A List Maker's Life: June 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Berry Thankful!

Every June my mom, my gram, the kids (since they've been around), and I have taken a morning to pick and tip LOADS of strawberries! I absolutely LOVE them and can't get enough!!! This annual tradition comes with a running joke. Who is trying to get out of "all the messy" work? Soon after the first berries hit the wash & tip process, someone throws out the "Little Red Hen" accusation. To be honest, my gram and I usually start it with a funny look then quickly blame my mom for not helping "at all!" In actuality, she is the one flying around the kitchen looking for all the right containers, washing off the field dirt, mashing, adding sugar, stirring jam, cleaning up our messes, or helping the kids - while Gram and I sit at the table, tip, and visit!

Well, this year I have to officially take all the blame & admit that I do not deserve a single one of the four yummy quarts of strawberries I have already eaten this week (or the freezer full of delicious berries and jam meant to last through the rest of the year)! I didn't lift a finger...in fact, Mom and Dad (yes, Dad!) did all the picking & paying, and Gram helped them both with the processing mess! Thanks to all of them I am in berry heaven. I promise to get back into tradition and help out a bit next year.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good Times


On our honeymoon, Kevin and I discovered the Michigan Theatre in South Haven. Since then we have enjoyed a few other movies at the special theatre. It is fun because of the old-time atmosphere and fantastic prices for new release movies. Today we were really excited to take the kids to see Wall-E. This happened to be Anne Hope's first movie theatre experience. With $4 admissions, free drinks for each "movie go-er," and free popcorn in the re-usable bucket you can't beat the deal! The movie was okay, but the experience was once again a great memory!

Happy Home


I don't know about you, but I want my kids to grow up and remember living in a happy home! Last night I had a neat opportunity to attend a "happyhome" Book Tour event. The speaker was Lorle Campos. She is the founder and CEO of Once Upon a Family, mother of 5 and author of two books. She specifically spoke about her newest book, "Happyhome: A Family's Guide to Finding Balance in a Dizzy-Busy World." During the event we:

*Heard suggestions about how to find balance in a "dizzy-busy" world
*Took the simple & fun happyhome personality test
*Discovered which happyhome habits fit our individual personalities

Several of the topics discussed, as well as ideas for teaching family values and starting family traditions, are available at the happyhome website! There is a lot of neat information there you might enjoying checking out!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Mommy & We"

For the past three weeks the kids and I have participated in a daily "Mommy and Me" gymnastics class. They learned basic gymnastics moves and terminology. Today was our final class for this session. That's a bummer, because all three of us enjoyed our daily gym time! Here are a few pictures of the experience...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Today!

Today was the day we have been looking forward to! We were planning to finally meet our little babe "face to face" in ultrasound pictures. We didn't get much (if any face)! We did however get the opportunity to see a few other glimpses of baby (little feet, a spine, and an arm). The ultrasound tech was not able to get pictures of several of the body parts on her list of "must checks." She was able to track a heart beat (mid-high 150's), but she wasn't able to get close enough to monitor the 4 chambers of the heart working together. So, for that, and a couple other important reasons we will get to see baby #3 again in about four weeks. Hopefully next time he/she will take out the thumb and roll over enough for the doctor, mom, dad, and video screen to actually get a picture or two. The technician wanted to blame the lack of cooperation on stubborness; I prefer to think the baby is just very content where he/she is!

Huh?

So, the ice cream man just went past our house playing "What Child is This?" For some reason that doesn't seem very "come on out and buy our ice cream on this nice, warm, summer evening"ish! What song does the ice cream man play as he cruises your neighborhood?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ingenious

in·gen·ious [in-jeen-yuhs]
–adjective
1. characterized by cleverness or originality of invention or construction: an ingenious machine.
2. cleverly inventive or resourceful

Kevin loves to collect other peoples' discards. "Do you want that? We could use that!" he will typically say. Yes, we are thankful for people who share generously with us, but sometimes I wish we were not such collectors.

Anyway...yesterday Kevin and Dad transferred my parents' computer from an industrial metal car to a very nice, new desk. As they were hauling out the old cart, my dad jokingly asked Kevin if he wanted it. Kevin thought for a few minutes before deciding that "YES! I have a great idea!" I actually rolled my eyes. My first guess was that he would propose this cart as a perfect changing table for our new babe. Then I predicted which corner of our garage this lovely metal contraption would end up in.

