A List Maker's Life: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Who Could Have Predicted?

Every year we play a little game with our family and friends.  We put our heads together in anticipation of what the new year will bring.  Who could possibly have predicted all that 2010 would bring for our family.  We certainly had no idea, but 2 ER visits, a pregnancy, a diagnosis, a baby, a retirement, a graduation, a bigger vehicle, a bigger camper, a bigger perspective, and the same little house later it looks like – for the most part - we were way off.

Katie's Predictions
~Gibson will be walking confidently by the end of January – he did it!
~Someone will move into a new home – well, that was a tad vague.  However, two of our good friends were both blessed with beautiful new homes this year
~We'll welcome three new extended family members before the end of 2010 – Gabe, Tanner, JP, Eric, Jonathan, and Greg.  There is also quite a line up already for 2011 though (5 babes and 2 weddings that we already know of).
~Pete Hoekstra will win in the primary elections for state governor – no such luck for him
~Someone will plant a Chipotle in Holland   - no, so sad:(
~Gibson will be potty trained by next Christmas – "One thing at a time mom.  Geesh, I had to learn to be a big brother this year instead."
~We'll see a Grey's Anatomy series finale – I guess not
~The majority of Michigan schools will switch back to 1/2 day Kindergarten (just in time for Anne Hope) – that was wishful thinking too I guess.
~Kevin will have to get glasses, will NOT be persuaded to coach a youth sports team, but perhaps persuaded to take a ballroom dancing class – no glasses, no coaching, no dancing
~Someone will lose a bunny, someone will lose 10 pounds, someone will lose their patience.  Likely we will find them all again...   and that is just life!

Kevin's Predictions: (With his reactions)
~Governor Granholm will end her reign of terror after blowing 500,000 citizens out of our state in her tenure  - Don't know about 500,000 citizens, but try 2 million jobs

~Pete Hoekstra will be the next Governor of MI  - oops!
~Ellen will create a "shocking" controversy on American Idol - She was so boring they'll probably got rid of her
~Robert Byrd will finally die - Boy, I sounded like a jerk.
~Lions will win 5 games in '10 - 5 in 10 baby
~Tigers will be in last place - pretty dang close
~Redwings will not make the playoffs - yes, but their season was so forgetable I had to look it up.
~Jimmy Johnson will not win his 5th championship - the stinker wins again, but it was on ESPN so no one saw it anyway.
~Baby boy Anderson will be born March 10, 2010  - off by a week.

Predictions form Friends & Somewhat Sarcastic Family Members:
~Michelle Obama will be the center of a controversy

~Osama bin Laden will be captured and/or killed
~Tiger Woods will not be a major force in golf ever again
~Grand Valley Lakers won't go to the championship game
~Ted Williams will never come back to life
~The great polar ice caps will continue to melt, putting the dang polar bears in danger


Courtney Kay said...
I will assist at a few more births :) - yes.
Guatemala will be AMAZING! - sure sounds like it was life changing!
Listmaker and hubby will go on a date so I can play with the awesome list-kids! -
Not as often as we should have, but we did get in a few Courtney aided adventures.
I will still be broke -  lol :)


podi66 said...
He will go to K somewhere and I will be OK with it! He did and you are!
There will be tears when he goes to K. What about that Jodi?  Never did here.
We will have expeirenced the great open ocean on a cruise and LOVE it more than we thought and decide to plan a get away for our 10th Anniversary. It sounded amazing!
Paint and other projects are undoubtly coming...in fact paint project #1 for 2010 is on the wall tonight in our bdrm FINALLY! There is ALWAYS a project in the "podi" household.
Someone will be riding a 2 wheeler this year, maybe both?  And he encouraged our own rider to take the two-wheel plunge.

A republican gov for MI...not sure how I feel about that! right.

Amy said...
- Peyton will be potty-trained by his birthday in November (yikes!) – I think he’s with Gibson on this one.
- Pete WILL finish painting the house. - Amazing effort on a HUGE project.
- Amy will begin working part time in June.- Lots of exciting changes for Amy's job in 2010.
- The Detroit Lions will surprise everyone and win the SuperBowl while the Tigers will really struggle without Curtis Granderson.
- The state of Michigan will still struggle, but there will be very positive signs of a turnaround by the end of the year.


A new game will start tomorrow as we ring in a new year. Put on your thinking caps.
Farewell 2010!
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

This and That

This is the wreath
made using the blooms from this bush
that were originally dried to decorate this tree
which was moved out of the house to make room
for this new couch
and that one
Perfect blessing come in their own perfect time
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Challenge Accepted

My savvy chic friend issued the #CanYouTopThis challenge on her blog just before Christmas.  After brainstorming several ideas, we came up with something simple enough for anyone to put together and entertaining for the kids over their holiday break.

