Family Fun

This past weekend my family came to visit from Chicago. My brother came to go hunting with my husband, while my sister in-law and I got in some one on one bonding time (Kris, I truly had a great time with you), later my parents came to join in on the fun. It was definitely a great time filled with laughter, activity, and lots of food. We started out by braving it alone to the apple orchard (two moms, and 5 kids ranging from 5yr to 6mo can be pretty risky) in a very spontaneous style (it was supposed to be rainy, so we weren't planning on it).

We managed to get FIVE car seats in my van and headed out. After a few wrong turns (probably not a great idea to put two directionally challenged people together), we made it. And what a blast it was. The kids had a great time playing together and riding in the Cinderella like pumpkins.

The favorite part though, was the apple picking. I think my little Katie was enjoying her apple a little too much, because when I threw away the core, she kept sobbing and reaching back -"apo! apo!"

The next day, we carved pumpkins in the garage. Unfortunately, I did not invest in the actual pumpkin carving knives, so it made for a pretty challenging job to be too creative. They were cute though, and the kids enjoyed watching them glow in the evening.

The following day, we managed to get 11 people out of the house and in church on time (now that is pretty impressive). We came back only to have shortstop's greek pasta (raves by all!) and some bruschetta like casserole. The whole weekend was overloaded with food (pumpkin cake, apple pie, cheesecake, etc). The best part though was just watching the cousins run around playing and having a good time. And although it may have been stressful at times, it was spent with family, and I couldn't ask for a better family. Can't wait to do it again.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Well, not a lot remembered this week in the way of kiddy talk. With family and sickness still visiting, I'm not too quick with my memory (that's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it). If you want to view some other tiny talk, click here:

Around the house:
Kyra: Grandma, let's play a game!
Grandma: What would you like to play?
Kyra: How about tag?
Grandma: How about I go to the bathroom first?
Kyra: GRANDMA, that's not a game!


My blogger friend, Shortstop, showed pictures of her little ones in last year's Halloween garb. They were such cute pictures, that I began to browse through some of my girl's previous Halloween pics (although their weren't many, seeing as how they've had a very short life span thus far).

Anyway, I look forward to Halloween again, as does Kyra who talks about it almost everyday. So, I thought I would share a couple old photos before the unveiling of the new costumes for this year....

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Not many kiddy quotes for this week, they've been sick for the majority of the week and not quick on their toes with the comments but a few leaked out tonight! Check out Mary's for more...

At the dinner table...
Mom: Kyra, you need to eat dinner quickly because it's almost time to get ready for dance!
Kyra: (looking out the window) But Moomm, I better check on the GUYS and see if they're okay. (Daddy and Grandpa were outside on the bobcat, and lately she feels they can't get their work done without her. I think they'll manage.)

In the car....
Kyra: Mom, they light is green, go go go!
Mom: Kyra, just hold your horses, we have to wait for the cars ahead of us to go.
Kyra: Come on PEOPLE! Move it!
(she seriously sounded like a cab driver, but I'm guessing she's been hanging out in the car with Daddy lately).

At the Kyra's Dance Class...
(Kyra was in her class while Katie and I were peaking in through the one way window to see her progress. Katie overheard the instructor say March)
Katie: Much! much! much!(as she marched down the hall. It was so cute watching her imitate her bigger sister. Of course she marched her way down to an open classroom and invited herself in. I had to spend the rest of the hour chasing her down the hall just to keep her out of the room with the BIG mirror.)

The Apprentice

Kyra has found a new hobby. She loves farming! Well, not exactly. She more or less likes riding in the combine or bobcat with her daddy while he's farming. Considering the fact that she doesn't like to get her hands dirty, I think riding in the equipment that does the dirty work is about as close as she'll get. Maybe it's the time spent with Daddy, or maybe it's the bumpy ride, but she always asks to go with him (actually both girls do).

So last night in the midst of cleaning up the cake in the car that Katie got her hands into and wiped all over the car, my husband offered to take Kyra with him to another 10 acre field him and his brother had to harvest. I told him that would be great. So, she got to spend 2 hours of one on one time with her favorite man doing one of the things that Daddy loves best (farming). When she came back she had so many stories to tell. She got to steer, she got to watch the "big fingers" grind up the corn, but best of all she got to pee in the corn!! Oh yes, that was the highlight of the evening. She told me that she had to go potty, but Daddy said they don't have potties in corn fields, so she squatted in the field. Yes, she was unofficially initiated into the world of outdoorsman. We had a good laugh. But best of all she got some good bonding time with Dad.

