Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Angels

You may want to stop reading this if you intend to have Josh for a teacher someday...

Every year, we try to come up with something original and yet easy to make for the fourth graders to give to their parents. We have tried so many different projects over the years, only to have them flop miserably. I wish I had photos of the scary paint-dripped pumpkin faces, the scrapbook boxes last year that were beautiful in my mind, but too time-consuming and costly to implement, or the puffy paint picture frames of 2005 that peeled off before given.

Finally this year, we found the perfect craft to give Mom and Dad. Enter: the macaroni angel ornament. Easy to put together, beautiful presentation, only about $1 a piece to make. This will be the 4th-grade Christmas craft for years to come!

A special thanks to my mom , who came to watch Kayden while we finished and wrapped them.

The 2007-2008 4th grade class

Ready for Break


Kayden has been cracking me up with how logical he is becoming. Instead of just repeating what he hears (although he does repeat the things I don't want repeated- loudly and usually at church), he is coming up with thoughts of his own. He has always been game for a good hug or 'cuddle-time', as we call it. Last night when he was watching Elmer Fudd, I asked him to come give me cuddles. He said, "No, I am busy. You cuddle yourself."

In case I don't get a chance to blog before, have a wonderful Christmas!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Though I walk through the Valley...

"I had no shoes and complained until I met a man who had no feet."

For many of you, you remember Sam Post's death around Thanksgiving last year all too well. He was a kindergartner at the school Josh teaches at, and went home to be with the Lord one month after finding out he had leukemia. Around that time, Sam's mom linked up to another care page- Miss Ali Aardema. 15 years old, the last seven years has been spent in and out of hospitals as she also dealt with reoccurring bouts with childhood leukemia.

Week after week, I kept updated on the numerous health issues of this extraordinarily strong girl. Fighter is the term I would use to describe her- she beat incredible odds and went into remission just a few short months ago. Thanksgiving this year, she went in for a regular doctors visit and collapsed- leading to this current three week hospital stay. I was just informed through her care page (Aardema, Ali), that she died early this morning. As with Sam's death, I think every parent grapples with the "whys" when something like this happens. I think about all the times I complain about the stupid things in life-bills, the weather, you name it. Something like this has a way of putting it all in perspective.

I leave you today with Ali's favorite verse. A verse I have cried to many times over the last year empathizing with parents struggling to deal with the valleys and trials she has endured, and they have been many. Although I have never even met her, her death touches me and saddens me as I have prayed long and hard for her this past year. Please offer your prayers for her family, 2 younger sisters, and all who knew her-either through her care page or directly-and hug your kids a little harder tonight thanking God that we have one more day with these incredible gifts entrusted to us.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt." Jeremiah 31:3-4

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Every Christmas, the commercials for Chia Pets start plugging the airwaves. Not small cable slots, mind you. Prime time advertising.

Seriously, how does this company stay in business? Have any of you received one? Are they cooler than first glance?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When Josh got home from school today, he sat down and within a few minutes Kayden was out. I cannot imagine how sleeping like this could be comfortable. If only you could hear how loud he was snoring!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I am wierd...

I cannot stop listening to old music on You Tube when I am working on the computer late at night. Goodies like All I Know by Art Garfunkel, You're so Vain Carly Simon. That has one heck of a good beat.

I really don't like to shop at the mall. Maybe too much running around for business makes it seem more like a job now. What would I do without the internet? It is just too easy!

There is a black hole somewhere in my house. It sucks in Disney/Pixar die cast cars, one of each sock that I own, and most recently my retainer. Seriously, how can these things be lost in the space of 800 square feet upstairs?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My favorites from years past...

I love looking through old pictures at Christmas time. Time flies by so fast, and it seems like only yesterday these picture were being taken...

One month old

Kayden and his cousin Lena, loving picture time.

Could this kid be any fatter?

Anyone else have their tree up?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sorry it took me so long to scan these. I do not have a scanner at home...Looks like a Bird baby already with the long arms and legs:-)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We had our small group over yesterday evening. Josh and I were running a bit late, so instead of cleaning as we perhaps should have. I shoved in drawers, cupboards, closets, anywhere that was close by and had space.

I found spice drops in my knife drawer, a sippy cup in my pots and pans, and a medium-sized dump truck in my fake corner plant. I still cannot find thank you cards that need to go out tomorrow.

....lesson learned.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you...

This year, I am thankful for:

Finding a wonderful church. Josh and I never really got connected in California to a church (our own doing). Through coffee break and small group, I feel like I am growing and connecting to other believers.

