Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Presents

Last week we spent a night working on teacher christmas presents.  I wanted something the kids could help with so we decided on chocolate covered pretzels.

We did white chocolate and semi-sweet.

I let the kids toss the pretzels into the chocolate and then I fished them out and set them to harden on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.

On some of them we drizzled melted butterscotch.  I let them sit in the fridge to harden for a while and then we put them in cute bowls and wrapped them up.  Of course I forgot to take pictures of the final products.

The kids also worked hard to write their own Christmas cards.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Now that both Jon and Michael have weekly homework for school, one of Jon and Becca's favorite games to play has been "homework."

They get out a notebook and go to work.

When I asked them what they were working on Jon said he was writing notes and Becca said she had made a maze.  :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Tree

The kids were so excited to put up ornaments on the tree this year.  Michael is old enough to remember a lot of them - especially those he made.  So he was going through the boxes to find his.  Becca followed suit, pulling out different ornaments including things like glass bells, and announcing, "I remember when I made this!"

The other cute thing that happened was that we had the ornaments out all day, but didn't have time to decorate until the evening.  So Becca had fun during the day decorating other things while she waited.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Pasta with red sauce is one of my kids' favorite meals.  They eat it down and always ask for seconds.  Unfortunately their mama likes to change up the sauce every once and a while, and since she is the one doing to cooking, well everyone else just has to go along with it.  Last night it was Alfredo.

We started eating around 5:45.  At 6:15 the older three members of the family left the table and the kids were instructed that they needed to eat, do evening chores, get pjs on, and then if there was time they could watch TV.

At 6:45ish Michael was ready and turned on the TV, and here is what Jon and Becca were up to: (Please note that at this point I think they had each maybe eaten 1 bite.)

Boy was it hard to stay calm and not scream "It's still PASTA - just put a bite in your mouth."

After going to his room to scream and cry for about 10 minutes Jon finally finished around 7:20 and Becca by 7:45.

Funny thing is, I don't think they actually disliked it that much when they actually ate it - it was more a battle of wills.  :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hot Chocolate and Settlers

Over Thanksgiving weekend we tried to get the kids out to play a couple of times but it was pretty cold.  And of course, every time they go out in the cold they want Hot Chocolate - Michael's and Becca's with marshmallows in it and Jon's on the side.  Since we have had Aunt Katherine with us for the weekend we were also playing a lot of games.  So what could be better than having both hot chocolate and a game of Settlers on a cold day?!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mine Craft

As an early Christmas present we bought the kids a second Mine Craft account so two people can play together in the same world.  So over the weekend, this is what I find:

Tim and Michael are playing in a world together.  Jon is on the iPad playing mine craft and taking breaks to watch Michael.  Becca is cheering on her dad!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What's in a name?

The picture is a couple weeks old, but Becca now knows how to write her name and boy is she proud.  In fact I've found the name written on papers, walls, and tables all around the house.

She is also starting to find the letters for her name in other places.  "That's in my name!"  Now we need to work on the name for the letters.  :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We got a wonderful surprise for Thanksgiving!  Because of the bad weather predicted in the east Aunt Katherine headed west to our house instead.  We were so glad to have her here today!

Michael and Jon requested that we use our "fancy glasses" and that we make the candy turkeys again, so it seems that those are our traditions right now.  :)  Afterwards when I asked what was the favorite food, Michael said he liked the rolls and Jon and Becca declared the green beans their favorite.  haha!

The meal turned out fabulous.  The turkey stayed moist and I made Tim's favorite home made stuffing.  We also did a fun napkin holder craft with the kids this morning that turned out cute.

Hope you all have a fabulous day!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Scrapbooking Update

With my work and the new school year settling into a routine, I've found myself with a few hours over the last few weeks to relax with some scrapbooking.  Check it out.

This is Becca at her tumbling class which just ended.  She LOVED it.  While I'm going to take the winter off so I can cut down on one of the things I need to shuttle my kids around too, I think we will definitely sign her up again in the spring.

This past summer my sister-in-law Emily took some 10 year wedding anniversary photos for us.  :)

And I finished up some pages so I could print the kids a book for 2007.  (We've had 2008-2012 printed and they've been begging for a while for the earlier ones.)

This was Michael at church in the Christmas pageant.  The toddlers were the sheep with their teachers as the shepherds.

And here was us visiting Grand Rapids in the summer.  Grandparents are always so happy to see my kiddo!

And this was from our visit to Vermont that summer.  You can see Michael developed his tennis stroke early.  My favorite shot on this page is the one in the middle on the right.  After trying to hit the ball over the net like the big people, Michael finally decided it would be easier to just throw it over and he could just barely reach it - he was so proud of himself!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Photo Time

Jon and Becca love having their pictures taken.  Today they wanted me take all sorts of pictures and then they'd rush around to see themselves behind the camera in the review.

When we were at the second hand store, Becca picked out all the pairs of jeans that had fun stitching and designs on them.  Here she is showing off a pair.

Jon rolled up some paper and starting making all kinds of music.

Aren't they just adorable?

