Monday, April 22, 2013

Wall Art

I've had this idea in my head of making Bible verse wall art for the boy's bedroom.  I finally got around to completing one of them.  I have in the plans three more and when I get them all done I'll print them and share a picture of what they look like framed and hung up.

I asked Michael what his favorite Bible verse was and he said Psalm 23, so here is what I came up with:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fire Station

This week at one of the rare moments when I thought we were all done being sick, I took Jon and Becca out with my mom's group on a fire station tour.

Jon freaked out when we walked in and didn't want to do or touch anything.  Becca followed his lead a little at first, but once I got her to go through the fire truck (they climbed in one door and out the other) she was happy to run around with the other kids and have fun.

Thank you Holland Fire Dept for a fun tour!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

I know other parts of west Michigan have worse, but when I woke up yesterday our backyard seemed more water than grass.  It has rained here for almost 2 weeks straight.

On a related note, we have been sick for the same two weeks.  I posted about last week, but early this week Becca started throwing up.  Her being sick only lasted about 24 hours.  Tim has a couple of days of super low energy and we were/are nervous that he is fighting something.  And then yesterday Jon got up from his nap and started throwing up.  I can't help but feel that if the rain would go away it wash our sickness out with it finally.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dressing Up for Breakfast

A couple of weeks ago Becca and I went consignment shopping. She came across this large pink sun hat. It says it is size 24 months, but with her little head it fit her fine. She fell in love and didn't want to take it off. Since it was only $2 I let her get it hoping that this summer she might actually wear it while in the sun. The other day she saw it on her dresser right when she woke up and decided it was the perfect time to wear it!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Middle of a Strawberry

Jon has decided that he doesn't like the middle of strawberries.  So he starts by digging his finger into the middle:

And all the way through out the other end.

Then there is no more middle!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Last Week +

We've been shut up in the house with sick kids for a while now. Here is the run down: Monday April 8: *We arrive home at about 1:30am after driving from the Chicago airport. *We sleep from 2-6 am and I get up to help Tim get out the door and let Michael's school and carpool know I'm letting him sleep in and bringing him late. *Jon wakes up wheezing so we do breathing treatments every 4 hours throughout the day. *Things go pretty well except that I'm exhausted. *Kids go to bed 1/2 hour early. *It rained most of the day. Tuesday April 9: *Jon wakes up in the middle of the night with a high fever. I need to give him a breathing treatment and tylenol throughout the night. *By morning I figure I've gotten 8-9 hours of sleep in the last two nights. *Jon is feverish all day and can't get off the couch. *Jon and Becca watch a lot of cartoons and I actually get a morning nap on the couch! *It rained most of the day. Wednesday April 10: *I was up with Jon every 4 hours through the night for more medication. *Jon is again feverish and has no energy. He will try to play, but after 2-3 minutes lays back down on the couch. He barely eats anything. *Jon and Becca again watch a lot of cartoons. *Becca is getting restless. She wants to play but can't go outside and Jon is not making for a good playmate. *Michael's 1st baseball practice is canceled and he is bummed. *It rained most of the day. Thursday April 11: *Exact repeat of Wednesday! Friday April 12: *No kids wake up at night so I get to sleep through! *Jon and Becca both have runny noses and a cough. *I get a sore throat. *Jon is getting back to his usual self and his fever is gone. *In an attempt to get out of the house I take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner where everyone else thought it would be fun to go to get out of the house. Super busy but they do fabulous! *It rained most of the day. *11:00 pm, Michael wakes up screaming - he has just thrown up. Saturday April 13: *From 11:00 until 3:00 am, Michael throws up about every 20 minutes. I sit on the couch with him and watch you guessed it - more cartoons. *After making sure Michael fell asleep and was done throwing up, I finally sleep from 4-7am. *7:00am I kick Tim out of bed to be with the kids and I sleep for another 3 hours. *Michael is sick all day. *Becca is about ready to bounce through the walls. *It snowed. Sunday April 14: *Becca couldn't sleep and woke me up saying that her lips hurt. *An hour later Becca woke me up to tell me that she'd wet her bed. *Tim went into church for rehearsal and both services. *I stayed home with the kids. *I did as many loads of laundry as I could full of sheets and blankets from the bedrooms and the living room. *We sanitized every square inch of the house. *Michael had a mild fever, no energy, and no appetite. *We had our Bible study group over with the kids quarantined upstairs. *It snowed. Monday April 15: *I got a full night's sleep! *Michael woke up still feverish and lethargic. He stayed home and took a nap. *Jon is feeling great and Michael's energy returns by evening. *The kids play/fight/play/fight all day. *It rained, but not until the evening. So, if you have made it through that post (it overwhelmed me a bit to type it all) here are some patterns: *I did not get much sleep and I don't function well on lack of sleep. *My boys were each sick for 3 days with NO energy. *We had a few germs floating around the house, but now I feel like I have the best disinfected house and the cleanest blankets. *I don't function well on lack of sleep. *Did you notice that it rained a bit? *We "enjoyed" some mid April snow flakes. *I'm a bit nervous to take my kids out of the house, but I think we are on the mend. *Did I mention that I didn't get much sleep? Good night!