I am so thankful for Josh. No one wants to hear mushies on that front, but he is a great guy and I am blessed to have him.

Someone told me when I had Kayden- "Imagine the most work you have ever done in your life, times ten. Now imagine the most joy you have ever felt and times that by eleven. That is what parenting is." I love being a mom, and now I get to do it all over again.

Extended family- one of the things I missed most when I lived in CA was spending time with my parents and brothers. We have always been really close, and I love hanging out with them.

Good health. The new baby is healthy, as are all of us. Example after example lately of young people I know struggling to survive reminds me of how lucky we are to have good health.

Great friends. All of you. I am so grateful for each person in my life right now, as each brings something different I am thankful for.

Loving my job. So much better than waitressing.

I am going to try to get a few ultrasound pictures up soon. It was fun to see the baby yawning and rubbing it's eyes, lots of kicking...Hard to believe it is only still around 14 ounces!

Speaking of babies- Josh's sister had her baby today. A healthy baby boy- Kyler William Young. He was about the same weight as Kayden was when he was born, yet I never remember Kayden being quite that small!

Hope you all had a great day and much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tom and Sharon

"Did you know Tom and Sharon went dancing together the other night?" puffy-blond hair lady worker number one asks worker number two, both standing behind the counter at the drug store tonight. If I squint my eyes, worker 2 almost looks like a short Sandra Bullock with glasses.

"You are kidding me, are they dating?" says worker two, rolling her eyes.

I set down two two-liters of Coke, york peppermint patties (on sale right now- 2 bags for $2), and a ring pop for Kayden, waiting patiently to be tended to.

Worker Number one, pensive, tapping her nails on the counter: "Not that I know. Did you know they worked together last week the entire night, though? I wonder if it started then?"

I clear my throat, still waiting to be acknowledged.

"Where did they go dancing?" says worker two, adjusting her red-rimmed glasses.

"I have no idea. Do you think they make a cute couple? Sharon has liked Tom for a while now" says all knowing lady worker one.

"You are kidding, I did not know that" exclaims worker two as she loads up cases of cigarettes.

I clear my throat again.

Reluctantly, worker number one looks down at my Coke and scans it through the system, not yet wanting to leave her conversation. Still looking at worker 2, she carries on uninterrupted as she scans the second coke.

"Yeah, most people didn't," says worker one. Pausing for a moment, "I wonder how long it will last."

A few more nuggets of banter back and forth followed, never once stopping conversation for a hello.
I admit I felt a little....non-existent.

Filed under annoying.

I did get a great consolation prize, though- York peppermint patties. Yum.


By the way, free shipping on blurb books through Novmember 20th if you want to go that route for Christmas gifts. I have a code, e-mail me if interested.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Potty Time

For most moms, potty training is a four letter word.

We started one week ago, and I was thinking this morning, "Things are going pretty well. A few accidents here or there, but we have used the restrooms in public a few times, he tells me when he needs to go, he even lasted through nursery this past week. This is a pain, but he is doing great!"
...then he went to grandma's for the day.
Six accidents!!! Sorry, mom!

BTW- Is that kid on a blackberry? Addicted to e-mail. He could be mine....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween fun

On Tuesday, we went to my dad's work to Trick or Treat. Workers put out bowls of candy, and you weave in and out of Aeron chairs picking the delights. Kayden ate so much that he threw up, so I have decided I need to help him get through the jar. Apparently this costume makes him look like a girl, however, as he was called one at least four times.

What my kitchen table is really used for.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In honor of Halloween:

Hilary Clinton Practicing Commander in Chief

Sorry, this was the scariest thing I could find.

Wait... it could be worse:

Granholm 2012

Monday, October 22, 2007

Burning Ring of Fire

I know you have heard of a snow day, but have you ever heard of a poor air quality day?

Three school days in 2003 were cancelled due to poor air quality. The fires were about twenty-thirty minutes from our apartment. The wind was not nearly as strong, so there was less chance of embers spreading quickly. Still, people all around us were wetting down their roofs, and getting ready to leave at a moments notice. We had nothing but crap in our apartment, so I was not as concerned as I would have been had I owned a home.

I remember climbing up on Applebee's roof and just watching the orange blaze lighting up the might even be described as pretty how it lit up the night and was so visable for miles and miles.

Maybe we need to send my mom and dad on a camping trip to Lake Arrowhead...

Birthdays+Birds=Big Deal

Three years ago today, I was holding this:

Fast forward to today, I can barely hold this:
Kayden's third birthday came with a total buy out of the Cars section at Target. Almost every present, except for the new bike from Grandma and Grandpa, came with a Pixar price tag.