Monday, November 25, 2013


When Jon and Becca get to playing together it usually quickly involves a bunch of animals and dolls.  Last Friday was such a day.  We had just had one of the busiest weeks and on Friday we had absolutely nothing on the schedule.  So while I got some stuff done around the house and got caught up on some reading I wanted to do, Jon and Becca went off into pretend mode.

After a while I went around the house to see what was up.  This puppy is Chocolate.  He slept on the kitchen floor today.  He use to be one of my favorite stuffed animals as a kid (hence the name).  I love that he brings joy to my kids too.

During their games the front hallway always fill up with the friends.  When I ask, they can never tell me exactly what they were doing, but the hallway seems to be a favorite hang out place for the animals and dolls.  Based on what I hear, there is a lot of Mommy, Daddy, and Baby playing here.

And then upstairs it was lunch time.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Finishing Up Fall

The last couple of weeks we've been trying to find time to finish our raking.  In Holland you can pile leaves in the streets in the fall and the city will come and pick them up.  However, the deadline was fast approaching and we were struggling to find time to get to it.

However, one afternoon Jon, Becca, and I were home and had a blast starting work on the back yard.  This pile here was one that Jon did entirely on his own.

Becca started raking.  It lasted about a minute and a half.  She thought this was way more fun.

And now that we got all the leaves to the street we had a big storm come through and blow a bunch of them back all over our front yard.  :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Becca and buttons

Becca has been so into buttons lately.  The other day she insisted that she could do them herself.  Since we weren't in a rush that morning I left her to it.  About 15 minutes later I saw her walking around like this.  "Who helped you with your button?" I asked.  "I did!" she beamed.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cousin Visit

Sam and Michele had a retreat in Holland to attend and so the Williamson kids came and spent the night Friday.  The evening went well and everyone went to sleep without any trouble.  Saturday morning everyone got up and Tim and his sister Sarah who was also with us headed off to play a frisbee tournament so I was home with 6 kids: 8 year old Michael, 5 year old Jon, 3 year olds Becca and Luke, 1 year old Judah, and a baby who is their foster daughter at the moment.

So what does one do with 6 kids 8 and under?  We actually had a great time.  We slowly got everyone fed and dressed and then while the baby napped we went upstairs and played trains and cars.  After snack we got out crayons, markers, stickers, coloring books and workbooks.  I think they played at the table for over 30 minutes.  Even Judah was happy to scribble, pull off stickers, and mostly watch all the big kids at work.  And I must say that our nephew Luke was thrilled to find a bunch of pink markers!

Next up was lunch, and luckily everyone likes the same food so while there were plenty of requests for different things, everyone was satisfied when I announced the same menu for all.  The day ended with some outside playtime in the driveway thanks to the beautiful sunshine God provided.

Here is a picture of the crew.  I can't share a picture of the baby online, but I can tell you that I dressed her in a MSU sleeper for the day at her mom's request.  I knew that Sam wouldn't allow it in his house, so we got it well worn at our house.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Resting on the Word of God

One day Becca came running to me, "Come look, come look!"  She took me to the living room and quickly assumed this pose.  Not sure why but she thought it was hilarious - she could barely keep a straight face.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Table Tennis

The kids have been playing outside a lot after dinner, but since the time change and the coming winter it is now dark after dinner.  So.... table tennis time tonight!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trick or Treating

This year Jon announced that he wanted to be Batman for Halloween.  Michael didn't take the news well since he wanted to wear the Batman costume we had.  When we took it up from the basement it was actually too small for Michael so Jon got his wish.  However, when I visited Craigslist I lucked out finding one Michael's size just down the road from us.

So let me introduce you to my 2 Batmen!

Halloween night was rainy so I left Becca home for a while and took the boys to a couple of neighborhood streets.  Then we came back and picked up mama kangaroo Becca and finished off the night by trick or treating our street.  They had a blast and I think it will be Halloween treats after lunch and dinner for at least a month!  That is if I can stop sneaking them throughout the afternoon.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa Haig's visit

Every fall Grandma and Grandpa Haig try and make it to West Michigan for a visit.  The kids are always so excited and can barely wait the whole week leading up to their arrival.  This year they came in on a super late flight - I think it arrived at our house around midnight.  So the kids and I got the house ready during the day by moving beds and such.  And then the kids had to go to bed and wait until the morning to greet them only for me to make them stay quiet while the grandparents slept in after being up so late.

This picture is so funny for me.  It shows the boys have fun with grandpa but it is so much calmer than what really happened.  Playing with grandpa for them is usually wrestling and tiger back rides.  :)

This year Aunt Katherine was able to drive up for the weekend too.

It was the last weekend of soccer games and it was cold.  So at 8 am on Saturday we got Michael, Tim, Grandma, and Grandpa all bundled up to head out to Michael's game.  I stayed home with Jon and Becca but they were not to be left out of all the hats and mittens we scrounged for.

One of Becca's favorite things is helping them make coffee.  It fascinates her since Tim and I never make it.  A couple days after they left she came to me with this - a napkin in a plastic cup, announcing that she was "making coffee!"