Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I am so blogging this…

Most bloggers know a good blog story as it’s unfolding in front of them. Something happens or someone tells you something, you take a good picture or you find a great deal in the store…and you think “I am sooooo blogging this!” and you get so excited because you have something good to blog about that people will enjoy reading and maybe, *maybe* even make a comment on! That’s the best.

I haven’t had too many of those experiences lately. You can tell because my blogs have been all factual. Sure, there’s been a few pretty pictures, but nothing memorable. Nothing like the post about getting rid of the binky or If you tell a two-year-old no or cute pictures like the dandelion face. It’s just been a little, shall we say, blah?

Are you ready? Cause I have a doozy of a blogging story to tell. No pictures, but funny story! Well, at least, I think it’s funny. But, I’m the mom. I daresay the grandparents will find it funny. But that may be all. So here goes.

Yesterday on the way to Becca’s soccer practice she says to me, “Mom, I have to tell you something. But I don’t want to tell you until we get to soccer.” Well, we’re almost there, so I tell her, “No, just tell me now, Becca. We’re almost to soccer.”

“No, Mom. I am not going to tell you until we get to soccer. You will forget if I tell you now.”

Right. We’re like, two minutes from soccer.

“Becca, you need to just tell me now. I will not forget.”

“Yes, you will forget Mom. Your mind is too soft.”

Imagine my stunned silence followed by laughter.  My mind is too soft? Where on earth?

“Becca! Where did you hear that?”

“I made it up in my own head.”

I should have known.

So we get to soccer. “Becca, we’re here now. What did you want to tell me?”

“If you go to the park with the Elise while I’m playing soccer, tell me so I know where you are.”

“Of course, Becca. I will not forget.”

“You might.”

“Go play soccer.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oops!

I missed a day! This picture is on the web album from the previous post, I think, but it is the PotD for April 24.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Finally, a web album!

Click here for a web album of Sarah’s 11th birthday pictures!

Saturday’s photo of the day: (Also in the web album…Ed mowing the lawn on a beautiful, yet chilly day.)

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Sunday’s photo of the day: It was Sarah’s Sunday birthday dinner, but I got this cute shot of Elise’s curls that I couldn’t resist posting. I just love those curls.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crazy

This has been a bit of a crazy week around here…especially for me. It’s a good thing I take pictures every day or I wouldn’t remember what I do.

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On Monday we went to see the tulips in Skagit County. We hadn’t done that for a couple years and Ed hadn’t been since we moved! Unfortunately, with the very cold March and first half of April, the tulips had barely begun to open. We did the Roozengaarde thing, and their display gardens were pretty, but the mass fields of tulips weren’t really ready yet. Unfortunately, that evening was pretty much the only evening we had available for about 10 more days and we were afraid we would completely miss the tulips by then. I got quite a few nice pictures of the girls – nothing outstanding, but nice – but those are being saved for a special occasion, so no one gets to see them yet. ;) No hints either!

birthday girl

That’s my birthday girl the morning she turned 11! That’s just crazy.

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Also on Tuesday was Grandparents Day at school. Both Sarah & Bethany performed in the program. Bethany sang with her CMT group and Sarah did square dancing with the other 5th graders. It was pretty cute. Stay tuned for videos…

widow dinner group

Then came crazy Wednesday…the GEMS were asked to serve the widow/widower dinner at church that the deacons give every year. It’s a fundraiser for us. We have the older girls serve, and the counselors work in the kitchen. We decorated the tables all pretty and had punch and served meatballs, potatoes, hot fruit, salad, rolls and pie. This is a picture of my crew before we started. I should have taken an after picture. We were all quite disheveled by the end of the night, but it was pretty fun. I know the guests all had a wonderful time and we had many compliments on the food and the decor. It was just such a crazy day for me because I was pretty much at church for about 12 hours, with the exception of two hours during which I ran errands, picked the older girls up from school, changed clothes, and then headed back to church. My feet hurt soooooo bad! But it was so good to just DO IT rather than think about it and plan for it like I had been for the last 3 weeks!

crazy hair day

Thursday brought a tiny bit of sanity to my life, but it was “CRAZY HAIR/MISMATCH DAY” in Bethany’s classroom! See, she has two different socks on and 3 different kinds of pig-tails in her hair. One is normal, on her left. One is a bun, on the top. The one on her right you can’t really see in this picture, but it’s done into a braid. That Bethany. She’s a crazy one, all right. :)

That’s the basic rundown of most of this week. On Friday I went garage-saling, only to be disappointed by the crazy people around here *not* opening their sales on Friday for the county-wide garage sale weekend. :( I had to go again this morning! Ed & I also had a fun date night with two other couples on Friday night. We went to the dinner & pops concert at the high school and it was wonderful! Good company, good food, lots of fun entertainment and laughter…how great is that?