B is for Becca

Or actually as Becca said it to me so proudly the other day: "B" is for "Gecca!" as she can't yet make the B sound well.  :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Post Orlando Trip

You'd think that after 15 hours of stacking last weekend, we'd be ready for a break, but not my boys.  This is what they have been doing this week:

And they are setting new personal bests!

Three years ago we went to our first Sport Stacking World Championships.  Becca was a newborn and I carried her in my Moby wrap all weekend.  We took this picture that is still framed in Michael's room.

This year we thought it was time for an update:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Orlando Trip Post #3

Our trip ended with the World Championships for Sport Stacking!  Wow - it is so much fun to get to hang out with team USA and all of the stackers from around the world.  Tim and Michael had a bunch of practices throughout the week and Jon even got to go along on some of them.  The actual tournament was Saturday and Sunday.  While only Tim and Michael got to stack in the tournament, Jon and Becca got to play around with the team in the practice rooms.

Here is a larger shot of the room where Team USA and Team Germany were stationed for the weekend.

My favorite event of the weekend was Michael's relay team.  It was made up of 4 stackers age 7 and 8 and all four of them are FAST!  On Saturday they competed in the age 10 and under division in head to head relays.  This is where two teams face off against each other to see who can complete their stacks faster and without scratches.  Michael's team was probably the 4th fasted in the division with two older team USA and one team Germany teams that had more speed.  Michael's team was coached to go fast but not their absolute fastest so the would not make mistakes.  Boy did it pay off - they came in first in the 3-6-3 and second in the Cycle races.  I was so nervous for them watching but SO proud of them.

Then on Sunday they competed in the timed relay event.  In the 10 and under division they came in third place.  AND they set a new age 8 and under record time!

Both Tim and Michael also set new personal tournament best times in their individual events.  Tim even came in first place in the 3-3-3 and Cycle which is fabulous especially considering the woman from Germany who holds all the records was there competing!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Orlando Trip Post #2

We were so blessed to have my dad offer up his time share for us to stay in in Orlando.  The place is absolutely gorgeous.  There are pools (yes plural), a playground, tennis courts, ping pong, and a giant chess set that my kids love.  This is the third time I've stayed there and we love it every time.  The first time was before my mom passed away and I found myself recalling a lot of memories of her while we were there.  I realize that I've come to a new place in my grief about loosing her.  The memories still sting as I miss her so much, but the loss is not so all consuming all the time that I found I was able to enjoy the memories too.  While I will always wish her back, I am so blessed by and thankful for the wonderful memories I have.

Even though we enjoyed the whole resort throughout the week, I only have pictures of the pool.  We brought along some water wings and they made Becca and Jon completely independent in the water which was fabulous!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Orlando Trip Post #1

We started our trip last week Monday with an uneventful drive to Chicago.  We made it to our gate in plenty of time and the three kids had an absolute blast watching planes come and go.  I have to say that in getting ready for this trip, driving as a family in the car, and sitting at the airport I had many of those moments when I remembered family trips from when I was a kid.  There were those shocking moments when I realized I was the parent now - ahhh the responsibility!  I felt a bit freaked out that I was the one responsible for all the details of the trip.  Then it occurred to me that maybe my parents felt the same way.  As a little kid I always saw them as all knowing and the most capable, but maybe the responsibility overwhelmed them at times.  Maybe there were trips they couldn't believe they were in the parent role.  :)

Our first day in Orlando was spent enjoying the resort and getting Tim's parents settled in, but then on Wednesday we headed off to Sea World.  The first stop inside the gates is the rays.  Michael was the only kid to actually reach in to pet one.  I finally got Becca up to the edge to lean over and look, when one of the rays went wild and splashed her right in the face.  I didn't get pictures, but I can tell you it was really funny except that it seemed to traumatize her for the next half hour or so.  I still don't think it is safe to mention petting rays around her.

