Monday, October 26, 2009

The 8th Annual...

...Pumpkin Party took place this past weekend! It's hard to believe that we've been doing this for 8 years! When we started, there were no kids! This year we welcomed 13 ranging in age from 7 and a half to 1 and a half. It was the perfect mix and they all had a great time!

The menu was the same as it is every year: Santa Fe Soup served with cheese, sour cream, and Scoops.

The kids ate caramel apples (we cut them then they dipped them in caramel and chose a topping like chocolate chips or sprinkles--the least messy caramel apples ever!) for dessert.

And the adults enjoyed Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing.

The kids dug out pumpkin guts.

Moms and dads planned...

...and carved.

And--whaaaalaaa!! Some pretty cute finished products, don'tcha think?

We crafted:

Hunted for bones and assembled a skeleton:

Filled treat bags:

And awed at an amazing sunset!

Thanks, sweet friends, for 8 great years of memories!

Until next year...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Funnies

Alternately Titled: Funny Things My Kids Have Said This Week

Annabelle: Who has been stuffy this week. "Momma, my nose doesn't have any air in it."

Ella Grace: She and Annabelle were arguing over who would be who as they played house. As I tried to intervene: "Well, if she wasn't being SO ridiculous!"

Katie: I don't have a specific example, just that she answers "No" for every question even if she really means yes. The funny part is that her voice inflections reflect what it would really sound like if she said "Yes!" Cute.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Had draw this morning and the

winner is
(Click the word "you" to view the winner!)
Thanks to all who participated!
I'll post pictures of her finished product!
E-mail me and we'll decide what colors to use!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Look At Me!!--UPDATED!

UPDATE: Decided, after some thought, to extend the deadline for the contest until Monday @ Midnight...for those of you who are electronic-fasters for the weekend! C'mon, you lurkers, I know you're out there! Comment for the chance to make a daughter, niece, granddaughter, or special little special as you think she is!
Original Post:

My little ol' blog is being showcased this week! Check it out!

Thanks, Megan for the opportunity!

To celebrate--a contest! Leave me some comment love, in this post, and be entered to win a custom made tu-tu for the little girl in your life! Christmas is just around the corner; this is the perfect gift!

In the words of Jeff Probst: "Worth playing for??"

Contest ends at Midnight, Sunday, October 18th! Can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Pants from My Happy Place

If you know me at all, you know my happy place involves a tape measure draped across my shoulders and a mouth full of straight pins. We've made it no secret that the past few days have been challenging, so I've spent a lot of time in my happy place.

These pants are part of the result. Ridiculous fabric, right? I mean a clown would wear this print. I LOVE THEM! The girls love them. They make us happy.

They're our happy pants.

Made in my happy place.

Now if my happy place would just organize itself!!

Want to know what else I've been working on?? Stay tuned for Halloween!

Okay, that last picture is a little embarrassing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

60 Reasons to Celebrate You:

60. You taught me how to drive a stick.

59. You let us get a dog even though you didn't want to.

58. You taught me how to gut a deer.

57. You make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

56. You play in the snow with the girls.

55. You like to do jigsaw puzzles.

54. You keep a pristine lawn!

53. You're my gardening idol.

52. Your cars look like they just came off the lot.

51. You drive long distances to see your grandbabies!

50. You're techno savvy enough to figure out Skype.

49. You always had a good supply of Baby Ruth's and Paydays in the woods.

48. You took me to Arby's every Friday of my kindergarten year.

47. You worked tirelessly to provide for us.

46. You make a mean venison jerky.

45. You've suffered through years of the Detroit Lions.

44. You were silly with us as kids--remember sock wars while folding laundry?

43. You taught me how to ride a bike.

42. You replaced my big wheel whenever the wheel went square.

41. You drove me to countless practices and games.

40. You always made my games a priority.

39. You endured the temps of Lake Michigan just to play in the waves.

38. You lugged that army tent back and forth to PJ Hoffmaster so that we could camp.

37. You let me mow the grass even though my lines were crooked.

36. You made the best snow forts.

35. You give the best back scratches.

34. You taught me how to shoot a gun.

33. You never let me win at Chinese Checkers.

32. You let me stay home from church on Super Bowl Sunday.

31. You never spanked me as hard as you spanked Jenny.

30. You never spanked me as often as you spanked Jenny.

29. You never loved Jenny as much as you loved me (j/k, Jen, are you reading this?).

28. You taught us how to work as a team by making us do our fair share around the house.

27. You let me leave my rolled up dollar bill under the table even after I moved out.

26. You took me to my first Lions game and almost beat up the guy who spilled beer on me.

25, You didn't beat me when I broke the baptismal at church.

