Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The downside: next month, we will have snow. Back in CA, the orange groves would just about be blooming, the sun will be shining, and the grass will be green.
Just an onservation: Some people here in MI still celebrate Christmas long into February. You've got reindeer, snowmen, blow up machines, Santa, candy canes, wreaths, soldiers, lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Josh and I needed to supply a loaf of bread for a dinner party. "I will quick pop in to Meijers", I thought. I rushed to get my bread and which was the shortest line? The Self Checkout, of course! So, in line I went with three people ahead of me. Three things really bother me when I am short on time:
- Check Writers- all of you who are still writing checks for groceries- do us ALL a favor and get a debit card. If you HAVE to write a check, at least have it filled out before hand. Bless her heart, the woman two in front of me wanted to write a check. By the time she found her ID, wrote out the check, signed her name, and had the attendant verify all the information, I could have whipped up a fresh loaf at home. This could quite possibly be my biggest pet peeve.
- Knowledge of the machine- I am all for a learning curve here. But if you haven't the foggiest idea how to use the self check kiosk, please go to the express lane. When there are ten people behind you is not the time to decide to figure out what a UPC code is.
- Broken machines and Line Cutters- Of course the minute it is finally my turn, I have cash in hand and I am ready to whip my UPC code over the scanner, insert my cash, and dart to my car. Oh no, the entire system goes down as I scan it. I fully realize this is God's way of trying to teach me patience. The attendant then opens one checkout lane for the five rows of self checkouters (okay, I know it is not a word). Everyone rushes over the the new line. Where am I? About fifteen back of course. So, I did something I have never done before. I went up to a boy working at Meijers, handed him $2 and ripped the UPC code off. I asked him if he would ring it up later and keep the change. He agreed, and I was out of there 30 minutes after I went in.
So, how about you fellow bloggers- PLEASE tell me you are not check writers!!! Does Meijers test your patience?
Monday, December 18, 2006
Did Derek Zoolander come up with the road mapping for Michigan? Is that why Michiganders do not know how to turn left?
For my Californians, a Michigan U-Turn involves a no left turn at almost every major intersection. You must drive through the light in the left hand lane, turn around at another stop light aout 100 feet down the road, and double back just to take a right. Sound confusing?
I detest Michigan U-Turns. Every time I turn around, where I used to be able to turn left has become a U-Turn. I secretly think OPEC is behind it. Add up all those extra miles over the years. After all, if it was such a great idea, wouldn't all these larger cities adopt it?
Saturday, December 16, 2006
CA Newscaster Jillian Barbarie
Notice a difference?
For five minutes, I listened as Suzanne Geha reported that not all mail was being delivered in certain parts of Grand Rapids. I guess post office workers were pulling a Newman and not delivering junk mail. Seriously the top story? No car chases, bank robberies, or murders?
I miss the nightly news from CA.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Caledonia CRC is the second church I have really called "my church". We were wanderers in CA, never really settled into a church family. Jamestown Baptist is the church I was baptized in, married in, and still so many people there I still care about.
About two weeks ago this past Sunday, my brother Nathan called on his way home from my house. He said that the road to his duplex was blocked off by police and he could not get down his street because there had been a horrible accident. The next day we found out that it was a family (my brothers age) from Jamestown Baptist. They were at a baby dedication, had gone out to lunch as a family, and on their way home a woman lost control of her vehicle and crashed into them head on. The parents actually came upon the crash and stayed with them as they were cut out of the car. Two children were in the car- Dalton, their three year old and a 10 month old.
The ten month old escaped with minor injuries and has already been released. The three year old has not had the same luck. Broken back, lacerated intestines, high fevers, they originally thought he was going to have a similar injury to Christopher Reeves. He is currently fighting just for survival. The mom and dad have also suffered life threatening injuries and have yet to find out the condition of their son. (carepage HeathBudrew)
I guess this month has made me really reflective. And incredibly thankful. I too often get bogged down in the daily things Kayden does that bug me- terrorizing the dogs, dumping boxes of cereal out, breaking dishes, never wanting to get in his carseat just to name a few. Then I look at this precious life and I can't help but kiss Kayden five hundred times a day, watch him sleep, kiss his belly, tickle his perfectly smooth armpits, sit him down to read a book and thank God I am not experiencing this.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
For the last eight years, I have prided myself on getting my Christmas cards out early. They have gone out December 1st, and not a minute later. We are getting to the middle of December, and I have yet to even think about Christmas cards. As a matter of fact, the thank you cards for my birthday gifts are sitting on my desk waiting for stamps. So, I came to the conclusion today that I am not doing Christmas cards this year. Sorry, folks. May this serve as your card. Merry Christmas, from the Birds
As a side note, does it seem like this year is busier? Do any of you fill your plate with so much that it is not even enjoyable? Why do we do that?
