30 November 2009

A New Game!

The boys have made up a new game this week. I'm not sure what their official name for it is, but I like to call it "clean up!" How the game works is the boys dump out either their tub of Thomas tracks, or their box of toys, then they put it all back into the box. Doesn't that sound like fun?

They play this game over, and over, and over (as you can see by these two pictures as the tracks are piled in two different spots, meaning they've done this a number of times in this one sitting). Sometimes the switch it up a little by putting the box in a different part of the room so they have to walk from where the toys were dumped to where the box is.

As you can see by this next picture, it's a game that doesn't really get old either. It can be played all day long (in the first two pictures Deacon was in his jammies showing off his "Rico Suave top button unbuttoned" look, in the last one, he's in his clothes for the day). Or, as is more often the case, it can be played at any time of day for any amount of time. You can always stop once all the toys are in the box, then play again later on.

It can also be a solo activity, but it's usually more fun when they're both playing together. Now we play it every day before they go to bed. It's wonderful.

28 November 2009

Dodge This!

That's what Josh yelled at this teeny, tiny, 12 year-old girl today, as he wailed a ball directly at her during the dodgeball tournament our church's youth group held today. I think the ball left a bruise on her back. There might have been tears. It was hard to tell in the flurry of the game. When asked about the incident later on Josh said, "Hey, she had it coming. She was mocking my age."

Okay, that's not really how today went down. Our church's youth group did hold a dodgeball tournament today. Each person who played gave $10 to do so, all proceeds going to an orphanage in the Congo. Once there, you could also buy t-shirts and/or refreshments. It was a pretty sweet set-up. Two guys from his work (one being Matt, who had us over for Thanksgiving dinner, and one being one of the other guys from dinner) played too. The boys and I went out to watch for a little bit. We got to see them play one game. Then Zeke had had enough of the noise and crowds so we went home for some pbj's and naptime. Josh's team "The Leftovers" (because they were made up of all the people who signed up without teams) didn't win the whole thing, but Josh sure did have a lot of fun.

Here's what the t-shirt looks like (front [left], back [right]):

27 November 2009


As yesterday was Thanksgiving, like most people, I took a moment here and there to reflect on some of the things that I am thankful for. Obviously there is so much that there's no way I could list them all. So, I'm not going to list any. Especially since I'm sure you could guess a bunch of them on your own. Instead, I'm just going to recap yesterday and today for you.

Even though it snowed a good portion of the night on Wednesday, we did make it to Thanksgiving dinner, and we had a lovely time. The boys were well behaved. Of course, they did hang out in the basement watching movies all day with the two other children who were there, but still, they didn't get "slap happy" (as in "gently" slapping not only each other, but the poor, sweet other boy who didn't want to play that "game") until it was close to leaving time. But the food was great, the company was fun, and the drive was exciting, to say the least.

On the way out the roads were a bit messy and slippery, and there was a portion of road with no mountain coverage, so the wind got a little intense. The ride home started out a little better as the roads had been plowed while we were eating, but about halfway home it started doing this weird raining, but not really raining thing. However, we made it safely there and safely home thanks to Josh's superb driving.

Of course, the only two pictures we have from that day have the other two kids in them and I'm not entirely comfortable posting a picture of someone else's kids without their knowledge or permission. So, I apologize for no actual Thanksgiving pictures this year.

I do, however, have pictures from today (which would be the ones running down the right side of this post). Today, like Josh said after dinner, was a good day. We didn't really do anything special, just relaxed around the house. It snowed all day, giving us another 4 inches on top of the 4 we got Wednesday night, which is now sitting on top of all we had before. Yay! So, after the boys' naps we bundled up and went out to play in the snow again. And after that we made a fire in the fireplace and had leftover turkey and stuff for dinner. A pretty good first half of our holiday weekend.


Some pictures of my boys and me to hold you over until tomorrow, as we had a long, wonderful day, and I'm too tired to do anything else.

26 November 2009

It's Turkey Time!

I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I also know that most of you (probably all of you) won't read this until tomorrow, so I'm putting it out there now...

Happy Thanksgiving!

And can I just tell you how excited I am NOT to be cooking the bird this year? I say "bird" because last year I made a duck for our family instead of the traditional turkey. This year, we have been invited to Matt and Nikki's for dinner. Matt, is a guy Josh works with, the same guy who took Josh fishing all summer. Three other couples have been invited, one of which has 2 children close to our boys' ages, so that'll be nice. We're all bringing sides and dessert, but Matt and Nikki are taking care of the turkey. Excuse me, turkeys. There will be 3 turkeys being offered tomorrow, one roasted, one fried, one smoked. While I'm pretty excited, I'm sure my excitement pales in comparison to Josh's.

