Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Haig family. See our Christmas card here:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stadium seating

We have been going to watch Tim's basketball team play quite a lot this season now that the kids can all sit through the whole game well.  The other day Becca went off to play for a bit and then came to get me to join her to watch a pretend game at home.  (The seat next to her was saved for me.)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast

Michael's class did a Thanksgiving feast at the end of November.  They each got to pick if they wanted to be a Native American or a Pilgrim.  I'm pretty sure every boy in Michael's class picked a Native American.  What first grade boy would turn down such festive war paint!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fruit Turkeys

Around Thanksgiving time I had been looking for a fun fall project to do with the kids and saw this idea online.  After school I showed the kids a picture of it and cut up some fruit and let them build their own fruit turkeys.  They turned out so cute and the kids were very proud.

Although I think they liked it better when I finally allowed them to dig in.  I even put out some yummy cream cheese dip for them to try.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

She was like God

You know those times when you are busy with something and kids are off playing so nicely together.  Then you realize that it has been very quiet for probably too long and you go to investigate.

At one such time last week, this is what I found.

Jon and Becca had been working carefully to find toys and books from all over the house and collect them at the foot of the stairs.

Jon explained it this way:

Becca was doing something and I wanted to help.  You know how God made the world and Jesus helped?  Becca was like God, and I was like Jesus helping her.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas decorations

Putting up a Christmas tree is always a multiple day event for us.  As usual, we find an evening to go out and get the tree all together and then we get busy and one evening when Tim is working or at rehearsal I find time to decorate the tree with the kids.  Each year I promise myself that I will never decorate the tree with the kids again without a second parent around, but...

This year was no different.  I tackled the tree with the kids one evening.  I went in with Christmas joy and high hopes and left sending the kids up to bed and trying to vacuum and spread out the kid level clusters of ornaments by myself in frustration.  But in the middle we had a lot of fun!

Posing with the tree.

And every time I get the camera out they want to pose with silly faces.

The stockings were hung on the chimney stair rail with care.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thanksmas 2012

OK, are you ready - this is going to be a long post.

A while back when the DeJong crew started marrying off, it was decided that we would each try to come back together for a family holiday gathering each year - Thanksgiving one year and Christmas the next, allowing the other holiday each year to be "the inlaws" time.  This has worked out fabulously with one tweek, Thanksgiving always turns into a whole weekend to include Thanksgiving and Christmas gift giving.  We even crafted a new name for the holiday: Thanksmas.

This year, it was hosted by the Mt. Pleasant DeJongs.  After carefully planning, they were able to piece together five tables in the kitchen and spilling out into the living room, three for the adults and big kids, and two for the littler ones.  The two of us families with three kids each were quarantined in the kitchen, while others were deemed neat enough to eat over the white carpet of the living room.

While we had everyone together we ventured out for a full family picture.  I LOVE how well it turned out.  None of the little girls look super happy, but everyone does look simply fabulous.  I wonder how many more years we will be able to pull this off?

And while we were outside with beautiful weather, some football:

Every time we get together, we often find ourselves taking pictures of the triplet cousins.  Here they all are sporting their new Calvin wear from Grandpa DeJong and Oma Chris.  (Don't mind the see food from Becca - she is only two after all.)

Friday the four of us ladies took off early in the morning to hit the outlet mall.  We left the guys and kids home to play and pick up a Christmas tree.

We had a pretty successful trip.

And the kids had some wonderful Uncle time.

Then it was time for Christmas.  We decorated the tree and each of the six (non-baby) cousins came with a gift to exchange.

Jon got a cars book with mat and car figurines.

Michael got a ping pong set that can be set up on a table surface.

And Becca got some fun play-doh and equipment.  Boy, their cousins (or aunts I guess) really know my kids well.  They all loved their gifts.

And we tried for a Christmas picture with the cousins.  It is officially impossible to get all 8 smiling at the same time, but they are all adorable.

Saturday, the three families with kids stuck around and headed to the new indoor water park in the area.

With all the fabulous pools, water sprays, climbing equipment, and lazy river, this slide was the favorite of most of the kids.  I spent a good hour supervising the climb up and the slide down of child after child.

Overall it was a fabulous weekend and Jon especially can't stop talking about when he can see cousin Cody again.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fall Day

I'm loving how these pictures turned out on these scrapbooking pages.

Journaling reads:

We have been lucky to have many nice days this fall like today was.  Slowly we are working at raking all of the  leaves in the front yard down to the road for  the Holland fall pick up.  Michael, Jon, and Becca like to help rake, so we purchased three child sized rakes this season.

While raking, Jon made an amazing discovery.  A small birds nest had fallen out of one of the trees.  We had so much fun looking at it.