The challenge was to build anything using this required material:
In addition, we picked up a package of sticky hooks and picture hanging wire.  I intended to sew red curtains, but didn't want the expense of nice fabric.  Instead I hit up the Christmas clearance aisles for two red hand towels - worked perfectly.
We used a razor blade to cut a square opening to the size of our liking.  Using the piece we cut out of the center we cut and scored a rectangle to hang as a shelf and another scalloped edge to finish the top of the stage and hide the curtain wires.
The picture wire is strung across the top and secured.  We poked it thorugh to the back of the stage and then hotglued it down under two more small pieces of ribbon.  The curtains were threaded over the picture wire to our desired length before we "hemmed" them up in the back with a bit more hot glue.  The curtains easily slide back and forth on the picture wire to start and end the show.  When they are not in use they push behind the small white hooks we added to each side

The stage is embellished with red polka dot ribbon, which also keeps the scallops hanging down instead of popping up while the kids perform. 
Voila! 
Let the show begin.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Making Spirits Bright

7 months ago we were told that our little babe would likely not have any movement or feeling in his feet and legs.

Untitled from Katie on Vimeo.

We believe that THE babe born 2000 years ago is still performing Christmas miracles!
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Note:  I apologize for the over-exposure here of our little guy's body.  I hesitated to post it because he kicked off his washcloth, but his happy kicks seemed too good not to share!

Santa's Workshop Exposed

Too late to help you out with handmade Christmas gift suggestions, but perhaps you'll want to file these ideas away for next year.  I always enjoy having a few special home made projects to put together for the holiday.  They are the gifts I look most forward to giving.  This year I focused on a few crafts and made them in quantity.
 {button bouquets.  inspired by sweet lisa & piles of antique buttons}
 {yarn wreaths.  inspired by kate & a collection of no longer loved jewelry}
{vanilla.  inspired by jodi michelle & my love for "oopsing it"}
{headbands.  inspired by a pile of leftover felt flowers and my adorable girly girl}
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On My Drum

I could not help but smile as I wrapped gifts this afternoon.  I feel good about what we have done and what we are giving this year.  There's an absense of self assigned guilt about how much we spent on who compared to him or her.

It's a season of change for our family and although we have often talked about it in the past.  This year Christmas Change had to be.

We did not ask for lists, or give them.  For the most part our gifts are less, but more from the heart. In the past we've resourcefully gathered as much as possible by searching for just the right bargains.   This year I was longing for less commercialized holiday and more peace.  I desire for the kids to eventually understand the graciousness of gift giving as set by the example of the kings and the shepherds on that holy occassion so many years ago.   So, this year we got busy with our hands in an effort to create most of the surprises wrapped beneath our tree high up on a shelf where Gibson can't rip into them.

This has nothing to do with wanting to give less.  It is not about saving for ourselves. It is not about being critical of others for the thought, the money, and the love they put into joyfully giving.  It's about more. So much more.

I give my best to Him...
Just to honor Him...

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There is something about having a newborn in December that puts things in perspective.  I loved the reminder I found tonight in the post, All is Calm...So Sleep, written when Gibson was just an itty bitty.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snacks for Santa

This is the first year that any of our children have been brave enough to sit on Santa's lap for a little wishing and visiting. During his time, Gavin was told to be sure to leave out Santa's very favorite treat - chocolate chip cookies- and Cheerios for the reindeer." Seriously Santa? Choclate Chip Cookies & Cheerios? How un-festive.
Thankfully, we found a recipe from What Megan's Making for delicious Cookie Dough Truffles. They have Gavin's approval for being special enough for Santa. Perfect-o!
While we were searching Megan's 12 Days of Christmas (Cookies), we also found the recipe for these York peppermint patty knock offs.  This mint lover could not resist trying them. Double Delicious!
Speaking of sweets, we got "Christmas caroled" tonight. 
What a treat!
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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Happier Holiday

Sometimes it isn't until the big sigh of relief that I realize I have been holding my breath.

We live in this place of expecting the best, but preparing for the worst.  This time the "worst" was an impending brain surgery.  At our last neuro appointment we were given the impression that we had met up with decision time on whether or not Gabe needed a shunt.  Based on his steady ventricle growth we were "teetering on the fence."  Since Thanksgiving it has been on our minds that it might have to happen between our appointment on the 16th and the Dr.'s holiday vacation schedule.

Kevin traveled to the appointments with me yesterday where we got the sweet, sweet news that Gabe was safe to grow - shunt free - for another month! 

