A List Maker's Life: November 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I hope to remember the fuzzy fresh baby skin, startle reflexes, and infant cry noises...
I will recall the days before and after his arrival...
I wish I could bottle the new baby hair smell to keep...
I will cherish our first four weeks together...


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

First Smile

Click to play Gibson's Grins
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A Tradition of Gratitude

5 Ways to Demonstrate Gratitude

~Always Give Thanks
~Return a Favor
~Count Your Blessings
~Focus on the Present
~Rearrange Your Priorities

4 Ingredients for a Treat Reminiscent of a Thankful Pilgrim
~Chocolate Chips
~Fudge Stripe Cookies
~Jelly Beans

3 Conversation Starters to Help You Think Thankfully
~If you lost all of your material posses ions would you still be happy?
~What do you appreciate about the neighborhood you live in?
~In 15 seconds list as many things as you can that you are thankful for.

2 Ideas for Displaying Your List of Blessings
~Leaves of Gratitude
Place a paper leaf on each plate and ask everyone to take a quiet moment before the meal begins and write at least 2 things he/she is grateful for on the leaf. Hang the leaves on a small tree used as a centerpiece or pile them in a small bowl or basket.
~Say It With Feathers
Create a construction paper turkey without the feathers. Post it in a prominent location. Cut out orange, red, and yellow paper feathers--enough so that each family member had a feather for each day in November. After dinner each night write one thing each person is thankful for on one of the feathers. Add the feathers to the turkey. As November goes on the turkeys will fill with a full coat of feathers.

1 More Special Act of Gratitude
~Write a personal story or lesson you have learned about gratitude. Was there a time when it was hard to feel grateful? Describe the experience and share it with someone. Or you might want to write a letter to a family member praising them for their demonstration of gratitude.

These ideas have been compiled and adapted from some of the neat materials & activities I have gathered with my "Live! Laugh! Love!" friends. If you have a fun activity or idea about showing and/or teaching gratitude please share it in a comment or a link to your own post!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Talkin' Turkey

After reading little people’s versions, in the newspaper, of how to make a Thanksgiving turkey I wanted to see what my own kiddos would have to say.

“I’ve never made a turkey.
If I try to make a turkey it will take like 20 minutes.
Is 20 minutes long?
I think maybe it will only take 3 minutes.
Just put it in the oven for so long.
Then carve off the turkey.
It’s not gross mom.
The turkey won’t have feathers, just feet!”

“Just buy little turkeys”
~Anne Hope

If you ask your own kids for their recipe it would be fun if you post it in a comment!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Tale

The kids have been enjoying a silly turkey story each night before bed.
I could not help but think of my own version of the tale for our family of five…

Five Silly Turkeys
Playing on the floor
Anne Hope searches for her jammies
And then there were…

Four Silly Turkeys
Watching the TV
Gavin takes his toys to bed
And then there were…

Three Silly Turkeys
Reading stories that are true
Dad heads to the shower
And then there were….

Two Silly Turkeys
Glad the day is almost done
Mom tries to fall asleep
And then there was….

One Silly Turkey
Gibson’s ready for his fun
“Wake up! It’s time to play!” he shouts,
“The night has just begun!”

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Three Strikes You're Out...Nah!

Third Time a Charm...Maybe!

Three Wishes Come True...For Sure!

Gibson Nickolas - 3 Weeks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Dish on Desserts

Thanks for playing along with my silly dessert game! Are you ready to find out what your favorite dessert says about your personality?

ANGEL FOOD CAKE -- Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.

BROWNIES -- You are adventurous, love new ideas, and are a champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up you whip out your saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.

LEMON MERINGUE -- Smooth & articulate with your hands. You are an excellent caregiver and a good teacher. However, don't try to walk and chew gum at the same time. You set your own style because you do your own thing. You shine when it comes to helping others and have many friends.

WHITE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Fun-loving, sassy, humorous, lacking motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE -- Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people, can be counted on in a pinch and expect the same in return. Intuitively keen. You can be very emotional at times but a true person in every way. You like to do things for yourself. You also enjoy helping others learn about themselves.

CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You can appear to have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.

ICE CREAM -- You like all kinds of sports. If you could, you would like to participate, but you even enjoy just watching. You don't like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.

CARROT CAKE -- You are a very fun loving person, who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People enjoy spending time with you. You are a very warm hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends. You were meant to lead and teach others - a wonderful role model.

So, there it is.

I’d love to hear your reactions!

Side Dish: If you were shocked that cheesecake was not an option and think it is #1 in the dessert world check out our cousin, Rachel’s, tasty site!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Listmaker, Letter Writer

Today I read about a really special Christmas gift one husband is giving to his wife. I have always loved the idea of giving and receiving hand-made and heart-felt gifts. I am also a huge fan of sending and receiving letters. So, this is my part in helping to get the word out.

This father's unique idea, The Mother Letter Project, is both creative and thoughtful! He is collecting a letters from mothers, to mothers. You can submit your letter here.