Well, I have to give him lots of credit today! I am so impressed! While the kids were resting, Kevin worked away in the garage fashioning the old metal cart into a perfect rolling table for his table saw. It really is quite something. It has an attached power strip, an old vacuum attachment to catch the saw dust, and a tray/shelf to hold the "saw fences." Now, we have a very useful piece of furniture and one less item on the "house wish list"! Go Kevy!! (and...thanks Dad!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Such a Tease!

This morning Gavin was frustrated when he wasn't getting exactly what he wanted (and that is okay). However, his sister realized this as an excellent opportunity to be "the little sister."

"I'm so sorry momma said 'no', Sweetie B.T."
(B.T. is a nickname Kevin & I have randomly given Gavin)
"Don't call me that!!!"
"Okay, It's Okay B.T."
"I said...DON'T call me that!!!"
"Ah! Ha! Ha! Alright Gavin... Stinky Face!"
(This last exclamation actually made Gavin laugh)

I listened to the whole exchange trying not to laugh myself and wondering, where does she learn her teasing technique???

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trinkets

What a monumental day it was back in February when "Princess Pipa" gave up her pacifier! We were so excited to have one less requirement in the rest time routine. If only we knew then what we know now...

Before climbing into bed, Anne Hope begins collecting her treasures. She loads her space up with all sorts of special things that she couldn't possibly sleep without. To name a few...
~2 Strawberry Shortcake figurines
~2 stuffed Hello Kitty toys
~Lots of beads & plastic jewels
~Her very special Bitty Baby
~1 big Cabbage Patch Doll & 2 small ones
~Any & All books that we read during the day or recently checked out of the library
~3 blankets (which she likes put on in a specific order)
~This AM she even woke up still clutching the sucker saved from the last trip to the bank
~Hippo (MOST important!)

There is almost room for her to sleep in the middle. (But, just look at how content she is!) I know that no one wants to see a 2 year old running around with a pacifier, but some days we wonder if that was just easier. Hopefully we won't be packing this sweet "girly girl" for sleepovers anytime soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Neat Opportunities

Today we had the chance to participate in several of the very great opportunities Holland provides for summer entertainment! This morning we took part in one of the library's summer programs for tots -"Catch the Reading Bug" - complete with books, songs, & a butterfly craft. We went from the library to "Mommy & Me" gymnastics taught by the rec. department. The next stop before nap time was lunch, games, and singing time at the neighborhood church playground. Finally, we went to the community garden tonight to help weed, plant veggies, learn about gardening, and play games. The variety of great activities the city provides for kids, of all ages, to take part in is impressive! (That is without mention of the beautiful beaches within biking distance). We think Holland is the BEST! The kids certainly enjoy the fun options, and I am looking forward to a summer full of adventures (that I don't always have to plan...)!

Notes From the Underbelly


From this perspective my belly looks just about as big as it feels!
Kevin and I are looking forward to notes from inside the belly in just 5 more days!!!

(I need to give credit to Adventures in Babywearing - one of my favorite mommy blogs to check - for the title idea.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Help?

So, we are still playing the baby name game. We probably will be until the day our precious babe arrives, despite the pile of books we have checked out from Herrick. Today while we were eating lunch together we asked the kids for their suggestions (Again! If you recall from a previous post, Gavin had some crazy ideas!) Well, it hasn't gotten much better...
Here are the kids' most recent ideas. Anne Hope had a nursery friend in mind when giving her 2 cents with the J names (They may be cute enough names, but we are steering clear of anything that starts with J). Gavin...well who knows what he was thinking!

BOY - Popster or Josiah
GIRL - Dinga or Josey

So, maybe it is time to start searching elsewhere for name assistance. If you have any interesting names you have heard or always loved, we'd love to hear them. (Of course, not if it is a name you are banking on for a future child of your own).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Kevin!

Today and always we are thankful for you!
We love you...
...for your silly sense of humor
...for tickles 'til we can't help but smile
...for working hard each day to provide for our family
...for your appreciation for nature
...for your dirty boot prints that tell us you are home
...for rarely asking, "So, what DID you do all day?"
...for your love for Christ
...for your encouragement
...for your excitement
...for your example of "making the best of it"
...for putting up the tent 3 times in 24 hours
...for painting the inside & outside of our house
...for taking the time to figure out how to tackle new projects we encounter
...for hugs and snuggles
...for helping out around the house without preconceived notions about what should be a "womens' job"
...for learning to venture out of the familiar to try new things
...for carrying off squirmy, shouting children when they get to be too much
...for occasionally offering to take on the dirty jobs - diapers & bath time
...for always reporting the most up-to-date weather forecasts
...for teaching us to play ball
...forever!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"It's Showtime!"


