Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Just a small snippet of a conversation I overheard from the kitchen while Ben was playing Legos with a friend from his church class today...
Ben: Okay we have to get this guy.
Isacc: Yeah, lets spray the water on the fire boat.
Ben: Do you like to go to church?
Isacc: Huh?
Ben: Well, cuz it's boring.
Isacc: Oh yeah.  No. It's not fun.  Parents just...do things we don't like.
Ben: Yeah.  Can you pass the hat?  (to the Lego man)
Play continues.

MadDie mommy date night

Adventures with MadDie are always fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

High Adventure Bike Ride!!

Saturday morning we had our high adventure bike ride planned. I did this particular trail about three years ago with them last time the girls did it. I thought I was doing to die. I was one of the last to finish. My knee troubles only made my out of shape body situation worse. I had been dreading this day since I heard the location of the ride back in January. Endlessly trying to figure a way out of it. But when you're incharge of stuff, it's hard to bail. Then of course, it fell on my week from hell. I had so much to do I was physically and emotionally overwhelmed and couldn't fathom adding this to the end of my week. What a rotten weekend. But Saturday morning, I woke up. Loaded the bike, a few spare helmets, granola bars and water for the girls and drove to the marina where we planned to start our seven mile ride to Mount Vernon (yes, the real Mount Vernon). I have an incredibly vivid memory of how to get places and what roads and the surroundings look like even years later. Because of this, I knew exactly what I was going to face. I was disappointed to see that the hills were just as steep as I remembered them to be. There were just as many tough inclines as there were last time. They were just as grewling to ascend. Everyone eventually made it to the top and after a really long time, the entire group returned to the marina. At the end of it all, people climbed off their bikes with aching legs and sore bottoms to rest their bodies on the grass. When the last person returned, I climbed down. My legs felt wobbly. I was tired. But I made it. 14 miles up and back on the bikes. Want to know the sad part? I drove the support vehicle. I delivered water and picked up the injured or exhausted. I didn't pedal a single yard but my knees hurt and my left hip was sore. They started popping on Thursday. About two week after I started doing that darn Couch to 5K program. I just wasn't meant to exercise I tell you. I'm not built for it. I couldn't ride for fear of inflicting major injury. I did chuckle a little bit to watch the girls after the ride and realize I was hobbling like them, but hadn't rode and inch. Sad to admit the true magnitude of my wimpiness.

Wait Listing

Well, Ben has moved up on the spanish immersion wait list. We started at number 19 and have rocketed to number 7. The realist in me says that now there may actually be a shot at this happening. They will allow enterance into the program at anytime during the next two years, basically until the end of second grade. So as families move from the area or decide they don't want to participate anymore, they contact families on the wait list. Time will tell. I do wonder if it's the right thing for him. I don't want to force something because I think it's cool. But then, isn't that basically what parents do? Force their ideas upon their children? Hahaha.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Always prepared

Of course i wore my best car pushing shoes today.

Love my truck. Need i say more?

No Thank You

Dear Jakey, I am not interested in YOU giving up the sippy cup. It takes too much time and attention to monitor your milk drinking ways so we don't have a cup dumped on your tray or heaven forbid the carpet. (What kind of idiot puts carpet under a kitchen table? Seriously.) Please kindly return to your safe, covered beverages. Thanks. Love, Mom PS - Dad and I plan to use our tax return to remedy that carpet problem this week, but you still should refrain from your dumping ways.

Brent Cheated?

The judges are currently in fierce debate over the results of the "Family Planning" Championship Status. Another contestant has complained that Brent may have an unfair advantage over the other participants involved in the game. The complaint states that Brent lives ~13 hours in the future and may have had an advance preview of the answer being revealed. Of course, Shon and Juli also live in the future. In fact, they are about 2 hours ahead of Brent and their guesses were not even close--Brian says he is keeping all six computers and has two more on the way, just to "be prepared."* Sorry, Shon and Juli, your complaint has no validity. Check your time zones more closely next time to see that Brisbane is 2 hours ahead of Bangkok, not 2 hours behind. If anyone had the advantage it was you. *Actually, Brian just put five computers out on the curb for the trash man last Monday and is now down to only three computers--oops, he just admitted to hoarding two more computers I didn't even know about. Those are definitely going into the trash tomorrow!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Family Planning Revealed

