Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ashlyn's Ready to Walk

Guess who's cruising? Ashlyn is just about ready to walk and all smiles about it.

My Disguise

I was escorting Ashlyn up the forty steps to the third story. The staircase lights were off so the lighting was dim. Jake saw me dressed in black and said, "Oh! I just thought you were a soup-case!" (Suitcase)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Enjoying the Wait

The doctor office has a real tree and it smells fantastic! I have to say I'm enjoying the wait just a little bit extra today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cheeky Maddie

I found Maddie's socks shoved behind the toilet on the second floor bathroom. I told Gina not to move them and let me know if she sees anything else like that again. Turns out she's been doing it already. Punk kid. Now to find a proper punishment will be my next quest. I'm thinking up and down the stairs three times every night to make up for the stairs she skipped by being lazy.

Funny Zufelt Quotes

I found some awesome swim caps at Mustafa. A bright, bold pink shark with a dorsal fin sticking up on it. I knew Maddie would love it so I grabbed one for her and one for her girlfriend Anna since they are nearly always together and kept it for her birthday present this week. Maddie got hers for her birthday back in September.


This week we were at the pool with Anna’s mom, Ms Jennifer, discussing her birthday party plans. Maddie chimed in about the swim cap we were giving Anna then says to me in front of Jennifer, “Wait. Can we give her my old one?”

“No. Why?”

“Because I didn’t get to choose which one I wanted and I want the other one.” Turn on the attitude and what I call the flippy floppy body.

“No. That one’s used. We’re going to give her a brand new one.”
“BUT IT’S DRY! She can have that one.”

Jennifer was rolling on the floor laughing. “But it’s dry” has been cat called at me a time or two in the last few days. She even told another mom about it and said it was one of the funniest two things she’s heard the Zufelts say. The other? She’s Baptist and one of my best friends. She asked one day sincerely if we have the same ten commandments she believes. I don’t even remember my response but apparently I said, “We can kill, but other than that they are the same.” Cheeky girl I am.


Last night reading scriptures Brian helped Maddie with some new words, one of them was “two.” She retorts in a loud, defiant, don’t-lie-to-me sort of voice, “That’s not how you spell ‘too’!” Brian tells her it’s the number two. She considers, then smiles and carries on as if nothing happened.


Cake Request

I asked Jake what he wants on his birthday cake for tomorrow.
"Definitely my candle. 'Cause it's going to have FIRE!" Then he went on and on about keeping safe with a fire and singing and blowing the candle.
"Ok we will have a candle. Now what picture do you want me to put in the top?"
After much thought he decided he had his final answer. I was all ready for a complicated Disney character request or a fire truck or something that would take six different icing colors.
"I want a circle, tri-ang-uh-gull, rectang-a-gull and square." Later he decided to add an oval to the list. Now in thinking through how to make this shape cake look cool.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Practicing Up for the Big Birthday

Here is Jake and his best friend and birthday twin, Anderson. Today we cooked play dough after lunch and they have been very busy making things with their imaginations. The favorite thing of the day seems to be their own birthday cakes with tons of candles. Then we had to sing to Jake then Anderson then Jake then Anderson again and again and again and again. And a few dozen more times. It's been a fun afternoon.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Sucker I Didn't Earn

"I love you mom but sometimes I'm tempted to choose another way." That's what jake just said to me as we were driving to the elephant park.

Somehow Jacob got his hands on a dum dum sucker two days ago. He carried it around in the wrapper for a bit. Eventually he says to me, "Mommy I'm going to keep this sucker and hold it. And when you do something really good to me you can earn it."

Try as I might there was nothing quite good enough that I tried doing to earn it. He reminded me often of the challenge. This morning he remembered nice and early. Panicked, he asked where were his pants. He retrieved his yesterday's pants from the laundry bag and fished the sucker out of the pocket. Then, once again, he reminded me of my goal to do something "so super nice to me" that would merit this precious sucker.

When we got in the can to go this morning I got to sit by him. He shlwed me the sucker and clutched it in his cute chubby fingers as we rode. Then he said, "Actually, I changed my mind. The wrapper is coming off this one. I'm just going to eat it. He ripped the wrapper off and stuck it in his mouth. All I could do was giggle. Giving away a sucker was just too hard for this cute little three year old despite how much his little heart wanted to give it away.

A few minutes later in the car he threw a little salt in the wound. "If you want to know how the sucker tastes, it tastes GOOD."

Lovely Tropical Mold

We took the car seat out while our visitors were here and left it by the front door. This is what happened in about seven days. It's absolutely covered with mold. It is so hard to keep things clean here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bali: Night One

We got to our hotel after 11pm. Maddie was in full melt down after bring woke up to disembark the airplane then again after the hour ride to the hotel. The kids did fantastic on the plane. Well, as far as I could tell. I got Ashlyn to the side. Brian had jake one row ahead of grandparents with Ben and Maddie.