We also used the nice weather to finally go ahead and carve out pumpkins.  Michael chose a scary face
and Jon wanted a silly face.  After posing with our pumpkins for pictures, we set about cutting off the tops.  Grandma Haig helped Jon while Mommy and Becca worked on Michael’s pumpkin.  Becca was truly fascinated by the whole process and didn’t seem to know what to make of it all although she was very curious.  At first the boys were grossed out by the slimy insides, but they soon dug in and got to work scooping it out using their hands and the large spoons. Then we could carve out the faces, creating scary and silly pumpkins to display on the porch.

Scrapbooking Credits:
Kit is Pumpkin and Spice by Kristin Cronin-Barrow
Template is from Scrumpilicious by Little Green Frog Designs
Font is Graphite Std

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Few Updates

The Family:

Check out what wandered through our backyard this month:

And what we were finally able to purchase:

We have also made a transition in our church life.  While we LOVED our church, it was located in Grand Rapids and we really felt that it was time to find a church family closer to home where we can invest in our local community.  We were nervous about the search, especially since we didn't want to put the kids through visiting 30 different places.  We are so blessed to have found a new church home quickly.  If you would like to check it out, here is the website: Engedi.


Oh my goodness, my baby girl is entirely gone.  Isn't she getting so big and cute?!!


Jon is proving to be our builder.  His favorite thing to build has been "shooters" but as I try not to pay much attention to them, I one day told him that I'd love to take a picture of his buildings if he built something other than a gun.  A few minutes later he came down with this, announcing that he didn't even have to use "structions."

And then he wanted pictures of more and more creations.


Because Michael is in school all day 5 days a week, I am finding that I don't have near as many pictures of him, but here are a couple of fun things:

Michael finished his fall soccer, loving every minute of it:

And he is one of the stars in a new movie that has come out: STACKER.  You can check out the trailer here and see if you catch the shot of Michael.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Becca's Bedroom

Last month I spent a few days painting Becca's bedroom.  We then took the opportunity to pack up her crib and put up her "big girl" bed.  I'm so excited by how it turned out.

Let me give you a tour:

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Superheroes

It was a while ago, but I never shared pictures from Halloween.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Last week Tim's precious grandfather past away.  He was 88 and the last surviving great grandfather for our kids.  They called him GG-Pa as a nickname for GreatGrandpa and I do think he was very fond of that name.  We tried to get out to visit at least once a year which was always a treat.  Grandpa and Sandy would take us to adorable cafes or pizza parlors and once the kids were old enough ice cream shops.  In fact, Michael had his first restaurant meal of a grilled cheese sandwich with them, followed by some delectable bites of cheese cake that he fell in love with shortly before his first birthday.  Then there was often a walk around Central Park or some time visiting in their apartment.

As we always try to get some good pictures when we visit, I thought it would be fun to share some of the scrapbooking pages I've done with those treasured pictures.

There was a memorial service that was originally scheduled for Tuesday but postponed to Thursday because of the weather.  Tim was hoping to go, but because airport traffic and public transportation were still so unreliable still it did not work out.  Sandy, we are so sorry that we could not be there to give you a big hug.  You are in our prayers and we hope to be able to see you again soon.

We loved you GG-Pa and will miss you greatly.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29

October 29 is my least favorite day of the year.  Three years ago today my mother's earthly body did not wake up.  I still get angry about that some times.  Mostly this month, though, I just been a bit depressed.  There have been days that I just go through the motions of my day, getting chores done and interacting with my kids, but not feeling much at all except the blues.  I went to bed last night simply wishing I could wake up and have it be Tuesday already - I really don't like October 29.

I created these layouts about six months after she pasted away.  This first one is the heart ache:

Journaling reads:
   I will never forget that day - when I got the worst phone call I’ve ever received.   It was early in the morning and I was upstairs doing some last minute homework for class that night.  The fear and pain and confusion in my dad’s voice chilled me.  He told me he couldn’t revive her and that the paramedics were there.  I asked if they were taking her somewhere and he just couldn’t answer.  I feared she was gone but he hadn’t said it straight out so I wanted to hold on to hope.  I felt my way downstairs, shaking, calling for Tim.  I had to contact my brothers and sister but didn’t know how I’d have the strength.  Carefully I dialed each number and tried to sound hopeful but I had few specifics to give them.
   After some moments of confusion I went to take a shower.  My calm emergency adrenaline kicked in and I knew I needed to get ready for the day to start.  In the shower I prayed so hard for God to save my mother.  He told me she was fine - better than fine and my heart knew that she was safe in heaven with the Lord, but my brain fought back - NO!  I want her here with us.  Have them take her to the hospital and heal whatever is wrong.  That’s when the phone rang again.  It was my brother this time.  He had made it home and confirmed that she had passed away.  There was nothing the paramedics could do.
   The drive to my dad’s house was horrible.  I came into the house and gave him a hug and Tim went with me upstairs to see her body and to tell her I loved her so much.  Then there were the details - the funeral, her outfit, the obituary in the paper.  How are you supposed to do so many painful tasks at a time like this?  I wanted so much to hear her footsteps behind me, to turn around and see her smile.  She could always make everything ok.

