A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharpen Those Knives ...

It's time to carve PUMPKINS!
Each year ... well, at least the last few years, our tradition has been to carve pumpkins with Eli's family. His younger brothers and sisters are up for digging into pumpkin brains and slicing their way through thick rinds to see what creative designs they can come up. No exceptions this year! Last Friday evening after a birthday dinner, we covered the table in newspaper and had at it. My only regret is that I forgot to take home some seeds to roast ... I may have to get another pumpkin just for that purpose before they are all gone!
I might be biased ... but I think Eli's Batman pumpkin (with NO pattern, just looking at a picture) would be a prize-winner! I love doing this each year - although this year I mostly ran around attempting to amuse Reuben while checking in periodically on the carvers. But, either way, each year bring new faces on the pumpkins and the same tradition!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SO not hunting for bugs ...

For several weeks now, Jonah has been asking for a magnifying glass. His Oma gave him a book that "hides" animals in the pictures and suggests that you utilize a magnifying glass to find them all. So, we promised him that we would get him one. We made two separate trips to find them ... but the places we went were out! This was extremely distressing to Jonah, and he continued to remind us each week that he still "needed a magnifying glass to hunt for bugs!".

We checked again at Target when we were making a diaper run earlier this week - and they had re-stocked! In the cart, and to house it went. This was an evening Target excursion, so we promised Jonah that tomorrow he would get to use his magnifying glass outside with Daddy to hunt for and look at bugs. At lunch time the next day, Mommy sent the boys outside to hunt for bugs while she cleaned up the kitchen before Daddy had to head to work. All seemed well and everyone was busy!

I headed outside to see what they had found. No bugs ... nope, not a one. Rather, they were crouched on the ground as Eli repeatedly set dead leaves smoking, thanks to sunshine and a magnifying glass! Not "Mommy Approved!" However, both Jonah and Reuben thought that this activity was AMAZING, and they loved blowing out the small flames on each leaf.

Here's what I found ...

I did give Eli a rather disapproving look - I admit. Oh well. He shrugged and smiled back. And then, I ran back inside and grabbed the camera to catch a few pictures of my boys together. Yes, they're lighting leaves on fire and I sincerely hope I never catch Jonah attempting this without his dad, but at that point there wasn't much I could but smile!


But, boy oh boy, it was fun!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flown Away ...

I taught my last Wednesday evening Kickboxing/Boot Camp class tonight ... but more about that change later (still teaching OTHER classes, but scheduling for this one is now a conflict).

Over the past several days, I have had some annoying sniffles, drainage, itchy throat, etc. Nothing too serious, but mostly bothersome at night when I am trying to rest and recharge for the next day! So, I took some Benadryl a couple nights, figured what goes around in terms of colds usually makes some appearance in our household. It IS that time of year, after all, isn't it?

So, I taught tonight's class as normal. At the end, I was explaining the class changes and realized that my voice was going out. Disappearing! Too much yelling at the ladies to work harder! I picked up the boys, we loaded into the car and headed home. Eli called on our way home to make sure that he was headed home at the same time so we could have some time to play before bedtime ... and he thought I was Jonah! Apparently, my voice really was going out.

Oh yeah, this blog isn't all about me. The boys. Right! This does all have a point ... the point being that at some moment during the evening, I said something and Jonah asked me why I was talking quiet. I said that I had lost my voice. He looked at me quizzically. Then nodded in complete agreement and said "I lost my voice too once, it just flew out!"

Love it. "It just flew out" Out of the mouth of babes ...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Bushel Of ... Willems!

Yesterday Eli, myself, and the boys headed over to my parents' house for a lunch with my sister and her husband, and my older sister who lives out of town (beware: this is only a portion of my family! Both my brothers and sisters-in-laws weren't able to come!). As mentioned in a previous post, getting to see Aunt Hannah is special! She isn't able to come to town very often, so whenever she does, we make the effort to spend time with her.

It was a low-key time! Gorgeous weather kept us outside on the back deck, grilling hamburgers, playing ball, relaxing on the porch swing and catching up on each others' lives! I was so glad that Eli and I had packed along the camera. We try to get good pictures at family gatherings ... but sometimes the madness of that many people takes over and we don't make the effort. But, we got quite a few, including these two, which I am so excited to have. I love my mom and my sisters dearly and wouldn't know what to do without them!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Variety: the Spice of Life!

For those of you that know our little Jonah pretty well,
You have most likely either witnessed or been subject to a discourse
on his rather narrow choice of foods.
That he will eat.
Jonah was a FANTASTIC little baby in terms of baby food.
He ate everything!
But, as soon as texture became a factor, he shut down.
He became extremely picky, choosy, you name it.
Since that time, we have struggled with his eating habits and preferences.