This place rocks. There are no other guests and its fancy. We get the run of the whole villa. It's fancy but Indonesian outdoorsy. As in the showers are kinda outside. Grandma Zufelt is gearing up for her shower and checking the curtains to stretch and pull them as big as she can. No worries. It's big enough. Just barely but enough.

Maddie has had her dreams fulfilled. She's sleeping on a bed with a fancy, flowing canopy suspended over her bed with a big hoop. Never mind that it's a mosquito net with an actual purpose in our open air accommodations. She's pretty stoked to close herself in the bed and drift into dreamland a few minutes past midnight.

Jacob loved that they made him fresh pineapple juice and did the happy dance to prove it.

Ben really thought this place was amazing for at least 15 minutes. Then he started realizing what all the rustic-mess meant. He told me, "I really like this place. I just with it was more like our house and not so much like camping.

Ashlyn is happily sleeping in a pack n play with the mosquito net I happened to toss in the suitcase. Those little things God puts in our heads can really help, even if they help someone some other time.

Brian found fireflies in the rice paddy fields the we over look from our own pool. This vacation is going to be awesome!

Now it's well past bedtime. I've given up finding Vietnam visa info for the night at least. The frogs are chirping and the jungle is humming with night life. Time to sleep.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rainy Season

It's coming into rainy season again. This is the rain storm we walked home in on Friday. I went to the school thirty minutes early to take pumpkin cookies made from the class scarecrow pumpkin head. I thought they'd get a kick out of eating their friends head. Anyway it was cloudy but not bad and I was distracted so didn't bring an umbrella. We were soaked when we got home. Maddie took her socks off and before she even wrung them out the were dripping. The rain can be AMAZING here and turns the streets and sidewalks into flowing rivers. Just watch this video for proof!

Didn't Quite Make It

Ashlyn woke up at 5:30 to eat again. I brought my phone and was studying the lesson I have to deliver today and pondering over issues with kids. I sat rocking her for a while beyond when she finished eating. Enjoying her purity and squishy cute body curled onto me with perfect love and trust. I have not yet let her down or hurt her as is inevitable in the future to come. It's nice to be perfect somewhere when your other parts of life shout questions about how your doing things loudly in your face. I digress. It's been a deep thinking morning.

This post is really about Jacob. So I headed back to my bed 45 minutes later and saw this little guy. Now sure if he actually used the toilet and how long he's been sleeping in the bathroom on the floor. I guess he was just too tired to either climb up on the toilet or maybe just to go back to bed after he was done. I love this three year old!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Going Short

Maddie always wants to go get a haircut when the boys do. Today she decided to go a little beyond a simple trim after she got settled into the chair and she went chin length!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stand Up

Just pulled up all by herself to play! Can't figure out how to reach the toys on the other side though. Still working on side stepping and balance so we don't pull the whole table over on ourselves. Her other exciting thing? Blowing raspberries. All day long. Just when we got rid of the slobber bib it may have to make a reappearance. Silly girl slobbers too much again. Maybe it's just her version of air conditioning to keep her shirt continuously soaked.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

He finally gave up when we went to cook dinner and the tent was finally empty of six year old girls and quiet for 5 minutes. Poor boy is still fighting to get over his case of Delhi Belly. He's exhausted and has been crying over everything all afternoon but I couldn't snuggle or hold him because there was no where to put baby girl down. He did good at plowing through and sucking it up.
Poor Maddie Mae. We went camping today.

She forgot the conditions of where we were going. Then she got mad. "Can't I just pee in the grass?" she asked. No ma'am. You cannot just pee in the grass at Cub Scout camp.

Standard Price

What's the going rate at your house? You know, for everything. From the dinner plate to curtains to kitchen tables and living room windows. At my house it is $500. I tried $100 but at a certain point Ben decided that the $100 threshold was within reason and he could calculate how many weeks of allowance it would take to reach it. It was more than a week but still calculate-able. So everything I own that i don't want my kid to break costs $500. The kids and friends were just playing in our tent and I threw out the "Do you have $500?" threat/question. Ten minutes later I hear one girl ask her brother if he wants to pay $500. Hearing it out of her mouth made me realize how wildly ridiculous I must sound. Still it's kinda funny and gets my point across. I think everything will remain at $500.

How Many Kids Does It Take...

to clean up the oatmeal flakes all over the back wet kitchen? Three. I tried to distribute them evenly across three tasks in different rooms so there was no fighting but the allure of a broom and dustpan sucked them all to the back of the house. So far they are all getting along in that tiny, tiny space collecting the flakes into their dustpans.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Maddie Says

"My tummy has been asking my mouth for food for 131 minutes."

Jacob has defined 131 as the true meaning of LOTS.

