Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dreams Do Not Come True

"I didn't know my dream wouldn't come true. Only my alligator dreams would." That is what I hear from the landing at the top of the stairs. She's leaving her bedroom where she has been playing with Ben and Anthony and it sounds like they have imparted some of their very impressive wisdom upon her. Maddie came on down the stairs to where Jacob was cuddling in my arms after he had woken from his afternoon nap needing a little snuggle time before he could rejoin the land of the living. She approached him to tell him in the most stern voice she has ever mustered, "Jacob. Do you know that your dreams will not come true?" Dramatic pause. "Well, do you?" Pause. "Jacob! Yes or No? Which is it? Do you know that?" Jacob just stares at her and she is losing patience with him. She persists and I attempt to deflect the intensity of the questioning. I explain that Jacob is still a little bit sleepy and isn't ready to talk. "Okay, but Jacob, your dreams will never, EVER come true. Remember that. Because wishing stars are not real. They are just suns floating in the sky." And off she went.

What To Do In Fairfax - Updated for 2010

Hey Friends! Here it is again this year... Because I'm a Christmas junkie, I put together a list of fun things to do in the Fairfax area and thought you might want to know about them too. At the bottom are several other things through the year that my family enjoys. My calendar is full of post-it notes telling me to check on this or that as they come around. Hope you find something great for your family here! Merry Christmas! Angie Fairfax Station Railroad Museum http://www.fairfax-station.org/ click "News and Events" then either "Events Calendar" for schedule or "Holiday Train Show" for description of event 11200 Fairfax Station Road Fairfax Station, VA 22039 Dec 4 & 5, 2010, Sat 10-5 and Sun 12-4 Outside free, inside about $5/adult and $1/child Usually first weekend in December hosts a big train event on their property. Four or five small train towns are setup inside for viewing with all the intricate details (people, houses, trees, etc). Free outside are the larger trains (shoebox sized?). The railroaders set up track surrounding the entire building and drive their remote control trains all over the track they build. Kids can run around and follow the trains, talk to the owners, watch them hook and unhook their engines from loads. It's great fun. Also available - a caboose to climb in, santa makes an appearance each year at random times and sits in a sleigh handing out candy. We skipped in 2009 because it snowed -- BIG mistake!! The outdoor trains had snow plows on them and the show went on as scheduled!
Frying Pan Park Old Fashioned Country Christmas http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/fpp/events.htm
12:30-7pm, carolers, animals, puppet shows, hay rides with Santa. Several events require registration on the website, others are open. Bethlehem Walk http://www.parkwood.org/ 8726 Braddock Road, Annandale, VA Highlight of our Christmas season each year. Free. Usually second Sat & Sun in Dec. Dec 11 and 12, 2010 4-8pm both nights. Sunday is always more crowded than Saturday. Take your children on a walk through Bethlehem where the character towns people are in full costume and sitting at kid level to engage them in talking about the new baby and the star in the sky, walls are decorated floor to ceiling, children collect trinkets as they journey to find the baby Jesus outside in a stable with real sheep, goat and donkey. Tiny Tots Holiday Concerts At most high schools in Dec, get ticket info in Nov. About $5/ticket High school bands put on concerts geared toward young children, usually with special