Those days following were hard, but I'm so amazingly grateful for my family.  We were all together and we made it through by sharing God's hope and God's strength with each other.

This next layout holds the text that my siblings and I wrote to read at her memorial service.  This is the joy about my mom and the amazing woman she was:

Journaling reads:

My mother was comforting. [Nate]
   In times of frustration and in need of strengthening my mom was always there.  I would come home on weekends to ask questions about school work, but the conversation of education would consistently change to a conversation about my personal life.  My mom was not the woman to ask about my personal life until I said something about it.  We would be sitting in the dining room and working on a paper or a unit plan, and all of the sudden I would feel stressful and stop what I was doing to tell my mom something.
   She would look at me with her concerned eyes, and I would break down into tears about how my life was not like the rest of my brothers and sisters.  After I finished with what I had to say, my mom would give me a hug and sit with me in silence for just a moment.  Then she would tell me that the life I led was what God wanted.  And that God had plenty of special times left in my life for me to view.
   And even though I felt lonely, she comforted me with her words.  During my last breakdown, she told me that in times of need that I encountered away from home, I would feel better praying about it.  So now I feel away from home, because she is not here to comfort me.  I love you and hope to see you again, Mom.
My mother was devoted to the Lord. [Michele]
   In a house with five children and a full-time job, every morning she would get up early while the rest of us were still in bed, sit on the couch with her Bible and spend time with God before starting her day.  My whole life people have told me how exceptional my mother was.  The reason she was so effective in everything she did was because she led a very purposeful life.  She was focused on the Lord.  She knew what it meant to let God lead her in every decision.  When I didn’t know how to handle life’s struggles she taught me that God doesn’t expect us to control our circumstances; he only asks us to control our response.  When I was struggling with my faith she taught me how to believe.  She was the greatest example of a Godly woman I have ever known and the most influential person in my life.  My greatest desire is to live my life the way she lived hers.
My mother was wise.  [Andy]
   I had the opportunity to see her wear many different hats in life: mom, wife, daughter, sister, principal, leader, friend. Despite this multitude of hats, God always enabled her to make wise decisions in each role. When I was in fifth grade, two of these hats collided: mom became principal. As principal, she saw everything I did. She had eyes everywhere. Which, on more than one occasion, landed me a visit to her office for disciplinary reasons. On those occasions, my mother was a principal. She was a stern and dedicated leader of the school, explaining to a student why punching a classmate is not an appropriate means of problem solving.
   On the other hand, when the baritone player elbowed my French horn during band class, and my small metal mouthpiece slammed into braces, my mother put on the mom hat. She ran down the hall to get me and drove me straight to dentist, regardless of what her work schedule was.
No matter the situation, she always made the wise decision. I can only hope that God gives me wisdom like hers.
My mother was intentional. [Christy]
   She understood that parenting five children didn’t mean treating us all the same.  Instead, she knew who we each were individually and wanted the best from us and the best for us.  One of the funniest memories I have of my mom was her taking me into her bedroom when I was in college to talk to me.  I had done very little dating through high school and college and she sat me down on her bed and said, “Christy, I think I need to teach you to flirt better.”
   Whether we talked about my life, my career, or my faith, I always left feeling uplifted and challenged to think about something just a little bit differently.  Most importantly, though, I always felt loved – no matter what.  Not once in my life did I ever doubt that she loved me.  What an amazing gift she gave us.
My mother was embracing. [Brian]
   It didn’t matter if you were relatives, friends, or friends of friends: if you came into her home, she surrounded you with love and gave you her full focus.  You were the most important thing to her.  You weren’t just welcomed; you were embraced.  When my wife Emily switched from friend, to girlfriend, to THE girlfriend, Mom wholeheartedly embraced her as a daughter – no hesitation, no reservation, 100%.
   Mom also embraced her grandchildren.  When my son Cody was born, Mom barged into our house with a “Where’s my grandbaby?”, picked him up, and refused to share.  Whenever we brought him over to her house, it was a brief hello for us but a swooping hug for him.
   My mother embraced life like she did her family. We teased her about how she could never give less than everything to anything she did.  There was no middle ground with her – she was in all the way, whether she was teaching, leading, educating, mothering, playing spider solitaire on her laptop, or playing tennis on the Wii video game system.  She lived life All In: no hesitation, no reservation, 100%.

I love you so much Mom and my heart aches for the day when I can wrap my arms around in a great big hug again.