In case you're wondering, we're bringing the green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, brownies, vanilla ice cream and some homemade bread. That is, of course, if the snow that is currently falling outside doesn't stop falling, and we wind up getting snowed in on Thanksgiving. That would be very sad. Josh just asked me what would happen if we did get snowed in. I told him that we have turkey lunch meat we could eat on the bread with some cranberry sauce, with the green beans on the side. Mmm. Yes, that would be very sad indeed.

BUT, it's not going to happen. We are going to Matt and Nikki's and we are going to have a fabulous Thanksgiving, and I pray that you all enjoy your day as well.

Oh, as a bonus Thanksgiving treat for you, I finally got my pictures from September and October up on Flickr and you can see them here.

25 November 2009

Oh, He's Got Jokes, Huh?

Sunday morning I got up with the boys so Josh could sleep in. As they were getting up and as their eyes were getting used to the light I had on in the living room, Zeke grabbed his butt and said, "Mom, my stinky." I sighed, and told him to get on the couch so I could change his diaper first.

So, Zeke climbs up on the couch and assumes the position, as it were. As I go to take off his diaper he starts laughing. Then, in a high pitched voice that was clearly an imitation of my voice he says, "You're not stinky!" And sure enough, I opened his diaper and there was no sign of poop anywhere. Oh, how he laughed. He was so pleased with himself and his little joke. I have to admit, it was pretty funny.

23 November 2009

It Must Be a "Male" Thing

So, most evenings, as I change the boys into their pajamas (or make them nakie for baths), I hand them the clothes I took off of them, and tell them to put them in the frog (their hamper). They then run to their room, turn on the light, and put their clothes in the frog. Or so I thought.

Apparently, my boys have that special "male gene" where clothes make it everywhere but the hamper/laundry basket. Josh also has this gene. I think all men do. They all have that uncanny ability to get their clothes to land mere millimeters next to the hamper, but not actually in the hamper. Sometimes, they get close, and manage to get their clothes to hang on the hamper without actually going all the way into the hamper.

Sigh. What the picture doesn't show though, are the socks and shirt that somehow landed behind the frog, even though the frog is pressed up against the wall. That's right. My boys have skills. Lucky, lucky me.

22 November 2009


I got Phil Wickham's new album "Heaven and Earth" the other week. It's pretty good, I must say. While my current favorite from the album is "Cielo", I've had the song "Safe" running through my head quite a bit lately, and I wanted to share it here today.
There's no actual video for the song (not yet anyway), so it's just a "video" of Phil's picture. I think that's a good thing though because you can really focus on the words instead of being distracted by whatever's going on in the video. So, close your eyes (if you want) and enjoy the beauty of the truth of this song (oh, and that's Bart Millard of MercyMe singing with Phil).

To the one who's dreams are falling all apart
And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think your on your own
but you're not all alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong He'll never let you go
oh you're not alone

You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms

Verse 2:
Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life
Is the very same voice that calls you now to rise
So hear Him now He's calling you home
You will never be alone


These are the hands that built the mountains
the hands that calm the seas
These are the arms that hold the heavens
they are holding you and me

These are the hands that healed the leper
Pulled the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to a cross
to break our chains and set us free


21 November 2009

Some Wake-Up Call

This morning, Josh sent the boys in to get me up so that we could have breakfast.* Instead of the usual jumping onto the bed and then the jumping all over the bed that forces one from the bed, I was greeted by two "Hi Mom"'s, followed by two requests for blankets. Somehow, I don't think this was part of Josh's plan...

Not that I minded, of course. Once we had our little photo-op though, it was out of bed, and off to breakfast. And boy was it good!

*Josh waited on breakfast until I was up because we broke out the breadmaker last night and set it up so there would be fresh, warm bread ready when we woke up. Mmm. I can hardly wait to see what the house smells like when we get raisins and wake up to cinnamon raisin bread.

Where Daddy Is...

...his boys are.
He's SO their hero.

19 November 2009

It's Nice That the Cat Tolerates Him

In the comments to yesterday's post, a friend asked if Deacon is always afraid of Peavey or if making big brother get the "block" back was a first time thing. I can easily say that it was a first time thing, as Deacon LOVES that cat. In fact, I will find Deacon under the table, hanging out with the cat, sharing his toys at least 3 if not 4 (or so) times a day.

Ahem, please excuse the crumbs. I believe on this particular day, Deacon crawled under there, patted Peavey's back and said, "Look, Peavey. A tank!" As you can see by Peavey's face in the above picture, he was not very impressed with the tank. But he tolerates Deacon.

