Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the one where I upload the pics from my camera and make a post out of them

Sorry I've been awol for the past few weeks. (Have I been saying this a lot lately?)  I guess we've been a little busy... I couldn't really remember why, so I decided to just upload the pictures from my camera and run through them with you.  Hope you don't mind.  ;)

Oh yeah.  We did this (on a 90 degree day in the middle of May!).
I guess I just couldn't bring myself to sit down at the computer when the outdoors was so alluring.
(Yes, I realize our splotchy grass in these pics is anything but alluring... but it has now been fertilized and is even tempting enough for thoughts of rolling around in its lushness... were it not for hidden piles of dog poop...)

This one brought an instant smile to my face. We've been doing a little disciplining 'round here... those terrible 2's are creeping up on us ever so quickly...
Is it odd that I find "Time Out Tate" so adorable?

Oh, yup.  This occupied most of my time...
The annual garage sale.  We were worried that with the drizzly chilly weather, it'd be a bust, but we actually had a steady flow of people and sales!  The total of everything sold was close to $700! (Not all mine... a few other friends contributed). And the girls were thrilled with the $40 they earned from their lemonade stand and old toys and books!

The girls have been working on these ginormous lollipops for several days now.  Luckily, they came in a reusable case so when they tire of the licking, they can continue at a later time.  :)

Oh, here's one that makes me want to wake my baby up from his nap just to squeeze him... Tate came down with yet another ear infection last week.  Not sure why he doesn't have tubes yet.
But at least it made him extra cuddly.  Notice the two blankies.  He requires both of these blankies for sleeping.  One for each side of his face and to hold in each arm.  :)
This was such a rare scene.  Tate actually laying down when it wasn't night-night time.  This is how I knew he really wasn't feeling well.

 This is one that Daddy took because he found his girls looking extra sweet last Sunday in their pink and white dresses.  :)

Oh here's a fun one... this past Monday night, we were privileged to get a visit from Chad's cousins traveling through Iowa on their way from Arizona to Michigan.
Bonnie and Erin.  Both super sweet girls. Although we had a hard time believing they were old enough to be graduating from college!  Wowzers!  Where has the time gone?  We had a great time catching up with them!

And a reminder that tomorrow is Addie's last day of kindergarten... 
Pajama Day!  Her week has been filled with fun activities.  Monday was Field Day and I was so bummed when I realized I had forgotten my camera!  She had so much fun and it was a blast getting to watch her!  I just can't believe the year is over.  I'm soooo happy to get to have her home now!!  But I can't believe that soon she'll be a FIRST grader!  YIKES!

And that was all I had on my camera this time.

But let me put a word out there for the tornado victims in Joplin, one of whom happens to by my blog-friend, Sarah.  Fortunately, she did not lose her home, but several of her close friends and family have.  I know at a time like this, everyone wants to help but often doesn't really know how.  But the writers at Bigger Picture Blogs have put together an online auction and all the proceeds are going directly to the Salvation Army for Joplin Relief.  Please take a moment to check it out.  There are lots of great items, so not only will you be helping the victims, but you'll also be getting a great prize for yourself too!  :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

everything's coming up tulips... and mamas

I'm a Dutch girl.  
Through and through.  As far as I know, that's the only nationality I have in me.  So, I guess you could say I'm a "purebred."  ;)  Although I guess that would make my children "mutts" since Chad is what he calls "American" (translation - a little mix of everything).

Being that my children are half Dutch, I thought it was vitally important to take them down to Pella for the Tulip Time festival this year so they could see where some of their "roots" stem from.  Even though it did mean pulling Addie out of school.  But I considered it an educational field trip. ;)

The tulips, of course were in full bloom everywhere.

It was so beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better.

Unfortunately, Chad was unable to come along since he had to teach, but I was able to find another friend and her two kids to come with us.

And with no husbands around to help with the kids, that meant we weren't able to do much shopping at the hundreds of little booths and tents set up all around.

So we played at the park for awhile instead.

Our wallets thanked us later.

Handfuls of dirt and sand are much better than crafty little trinkets anyways, right?

We tried to wear the kids down at the playground so they would sit patiently and wait for the parade.  

They did pretty good... although sno-cones didn't hurt either.

Tate wasn't too excited about the loud drummers approaching us every few minutes (actually, he hated them so much he cried big crocodile tears at each boom of the drum), so I got him dancing and clapping to the beat instead which helped relieve his fears immensely!

I loved the sight of my two little girls sitting side by side enjoying all the beautiful floats.

But the highlight of my day was definitely an unexpected reunion.  When the parade had finished, I was cleaning up our mess when I heard a strangely familiar voice  ("strange" because it was the same voice I knew, just a more "grown up" version) say my name.  I turned to see one of my favorite friends from high school, Hollie.  Just seeing her face (which really hadn't changed at all in this almost 14-year time span) brought back swarms of memories with her.

She was the friend that I could be completely spontaneous with.  Sometimes maybe a little too spontaneous... i.e., leaving "marks" that last a lifetime... *eh-hem*  ;) A moment with Hollie was a moment treasured and not forgotten.  Just buried with time and new experiences.  But so easily recalled... and smiled and laughed upon.   