Serenity Now

My blogger friend Emily posted an entry inquiring what others do for serenity. I read it, and thought, boy I could use one of my top 5 choices after a day like today!

Yes, I woke up with a migraine (something I've been frequenting as of late), watched my daughter throw half of her breakfast on the floor, quick got everyone dressed and headed out the door to go to a craft sale with a friend (okay, not so quick, but I tried). We then got to the craft sale, where no strollers were allowed. You mean I had to carry this 19 month old and try to get her to not touch all the untouchables!! So, after numerous attempts of telling both of my children to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING, they were both reaching the end of their rope. We then zoomed through the rest of the craft show, as to not miss anything really important, headed to the park, and then went for a late lunch (only to resort in lots of complaining and whining for holding off lunch too long). And of course I was awstrasized by my eldest for not getting the chicken fries, but the chicken nuggets instead. A crucial mistake. Finally, we headed to my friends house for some afternoon playtime, and some much needed rest while they played on their own. All was well, until we had to leave and I found my daughter in wet underpants (yes, she wet her pants), and 20 barrets in her hair (apparently they played dress up). She kicked and screamed all the way to the bathroom where I could have a "chat" with her, because she did not want to change out of her "pretty ballerina costume." Finally, home, I quick fed them a late dinner (7:30), popped them in the tub, and pushed them straight to bed (of course not with out arguing about the lack of a bedtime movie).! Oh, I forgot I had to make a cake for tomorrow's dinner at the in-laws. Back on my feet! is what I am going to do for much needed serenity!
1. M&M's
2. Slip into some comfy pjs
3. Snuggle on the couch in a warm blanket (nevermind that it is in the 70's today)
4. Light a candle
5. Get a back/hand massage from my husband


I have been having trouble blogging again lately, not because of lack of time, but because of lack of things to say. For all of you who journal or blog every day, I commend you and your brain for always having thoughts to put down on paper (computer). Maybe my brain is a little slow (okay don't answer that) or maybe I just think too much and just get stressed with the thought of trying to put my thoughts down, whatever the case....I'm at a block. I originally had plans in finding at least one positive thing to say a day (as to mentally help myself from thinking so negatively). But I have realized that you can't just try and find one positive thing a day, you have to pray about finding those daily pieces of joy too.

Yesterday I was at the park with a friend, complaining about the condition of my house, the whinyness of my girls, etc. I went home thinking, all I did was COMPLAIN! Which doesn't come of much surprise because it is something I do quite well. But I thought, my poor dear friend has to listen to that every time I visit her (she has to be sick of me!) Complaining is a disease and I have to stop it. Shortly after that revelation I read Renee's blog (sorry Renee, I can't link), and was amazed at how far she's come in life after such hardships. She's been through so much, and she is rejoicing!! I knew I had to take a good look at my life and see what I could count as good. So here it goes....

1. I was raised in a Christian household, with a loving family. My parents both worked hard (opposite shifts) so that one of them was always home with us. They took us to church, helped us with homework, and stayed together through thick and thin. My mother is a great encourager, and often looked at the bright side when I was feeling down. My dad went on many walks with my sister and I, and instilled many deep thoughtful questions that truly made us think. They both have always been there for me.
2. I went to a Christian College where I came into so many great friendships, in which I still keep in contact to this day. Although, I did not end up teaching (what I went to school for), I had such a positive experience and met so many empowering people.
3. I have a loving husband. I have a truly wonderful husband (although I fail to see it all the time), who works hard to support his family (and so I can live my dream and be a stay at home mom and not to mention a pretty nice house). He almost always grants my request when I come to him with a honey do list (and doesn't even complain about it). And he listens to me time and time again (like a broken record) when I come to him with hurt feelings of being insecure, inadequate, fat. He is a loving husband.
4. I have two beautiful, healthy girls. With all the crankiness, crying, disobedience, and crazy behavior, my girls are super. Afterall, everyone who raises children deal with these issues (it just may not feel like it when your in the moment). But, to have 2 girls that say the darndest things, have the cutest expressions, and depend on you and love you hopelessly, what more could you ask for. I could not ask for better children.
5. I have wonderful friends. I may not have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have are so dependable, empathetic, wise, open armed, and good for making me laugh.
6. Finally, I have such a loving Father in Heaven above that is there for me whenever I need Him. He hears my every cry, shares my every pain, rejoices in my every triumph.