The secret is revealed today--The reason I want three kids and Brian wants four. The truth is this...I'm deeply involved in a love affair. I have been for a few years now. My love has the most beautiful profile. Always ready to go at a moments notice. Takes me wherever I want to go. Is great with three kids. Never complains. Always does exactly what I want. Carries all my heavy loads wherever I need them to go. Looks good day or night. Is lots of fun out on a camping trip. Everyone at summer youth camps love him and wants to hang out with him.
Truth is, it's all about the truck.
I've all but resigned myself to a minivan if needs be. I can deal with it... I think. I hate that I can't carpool to preschool. I hate not being able to pick up friends for playdates and bring their kids to my place. I hate that I can't have a stroller at the ready because I can't leave it in the snow and rain in the truck bed. Other than that I LOVE MY TRUCK. Yes. MY truck.

The problem is this: Brian likes the truck too--although I can't imagine he can love it as much as I do. We have decided that if another kid joins our family we will trade in the car for a minivan. Since the all of the kids would no longer fit in the back seat of the truck, Brian will get the truck to drive to work. That means I will be forced to drive the minivan as my primary vehicle. This is why Brian wants four kids. I don't want to give up the truck so I want to stay with three.

I've always been adamant we will never have "his" and "her" cars. My parents never referred to our vehicles that way. I guess my inlaws did, but I'm not positive on that. The truck and it's amazing V8 engine gets rotten gas milage and since I drive less miles than Brian, he takes the gas friendly Honda Accord. I get the Dodge Dakota Quad Cab. It's a little piece of heaven for me. It makes me happy to hop up into the drivers seat and hear the engine roar. I love to sit up high above all those little cars and tiny trucks. Someday it would be fun to have one of the really big trucks. Someday.

Since no one got it exactly right, I declare the winner to be the first person on the right path about vehicles - minivans and trucks and stuff. Brent, you win. And since you live in Thailand and five US dollars wouldn't do you much good for a few years, how about I send you a care package with candy and such? Any special requests of things you can't buy in Bangkok? What are you craving today? Congrats.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Stats

Ben had his 6 year well check yesterday.  All is well.  We weighed in all the kids.  I thought it was funny to see the results.
40.0 lbs
44 inches tall
30.0 lbs
27.5 lbs
Don't you think it's hilarious that Jacob and Maddie are so close in weight?

Surprise Blizzard!!!

To celebrate Ben's birthday yesterday we took him to Dairy Queen for our favorite treat.  We got Blizzards.  And, since this week is the 25th anniversary of the Blizzard they have a special until Sunday.  Buy one, get one for 25 cents!!  Score.  Only down side, Ben picked a flavor he liked, Mint Oreo.  But he didn't like it as much as my flavor, Georgia Mud Pie (without the nuts).  So he basically ate mine.  And I let him because it was his birthday.
You should go get your 25 cent blizzard before the deal ends too!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family Planning

Brian wants four kids. I want three. I'll mail five bucks to the person that correctly guesses why before the end of the week.... Leave us a comment. Guessing closes Saturday at midnight.


Maddie thinks a lot about not having a sister. Today she said that having a sister is just like having a cyst (sist).

Quote of the Day

Ben kept trying to talk to us from upstairs while we were in the kitchen on the main floor. We can't hear him and he gets angry with us. We just keep having this problem, so I told him to come down and talk to us or we weren't going to respond. He continues to talk in a normal volume voice. Brian makes one last stitch effort and yells, "Ben, we can't hear you." Ben finally raises his voice to an audible level and says, "I can't come down. My problem is that I can't find any long sleeve pajamas. But I can't come down to tell you that because I'm naked." I reply that he shouldn't put five pairs of clean pajamas in the laundry each week because they just aren't going to get back to him that fast and I shouldn't be washing them anyway if they are clean. Ben complains again that he can't come down naked. I retort, "Well don't get naked unless you have your pajamas or a plan. That sounds like your problem, not mine." Brian says to me, "Lots of people in the world have the same problem. They get naked without a plan. Then they end up with a problem."