Here we are on my family vacation to Branson.  Oh, good times.  Remember our "this sucks" plates, Hollie?  I'm sure my parents still have that picture... I'll have to dig that up.  ;)

If only we had more time to reminisce and catch up.  It was so good to see you again, Hollie!

And that was Tulip Time.

Which brings us to Mother's Day.

Yes, we had to have our yearly picture in front of our blooming purple tree (sorry, I don't know what kind it is, so I just call it "purple.")  The blooms only last about a week, and lucky for me, it always blooms during the week of Mother's Day.

After church, we went to my brother and sis-in-law's house.  And I do know that here we are standing in front of a lilac tree.  See, I'm not completely tree-illiterate.  Just mostly.

My beautiful mother.  I couldn't ask for a better one!  I am truly blessed that God gave her to me.  She had to put up with an awful lot of "mouth" from this teenage girl.  But thankfully, we got through that stage and are now the best of friends!  I only hope the same for my daughters and me someday!  (Not the mouthy part... just the friends part)  ;)

And we enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day meal with fresh-caught salmon as the main course.  Oh, yum!

And not to be forgotten...
another wonderful mother in our lives who is truly dear to our hearts.  Just unfortunate that distance separates us at these types of holidays.

We love you Mom, and Nana!  

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

i love winning...

Who doesn't?  

I'd love to be able to say, "Oh, poor me... I never win anything" and try and earn some sympathy points with you, but the truth is... I've kinda been on a winning streak lately.  Actually, I think it all started my senior year at my after-prom when I won a dorm fridge - and not one of those little square ones, but a pretty big one complete with a freezer that we still use in our basement.  I thought I was pretty big stuff in college with my own fridge.  One fun win lately was a sweet Kidorable pirate umbrella for Tate from this Leelou Blogs giveaway.  I'm sure that since I'm typing this, my winning streak will now come to an end.  Oh well, it's only fair to give the rest of the world a chance.

But my absolute FAVORITE win happened in March when I won my choice of pillowcase dresses from the Pink Dreams of Mine shop on Etsy.

I had already purchased one of her dresses this past fall, 

so I was elated when I won the Sneaky Mommy's giveaway.  

In fact, I love her dresses so much, that I just had to buy a matching one so the girls could be twinsies! 

 And at $20 a dress, they're quite a steal!  And have I mentioned how impressed I am with the quality of these dresses?  Well, I need to because I'm quite impressed.  I own a couple other pillowcase dresses that are not nearly as well made as these.  The material on hers is much nicer and the dresses I have from her have a cute trim around the bottom.  Plus, she has binding around the arm and neck holes, which my other dresses don't have.  The ribbons she use also seem to be higher quality because they stay tied much better.

I also love that in cooler weather, they can wear long-sleeved shirts under them or little sweaters over them along with leggings.  So they truly are year-round dresses!

Are you thinking I'm going to give one away now?  Well... sorry, I'm not. (I say with a sheepish grin)  But you'll be a winner if you check out her shop and get one for the little girl in your life!  

You'll for sure win the compliments of others. :) I swear to you that every time my girls have worn these dresses, they have gotten gobs of admirers.  I know, I know... that's not important, but it's fun nonetheless, right?  

So, what have you won lately?

Monday, May 2, 2011

losing her baby-ness

She thought it would never happen.

I was hoping maybe it wouldn't have to happen.  

Maybe she could just stay little forever.  Maybe somehow we could stop the natural cycle of life and freeze her at this stage forever.

But, inevitably, the day came.  Her first baby tooth finally came out, and an "adult" tooth was already growing into it's place.

"Adult" tooth.  Really?


But she was giddy with excitement at this sign of her ever-maturing self.

It happened at Nana and Baba's house on Easter, which made this already amazing day even that much more memorable.  I wish I had a way to somehow tie in the loss of a tooth with the resurrection of our Savior, but I'm at a loss here.  ;)

 Luckily for her, the tooth fairy also visits Nana and Baba's house when a tooth is lost there, so on top of her Easter loot, she also made off with a gold dollar from Silver Dollar City.  I'm guessing the tooth fairy resides near Branson?

Nana was the brave one who pulled it out.  Chad and I had tried, but we were inexperienced in this area and feared hurting her.  Whereas Nana had much experience with the sort, and yanked it right outta there.

Later that evening back at home, we got out the Tooth Fairy pillow my sister-in-law made (you can get one too from her and my friend Abby's soon-to-open Etsy shop, Holly Bloom.. they make lots of fun and cute crafty stuff, from skirts to hair bows to pillows and more!)

Addie tucked her tooth inside the cute little pocket on the back along with a letter she had written to the tooth fairy several weeks before when her tooth first showed signs of wiggling.  In her letter, she asked if she could possibly keep her first tooth as a keepsake.

The next morning, she was thrilled to find a dollar bill, her tooth, and a note from the tooth fairy inside the pocket!

This sentimental mama was excited too that the tooth fairy granted Addie's wishes and let her keep her baby tooth.  It seems like only yesterday when that tooth was first making it's appearance in my sweet little baby's mouth.  

And now my baby's growing up.  

And there's nothing I can do about it.

So I guess I'll try and make the most of all these precious little girl moments before they're gone and the "adult" ones show up in their place.