We saw the dolphin and sea lion shows.  We were hoping to see Shamu too, but the wait to even get into the stadium was an hour and we decided we'd have more fun elsewhere.

We got to go up in the tower and see all around.  Michael saw the water park next door and decided that that is where he wants to go next time we come to Orlando.

And here are some more pictures of the day.  We had so much fun, but got tired in the sun/heat early.  I still think Sea World is the best place for young kids in the area at least at busy times.  With the exception of the Shamu whale show, there were very little waits for things.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sleepy Note

We are back from a week long vacation in Orlando.  It was tons of fun and I will spend the rest of this week sharing pictures and stories with you but for now I'm tired and want to nap so let me give you three things that are on my mind after our trip.

1. Our kids are amazing travelers.  We had a few whines from Becca last night while she was trying to fall asleep on the plane at 9:00ish and then again when I had to wake her at 10:00 so we could get off the plane.  That's it!!  They were fabulous the whole time.  We flew into Chicago and drove home, arriving at about 1:30 am.  Check out the sleeping kiddos:

2. 4 hours of sleep is not enough for me.  I hope that Tim is doing alright back teaching and coaching today.  When I was getting the kids dressed this morning at 10:00 I was telling Becca that we would: get dressed, go grocery shopping, come home to eat lunch, bring Jon and Michael to school, and then take a nap.  A few minutes later I couldn't find her.  Turns out she was in bed getting ready for her nap. Apparently she didn't get enough sleep either.

3. You'd think after 15 hours of stacking in the last two days my kids would want a break, but the boys have been stacking this morning and Michael for the first time stacked three 7 second cycles in a row.  If you'd like to see some of the tournament results check them out here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hair Cuts for All

I have been cutting Michael's hair for years now.  His hair grows so fast that he needs it cut every couple month, and I don't want to spend that much money on it.  For a while I did it by hand - basically pulling up the hairs and holding them between my fingers and cutting off whatever stood taller than my fingers.  Then I got daring and we got a buzzer set.  The first time I used it I about panicked.  What if I totally messed it up?  But I found that the buzzer set was super easy - #4 buzzer all around the head, #2 buzzer around the neck and ears, then trimmer buzzer right at the bottom of their hairline on the next and around the ears.

Last week, we added Becca to the home hair cutting night (Mom cuts and then Dad bathes them to get all the hair fuzz off.)  At first she freaked out, insisting that if I cut her hair it would hurt.  :)  Once I got started she did fine.  While I thought about cutting some cute bangs I decided to play it safe and just trim around the edges to make everything even.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

My cute kids!

On Easter I love to get pictures of the kids and I was thrilled that all three kids were excited to help me with it this year.

Jon picked the couch as a good picture spot and I think we got a great one there:

Michael asked for some on the stairs.  Our serious ones didn't turn out well there but we got some great "We love each other" pictures that are precious.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Fast Times

We are gearing up for the World Championships.  Michael is getting so close to a 6 second cycle.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Michael's Notes

In Michael's lunch box there is a small dry errase board where I write him notes.  Every once and a while I get lazy and leave the same note for two or three days in a row.  Last week after doing just that I opened it up to find this:

"I want more Notes!"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Madness

The DeJong family does a March Madness contest and each of the kids can enter so after working with them to pick teams, they are all about basketball right now.  The boys love to go across the street and shoot hoops with our neighbor.

And the other day Jon wanted me to come and watch the "free shot" he had set up with the connect 4 pieces.

This year, Michael pretty much picked his teams all on his own.  He complains that the upsets he picked weren't upsets and that some of the times he didn't pick an upset, one happened.  I told him that that is how March Madness brackets always go.  Here is his bracket.  Hopefully you can see some of it - It is a bit worse for wear right now because he has been taking it to and from school and leaving it outside while he plays, etc.