Some People Are Just Cool

Anyone called Audrey lately? Their answering machine message gets me everytime. I'm always caught off guard and for a second I'm not sure if I'm loosing my mind, called the wrong number or what, but something is always familiar about the situation. By the time the beep comes to leave the message I don't know that they understand me because I'm laughing. I don't remember what it says exactly, but it sounds like you've called some business and the message is automated. It tells you that you are number 9,453 in the call que but someone will be with you in the order the calls were received or something like that. Love it. I need to call her more often.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ben on Soccer

We started soccer this week for Ben. Actually, we started last week. The rest of the team just forgot to show up. Can you believe it? Every single player missed practice. I told Brian right where to go and had the kids ready to go with him because I had another meeting at the exact same time. Apparently I don't read well and sent them all on a wild goose chase since we were a week early. On the day of the REAL first practice, Ben was super excited. Again. He had a fun time, but when asked what they did he said they mostly just learned how to sit on their balls while the coach talked. Funny. I watched the practice and it seemed like they were running and kicking most of the time. His team is the Dales, as in Chip and Dale. He was ecstatic to find out his team uniform was purple, his favorite color still. Ben really wanted to sleep in his uniform the first night. Then after school he begged to wear it so he could show his buddy that was coming over for a playdate. I explained that if it was dirty he'd wear a dirty uniform to the game. He decided it was okay. After dinner he got in a water fight with the neighbor (his idea) and was upset that it got wet and wanted the neighbor to be in trouble for getting him wet. Tough luck on that one. He chose to wear it. His comments after the game today: "I wish there were ten days in every week. Do you know why? So we can have ten days of soccer. I love it!" When we got home: "The other team was better than us. They were running so fast. When we were playing our game, we were in the shape of a tadpole. It was kind of like everyone was running in a circle like this (hand motions) and then I was always following on the tail of the tadpole." I'm sorry to say that Ben was not born with parentage of all star athletes. At least he's young enough to not care yet and just have fun. He is one happy kid and doesn't want to take his uniform off ever.

Mad Face

Out of no where Maddie comes into the kitchen and says, "Mom, this is my mad face."
From what I can gather she is trying to imitate the evil step mother's face on Cinderella.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Count Me Out

Last night I looked at my calendar. It was obvious you could just count me out for the day. As usual more things come up in the moment and we're just in the mode of "being" today. Babysitting a long one today with really good kids.
Talking to a good friend about major family troubles because some days we all just need to do a major emotional dump.  It's freeing for the soul to unload and I hope it helps her because she's helped me in the same way.  Then tea with an old friend here before she takes Ben away for a playdate at her place.  Ending the day with some kind of event at the school.  Not much time left to do real life today.  The laundry will have to wait.  Today people matter more.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Through Maddie's Eyes

No doubt Maddie is 100% female.  We all know if you ask your husband what happened today at work he will tell you the project he was involved in and what progress was made that day.  Ask a woman what happened at work today and she will tell you all the social things that happened during the day, i.e. the boss did this and it made so-and-so mad because xyz but that is only because she did and he said and did you know about such-and-such that happened to that guy over the weekend?!?!?!  It's just a fact folks. That's the way the world operates.
This Sunday after Maddie's class we asked what did she learn about/do in class that day.  She says:
"First Jayda wanted to sit by me....so she DID!! (throwing hands up in the air to the side abover her head)
"Then next Ruby first wanted to sit on the grown up chair and then she just....changed her mind!  Then she moved and sat in a sweetie chair.  Then Jayda wanted to sit by my other teacher which was behind me.  Soon I decided to sit in my other teachers lap that was in the big chair that says my name on it. That's Sister Grover's lap that I mean."
(Sweetie is the word reserved for a child that is a girl.  Only recently has she decided that girls can be kids.  Usually she would scream at us for calling her a kid.  "Kids are just boys! I'm a sweetie!" or simply "I'm not a boy!!")

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Styles with Smiles

Jacob is obsessed with having his hair combed.  He loves that we keep Maddie's bright pink brush, spray bottle, elastic bands (pretties) and barrettes in a drawer he can reach.  At random times he gets a glimmer in his eye and runs off in that hilarious one year old run and comes back with a pink brush and a blue comb.  Then he wants you to brush his hair forward running the brush or even your hand over his scalp from back to front all the way down to his nose.  It makes him so totally and completely happy.
Today I was brushing his hair at his specific request.  He grabbed the brush and said, "Beh!!"  I hollered to Ben that he was being requested in the hair shop.  He giggled and came over so Jacob could comb his hair.  It was cute to see the boys play together.  Then Jacob stopped for a minute and started chewing on the blue comb.  It didn't take long for the bristles to be filled with saliva.  Ben looked and it and said, "Eww!!  Gross.  I don't want my hair combed anymore with slobber in it."  He jumped up and headed back to play Legos at the party table.  As he ran, he said, "Hey Maddie!  It's your turn now.  Jacob wants to do your hair."
She quickly abandoned her Legos.  She came and got her hair slobber styled without ever knowing any better. And I just let it happen as I laughed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Like...

