Saturday, January 28, 2012

And the Walls of Jericho came tumbling down

Someone asked me the other day if Michael pretends now. The answer is Yes, but not in the way you might think. Michael pretends within boundaries of reality. For example, when he and Jon play a sports game, Jon is trying to come up with new rules like adding tackling to basketball while Michael creates pretend games using real players, real teams, and the REAL rules.

The same goes for blocks. Michael will not pretend by creating a castle and making up a story about a dragon. Instead, he builds the city Jericho which is the story they were learning in Kindergarten this week.

Here are the people walking around the city. At the time of the picture Michael announced that this was their third time around because it was the day they needed to march around 7 times. (Notice Becca sitting back calmly only because we assured her that in a minute it would be time for the walls to come crashing down.)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Doll Clothes

As Becca is getting more and more into her baby doll I thought that doll clothes might be a fun birthday present for her this year. So I went out looking and ran into two problems. 1. Most doll clothes seem to be for 18" dolls (the height of the ever popular american gill dolls) and the baby we have is 12". 2. People are asking $10-20 (or even more) for a doll dress. I have a problem paying more for doll clothes than I do for clothes for my kids.

So I started rummaging through our baby clothes to see what I could find. Of course even our newborn clothes are too big, but I am having fun altering them for the doll. Now, I do know how to sew a button or fix a small hole in something, but I have only ever used a sewing machine once - a couple of months ago when Michele came over to teach me. However, I brought the sewing machine up from the basement along with an old newborn onsie. After some work relearning how to operate the machine, here is what I made:

It turned out to look a lot like a nightgown so that is what I decided it was. :) To those of you who know how to sew, this probably looks a bit anti-climactic, but I'm so proud of how it turned out, especially since I even had to take the sleeves off to thin the top and then reattach them. I decided to give this first attempt to Becca right now and I'm already at work on some more clothes for the upcoming 2 year old birthday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Becca and her kitty

Journaling reads: Becca is so in love with animals right now. She adores her stuffed animals, especially this kitty cat that came as a wonderful present from GG-Pa and Great Sandy. She hugs it and kisses it and loves to have it tucked under her neck. She also pets it and dances with it. She also loves to see real animals. She will screetch and stand in awe at the dogs people take for a walk. She also loves to visit the bunny across the street and pet it’s soft fur.

Layout credits: Best Furry Friends by Sugar Fancy and Find Your Bliss Designs, font is Elicia by Darcy Baldwin

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Check these out

I found a fun article about 25 clever ideas that is well worth the read.
Click here to read.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Overhaul your linen cupboard – store bedlinen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Bread tags make the perfect-sized cord labels.

Win friends at breakfast with this heart-shaped egg tutorial. Aww shucks!

Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough over the top and voila – you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice-cream.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In case you thought I was perfect...

:) Here is a picture of the fam watching football. Take a look at all of the mess that is out that no one is playing with.

I must admit that more often than not, our house ends up looking like this. How does that happen? I read somewhere that trying to clean your house when you have toddlers is like trying to brush your teeth in the middle of eating an oreo. I guess that is about right.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


The other day the boys asked to play Uno and of course Becca wanted in too. Playing cards like this with my three kids reminds me of when I use to work running activities in a nursing home. Cards was a favorite of those residents too. I would gather them up, shuffle and deal the cards, and then try to help them hold them, frequently reorganizing their cards for them. Then as the game proceeded I had to instruct each turn. Back then it was Kings in the Corner, so I would say, "Do you have a black 7? Do you have a red 8?" etc.

On to my kiddos and their game, I shuffled the deck (of which I think we only have about 1/2 the cards now as they get transported to nooks and crannies around our house or chewed on and ripped up from time to time). Then I dealt and helped the kids to hold the cards. We actually ended up letting Jon lay his cards out on the table. Then as each turn went I was asking, "Do you have a 3? Do you have any yellow?"

Ahhhh, so much fun for all, although after a few rounds the kids were just getting started while I was wearing out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Look at Becca eating her vegetables!

After just over a year of serving her vegetables, Becca is finally actually eating them. Like her brothers, green beans seem to be a favorite although last night she loved raw zucchini as I was cutting it up to cook it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


If any of you find yourselves around Michael any time soon, you should ask him to read. He is getting so good. For school he needs to read 10 minutes a day and while I love to sit and read with him, he has even gotten to the point where he can read some books all by himself.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A ghost has found our house

Jon has been daily turning into a ghost. He has discovered the fun of the blanket over the head.

Becca on the other hand was entirely freaked by the transformation. The first time Jon did it she screamed and ran. We did a few "Jon - Jon ghost - Jon - Jon ghost" by putting the blanket on and off to see if that would help her.

For days, though, she was fascinated but wouldn't go near him. This is a scene I saw a lot:

She would half giggle and watch Jon ghost jump on the trampoline. As soon as he would make one move towards her she would change to crying. With her sitting on my lap we got her finally to reach out and touch Jon ghost. After a week she is now calm about the even and even asked me to put the blanket over her head yesterday. It didn't last long, though, because she has no concept of how to walk as a ghost - she just plows ahead, bumping into everything in her path.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Some new videos

Over Christmas break we were able to put together some new videos. First up are some freestyle stacking.

