we're approaching six months without ezekiel and i just wanted to say thank you to everyone for supporting us and loving us. as i finish up the last of the thank you cards (what a weird thing) and grieve all over again i am reminded that there are things to be thankful for. sometimes i don't want to be thankful but today i will say thank you one more time...for the people who loved on zeke before he was born, who held him and prayed for him and then helped celebrate his life, you are important to us. for the people who sent meaningful cards, flowers, gift cards, meals --thank you. for the people who continue to pray and ask how we're doing and really mean it, thanks.

every day is uncertain, every breath a blessing. we're reminded things could be better, but they could also be worse. so give thanks for anything that makes your life better, or worse, and remember that it's all a gift.
wyatt's 4th birthday party. he almost cried when he thought he had to eat cake.
cassie's 3rd birthday party. she loved having everyone sing to her. she almost cried when i told her she couldn't have any more cake.

he got at least one professional shoot in with his auntie sarah for his first birthday. the boy looks good.


has anyone noticed the suggestions for labels in regards to posts on blogger? right below where i'm typing (you won't be able to see it once i post) it says:

Labels for this post:
e.g. scooters, vacation,fall

who is posting about scooters so much that it needs its own label? what kind of scooters are we talking about? whether it's ones with wheels or the chain coffee company, i don't believe these are worth labeling. wouldn't vehicles or coffee suffice?

also, f.y.i.: if you haven't posted in the last month you have a few more days to make the cut off before being cut off. the side bar is already getting cleaned up. did you notice?
when i was in college i had some great roommates. in the end i think i had 7 roommates and they were all wonderful girls. the last two years in manhattan i lived in a house that we called the blue bungalow. it was not a bungalow, it was a two story blue house with a big front porch. maeret could give you details on what a bungalow consists of; our house was not one. it was a catchy name. and it stuck.

my junior year we decided to get a dog. our neighbors bred boxers and all the puppies sold except the runt. she was a cutie and our sweet neighbors (bonnie and what were her husband and son's name...bri would remember) decided to give us this unwanted puppy. being music people we thought of several options but settled on rhoadie. i added the 'rh' because it reminded me of rhoda from the mary tyler moore show.

the story is funny only because it wasn't just the girls in the house who took care of the dog (although one roommate was not thrilled about the dog, she did tolerate rhoadie. as a puppy she was adorable so it wasn't too hard of a sell). there were three boys that also became co-owners. they were great boys, coming to take her for walks, teaching her tricks, taking her out in the snow when we didn't want to. we decided it was only fair to name her after all of her owners: rhodie mcwiebingtonfranzirwinschrag.

i think of this name only because as i type maas sits to my right and cassie sits across from me. we all have our computers out. we're talking and not talking and that's okay. tom and sam are sitting on the couch talking. it's this fun college-life feeling. the only difference is we're all really tired and it's only 10:30. it's a given that the tblakes and maasen hang out a lot, we are roommates. sam and cassie make their way over to mastin street quite frequently. the five of us watch ku games together, we eat supper, play games, hang out. yuma tries to tell the v.b.s she would love to move to their duplex. sometimes cassie uses us for our free wireless internet. and we're ok with that.

maas calls sam and cass the friday night roommates because we frequently have sabbath supper together. the reality is we hang out more than just fridays. it would be funny to have a name, especially since the v.b.s have two last names and some people think maasen's first name is maasen and don't know what her last name is. her real name is angela jean maasen but maasen jean rolls off the tongue quite nicely.

i am suggesting the van maasblakes. and if we wanted to add the folks over at 6857 that would be easy: p.t. van weltonmaasblakes. that has a good ring to it.

this creates a bigger question: what would be the collective name for all the people in our community? sometimes invitations or thank yous come for the community and they are addressed to kingdom living. this is the easy way out and i'm curious, what is the collective name for k.l.?


warning: i'm in clean-up mode. i realize that some of you might not have the time to post, but if you don't update your blog soon your link over there on the right side is going to get axed. you know who you are.

i'm getting tired of the clutter.