Tuckered out at Seven o'clock-- I can hardly believe it!

I leave you today with a moral dilemna faced at Meijers. I bought Cars balloons at a party store a few weeks ago in preparation for the big day. Wanting only to get them filled, I asked to pay for the helium only--as I had done the previous week for a Hannah Montana balloon (also bought elsewhere). The teenager filled the ballons, and did not "get" the concept of charging me for filling them. Back and forth we went-- four or five times me asking to pay for them, him not understanding.

Finally, he wrote on a slip, "No Charge for Helium", handed it to me and said that he had never heard of such a thing.

Knowing I had paid for helium previously, I felt wrong leaving the store. I hung my head sheepishly as I left, feeling like security was going to chase after and knock me down for stealing.

Would you have pressed it further?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tag. I'm it.

It is hard to come up with things I have not already shared, but here goes....

My middle name is Lynn, so it shouldn't be too hard, right?

L is for Lack of discipline. Let's start with chocolate. I cannot eat just one cupcake. Oh no, I need to eat two. Kayden gets away with more than he should, too.

Y is for QuirkY. I never even my gas off to a round number. I prefer it to be $21.36 or something equally as random. Same thing with restaurant bills- the odder the number, the better. No rounding for me.

N is for iNsecure- especially when it comes to conversation. I am always second guessing myself and replaying entire conversations in my mind, picking apart/second guessing everything I said to make sure I did not say something stupid.

N is for NEED. One of the lowest points this past year was Easter for me. I remember standing in my shower getting ready for church, and I could not stop crying. My relationship with God was, in a word, bitter. I was so angry for the longing I had for a child, and the lack of it happening. Of course, if I could see into the future, it would have been easy. At the time, though, the desperation and hopelessness starting sinking in, and I was angry and feeling sorry for myself. I needed someone to take the burden, and eventually surrendered it. Thankfully, we have God who loves us as much as He does, is willing to forgive my selfishness, and still desires a relationship with me even when I am being a turd.

I cannot think of who already has been tagged, so you are off the hook this time...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mall of America

When I first drove up, I must admit that I was not impressed. From the exterior, it really did not look that big.

I pulled into an empty spot in the five story parking structure, and prepared for disappointment. Even when I walked in, it looked like a five story version of Rivertown mall. Not what I was expecting, to say the least.

Once I started walking, I realized the true vastness of the Mall of America. I had about four hours to shop, and I never made it off the second level. My one regret? I forgot to bring a pair of tennis shoes.

Other tidbits from my trip to Minnesota- I paid $27 for parking downtown (terribly hard for this dutch girl), seeing Josh's aunt and uncle who so generously let me stay with them plus took me out to dinner to boot, driving around for 40 minutes trying to find a gas station to fill up my rental car to no avail. $7 a gallon is the going rate, and I have to now pay it (harder still for the dutch girl in me).

Any one else ever been to Mall of America?

Saturday, September 22, 2007


that is what I am.

You see, I have been messing with my computer for four days now, and unfortunately am not the Geek Squad.

...and nothing makes me crabbier, not even paying bills.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I realized today that this is the last six months it will be just him and I. Even typing it gets me choked up. We've been best buddies for three years...and there is just something about a little boy and his mom....

We have filled our days with all sorts of fun things- the children's museum, playgroups at the local school, library days, walks to the playground...and part of me is wondering if I am making this upcoming transition harder by spending so much time with him?

Not that I would quit doing it because we both enjoy it so much.... but I just wonder.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Waiting to Exhale

I knew the day would come eventually, I just did not think it would be so soon.

I have struggled against the idea for some time, knowing that once I "crossed over", there would be no going back for quite some time.

So, while sitting at Josh's basketball game yesterday, I knew the time had come. I felt a little like Chris Farley in the "big guy, little jacket" bit, where the suit-coat jacket rips up the back as he is obviously too large for it.

I am now officially in maternity jeans...and it stinks.

Although, they are far more comfortable as I can now exhale.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Recently, my dad's best friend died of heart failure. He contracted a heart virus two years ago, and his heart never fully recovered. Mike was the kind of guy that lived life to the fullest- he was part of a parachuting team that did elaborate formations in the air, barefooted behind big power boats, and loved to drive fast motorcycles. After he died, my dad bought one of his motorcycles and has loved having that piece of him as a reminder of what a fun guy he was. Last night, my little brother asked if he could drive it. The conversation:

Brother: Hey Dad, can I ride your motorcycle?