Then, while Tim's siblings were in town they did some singing recording. Where are Andrew and myself? Well as our amazing voices were not needed for this quartet we took the kids to Meijer so they wouldn't interfere with the recording. Yes, we braved Meijer during the afternoon on Dec 23.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Strange weather

We had a pretty warm December and were thankful that when we came home from Florida we didn't have to dig our house out. Last week we did have a large snow storm that dropped a foot of snow in are yard. And then by the end of last week we were back in the 40s again. I did get a few pictures of the snow though to show you all. This first one looks so cool with Michael shoveling but it was really Tim's snow plow track.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME

As of this past Saturday morning I am 35 years old. Or to word it as we use to as kids when we thought our parents were ancient, "I'm half way to 70!" I had a wonderful birthday. It started on Friday with whispers between Tim and the boys and between Michael and Jon throughout the day about what they were planning.

Then Friday evening I got early birthday flowers!

On Saturday I got up to a yummy breakfast of eggs made for me and some wonderful birthday cards. We had a low key morning and then after naps we headed downtown for an ice sculpture contest. It was so much fun to watch the carving and see the creations. Many of them from the day before were mostly unrecognizable because of the warm weather, but we did see this fun sea horse.

Then we ate an early dinner out and had brownie sundaes back at home. Becca helped me blow out the candles.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Yes, we went to Florida for Christmas. All of my family was there and it was fabulous!

Santa came a day early to fill the kids' stocking so that they could open them on the plane on Christmas eve. We had quite the adventure on this trip so it is a good thing there were snacks, nerf balls, cars, and crayons in their stockings. Our trip started at 4:30 am when we left our house to head to the airport. Mostly the trip went fine until we passed into Florida and the pilot announced that our plane had an imbalance in the fuel tanks and need to make an emergency landing. After spending some time on the ground in the plane and then quite a bit of time sitting around the airport we finally got put on a bus to Orlando and made it just in time for dinner.

Christmas day we hung around the amazing resort. The kids swam in the pools and enjoyed the playground. Here are the three little ones ready to race!

The next day we were off to Sea World with Brian, Emily, and their kiddos. We took things pretty slow and the kids lasted well past dinner which was wonderful.

Michael got to stop at each of the animal exhibits to ask a question and earn an animal card. You could just see his brain working to come up with fun questions to ask.

OK, I know this doesn't really seem "sea animal"ish, but the boys were so thrilled that they could ride on this little train. :)

A lot of the days we hung out at the resort playing games, hitting tennis balls, and a favorite of everyone - swimming outdoors in December!

And yes, while we were there we did stop by and see a couple of famous mice:

The kids loved Disney World. We had to stand in quite a few lines as the place was packed, but we had tons of fun. A favorite ride for me and the little ones was the carousel. Becca and Jon loved going up and down and giggled a lot and I loved that there was a fairly short quick moving line. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sarah, Anne, Andrew, and Katherine

As I mentioned in the previous post, Tim's siblings all came out for a few days before Christmas. We had a blast! Here are some highlights.

We did a family Christmas together. The three kids loved both the presents and the attention from so many adults.

Stockings for the aunts and uncle.

All the kids got puzzles.

And of course we enjoyed fun reading times.

The boys got some outdoor toys that included a balloon helicopter and snow ball launcher. Since there was no snow yet, we improvised with tennis balls.

Another winter present was this adorable hat from Grandma. We went for a walk one evening in downtown Holland and Becca loved showing off her new hat.

And this was a super fun memory game from GGPa and Great Sandy that was an immediate hit!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gingerbread houses

We got back from Florida on Saturday but as you can see it has taken me a few days to settle back in and get back to my normal routine which includes posting here. When I sat down at the computer to type this tonight, I was greeted by new posts on both Michele's and Emily's blogs, so I see that it must be the day for finally getting back to blogging. I'm going to go back a little before we even left for Florida and share with you some Christmas posts.

The first is that we made gingerbread houses this year with the kids which was so much fun! I used the instructions from this web site and it all worked really well.

Step 1: Make the gingerbread
We did this on Monday night. The kids loved helping to measure and pour things into the bowl and then try and stir it all together.

The boys left after a while, but Becca stayed around to help me hand mix the dough. She loved getting her fingers all gooey!

Step 2: Bake the gingerbread.
The instructions said to let the dough sit over night in the fridge, so that is what we did. Tuesday morning we rolled out the dough and cut our house pieces. The dough was a bit hard to roll for the kids but they had fun putting the shapes on and helping to mash the dough. Becca also had a blast trying to sneak bites to eat while we worked. When we were done we had made a mess, but we had enough pieces to make two houses.

Step 3: Assemble the houses
We did this Tuesday afternoon and I timed it perfectly because Tim's siblings all came out for a visit and they arrived Tuesday around noon. I had anticipated that extra adult hands would be extremely useful for assembly.

Step 4: Decoration!
Now onto the part we have all been waiting for - the candy! Michael had helped me to pick out just the right candy a few days before, so on Wednesday with the houses solidly glued together we decorated them. I think the aunts and uncle had just as much fun as the kids with this part. The houses were brightly ornamented and everyone had plenty of candy in their bellies.

The finished products: