Saturday, November 30, 2013

Definitely not a good evening

My day was going okay. The kids were them normal selves. Sometimes good, sometimes fighting. Dinner was finished, the girls were picking up the toys, and I was cleaning up the dinner dishes. Layla told me she needed to go to the bathroom (which is normal. She almost always has to use the bathroom when it's time to pick up toys....). A little while later Layla came out of the bathroom crying. At first I couldn't understand and was wondering if she was feeling okay.

But then I understood what she was saying through her sobs. She said, "Mommy, something bad happened in the bathroom. I'm sorry mommy. You need to come." She took my hand and led me down the hallway.

My first thought, the toilet was probably filling up and about to flow over. 

I was not prepared for the disaster that met me. The toilet had already overflowed and the entire floor was covered in water. Some water was still slowly flowing over the edge of the toilet. Layla started crying even harder and repeated that she was sorry. Sanaa just gasped and asked me what we were going to do.

I told Sanaa that she, Layla, and Malakai needed to go back to the kitchen and they needed to try their best to keep Malakai away from the bathroom. I grabbed all the towels from our hall closet and threw down close to half of them along the edges of the bathroom to keep anymore water from flowing to the wall. Then I hunted down our plunger from the garage. Layla informed me she had used "a lot" of toilet paper. I was able to unplug the toilet and the water flowed down, but I still had the mess on the floor to deal with. Ugh. I did get it all cleaned up and used all but 2 of our towels. Plus, I mopped and and cleaned the bathroom again. Toilet water on the floor grosses me out! But now the bathroom has had a thorough cleaning and the towels are getting a very thorough washing.

I don't think I'll have another incident like this again from Layla. She was very, very upset about the whole thing. I found out that she was most afraid that I wouldn't love her anymore. I reassured her that I would always love her, but I was upset she had used so much toilet paper (nearly 1/2 a roll) and plugged up the toilet. I then reiterated that I only want her to use 2 sheets of toilet paper and this is why I ask her to use such a small amount.

I guess now we'll just see if Malakai ever plugs up the toilet....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Apple cider making

A month ago we made apple cider with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. Nate wasn't able to be there since he had to work. I think we made 28 gallons. It was a lot of work since we had less people making it this year than last year, but the results are quite yummy! We came home with 12 gallons and I think we've gone through at least 3 gallons already.

My mom had donuts, coffee, and hot cocoa. The kids (including Malakai) ate the majority of the donuts. Malakai snuck a few donuts off the table when he thought no one was looking.

Layla with all the apples in the back of my dad's truck.

Cousin Ariana in her cute hat. She is growing up so fast! It's fun to watch her interact and play with Sanaa and Layla (and even Malakai).

Sanaa and Layla helped sort the apples. We had picked the apples two weeks before, so some of them were starting to rot.

Malakai was not going to be left out of sorting apples. He had to be in the back of the truck as well.

My brother working hard. The morning that we were to make apple cider, my dad plugged the cider press in and discovered the motor wouldn't run. So we had to hand crank all the apples, which led to even more work.

Layla and Ariana watching the apple cider flow out.

Ariana and Malakai have their own language. They were watching water drip off the table and were "talking" to each other. It was really cute.

My mom straining the cider and putting it into jugs.

Sanaa making sure uncle Ryan and is doing everything right.

Malakai did okay for most of the morning. But he refused to nap, so after lunch I ended up holding him most of the time. I had only brought my sling along which isn't the most ideal thing to hold Malakai in while I'm chopping apples but it worked.

And then once the apples were chopped I helped my dad press the apples. Malakai looked on from behind while eating an apple.

Sanaa and Layla both pretended to drive grandpa's tractor.

The apple cider we came home with.

I think the best part for Sanaa and Layla was tractor ride they got. They really enjoyed the ride and wanted a longer one!

Sanaa's Thanksgiving feast at school

Yesterday at school Sanaa had her Thanksgiving feast. I wasn't sure I could go since I didn't have anyone to watch Layla and Malakai. When I told Sanaa I wouldn't be coming she got very upset. So I emailed her teacher late Monday night to ask if I could bring Layla and Malakai. Mrs. Wolf is awesome. Her response was basically, "Yes! Life is short! Please bring them." Sanaa's teacher is so laid back and understanding. I knew of some teachers at Sanaa's preschool last year who did not like younger siblings to attend any class parties (Sanaa's preschool teacher was not this way thankfully), so I kind of expected kindergarten parties to be a no sibling type of event. But, Layla, Malakai, and I got to attend Sanaa's feast and I'm so glad we did. There were several other parents with younger children there as well, so I wasn't the only one who had to bring younger siblings.

Sanaa's turkey that we decorated a few weeks ago. It's now hanging up in the hallway outside her classroom.

Sanaa all dressed up and ready to sing.