(Pictures for Friday & Saturday will have to come later…)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 1998

At 5:30 a.m. on that beautiful Tuesday morning, Sarah Ann changed our world forever. She was the perfect first baby, doing everything possible to please her parents and the world around her. She made us believe in ourselves as parents, which may explain why 3 sisters followed in the years to come…

…and now we’ve come to a time where we doubt almost everything we do as parents…

…is that a good change or bad?

But I digress…

I can’t even put into words the love and joy she has brought into our lives. We are so proud of the girl she has grown into and are eager (or…terrified…or…a little of both) to watch her grow into a beautiful, loving, Christian, caring, book-loving, considerate, piano-playing, helpful, compassionate, hoop-shooting, and fun young woman.
Happy Birthday, Sarah! We love you.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bribery

Tomorrow we are headed to see the tulips after school. I want good pictures of my offspring in the tulips. Everyone is sooooo excited about this.

Yep.

Actually, what they’re excited about is the ice cream I have promised them if I have cooperative children and get good pictures.

The catch for them is that if any one person doesn’t cooperate, well…

then NO ONE gets ice cream.

A little peer pressure never hurt anyone, right?

Photos of the day:

Saturday: “Dandelion Face”

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Sunday: “Precious GEMS”

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Click here for more pictures from our busy and fun weekend!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Busy Week

Monday: cupcakes for our GEMS 50th birthday party, Becca playing robot with boxes, Sarah at GEMS

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Tuesday: On the night of the Mariners’ Home Opener, my M’s were in first place in the AL West (& they still are!)

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Wednesday: I love the daffodils I planted in front of the new fence!

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Thursday: a gorgeous day to play outside in the “new” wagon with a friend!

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Friday: bad hair day

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Everyday stuff, bunny ice, and Easter pictures

So I’m behind on my photos of the day. And I don’t have one for last week Tuesday, April 7, when Ed & I flew home from CA. Oh well.

You saw last week Wednesday’s pictures already – Sarah’s party.

Thursday, April 9:

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Every year we use the Resurrection Eggs as our dinner time devotions for the two weeks leading up to Easter. If you have never used them, pick yourself up a pack at the local Christian bookstore. They’re really fun for kids. And even though Sarah’s done them countless times, she still enjoys guessing what will be in each one after the Bible & reading for the day, and she is also a good teacher of new and interesting facts! Since Bethany has to read out loud as a school requirement, she took a few turns “doing the eggs.”

Friday, April 10: Good Friday

IMG_2496 Ready to go to church

Saturday, April 11

We spent almost the entire day shopping on Saturday – running last minute Easter errands, checking out the local Farmer’s Market, having a family lunch, etc. When we came home, we put stuff away and started doing a few things around the house. Ed was thirsty and was helping himself to a glass of water, using the ice & water dispenser in the fridge door. He looked down after getting the ice and saw a little pink ice cube…part of our “boo-boo bunny.”

IMG_2509 This guy here. We have a little plastic pink cube that you freeze, then you put it inside the little bunny and give it to a little girl who has been hurt and magically, she stops crying! We love this little boo-boo bunny. Somehow or another, the boo-boo bunny and the ice cube got put into the ice tray inside the freezer and the pink cube came out through the ice dispenser. Ed noticed it and commented on it. When I looked up, I saw this:

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Hee hee! I laughed so hard! That’s the little boo-boo bunny’s bottom bursting through! Looks like he’s coming backwards out his bunny hole.

Anyway, since bunnies are all the rage at Easter…here’s Easter Sunday’s picture of the day:

IMG_2526 These are the eggs Sarah dyed at a friend’s house on Friday afternoon. We had them with our cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

And now here’s a link to the rest of our Easter pictures…not the best I’ve ever taken, but the subjects are pretty cute.

Easter Pictures

Now I am officially caught up on my photos and my blogging. Whew!

