Monday, November 30, 2009

travel log

Leave home at 4:00 p.m.
Head to Michigan City, Indiana.
Get there around 10:45.

Swim at the hotel.
Travel to East Lansing.
Catch up with relatives.
See Aunt Mary and show off the beautiful sweater and booties she made.
Perry sports the too small hat as a yamaka.
Read books with Aunt Mary.
Say goodbye.
Sleep on the way to Cadillac.
Stay at Great Grandpa and Grandma's.
Lots of hugs and kisses.

Sleep in.
Play with Great Grandma and Grandpa.
Visit a great, great aunt.
Tate meets Uncle Scott for the first time and thinks he's pretty funny.
Have another great dinner with the other side of the family.
Lots of catching up.
Lots of holding Tate.
Lots of playing.
Say our goodbyes.
Back to Grandpa's and Grandma's.

Wake up early.
Say goodbye to Great Gma and Gpa.
Travel to our friends' house.
Eat some super yummy corn chowder.
Hang out for way too short a time with old friends.
Laugh a lot.
Camera battery dies.
More goodbyes.
Travel just past Chicago.
Stay in another hotel.
Eat at Cracker Barrel.

Wake up.
Eat breakfast.
Travel home.
Re-live good times had with friends and family.
Thank God for bringing such wonderful people into our lives.

quick heads up!


Target is having huge fruit sales this week!

I got...

a 3 lb. bag of apples for 99 cents,

a pound of strawberries for 99 cents,

and a pound of blueberries for 99 cents!

Pictures of our Thanksgiving Vacation coming soon...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

game plan

This afternoon, precisely at 4:00, we will be leaving for the first leg of our Michigan Thanksgiving trip.  

That's right.  We're driving to Michigan with a 3-month old, a 2-year old and a 4-year old.  Don't you wish you could travel with us? (note the sarcasm)

So I made a game plan for today.  Normally the kids take a nap after lunch, but not today!  No, I don't want them wide awake and hyper for our evening drive.  So this morning we went to the library to get new books for the trip, ran errands at Target to pick up some good snacks for the car, picked up happy meals (only because it's cheap happy meal day and don't worry - I got them with apples instead of fries!) and headed home to play, play, play until they're so worn out that they just can't stand it anymore.  That's the plan anyways.  I'm a little afraid it'll backfire on me and we'll end up with overly tired children that can't do anything but cry.  

Let's hope the original plan works out.

I'm sure we'll have our wary moments during this trip, but it's definitely worth it.  We're going to visit some of Chad's family and some of our friends that haven't met Tate yet.  Plus, we get two Thanksgiving dinners!  Can't beat that!  :)

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

such passion

If you were a mouse in my house, this is what you might hear on any given day:

Adeline: "Oh, Tate, I love you sooo much.  No matter how old I get, I will never stop loving you.  Never, ever, ever."
Emilia:  "Stop kissing him, Addie."
Adeline:  "Don't worry, Tate.  I will never stop kissing you.  No matter what anyone says.  You are my brother and I will love you forever."

My Addie is sooo dramatic... one of the many things I love about her.  Whether it's playing with her puppets, reading her books or asking mommy for some candy... she puts her whole heart into it.

I thought this was just an Adeline trait until recently.

Here's what I heard Millie saying a few days ago (in her 2-year-old accent, of course):
"Oh, Tata Tot, I wuv you sooo much.  You mah bestest fwend in da whole wide wohld.  I wuv you fo'eva and eva."  *with much kissing included*

I only hope this love-fest continues for a long time.  Much better to hear them arguing about who loves who most rather than the opposite.

Although I'm sure as soon as Tate is old enough to object, he's not going to appreciate all the slobbery kisses.  :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

rock on

Leaves rock.  

(Luckily for us, we have PLENTY of them left on the trees.  We'll be raking 'til it snows.)

Kari rocks.

(She comes and watches the girls for us during our small group on Sunday nights.  She also just comes over and hangs out sometimes and the girls LOVE her.  They also love doing her hair.)

(Please try and ignore the location of Millie's finger...  And yes, Addie's eyes are closed *on purpose* in both pictures.  That's how she poses now.)

Leftover Halloween candy rocks.

(We made blizzards out of it and boy, was it tasty!)

(It was a little too intense for Chad...)

Tate Rocks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

it had been waaaay to long...

Yes, definitely way too long.

Like about 10 years.


Ten years since I had been to the dentist.

We don't have dental insurance on myself or the kids because it's super duper pricey, so we just hope for the best.  But because of the no-insurance deal... and the fact that I'm 100% Dutch... I hadn't been to the dentist since when my parents were paying for it.  I mean come on, I brush my teeth.  That's all I have to do to maintain a healthy smile, right?
Nothing to worry about...

However, I was a nervous wreck.  I had just heard about a friend who had gone to the dentist after having her third baby and she had NINE cavities!  NINE!  And she was told it was from being pregnant and nursing 3 times.  
I guess that's not good for your teeth...  
Oh the sacrifices we make for our children...

So I was sure that I would have at LEAST five cavities. - and BIG ones.

However, God heard Adeline's prayers (she and Daddy prayed for me when I left)... and I only had one teensy weensy little cavity.

Thank you, Lord.  I could almost hear my wallet breathing a sigh of relief.

