Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Games and games and games and games and games and games and games

The song is going down into DeJong folklore.  The "inlaws" wrote a song for Hilary when she joined the family to explain what she was getting into.  One of the verses is, "Games and games and games and games and games and games and games...."

Well, I'm hear to tell you that a new generation is joining in.  Jon who use to play with cars every other hour of the day is now obsessed with games.  Just walking around the house I found

Yamslam in the kitchen...

and Monopoly in the living room.

For the first year, he begged to write a Christmas list.  My kids have never been into this before, but Jon was so excited this year.  He got out pen and paper and sat down and carefully sounded out Ticket to Ride.  Then he paused.  and thought.  and called his brother and sister over to help him come up with more to add because he was stumped.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No Ice Cream Please

Well, we've all known Michael was a routine kid, but I never thought it would stretch this far.  Saturday we had a lazy afternoon that ended with Mom not wanting to cook dinner.  So at 6:00 I announced "Ice Cream for dinner tonight!"  (Note: We have never done this before and it sounded fun, but please don't think we do this on a regular basis.)  :)  Instant approval from Jon and Becca full of cheers.  Michael just laughed and insisted I was joking because ice cream is a treat NOT a meal.  We talked about how we thought it might be fun, but Michael was not budging.  So for dinner it was:
Jon - ice cream sundae
Becca - ice cream sundae
Michael - crackers, cheese, carrots, orange

However, before you think Michael is the strangest child ever, he did have a large ice cream sundae for dessert.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A New Girl

Becca has been asking to get her hair cut short for a couple of months now.  And then she remembers that she can't have braids with short hair and reconsiders the thought.  About a week ago she approached me one morning asking if she could have braids one last time before getting her hair cut.  So we did, and then last Thursday we headed out to the salon.

The stylist showed us some pictures from a book and after passing on one that was really short and way too grown up looking for me, I saw a cute cut with bangs.  The page showed 5 pictures of the same cut, all from different angles.  I showed it to Becca and asked her if she thought this was a good one.  She thought for a minute with her hand on her chin and then smiled, pointed to one of the pictures and said, "This one."

She is so proud of her new look.  Everywhere we go she keeps talking about how no one is going to recognize her since she looks so different.  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jesus Is More Powerful Than...

The kids at church have been learning about Jesus' miracles and how that shows that he is God.  Last Sunday both Jon and Becca's classes did a "Jesus is more powerful" activity.

We had the letters spelled out on a large paper in painters tape.  Then the kids took turns covering the paper with paint and markers.  While they did this, they talked about the following:

Sometimes I get scared in the dark, but who is more powerful than the dark?  Jesus!

If my brother gets sick, who is more powerful than the sickness?  Jesus!

Sometimes I make bad choices, but who is more powerful than my bad choices and can forgive me?  Jesus!

When it is thundering and lightning outside, I can get scared, but who is more powerful than the storms?  Jesus!

In our story today, there was an evil spirit, but who is more powerful than evil?  Jesus!

If I fall down and get hurt, who is more powerful than my bruise?  Jesus!

When I have a bad dream, who is more powerful than my bad dreams?  Jesus!

Then, they removed the tape and hung up this sign.

The activity ended with the kids finishing the sentence, "Jesus is more powerful than..." as many different ways as they could.

I asked Jon and Becca today and they came up with:
a lion
an elephant
a thunderstorm
the sun
an ocean
a moose
bad guys

Jesus sure is powerful!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Whole Family of Pumpkins

Last weekend we had the Michigan contingent of the DeJong family over to our house for some pumpkin fun.  We had a great time eating and talking together and watching the kids fill every square inch of floor space with toys, but the main event was the carving of the pumpkins.

I think all of the kids' favorite part of the process was drawing faces on the pumpkins.  After that, most of the kids 6 and under kept wandering away from the actual carving process and were constantly called back to "help."

Jon was extremely weirded out by removing the insides of the pumpkin.  In fact, today when he saw me post this picture he commented on how he didn't like it when I made him use his hand.  I had him try his hand after a few minutes of removing one seed at a time with a spoon.

Becca was so excited for this day.  She was very insistent that she was going to carve her pumpkin with Grandpa because he knew how to make the right scary face.  I think they had read a jack-o-lantern book the week before together and she was planning for this day after that.

Michael went Mine Craft and wanted a creeper face on his pumpkin.  He did the whole thing by himself and was proudly working on it for a full hour I think.

And before the day was up, in an effort to top this great picture we took 3 years ago at a similar gathering...

We got a picture with all the cousins!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chair Excersizing

Yesterday we hung out for a while at our gym while Michael had his tennis lesson.  Usually Jon and Becca either go to the kids play area or the pool for this time, but Jon had a sore throat so I kept them with me.  For part of the time we watched Michael and for part of the time we played some basketball.

It just so happens that the basketball court is in-between the weight machines and the treadmills, so it was no surprise when this morning I found these two "exercising."  They turned on their Psalty music and went to work.  Here is Becca showing off the chair treadmill and Jon the chair weight machine.  :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2 sixth graders, 2 third graders, and a kindergartener

These are the boys on our street and they play together all the time.  I have been praying for this - this childhood life that I remember.  My boys will drop everything, including video games, when the doorbell rings inviting them to come out and play.

As it turns out, they've decided that each others yards are perfect for certain sports.  So two of the families live across the street and their back yards together make a perfect capture the flag forest.  Last summer, late into the nights the kids were waring over handkerchiefs and frisbees or what ever was the flag of choice for the day.  Those were the times when you know your little ones should be long tucked into bed, but you can't stand to be the first parent to break up the fun.

And then our other neighbor apparently has a back yard just perfect for a soccer field.  All through the world cup, the boys spent hours making teams, scoring goals, and high-fiving each other.

