Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Some January Stuff

iPhone pictures are pretty fun – they catch a glimpse of life as it goes…


I posted this picture on Facebook, too. I began my motherhood years with these women. We had birthday parties (themed parties – and this was before Pinterest!) for our kids together, playdates, craft nights, walks, garage sale adventures…all kinds of stuff. We rejoiced and cried and wondered what to do about teething and nursing and allowance and school and naps and potty training together. We all live in different places now (& there is one from this core group of mine who wasn’t able to be with us because her dad passed away that day) but we were all in the same state over the holidays and we had lunch. It was great. It was so good. I have some amazing friends now, too, and I am just as close to them, but seeing old friends and having things be exactly the same as the last time you were together (other than the fact that we are now in our 40’s instead of our 20’s) is so good.


One of my old friends brought her daughter to hang out with my daughter while we had lunch. I think they enjoyed their time as much as we enjoyed ours…these two peas in a pod…



Oh, these two…


Dee had a birthday. It wasn’t a big one or anything, but she posted this big long blog about how she loves unwrapping presents and how gift bags just don’t do anything for her. So…in the spirit of friendship – the same spirit that she demonstrated when she showed up at school with a wheelchair for my 40th birthday – I wrapped up her presents. Really well. Wrapped presents inside a wrapped box (completely covered in packing tape) inside another wrapped box (also completely covered in packing tape) inside a gift bag. She was a good sport and didn’t even use a scissors, even though she was offered one several times. She finally made it to her reward.



Good use for an unused treadmill…I’m really hoping to get rid of that thing soon, but it’s always cute to see my baby do something creative.


This is my new living room chair. I LOVE it. Except after I got it home, I found a rip in the fabric. Smile with tongue out I’m sure the company will make it right. They have a great reputation. I am still waiting to hear. In the meantime, we are enjoying this one. It is comfy and it is PERFECT in my living room. Just the right amount of bold color I was looking for.


My new K-cup coffee storage. Found the jar at Hobby Lobby and did the vinyl myself after searching on Pinterest for inspiration. Can you tell what the little image is above {coffee}?

Next up, Becca’s basketball!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy 2014!!

We rang in New Year’s in STYLE this year! The whole family, in our comfy clothes, and with truly amazing entertainment.


So basically, we weren’t invited anywhere, and I scrambled to come up with fun stuff for us to do together that wasn’t too repetitive of everything we had been doing on Christmas break already!!

Pinterest to the rescue!


I put together these “countdown” bags…one for every hour from 5 p.m. – 10:00 p.m…I couldn’t think of more ideas than that and I really didn’t feel like staying up until midnight with my children. But the bags turned out cute and the girls were excited for the incredible evening of fun I told them I had planned.

Hmmm…where did these New Year’s Eve selfies come from?? Surely this is not how they felt about my evening of good times?!?!





Each person got to open one bag, since there were six. We started with the youngest, so Elise opened 5:00. The card inside said that we would all prepare dinner together…and we had a great time making our dinner of finger foods! Pigs in a blanket, jalepeno poppers, summer sausage with crackers and cheese, and fruit and dip. Once everything was prepared, we played “charades” (there’s an app for that!) until it was time to eat. That was 6:00 – and Becca opened it. Also in the 6 o’clock hour was cleaning up and sending dad off to church. We actually opened up 7:00 (Bethany) a little early…as soon as Ed left for church, actually.


That was our “girls only” hour. We did some cleaning up, commonly known at our house as a house rescue, painted toenails, and played UNO. At 8:00 (or a little after, once Ed was home from church), Sarah opened her bag and we began our family game time…Apples to Apples, Jr, and a New Year’s Bingo I had printed off the Internet. There was even a prize for the Bingo winner! It was sidewalk chalk and the big winner was DADDY!!


Just before 9:00 I opened the next bag, where we were instructed to make Rootbeer Floats, get into our PJ’s, and watch the ball drop in New York to ring in the New Year!!



After that we watched the original cartoon of How The Grinch Stole Christmas  and Horton Hears a Who. Ed opened the 10:00 bag which said, “TIME FOR BED!!!” Woo-hoo & Happy New Year!!