visitors like Frosty, Santa, Elmo, Dora, etc. Santa Train http://www.vre.org/ Burke VRE station and several others 2010 buy tickets Nov 29, ride Dec 11 - sold out this year. $5/ticket, buy in person two weeks before train date. Online sells out almost instantly. Walk in tickets last about 30 minutes before they are gone. Take a 50 minute train ride and meet Santa from several VRE stations. Festival of Lights - Washington DC Temple Visitors Center http://www.dctemplelights.lds.org/ 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, MD 20895 Fri Dec 3 - Sat Jan 1 Free Nightly holiday musical programs, typically at 7 and 8pm. Trees decorated with 500,000 lights, international nativities collection from all over world on display inside, live nativity outside with Bible story over speaker system. Website has great info and pics for a sneak peek. Wreath Laying in Arlington Cemetery http://wreathsacrossamerica.org/ Arlington Cemetery - Metro access suggested. Usually second Saturday in December. Dec 11, 2010 at noon Free Help honor our fallen soldiers by helping lay donated wreaths at Arlington or other cemeteries nationwide. See website for where and when to go to help. Lighting of the National Christmas Tree - Pageant of Peace Between White House and Washington Monument. You can't miss it. Free tickets distributed via online lottery at beginning of November. www.recreation.gov If you don't get tickets, just go after the ceremony or on any other night to see other groups perform for free, see trains driving around National Tree and a tree from each state and territory decorated. http://www.nps.gov/whho/2010_national_christmas_tree_.htm
Botanical Gardens in DC
Daily 10-5, holiday hours Tues & Thurs until 8pm with musical performances. http://www.usbg.gov/education/events/Seasons-Greenings.cfm
The Botanical Gardens in DC has a really awesome display each Christmas, too, with small, model buildings from the Mall sculpted from leaves, bark, sticks, grass, etc. They look amazing! Be sure to go into the back room to see the train, Santa's workshop, and fairy land! Chantilly Bible Model Train Display Dec 11, 2010 10am-3pm Free 4390 Pleasant Valley Road • Chantilly, Virginia 20151 http://www.chantillybible.org/LifeatCBC/Events/ModelTrainDisplay.lsphttp://www.chantillybible.org Multiple indoor electric train displays to watch and enjoy. Have even had a kid table of wooden train tracks for the kids to play with and build. Water-Skiing Santa http://www.waterskiingsanta.com/ National Harbor in Maryland Free. Multiple days, as early as Dec 4 Lighted Boat Parades on the Potomac River (several)http://www.fairfaxchristmaslights.com/boats.php LDS Church First Presidency Devotional First Sunday night of December. Broadcast via satellite feed to 3900 Howard St, Annandale, VA. OR view online at http://www.lds.org/ Mix of stories of birth of Jesus Christ, orchestra, choir and soloists performances. BEFORE the broadcast there is a live singing of Handel's Messiah with live orchestra beginning at 6:30pm. Bring your own score or borrow one at the door. http://www.fairfaxchristmaslights.com/ --- top Xmas light displays. We have gone to the one on Shadow Lane in Fairfax Station before --- it is really neat. Lots of other fun Christmas things to do and see on her website. Bull Run Festival of Lights http://www.nvrpa.org/parks/brfestoflights/
Nov 24 - Jan 9
Drive through light display. Kids loved this. We drove it at about 1 mph so we undid seatbelts and they were in heaven with freedom to move and explore and be excited in the car about all they saw. About $12/car but if you go on a weeknight there are coupons on the bottom of the webpage for $3 off.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The saga of the chairs is finally over!

