Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Marshmallow Catapults

The boys have been building stuff out of Bens Cub Scout book for hours. Mostly marshmallow catapults from every piece of recycling material in my waste bin, chop sticks, plastic spoons, tape, elastic, hack saw and a hand drill. They are in heaven. I love it too.

These are our two newest friends (twins) to move to Singapore and their house is full of movers unpacking boxes so we had the four kids for the day. Everyone has been pretty happy. We are always glad to find friends with kids our kids enjoy.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dog Show

Kids are out of ideas on what to do today. Stella said she wanted to play family and be dogs. Maddie had a rotten face because she didn't want to be the owner. Jacob was willing but Maddie still drug her feet so me decided not to get into it.
I showed them a YouTube video of a dog show where the dogs run through tubes and jump over poles and such. All of a sudden everyone was into it and the big boys were ease dropping and planning. Five minutes later we have Ashlyn's baby tunnel out and the furniture is moved to the side if the room. We have the poles from the back yard we use for drying bed sheets and all the kitchen chairs and stools.

Here are the cute dogs ready for the show.

The Ready For Action One


The Artistic One

Madison Mae

The Helpful One


The Adorable One


Ashlyn's Goggles

Brian reports that even though Ashlyn won't wear her glasses she will wear Jacobs prescription goggles forever.

Chop Stick Wizard

Ben has mastered the art of the chop stick. Brian was pleasantly surprised when Ben made quesadillas today using his chop sticks to move the flavored chicken chunks into the tortilla. We are living some mutant sort of Chinese American Tex-Mex culture here at our house.


Ashlyn's getting more teeth. When we came back from China she had pushed several more out. She had the two top middle and the four bottom middle. Then last week she got her first molar. That girl is addicted to the oral numbing gel. She brings it to me and signs "mas" (more). (We still do American Sign Language in Spanish.)

She's losing that baby look with this mouth full of chompers.

Word Stones - The FHE Lesson that Keeps on Giving

So the point of that FHE lesson the other day (the Jedi Jesus one) was to talk about judging each other. It was my feeble attempt to address the rudeness, blaming and tattle telling in the house. We talked about stoning the woman taken in adultery and our unkind words are also judging. I related those mean words we are hearing all day long at our house to "word stones" and we need to stop throwing word stones at each other.

This morning I showered and came out of my room to screaming downstairs. Unfortunately this is the status quo when the Zufelts have a four year old in the house. This is our round three and I'm thinking it's probably realistic to see one last round in the upcoming future with Ashlyn.

I called Jacob away from the fight and all the way up to the third floor to give him time to cool off by the time he arrived to discuss with me. He began to unleash the injustices done to him as he rounded the last corner. I put my hand up and said "Shhhh." Again the protests. Again a hand and "Shhhh." "BUT!!" "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." And he was quiet.

"What happened?"
"Ashlyn almost knocked a chair over so I RAN TO STOP"
"I ran to stop it and Maddie said I almost knocked it over but I DIDN'T!!"
"That's what this is over? There is no pushing or shoving? Just what she thinks and what you think?"
"So if she thinks something different than you think it's ok. She can say her thing and you can say your thing and if you think she is wrong then you can ignore her and she will be quiet."
"SHHHHHHH. Does it hurt you if she says something you don't think is right?"
"I mean does it hurt your body?"
"Yes. I don't want to get hit by a word stone."
I grabbed him and hugged him to my chest quickly to hide my smile and little giggles. He's right. Word stones hurt too.

Where to do we go from here? He "got it" but it hasn't changed behavior yet. We'll just keep plugging along. So far the other two kids have outgrown being four years old. I know he will too. In fact, Ben is turning out to be a rather stellar kid and Maddie, who I wasn't even sure I liked for a few years (she was a real struggle for me), is often really sweet and kind now. Jacob will be the same in time and stop instigating fights, looking around to make sure no one is watching and then punching people in the head and over reacting to every tiny thing by throwing his body on the ground. Just hoping it's sooner than later.

Yesterday he spent a LOT of time in time out for lying about the stupidest thing. The story got more and more elaborate and impossible. No matter how we proved said things couldn't have happened, he embellished and made up more to the story. So frustrating. It would have been such a simple thing to end it in two seconds but it took 30 minutes of him screaming.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jedi and Scripture

Tonight for family night we learned about when Jesus said of the woman taken in adultery "let him who is without sin cast the first stone". Discussing that the men were trying to trick Jesus with words we asked what should he have said. Ben was quick to put up his Jedi knight hand and slowly wave as he said, "You will go away now. You will not follow Moses law. You will let her go." I think we had too much Star Wars this weekend if he wants Jesus to be a Jedi.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ashlyn is Texting

Ashlyn sent her first text message today when I set my phone down and looked away.
" Zsxehnr tiujjjuumbbbvjanrrfxfddfrdhafggu" to Na Hyun our Korean friend. It's likely Ashlyn knows Korean and she totally understood what she wrote but the meaning was totally lost on me.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Home School on Hold?