Friday, December 08, 2006
Kayden: I love Carmelo
Me: smile and nod, trying to shoo him away from the phone
Kayden looking very suspiciously at Carmello, then surprised: Melo has pee pee!
Me: SHHHH, more shooing
Kayden: Daddy has big Pee Pee!
Josh loved that one:-)
We are working with the potty chair, but I think he is just more interested in running around naked. Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I think today is the first day that I can say we are back to normal around here. Kayden is back to tearing things apart, and that is a relief! He discovered how to open the fridge door yesterday, leading me to discover a few broken eggs, some spilled grape syrup, and a shaken two liter of soda.
Yesterday he was still a little crabby, but no "burps" as Fig would say. Thanks to everyone who prayed for him, I was getting worried.
He also has wanted to watch the video of himself over and over. He laughs every time. Did your kids love watching videos of themself?
Saturday, December 02, 2006
This is taken a couple of days ago (okay six to be exact) before all the sickness began. And yes, he is still throwing up. Will it ever end?
He laughs like this every time. Sorry about the video quality, it is taken from a camera instead of my video camera. I love it:-)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Do any of your kids get super happy when they are naked? Kayden was barebutt for almost an hour tonight and I have never seen him happier. He was leaping through the window of his firehouse butt and long legs flying through the air just happy as a clam. Running from room to room and jumping on the bed, tearing my house all apart. Maybe God just knew that was what I needed after such an emotional day.
Little Sammy was laid to rest. What strength that family has. Not a dry eye in the place. Please continue to pray for them as life gets back to normal (or as normal as it can get). Something really cool is this organization that came to the school today, it is called Hug A Bear. They gave all the kids from kindergarten to fifth grade a new bear. Whenever they feel lonely or miss Sam, they can hug that bear and be reminded of him. Don't tell anyone, but Josh took one to give to Kayden and named him Sammy. I know a lot of the kids had them at the funeral today and took them to bed with them.
For all my lunch ladies: Let's plan on Friday, noon, at my house. Just bring something to share. Let's set the date and make it happen. Sound okay?
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Last year, Josh had a little boy in his class named Matthew Post. Through the year we got to know this extraordinary family that really loves the Lord. Matthew's mom, Theresa, is one of those people who has never met a stranger. Josh and I had just moved back, and were adjusting to life in MI, and she was always a familiar face. At church, she sought us out, and never made us feel like outsiders. She truly loves people, and loves God, and it shows.
So, on October 31st, when we found out her smallest child had leukemia, naturally all of us at school prayed long and hard for little Sam, Matthew's brother. I think all of us prayed without ceasing for that kid.
Saturday I was at Meijers when Josh called and told me the news that Sam had died. I opened my devotions last night and how fitting that I read:
If your dreams were buried as the lowered the casket, God speaks to you...
He speaks to all of us who have stood or will stand in the soft dirt near an open grave. And to us he gives this confidence: "I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies so that when it happens, you will not be full of sorrow, as those who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and then came back to life again, we can also believe that when Jesus returns, he will bring back with him all the Christians who have died."
I am struggling with this one. I can't imagine holding my child while he takes his last breathe. As Theresa would say- "Prayer Warriors"- I urge you to pray for this family and all the kids at DCS and everyone who knew him. There are many difficult days ahead...
Saturday, November 25, 2006
I found this while surfing though and thought it was funny:
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Josh is the best. First of all, he does all the laundry around here. All of it, every load. He does the dishes 99 percent of the time. He takes out the trash without me having to ask. I am a lucky woman.
On top of being so great everyday, Josh made my birthday really fun. I visited school and all of his kids had made me birthday cards. He had flowers and a teddy bear waiting for me in the classroom. He got me my favorite, Quiznos, and made me my favorite type of birthday cake. He went to not one, but two fabric stores for me to scope on some new material. He is a thoughtful guy and I am thankful.