(Found in my email drafts folder dated 2 July 2011.)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Santa Shipment

Christmas is just around the corner and we have two Santa delivery options. Last year we wasted a boat load of cash because we kept hoping the kids were veer away from wanting very specific Playmobil stuff. They never did and by the time I caved it was too late to get it shipped so we bought it here for way too much money.


I probed for gift ideas today.

Ben – no ideas

Maddie – a magpie bird

Jacob – “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Only a hippopotamus will do.”


Not much progress made thus far…

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Tempting Drink of Kickapoo

Brian was nearly out of "daddy drinks" so I stocked up today for him. This was right between the Sprite and the Fanta. Tempting I'm sure you'd agree. Who doesn't want a big swig of nice cold Kickapoo? Funniest thing was when I sent him a text message from the store about it my phone auto filled the name of the drink when I got to "kickap" so it must be sort of common here. Maybe on another day when we aren't all down with Delhi Belly (aka travelers diarrhea) I will be up for a taste test.

Time for Baby Gates

Goodness. Lots of changes these days. Like I said the other day we had to drop the crib, she's sitting, crawling, expanding her food selection and today? We are looking at baby gates folks. Yuck. I hate climbing over gates for months and months. Hope she masters stairs really fast.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ashlyn Update

Ashlyn started putting herself in sitting position this week. Most often accomplished by crawling, yes she started crawling this week too, over to me laying on the ground. She pulls up so her chest is on my belly then holds tight as she swings her body down to sitting on my side.

We also moved the crib down to the low level because she will be pulling up any day now to standing. Kids are learning quickly not to leave things laying on the ground. I'm quite sure there will be more tears and ripped and broken trinkets before they realize her full destructive capacity.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Next Time

"Maybe Ashlyn can make a peacock with her slobber." Maddie

Just Like Big Sister

Maddie noticed this smiley face this morning on my pants. "Look! She's just like her big sister! She's doing art but only with her slobber!"

Beauty Shop

Maddie threw up and had diarrhea for about eleven hours making us miss the bus trip to see the Tak Mahal while the boys when. It's been two hours since she vomited last and she has perked up. She had half a piece of toast and has kept water and a few sips of apple juice down. She's even doing math in her head figuring when she last threw up relative to when she had a bite to eat and correctly concluding when she can expect dad to be back - I'm figuring it will be about 12 hours alone here in the hotel where the Internet has been out for three days.

Now that she's feeling a little better she's playing with the beauty shop kit she got at the bazaar last night and making Ashlyn pretty. Ashlyn is happy enough but doesn't seem to notice she's got the mirror backward. I guess both sides must taste the same. She is either a little sick too or exhausted from all the commotion the last two weeks. She took a two hour morning nap, played two hours then slept three more. Poor girl. I hope everyone is better enough to fly home tomorrow.

You Look Like Us

We dressed for church on Sunday, though a bit dressed down for us. The boys had polo shirts instead of button ups but both had long pants. Brian had a button up shirt without a tie. I had a plain skirt below the knee and blouse and Maddie a simple cotton skirt and pink T-shirt.
We were waiting in the lobby for our group to gather and one of the Indian guys working that morning was observing us a few minutes and then commented to me, "You look like us now." I'm sure we gave him a puzzled look because he followed it up with, "Your clothes look like we wear." That made me laugh. We silly Americans stepped it up a bit from our logo t-shirts and blue jeans and looked nice. Indians always look nicely presented. Even the rickshaw drivers wear collared shirts and have tidy hair Togo along with their flip flops.

Suffer with a Case of "The Almosts"

Here we are again. Maddie is putting books under her backpack instead of inside it. Then I get sweet emails giving me a "gentle reminder" to please return the daily reader and homework pages. Her teacher reports the "almosts" are a big issue with her.
Ben is doing the same thing at the house. His clothes almost made it in the laundry basket last night. Just two inches short. Why? Why not just put it in? And hanging his nice church shirts. He knows that isn't gonna cut it. It's that last step he just can't get done. He hates to make them straight so then they fall on the floor, which isn't an issue in his head but he knows it is for mom. His new solution is to thread them all wadded up through the hanger.

How do we medicate this situation? On the up side he's made a mental breakthrough that makes me happy. His teacher said Ben is struggling in math and to complicate things he's not getting enough practice time during class because he's too chatty and won't focus during partner time. He just can't ever finish the lessons. Yesterday he said, unprompted, that he can't get things done in math so he decided to just work independently from now on.

Jake's Take

Jacob just returned from the Taj Mahal. He said, "It wasn't awesome. I SAW that it wasn't awesome so we, (insert classic Jacob shoulder shrug), we just came back home." Then he turned and went to bed. And that's how a three year old sums up a trip to India and the voyage to a world famous monument.