Sanaa and her classmates were suppose to sit with boys on one side and girls on the other. One little girl didn't quite make it to the girls side. The class began by singing us some songs. Their last song they sang in a round which was pretty awesome.

After singing the feast began. They had a ton of food. They enjoyed popcorn, gold fish, pretzels, oranges, apples, raisins, and pumpkin pie. Mrs. Wolf asked all the kids to at least try the pie and they all did. Sanaa even took a small bite! Layla ate half of her pumpkin pie and Malakai finished off Sanaa's pumpkin pie.

Malakai climbed right up and joined in on the feast immediately. There was no holding him back. He even tried to push one of Sanaa's classmates (Evan) out of his chair because he wanted to be at the table eating too. We found an extra chair for Malakai.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sanaa and school days

Sanaa has really been enjoying kindergarten. She is learning to read and very proud of the words that she can recognize. She has a spelling test every Friday and has done quite well on them. Each week we have 4-5 words to work on and there has only been a couple of spelling tests where she hasn't gotten everything correct. She's either turned her letters backwards or put them in the wrong order. Her writing has improved a lot since the beginning of school. She enjoys doing her homework and I try to make it fun so that she'll continue to enjoy her homework. I know a day will come when she'll hate homework, so I'm trying to capitalize on these days while she actually likes it! Her favorite homework is when she gets to draw and write.

A while back Sanaa made a Star Student folder. Each kid in her class made one and they all took turns sharing about themselves. Sanaa's folder is below. She loves drawing and decorating. In fact, one of the biggest problems I have with her is that she'll draw and doodle all over her homework if I'm not watching her! I've been encouraging her to do a little homework and then get a blank piece of paper to draw on.

This last week Mr. Wolf also came home again to spend the night. Sanaa was very excited! Mr. Wolf went everywhere with us. He even came along to pick up Layla from preschool. Sanaa took good care of him again and also made him his own bed to sleep in at night.

Layla's Thanksgiving feast at school

Layla doesn't have preschool this week, so last Thursday they had a feast. The parents were invited to come to the last few minutes of class and watch the kids sing some songs. Layla wasn't too interested in participating. She pretty much just stood there watching everyone else or she put her fingers in her ears. She has her Christmas concert coming up on December 10th so I'm very curious to see what she does then.

Nate gets his Local Minister's License

This morning at church was pretty big for Nate. I guess I should back up and say that these last few months since I returned home from Guatemala have been big for both of us in regards to our future plans. We are back at looking into moving overseas and attended an orientation at the beginning of November to help prepare us for that. In the meantime, Nate has felt led to pursue a minister's license. He filled out the application with our church and at the church board meeting this past week the board voted unanimously to give Nate a local minister's license. For the next year Nate will be taking some classes, continue his involvement with our church (teaching, attending board meetings, etc), and possibly give a sermon sometime in the spring of 2014. After a year he can then pursue a district minister's license and from there if he wants work towards being ordained. Wow!

So back to this morning. During the service Nate was presented with a local minister's license from our pastor. My parents were able to come and took pictures for us. I think we're all very excited to see what all God has in store for our family!

A whole bunch of Malakai

Malakai is now 17 months old and very full of energy. Just keeping up with him and his sisters completely wears me out by the end of the day. He loves playing with his big sisters but is also picking up on things they do. If they climb up on something, he is going to attempt it. If they are eating candy or ice cream, he absolutely has to have some. If they are "helping" me cook, he has to have his own chair so that he can stand at the counter and "help." Having three kids "help" with cooking makes it very hard to actually get any cooking done. 

He is finally saying "mama" and refers to me. He's not saying "dada" yet. I think he really only has a total of three words right now (mama, hot, and eat which sounds like et), so he's definitely doesn't have the vocabulary he should right now. Here are some pictures of what Malakai and his sisters have been up to the past few weeks.

Hiding in the pantry (Layla is on the bottom shelf) is TONS of fun!

Malakai LOVES lollipops! He knows where the secret stash is and will point and throw a tantrum if I don't give him one. Needless to say, we have a lot of tantrums since he'd like to eat lollipops all day long.

Playing with the plastic containers is great for passing time. He is very intentional about where he places them.

Popcorn is a favorite snack for all three kids and they really enjoy watching movies together. We try to have a movie night once a week but they ask for a movie night every single day.

When his big sisters play dress up, Malakai likes to join in. He was very proud of wearing the pink and purple hat.

Malakai learned from watching Layla that if he opens up the pantry (which he can now do on his own) and moves a chair over to it he can reach new shelves he's never reached before.

Last week I was trying to make applesauce and can it. Unfortunately, Malakai took a shorter nap than I would have liked and while I was in the middle of canning he found the candy stash and helped himself. He ate some chocolate with the paper.

Malakai still loves to clean and vacuum. He was so excited about vacuuming he had to do the garage as well.