...that the only mirror in my bathroom is tiny and high.  It works to tell me if my face is clean and if there is something between my teeth.  Really, who needs a huge master bathroom with full length mirrors detailing the state of the union? Not knowing is bliss.
...open windows in the springtime.
...every year when we collect registration forms for our summer youth camp and Carol Baker (an adult leader) writes "Ya Right!" in the box to write your age.
...dinner with the old stake yw presidency - it's always 4 1/2 hours long.
...clean kitchen counters.
...the look on peoples faces when they hear about my front tooth and then ask me to see it or take it out for them.  They ought to know what's coming, but their faces still show a millisecond of horror before they recover and give the "that's cool" look so as not to make me feel bad.  It's just a little bit hilarious to see you try to cover your freak out faces.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wait Listed

From before the time Ben was born, we wanted to teach him spanish.  We just always knew we would do it. He was born in Texas and a large percentage of our close friends spoke spanish, so it came easily to teach it to him.  Then we got the orders to move to Virginia and we flew down my mother-in-law to stay with him in our home while we went to find an apartment (my sister and bro-in-law were there too, but both at work during the daytime). 
Ben was 11 months old and getting decent at signing and recognized lots of words.  Unfortuately for Grandma Anne, he only knew those key phrases and words in spanish. She came a day early so she could see our routine before I left.  By the end of the day I realized the potential problem we had in front of us.  In addition to the typical schedule a mother leaves with a caretaker, I had to write a signing dictionary and a spanish dictionary with pronunciation guide.  That summer we went home and my mom commented how sad it was to not be able to communicate with her grandchild.
When we left Texas, Ben only spoke spanish. In Virginia we only had english speaking friends.  It was hard for friends to babysit him and eventually his needs moved beyond my ability to communicate with him in spanish.  Because I'm the primary care taker and I was resorting to english more and more often when my vocabulary couldn't keep up with my needs, he began speaking english.  Then he turned against spanish almost completely.  That's common.  Kids stop speaking another language if they don't have to do it, even if they can communicate perfectly well in it.
All through this, we've kept up the hope that he would be able to do the Spanish Immersion Program in school.  In our school district the admit kids based on a lottery system.  There are 100 kids in each grade in the participating schools.  Half the classes are spanish immersion, so 50 kids.  Half those kids come from the feeder school and the other from the surrounding schools, here is where the lottery comes in since we have only 25 slots for all the kids in the county to compete over.  If you have one child in the program, all the younger siblings are automatically granted a spot in the program.  Now we have less than 25 spots.
We got our letter last week.  We were wait listed for both schools we applied to enter.  Ravensworth Elementary #31.  Laurel Ridge Elementary #19.  Then you choose one school to "accept" your placement and have to drop the others.  So here we sit.  We accepted out wait list spot at Laurel Ridge.  But let's be serious.  There are probably 20-22 open spots.  We're #19 on the list.  The ENTIRE class would have to decline for us to get in.
I'm disappointed and relieved all at the same time.  We wanted our kids in the program.  We wanted it BAD.  It's great for them to develop that part of their brains.  It's amazing to have the skill to speak another language.  On the positive side, if we were accepted, that mandated I drive my kids (Ben, Maddie and Jacob) to school and pick him up in the kiss and ride line for the next 11 YEARS.  At a minimum next years pick up time will fall right in the middle of Jacob's nap time.  If we stay at our current english school, the bus driver deals with all of that hassle.  I'm a fan of that!!
Besides, life seems to be handing me a deck of cards quite nicely stacked for other big things to happen in our family life in the next few years.  And spanish honestly just isn't one of them.  Time will always tell and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the bunch here at the Zufelt Zoo.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dani's Bankrollin' Duds

