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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bugs and things

My son does not really like bugs. I guess I'm not too surprised since he's around me most of the time, and I tend to say "ewww and bug/spider" when I see one. I try not to over-react, because I know he's paying attention.

This morning I was in the office on the computer (I miss my own laptop), and Zachariah came running into the room screaming. OK, here, let me tell the story with pictures since I took the time to take them.

First Zachariah comes running into the office and starts crying. "Dere's a bug on my prezzles." (There's a bug on my puzzles.) I told him don't worry we'll go get it.

So, here he is in the living room keeping a close eye on that bug...from a very safe distance. I looked at the bug and said no problem, we'll get it. Zachariah said "Sorry, Mom." Aww, you don't have to be sorry. No big deal.

This is what Zachariah was doing before the nasty bug decided to interfere. Umm, do you see a bug on the puzzles? Me either.

Oh there it is, about 2 feet away from the puzzles. Uhh, do you see that tiny speck there...yep, that's it. I almost didn't believe him.

Here's a closer view of it. Way zoomed in. My camera was almost touching his little bug head. This is what was threatening my son's love of puzzles.

How do you solve the bug extermination when your husband isn't around? Well, I pull out my trusty friend...the vacuum.

The vacuum kindly sucked the bug right up and out of our way. Now we can peacefully resume the puzzle putting together.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Time is ticking away. I thought it might be a long two weeks without Matt being here, but the truth is time has flown. I can't believe it will only be 3 more days before he'll be home. It will be so great to see him again.

This morning I took Zachariah out for breakfast (or really brunch by the time we left). He had slept in and so had I, plus I had a coupon for a free kids meal at Bob Evans. He's been asking for pancakes and sausage, so when better time to go and just let someone else make them. We haven't been to Bob Evan's in a long time, so I was happy to get my favorite thing there too (Sunshine Skillet).

When I got Zachariah out of bed this morning, he was so excited to go that he told me not to get a shower but "just get dressed, Mom". Which is funny, because I ALWAYS take a shower in the morning. He watched Diego on TV while I got ready, then we headed out. He was great the whole time and loved most of his food. Actually what he liked the best was the banana bread that I got. I'll have to make some for us here sometime.

We got to do some fun things over this last weekend. Zachariah was spoiled by grandparents. My mom was trying to get us to stay there another night, so I didn't have to leave so late. But I knew it was time to start grandparent detox, and so we had to get back home. He was starting to get pretty touchy. And he's been much better for me here at home.

Honestly I'm shocked at how well Zachariah has behaved for me with Matt gone. I thought I might have a few more daily trials, but we haven't. He's a great kid anyway, and he's just proved it since Matt's been away. He will tell anyone who asks that his daddy is "in Africa" and that he got him "a lion...rawr!" (Matt bought a little carved wood lion for him and showed him on the web cam).

But as much as I worried about this, we haven't had problems. We have kept ourselves so busy, and we've done some great things too. I will try to upload pictures and post some soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cyberchase Halloween

Are you a fan of PBS? We don't watch too many shows on it, but it was neat to be introduced to Cyberchase. We had the opportunity to preview the new Halloween episode of Cyberchase, which airs today and again on Friday.

I would say Cyberchase is a good mix of fun, learning, and now Halloween. Zachariah really enjoyed it too. I thought it might be a little above him, but he liked the funny characters and antics in this show. The learning things are a little too much for him for now.

That said I think this is a great show for kids of all ages. And this week on PBS Cyberchase is airing Halloween episodes. Be sure to check out your local listings. I think your kids will enjoy it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween DVD winner

Sorry, it's been a long few days. Good, but long. I am just now drawing a winner, and then I'll get the DVD mailed out first thing on Monday.

And the winner of the HIT Favorites: Halloween Spooktacular DVD is....

#4 Erica at All Dressed Up.

Congrats, Erica. I'm glad that you didn't buy it yet. Please send me an e-mail with your mailing address, and I'll get this out to you Monday morning. I hope that you and Maddie enjoy this!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My sweet love is an ocean away

I was able to talk to Matt again today. Really things are going fine here without him, but I miss him so much. Yes, we've been apart this long (to date) before, but just knowing how far away he is seems different somehow. He's not just a phone call away. He has limited Internet access and the time difference doesn't help either.

This is only the second time that we've been able to chat. But I will say thank goodness for the Internet and Skype. It's almost unimaginable to me that he's in the 5th poorest country in the world, yet he's able to connect to the Internet with WiFi there where he's staying. Amazing!

So, Matt is doing well. It was good for my heart to be able to see, hear, and talk to him for a while this morning. I really miss him. I think I just fell even harder in love with him today. Now I know why they say "absence makes the heart grow fonder". I truly believe it.

