Monday, March 27, 2017

march {the rest}

Since our trip to Michigan, the days and weeks have flown by.  Spring is finally here and I couldn't be happier!  We've been spending as much time as possible outside.

I spy with my little eye...

 a bookworm,

a daredevil,

 and a rascal.  Or two.

Oh, this little boy.  He holds my heart in his little hands.  He's also the reason why I have grey hair.

Out of all of my kids, he is by far my pickiest eater.  He loves to eat a bowl of cereal in the morning but I had to stop buying Lucky Charms because he would only eat the marshmallows.  And lately his favorite snack {and sometimes lunch} is peanut butter straight out of the jar. Which would be fine if he wasn't sharing it with a certain furry friend... 

And then there's the issue with listening.  Funny how sometimes his ears just stop working when I'm talking to him.  Like when I tell him before we even go into the store that he needs to be a good boy and stay right next to me.  


Let's just say I wasn't in the toy aisle.

I really do love spending one-on-one time with him everyday, though.  He's just very curious.  And headstrong.  But it's fun to see the world through his eyes.  Like when we saw a turtle at the doctor's office and he said it was going to eat "salad and bwoc-yi."


School is going well.  The girls got to dress up as their favorite book character one day.  Summer {front row, left} dressed up as Pinkabella.  Basically it's about a girl who loves all things pink.

She really adores her teacher.  Here is a note she wrote to him:

"Dear Mr. N., I love that you teach our class fun things like to play safe things.  Oh, and kindness too.  And I want our class to have level D behavior and that is because I love kindness!  Do you like kindness too?!?!  Love, Summer"

 And this one still devours any book she can get her hands on.

Some friends of ours came over the other day and we got to snuggle their new little baby. #babyhungry

And amidst the chaos there were precious times when the stars aligned and the kids got along :)

Spring Break is just a few days away and we'll be going on another trip, but this time heading East.  I think we're ready!

Car maintenance?  Check.

Boredom busters?  Check.

Someone to watch our dog and keep up with his latest tricks?  Check!

a project and a trip

A couple of months ago we began making plans to take a quick trip to Michigan.  Once we told the kids, the excitement was palpable.  Every night as we tucked Jackson into bed he would ask, "Grandma and Grandad... 10 weeks?"  The measurement of time is a pretty foreign concept for a 3-year-old so we made a paper chain to assist us with the countdown.   Who knew that tearing off a paper circle each morning could bring such happiness?!

But before we left, Josh and I had a countdown of our own.  We put Josh's Valentine's Day gift to use and tackled a small project that would change the look and efficiency of our kitchen area -- a sliding barn door.

Our eat-in kitchen area is a decent size but if often felt cramped because our pantry door swings out.  I can't tell you how many times someone would get squished against the dining room chairs while they waiting for the person in the pantry to hurry and get what they needed so they could close the door.  Hence, the idea of a sliding door.

It was fun to watch this project take shape.  Josh spent many hours in the basement sanding, staining, and painting.

Once the door was assembled, painted and dried, it was time to mount the track.  These tracks can actually be pretty expensive but we purchased ours on Black Friday last year.  Honestly, the "hardest" part of this entire project was locating the studs in the wall and securing the mounting block.  After that, it was smooth sailing.

Then came the moment of truth: hanging the door.



I LOVE the way this door turned out.  Not only does it add a fun element to the kitchen, but it's made our lives so much easier too.  Win-win.

Pretty soon it was time to pack up and head to Michigan.  Kylie -- our sports nut -- took extra care to fill out a bracket for March Madness so she could discuss it with Grandad.  And that was the very first thing she did when we arrived.

The purpose of our trip was to attend a performance that my mom was in {more on that later} but it was also the weekend of Josh's birthday.  We sure love him :)

We got to spend some quality time with Josh's brother, Aaron, and his cute family.  Their family has grown since we've seen them last and we couldn't get enough of sweet little Mykah.

Josh and I got to have breakfast with some dear friends at a place called Anna's House.  The food was great and the company was even better!

The whole fam {including Aaron's family} met up to see Beauty & the Beast.  Everyone loved it

We also got to spend a little time with my grandparents.  It always touches my heart to see them with my children.  

The kids, of course, couldn't get enough of their Uncle Kramer.  He's pretty awesome :)

On Saturday evening the kids hung out with Uncle Aaron while the adults attended my mom's performance. 

