Monday, October 30, 2006

A first for me

If you get a minute, check out my first piece of free PR.

The primary focus of this website, Start Up, 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

Does it ever end?

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

My eyes are going buggy.

I have been holed up lately like a hermit. I think my computer caught a virus, along with the rest of my family (we have all had colds), and I had to reinstall everything. It is so time consuming. In the midst of this all, I had started changing every page of my website- adding a new shopping cart thus changing the HTML on every page, re-adjusting some items, deleting others, adding e-mail under my business name. At first glance, it does not seem like there are all that many pages. I stopped counting after fifty. Needless to say, my eyes are going buggy. I am actually really proud of myself though. I got a quote to find out how much it would be to have someone design my website for me, and I honestly thought it would be around $500. The cheapest quote I got was $1700, up to over $4000. I got a personal phone call from the $4000 quote and I wanted to ask her if a small car was included. Whew! That is expensive.

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

I wish I got this excited for my birthday

It is hard for me to admit I have a two year old! I am not ready for him to grow up. Goes by in a blink.

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

Let them Eat Cake

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

Get Your Cotton Candy

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

Sit and Spin

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

Grandma Giggles

"What are you doing here?", Grandma Giggles asked my dad five years ago to the date. She told him he wasn't supposed to be here and she needed to find Gary. My Grandma was confused, thought she was in heaven, and wondered where Grandpa was. She was still on earth, but not for long. She died a couple hours later. Seems like an eternity ago, seems like only yesterday.

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

81 degrees

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

I might become a computer nerd after all...

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- 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

Cranes Apple Orchard

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

Kayden and Bandit

From Postal to Post

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.

Going Postal

Alright, I know this is going to sound really strange, but going to the post office is one of the funnest parts of my day. I have to go to the post office at least twice a week, sometimes more depending on when orders need to be sent out, and it is really a treat!

There is never a line, I always get a friendly greeting from each of the three workers-they ask how business is going, what is new, and they throw out new jokes to see if I "have heard the one...". I have even been known to chat for fifteen minutes with one of the older guys! I guess what makes it so noteworthy is that it is unexpected- many of the other post offices I go to, I usually encounter long lines, unfriendly workers, and a lot of hassles.

As I reread this post I realize just how starved I am for adult attention that going to the post office actually makes me happy. Wow, that is pretty sad.