Only 8 more days until he's home. I'm very happy for what he's doing, and I know he's loving every minute of it. And I know that he's thinking of us.

He already bought a little trinket for Zachariah. He showed it to him this morning. Zachariah is thrilled. The only thing he wanted was "something for Zacky" when Daddy comes home. It's a carved lion thing. I'll post pictures when he gets home. He also ordered some drums that they are making for us. (How cool is that?) And he either has or is going to get some paintings. I can't wait to see everything.

The pictures he's taken and uploaded so far have been really neat to see. It's just fun knowing that I can get a small taste of what he's doing and seeing there. I will keep dreaming about going there some day. Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to take a missions trip to Africa. And I've been happy to live out that dream through Matt for now.

If you are a long time reader and/or correspond with me semi-regularly, send me an e-mail if you're interested in seeing Matt's blog. I don't want to put it out there for everyone, because I'd like to protect my identity. He has everything posted under his name. But I have "known" some of you for a long time, and I'd be happy to share if you'd like to hear more or see more photos.

DVD Review: Goosebumps

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine, my sister loved these books as a kid. I remember her having a growing collection of them. Not me, I've never been into anything that might be horror-like or creepy or intense like that.

But a lot of the 3rd-5th grade students that I'm tutoring love these books. And I say anything that gets kids reading and enjoying themselves must be good. I will admit that I've never read one of the books before though.

Now I had the chance to review the Goosebumps movies. I thought they might be neat, but I knew it would not be appropriate for my toddler. The books are made for older elementary kids, so there is no way my toddler will watch.

I watched the three new DVDs: Monster Blood, A Night in Terror Tower, and One Day at Horrorland. They were really pretty good. They were a little strange and pretty goofy for an adult, but I think kids will love these.

I took them into our tutoring center. The K-3 crowd got to watch 2 of them so far. They LOVE them. The 3rd graders have been reading the Goosebumps books doing our reading times, so they were thrilled to be able to see the movies too.

I would recommend these for 2nd/3rd graders and up, but it just depends on how easily spooked your child will be. There is nothing gory or gross about these. And it will provide lots of Halloween fun!

These are available now, and can be found here.
**Unfortunately I don't have any extras of this set to give away, but go here to win the HIT Favorites: Halloween Spooktacular DVD.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's going on in here?

That's the new question Zachariah has been asking. He does it in a silly voice, then waits for an answer. Then he'll run out of the room and come back later to ask again. Funny stuff.

So what is going on here? Well, I didn't fall of the face of the earth when my husband left for a 3rd world country. Nope, I'm still here, even though I haven't been around enough to blog.

Friday Matt stayed home with us, wrapped up a few last minute things, and took us out to a nice dinner. Then we headed out early Saturday morning to take Matt to his drop off point, so he could ride with the rest of the team to the airport.

We said our goodbyes and watched him leave. About an hour later, Zachariah said "Zacky miss Daddy" and that's the last I've heard that. He knows that Daddy is going to be in Africa for a while, and he took a BIG airplane to get there. Honestly, Zachariah is handling it really well. We blow a kiss each night towards Africa to Daddy, and he tells him to be safe and I love you.

Matt is now safely in Mali, West Africa. It took them 2 full days of traveling. 3 airplane flights, 1 5-hour bus trip, and a minor car accident later, they are safe and sound at their final destination. It was not fun waking up yesterday hearing that there had been an accident, but everyone and everything was fine. God was certainly in control.

We've kept ourselves busy so far since Matt has been away. I think this week will be fine, it will be next week that we'll be bored and ready for him to get back. But we'll try to find some new things to do.

Saturday we went to a dairy farm where they were having fall festivities. I have a bunch of photos of that. (Matt was able to buy a new camera for his trip, so I could keep this one, yay!) I'll have to do another post soon with photos. We saw animals, pumpkins, rides, ice cream, and other neat things. We also had a picnic lunch and went shopping.

Sunday we had church all morning, then picked up paint supplies, ate lunch, took a nap, and had the small group over. (That involved a little drama from Zachariah too...juice spill while we were talking. Oops.)

And yesterday my sister and her husband came over and helped my paint. We got 2 coats on the living room, and one on the dining room. So today I'll be finishing the dining room, doing trim, and catching a few missed spots.

So, we're keeping busy. Either today or tomorrow Matt's mom is planning to come take us out to lunch. Thursday afternoon my mom is coming over, staying the night, then we're going shopping in Columbus and meeting up with some friends there.