24. You felt sorry for me when mom let me fall out of the moving car.

23. And when she slapped me across the face with the wooden spoon.

22. And when she made me sit outside in my undies so she could cut my hair.

21. You bought me a Schwinn Predator and hid it down at Grandma's so I'd be surprised.

20. You taught me how to shave.

19. You still let me use your hair clippers every time I'm home.

18. You store my baseball cards and my skis without charging me.

17. You always had Extra in church.

16. You always let us stop at the S. Washington Food Market.

15. You carved the best pumpkins.

14. You love Ella Grace so much.

13. You love Annabelle so much.

12. You love Katie so much.

11. You love my Internet wife.

10. You bring your own coffee when you visit.

9. You taught me how to treat a woman.

8. You've taught me how to 'honor your parents' in the way you've taken care of Grandma.

7. You love my mom!

6. You loved me and Jen unconditionally.

5. You took us to church and taught us to love the Lord.

4. You sacrificed so we could have an education.

3. You taught me what it means to be a man.

2. You taught me what it means to be a husband.

1. You taught me what it means to be a father.

Happy 60th! I love you, Dad!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Letting Go

I've found myself wondering over the past week if it'll ever get any easier. Will the pain not feel as sharp after we've said good-bye a few times?

Then I wonder if I want it to get any easier. If it is easy to say good-bye, wouldn't that mean my love was lacking?

In all honesty it feels the same as it did when we miscarried 6 years ago. Like we lost someone who wasn't really ours to begin with. I remember feeling a little silly, then, grieving the loss of a child we hadn't really met or held or known. The same feeling of silliness is fresh today as I grieve the loss of a child we met, held, knew, and loved.

Still, we knew this was coming. It's what we signed up for. We knew good-bye would come in some form or another at some point or another. Why doesn't that knowledge make it any easier?


I think it's love.

I'm not sure that we understood fully that we were signing up to fall so deeply in love with a child. Honestly, I'm not sure that we even knew we'd fallen so deeply in love with him since there were many days that he was very hard to love.

In spite of that, he became a part of us and will always remain so. Partly because he taught us much about ourselves.

And, so, we let go. We repeat to ourselves Truth:

God is in control.

God loves us more than we can imagine.

God loves him more that we ever could or more than we can imagine.

God's pursuit of his heart is just as passionate as it is for our hearts and for the hearts of our little girls.

Just because we're finished with him, doesn't mean God is.

And, so, we give our Little Man to our Big God. We give him to Him.

And we...we let go.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Helper Jar

A few Christmases ago I read a book about a jar that a family kept full of loose change. It was a pretty predictible, feel-good kind of book, but from it sprang our family's idea for "The Helper Jar."We emptied a peanut butter jar, slit the top and collected loose change until the jar was filled. We've filled it twice now and both times our kids have been thrilled with the entire process--from collecting the change, taking it to the bank, shopping, and delivering.The first time the jar was full, we bought books for the Children's ER at GHS. Ella Grace spent Christmas Day of 2007 in the ER and we were all appalled at the condition of the books they brought us to pass the time. Our family loves books and so this was the perfect choice! Our kids picked books from the Scholastic Readers that came home from school, and we all delivered them to a very excited staff.

Recently our jar was filled again! This time we decided to donate to Miracle Hill Children's Home. This is the home where Little Man was before he came to us. We decided to purchase art supplies since our kids love crafts! Back to school time was the perfect time to shop! We got a lot for our money--we filled our cart with crayons, glue, stickers, coloring books, scissors, and craft kits we got on clearance from Hobby Lobby. . . We packaged everything up in bins so that they wouldn't have a lot of work to do once they got everything.

Our family gains much from giving in this small way. We never miss the amount of money that we collect (both times we've been surprised at how much a peanut butter jar can hold). Instead we gain the experience of helping people enjoy something that we often take for granted.Hoping you'll join us; we're filling our jar again! Here's some things we've learned as we've gone through the process:
  • Don't rush the filling of the jar. We usually take a year to fill the jar.
  • Don't rush the decision of what to do with what you've collected. It usually takes us a few months to decide what to do.
  • Choose something that your kids can get involved in. We've focused on places/ministries that serve children specifically and have purchased items that our kids are "into" so that they don't lose interest in or excitment from giving.
  • Keep pennies and silver separate. Pennies take up volume and don't offer much value. Even the smallest kiddos involved can figure out the difference.
  • Have fun! Let your kids have some freedom in the choosing.
  • Check with the organization/charity that you'll be donating to. Ask if they could use the items that you want to donate. If not, ask what their needs are or find another charity that is in need of your idea.

Can't wait to hear your stories!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

H is for House


This may turn into a weekly installment.

Their responses are just so stinkin' cute!

It's "Hh" week at Annabelle's preschool... was hat day!


Annabelle and Little Man used shapes (from the template found here) to create a simple house. They then shared what they liked about our house/home:

by Annabelle

by Little Man

Note that they drew apples on their trees.


Those aren't Christmas balls.

It's October, people... with me here!