Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Boo at the Zoo

I've been feeling lately like I've slacked in the captruing moments of our family on photo.  It's been especially rare to get hte kids together.  So when we got to the zoo, in case we didn't get another one attempted, I had to force them to stand together and "smile" for a photo.  It didn't work out so well as you can see.

I did manage to get this nice one later though as we were walking around the zoo! 

I do love the outtakes though too.  It's who we are and a reflection of our kids.

Monday, October 27, 2014

TV Time

In the last two weeks or so I've slowly started bringing some baby things back up stairs from the basement for the new little one on the way.  One of the first things I brought up was the Bumbo.  Elinore has claimed it as hers.  I think she's sat in it more since it has come out of the basement this time than she did when she was a baby!  She and her baby doll were watching Dragon Tales this afternoon in her chair.  And she makes us put the tray there for her too. 

She also often put her baby dolls in the Bumbo too. 

We just have to make sure we don't actually attach the tray, so she can get herself back out!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Zoo Animals

The afternoon and evening we spent at Boo at the Zoo were chilly.  It was about 50 degrees that day, if we were lucky!  And it was damp and there were some sprinkles that fell on us too while we were there.  It kept the crowd away though, so we had a good time.  I think the weather was favorable for the animals because they sure were out!  We saw some great animals views. 

We saw other animals too, but these are the best photos I have.  The bear was super cool!  The lion's male mate was pacing around by the window so we could see him well, but he didn't photograph well. 

One downside to the cool damp weather at the zoo.  It really smelled like a place where a lot of animals live!  It wasn't always pleasant smelling!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weirdest Zoo Exhibit

Over the weekend Keith and I took the kids to the Akron Zoo for Boo at the Zoo.  While I have more to share about our time there, the weirdest zoo exhibit I've ever seen was a part of our trip too. 
Yes, that's Caleb lifting a tail on a picture of an animal to smell their excrements. 
He even convinced Daddy into trying it too.
The photo is blurry because I had to act VERY quickly to get a photo of it before he moved.  He certainly didn't stay there for long smelling that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I can't

One of Elinore's new favorite things to say is I can't.  I'm not a fan of this saying!  Sometimes she'll say it with things she really can't to, but she also will when she just doesn't want to do things.  We're working on that one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

34 Week Appointment

Last Friday I had my 34 week appointment for the little baby to come.  The little one's heartrate was 145 bpm.  My blood pressure had a number that was a little higher than usual, but still very much within the normal range, so that was good.  I'm still measuring about a week behind where I am, which they say is acceptable too. 

The doctor also said at my next appointment, which is just shy of 36 weeks they'll check my cervix and check again for the baby to see if it is still breech since it was at 32 weeks.  (Let's hope not!)  She said if it is, they can do a procedure in the hospital to try to turn the baby.  She reccomended it assuming I had a relatively straight forward delivery with my last pregnancy.  I said doing that was much preferred to the alternative, which would be a c-section!  (That is probably one of my biggest fears about labor and deliver at this point, a c-section.  Although I'm sure it would be fine in the end too.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

Earlier this month we had parent-teacher conferences.  Keith and I headed into them a little nervous to see how things were going.  The teachers had asked us to meet about Caden, but we talked briefly about Caleb too.  We were SO happy to hear they are both doing well! 

Caden's teacher was so positive, helpful and encouraging about the progress he's making and the potential he has that I literally wanted to cry at one point early in the conference.  It was so wonderful to hear from a teacher that is willing to work with him. 

Keith and I weren't overly happy with his teacher last year, but he still did well during the school year.  This year, we're blown away with the fact that he seems to be in a much better place than he was a year ago!

Caden likes to fidgit, a lot.  And his teacher found a way to help him fidgit quietly at his desk that is not distracting to him, his peers or the teacher.  She has give him a small soft ball to play with in his hands during the day while she's teaching.  He has rules in place that it's only for him and when he's not at his desk it's goes to his teachers desk and he follows them all well!  He came home from school telling us about it and recognizing that it helps him.  His teacher echo'd all of that at conferences.  We're SO happy she's found something to help him focus.  And we're so proud of him for recognizing that and succceeding in school! 

Caleb's teacher also said Caleb is doing well and succeeding.  He's on pace and there are no concerns at this point, which is so encouraging to hear! 

Dear boys, we're very proud of you.  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Community Support

I've never written much about our community and how its supports its own.  While we live it an embrace it daily at home, I want to write it down to remember it and to share with the kids when their older to remind them the importance of being there and supporting others.  I've seen this in action in our community several times over the last 5.5 years we've lived here. 

Recently, our family participated in a Beneft Brunch that has had me thinking about it more and more.  There is a gentelman in our community who is in his 50s and works part time at a processing plant in our town.  About a year ago he was very ill and spent over a month in the hospital.  A friend of ours from church was close friends with him; she and her husband stepped into help.  They found that the place he was living was no longer inhabitable and he needed a new place to live and a lot of things to fill the place.  Back in the late winter or early spring they got him set up with a new apartment in town and took donations of needed items and monetary too.  We supported him then of course, and we were happy to see him able to move into a new home once he was relaesd to live on his own again.

Months later, the medical bills became a lot of him and so the party and conference center in town used one of their Sunday Brunch meals as a fundraiser for him.  My family of 5, plus my mom attended with us, and it was a great experience.  He was there at the door greating and thanking everyone for their support.  Elinore even went right to him and let him old her, which is rare for her!  We supported the raffle, and won a few things too.  (The boys love the witch, and we have new padding for the high chair for the new baby now too!) 

