Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Perceptive Kid

If you were to ask me about what kind of a kid Ben is, I would stop and think as I always do. It depends on the type of day we had what where I would start. He is often anxious about change and doesn't like to be made to do things he isn't interested in. Rarely does he fight me when I ask him to do something but I have to watch to see that it gets done because he's keenly aware of how busy I am and how many balls I have juggling at that moment and will capitalize on my busyness and avoid a chore now and then knowing I won't notice for a few hours or days or won't be able to remember if I asked him to do it or another kid. He's observant.

Ben is quiet. He prefers to stay in the background of a scene. He's smart. He is amazing reader and devours books. This year he would check out a book a day and his goal was always go finish and return it in 24 hours. He succeeded a lot!

He loves Nerf guns and could play Nerf wars with his compound buddies all day long everyday. They have hideouts and strategies and a million guns between them all which they are constantly comparing and even trading. Not much in this world could make him smile as big as a package of neon colored foam bullets. 

One thing I love to say about Ben is that he's a very thoughtful, perceptive child. I once asked him if he wanted to stay in Singapore, go on another adventure in another country or go back to America when we finished our first expat assignment. He said he wanted two more adventure assignments then he wanted to move back to America so he knew what it was like to live there before he went to college alone because he was already forgetting what it was like to be in America. He was only eight years old.

Now he's eleven and we have resided in two countries, traveled a ton and are relocating to Houston next month against our wishes. (We all wanted to stay in Saudi a few more years.) I asked last night while I trimmed his hair, so his ears would show again, if he liked expat life with all the moves, disappointments, losing friends every year and other frustrations mixed within the fun, new friends and adventures. Was the good worth the bad? Ben has really taken this move hard but even with all the mess of home schooling, grieving and loss we are feeling now he said it was definitely worth it. He wouldn't have wanted to miss what he had done so it was worth the sadness and pain. He'd be willing to move overseas again after we have some time in Texas.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Slam On Mom

I've been known to finish people's sentences by singing lyrics that fit. Especially when my kids are talking so slow that I have a hard time paying attention and staying focused on them. For instance today Madison was talking slowly as she asked a question about math and I was losing concentration.

She said, "Hoooowwww doooooo I......" To which I responded in song, "live without you?"

She rolled her eyes and asked, "Is there a song to EVERYTHING?"


"I sure hope not."

I guess this home school gig is getting boring to me but maybe I should channel my energy into a stellar music class for those with minimal voice skills but ample knowledge of old lyrics.

I used to do it to Brian all the time but tell him, "You know there's a country song about that..." And there always was.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gomer Pile

Sometimes when you use a very old notebook you find amusing chicken scratches from year ago. This one cracked me up. I assume I was talking about baby names for our fourth child and looking for patterns or something. 

Benjamin Brian 
Madison Mae 
Jacob Robert
Gomer Pile

It makes me glad Ashlyn Anne turned out to be a girl or she may have ended up with that name.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Name Pronunciation Challenges

Singapore Memories:
My son Ben was told in Chinese class at the international school that his name translated as either "stupid", "notebook" or "pen" depending on the way you write the accent. 

My name of course is Angie and over the phone in Singapore I got written down as the Asian surname "Ng". They assume I spelled my name for them, not said my name. When I show up a blue eyed white lady people are totally confused. I finally started using Angela for all phone conversations

Saturday, May 9, 2015


I'm healing from shingles. Slowly but faster than the Internet says I should. I think it's a blessing from above because I can't be held up with a miserable body right now. I have duties and responsibilities to home school. Most days I start with someone doing something by 7:00 am. Often we are working until 5:00 pm with someone else. Home school shouldn't take this long. And given enough time it wouldn't but we are fresh into this and there are still a lot of emotions and push back and tantrums. 

My friends here in the compound that are with the same company doing home school have been so gracious and have been providing dinner every other day and bringing enough that I don't have to cook on the days in between. They are angels in my book especially because they are also swamped trying to prepare to move their own families and home school their own kids.

As for the shingles the medicine has been great. The shooting pains across my body are gone and I'm left with just a terrible itchy feeling and an occasional pain in my side where the pants hit my waist. But I'm counting it as fantastic news that I'm in pants at all! I wore dresses and loose flowy skirts for over a week to minimize anything touching my torso.

I've been semi-quarantined here. Most people have already had chicken pox or the vaccine but in this very international community not all have. I'm pretty safe with Americans but no body else is a given as okay. I will take tomorrow off of teaching poetry because the younger kids that I know haven't had it will be in the school house but resume my class on Wednesday for the next regular session.

Temperature's Rising

A friend is in need of a baby bed rail so we moved Ashlyn's bed against the wall and took one of hers off to give away. It's white so of course it's grungy from years of dirty hands. We took it outside to scrub it with some soapy water and it didn't take me long to realize it was HOT in the blazing sun. Ash had gone out barefoot and declared she needed shoes because it was too hot for her feet. We got her shoes then moved to the shade to finish the job. We don't expect it to take long to dry so we can deliver it to its new home.

Friday, May 8, 2015


At dinner. 
Mom: "Jacob will you take some salad and pass it to Ashlyn please?"
Ashlyn: "I don't want any salad."
Mom: "I know but you have to some cucumber."
Mom heard: "I don't want a que number."
Ashlyn meant to say: "I don't want a cucumber."

I will miss little kid speak in a few years from now.