Yes, I am truly blessed. And any time I forgot that just refer me back to this entry.


I feel so often that I write about the cute things that my older daughter says or does, but the one who speaks clingon, melts my heart just as much:

Our little Katie - 18mo (aka: Katydid/Katydon't) brings us so much joy. She is one of few words, so when she actually started saying, "Peeeese!" last week while pointing to the refrigerator, it was so hard to say no, because she is actually using her words now. Our latest little one word wonder likes to yell "TADA!" when climbing on top of the tree stump at the mall. It gets me every time. So, imagine my distress as I come home from our mini vacation yesterday, only to find out that she couldn't talk. Yes, despite the few words she knows, it was saddening to see that she couldn't speak at all. Katydid has laryngitis. My sister in-law said she was pretty much mute the whole weekend. She was so excited to see us, yet could barely screech out a "mommy." It breaks your heart when you see them struggling so hard to swallow and whisper out a word. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much today, as she is already getting a kick out of her high pitched, raspy voice. She says a word over and over again, only to look my way to see if she can get a reaction. She knows that even if she can't speak, she can always count on the hundred facial expressions she's always had to get her mama going. Yes, Katydid, you had us from the beginning.

Meme for a Change

I have never done a MEME before, but this one seemed pretty easy, so I thought I'd join in and share a little about myself (after all it's only 1:24 am, and what better to do with insomnia?):

Four Jobs I Have Had:
1. Registration Clerk - Urgent Care
2. Deskie - Calvin College
3. Sub Teacher - various schools
4. Administrative Assistant - Hospice

Four Movies I can Watch Over and Over:
1. Last of the Mohicans
2. Untamed Heart
3. Dying Young
4. Good Will Hunting

Four Shows I Watch on TV:
1. The Office
2. Biggest Loser
3. ER
4. Law and Order SVU

Four Places that I Have Vacationed:
1. Estes Park, Colorado (just beautiful scenery)
2. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (honeymoon)
3. Outerbanks (this was a great time to be had in a beach house w/25 relatives!)
4. Along California Coast (from San Fran to San Diego - San Fran being the fav)

Four of My Favorite Dishes:
1. Chicken Lasagna
2. Chicken Chimichanga
3. Brunch Bake w/dad's famous Sour Cream Coffee Cake
4. Eggplant Parmesan (at Olive Garden)

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. State of Contentment
2. Closer to my fam
3. Getting a massage/manicure/spa treatment
4. In Bed

Weekend Getaway

My husband turned 30 on Friday, so I had been trying to figure the PERFECT birthday gift. I didn't want to do a surprise party, since we have gone to so many of those lately (I figured it would hardly be a surprise). I contemplated going on a date to a play or something (but that ain't really his thang). Then I thought of the perfect idea....a surprise getaway! It would be perfect. My sister in-law was willing to watch the kids, the hubs had been working hard on the barns and needed a getaway, and he has always wanted me to play golf with him. So there you have it. I was going to have the car all packed before he came home from work, borrow some clubs from a friend, and when he came home, I would say we are going on a date- only to take him away for the weekend! Foolproof!

Okay, it didn't exactly work out that way. First he found out from someone that we were going away for the weekend, then he saw my attempt to hide the clubs in the car. The only thing he didn't know is where we were going, which after an hour in the car, he pretty much figured out anyway. I was bummed. My whole plan had failed. I moped in the car as I thought of my weeks of planning being botched. But then I realized, the end result would be the same. It wasn't the surprise that he would remember in the long run, but the trip itself.