What the heck? When I moved here just five years ago I fell in love with Dani's Duds.  It's a mega, huge consignment sale.  They check every single item they take in to sell and reject the junk so the selection was great and cheap.  It was free to attend/shop.  Volunteers and consignors got their own early sales.  Over time they started charging $5 per adult entry.  Quality and quantity of items there seems to have gone down since.
This sale they bumped the price to $10 per adult for entry.  Seriously!?!?!  For the privilege of entering the doors of your precious sale?  I may not go at all this time.  It's just getting to be too much.  Their website has been revamped to delete almost all information so I can't even tell if I take the time to consign if they will waive the fee.  They are becoming really, really stingy and greedy.  I hope the buyer turn out sucks this round to send a message about what the clients want.  Why would you double your price when the economy sucks so bad and people are out of work?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Approaching Reality

Traffic is getting heavy again.We must be approaching DC.  At least we know we'll make it for the elephant parade as the circus leaves town at 6 tonight.  I'm so excited!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Real Story of the Princess and the Frog

Once upon a time there were two young, fair maidens living in a far away land called Kearns. One beautiful summer morning, their older brother and his trusty companion set out on an amazing adventure. They journeyed far away to the canal behind the house across the street. They passed the day exploring the banks of the canal chasing frogs and catching tadpoles. As the day came to a close, they carried two unique treasures home to the fair maidens. Upon their return, they presented their finds to the two delighted young girls. Each sister received her own tadpole to love, cherish and to raise to adulthood. The lady of the house, though not enamoured with the idea of her two young daughters raising stinky frogs in their bedroom, relented and granted permission after much whining and gnashing of teeth. The summer progressed as expected. The tadpoles grew quickly in the two yellow bowls on the dresser in the beautiful blue bedroom. The two girls busied themselves with typical summertime things in addition to caring for their tadpoles. They had daily chores and academic lessons to keep up their skills during their summer vacations. The maidens each joined a reading program and received a very large reading poster from their Grandmother to track their progress. The charts hung on the closet doors in their room, not far from the yellow bowls with the ever developing tadpoles. Every day they read, they would color a spot on the cobblestone walk, reminiscent of a Candyland game board, slowly inching them closer and closer to the end of the poster. Each morning, the maidens would read a bit then care for their beloved creatures, who had sprouted legs and were now crawling up and down the rocks the girls had so lovingly arranged in their bowls. One morning, little Kristie awoke to find that her poor tadpole had died. Crestfallen, she wept. Was there no justice in the world? "How could this have happened?" she wondered. Angie cared for her budding frog and went off to play while Kristie remained to mourn her loss. Around lunch time, Angie went in the little blue bedroom to check on her frog. She immediately knew that something was not quite right. The guts of her frog were no longer on the inside of the frog. They were all over outside the frog. Young Angie screamed out to her mother. Being a wise woman with many years of experience with the keen minds of her young daughters antics, she knew right away what must have happened to the poor frog. Mother summoned her evil daughter Kristie to the dresser to see if she knew anything of what might have happened to sweet Angie's frog. Despite her claim of ignorance in the matter, it was quickly determined that Kristie had inflicted the fatal wounds. She explained, "If my frog is dead, then Angie shouldn't get one either!" The details of the crime were gruesome. Kristie had taken a reading achievement chart and squished and squeezed the frog until it died. Being a precocious girl, she had even had the smarts to use Angie's reading chart rather than her own to kill the frog and then carefully rehung the chart on the closet door as if nothing had happened. Upon inspection, the back of the chart was covered in frog guts. Acknowledging the errors in her foolish child's way, mother scolded her and doled out the punishment. Kristie was incharge of hosting and making arrangements for a proper funeral. She had to locate a small box (match box), dig the tiny grave and conduct a service in raspberry patch of the garden. Things like this can try a relationship to its very breaking point. The girls have never reconciled and the rift remains today. They have not spoken in over twenty five years. Author's note: Names have not been changed so the reader may understand who is innocent. Parts of this story may have been embelished a bit. It is entirely possible that Angie wasn't the most kind and gentle in her understanding of Kristie's loss. Angie remembers being threatened that Kristie would just take her frog, put it in her bowl and pretend it was hers. Thinking no one would ever know. When Kristie was offered the chance to guest post on this blog, she declined to comment. What conclusions can we draw from this? I rest my case.