately excited and nervous but felt better when another classmate of his signed up. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

The boys are waiting for me to read a book to them before bed so off I go….another day down!

Going Purple!

 Our Little Pink Girl has decided to make some changes! She got to pick something new out that came in this week. Can you guess what it is??

Oh that’s right! Miss E is stylin’ with some amazing new PURPLE glasses! Her prescription changed slightly and her bifocal needed to be raised up quite a bit, as it was rather useless in her last pair. We had to go to a bigger size so she would have room to see, as well as use her bifocal so she has room to grow:) She loves her new glasses!! She has insisted on wearing purple pretty much every day since so she can coordinate:)

This morning Eliana marched into her Sunday school class and started informing all her teachers that she got some new purple glasses! We thought it might be hard to adjust to seeing her in a new color but it is a soft purple and it brightens up her face. It’s very pretty but the main thing is, she’s happy and she can SEE!

We did not check our forecast this morning before we headed out to church so the terrible storm that passed through totally caught us by surprise! It was a warm 62 degrees and wet outside but by the time we came out of church, it was really dark in the building. My first clue that it was more than raining outside was when I looked towards the front doors, only to see a big group of people stumble backwards with hair flying every which way!

It seriously looked like their was a hurricane outside. It was crazy! There was an indoor church picnic for families that we were going to but unfortunately, we left our lunch in the car! Ben had to brave the torrential rains and even hail to bring our van closer and our lunch in. He was soaked when he finally made it back inside~poor guy!

We really enjoyed the picnic, all safe and warm inside the church. Each family brought a blanket, a picnic lunch for themselves and a dessert to share with everyone. After everyone ate, we all gathered in a big circle and said a prayer, with anyone who wanted saying outloud what they were thankful for and we sang “Give Thanks.” A fun way to end the weekend!

On the way home we spotted a ton of branches littering the roads and yards and some really bad flooding on some streets. We were a little nervous about what we would find in our basement but thankfully, it wasn’t too bad. We threw down several towels and mopped it up and had the boys do a quick clean up while we were at it. They make a huge mess with all of their “projects” and crafts they work on downstairs. There were a ton of sopping wet papers all over the floor!

This week I will have a fun new Christmas toy to share that hopefully will improve my blog! Can you guess what it is??

New "Gwasses!"

¬†Finally pictures are up and running! I didn’t blog yesterday because I was struck down with a nasty sickness. Ben had to take over with the kiddos and even made a delicious chicken noodle soup for dinner!

It’s one of a few meals he can make well:)

I was experimenting with the camera today, trying to get shots of Little Miss, while she took pictures with “her” camera. i.e. our old camera that got water spilled on it. Here she is being a little ham:)

I can’t remember if I blogged about E’s new glasses much. We picked up her glasses on our way to Ohio last week. It was so amazing~ she willingly put them on and just blinked and looked around from left to right. Then a beaming smile spread across her sweet face and she exclaimed, “New gwasses! Like new gwasses!” She didn’t stop smiling for so long and it brought tears to our eyes to see her joy.

This new prescription is working wonders! Her eyes are almost perfect all the time! There is a slight turn occasionally with her eye but the glasses correct it immediately. They are SO much better than her old prescription and the joy on her face as she looked around in them will stay in our thankful hearts forever. What a gift!

She’s our darling girl!

Anyone know where to find a money tree?

                                           (first full ponytail!)

Took this cute little Thang to the eye dr this morning for her quarterly check-up. We came away with¬†good news and bad/good news. The¬†bad/good news is she’s getting new glasses with her maxed prescription in them (+5.50)¬†and will be getting bifocals to help with¬†her close-up focusing. This should help her eye to stop turning in¬†as much as it does now. The bad news? Because they are such specific glasses for such a tiny person, they will be¬†$200!¬†That’s somewhere between Ouch (!) and Boing! (name that movie.)

The other good news is that she can get contacts at a very early age (even 5 years old)¬†and¬†we are hoping the full-strength prescription will help her eye enough that she won’t have to have surgery in a few years. Also, her prescription¬†and eye-turn will lessen a bit once she gets into her 20s. She’s happily the opposite of her dear old mom and dad, who will continue to get blinder with age:)

She may be cute and worth every penny¬†but she’s expensive!

The boys are in candy heaven today. They got to take a piece in their lunches today which made them very happy. We usually let them have 1-2 pieces a day for a few days or so (a serious treat, believe me!) and then we make them weed down the buckets and choose their top 10-15 pieces to last the rest of the year.

The rest? Either¬†gets tossed¬†or goes into our gingerbread house stash! It’s a nice way to save money and have some fun decorations for our gingerbread houses next month. We have plenty to share with anyone who wants any…..:)

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The boys are in this terrible habit of leaving things at school right now. Yesterday Samuel left his hat, gloves and his lunchbox at school! Today, Zakkai left his brand-new hat at school. Any ideas on getting them to remember to bring this stuff home??

I took Zakkai to the school lost and found table to look for his lost mitten (yet another article of clothing that disappeared into a black hole..), only to find a HUGE assortment of lost gear from the school kids! I’m talking several winter coats, piles of sweatshirts, hats, gloves, headbands, books, etc. Who wouldn’t try to find their kid’s winter coat if it went missing???

Apparently the school makes a big donation twice a year of all the unclaimed clothing. There was too much stuff to look through so we left mitten-less. Sigh.

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This has been a week full of appointments and busyness. The boys had appts Tues afternoon, yesterday was just crazy, E’s eye appt today and her 2 year check-up tomorrow morning. I’m looking forward to a nice quiet weekend!

I hope:)

More Glasses!

This morning we went to pick up Samuel’s new reading glasses, which he has anxiously been waiting for. We think he looks so cute in them, although apparently the days of “cute” are over and he would much rather be called handsome.

He, on the other hand, does not think he looks nice. He thinks he looks silly:( He is very worried about being made fun of in school. We have reminded him of all the people we know who have glasses (hello! Mommy, Daddy, Eliana….), including a girl in his class but he was in tears tonight;(

Any suggestions to make this easier would be welcome!!

Our budding scholar:) We think he looks so much like Ben in his glasses!