I know there's a smudge on the lens, but I can't tell you how much I love this photo.  This is the kind of wonderfulness that happens when we have nowhere to go.  Love those kinds of evenings.  Daddy gets home from work, and sits in a chair, and memories happen.  <3
There's been a tragedy at the Z house.

I came upon this poor soul as I was headed upstairs to put away laundry.  I hardly knew him, and I had no idea his end was near.

What I find even more tragic is the state of my kids' coats behind him.  Will I ever get hooks for coats???  When you're renting, you just keep thinking "we'll be moving soon" and things like THIS happen!  Oh well, life could be worse, right?

See you around!

Matt and I have been talking a lot lately about how to learn to trust God and rely on Him.  It's one of those times in our lives where God has shown us something, spoken to our hearts, and continues to teach us the lesson in ways big and small.  I know He is always trying to teach us something, but sometimes it is so OBVIOUS.  It is EVERYWHERE.  We recognize it, we keep learning it, and yet, there is still more to learn because we are not perfect humans and we need to learn things as a process sometimes.  It's been an enjoyable experience overall, because we are able to look at our lives and easily see how God has guided and protected us as He moves us along, so we have learned to look at even the disappointments as bumps along His path for us.

And yet, many times we find ourselves having to "come to terms" with something that He clearly wants for us.  We have to talk ourselves through it.  Our wills are in the right place -- we want what He wants for us.  And yet, there is still that small hesitation sometimes; that instance where we have to weigh both sides and remind ourselves that He is in control.  Why is that?  Why don't we just JUMP in, without the so much as blinking when we always know He's looking out for us?

Matt is known for his analogies -- and especially the fact that they are almost alway related to sports.  This is how He put it:

It's like this ... we KNOW God always wins the Superbowl every year.  Always.  Not in doubt.  Foregone conclusion that happens every year.
And yet we, the feeble ones with the losing record, are always questioning His play calls all season long and are worried about implementing them.

Yeah, it is kinda like that isn't it?
We don't usually do gruesome costumes, but I justified this and gave Owen a lesson on the Ancient Egyptian burial practices.  :P

He is OBSESSED with mummies, in the same way that he is obsessed with superheroes and spiders.  It's usually a love-hate thing, and total fascination.  Jonny was the cutest cowboy ever, and literally got TWICE as much candy as everyone else because he would tip his hat and say Yeehaw!  Love it!

My little Mia -- here with her cousin Paige, Owen and Jonny -- was a kitty cat like none other.

Elena was a Steeler's cheerleader.  Some people said, "Oh .... I'm sorry.  We don't give candy to Steelers fans."  Darn Bengals fans!  They gave it to her anyway, probably because she was so cute.  And some gave her two pieces because of her Steeler Nation status.  :-)

Hope was a beautiful bridesmaid.  She doesn't know that I know ithis idea for a costume she had was just a ploy to get this beautiful dress in her closet.  :)-

Noelle was at a party and I missed a photo of her (Dude, my camera was broken that night and I was relying on other's charity!), and Julia didn't do much in the way of dressing up ...  What can I say, I'm a bad mom!!!  (I am going to try to get her to dress up again and snap one of her.)

Didn't mean to go this short, but I like it!
Jonny took this one!
Matt and I heard this on the radio the other day and got a good laugh.  My kids think it's so funny!  If you're bored, go for it.
My kids and I have been discussing what I knew about the Issues on the Ohio ballot, but tonight was the real discussion.  I had to look up the details to a few, and involved them in my research.  it was fascinating to watch my critical thinkers ask the following about Issue 1 (which proposes an amendment to the Ohio Constitution to give a bonus to vets of the Gulf conflicts of a decade ago).  Some of their questions were:

How much money are they proposing Ohio borrow?
How long will it take to pay it off?
How much are the vets and families getting?
What is the financial status of Ohio at this time?
Is this something that governments do (asking about precedent here)?
How will it get paid back?
Is Ohio the position to be going into debt over this?

I was so impressed!  It was fascinating to watch their sharp minds really, really think through these issues and the ramifications of government involvement.  I wonder how many people vote without having done their research, or who cannot think through all details and effects of proposed issues? 

We also discussed Issue 2, of which i am fairly well informed.  (Vote NO!)  It was a good chance to teach my kids when something that has merit must be sent back the drawing board because the solution is poorly laid out and ripe for corruption.  It was a great opportunity to show them that we voters are not forced to accept what is put in front of us, or else succumb to the fear that proponents invariably incite in order to push their agenda.  Say no, and tell them to come back with something acceptable!

I hope you'll vote on Tuesday, after having educated yourself on the issues.  The only thing more dangerous than citizens who don't vote is voting citizens who are not informed enough to know that they are cattle being herded into the booths to vote the agenda of whichever group of people has the most amount of money.