It must be time to travel again. We had a long break after Ashlyn was born, but then we went home to Utah in July. I went with two friends and our three babies to Bangkok, Thailand in September. Now in October we took the family to Nepal to visit the Patches and then tagged along on their previously planned India trip. The kids now have seen each other in Cambodia last December, Singapore in January, Utah in July and Nepal and India in October.  I can’t think of a more fun family to travel with but when we leave each other in the morning we aren’t sure how many years until our next meeting.


Nepal was great. We stayed in the Patch home and had great homemade food that as safe for our fragile western tummies. Their maid Devi and their driver Manik took fantastic care of us. Manik drove us all over the Kathmandu area every day and fit all our huge piles of luggage in their tiny car along with all six of us. It was a bit like a clown car to see how we crammed it, but it worked. We flew overnight so expected to be tired when we arrive in Nepal at 8:30am. Then they had fog and wouldn’t let us take off in Delhi until the airport was at least close to opening. We arrived at their house four hours after we had hoped. The kids played for a little then we mandated a short nap – this news was NOT well received by the troops but after the whining and pouting everone fell asleep and the night was better in the end because they had some lay down time.


Saturday is the day they observe the Sabbath in Nepal and since it was the week we are to watch General Conference anyway, I stayed with the kids and watched church online at the house while Brian went with Chris to the church to watch with the members who generally don’t have internet access so it was their only chance to watch. Then they went to visit a French lady who has been in the hospital. We worked on a 500 piece puzzle of the Taj Mahal, checked out rooftop life at their house and Ben tried his hand at kite flying.


They all have upstairs shoes just for going on the roof so they don’t have to track the dirt all through the house. Smart mama.



Maddie can’t avoid getting dirty. She touches everything within reach and then, always, touches her head and face. Yuck.


The Zufelts and Kathmandu skyline from the Patches roof.



Us with the Patch kiddos.

Ravi, Ben, Maddie Mae, Yared, Adie, Bronte in front with Angie, Ashlyn, Jacob and Brian behind.



Ashlyn enjoyed the rooftop fun with Dad.



Gretel was great to try and try again to help Ben with the kite her kids found crash landed in their yard and the little string that was left on it.



Then buddies Ravi and Ben gave it a go.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Suffer with a Case of "The Almosts"

Here we are again. Maddie is putting books under her backpack instead of inside it. Then I get sweet emails giving me a "gentle reminder" to please return the daily reader and homework pages. Her teacher reports the "almosts" are a big issue with her.
Ben is doing the same thing at the house. His clothes almost made it in the laundry basket last night. Just two inches short. Why? Why not just put it in? And hanging his nice church shirts. He knows that isn't gonna cut it. It's that last step he just can't get done. He hates to make them straight so then they fall on the floor, which isn't an issue in his head but he knows it is for mom. His new solution is to thread them all wadded up through the hanger.

How do we medicate this situation? On the up side he's made a mental breakthrough that makes me happy. His teacher said Ben is struggling in math and to complicate things he's not getting enough practice time during class because he's too chatty and won't focus during partner time. He just can't ever finish the lessons. Yesterday he said, unprompted, that he can't get things done in math so he decided to just work independently from now on.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ash is Sick

Jacob just got home from preschool. Ashlyn was sick overnight and I didn't get much sleep. She only wants me. Jake saw her clinging to me when he walked in the door with Gina and asked, "Why didn't you make her better while I was gone?"
"I tried."
"Can you show me?"
"I just used love and tried to help her sleep."
"Did you hit her? Come over here to the table and show me what you hit her with to make her feel better." Somehow I gathered that he was meaning what medicine did I give her not really hitting her.
"I already put the medicine away and I can't move right now because she is happy so I have to stay and snuggle her on the couch."
"You were supposed to make her better mom."

Mission Failure today I suppose.

Birthday Pics to Remember

The Young Women sang to me yesterday in celebration of my birthday and crowned me queen for the day. I also got this lovely personal birthday card from our rental car company. An you tell we are really close friends? I only let my dearest beloveds call me "Zufelt Robinson".

It was a pretty good day overall. I took maddie to a bday party for her friends and ducked out during the party. Me and one of my favorite people in Singapore, Kristy, walked to the river walk and she bought me brunch. Actually it was a day of food. Brian had already made me scrambled eggs, bacon and home made hash browns. (Maddie asked me at breakfast if I asked dad to make them because she loved them so much. Cutie.)

We got back to the party as they were wrapping up. I stayed a bit and helped tidy the club house while I caught up with the mom, Jenny Allen, from our neighborhood in Fairfax. Then Ben called and without even asking where I was correctly said, "You said you would leave the party a half hour ago and you are still there." Baffled how he knew I admitted he was right and rushed home.