He basically eats peanut butter (only JIF or Peter Pan - all others have been gagged out), certain types of crackers, yogurt, milk, most fruits, carrots occasionally, muffins, and most sweets. No meats, cheese, veggies, breads, and whatever else you can think of!

A couple weeks ago, though, we decided that it was time. He is three and one half years. He is old enough to start enjoying the process of being forced to eat certain things. Or, at least, TRY certain things in order to say that he "doesn't like that". So, we set up a calendar for the week, and listed three different foods for each day. Before he could have one of the foods he wanted, he had to at least eat a few bites of a "new" food.

Some days were great! Some days were horrible. Namely the day that had cheese and corn on the list. At some point past lunch, he was hungry! Didn't want those food AT ALL. But, finally opted to try cheese. He put it in his mouth and promptly spit it back out. No go on the cheese. Lots of tears and screaming through the rest of the day as he refused the foods offered on his plate and requested peanut butter what seemed a million times. Nope. No caving. Finally, at 8:15 p.m., he ate 4 kernals of corn. And acted like he was going to die! That was a long day.
But at the end, he had tried some new foods. And we had re-incorporated some foods back into his diet that we had gotten lax about making him eat. We're still keeping a calendar to ensure that he gets as much variety as possible. We're still working on this idea of him at least trying a bite of a food without screaming or gagging it back up. It's a process.
Here he is: choking down carrots on the last day of that first week. Because, waiting at the end of a successful week of a sticker on each day was a Buzz Lightyear spaceship toy that he had seen at the store and really wanted. He got it. Yup ... we're not completely above bribery or rewards with this situation. The kiddo needs some motivation or he just starves himself! May God give Eli and I patience as we keep up the work in this area with Jonah.

Here's to my little 3 year old. Love him. But I really hope someday he can enjoy some steak and potatoes with his daddy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Multipurpose Fire Truck

This afternoon as I was putting Jonah down for his nap, we read a book. A ritual. Laying down for either rest time or bedtime MUST involve three things: 1) the reading of at least 1-2 books; 2) the singing of at least 2 two songs, ALWAYS including "Jesus Loves Me" and "My Holy Shepherd"; and 3) a prayer over him. The omitting of any of the above results in serious outcry from the said three year old. For him, predictability = security.

Today we read an adorable wooden book from Grandma. She picked it up at the library sale last week. All about trucks. My bushel of boys loves trucks! Each page describes a type of truck, what they do, etc.

We read the book through once, and then Jonah requested to read it again. I sugggested that we talk about each page, and he could tell me about the truck and all the things that it can do. Agreed. No issues on the school bus. Pretty straightforward. Then we get to the Fire Truck. "The fire truck has long ladders. It can reach up really high! It saves people." I agree wholeheartedly with his explanation. And then ... "And then it shoots out its bows and arrows REALLY far!" Come again? Bows and arrows? "Yup, Mommy. See? They're right there. And the fire trucks shoots them out."

Apparently, this is a matter of fact. Fire Trucks can also shoot bows and arrows. They are so much more prepared for any situation than I imagined! Maybe I need to put my imagination to use a little more. Now ... if only when I turn my iron on in a few minutes to work on the large pile of ironing, it could iron the clothing itself, AND hang everything up in its rightful place. If Fire Trucks have a chance at hunting some wayward deer, then why not???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Overdue Project

Last week Eli took the entire week off of work! He had vacation time that he needed to use before the "blackout" holiday months of November and December. And, well, we had some house projects to work on! So, this wasn't a "staycation" ... but a time to put some sweat into the house! He also used time to put some energy into Greek for school as well.

We have wanted to paint the exterior of our house since we moved here! But, it got put off as more "necessary" projects ate up precious time and finances over the last 5 1/2 years. A couple years ago, I painted the front door purple to add some color. Eli was dismayed, as he firmly believed that caused our house to look like we're K-State fans. (WE'RE NOT!!!!). I choose purple because it was complimentary to the yellow house ... MEN. = )

Anyway, we finally decided it was time to paint outside. We chose a medium gray tone ("squirrel"), and painted the door a nice burgandy. I'm so happy with the turnout! My dad came over for two days to work with Eli, and a couple of our friends also came to help out. Jonah, of course, was eager to paint with Daddy and be a good little worker!

A week later, the gray is done (need a couple touch ups), MOST of the trim is done (please ... within the next week we'll wrap that up too!), and the door is beautiful. I love the finished look! We may not be able to fulfill our dream of getting a little bit bigger house anytime soon, but I'm finding contentment here! I am so blessed to have what I have.