Then I plan to go to my parents' house for the weekend. We have some fun things going on there too. And who knows what else next week will hold.

I just hope that I can actually talk to Matt soon. So far the only communication has been postings to his blog and little bits on Facebook. But we have Skype and I'm hoping we can video conference soon.

Stick around, I hope to post pictures soon. AND I have a Halloween DVD that I need to give away very soon. I will have a drawing, and I won't leave it open for long so the winner can enjoy it before Halloween. Watch for that later today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This parenting journey...

It's time I step up and admit something. Hi, my name is Mommy Daisy, and I've been a really lazy parent lately.

I've been letting Zachariah watch way too much TV. I'll talk more about this later.

I've been too easy on making him clean up his messes during the day. He does it at night, but I just ignore the toys scattered around when we leave the house or before nap time.

This is not something I didn't know. I could see the laziness sneaking in on me. I knew I was to blame, but I didn't feel like fighting so many battles. I decided to just let some things slide by. But one thing slid by then another then another.

The first problem is my son has way too many toys. I've always had a hard time weeding through them. I don't want to get rid of things that we might be able to use in the future for other kids. And I'd hate to get rid of something that Zachariah would still play with or someone gave him as a gift or whatever. We don't have a lot of storage space in our house, so this is becoming a problem.

And I know with Christmas quickly approaching there will be lots of new toys that we'll need to find a place for. And just over 2 months after Christmas, Zachariah has a birthday and gets even more toys. It's been 2 years of this now, and I am on to the pattern.

I suppose it's easy for our family to buy him lots of things because he is the only "baby". There are still no other grandchildren on either side of the family. So if you want to hear about spoiled...let me tell you. Honestly Matt and I don't often buy him toys. And at holidays and birthdays we hold back, because we know that he'll be getting lots of other things.

The second issue I already mentioned is the television. 6 months ago Zachariah hardly watched TV. And 3 months before that he didn't even really notice if the TV was on. I blame my dad for my son's TV addiction. My parents started him on the Disney movies at their house. Then they bought some Bob the Builder DVDs. He's been hooked ever since. Now he's discovered a love for Dora, Diego, Curious George, Elmo, Barney, Thomas, and others. He goes in spurts as to what he likes to watch. And some of his favorite (and only watched) movies are Cars, Toy Story I & II, Lady & the Tramp (which he refers to as "Doggies"), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Since I recently started reviewing children's DVDs, I've been letting Zachariah watch quite a bit of TV. He wakes up in the morning with a demand of what video he'd like to watch right now. And I've had to set a rule in place that once a movie is started, I'm not exchanging it for another. He doesn't always watch the whole thing, so sometimes its just parts and pieces.

In the last week or so (especially the last 2 days) I've been allowing the TV on all morning. And it's not on for my benefit, oh no, it's on for his. So he's watching television or movies off and on all morning. Now he doesn't sit there like a zombie the whole time, he does play while a movie is on too. But the fact that the television is on for his benefit so much is really starting to get to me.

So in the next few days we're going to instigate "Turn Off the TV Day". I'm playing this by ear. I think we might go cold turkey and say no TV during the day at all. Or I might allow one show in the AM while I'm getting a shower or something. We shall see. But I hope that helps.

I still don't know what to do about all of the toys. We had a nice chat this afternoon about how other kids didn't have as many nice things as he does, so he better start taking care of picking up his own toys. (He does pick up his toys, but he complains the whole time. Or he says "Mommy will do it". Oh no, Mommy won't.) But I think he's a bit too young to understand all of that.

Any ideas about toys? TV? What are your policies? I'd love to hear from you about these issues.

And in the meantime, I'm going to try to be a less lazy parent. I think I'll get plenty of work on that while Matt's away (2 more days) since I want to make sure we have things to keep our mind off missing Matt.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thomas DVD Winner

I'm drawing a winner for the Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery DVD.

And the winner is.................

#5 - Cherish at A Girl and Her Blog.

Congrats! That 2nd entry is what won you the prize, because it made you #4 & #5. That and the random number generator that pulled the number 5 for me. He he. Either way, you won and I will need an e-mail from you so I can get your address. Plus send me an e-mail at mommydaisy at blogspot dot com. Thanks.

**If you didn't win, stay tuned. I'm planning another give-away this week for a Halloween DVD that your kids will love.

Baptism, day away, and more

Matt's baptism went well on Sunday. I tried to snap a few pictures, but it was hard to get a good one from where I was sitting. The first one is just as Matt was entering the baptistery. (I'm hoping I can get the photo from the church, see the guy up there taking photos.) The second photo was right before Matt got dunked. And I tried to snap one after that, but I didn't get one. Oh well.