Another answer to our prayers. 
Breathing more easily for sure. 
In fact I think I might finally consider some gift wrapping and baking, just in time for a celebration.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Antler Shedding

This week Gibson was in serious need of a trim to keep him looking sweet even while he is growing out his hair a bit. You know how it is?!?

Before
Wait for it...
After
{creative reindeer shirt from Lazoo}
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Twas the Night of the Party

His eyes
How they twinkled

His dimples how merry

His cheeks
Were like roses

His nose like a cherry

Last weekend we had the privilege of meeting with the West Michigan Spina Bifida Association for a Christmas celebration.  This was a first for our family, but certain to become a favorite.  The parents and children we met are a source of support and inspiration for each of us.  Meeting new friends was topped only by the thrill of meeting "the real Santa!"
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prancing & Pawing of Each Little Hoof

Our reindeer are ready to fly. 
It was such fun to add a bitty sixth to our holiday herd.
Gavin and Anne Hope were so very clever with their naming process this year.  Gavin really understood the concept of mixing up our names and made some fantastic suggestions.  Anne Hope even impressed us with her idea to name her "turkey" (oops...she's got her holiday creatures confused) Snow Manne.  
This year's unique variations included button eyes and nose, and a bell to replace the bows.
Meet Santa's newest team:
Snow Manne, Kavin, Vinson, Gabie, Gope & Kebson.
Can you guess who's mixed with who?
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Just for the fun of it...Team '09 & Team '08

Monday, December 13, 2010

Unto the Hills by Billy Graham


"Our hope is not built on circumstance." excerpt from January 22. 
I recently had a conversation with a  friend about hope.  Sometimes it's that flying high balloon feeling, but other times it is more like a small candle glimmer in the darkest of dark.  Either way it truly is not based on our circumstances. Hope is based on truth, His Truth, and so is this classic daily devotional written by Billy Graham. 

Graham is said to be the nations most beloved spiritual leader.  In this book he uses his personal experiences and his faith in God to encourage personal reflection. I found the daily mediations to be simple, direct, and encouraging.   They narratives are inspired by life, include a short prayer, and are intervowen with scripture.  Many days include familiar references to culture through the use of quotes, song lyrics, book & film mentions, and reference to historical figures.  I appreciated thought provoking questions also built in throughout the book, such as: Do you feel God's joy?  Are you a disciple?  How much do you pray?

Tucked in the forward, also written by Graham, I found this statement I love, "We were not just made for mountain tops, but also for the valleys of life."  The views from the mountain top are necessary for providing our inspiration, but it's in the valley where the fruit is grown.  Whether you find yourself in the valley or on top of the mountain, during this season of our life, you are sure to find encouragement in the pages of this book.
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Disclosure: This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishing for my honest review.

Admiration

{Since inquiring minds wanted to know- yes, the tree is up...for them}

It would not be family fun night if the littles didn't dig through Gavin's pj drawer in search of cozy clothes to wear in attempt to be just like him. 
They sure look up to their brother!

{Nick's GVSU Graduation 12.11.10}

So do I. 
For his giving heart, his determination, his patient endurance,
and his success!
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

In His Shoes

Once you adjust to living there, you might as well enjoy it.  The Netherlands has its share of special celebrations.  Sinterklaas has been a family favorite tradition for years, now with new significance.
This little guy is going to learn to walk joyfully in his shoes, uncomfortable as they may be at times.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Giving Back

There is something about going through a difficult time and learning to let other people love on your family.  Each time we are blessed by friends and family members we are reminded of how much we would like to give back or perhaps to pay forward.

When One2One Network brought GiveBack.org to my attention I wanted to learn more about it.
Give Back was launched by the winner of Oprah's Big Give.  Give Back is essentially another method for good stewardship.  Give Back offers the opportunity to donate a percentage of your purchases to favorite charities when shopping online this holiday season.  Some of our favorite, and most shopped, stores such as Gap, Target, Meijer, and Babies R Us are included.  I figure, if I can shop from home without buckling and unbuckling car seats x4 at each stop, I should.  And, if I'm going to shop online it is wonderful to know that I can make a small change for some of the causes close to my heart. Right?

To get started you can register on Give Back.  Upon registration you create a foundation and choose the charities your family is passionate about supporting.  There is a lengthy list of local charities I spent time considering, as well as some national charities that are important to us. I started by adding March of Dimes and the Spina Bifida Association of West Michigan to my foundation.

For more information about the site, as well as what you can do to help the charities of your choosing, you may be interested in the informational video below.


I appreciate One2One Network for bringing this site to my attention and I look forward to figuring out more of the features, as well as how to take full advantage of it to do our small part.
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