So, with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I have to give thanks. For Josh, for Kayden, for my mom and dad, brothers, and most of all God. I cannot fathom his unconditional love, giving His one and only Son. So that we will live abundantly. I am blessed through and through. Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
People have told me my whole life that I look like Bette Davis. I figure, she has a whole song just about her eyes, so it can't be that bad, right?
Once I moved to CA and bleached my hair I no longer got Bette Davis, but Heather Graham. Heather went to the same acting school I did, although I never met her. My friend James thought it would be hilarious to tell the teacher I was her (not Jeff Goldblum, this was before I took class from him). He was not amused, and scolded both of us for "disrespecting our craft". I thought he took it a little too serious. On a Sidenote-I have actually seen Cameron Diaz at Baja Fresh and we look nothing alike in person. Enough celebrity names for one post, you be the judge:
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Some say that nobody should keep too much to themselves. The tax office is of the same opinion.
It's hard to believe America was founded to avoid high taxation.
It's too bad for the middle income person. They earn too much to avoid paying taxes and make too little to afford paying them.
The time has come. I have switched from a craft show business to a sole proprietor business and I have to bite the bullet and go to a CPA. Does anyone know of a good one that charges a decent price?
Monday, November 13, 2006
So, this past Saturday, my parents came over to watch Kayden. Fifteen minutes before we were about to leave I realized I had eaten something wrong (could it have been the two hour old hot dog I was served at the craft show?) As Winnie the Pooh says "It made my tummy rather rumbly." Still, we loaded in the car and headed down the road. We got about half way there and I told Josh that we need to turn around.
Once we got home, I realized we probably should call so they did not wait for us. We tried the number listed in the church directory- wrong number. We looked it up online- wrong number. Finally, I knew that they had a couple of family members that go to our church, so I called one. I did not think he even knew who were. He not only knew who I was, but he knew about Kayden and Josh. I have to tell you, I was really impressed. There have been a few times in the nursery lately that I try to pick Kayden up and they pass me three different kids. I would understand if they confused him with another boy, but most of the time they hand me a girl. So, it was pretty amazing that this guy, whom I have probably talked to once, remembered me. It made me feel valid and important and it is a point I want to remember. Having an impact can sometimes be something so little, but it makes a huge difference to someone else.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
If you have no clue where we are in all these pictures, you probably do not have kids. After having parent teacher conferences all day Wed and Thur, Josh had friday off of work. We headed down to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum, and we had a blast! If you have never seen the video of the last time we went to GRCM, please ask to see it. Kayden's shoes getting stuck and tumbling head first down the penguin slide-Priceless. Thank God he wasn't hurt.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I have been a negligant blogger. This week seems exceptionally busy! Normally, this time of year rolls around and I can't wait to get out the Christmas decorations and begin shopping. I am so overwhelmed right now that I cannot even think about taking a day to put up Xmas stuff. There have been a few years that I am finished Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving- at the very latest Dec 1. This year, I just might be one of those idiots out December 24 looking through the picked over items. Just kidding family, I have plenty of handmade gifts downstairs. Hope you all like flannel blankets and hooded towels:-).
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Who needs a boat and skis when you have a trusty pair of rollerblades, a rope, and a tractor? Justin and Josh are demonstrating "the whip" here at right.
It was such a beautiful day here in Michigan. We had my parent's tractor and wagon out all day, just being a bunch of dorks riding up and down the street.
They live right next to a playground- so we took Kayden in the tractor over there. There were a few odd stares- no one ever said we were a "normal family"!
Josh is super excited too because we found out that his best friend from CA is coming this week to stay with us until Saturday. They have been friends for a long time, and Uncle Hartog tells jokes like no other. It is fun reminiscing about all of our CA friends. If only he could bring me an In and Out burger. If you have never had one, it would be worth the trip to CA for that alone.
Well, that is pretty much it. Tractor rides, Uncle Hartog, and longing for IN and Out...
Thursday, November 02, 2006
We all set out Tuesday night after handing out cotton candy. My friends with nieces and nephews tell me to enjoy it now- because once there are other grandkids the attention has to be shared. We only went to about ten houses, but Kayden sure got into it. He found out he got candy at each stop, and was more than happy to get out of the stroller.
I think living in California hardened me a little bit. We set out candy while we were trick or treating and I was surprised that no one stole it. There was still a bunch left when we returned. My friend in CA had all of her candy stolen, and the bowl it was in. Good old midwest.
