Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 I have finally figured out how to get pictures from my phone to  my computer, using the good old fashioned usb cord:) I think picture-less blog posts are so boring!

I made a new tree skirt this year for our tree!I got some fabric last year and never did anything with it (story of my busy life!) but finally decided to spruce up our tree:)

Funny…I never took a picture of the actual tree! It was pretty and very tall! The tallest tree we have had yet!

Eliana got shots a couple weeks before Christmas for her 5 year check-up and this was her reaction to the polio shot:( Poor baby!

Eliana and a couple classmates waiting for ballet class to begin:) So sweet!

Speaking of sweet…..Eliana had her first ballet recital just before Christmas! It was the casual Christmas recital (and SO cute!) and the fancy recital is in June. Eliana did a great job! Actually Eliana’s class did the best out of most of the younger classes, if I don’t say so myself:)

We made cookies over Christmas! Ben took the week off of work and we relaxed and hung out!

I was sick with a stomach bug on Christmas Eve so I felt pretty crummy on Christmas, unfortunately and had to take most of my Christmas pictures from the couch! The kids have really been into duct tape lately and they made each other (and us) lots of duct tape presents:) Samuel is holding his present from Zakkai~a printed picture of our family in a duct tape frame:)

Christmas morning at my mom’s house. I barely made it but I so hated to miss out on all the fun! (Samuel is wearing his duct tape baseball hat:)

Eliana and Cousin Evy:)

The boys with some fun educational toys!

We also got money for a COSI membership (a really fun local scienc-y museum) so we went last week with a couple of friends. I haven’t been since I was a little girl and since they built the new one so it was fun for all of us. Now we know what to do during winter!

And Zakkai belt-tested this week for his purple belt! For the first time, there was no one else in his group testing so he was all by himself. He was nervous but he did such a great job! We are proud of you, Mr Z!

We are so proud of him for all that he has learned and the confidence he is gaining!!

And THIS was our best Christmas surprise of all!!! It was a fun story how God worked it all out and we were able to surprise the kids on Christmas morning with the news that we will be headed to Chicago next weekend to pick up our new baby! (just one). We are so excited to meet our new addition!

Happy New Year!

Busy Life!

It is a beautiful sunny day here and we just finished school! Some days we get done sooner and other days we fit school in and around errands or visitors, of which we had 3 today! Most of the time, visitors are a welcome break!!

Here is a picture of our cute house!! We really are loving it here. The space is so nice and is just working better for us, all the way around. The only thing that is bugging me is that we are trying to locate the source of an unpleasant rotten egg smell. The landlords had the plumber out but it hasn’t been fixed yet. Hopefully soon!  

This is the only picture I have taken of the inside so far:) We are still finishing up unpacking a few last boxes, finding homes for belongings and hanging up pictures. It is really starting to look like a home! Our home;) This is a picture of one wall in the bathroom, where we have tons of built in storage! This takes the place of a hall closet, which we don’t have. I do like the large bathroom a lot.

We had a chance to go apple picking the day after our move briefly. We were really tired but we absolutely cannot pass up a chance to get fresh apples! We may possibly have gone twice this year:)

Cute Mr. Z!

Samuel pretending to eat an apple to make daddy jealous!

Cutie Patootie!

My mom adores her apples, too!

This was the first apple picking. It was much warmer that day!

Zakkai enjoyed trying to climb up to find the most perfect apples!

Checking out how tall everyone is! (or isn’t….:)

Getting taller….

And taller!! This kid is catching up to me quickly!

We have a cute backyard to mow now. We were able to get an old push mower at an auction for $6! Zakkai LOVES to mow the lawn and begs to do so any chance he gets. This was the day we got it and he seriously spent at least an hour mowing that day:)

Z letting Eliana help:)

Mr Z also belt-tested last week for his green belt!

He did really well and is very proud of his new belt (which he was about to receive in this pic!) He is starting some new fun things with this next belt, including using sticks for special routines. We are so thankful that he has the opportunity to do this!

We have officially entered the “busy season” of our life. We were in denial for awhile, fooling ourselves into thinking it was temporary but we looked at each other this past weekend and said, “I think it’s going to be this way for the next several years!” (possibly with a sigh and a groan!

Between settling in to our new place, school, TKD, baseball, ballet, and Awana, our days and evening are really full. We may or may not be looking forward to the end of baseball season so we can have a couple of our weeknights back again. Thank the Lord for fall and winter!!

Remind me I said this when we are knee-deep in snow in a few months:)


Guess I have some catching up to do! Last Monday, Zakkai had his first belt-testing in Tae Kwon Do! It was very cool to watch! He did a great job and is now a very proud orange belt!
He even got to break a board at the end! I will keep working on uploading the video. I’ve watched it about 10 times and it makes me so happy!
And I snuck back in after he fell asleep that night to get a picture of him sleeping with his broken board and TKD belts under his bed:) So cute!

The only thing I asked for on Mother’s Day (not that I would ask for anything anyways!) was a picture. My standard request:) Can’t believe how big my babies are getting! Yeah, yeah, I know they aren’t babies but I tell them they will always be my babies!

Pretty Little Miss!

I just love this picture of E and her grandma-great!! They are good buddies;)

We were trying to take pictures outside of the 4 generations but it was SO windy and none of us were happy for various reasons with the pictures. Our hair was blowing, it made our dresses blow up and made us look pregnant, etc:) Still, a memory to treasure!

Eliana had her preschool graduation last week, too! The other teacher and I worked with both classes to teach them some songs to sing. Eliana did great during the rehearsals and after one song during the program, totally froze:( She was so upset and if I made any eye contact with her, she got really sad! It broke my heart! She felt much better when she went to sit with her Mugga and Grandma and opened her graduation gift of a Frozen t-shirt! Elsa makes everything better:)

We found a cute local restaurant to eat lunch after church on Sunday! Besides it being a beautiful afternoon to sit on the patio and hanging out as a family, it was awesome because the kids ate free! Now that’s our kind of meal:) Love this princess!

My handsome pre-teen:)

My partner in crime!

Mr Blue Eyes!

I made a dress last week (in between all that craziness!) and was SO excited to wear it on Sunday! I just love how it turned out!

The back.

Fancy details!

Me modeling it;)

 Samuel (and Ben) had a game bright and early Saturday morning and won! Samuel even got to pitch for a bit and struck out two kids! He got two hits and was proud to show off a slight bruise from being hit with the baseball. A badge of honor, I guess:)

All in all, except for feeling under the weather for a few days, it was a very good, albeit busy week and weekend! Life is full these days:)

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…..
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??