But being back in that "dental-work chair" (I don't know what it's really called) brought back so many unpleasant memories.  And it didn't help that this office was completely set back in 80's decor.  I mean COMPLETELY decked out in 80's decor.  Not even a *hint* of anything from this decade, or even the 90's for that matter!  The rooms were even color coordinated - the pink room, the green room and the blue room.  I was fortunate enough to get the pink room.  EVERYTHING in that room was pink.  From the walls to the carpet... even the patient's and dentist's chairs were pink!  I could picture how the conversation must have played out:

Dentist: Well, now that the walls and everything else in this room is pink, I think that's probably good enough.
Receptionist:  But doctor, when I tell the patients to go back to the pink room, how will they know which room it is unless the carpet is pink too?
Dentist:  You've got a good point there... Go ahead and order the pink carpet.  Oh, and make sure the carpet comes up onto the wall about 5 inches or so too.  Not sure why, I just think it would look interesting.

Yes, for some reason, the carpet even served as "trim" around the bottoms of the walls too.  Neat-O.

So, what did I learn from this visit to the dentist (besides that I can save money by using carpet as trim... a VERY cool tip...)?
That it pays to be Dutch.  I can save money by not having dental insurance and if I only have one cavity after three pregnancies, chances are I probably won't get that many more now, right? 

Oh, and also that I should probably floss more.  But don't they tell everyone that?

Monday, November 9, 2009

and the winner is...

(Otherwise known as Dawn)

Just so you know I'm not cheating, I assigned each entry a number and used to generate a random number and Dawn's number was chosen!

Dawn is one of my bestest girlfriends ever!  We first met at church in Grand Rapids, MIchigan when Chad and I were church-searching.  Our friends Chuck and Teri had us all over for dinner and games one night and we all became fast friends.  Every summer for the past seven years we've all gone on vacation together.  It started out with tent-camping, but as our families have all rapidly expanded we've moved to house-renting instead!  This past summer we went to Wisconsin, which you can see pictures of on this post.

So, congrats Dawn!  You'll be receiving a catalog in the mail soon (along with a very late birthday gift...)

Friday, November 6, 2009

prayers needed

Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not doing the drawing for my bling-bling giveaway yet, so you still have time to post a comment on my last post to enter the drawing!

My heart has been heavy today for some friends of ours and I just want to get as many prayers out for them as possible.  If you click on the sweet little baby picture in the top left corner of my blog, you can read all about baby Malachi's situation.  His parents are friends of ours who used to attend our church before moving away.  Malachi is just 10 days old today and was diagnosed last week with CHARGE syndrome.  It's very serious and he will be undergoing major heart surgery next Thursday.  

It is so amazing how John and Marissa are responding to this crisis.  Below are Marissa's own words, taken from her blog, describing their faith in God through this situation.  Please take the time to read it.  It is so worth it.

"Some would say why us? We, too, ask "Why us?" but not in the way that you might be expecting. "Why have we been chosen and blessed with this opportunity?" To that, we can only praise Him and do our best through Christ's power to raise and care for Mr. Malachi. To God alone be the glory.

John is planning on memorizing 2 Corinthians 4 (sorry, Brian, he's still working on it!). We appreciate this passage and we want all of you to know the following: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Cor 4:16-18)"

This morning, the following song came on the radio and it brought tears to my eyes just thinking of baby Malachi.  It reminds me of when my niece Ruby was diagnosed with cancer at just 6 months old.  My brother and his wife used every moment of that crisis to bring glory to God.  I would only hope that I could respond in that same way if God would choose to bring us through a trial like theirs.  

Please enjoy this song.  And if you're wondering, yes, the musician, Ginny Owens, is blind.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

it's the big one... BLING BLING GIVEAWAY!!!!

Yes folks, it's finally here.  My big giveaway!  

So why am I choosing my 79th post to do a giveaway instead of a nice round number like 100?  Well, for those of you who have been faithful readers since the beginning, you may remember when I completely deleted my blog on accident... yup, just wiped it clean away.  I was devastated.  I'm not sure how many posts I had when that happened, but I know I've now had more than 100, so I just chose my 79th post since that's the year I was born.  (Yes, I am a product of the 70's... does that make me seem old?)  Such a great year that they even wrote a song about it!

Why am I choosing to give away some bling?  Well most of you know already, but for those who don't, I'm a Premier Designs jeweler so I have easy access to some great jewelry deals!  And what piece of jewelry am I choosing to give away?  I hemmed and hawed about this one and finally decided....

I'll just let YOU choose!
That's right, the winner of my drawing will receive a 
$25 gift certificate 
for Premier Designs!


And what, you may ask, can I buy for $25?

Let me show you just a few of several items under $25:

Is it earrings you desire?

Maybe something in gold?

Or something a little fancy?

Maybe you like the classic look of pearls upon your wrist...

Or something a little more modern?

But in gold?

Or maybe just a simple silver bracelet...

Are you looking for a funky pendant?
This one has a hinged clasp, so it can fit on practically ANY chain!

Maybe you're interested in something shiny around your neck?

Whatever your fancy, I'm sure you can find it in our catalog (which I will send you if you win).

To enter, just comment on this blog.  If you're not a blogger, you'll have to give me your name - for obvious reasons.  And if you're a guy and embarrassed to enter a jewelry give-away, have no fear... it'd make a lovely Christmas gift for a special lady!

Good luck!

Monday, November 2, 2009

under construction...

Yes, I realize this new blog layout is a bit springy, but that's what I need during these cold months (although yesterday was 68!).  

Just the hope of spring around the corner (or 6 months away...)

I'm trying to figure out how to make the header look better... I'm not as tech-savvy as some of you other bloggin' mamas.  So please bear with me as I try and figure this out!