Our family was all there Sunday, so it was nice to spend the day with them. They all came back here for lunch and stayed for a few hours. Then we had cake and ice cream for Matt's birthday. All those people here and all I got was one photo of Zachariah reading books with Grandpa Chuck (Matt's dad). Then my camera informed me that my memory was full, so no more photos. Oh well.

Yesterday Matt and I went out on our own. My parents took Zachariah home with them, so we slept in a bit in the morning. Then we went to Ft. Wayne and shopped around the mall for a while. We ate at Matt's favorite, Red Robin. And we picked up some last minute trip needs at Target. (Oh Target, I love you. Why can't I have one closer to me?)

Only 4 days left until Matt leaves. He's just excited. I'm a bit nervous for him, but in a good way. We're prepared and good to go, and so is he. He is now on a no meat diet for the rest of the week (which is why he chose Red Robin), so I need to make sure I get some things to make quick meatless dinners. (Jana, I owe you a recipe too. I'll try to get that later.) Anyone else interested in seeing our meatless meals? I can post recipes here, I suppose.

So the only thing that deserves worry for Matt's departure is that he's still sick. He's been fighting something for almost a week now. He pointed out that he's had some sinus problems every fall about this time for the last few years. Just the changing weather or something. But his doctor was able to get him an appointment today. If it's something they can help, he'll be able to get medicine to get rid of it quickly.

If you'd like to help pray for Matt and his missions trip and preparation, here is what we're praying for now. 1) Pray that packing and preparations will go well and be done soon for him (pretty much ready) and the rest of the team going with him. 2) Pray away this illness for Matt. He needs to feel better to be able to be a good help to the team and for travelling. 3) Pray that the team will be uplifted and excited this week and have no doubts about what God is doing through them for this trip.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big stuff

Today is a big day in our house.

First it is Matt's birthday! Happy Birthday Babe! He's approaching 30 quicker than me, and I keep reminding him of that. Ha.

Second, Matt is getting baptized at church. For years now he's talked about being baptized at our church. He was sprinkled as a baby at his parents' church, but it just didn't mean anything to him. He really wanted to do this. So today he will make his proclamation before our church body, friends, and family. I'm so proud of him. I remember my own baptism fondly, and I'm glad that he will have this memory too.

And last of all it is only 6 days until Matt leaves on his missions trip. For those of you who are new here, Matt is going with a team from our church to Mali, West Africa. He's been preparing for this trip for over a year. He is beyond thrilled for this opportunity to serve. He will be gone for 2 weeks. I know that Zachariah and I will miss him terribly, but we are sending him with our love and prayers. This is the experience of a lifetime for Matt, and we are so happy for him.

So today we celebrate. We honor a birthday, cherish a baptism, and say goodbye for a short while to a wonderful man whom we all love dearly. My parents, sister & her husband, and Matt's parents (possibly his sister if she surprises us) are coming to church with us. This is quite a feat since our families are very involved in their own churches. The only other time Matt's parents have been to our church was for the dedication of Zachariah when he was a baby. Matt knows his mom "might" be coming, but his dad is surprising him too. I know it will mean so much to him to have them here.

After church we're all coming back here for dinner. I have things ready to put Chicken Noodle Soup and Beef Stew in the crock pots, crackers, chips, Texas Sheet Cake, and my mom is bringing a Layer Salad. (Remind me to share recipes if you're interested.) I forgot the bread, but I'm going to get my sister to stop on the way back here to get some bread to have with the soup and Matt's favorite ice cream.

Maybe later I'll have some photos to share. I'm hoping I can get one of the baptism itself. And of course I need some family pictures while they are all here.

My parents are taking Zachariah home with them when they leave later. My mom offered to do that, so Matt and I could have a little alone time before he leaves on Saturday. He has Monday off for Columbus Day, so that works out nicely. All I know is he wants Red Robin for lunch. He has a certificate for a free burger, and he will soon be eating vegetarian to prepare his body for his trip. We'll probably just go walk around a mall or something since we'll be in a bigger city. Then we'll pick up Zachariah from my parents before heading home Monday evening.

The rest of this week will be spent finishing preparing Matt for his trip. And we're trying to spend as much time together as possible. I know we'll miss him, yet I'm at peace about it all and looking forward to the fun things Zachariah and I can do while he's away.

Friday, October 10, 2008

DVD Review & Giveaway - Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery

A new Thomas the Tank Engine movie! Cool! Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery is out on DVD now. Can you believe that this is Thomas's first full-length feature movie? I was surprised by that.

What better way to promote a new movie than have Pierce Brosnan provide the voice of the narrator. Adding a famous name to a show that many preschoolers already love. It has to be a hit.