This dear dad promises to share a copy of all of the letters he receives with all who participate. Doesn't this sound like a fun Christmas surprise to be a part of?
I am looking forward to writing my letter.
And I am really looking forward to reading the letters!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Desserts R Us

I received an email from a friend yesterday that I thought would be fun to play along with. I know that I have quite a sweet tooth and I come by it quite naturally - my Gram always taught us to, "Eat Dessert First!"

Anyway, this game claims to figure out what our favorite desserts says about our (according to "professional psychiatrists"). So, if all of the eight desserts listed below were sitting in front of you, which would you choose? Leave a comment with your dessert choice (just pick one;). In a few days I will post the personality descriptions and you can see just how accurate this may be.

Here are your choices:
1. Angel Food Cake
2. Brownies
3. Lemon Meringue Pie
4. White Cake With Chocolate Icing
5. Strawberry Short Cake
6. Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing
7. Ice Cream
8. Carrot Cake

BTW...the crazy music is supposed to be Strawberry Shortcake singing...

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Snow

"Mom, I'm so glad it snowed today...
I just want to lay down in a big pile of snow and breathe it in!"


"Princess Pipa" becomes Mini-Momma

B.G. (Before Gibson):
~slightly demanding
~quite particular
~attention seeker
~baby sister

A.G. (After Gibson):
~constant nurturer
~attentive to other’s needs
~constantly looking for ways to help
~searching for the perfect toy, blanket, outfit
~anything to help with “her baby”
~big sister extraordinaire

This realization hit me this morning when Anne Hope woke up early and came into my room. Instead of demanding her "cheerios with sugar and milk now, please!" she crawled into bed with me, pulled the covers up higher, tucked them under my head, and gave me a kiss on the forehead. She truly does care about people and is able to read their needs!

Of course we loved her just as much before as we do now, but we have recognized that we didn't give Anne Hope enough credit as to how well she would adapt to this new change in our family! She has really surprised us with all the compassion she has for our family, most specifically her baby brother, and her ability to see past her own wants and needs to care for others.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Weeks Today

Laundry Piler
Future Smiler

Diaper Blower
Joy Sower

Couch Snuggler
Monkey Cuddler

Sibling Adorer
Sleepy Snorer

Expression Reader
Inspiration Breeder

Time Moderator
Noise Tolerator

Midnight Squawker
Grunt Talker

Face Starer
Blanket Wearer

Visitor Greeter
Couldn’t Be Sweeter

Hardly a Screamer
Precious Dreamer

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"I'll Eat You Up, I Love You So"

Simply Delicious!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Contagious

A friend of mine recently posted about a random act of kindness she experienced in the drive through at Starbucks. Trina's testimony to how random kindness impacted her reminded me helped me to focus on the unexpected blessings our family has benefited from even in the last 24 hours.

~During our school board meeting last night the other members of the board gifted our family with 8 nights worth of home-cooked meals!
~At work today Kevin's friend offered him a snow blower to help deal with our driveway this winter. When Kevin asked him how much he could buy it for he was simply told to "pay it forward"
~Our mailbox held two greetings today from ladies who hardly know our family yet saw our baby's announcement in the bulletin and wanted to send their best wishes to our little boy

Not only have I reflected on how important it is to experience kindness I have certainly been thinking about what I could be or should be doing to pass it on to others. It is now my turn to find a special way to surprise someone else with kindness. I pass on the challenge to you as well. Random acts of kindness are not just for the "thanks and giving" seasons, they are for all year long. However, this is a fantastic time to take the first step. We would love for you to list along with us by commenting on a random act of kindness that you've recently experienced or a creative idea for how to pass along a little love!


This afternoon Gavin was telling me a long, involved story (which I had heard before). I really was interested, but I guess my eyes must have glazed over because he pinched my leg and said, "Stay with me here momma!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carry On

This week is International Babywearing Week. Before Gibson was born I thought babywearing was strapping on the Snugli for an occasional walk down the pier at Grand Haven. Well, after following a great mommy blog, Adventures in Babywearing, I have learned a little more about the joys of babywearning. Steph wears her little babe all of the time and raves about it. I thought I would give it a try for myself and searched ebay for a fun ring sling to try out with baby #3. Kevin and I would not consider ourselves "attachment parents" however Gibson and I are enjoying the snuggle time the sling allows in a busy house where simply snuggling on the couch is not always possible. I am able to carry on with the demands of the rest of the family while keeping him close to my heart. I love my pink bubble sling, but I have already been dreaming of darling slings in every color and pattern to match whatever I might choose to wear each day. There are many styles and patterns to choose from and I love that this accessory does a fine job of covering up some of the extra baby weight that is still hanging around! Those of you who are in the same baby stage as us will want to check out the links in this post. Any momma blogger who participates by posting her thoughts on babywearing might just win a great new sling of her own;)

Hope Now

Last week was a significant week for our family. However it was also a week of great anticipation for America as we looked toward the election, participated in voting, waited for the results be tallied, and ultimately elected the 44th president of the USA. It is exciting to me to be able to bring my third child into a world where the walls of racism continue to fall in a big way. I have hope that my little ones will never even think twice about someones skin color. Yet, I am a bit tired of the headlines that flash "Hope," "Hopeful," "Finally Some Hope, " Hopefulness," etc. As I have in the past, I will continue to believe and to teach my babes, that we are not "hopeless" and never were - even before this election.