It amazes me sometimes just how good with Deacon the cat is. And Deacon, for the most part, is very good with the cat. Sure, he'll give Peavey a swift kick to the face every once in awhile, but for the most part he's very gentle. Not to mention that Peavey will sit there, under the table with Deacon, until I make Deacon get up and leave the cat alone.

Now, how Peavey feels about Zeke is an entirely different story:

Not that I entirely blame Peavey. Zeke was always pretty rough with the cat, and Zeke does still tend to chase Peavey around, freaking him out a little bit. Granted, most of the time these days Zeke is chasing Peavey to give him hugs and kisses, I think Peavey might not be of an affectionate nature. Sure, he'll jump in your lap and let you pet him until he's in a coma of happiness, but hugs and kisses just aren't his style. Hence, the tank.

18 November 2009

Let the Good Times Roll

A few weeks ago we had our first ever Walter Family Game Time. It was thrilling. Okay, maybe not thrilling, but we did have a lot of fun. We figured Yatzee would be a good place to start because really, who doesn't love throwing little blocks around?

Here's Deacon celebrating the Yatzee
he rolled all by himself:

Here's Zeke sulking halfway through the game.
I think he might have picked that up from
one or two of his aunts.

And the winner is: Deacon!
(Sorry it's a bit blurry)

Since then the Yatzee game pieces have become quite the popular toy in our house. Usually Zeke puts all the dice and yellow chips in the red cup and walks around with them, while Deacon gets the pencils and score sheets and colors his little heart away.

Today they started a new "game" where they threw the dice around the living room. The best part was when Deacon threw one under the table. As he crawled under to get it he noticed that it landed next to the cat. He looked at the die, looked at Peavey and said, "Hey. That's my block Peavey." He then made Zeke go back under the table and take it from the cat, who I'm sure could have cared less about the die. Oh, the fun times we have around here.

Baby It's Cold Outside

I am beginning to realize that the natives of Alaska are never happy.

In April, when we first got here, we kept hearing about how surprised everyone was that the snow had all melted and gone away so early in the year. "Usually the snow sticks around until the end of April/beginning of May timeframe." So they say.

All summer it was GORGEOUS and they complained that it was too dry and too hot, and "it's never like this here in the summer."

Fall (which they don't really get here so we might as well just say "winter") came and everyone complained about how "it's never this nice this far into the year" and "usually we've had a foot of snow by now" and what's it.

So, it's finally snowed. It's finally cooled off. In fact, it's cooled off so much that it hit -20 degrees at some point during the night. Do you want to guess what they're saying now? "It's too early in the year for it to be this cold already."

Sigh. I can hardly wait to see what they'll have to complain about next. And yeah, you read that right: -20 last night. It's 9:45pm and it's already -6 degrees out there. Looks like it's going to be a cold, cold, downright frigid winter. Yay. It also looks like this past weekend might be the only weekend the boys get to play outside as I am not too keen on letting them out if it's below zero. I mean, if you step outside and immediately lose your breath because it's so cold, that's not something the boys should be playing in. Right? I guess we'll see. For now though, I'm going to get in my bed that now has two extra blankets on it. I'll see you tomorrow.

PS - That's a picture of the mountain outside our house. It is not a black and white photo, it's just that "frozen airy like" out here. Yeah.

16 November 2009

Arctic Limerick

First, I forgot to post pictures of the boys playing in the backyard snow, so here's one for you now (and I promise to get the rest up on Flickr soon...hopefully before the week is over...but don't hold me to that):

Second, Josh made a fire in the fireplace yesterday, and I'm fairly certain this is the first fire the boys have ever seen up close and personal. Yes, we had the woodburning stove in Germany, but they were kind of young, and the glass was almost too dirty to see through.
I think my favorite part about having the fire was that Deacon apparently thought we were saying "pirate", so he went around for the first five minutes it was lit going, "Pirate. Yar." over and over.

Third, Josh volunteered to write my post for me tonight since I'm tired, so here's a limerick he wrote just for this occasion:

There once was a girl from NJ
Who went to Alaska to stay
She said it was icy
Going outside was too dicey
So she stayed in and had hot chocolate.

I told him "chocolate" doesn't rhyme with "J" or "stay". He said that's where the real humor lies. Sigh.

15 November 2009

Snowy Days

Josh took the kids out in the snow and the 10 degree weather yesterday. Twice. Just look at all the fun they had.

Here are the boys in their brand new snow suits that we got for them on Friday since Josh has a 4 day weekend this weekend.

Here's a picture of me outside (I stayed out long enough to take some pictures) and a picture of Josh starting the snow fort that will probably take months of building. Good thing we have months more of snow coming.