On New Year’s Day we headed to Burlington and did some Christmas returns and shopping, ate lunch at Applebee’s with the remainder of last year’s Christmas gift card, and then went to spend the afternoon and evening with our friends, the Boon’s in Mount Vernon. We got to see their new house, play games, and eat pizza and lots of leftover Christmas goodies! The women dominated at Settlers and the kids played perfectly together the entire time. Doesn’t get any better than that!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Christmas Day 2013

Finally, Christmas morning!


I made life easy for myself. Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast, but in the shape of a tree! Festive, tasty, and simple.



Sarah played flute during our Christmas morning service. It was beautiful – I really had no idea she could play flute so well…I never hear her all by herself!


This is the “hurry up and take the picture so we can get to the presents” pose!


Opening their “big” present from us…


Tickets to the Toby Mac concert in Abbotsford on Feb. 21!!


These two were pretty excited about their cow & pig Webkinz…WAY more excited than I anticipated, actually! It was awesome!


Sarah loved her LCXC digital scrapbook again…I love how it turned out, too.


And Bethany got all excited about a simple calendar from the local garden nursery full of coupons and gardening tips!

Later we headed to my aunt’s to celebrate Christmas with my Grandma and several other relatives. Always great to see extended family that we see so rarely! I’m so thankful to my aunt who hosted…she must have been terribly busy that day tho’, because there aren’t any pictures of her! Sad smile


“Papa Stan” and some of his boys…Merit, Willem, & Fisher.


My grandma, Aunt Adie, cousin John and wife Katie, cousin Vance & wife Michele, Kendall & Hazel.



My grandma and “the greats” that were there…only one previous not pictured is baby Oren. So sweet!


Although here he was ready to take his nap that he had missed due to Christmas festivities.


It’s always good to end with a sister squeeze.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Eve 2013

I can’t believe it’s already January 21 and I’m still working my way through Christmas. Ah well…it just extends the fun, right?

We spent Christmas Eve Day with just the six of us – hanging out, playing games, and making our first ever Gingerbread House!


I was in charge of the frosting, Sarah was in charge of taking pictures, the girls were in charge of the candy, and Ed was in charge of making sure we didn’t knock it over. He did an excellent job.



Elise may have been in charge of taste-testing.

Ed also taught the girls some Carcassone.


In the late afternoon we headed over to my parents for our traditional Christmas Eve, which includes pictures, dinner, gifts, and goodies. It was fun, but we sure missed all those cousins and aunts & uncles! We are already looking forward to Christmas 2014 when we will get a few days where we are all together.




I can’t seem to find the pictures of us all together that we took using the timer on my dad’s camera…have you sent them to me, dad?





Thanks for a great Christmas Eve, as usual, M&D!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Life Groups

For the past three years, we’ve been part of a Life Group at church. Mostly it’s adults, gathering together on Sunday evenings for fellowship, Bible study, and prayer. These people have become trusted friends and mentors to Ed & I. When we moved, they all were there, helping. Whenever we need anything, the members of our Life Group are there. Often in the summer we have “Family Life Groups” which involves the day at the lake, tubing, skiing, swimming, eating, and laughing. Other “Family Life Groups” have involved all the adults doing the chit-chatting and all the kids doing things like playing Capture the Flag in the dark near a ditch…which can make the moms of the little ones nervous, but it’s always fun and it’s always a blessing.

A couple members of our Life Groups recently attended a benefit auction together and purchased a “Hayride & Katz Koffee” night for our group. One evening (before the snow & before the church program…I have my blog posts slightly out of order here) we all gathered for a pizza dinner and then a fun hayride through town to look at Christmas lights, followed by hot cocoa, tea, and coffee at a local coffeeshop/bookstore called Katz Koffee. It wasn’t easy to find a date when all six families were available, but we managed and we had a great time! Thanks Steiger’s and Korthuis’ for the fun Family Life Group event!

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I changed this one to black & white because the flash did something really weird and we looked like we had jaundice.

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Love these ladies!