It will be interesting to see what changes are around the corner for our country (if any?). But that is not what my hope is in. My hope is not tied to a political party, an influential speaker, or a historical moment in the media! This week has been yet another reminder to me that I already have Hope!

From here where do we go as we hope for the future? As for this family, we will not participate in the activist groups who believe we have to look for ways to resist the new administration and its' policies. In addition, we will not claim that American pride was defined by this moment, rather than the years of history and brave men and women who have given us reason to be proud. Instead, we will continue to pray for our new leader and the direction he chooses for the country's agenda. We will celebrate diversity and the stand voters took to embrace all cultures. We will look forward to the potential changes the 44th president may bring to America. We will continually teach our children all of the reasons to appreciate America.

Ultimately, we will rely on our Hope that He alone is in control.

"Now, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Settling In

A short week ago today our baby boy was born. How quickly the time went by! Since then we have begun to adjust to life as a family of 5.

Sunday AM Gibson was born
Sunday PM he met his brother and sister for the first time, as well as his grandparents

Monday AM our baby had his first check up with the doctor
Monday PM we introduced Gibson to his new home & he met his "Gramma Great"

Tuesday AM we woke up in our house together for the first time
Tuesday PM the home nurse came to assess Gibson's weight loss and jaundice

Wednesday AM Gavin went to preschool to share all of his excitement with his teacher and friends
Wednesday PM a family grocery store adventure (complete with 2 carts - YIKES!)

Thursday AM visit #2 from the home nurse for Gibson, and visit to Grandma's house for Gavin and Anne Hope
Thursday PM Gibson was admitted to the hospital

Friday was a full day of light treatment and doctor pokes for Gibson:( & playing with Gram for Gavin and Anne Hope:)

Saturday AM Gibson met his own pediatrician for the first time before heading home
Saturday PM we all enjoyed a visit with some good friends

In the midst of our week we attempted to take advantage of a few winks of sleep, Gavin hugs, Anne Hope kisses, and Gibson snuggles! As I realize today how quickly the first week went by I am reminded of how important it is to appreciate each moment with our little ones.
Are we completely settled in?
Little by little we are settling.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Mr. Gibson has been struggling with jaundice since his journey into the world. The home nurse has been keeping track of his biliruben levels daily and advising us on the best ways to help him "beat the bili." One of the home remedies suggested as being most effective is full skin exposure to the sun. Gibson spent several hours this morning moving from window to window in our home taking advantage of the unseasonably sunny skies. Despite our best efforts, after reviewing his latest lab results our Dr. made the decision to put our babe in the hospital. His jaundice, as well as continued daily weight loss, reached a high risk level. Sweet Gibson is now basking in phototherapy light with his first sun shades. He and mommy will be in the hospital together until he is gaining weight and has a healthy color.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History in the Making

We were not planning to head out with our brand new little boy today to wait in lines at the voting booth. However, with such beautiful fall temps (and the rest of the family resting) Gibson and I ventured out on a walk to the church just blocks from our house to cast a ballot - his first outing. Hopefully you also had a chance to be part of making history today!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Gibson Nickolas
7 lb. 13 oz.
21 inches long
Born today at 11:05 AM

More pictures, stories, and excitement to come!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tricks and Treats

Our Halloween Treats:

~ A surprise delivery for the kids from Uncle Nick
~Amazingly comfortable temperatures for Oct. 31

~ Pumpkin pizzas
~ Goodie bags full of special gifts

~ A dozen roses in the most unique color EVER!

~ A party with Gavin's friends at preschool
~ Loads of candy

~ Meeting lots of other "characters" as we passed out sweets

The Trick:

~It comes as no surprise to our family to hear that Gavin and Anne Hope have a ridiculous fear of dogs. As we approached each house for "trick or treat" the kids would ask for assurance that there wouldn't be a dog at the door. (Ironic since Gavin was dressed as a DOG). We couldn't be sure, but tried to give them the confidence to go up to the door and check. Just at the point we were as far away from home as we planned to walk, Gavin yelled "Happy Halloween" and a friendly man came to the door. He began to open the door to share a piece of candy with the kids when a HUGE dog came bounding to the entry barking. Gavin completely freaked and began running in circles screaming. Instead of comforting him Kevin and I stood still and laughed uncontrollably. Seriously?!?!? It is just a dog! I think mom excused us with some off the cuff comment like, "I guess they don't want your candy." Anyway, after that encounter Gavin was DONE! DONE! DONE! with trick-or-treating and preferred the wagon ride safe on the sidewalk back to Grampa's house.

I sure wish I had that moment on video to watch back and laugh at. Gavin was hysterical and doesn't even remember it. It'd be silly to relive on "big screen."

Thanks to Mama's Losin' It for encouraging us to capture a Halloween costume or memory as part of today's blog carnival.