The details of the performance really deserve a blog post of their own, but for the sake of time I'll sum up.  Last year my mom attended a musical performance called Lamb of God that tells the story of Christ's last days on earth.  For several years now it's been put on by members of the Grand Rapids community around Easter time.  This 200+ member choir/orchestra is made up of people of all ages, denominations, and walks of life.     

In addition to the choir there are soloists who play the parts of some of the key people from Jesus' life, such as Peter, Judas, and Mary Magdalene.

See my mom?  She's the second one to the left.

To say it was a beautiful performance would be an understatement.  It was magnificent, and very powerful.  I loved it.

It was an especially busy weekend for my mom because of rehearsals but we made sure to soak her up as much as we could.

Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?

'Til next time...

Monday, March 13, 2017

checking kylie's funny bone

Kylie turned 9 back in January and I finally got around to scheduling her wellness check.  During the appointment, I was yet again reminded of several interesting facts about her.

1. She is very petite.  She is just over 4 feet tall and weighs 46 pounds, putting her in the 5th percentile on the growth chart.  I certainly didn't expect her to be tall but, goodness sake!

2. She is witty.  While we waited in the exam room, I shared that I had to see a doctor once because I got a pretty big boo-boo on my head.  She replied, "I'm a little old for boo-boos.  Now I get injuries."

3. She is really smart.
       Doctor: "Oh hey, there's a squirrel outside." 
       Kylie: "There's a cardinal too.  It's a male."
       Doctor: "How can you tell?"
       Kylie: "Because the males are bright red and the females are brown.  That one is red."
       Doctor: "I don't know... that one looks pretty brown to me."
       < The cardinal hops up a little closer and is obviously red >
       Doctor: "Touche." 

       As the doctor started listening to her heart, Kylie began giggling uncontrollably.
       Doctor: "That's why you're so tiny.  You're burning so many calories by laughing!"
       Kylie: "Did you know {giggle} that it takes 72 muscles {giggle} to make a word?"
       {At this point the doctor had to give up on listening to her heart}...

4. She is honest.  And funny.
       Doctor: "Alright, everything looks good.  But do me a favor and eat some high calorie foods, like biscuits and gravy or something!"
       Kylie: "I don't like gravy."
       Me: "She's the healthiest eater out of all of my kids."
      Kylie: "Yeah, I probably shouldn't eat like Jackson.  Goldfish...pretzels...gum.  My mom told him he could have a piece of gum if he was good at this appointment and he swallowed it already."

Oh man, I love this girl of mine.  She may be tiny but she's got a larger-than-life personality!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

march {so far}

Mid-March is about the time when I hit my winter limit.  The frosty mornings, puffy coats, snow boots, and muddy paw prints can all just go away.  According to my calendar, spring is about a week away... and I'm ready.


We've all dealt with the last few chilly weeks of winter in different ways.

The kids in Kylie's 3rd grade class took turns presenting information on famous African Americans.  Kylie chose Sojourner Truth.  On the day of her presentation she had to dress the part.  {See her in the front row?}

Summer has spent much of her time reading.  We've both fallen in love with the Junie B. Jones series.


Maybe the girls' success in school is from all of the hardcore time we've spent at the library...  Ha!


Josh hopped on an airplane to Vegas and left winter behind completely for a few days.


And I went to Hobby Lobby and brought spring home in a bag.  Or three.

Actually, the decor business all started a couple weeks ago when I caught the plague a cold.  After being stuck in my bed for a solid week I decided that there was no time like the present to replace my bedding.  So I did.

And that prompted a few more decorating makeovers throughout the house. #sorrynotsorry

Spring is on its way, people.  I can feel it!

Josh's trip to Las Vegas was actually work related, but he was able to go do some fun things too. 


He was only gone for a few days but we're sure glad to have him back home!

Now that everyone is home and {mostly} healthy, life has returned back to normal = busy.  We're right back into gymnastics practices, reading logs, church responsibilities and meetings.  But we can't complain.  Life is good.

The flower beds might be a disaster, thanks to my puppy.

The bathroom sink might have globs of toothpaste in it.

The floor could use a good sweeping.

And my kids could use some clothes that don't have holes in the knees.

But life is good.  Even if you need a jar of peanut butter {or something stronger} to help you through the tough days.


Spring and sunshine are on their way, but until then...