Then Jennifer brought gorgeous cupcakes and we visited. Finally we took the bikes and headed to West Coast Park for some family fun about 4:30pm. Poor Ben waited patiently the entire day for it. He started the day excited and willing to blow up bike tires and oil chains. Then he had to wait hours and hours and hours for the big reward. He sort of gets that a lot. He is so easy going and not often found complaining over things like that so sometimes he gets overlooked because the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the boy doesn't squeak very often. I sure love him. He is too smart for his own good though.

We rode bikes, played at the huge amazing playground and had dinner at McDonald's. We stayed long enough that we rode back to the car well after dark (sunset is only 7:00 year round). At dinner I asked if he had a good time. He thoughtfully said, "Yeah, but if had left earlier we would have had lots more time on the big playground." I suppose I shouldn't whine. That kind of choice and accountability or cause and effect thinking is what I've been hoping he would catch onto soon. Just not when it puts me in the dog house.

When we got home we had a ridiculously over priced and very delicious ice cream cake with the candle numbers "34" flaming on tip. Jacob was kind enough to lend us the 4 and we stopped to buy a 3 on the way home from the park.

Thanks for all the birthday calls and emails and Facebook messages. I feel loved.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Full of Words

We took the family to clean the church building this morning. On the drive home they got into a snippity sort of a mood with each other and after Brian nicely trying to settle the troubles he finally deemed it to be quiet time for the rest of the ride. Jacob was in no mood to comply and after defiantly talking and not being willing to hush up he finally hollered out, "I'm FULL of words!" as a justification for him not obeying.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jacob Swiss Cheese

We just passed our cute neighbor Eun Seo. That is her Korean name. She and Maddie have been friends since we moved into our house here in Singapore. When Eun Seo started at the American school in August she decided she would prefer an American name like her older brother has so she became Stella. Jacob saw her and I asked what would he change his name to and he was quite fast and firm in his answer. Jacob Swiss Cheese Zufelt.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween's A Comin'

Today I took the time to finally assess the candy damage from last year’s Halloween. I counted and weighed so I know what to buy for this year. I never got around to posting last year but Halloween is nuts here! I bought six HUGE bags of candy. The picture here shows just about 3 bags we had left after the night ended. We gave 5 pieces to each kid (the candies were a little smaller than jolly ranchers) and I estimate about 1,200 kids came through in just one hour.

The neighborhood officially does trick-or-treating for two hours but Brian ended up having to travel at the last minute so I hosted a dinner party then took my kids out for the first hour and handed out candy at the house for the second hour. This year I figure we can tag team and have Gina help too so I am planning on handing out candy for the full 2 hours. I expect more than 2,400 kids. Someone reports that at their downtown condo complex there are flyers for signups for a tourist bus to basically come watch the crazy Americans and their culture. It makes the newspaper each year and people come from all across the country to have fun on Halloween night.

The kids are already excited and today I secured a surprise costume for Ben he’s going to love. It’s a Mario costume from the Nintendo games.  Maddie and Jake are easy to please so any old thing from the dress up box makes them smile.

I’m getting excited for Halloween myself. I need to spend some time thinking up crazy fun decorations again this year. They were such a hit last year I’ve got to one up myself. Of course, I am also loathing everyone in the US that can just waltz into any random Target, Walmart or heck, even a stinky old ghetto gas station and pick up a bag of snack sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or other cheap candy to hand out. There is one store that sells Reese’s in Singapore and it’s downtown in the fancy pants expat mall and they cost about $3 for a candybar (2 cups).

I personally like to buy the variety pack of candy bars at Costco to hand out to my trick-or-treaters. I buy them nice and early and eat them the whole month of October. That way I can eat the quarter of the candy that I love and hand out the Almond Joy, Mounds, Crunch and Butterfingers. I make sure to eat all the Reese, Twix, Mars and Hershey’s bars. If I can’t make it through I stash them for later.

Another nice thing about October there is the candy bars don’t have to be in your fridge. If you want to eat it here without licking the chocolate right off the wrapper you’re gonna have to keep all chocolate in the fridge. Who knows. Maybe when I get back stateside I won’t be able to eat room temperature chocolate anymore.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Singapore AMERICAN School

This is the makeup of Maddie Mae's class:
22 kids
1 China
1 Philippines
2 Indonesia
1 India
4 Korea
1 Netherlands
1 Singapore
1 Canada
1 Italy
1 Mexico
1 Malaysia
1 kid that didn't do their homework and put a poster on the board so I don't know where the last kid is from

I'd call that an international class! I went to hear the superintendent speak at the beginning of the school year and he relayed an interesting story. In my best four week ago memory this is what I remember. He was invited to a coffee of some sort with the president of Singapore and the head of education in Singapore was also in attendance. They discussed the things they were working on and found out they were striving to be more like wag other.