Monday, October 30, 2006
The primary focus of this website, Start Up Princess.com, is to help other moms get started in business. It is ALWAYS nice to get free links (thanks, Michelle).
In other news:
The Hopkin's Basketball team has signed free agent guard Josh Bird to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Torres. Per team policy terms of the contract were not released.
Bird, who has been a free agent since May 1, opted out of the final year of his previous contract at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I have to first off admit that I am not the type of person whose house is always clean. In fact, a few areas of my house are never clean. The basement where I sew is one of them. However, I always feel a little guilty when someone sees the mess. Almost like I have failed in some way because I cannot keep it all together as a mom. I ran across this today on a mommy chat site that I network on:
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
So, why does it bother me so much that my house is not clean?
Friday, October 27, 2006
In all of this, I let a birthday pass, and I did not mean to. My neice had her birthday the week before Kayden. I was waiting for a picture of her since I did not get to attend-I made her this little coat and hat. She looks adorable in it. Happy Birthday Lena!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Kid's birthdays are so much fun. Since having Kayden, my birthday has taken a back seat, and I think I am far more excited for his birthday than my own. He loves dogs, so we themed it around his favorite stuffed puppy, Joey. (I just tried a couple of times to upload a pix of Joey, but it did not work. Maybe later) Joey has to be in all the pictures, and even helps Kayden on the potty. No, he is not even close to starting potty training, we just got "Kayden's toilet" out so he would be comfortable around it. BTW, he likes the potty, just not going in it.
I said this year I was going to scale back, not invite so many people. However, it always turns into a big ole party. I can't resist. Kayden got so many new toys we might need to build an additional playroom. It makes ME excited to play with all of them and read all the new books.
I know some of you came, so THANK YOU!! You are what makes the party special!
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!
Do you notice what gender is NOT in the kitchen helping with food? Why is this????
Kayden then went to Grandma and Grandpa's to spend the night. They said he was so tired he slept like this all night and hardly moved. I think a better word for it is recharging.
One other note: FIG- I hope you got your cotton candy. I put it on top of the mailboxes at church on Sunday. If you missed it this round, we will make it again for Halloween.
Friday, October 20, 2006
It has been a busy day! Lots to get ready for Kayden's big birthday party tomorrow. I made these cakes tonight, and a thought just kept popping into my head. "I feel bad for Martha Stewart's sister." That might seem a wierd thought to you, but I kept messing up on these cakes. I look online at all the beautiful cakes Martha makes and mine just do not seem to turn out anything like them!
I can't wait for Kayden to tear into this little puppy cake! It is always so funny to see toddlers dig in. I will post some pictures tomorrow of the birthday party.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Just thought I would post a couple of pictures from today. We went and celebrated Kayden's second birthday with Josh's class. After all Josh's kids had gone through and pulled out cotton candy for themselves twice, we let the other fourth grade class come through. It was fun to see how amazed they were at how cotton candy is made. Me, I just can't help myself- most of it ended up in my mouth. Thanks to Josh's parents for letting us use the machine, and thanks to my mom for being such a great assistant.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I am having such a good time with Kayden these days. The funnest parts of getting to stay home with him are these moments:
~He has said words and phrases for a while now, but I can actually have a conversation with him these days and the things he says just crack me up.
~This kid LOVES to pray. He waits patiently for mom with his head bowed, and then at the end he shouts "AMEN".
~He just started saying "I Love Mama" without me telling him to.
~We read the same books over and over and over. We actually just recite them sometimes without actually reading them. His favorites are Chicka Chicka, Brown Bear, Snuggle Puppy, Hey Wake Up, and the "Good Loser" sports books that Josh hates. Josh actually has different versions of those.
~We both stand on the sit and spin and I twist it around, and around, and around. He gets far less dizzy than I do!
~We love to watch Jeopardy and Wheel together. He yells out the letters during wheel.
I am just so grateful that I get the chance to watch him grow and learn. It is so much fun. Thanks Daddy for going to work and being willing to sacrifice for the sake of our family...
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Grandpa died in February and Grandma never really recovered. More than that, she did not want to live without him. She would be alone and just feel his presence in the room. She spent six long months waiting out life. There really was no medical reason for her death- she just lost the will to live once he passed. I miss them both so much because they were the best Grandparents. Grandma got her name because she had this resounding belly chuckle that made everyone in the room happy, and laugh right long with her. They both lived their lives for Christ in every way- they exemplified what true Christians should be. It was not uncommon for them to let total strangers borrow their car, take a neighbor to get groceries, help out at the Guiding Light, or send one of us fifty bucks in the mail "just to go out with family and be together". Family was of utmost importance to them. All fifty of us even donned our blue "Van's Clan" shirts every other year and flew down to Disney for a trip on them.