Gavin's quote just as they took off for the initiation run down the new slip and slide.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chapter 2

Many have asked how this crazy thesis project/paper is coming along. I am so excited to say as of this PM I have reviewed the comments and grades I received on Chapter 1 & am now sending in my 48 page draft of Chapter 2! What a relief! Now I think...
...I can detach the APA manual from my side.
...our next bonfire will be kindled with loads of notecards & ERIC documents.
...I might get to bed at a reasonable hour for the next few days.
...we are set to prepare for, and enjoy, a family weekend away without the laptop.
...my vacation reading will all be for pleasure! Woo! Hoo!
...starting chapter 3 can wait a week or two 'right???

Watch out friends & fam, someday I might bore you all by asking you to read through this stimulating synthesized research! (J/K)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Forgot How Much Fun


When we were first married, Kevin and I often packed up our rackets and headed to the tennis courts on summer evenings. However, it has been YEARS since then and we haven't swung our rackets at all. For Gavin's birthday he got a tennis racket he was anxious to try on "the real" court like the "big kids." So, tonight Kevin and I dusted off our rackets, we all ran off some steam at the courts, and had a great time together!

He Likes It!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

4 Years Ago...


...today

Happy Birthday Gavin! We Love You!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Who's More Excited?

Tomorrow is Gavin's birthday. Kevin and I can hardly wait! We bought Gavin his first two-wheel bike. Kevin did the assembly last night after the kids went to bed. We are going to give it to him first thing in the morning. We can only imagine how excited he is going to be, as he has been anticipating when he could finally get a "big boy bike" for quite awhile.

During nap time today I also had a lot of fun designing and putting together the garbage truck cake he requested.


"If you then [who are human] love to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask?" ~Matthew 7:11

What a Lady!

All too often this afternoon, while coloring next to me at the table, Anne Hope would exclaim, "AHHH! I Tootie Ta!"




"Smells so good!"

(Seriously girl...did you learn that from your daddy???)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mommy Diaries

June 5, 2004
"Lots of thoughts and questions about our dear baby's arrival made it difficult to sleep last night. This babe is well overdue. Who will we call first when our baby arrives? How long will we have together as a family first? Will Dr. Siegers be back from vacation? Is he on call? What cleaning, cooking, and shopping need to be re-done today in preparation? Yikes! I better get out of bed!
By 4:00 AM I was wide awake and ready to tackle the house cleaning, floors and all. By 7:30 AM I was already leaving the grocery store with another full cart to stock up for the days ahead. I guess it make sense that by 9:30 I was ready for a nap. Mom took the afternoon off to keep me company. We had a delicious Alpen Rose sandwich lunch and strawberry shortcake - an almost daily "must have." We spent the rest of the afternoon walking downtown - visiting the Farmer's Market, Cottage Corner, and more..."

Last night I enjoyed a little trip down memory lane as I read about the days leading up to Gavin's birth. It is difficult to believe how quickly time has passed and how current that all still seems. Maybe it is the similar worries, sleepless nights, questions, Dr. visits, and strawberry cravings...and maybe it is just the mind of a momma who will never forget the precious anticipation of her first born.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Reactions

This morning I took the kids with me to my doctors appointment with the hopes of making "baby" seem a bit more real to them. They were able to ask the doctor several questions (mostly about the tools in the room) and hear the baby's heart beating. The nurse asked Gavin if he was hoping for a baby brother or sister. He quickly answered, "Sister!" When she asked why he explained, "that way the baby will sleep in Anne Hope's girl room and share her toys." Both Gavin and Anne Hope were pretty quiet through the rest of the appointment as they processed the whole situation. Yet, as we left the office they started in with their priceless comments.

"Great job in the big chair mommy!" (Anne Hope)
"Momma, did you know that you were smiling the whole time we listened to the baby's heart beating?" (Gavin)
"That's a nice baby in your tummy mommy." (Anne Hope)
"Is the baby's heartbeat that noisy in big church momma?" (Gavin)
"If we don't know if the baby is a girl or boy how will we pick a name? What is the baby's name? Is it Dash?Boogster?" (Gavin)

It is too fun to hear the kids' perspectives on the whole situation as they discover how "baby" will change all of our lives! (For those of you searching for boy/girl clues...today's heart beat lingered in the 158-166 range).