Easter Blessings

*a risen Lord
*hope for eternity with Him and all those who believe
*Easter egg hunts (indoors this year because of the rain - oh well - it's par for the course here)
*girls in white dresses, and pink dresses, and blue dresses, and purple dresses - we've got the non-coordinating theme going on this year.
*cinnamon rolls and coffee
*singing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" with trumpets and a choir
*Ham and Momma's potatotes...eat your heart out, Mike!
*Lilies in church that are guaranteed to give me a sinus headache, despite the fact that I love their smell and rejoice in the symbol of new life they show!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Swimming & Sweets

Since Sarah’s birthday is coming up later this month, and the weekends around her birthday are so busy, we decided to have her party with her school friends during spring break. Amazingly, NONE of her friends were going to be gone for break and ALL of her friends could come on the day we chose for her party! Everyone met at the local swimming pool for about two hours of swimming fun. Then I took all the girls to DQ for blizzards. The girls were so cute – they kept saying, “Really? I can get whatever I want?” I had a couple coupons for free 12 oz. blizzards, and a couple coupons for $1 off, so I was cool with whatever. I then had to bring all the girls home, except for the one who lives the farthest out – her mom was in town and met us to pick up her daughter, which saved me quite a bit of driving time. I don’t think Sarah could possibly come up with a group of friends who all lived farther away from one another. I mapped out a route on Google and it said I would have an hour and 20 minutes of driving time just to bring all those girls home! And I did. The girls of course did not notice the time because they were just all having fun together. It was worth the driving, though, to have the party somewhere other than my house. And my patient mom took care of my other 3 girls so that I didn’t have to worry about them during the party. All in all, it was a great afternoon!

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I love the sheer glee on Sarah’s face in this picture!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Long time no blog

I can hardly believe it’s been over a week since I last blogged. Most of you know that I’ve been gone for a lot of that time. Ed & I flew down to Redlands for his Aunt Joanne’s memorial service and were gone Thursday evening until Tuesday afternoon. As I’ve told many of our family & friends, we are so thankful that we could go and be there with all of Ed’s family for the celebration of Joanne’s life and to share in the joy of her salvation.

Aunt Joanne helped with some of the planning for the service, and it was her request that it not be about her, but about God….which is of course exactly what Aunt Joanne was all about. She was all about demonstrating, physically, to other people, God’s love. Her care for every person she met was evidence of God’s love for her and His love for each person. When you talked to Aunt Joanne, she made you feel like you were important. Her home was always open and she always served with a smile. All of these attributes came out in the memorial service…from the songs we sang, to the pastor’s message, to the memories shared…right down to the iced tea served at the luncheon after the service. Aunt Joanne always had iced tea ready to serve anyone with a thirst.

After the service on Saturday, Ed & I were able to spend some time with his brother & sister-in-law, his step-dad, and lots more family, including my brother & sister-in-law & nephew who are also part of that community. We continued that wonderful family time on Sunday and again on Monday when we met Ed’s dad and grandpa for brunch. After that, Ed & I had the chance to have a bit of an afternoon date! We headed southeast to Joshua Tree National Park for some sunshine and “bouldering.” You’ll have to check out the picture link farther down for clarification, if you need that.

We flew home this morning, ready to see the girls again and spend the rest of spring break having fun with them. Thanks so much to M,S, & J for hosting us. We LOVE staying with you guys and J, you are awesome! Thanks to the entire DeWitt/Barents clan for a beautiful service and for continuing to share God’s love the way Joanne did.

Here are a few pictures from the last week, just to catch up on the photos of the day:

I didn’t take pictures from Wednesday & Thursday of last week, so here are a few from Friday to make up for it:

IMG_1995 Josh and his “lovey” – a Little People Hippo.

IMG_2003 Mike & Josh

IMG_2045 Coming down the slide at the park!

IMG_2091 Blossoms on Mike’s Orange tree

And now Saturday:

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This is Ed’s brother Eric and his wife Jacqueline, me, Ed, and Erik (Ed’s step-dad)

And now Sunday:

IMG_2113 It was Palm Sunday and Josh walked in with his Children’s Church class waving a red flag! He was so cute, but I didn’t get very good pictures because of the lighting and because when they got to the front he was standing in the back and we couldn’t see him real well.

IMG_2184 He’s got good balance! We went to this park on Sunday and we were the only ones there and it was such a gorgeous day! We couldn’t believe we were all alone at this park in Southern California.

IMG_2186 Is Uncle Ed wearing out Josh or is it the other way around?

IMG_2204 Josh looking down at Aunt Julie through the “bubble.”

IMG_2234 Baby DeJong ;)

IMG_2244 Aawwwww

IMG_2248 My brother is such a big kid. He makes a perfect PE teacher, that’s for sure.