The Singapore Ministry of Education was studying the American school system to figure how to make their students better at thinks outside the box and being creative problem solvers. He said he had been studying the Singapore education system to help his students have a better foundation of those basic skills memorized so they can not get caught up there and move their skills beyond as in a student that has his addition, subtraction and multiplication drilled so well they are memorized can move through their work faster this getting more done.

Interesting the two were seeking to shift toward each other. Obviously this means there is an ideal location somewhere in the middle but the American school method must have some worldwide appeal if the clientele is so international.

Tomorrow is UN Day for the primary school (Maddie and Jake). Two weeks ago we got a flyer home in Maddie's backpack about coming to share something on our home country and culture with the kids in the classes. I was busy and frankly didn't know what to say about the USA. This is an American school after all so what's to tell?

Last Monday she came home from school and asked right off which day I was coming because Diego's mom had come that day and all the moms were coming. She asked the next day and the next and the day after that. Anytime I sweetly said I wasn't planning on it she would kindly but with genuine confusion say that EVERY mom was coming. It took seven days but she wore me down with her daily inquiries. I scheduled with Miss Sudesh.

The plan was to have them make personal size apple pie. I lost count but I handmade either five or six batches of my Aunt Marion's amazing flaky pie crust. Then made the apple filling and rolled and cut the dough to make 26 pies. Loaded the goods in my handy dandy garage sale wagon and went off to teach the kids all about America.

I think they had fun. The boys here at the homestead wanted to make pies too so we made some after dinner. Finally everyone is settled in bed and I'm on the verge of taking NyQuil for my aches and pains and throat tickle. Tomorrow is a much more relaxed day. Just bring some USA type food to the cultural food fest lunch. I'm on protest though and decided not to do it. Just showing up empty handed this time. Oh well.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 2: Bangkok - JJ Market, Jim Thompson House

This morning we began with delicious breakfast with omelets made to order and cooked up right in front of you. Brian knows just how close to heaven I consider that. I love, love, love eggs.

Then our driver picked us up and we headed to JJ Market to see the biggest market in the world. Our driver, Lily, said it was 64 acres of shops and most of the shops are the size of my bathroom so there are thousands upon thousands of vendors selling their wares. Locals and tourists alike this market so the prices can be good.

Yesterday at the silver shop there was one piece I wanted that I couldn't get. They had stock of two pieces and the ladies group there at the same time as us got to them first. It was priced at 1750 baht and given 35% off for cash payment. Fine. I found the exact item I wanted at the JJ Market but the lady asked me for 1800 baht no discount. Our driver had said it was hard to negotiate there but Nicole was willing to give it a try. I sent her back to work her magic. First thing she asked was how much and they told her 1400 baht. She showed them 1200 baht cash and the employee hesitated and pretended to talk to the boss then took the 1200 baht. Sweet! I also got some great things I'm excited to show the kids though some will have to wait for Christmas.

The Jim Thompson house was next on the agenda. Not amazing but not a bad deal. The desserts at the restaurant however are definitely something to write home about. I had Thai coconut ice cream and brownie cheesecake. The mango smoothie Nicole got looked amazing and Jessie scraped the coconut clean with her ice cream. I thought I didn't like coconut until today. When the ice cream, served in a hollowed out coconut shell, was gone she ate the fresh, soft, cold coconut flesh right out of the shell it was delicious!

Day 2: Bangkok - View from My Window, Balister Tower, Massage

It's nearly midnight and I had no pictures to post for my cute family. I used the real camera all day today and am blogging from my phone on this trip so i haven't got any way to transfer picture files from the camera card to the phone. I decided that when daddy is on a business trip staying in high rise hotels the kids Skype him and he always shows them what he can see out his window. We've explored both Tokyo and Kuala Limpor that way and probably many more cities.

Tonight we went to the top of the tallest building in Thailand just after dark and the view was amazing. Not so much for the dramatic scenery but for the never ending city. Our driver tells us there are 12 million people living in Bangkok. The city and the lights went on and on and on beyond where the eye could see. The highways are all elevated and look like snakes winding around and around each other at the interchanges. After we went to the open air observation deck we enjoyed our complimentary drink at the bar while lounging in plush chairs and watching the city pass by below us. The place was nearly empty even though it was a Saturday night. That wouldn't have been the case in Singapore. We had our lime soda and popcorn and we all three nursed the babies.

We ended the night with an attempt to get massages. I wasn't sure how that was going to work out considering we were packing three babies with us. The goal was foot massages so we could hold the little ladies but there wasn't enough staff. Only one lady was available so because I really, really wanted someone to work on my tense neck and shoulders and because Jessie and Nicole are fantastic friends and because Ashlyn was the only one that was sleeping they let me stay and took her home with them. Turns out she woke up and wasn't perfect but they got her settled again. They were so good to me and I got my $12 massage. I love Thailand especially lots just for that.