And boy did we have fun. We went to Traverse City, Michigan to take in a golf course (I have never been, another first for me). But we did so much more than that. We enjoyed the oh, so beautiful colors of the trees. The colors were so vibrant! We went to several wineries along the Leelanau Penisula (and might I suggest that even though the samples are small, probably 15 samples are about 10 too many!). We ate at some wonderful restaurants. And finally, we played golf, which unfortunately I did not do too well at (and I can't blame the alcohol either, because this was the following day). Yes, my hopes of being a first time pro, did not come true. I scored a 96 in a 9 hole game (and of course that isn't including all the times I completely missed the ball!) But we had for some good laughs, and my husband (thankfully patient) had fun too. Yes, we will definitely have to do the getaway more often. Some one on one time with your hubby is definitely priceless.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The little ones are talking this week and here's what they've been saying....
If you want to read some other cute kid comments click here

At the mall play area:
Mom: Go have fun guys! Let me see you go down the slide.
(they race down the slide, then Katie (18 mo) hides behind a tree)
Kyra (3): Where did Katie go?
Mom: She is hiding behind the tree.
Kyra: Phew! Good thing you know where she is. I am trying to keep an eye on her so a stranger won't get her. I would be sad if my sister where gone. We don't want a pirate, or a grumpy to get her.
( sweet that she is looking out for her sister. I wouldn't want a pirate to get either of them.)
In the car, on the way home from a park:
Kyra: Mom, is God happy when I say that?
Mom: Say what?
Kyra: What I said?
Mom: (fearing I am not going to get any where on this one in what she said, I moved on) Kyra, God loves
you know matter what you say. He loves you all the time. But he smiles extra big when you obey Mommy and Daddy, share with your sister, or do kind things.
Kyra: (pensive in thought for a minute) I understand God better when I listen to Him.
Daddy: (Wow, what a big thought) Is God talking to you right now?
Kyra: NO, silly Daddy! He's not here right now, He's in the clouds.
(I guess we'll get into the abstract idea that He is all around another day! But what a thinker!)
While playing with a playmate over the weekend:
(as I was busy most of the afternoon fixing dinner for a get together, I had neglected to check on the girls for awhile. Kyra, of course runs out of her room with her pants soaking wet.)
Mom: Oh, Kyra, where did you have your accident?
Kyra: My bed Mom, sorry.
Mom: It's okay, just go to the bathroom and take off your pants. (I then proceed by stripping the bed, thinking to myself what more could happen right before company comes!)
Ellie (almost 3 yr old friend that was staying the weekend): Look! I'm just like Kyra! (her pants of course are also soaking wet. Oh the joy of imitation. Thankfully, we were able to have a good laugh from this!)
Kyra: Can I have one piece of candy?
Mom: Sorry babe, it's bed time and you already had a snack.
Kyra: But I want one.
Mom: No.
Kyra: Please, please, please?
Mom: The answer is no, now please don't ask me again!
Kyra: Can I have two?


My husband has been in the midst of a big project...tearing down 2 of our 4 barns. Last March, after an ice storm 2 of our very old barns fell down. This past spring he said that we would have to take them down. I pleaded with him not to (not because I enjoyed looking at the eye soar, but because I know that would take away so much precious family time). The buildings are hidden away behind some trees, so if you look out our front window, you can barely see them. I asked him, "what difference does it make?" Most likely we will never sell our house to another homeowner (as it will probably become commercial and just be torn down any way). But he insisted that they needed to be taken down. Even though they aren't in plain eye's view, he knows they are there. And besides, it could be a liability if someone were to ever come over and get hurt. I finally reluctantly agreed that he should take them down, and began the process of searching for dumpster companies.

I started to think later on that the demolition of these barns was kind of like cutting out the sins in our lives. We share a juicy detail about someone's life, eat a dessert that we know we shouldn't have, or say an innocent seeming lie to cover our tracks....SIN. We know it's ugly like the barns, but no one see's them right? Perhaps they are hidden from the naked eye, and no one really finds out about the sins we commit, but we know they are there. We try and tell ourselves, it was just something small, what difference will it make? However, God does know the difference. He wants us to knock down the barn, and have a clean slate. It isn't an easy task to break the habit of gluteny, gossip, or whatever the problem may be, but we need to continually try and become more like Christ and ask for forgiveness. How fortunate we are that we have a Savior that forgives so readily. And unlike the weeks it will take to knock down these barns, we merely need one prayer to ask for forgiveness and our "barn/sin" will be knocked down in one stroke.