After all the fun they had in the morning, warm pretzels seemed like the perfect snack (and the perfect bribe to get Zeke to agree to come inside peacefully).

In the afternoon, Josh got out the sled and took the kids up and down our street. Deacon in particular LOVED it.

And, of course, there were the occasional wardrobe malfunctions. Those hats just didn't want to stay in place.

All in all, a great day, followed by some great sleep.


SO. It's 10:45pm. I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep when I remember I'm doing NaBloPoMo. Sigh. That being said, I saw this on Fail Blog the other day, and I thought it was hilarious, so I'm posting it here to share with you. I promise a "real" post tomorrow about all the fun Josh and the boys had in the snow today. Until then, I leave you with this:

Good night!

14 November 2009

Sweet Sleep

I briefly mentioned once before that about a month ago (probably a little longer by now) Josh took the bars off of one side of Deacon's crib. This was at my suggestion as I didn't want to have to lift him over the bars getting him in and out of bed 2 or so times a day. Plus, putting Zeke in little time outs in his bed works pretty well, and I wanted the same option for Deacon now that he's getting older and wiser to things.

We figured there would probably be a little bit of time where Deacon would not stay in his bed and run around the room and just be silly. Instead of running around the room though, Deacon's choice of "misbehavior" was to climb into Zeke's bed, with Zeke still in it, and the two of them would giggle and sing and play and talk. This is how things went down every night and every morning. At some point, in the mornings at least, Deacon would slam some part of his body into some part of the wall (or perhaps some part of Zeke's bed), and then there would be crying, and that was how we started our day for a solid week.

But back to at night. So, at night, we'd put them in bed (and by "we" I mean Josh since he is a wonderful father who reads them their books, puts them in bed, and prays with them every night), and no sooner would we (again, Josh) shut the door, then we'd (this time, both of us) hear the pitter-patter of little feet scurrying across the floor, and the happy noises of little boys in bed together.

Now, as long as they weren't getting crazy, we'd let it go for a little while, then eventually go in, put Deacon back in his bed, and that would be it. Some nights, however, things would get a little out of control in there, so we'd make 2, 3, some nights 6, trips back to their room in a vain attempt to get Deacon to stay in his bed. Now, usually Deacon getting out of bed isn't too much of an issue because Zeke seems to have no problem falling asleep whenever he's ready, regardless of what Deacon is doing or where he is. Many has been the time I've gone in to move Deacon back to his own bed and Zeke was already racked out in a little ball on the edge of his bed. But there are the few nights here and there when Zeke can't fall asleep, which is why we go in repeatedly. It's really kind of funny to hear Deacon chattering away and then hear Zeke go, "Shhh!"

It's been better lately. Sure, there was the other night where I went in almost an hour past when they usually fall asleep and he was in the middle of his room asking for juice, but for the most part, he does pretty well with it. Anyway, I'm writing about this now, because as I was trying to figure out what to write about today (I really do need to start doing this earlier in the day), I was looking through my pictures of the boys, looking at stuff I took pictures of specifically for blogging purposes, and I came across this one:

That's right. One night, a few weeks ago, I went in to check on them before going to bed myself and this is what I found. Both boys were in Zeke's bed, and they were both fast asleep. I'm so happy I took this picture as it's the only time this has happened. They truly are such sweet boys, and I just can't wait to watch them continue to grow up together.

13 November 2009

If I Had a Hammer

One of our favorite toys around here are our hammers. Deacon especially favors the wooden yellow and green one we have, but they both love to have a hammer in hand as they traipse about the house.

Now, this is fine, and it's fun, and it makes them happy. The problem lies in the fact that they just can't seem to be content holding the hammers. They must swing the hammers about. This isn't necessarily bad except that it usually leads to swinging hammers at each other and me having to say, "Do NOT hit your brother with that hammer!" (Ah, the things we say once we have children.)

One morning, hammer swinging was in full effect and I had told them to stop swinging their hammers at each other a number of times, when Zeke finally landed a solid shot on Deacon's hand, causing Deacon to cry a little. So, I took the hammers away from both of them, and this is what followed:

I'm not even joking, or using a picture from another instance. I took their hammers and they both melted down right there on the spot. I think it took them a good 3 minutes before they calmed down and got over it. The hammers stayed in time out on the mantle the rest of the day, but rest assured, no sooner was breakfast over the next day then the boys were clamoring to get their hammers back.

And for that one day, they listened to me when I told them not to swing their hammers at each other. And for that one day they hammered out a song to sing all over this land. No, they didn't. For that one day, it wasn't a hit with a hammer that caused Deacon to cry. Don't worry, Zeke still achieved that goal, just in a different way. But it was a hammer-less way.