Bangkok Day 1: Silver Shopping and Harmonic

Today we flew to Bangkok. Just three moms and three little babies, 7 months, 6 months and 4 months. After the flight, clearing immigration and the taxi ride where lane lines are a colossal waste of paint we relaxed at the hotel for a few minutes while we surveyed the city map. We decided to get the important things done first and went to the silver shop. Brian and Santa bith vicariously did a little shopping for my birthday in two weeks and a little something for Christmas.

Then we got dinner at Harmonic. It was fantastic food and beautifully displayed. The restaurant was down a tiny street a little walk and the place is a bit old and run down. Really it's just an old building they shoved tables and chairs into and packed with decorations like the a fountain and the cart looking shelf withy they put the statues of their gods. It felt very authentic for sure and the owner was at our table multiple times through dinner to engage us in conversations like, "I know everything take care babies. My sister-in-law have many I take care them." She was a hoot and had pretty good command of English I thought. Despite us ordering smallish portions of seven different things Ashlyn stuck with rice cereal. I tried to give her a bite of squished up mango but it came right back out with a sour face. She missed out!.

As usual caucasian kids are adored here in Asia. Yesterday in Singapore i had all my four kids at the bird park and the Indians were taking pictures of the birds. They saw Jake and stopped watching the birds and started photographing him. He wasn't having it that particular day. Ashlyn was great today though. She smiled and cooed at any and everyone. She had her picture taken a number of times and the hotel staff dote on us three women with our three white babies.

Just because Jake and Maddie love them I made sure to get a picture of a PINK taxi tonight.

When we got back to the hotel we planned the Saturday schedule. Looks like JJ Market, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace. It was a great day in Thailand. I hope my family had a great day too. I love you guys.

Question of the day for the Zufelt kids: Which picture shows Ashlyn's dinner and which ones did mom eat for her dinner? Can you name any if the foods? Anyone who gets the right answer can have one trick or treat.

Answers: Ashlyn had rice cereal
Mom had cashew chicken, steamed rice in flower shaped bowls, pumpkin cheese deep fried muffin things, spring rolls, chicken satay, pad thai and mango sticky rice. Yummy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bye Family

We will miss you but have fun with Daddy!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

There's a Hole in My Underwear!!

Jacob is upset and doing the flippy-floppy on the floor insisting he can't put his underwear on. It's over his feet and already pulled up to his knees. He can't possibly remember how to pull them up from his knees to his waist. Then horror of all horrors. He discovered his underwear has a hole in it and doesn't want to wear them anymore. I could get a new pair but it wouldn't help. All boy underwear has a pee hole. Too bad kiddo. Suck it up and deal. Now pull your drawers up!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I got yoshiniya and no one whined about it one bit. Because I was alone. Great dinner for me and good luck to Brian with all four monkeys at home.

Special Dam Briyani

Sometimes I glance numbly through my environment and see nothing. Other times I do a double take. This is one of those cases. Anyone for some "Special Dam Briyani?" Brian thinks it's one of those typical English misprints and should read, "Dam Special Briyani." This is at Al-Ameen Eating House at the market nearest out house. We pass it almost daily. I think this should be our next Friday night date night location so we can try it out.

Friday, September 7, 2012


The first library day of kindergarten I saw this in Maddie's library bag. Cinderella. Last year I think she checked out some version of Cinderella every single week. At one point about two thirds of the way through the year she told me she only had to begin approaching the librarian, Mr Geoff, and he would whip out an entire stack of Cinderella books because he knew exactly what she was going to ask for. I know for a fact we read at least six or seven different ones in the early childhood center. I wonder just how many versions the primary school has. I think I'm about to find out.

Two Amigos - Jacob's Twin

This is Jacob and his best buddy Anderson. They are nearly always together. They look alike. Blond hair short people. Dads both work for the same company. They both live in the Woodlands, Singapore and when we finish here we will both move to...The Woodlands, Texas. They act just alike. Neither one wants to go home from preschool unless they are both going to one house or the other together.

They absolutely love each other to death. They share everything including a birthday. Though Anderson is technically older because he was born 12 hours ahead in Singapore while Jake was born in Virginia. This is the two amigos after a tiring day at preschool. We try to get them to chill and be still so they will fall asleep and nap after school. Sometimes it works but mostly not because they love to play any and everything together in the playroom.