Friday, November 26, 2010


The results are in. Anthony gets good reviews on his brine soaked turkey today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Salmonella in Your Socks

First, the background story: Fruit flies have been plaguing our house for the better part of two weeks. We have cleaned up, put away, throw out and disinfected to no avail. Today I even checked all the heater vents on the main floor to see if Jacob (who likes picking them up) had stuffed some fruit down in one and it was now moldy and rotten. Nothing. Yesterday at lunch they had seemed particularly bad and one landed on Maddie's sandwich. She flipped out. "The bugs are getting me!! They are eating my lunch! Help me!!" she screamed as tears began to roll down her cheeks. Being near my wits end with the situation myself, I tried to comfort her that a quick waft of her hand could scare them away. When she calmed from her hysteria into more of a general state of agitation I laid out my proposal. "I don't know exactly why we have fruit flies. I can't seem to get rid of them no matter what I do, but I can't do this alone. See that yogurt cup from breakfast you guys left out? And the smashed banana no one bothered to wipe up when they squished it on the table? That stuff attracts the flies. Does anyone ever have small little "spills" when they pee in the toilet? That attracts flies. Keeping them away is a family project and if you want them gone we can all work on it together." They were so frustrated with the situation they were actually sold on the idea! We set to work. They cleaned up the table, even wiped the whole thing down. Every trash can in the house was taken to the back yard. Every toilet was scrubbed and the floors by the ones that they use most. I even threw out the flower my friends gave me for teaching at Super Saturday in behalf of our cause. We checked the entire kitchen for any produce laying about. "Now we wait," I told them. They should be gone in two days. Fast forward to this morning: Today was laundry day (defined as such because if I don't wash today, I'll have to wear the last pair of underwear and I really hate the "emergency" pair). I was quite pleased with myself. Maddie and I had everything sorted early. Load one washed and dried. Load two in the washer. Go to move load two from washer to dryer. Lift the lid and there is still water in it. Weird. Why didn't it spin and drain out? Button says it finished it's cycle. It can't break. I don't have time for that. Ugh. Wait. My socks are starting to feel kinda wet. Oh heck. There are soap suds on the floor under the sink and it's full of water. Dang it! I was so careful! See, sometimes when I grab a bucket of laundry to dump in the washer, something falls out the back side of the bucket into the sink. When that happens, it gets sucked down to the drain and blocks it off so the water can't drain out...and it overflows...and makes a big stinking mess. I remove Brian's sock and the water immediately drains out of the sink. I turn the washing machine on again to rinse and spin. Then I commence the drying out and cleaning up of the water mess. Yuck. When it's pretty much done as much as I can figure other than to let it dry out I look in the sink just one more time shaking my head about the stupid situation I find myself in. Wait. What's in the drain now? I reach in and sweep my finger around pulling out a piece of old, raw chicken. NO!! That's disgusting! How did that ever get in there? Oh yeah... Two weeks ago I went to get frozen chicken from the deep freeze. The chicken breasts had clumped together so I started banging the bag on the metal washer top to break them up so I could take what I wanted and leave the rest. It was a 20 lb bag and it got a little unruly and one chicken breast tried to escape. I snagged it out of the sink, put the rest away and went upstairs to wash it up. And that's how we got raw chicken in our basement sink. I'm hoping and praying it is the source of these horrible flies that will NOT go away. With a two day life span, we'll know soon enough, but I have high hopes for a quick resolution to my problem. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Now, I suppose I ought to go and disinfect that sock for salmonella. Or maybe I can skip it since I don't intend to put the sock in my mouth.

Bad News on High School Graduation

Got some seriously BAD news today.  Brian needs a copy of my high school diploma to apply for my visa.  I turned the basement inside out today with no luck.  I have a college diploma but apparently I must not have graduated from high school.  Brian seems to think I was too wasted to remember anything in those days.  The good news is that I found an old certificate listing all the honors and fru-fru things I got at that graduation I apparently never went to.  UGH!!!  To request a copy just adds so much lag time to my planning!  I'm frusterated.  Just the first of many, many to come I'm sure.

Friday, November 19, 2010

'Mom! My shadow makes me look like a teenager! ' - maddie mae'

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm laughing, crying, happy and tight in my chest with nervousness. Brian just called from work to say he got the official "Welcome to the Singapore Team" letter at work today. It's offically a go, folks. His anticipated move date is January 1, 2011, though we'll flex that a little bit so we don't have to pack out our house on Christmas Day. I'm thinking pack out Jan 3 so the holidays will be anything other than relaxing. Still, we're super excited for this big amazing adventure. Stay tuned for plenty of emotional breakdowns to come. (You know that's true, I hear even Brent lost his vision and lost it the night before the movers came. If he can't hack it I've got no chance.)
Hopefully this means that we'll get our "package" details immediately so we can begin working on the important things like passports, medical clearances and school admissions for the kids.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A close call...