Actually, my theory on having Pierce Brosnan on board (I'm hilarious, I know) is to make it more likable for the moms and grandmas who will be buying this video. Ha. If I hadn't known it was Brosnan narrating, I don't think I would have figured it out right away. I only mildly listen when Thomas is on, and the narrator is always a person with an English accent.

In this newest Thomas video we meet a new train, Stanley. But of course the old favorites are present too. Zachariah's personal favorite is Percy (don't ask me why, it just is). Thomas and Stanley have to learn to work together to make life in Sodor better.

Any fan of Thomas will love this new movie. Full of fun, adventure, and new songs too. Of course Thomas is targeted at the preschool crowd, but Thomas has been around so long he has lots of fans.

I don't have much negative to say about Thomas in general. I get tired of it after a short while, because it seems like the same things over and over. But what preschool show doesn't do that, right? And the songs are a little dull, but otherwise Thomas rocks.

This movie is already out, so you can find it at any stores. And you can get it online here. Or you can stick around here, and I'll tell you how you can win your very own copy for free.

**I have a brand new copy of Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery to give away to you one of my amazing readers. (This is not a Pay it Forward contest.)

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (be sure your e-mail address is available or at least I have it from before). If you'd like a second entry, you can link to this post on your blog. Then come back here and leave another comment with the link to your blog post.

I will be drawing a winner on Tuesday, October 14th at 12:00 noon EST and announcing the winner here. Best of luck, and stay tuned for more DVD reviews and giveaway.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quick six

Sarah at No Whey, Mama tagged me for a Twitter meme. I don't know what makes it Twitter-ish now that it's on our blogs, but I'll do it anyway.

I am on Twitter if you want to see me. Go here. I haven't updated in a while, and I should get back to it.

The idea of this meme is to post 6 things that you might not know about me. I share quite a bit here, so I'll try to think of something new.

1. I'm a very optimistic person.

2. I don't like coffee, despite the fact that I worked at a coffee shop for a year. I can make you anything you want, but don't ask me to drink it. (I did try things though, and I can tell a lot about it by the look and smell of it.)

3. One of my all time favorite shows is/was "Full House". I still watch reruns from time to time.

4. Other shows I loved as a kid and still occasionally watch are "Fresh Prince", "Family Matters", "Step By Step", and "Saved By the Bell".

5. I'm a night owl. I'd rather stay up late and sleep in. About half of the time I wake up when Zachariah does, then we start our day.

6. My pizza of choice would be a pan crust with pepperoni, mushroom, onions, olives, and banana peppers. I like other things on pizza too, but that would be my most ideal pizza.

I tag:
Devan at All D's
Clueless But Hopeful Mama
Jana at Dress-Up and Diaper Changes
Emily at Live with David and Katy
Jen at Never Melts
Shelly at Scenic Overlook
And YOU!

The Rules: If you’ve been tagged with the meme game from Twitter, you must post 6 things no one knows about you on your blog. Then you tag 6 more people. (don’t forget to let them know they’ve been tagged.) Leave me a message letting me know that you’ve accepted the tag. Let me know when you’ve posted your list. Have fun!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend recap

Umm, OK. I didn't mean to disappear for a week. I'm here, and life is good. We had a really fun weekend. Here are some photos for proof of our excitement.
We attended a Renaissance Festival with some friends of ours. They were really into it and have gone for several years now. We did enjoy the experience and will probably go back again sometime.
Here is a dance that we enjoyed watching. Zachariah loved all the music.
Our friends who went with us.
Zachariah saw this knight statue and went crazy. He wanted out of his stroller right now to see it. Then he sat an posed for several pictures. I'll spare you and just show one.
The royal comes the queen.
Our own little princess and knight in shining armor. Don't they make a cute couple?
I was harassed by a viking. I finally gave in and took a picture with him. Don't mind the goofy face, I couldn't stop laughing at him.
This was completely un-posed. We let the kiddos take a break, and Matt was snapping some photos. Zachariah slowly inched closer to Nadia then leaned in for a kiss. Her mom and I were standing off to the side near her. After he kissed her, she turned to us slowly with the world's biggest grin on her face. We totally cracked up! Priceless!
Zachariah enjoyed a little break to run around and check out the cool things.

Nadia finally gave up and took a bit of a nap. Poor girl couldn't get comfy in her stroller though.

Zachariah decided he was too big for a nap, so he resorted to running around and rolling in the grass to stay awake while a few of us shopped.

On the way home after all this we stopped at a farm stand with pumpkins and other things. I'll save those photos for another day.