Hair Stylist Maddie

This is one of those cases when it's really hard to let the kid learn something and become independent. I really don't enjoy doing Maddie's hair each day and kept wondering when she'd be old enough to manage herself - at a minimum brushing it out in the morning. These days she is wanting to do her own hair independently. I have to remind myself when she looks like this on Sunday that she won't learn without trying and in the end it will be worth it.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I just noticed that my email inbox hit 10,004 messages today. I think I officially qualify as an email hoarder. Won’t say it doesn’t come in handy though having all that back information. Just wish I didn’t have quite so much of it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dragon Baby Party

It’s the year of the dragon and we decided to celebrate our dragon babies now that their big brothers and sisters are all settled into school routines. Amongst my friends from church there will be eleven dragon babies before the Chinese New Year in February. Seven are here already and four more on the way. We had a great lunch and nursing party at my place yesterday and I pulled out all my dragon decorations I had picked up around the Chinese New Year last January. (When Jacob got home and saw the many bright red and gold lanterns hanging all over the ceiling, the zodiac strand and other traditional décor his mouth dropped open and he said, “It’s just too beautiful in here mom!”


Babies left to right:

Logan, Ashlyn, Aliya, Anika, Cybil, Luciana, Tyler


Tummies left to right:

Naomi, Kristy, Jen, Laura


Henna tummy: The Fabulous Kristy. Isn’t that the coolest idea? Kids wanted the baby to get some too so they did!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I feel like I'm back in high school again. I am sprinting through my life this last while especially. I dash from kid drop off to play with Ashlyn during her morning awake hour. When she gets tired I feed her while I check email on my phone or listen to scriptures be read to me on my phone. As soon as she nods off I start my mental one hour timer. That's all the free time u get in a day. I need to arrange doctor appointments, pay bills, manage our real estate business stuff, return phone calls to the US before businesses close, sew the buttons on the blessing dress before Ashlyn's photo shoot, figure out a way to make Maddie's new glasses work with her patches and fix the old ones back to normal shape with two pairs of pliers, cub scout registration data inputting, clean the house for a dragon baby party at my house today, find a room for us to meet in at the school for our girl scout troop, plan the parent coffee for the third grade class, attend the PTA meeting, get a massage because my body hurts so bad it's painful to walk, sit or stand.

After that's all taken care of in 60 minutes or less I have to run to pickup Jacob (and often a neighbor or two) from preschool. That counts as my exercise for the day because it's a mile in the Singapore heat and humidity. When we get home walking at preschool speed accommodating for his short little legs he is usually. Ready for lunch. Then he is totally exhausted. He asks me to snuggle him on the couch and read him books which is. Exactly what he needs because hrs snotty and has a little cough and wants nothing more than to be in my arms. Usually it takes until about 2:15 for him to give into his body and fall asleep. That leaves me again a teensy tinsey window of 15 minutes to start and finish a task before my 2:30 alarm to go walk back to the school for the third time in the day to pick up my Maddie Mae.

Maddie is a social gal and what she needs most is to giggle and run with her friends to destress. So we stay for a while, usually until I know I need to hurry home and feed Ashlyn again if I didn't bring her in the stroller.

Home brings me my Ben waiting for a snack and I initiate the homework routine to begin. He initiates the "It's too hard" whine noises. When we finally finish for the day Ashlyn seems to need feeding while Jacob needs more snuggles after waking groggy from his nap.

Then we tidy up toys and set the table for dinner. Say my prayer of gratitude that at least I didn't have to cook a meal too in all this mayhem.

I'm feeling so frantic this week. Last week I made progress in the mess. This week I undid any progress I had previously made as I blew through the house dropping this bag of gear and grabbing the next one to rush away again. Today should be bad and then Friday is mine without any extra meetings or appointments.

I wonder sometimes but I don't think I've over committed myself really. I think it's just a really busy time this month. Cross you fingers and say a prayer with me that I'm right! I'm just hating deadlines and pressure today because I'm getting emails like crazy asking if I got this and that done. The answer is unfortunately, "NO." It's not because I forgot. I just haven't got to it yet. It's on the list. Now it's 4:00am and I think I'll just go start on the list because I can't sleep because my brain won't shut off with To Do list running through it and even getting it out in this blog post hasn't settled me. Good morning world. Here I come!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Naked Season

I think it must be naked season here in Singapore. Today I saw a guy I honestly though was naked. Turns out us was wearing nothing but flesh colored shorts while he watered his garden plants - in the rain I might add.
Saturday we were walking home from the school after cub scout registration and I saw a guy sitting at a patio table he drug out of his yard to the edge of the street. There he sat, legs up on another chair naked, private zone mostly covered by the table top, smoking a cigarette. I did a HORRIFIED double take and thankfully discovered he too was wearing small flesh colored shorts.
Yuck. Double yuck. There ought to be a rule against wearing flesh colored shorts!

I'm Lost!

Ashlyn updates galore today. She is a champion roller, flip flopping left then all the way back and onto the right.
With the big kids gone to school and the great new carpet with padding in the living room she has been napping on her blanket on the floor. When she wakes up she rolls herself all around the room but sometimes she gets all twisted up in her blanket. She patiently lays there without a sound. I imagine in my mind she is contemplating and calculating how to get out of her predicament. Eventually she starts rolling again and randomly wiggles her way free.