And now Monday:

IMG_2275 Ed, his dad, and his grandpa.

IMG_2347 Large boulder at Joshua Tree

IMG_2431 The Coachella Valley behind us. The farthest away piece of land you can see…shrouded by smog…is Mexico! The water is the Salton Sea.

IMG_2454 Big brotherly love

I will post Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday pictures tomorrow, hopefully…

Here are the links to web albums of more pictures from our trip. Beware that the captions are directed towards my girls some of the time. We posted the web albums while we were gone so that they could see what we were doing.

April 3 album

April 4 & 5 album

April 6 album

I hope you enjoyed getting caught up on my past week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oral Fixations

Okay. I must admit that I get it. I get the whole oral fixation thing that kids and some adults seem to have. I love to have a snack or to sip a Coke or a cup of coffee. After all, I usually have to heat up my cup of coffee 3 times by the time I finish it since I sip it so slowly throughout the morning to make it last and I can’t stand lukewarm coffee. I even still bite my nails during times of stress, so I get it. Stuff in mouth = feel better.

When Sarah was a baby, she was pretty addicted to her binky. She got rid of it about a month after Bethany was born, so she was 2 years & 4 months old. The one she liked was broken, so it didn’t work and she threw it in the garbage. That was that.

Then came Bethany. She was our thumb-sucker. You know how pregnant moms always say they saw their kids are sucking their thumbs in the womb on the ultrasound? They go on and on about how cute that is? Well, I hate to break it to you ladies, but that is really bad news. I never saw Bethany suck her thumb on an ultrasound, but she came out sucking it and she was very addicted to it for a very long time. We really tried to give her a binky, but she gagged every time. I have to admit, when she cried during the night, I sure was happy to not be crawling around on the floor under the crib in the dark hoping to grasp a binky. We just waited for her to stick her thumb in her mouth and went back to sleep! She sucked her left thumb, and the “experts” say that usually a child sucks the thumb of her dominant hand. When Bethany began to hold crayons and draw, she started with her left hand. Then she figured out she couldn’t suck her thumb and draw at the same time, so she did what any brilliant child would do. She became right-handed.

Becca liked her binky and I know she still had it when Elise was born, but I don’t really remember how she gave it up. Maybe my mom could remind me. I think I was still adjusting to having four kids at that moment in time and I didn’t have my blog then. Even though I have scrapbooks from those days, I don’t think I recorded the process of losing the binky.

All this to say…Elise is binky-free! She’s always loved her binky, but this past Christmas break she was totally addicted to it. I was about going nuts because she needed it

all. the. time.

So, after we got back into the routine when break was over, I limited the binky to night time. That was pretty easy. Recently, I found a half-broken binky and got a little freaked out by the possibility of her sucking the plastic off the binky and lodging it in her throat. And then I watched “SuperNanny” while Ed was gone to his work conference and she was taking away the binkies from a set of 4-year-old twins. I was inspired. I plucked that binky right out of Elise’s mouth right then and there! She slept great that whole night, so I was very pleased. I put that binky on her dresser, next to another one.

The next night, I didn’t know how it was going to go, but we talked during the day about giving her binky to baby Katie and that she could have a present if she would be a big girl and not have her binky anymore. When bed time came along, she was super upset and really wanted that binky! Trouble was…we couldn’t find one anywhere! I still do not know where those two binkies disappeared to! So, we had one pretty difficult night, with a lot of waking up and crying and all that and most nights since she has just a little trouble settling down, but then once she does get to sleep, she hasn’t been waking up…So…

Bye Bye Binky!

IMG_1989 (I found this one in the van, so I took a picture. This is the one I will give my parents when they watch the girls this weekend, but I have instructed them to only give out the binky in a dire emergency…as in…she’s throwing up because she doesn’t have it or something like that.)

And HELLO Big Girl Present!

IMG_1984 It’s a “Littlest Pet Shop” doggie. Notice how she’s got it near her mouth? She’s either kissing it or using it as an oral-fixation-binky-substitute.

Tuesday ended up to be a sunny day, despite the bitterly cold wind. Whenever it’s sunny, the girls get so hot on the bus ride home, so I made one of their favorite after-school-treats yesterday:

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RASPBERRY ITALIAN SODAS!

See the straws? They love straws. What kid doesn’t? It’s just more oral-fixation-issues-which-shall-require-extensive-counseling-at-some-point-in-their-life, don’t you think?