I blog about this because I am what I am today because of my Grandparents. Grandpa and Grandma taught me how to love God and serve him by serving others. I wish they got to meet Kayden. Thankfully Kayden has grandparents in his life that will be the same example as I had.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
This morning, I woke up and looked out the window and thought, "You've GOT to be kidding me." For all you Californians out there, we had snow on the ground. As the day progressed, it only got worse. It is now full-blown snowing outside. I had to haul out my winter jackets, gloves, and hats. Josh then promply informed me that it is 81 degrees in Redlands, nice and sunny. I actually know right where this picture was taken. I used to have to drive by it when I worked at Applebees in Redlands. There are about a thousand of those skinny palms in rows at the base of the mountain along the freeway... We used to have two in our front yard. Pointless trivia about palms: they lose their leaves, and they come down hard! I saw one dent the car parked in front of me, and I have been hit by the end of a falling one.
You know, I should have been prepared for this. All weekend it was in the forecast. But, I was in denial. I thought, no way, it has been so nice out. Wow, was I wrong. Why can't the weathermen be right when they predict sunshine, but they are always right when they predict snow or rain. I digress...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Sorry to all you computer nerds out there...I actually envy you!
One of my New Year's goals this year was to create and maintain my own website. I really had no clue the amount of time it would take. Kayden went down for a nap one day at my parent's house and I told my mom that I was going to go down and create my webpage- could she give me a couple hours to create it? Forty or Fifty hours later I had just the basics of it completed, and I spend about two to three hours a week adding new products, things I wanted to add but just didn't have the time, questions that come up from customers, etc.
Probably anyone who is reading this has at some point been to my site, and if you remember the left side lists the various categories for products, hyperlinked to the actual product pages. They have always been underlined and for the last three months I have tried everything to get them un-underlined. It has been very frustrating.
This weekend, drumroll please...I actually wrote the html code BY MYSELF to remove the underlining of my hyperlinks! I was so excited. I pretty much told anyone I came in contact with. Most of them had no clue what I was talking about, but the possibilities now are endless! I found a site that I actually love the looks of- Pumpkinnoodle.com- that has the cutest little scalloped border to showcase it's items so hopefully I can add something like that someday. There are so many things I want to change, but I guess the important thing right now is that the items sell. I will take that any day over a beautiful website.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
We have had some beautiful fall days here in Michigan. The leaves are so pretty and the smell of fall is in the air. Last night we went with Josh's parents to go pick apples at Cranes Orchard. Have you ever been to BFE? Cranes is then about seventeen miles past that. It is so far away! We picked a bunch of apples from the trees, and today I am going to attempt to make apple crisp from them. Nothing like eating an apple freshly picked from the tree. They are delicious.
We also are closing the pool down, and putting the massive black cover over it. It makes our back yard look so depressing and ugly. I do not even want to think about all the trees losing their leaves. Winter is so long here. At least I have my fellow bloggers to keep me company:-)
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Anyone who has ever been to Post Family Farms knows how serene it is- surrounded by trees with leaves full of color, lots of animals and green land, and full of God's beauty. It really makes time stop and brings into focus God's handiwork.
Tonight, Grandma and Grandpa Van took us to Post Family Farms in Hudsonville. I have been there before, but this time was the best. The reason? No one else was there! We were literally the only people in the entire farm. Kayden played with the goats and sheep, the ponies, we played in the hay maze, we looked at (but he wouldn't ride) the pumpkin train, and the best of all: the Hayride to the pumpkin patch! We ran around scouting for the best pumpkin and picked out a couple to take home. The weather was a little windy, but it kept all the other people away. We had our own private tour of the farm and learned a lot of interesting information not only about pumpkins (have you ever seen a ghost pumpkin, or a red pumpkin?) but the farm and how it runs. For a fall lover, this was the perfect place to go. Plus, Kayden met his new best friend; a dog named Bandit that followed us everywhere we went. We have more pictures of the dog than of us. If you have never been to Post Family Farms- take the night off, pack up the kids, and head over there. It is well worth the $3.