for a while i put real lemon in my water to spice up the no coke routine. the kids thought this was a fabulous new drink and begged to try lemons. not in their own water to drink, but straight, undiluted lemons to suck on. they asked:

sorry you can't watch it directly here. i don't know what's wrong with my technology skills. i can't get it loaded. trust me, this is worth checking out. and while you're there you should check out the older videos. wow, we laughed a lot.

i enjoy layout and design, but the problem is i have very few great photographs. i don't have the eye for it. i suppose that's why i enjoyed working for kelly jackson. i love a great photograph. and speaking of (what a great segue [what a weird spelling!]) this is a great new site by the girls: these photographs are wonderful and creative. i look forward to checking it often to see what brilliant new views they come up with.

as for life at the tblake house:
cassie is officially three, but not any closer to wanting to go potty on the toilet. i am not sure what to do to encourage her in this area. she is intelligent and independent so i've been telling her she's in charge of her potty, but it's a tough sell. she is, however, very good at telling me after she has pooped and whether her diaper has poop, pee or both. nice, huh?

wyatt is learning to write his letters and counts pretty well. if i set something up and ask him to count it he goes very slowly, putting his index finger on each item. i wish there was some way i could describe how long and drawn out his counting is, but you'll have to hear it for yourself.

we brought out the electric piano (aka keyboard) this week. it was a gift from my parents at christmas and i finally broke down and opened it up. surprisingly it's not so annoying. wyatt loves to turn on the beats and then play. he puts it on what he calls "rock and roll". that's my son. and cass can't help herself, when she hears a beat she wiggles her little booty. we've been practicing notes, doing the scale and she has amazing pitch. i look forward to them growing in their musical sensibilities. i pray uncle eric and uncle sam-bo will step in and help them.

speaking of (again, smooth transition), i would really love it if mr. simon and mr. van buskirk (note: two names, not one, not three) would record some music. i'm putting it out there. i've said it several times and it seems like we're not any closer to having their tunes on our ipod. frankly i'm a little disappointed. i know e-train has a new baby, and sammy has a new wife, but i also know there are at least 20 other people who would love to have their tunes playing in their homes. i'm calling you out, boys.

i suppose we're doing alright in the tblake home. well, i guess i'm doing alright. tom still has aches from his car accident and continues to see the chiropractor. he's been working this week and i'm not sure that's a good thing for his body, but it's a good thing for our bills. we're praying for a new line of work and he's looking into some things but we're still totally clueless as to the next step. though our faith has increased during this season of grief and waiting, our patience is getting stretched and i (i should only speak for myself) am getting tired of the uncertainty. the adventure continues and i'm sure i will look back one day and be thankful for this part of the journey, but i'm ready to turn the page.


yesterday i realized why i don't eat lunch with my children. i used to think it was because i didn't want to have to talk during the meal. i just wanted quiet time to read my book and enjoy my food. now i realize it's because i want to eat.

i served the kids first: turkey, cheese, grapes. this kept them occuppied long enough for me to make a sandwich for myself. but as soon as i sat down they needed more water. then more grapes. and some more cheese. and a little bit of turkey. i took two bites here, a bite there, and became so frustrated that i gave up.

i'm a foodie. anytime i invest energy into a meal i want to enjoy it. on occassion i make meals i don't particularly enjoy and then the desire to relish in it isn't as strong, but i still like to eat without having to get up every two minutes.

so even though it's more socially ideal to eat lunch with the kids, this has become a joke and i will go back to my old ways of holding off my hunger until they are snuggled in their beds for naptime. then i will enjoy my book and get out of my chair only for dessert.

in a somewhat unrelated event, here's cassie pouting because it's not time to eat the challah bread yet. this is one of the kids' favorite foods. last time i made sweet challah (raisins and cinnamon inside) wyatt ran around the house giving me and tom kisses and yelling, "sweet challah! sweet challah!" (the round loaf is the sweet one. wyatt doesn't like the regular kind. cassie is like her father, she'll eat anything i make.)