A week later the kids and I ran into him at the bank in town, and he thanks us again for being there and talked to the kids.  He just had a great spirit about him and was certainly showing his appreciation.  It was a wonderful thing, and something I'm glad we could be a part of and our kids too.  The event raised about $3,800 to help pay for his medical bills, which is awesome!

This whole experience with the bunch had be thinking about other things in our community.  I try as best I can to help regularly serve the SOUP dinners at our church.  They are twice a month and are a open to anyone free meal no questions asked.  Keith has attended occasionally with me and the kids take turns participating too.  When Elinore was younger it was commong for her to be on my back in the carrier hanging out while we served others.  Now she stays home with Daddy more often, but the boys take turns coming and helping; I want them to experience service to others. 

Later this month the community is also holding a 5K.  This is the second 5K in two years held at our local high school.  Each year it has been to support a student in our school system fighting a disease.  The boys ran in the first Miles for Madison Fun Run early last year.  This year, we are registered as a family to walk the 5K together. 

A group in our church with the help of our local Lion's club, which Keith is a member of, also provides 'Baskets of Hope' at Christmast and sometimes Easter to families and individuals who are in need for the holidays.  As a Lion, Keith helps deliever those baskets out into the community. 

There are so many more examples of the love and support in our community, but these are on my mind as something to capture about our current community and family commitment to helping.  For as many as we particpate in, we miss just as many.  It feels wonderful to be able to tell our kids that there is a community of support around us showing their love for the Lord and people. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

32 Weeks

I had a regularly scheduled doctor appointment at 32 weeks.  At that point I'd gained 23 pounds.  The baby's heart rate was 135 bpm.  And the baby was breech.  The appointment went well.  I also received a shot for whooping cough to help pass on the protection to the baby. 

Now is the time I start praying baby decides to flip on its own in the next 8 weeks!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Baby Gorilla

We went to the Pittsburgh Zoo on vacation this summer, and this was by far the coolest thing we saw.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 27 Day 4

Your daddy has been working hard on the our home this pregnancy!  He's got a lot of house projects going we started at the beginning of the year before we knew you were on the way!  I've been helping a lot too, but there are some things I just can't do anymore being pregnant and all, so more is falling to him.  He's working hard!  The upstairs is mostly all redecorated and completed, except for the bathroom we hope to get to in the next year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 24 Day 4

This week we were back from our Pittsburgh vacation.  I was finished with graduate school, and I was refreshed from vacation.  It was relaxing. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 21 Day 3

I'm starting to toss and turn at night.  I lay there trying to get comfortable and it takes me awhile to realize I'm awake because I have to pee.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 20 Day 5

This week your big brothers were away at church camp and your big sister caught hand, foot, mouth disease from her day care.  Before your sister got sick, we took advantage of there being less kids at home and hired a sitter for mommy and daddy to go on a date!  We went to dinner at Applebee's and the movies to see 22 Jump Street.

Friday, October 10, 2014


I've had my laptop for just over 3 years now.  Keith had gotten it for me when I started graduate school back in 2011.  Twice in those 3 years the piece that holds the battery charger has sunk into the computer and I've been unable to plug my laptop in to charge.  Bummer right!?

Well, Keith fixed it no problems the first time.  The second time, I had all the confidence he could fix it again, but he was less confident.  He did fix it the second time, and I got a speech about how to plug in the charger so it doesn't happen again.  The catch, I noticed that there were some screws leftover that didn't make it back into my computer.  They all came out of it, but they didn't all go back in.  He says it's a minor detail...

Monday, October 06, 2014

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Keith & Beth

Elinore knows our first names.  And sometimes she uses them. Once a week or so she'll walk around teh house asking for something or trying to get someone's attention by using our first names.  "Help me Keith!"  "Look Beth!"

Friday, October 03, 2014


Elinore was playing outside with her big brothers and the neighbor girls not too long ago.  The girls next door put her on a big girl swing.  Keith and I were both watching from our windows at various places and weren't too sure about it, but she did really well!  She held on and went with it!  We make sure she doesn't get swung too high, but she enjoys it.  They're trying to teach her to wing on her own pumping her legs too, but so far, she gets her legs moving opposite of each other when she tries.  It is adorable!

Thursday, October 02, 2014


Back in September, I put Elinore in pigtails for the first time when she was agreeable one morning.  To my surprise, she came home that afternoon with them still in, although slightly less nicely done!

Photo Taken September 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


One lazy Sunday afternoon the middle of last month, I sat down on the couch with Keith to relax and we were going to watch a show or movie.  But as I sat there watching Keith flip through trying to decide, I thought this is silly, why aren't we playing with the boys.  They were playing Minecraft at the time and Elinore was napping.  I decided it was a great opportunity to teach them to play Monopoly. 

We managed to teach them and get it wrapped up before Elinore woke up from her nap.  And they both were really into it for quite awhile. 

Caden started to loose interest once all the properties were bought.  He was very focused on how many properties he owned compared to everyone else.  For the record, he had the most.  But once all they properties were purchased, he lost most of his interest and started complaining about it taking too long!

Caleb on the other hand, had a VERY slow start.  He owned the least property and just kept getting bad turns.  But he kept at it and had a really good time.  He ended up bankrupting everyone else with his Boardwalk.  I suppose if you only start with a few properties that's not a bad one to have!  As I was helping him finish up the game, because I was the last one left for him to defeat, he said I was the "best mommy ever!"  Those aren't words I hear often, if ever! 

Apparently all it takes it be the best mommy every is let you kid beat you at Monopoly! 

Maybe I'll keep that in my backpocket next time I'm the meanest mommy ever!