Ben came up from the basement today and told me, "Mom, I changed all the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer and I took out all the flint."  Boy am I lucky he took out all the flint.  With it rolling around inside a metal drum, I am sure it would have generated sparks.  The clothes would then have caught fire and our house would have gone down in flames.

Mommy, do I like that?

Last Sunday we had guests over for dinner and made one of our favorite recipes—baked potato soup.  As usual, Ben was extremely excited and asked if we could have bread bowls.  Angie obliged and Ben came back multiple times for more soup to fill his bowl.  


Maddie, on the other hand, decided she did not like it at all.  It was a big struggle to get her to eat any of the soup.  She pretty much nibbled on the bread, ate the cheese off the top of the soup, and left the rest untouched.


Through the rest of the week we had soup a few times for dinner.  Each time was the same story—Ben was excited and Maddie hardly ate any.  After fighting with Maddie all week, I pulled the last of the soup out for one last dinner tonight.  Maddie asked me what I was making, to which I told her, "Baked Potato Soup."  She then asked, "Do I like that?" with a doubtful look in her eye.  


Now, we have learned that anytime our kids ask if they have had something before, we should immediately respond with, "yes, and you loved it."  Therefore I immediately responded with a simple, "yes."  Her doubtful look quickly turned to an enthusiastic grin as she bounded out of the room declaring to Ben, "Ben, were having potato soup and I LOVE IT!"  Apparently she really did love it tonight—she happily polished off three bowls.  Its amazing how a little person's tastes change according to her mood.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jakey's Shadow

A few weeks ago I dropped off some things at Dani's Duds consignment sale with a friend. We decided to swap kid watching with the inspection and sorting tasks. She went first and I took my Jakey, her Grant and Soren, another little guy I was watching. We were at the back door of a convention center in the loading dock area so I took the three little boys over to the diesel zone which had 3 parked trailers and nothing else there.
We looked at rocks and dirt and the lines between the slabs of concrete when Jacob discovered something magic. He was amazed by it and how it would move so totally unpredictably. The other two boys couldn't figure out what he was going so nuts over. I decided to play a game with him. I told him to get my shadow and he'd run full speed to stand on my shadow head but just before he got me I'd duck so he would miss. At first he was totally confused. Then he saw the merit of this super cool game. Soon he was giggling beyond control and saying "m-ah! m-ah!" (more, more). It was beyond fun to see him so delighted and having so much fun as we ran around the empty parking lot with a twinkle in his eye. I love that kid and his spunky personality.

Cleared For Take Off - Part 2

This is for Anthony. I was planning to update the picture on the other blog post of my lovely mouth accessory but before I got to it, someone had to complain about the picture quality. I took that last picture with my super cheap cell phone camera sitting at a super duper long traffic light on my way home from the office visit. But Anthony just had to whine about it. So here you go Sir. Here is a picture of the metal they screwed into my head. And the lovely accessory I hope to never be using again in just two short weeks. But if you want to check it out personally, come on over for Thanksgiving dinner.

PS - Ben should be loosing his tooth in two or three days I would guess. That will be a fun picture to take.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Almost There

We're down to the wire.  Ben and I want a picture with our missing teeth.  He's got one on the verge of coming out and I get my molds made on Tuesday for my permanent tooth.  Add about 1 week for the lab to make my teeth and install them (for lack of a better word).
He's got about 10 days but that little stinker is hanging on with all its might.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cleared for take off

Can you think me a better way to start your day than a 7 am oral surgery? My life rocks! At least it was the last one. I an cleared to get my three fake teeth made in two weeks. This thing will finally be over.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just Call Me Angie

Jacob has started calling me Angie. It sounds more like Andy, Ah-Gee or even Nandy but it's darn cute. He always begins with Mom. If I am distracted or not paying close enough attention to him he moves on to Angie but he tilts his head to the side and his voice intonation makes it sound like a question. Love it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Too much to do makes

Too much to do makes for a mama that curses drivers who don't go on green lights until they turn yellow. They go and i'm stuck.