It's 8:30 and I'm still in bed. The 3 big kids gave up and went down to find their own breakfast. I'm still sluggish after our trip. Had a little fever yesterday but not high and its gone now. Just so tired.

Tuesday I was the responsible party and stayed up nearly all night while the others slept. It was my job to be awake so we didn't miss checking in for the flight and then boarding. I finally slept a little on the 5 hour flight but needed a 3 hour nap in the afternoon at home. Wednesday I was so tired that I lauded on the couch the entire day. Feeling to exhausted to do a single thing after home school was finished in the morning. Yesterday I wanted to abandon home school but didn't want to tell them. They just kept bringing me workbooks and asking, "Can I do these four pages for hand writing?" And "can I do fraction wrap-ups Forsyth today?" No matter what they suggested, I just said Yes. It was defiantly a zero resistance sort of day.

Today I want to throw in the towel again. The fighting got bad yesterday though so I don't think I can abandon completely. I will have to push through some sort of structure this morning to maintain the balance. Yuck. I'm sure by Monday I'll be my normal self again.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fat Americans

Catherine, our tour guide, told us that Chinese people often say Tienamen square is so big that it can fit 2 million Japanese people, 1 million Chinese people or 0.5 million Americans. Of course that is funny enough as it is but it was proven later that night.

We went to a hot pot restaurant on the 8th floor of the building so we took the elevator. Everyone in the lobby rushed into the elevator including half of our group. The alarm was going off and the door wouldn't close meaning it was too full i.e. over weight. Two of our group got off, then one more person. Still the alarm was sounding. Bryce was the last one in our little party in the elevator and when he stepped off the alarm stopped and the doors began to close.

Shon started laughing and said out loud that once all the Americans got off it wasn't over weight anymore. Everyone inside the elevator and outside started laughing along with him. I guess we have to admit we are a bunch of fatties after all.

Birth Control

The in room mini bar has condoms you can buy at my hotel. And not just one, there are two choices. That's taking country wide birth control to a new level if you asked me. I say that in a positive way  meaning if that's what you want then they are helping people achieve the goal by having easy access. The only hotel I can imagine in the US with condoms are not places I would ever hang around.

Of course our tour guide told me there is a new law for city people that they are now encouraged to have two babies. It does not apply to country people.

Sock Lies

July 5, 2013
This is what I found when I took 30 seconds to tidy up the Barbies all over the floor today before the pest control guys arrived. Usually Maddie Mae has to do it but she's at the zoo with my in laws. 9 socks in the bin from 6 different sets of socks. Can't locate the other 3 missing ones just yet. She keeps telling me she doesn't have any socks so I finally ordered online and grandma brought some to her.

She is going to have to locate the missing 3 socks when she gets home. She's not going to be happy about it but I'm none too happy about her deceit. She routinely hides things so she won't have to clean them. Rotten little stink. 

Passing Time

July 4, 2013
We went to the SEA Aquarium today with grandparents. Jake chickened out of the tsunami movie at the aquarium so we found a way to pass the time playing drums.

Jakey And Marriage

Mom, I can reach to wash my hands in the blue stool now because I got big!
Who said you could get big?
No one.
I won't allow it.
I did. I just want to get married. No. Actually I want to be a grown up but not get married. What is that kid if guy?
(Huge smile grows on his face.)
I am going to be THAT.

Chop Stick Weight Loss Plan

There aren't many forks to be found here in Beijing. Our tour guide was asking who can use chop sticks and Brian's mom Anne said that try as she may she simply cannot make them work. Never could her whole life. Catherine just replied that chopsticks are a very effective weight loss program. She had us all rolling with laughter. So if Anne looks particularly fantastic when we return we will all have to jump on the band wagon and do the chopstick diet.

Later we were at the Pearl Market and picked up neon colored children's trainer chop sticks for her and grandpa. At dinner at our hotel the waitress asked do the need a chop sticks and grandpa said no and pulled his trainer chop sticks and they started laughing at him and went to tell the other wait staff to look at our table. We are certainly finding things comical here in Beijing!

Quote of the Day

At the Pearl Market in Beijing the sales people are aggressive and pushy. After a while we had negotiated over a few items and Maddie asked me in complete sincerity, "Mom, why are they just MAKING us buy all this stuff?"

Harry Potter in China

We got home from China on Tuesday and everyone in the country that spoke English told me Ben he looked like Harry Potter. Then we rode the overnight train to Xi'an and back and we really did leave from the platform between 9 and 10! Obviously it's the glasses and hair cut. And the fact he studies magic with his dad, right?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ashlyn Weigh In

16 months old and the little lady weighed in at 7.52 kg or 16.5 lbs. I was honestly blown away. How can she be THAT small still?

Maddie the Reader

Maddie just started reading Junie B Jones and feels like such a big girl. Reads one page a night out loud in bed. I listen through the baby monitor and smile. So cute.

I asked her tonight how it was going and she was proud to report she was on page eight tomorrow. Bad news though, I promised her it was a funny book but it wasn't funny yet. I had compassion on her and even though it was way past bedtime I read her two chapters to help get it going.