12 November 2009

Who Does He Think He Is?

It's a litle past 9:30pm here. I just went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and stuff before bed. As soon as I put my toothbrush in my mouth, I hear Deacon run up to the other bathroom door (our bathroom has two doors - one to the hallway, one to the boys' room) and say loud and clear, "Hi Mom." What? He should have fallen asleep well over an hour ago. Sigh.

SO I go in, and he's right there, in the middle of the room, minus his socks, and he says, "I want juice." Umm, I don't think so sir. Also to be noted is the fact that ALL of his blankets and stuffed animals are on the floor, as well as his pillow, which had been stripped of it's pillowcase. It's a good thing he's cute.

11 November 2009

I Hope This Isn't Overkill

I got sick again today. Sigh. I was doing so well this past week. So, here are more pictures from yesterday since I'm too tired to think of anything else to write about (plus, there's a picture of Deacon I just had to share).

Here's a picture of the snow falling Sunday night. I need to figure out how to take better night shots. Maybe it's just my camera. Anyhoo, in the picture you can see the two boys who live two doors down from us. They were having a great time sledding down the street and playing in the snow...at 10:15 at night.
Since we don't have snowsuits for the boys yet, and I didn't want their little legs to freeze while we played in the snow, Josh came up with this great idea...

That's right, I put the boys in Josh's work socks (they're relatively new pairs so they don't smell that bad yet). Zeke freaked out and cried the entire time I put his on, put his pants on him, changed Deacon's diaper, put Deacon's socks and pants on him, and got Deacon down the stairs and into his boots and myself into my boots. As you can tell from yesterday's pictures, his distress was soon forgotten.

After our fun in the snow, I figured, what better way to end our first foray into the snow than with some hot chocolate (or lukewarm hot chocolate, for the boys anyway).

Deacon, as you can see, loved it. Zeke, despite his claims of "I love hot. I love hot chocolate." does not actually love hot chocolate. In fact, after two sips I think he decided that he doesn't even like hot chocolate. Oh well, more for me and Dee Dee next time!

09 November 2009

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful

But the smiles on my boys' faces are delightful

And since we've no place to go (today anyways)

Let it snow!

Let it snow!

Let it snow!

Today was the first day the boys have ever played in snow. Well, there was one day, back in Germany when it snowed a little and Josh took Zeke out to play in it for a bit, but he was kind of too young to know what to do, or to remember. Sadly, Josh had to work today so it was all me, but we had a great time throwing snow around, making tracks through the 4-5 inches that fell last night, and digging in the snow. Needless to say, Mommy was the only one who wanted to go in when it was time.

The Beginning of the End?

So, as I mentioned yesterday, it snowed here this weekend. Apparently El Nino is this year, and he's the one responsible for keeping things warm and essentially snow-free so far. We had an itty bitty snow on the 28th of October:

But that's been it. And that was gone by the time naptime was over that day. They say it usually starts snowing a lot earlier than now, but I'm not complaining. I've been enjoying the "mild" weather. Keep in mind though, that while it hasn't been snowing, it has been freezing. The other week it never made it above 30 degrees. Last week driving in to my doctor's appointment it was 12 degrees. But at least there wasn't any snow.

It looks like all of that is about to change. I woke up yesterday morning to this:

Now, what we got yesterday really wasn't that bad. As you can see, Josh was able to clear the driveway by sweeping the snow away.

The boys, of course, were thrilled with the snow all outside. Well, at least Zeke was thrilled. Deacon enjoyed the sight for about 30 seconds, then was off doing other things. Zeke stood at the window for a good 5 minutes before we made him move to the couch for some diaper changing activities. But once he was clean, he was back at the window. Of course, watching Daddy sweep it off the driveway was probably the highlight of the morning.

We did not, however go out and play in it. Partly because there just wasn't much to play in, mostly because I haven't bought them snow boots or snow pants yet. And wouldn't you know it, I saw them in the store, on sale, on Friday and thought about getting them, but decided I'd rather have Josh with me when purchasing them to help me figure it all out. Plus, the boys were starting to lose interest in being in the store and we hadn't even started the food shopping portion of the trip yet, so I needed to move on before things (read: Deacon) got ugly.

It's currently snowing again as I type this at 10:00pm. But this time, it's really snowing. The ground is actually starting to look covered, not just dusted over. I don't think this snow will be gone by the end of naptime tomorrow. I think this snow, and all subsequent snow, will be around until April or so. Time to hone my winter driving skills, I guess.