Our yard has been designated the football field.  Michael got a flag football set that they use sometimes, while other times they go all out tackle.  And can I say that I love this.  Right now as I type I hear, "That was the best play ever Noah!" and "Great job Jon!"  These are good boys and I love the friendships they are building.  I hope those 6th graders don't grow up too fast and become too cool for these little ones.

In addition, our swing set has been turned into an angry bird game.  The "pigs" hang out on the swings, slide, and monkey bars.  Then someone else throws angry soccer balls at them to see who they can hit.  I just cracked up laughing the first time I saw it and the second time I quick grabbed a picture.  Oh, and yes, that is a slide on top of a slide for double the fun.  Watching them get it up there was another great humorous moment.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Aunt Katherine's Concert

A while back we wend to Ohio to hear Aunt Katherine play her senior recital.  We all had a fabulous time and I finally got around to scrapping a page for the event.  I love how it turned out.  :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tulip Time

The tulips arrived just in time this year.  Jon and Becca and I joined some friends for a picnic lunch for Tulip Time.

And then we went and watched Michael walk in the parade.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Becca Reading

With Michael reading book after book and Jon now learning to read new words every day, Becca has been feeling a bit left out.  But the other day we found a book at the library that she can read all by herself.  Check it out:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Child/Parent Doubles and Tread

Tim and Michael have spent the last couple of months raising money for their TREAD race.  Our church was encouraging us to get people to sponsor us and to run the Tulip Time race to raise money to help purchase shoes for kids in Guatemala.  Tim and Michael took up the challenge and spread the word to our stacking friends around the world.  They promised that if $500 was raised they would do a live stream video trying to break 8.5 seconds in Child/Parent doubles.  They raised $680 and so on last Saturday they ran the 5K race and then stacked for an hour live on youtube.  They met their money goal and their stacking goal!!!

If you want to, you can even watch the whole hour of stacking here.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Field Trips

Tis the season for field trips.

Jon's class went to a nature center near the school.  I was thrilled that it was on a day Becca was at school and so I got to go along.  I was actually surprised at how much he LOVED it.  I knew he would have a good time, but I didn't realize how much of an impression it would make on him.  He is talking about a lot and sharing a bunch of facts that he learned with his brother and sister.

They got to see a lot of animals, including turtles, snakes, rabbits, and an owl.  They also learned all about different bird calls.  Finally we took a short walk outside (short because it was rainy), and we saw different flowers and animal prints as well as some deer in the brush.

We (Jon, Becca, and I) also took a trip with my Moms group to Dutch Village.  We rode the rides and walked around.  A favorite is always stopping at the wooden shoe factory and trying on the samples, including these giant ones.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Michael is becoming quite the reader.  For the longest time he was stuck on the Magic Tree House books.  While they are cute, I don't love the series.  Also, Michael's reading level has flown past those books, so to catch his interest and pull him to some harder things, we found this series:

It has been a hit.  Now Tim and I are trying hard to read some of them so we can know what he's reading.  :)

In my search for more books for him, I came across this one that I use to read over and over when I was a child. :)

And all of the kids have been listening to Tim read them the little house books, but recently Michael has been asking to take over the reading and will read chapters to Jon and Becca.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One Two Buckle My Shoe

Each month at school, Becca's class learns a nursery rhyme.  Usually I hear her say it once or twice, but this month she has been saying it every day.  The first time I heard her, it started like this:

One, two, buckle my shoe
Three, four, open the door
Five, six, pick up sticks
Seven, eight, lay them down

Cracked us up - makes sense, but not close to a rhyme.  :)

After some more practice, though, here she is:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Through the years

Posting pictures this week got me thinking that we have had Easter pictures taken each year, so I went back for a trip down memory lane.










Oh, my - where has the time gone.  They look so grown up this year!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Easter 2

Easter morning I picked out some nice and fairly coordinating clothes for the kids to wear for their Easter pictures.  Becca was thrilled about putting on a new dress.  The boys whined and complained about shirts they don't like.  (Notice it's just a polo shirt - no vests, no kaki pants, no fancy shoes - I don't think I'm asking too much really.)

After they were dressed, though, they had a fun time posing for pictures.

After church we came home, ate lunch, and then the kids were all sent out to play (after a change of clothes you will notice).  By the way it was almost 70 degrees here on Sunday - fabulous!  When they came in we did an egg hunt.

This year we mixed up a bunch of different eggs.  We had the 12 resurrection eggs to tell the Easter story about Jesus.  Then we had some mini chocolate eggs.  And then we had some plastic eggs that were fill with either candy or pieces of a new lego set.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter 1

Last weekend we got together with cousins and decorated eggs.

While I still do this project each year with my kids, I always wonder later if it is worth it.  :)  It takes quite a long time to set up.  Then the kids go crazy for a couple of minutes.  Then it takes me forever to clean up.  And then I end up eating a dozen hard boiled eggs because the dutch in me balks at throwing them away.

But this year with cousins it was a lot of fun, and I'm sure next year I will get it all together to dye eggs again, because what is Easter without this fun activity?!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome Spring

So what do my kids do to welcome in spring?

Michael heads across the street to shoot baskets (that is when we can pull him away from the ncaa tournament.

Jon went out for some snow soccer.

Becca was out for a while too and when she came in grinning I asked her why she was all wet:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


My moms group just had a successful sledding trip!  When we planned it we said that it would be contingent on the weather cooperating and there still being enough snow.  With the winter we've been having that was no problem.  While we almost had to cancel because of dropping temperatures, it decided to warm up enough just in time.

This is the first sledding trip where I didn't have to sit someone on my lap and take them down the hill against their will.  All three kids were ready to go and took off!