Dad: Sure, but just stay off the main road since you do not have a motorcycle license. I would not want you to get caught by police and get a ticket.

Brother: No problem- I will stay off the main roads.

After a while, my mom began to ponder where he could be, since the road my parents live on is not that long. He returned home after a while and we asked him where he was. "I was riding on the sidewalks", he replied. "You said to stay off the main road." 'Cause that will keep the cops from giving you a ticket---riding a street motorcycle on the sidewalk.

The funny thing is I can see why he thought that.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Beware: Snarkiness ahead

Let's talk a minute about prenatal vitamins. If you are among the fortunate that do not get sick on a regular basis while pregnant, these "vitamins" or manure pills as I like to call them, will certainly do the trick. The size, although large, is not really the problem. The taste is- it starts with a strong chalky taste the minute popped, followed by hours of a delicious vitamin aftertaste. Yummy.

Also, does it bug anyone else when you are driving down the road and the car next to you had 237 stuffed animals in the back window?

Like I said, Snarky.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Do we know how to pick 'em?

...or do we know how to pick 'em?

Day 1: We pulled up Saturday evening and the clouds were looming overhead in preparation for rain. My mom, dad, and brothers were out at the conference grounds, and we thought it would be a fun family week to camp as it has been at least ten years since my last adventure.

After a short walk, the sky opened and buckets of water started drenching us. Our enthusiasm got the better of us, however, and we decided to go exploring anyway- finding the candy store, pool, playground, beach, tennis courts, basketball- lots of fun things to do when the rain cleared. Walking back to the campsite, the general concensus was that camping is just not camping without a fire- rain or not. Sitting under an umbrella (all of us now soaked clear through), we pulled out the starter wood and sticks to roast marshmellows, smores, hot dogs, etc. Isn't camping so much fun?

Day 2: Sleep did not go well last night. Josh, Jamie, Kayden, two dogs, lightening, thunder, and a plastic sheet on a full size bed led to lots of looking at the ceiling hoping for sleep to come. Ready to face a new day of God's nature, we set off to the showers and came out to...more rain.

Day 3: Raining again. Supposed to clear up soon. Might as well go home until it stops.

Day 4-5: Woke up to rain. Drive back to Grand Haven in the hopes it will be a nice day only to find the worse thunderstorm of the season on the horizon. Thinking it is better to be at home than in a trailer park in case of tornado, head home. In the rain.

Day 6: Officially the worst week for camping ever. Cursing the trailer, the fire, even the little spotted dog that runs by dripping wet. Trailer accomodations are tight, and we are all crabby. And wet.

Day 7: End of camping. You guessed it....more rain. Ended camping as we began. Sitting in the rain by the campfire.

Day 8: The rain finally clears... just as the trailer pulls out of the park.

Could possibly have ruined camping for me for life. My dad said that this was one way to make his single week of vacation feel like two.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yes, it's true....

We are so thrilled. Over a year of trying, the ups and downs of infertility, wondering if it is ever going to happen. Many of you know the emotions well.
We found out a while ago, but I wanted to hear a little heartbeat and see the heart pumping before we shared. We are not that far along (about 7 weeks), but I know there have been so many prayers on our behalf, and honestly it has been such a long time coming I could not wait to share! I remember the first time spilling our struggles of infertiltiy in the coffee shop with you gals, feeling so supported and encouraged.
We are so thankful that God has blessed us, and stand amazed at the miracle of new life. Seriously, how can someone NOT believe in God after having a baby?
Please keep this little Baby Birdie in your prayers, and I also have one more request: I still have a few friends dealing with infertility. This kind of news comes hard; it always did for me. Please pray that they will have the same results we do!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A few more pictures from vacation:


We NEED some of these hoops for our pool. Okay, need is a little strong, but they were fun.
When Josh and I were first married, we bought a little white dog named Tia. She was our baby until we had Kayden, and we used to take her for long walks every night to the University of Redlands. Situated in the heart of the city, with the mountains as a backdrop and palm-tree lined streets, it has always been an idyllic setting for walking and talking.

On the back side of the campus, there is a street called "Fraternity Row", which always brought me back to college days. College students milling about, playing on the large central lush lawn between classes, studying on a park bench, eating luch with fellow students gives me a fondness and nostalia for days past at GVSU. The entire time we were in Redlands, we wanted to walk through the campus and we finally got the chance on Sunday.

The fountains by the cafeteria area

This one is for Josh- the basketball courts

The stage for graduation

If you see me sporting my new gift proudly- a Bulldog sweatshirt from the University of Redlands (thanks, Hale family)- you will know why. I love this university.

I would say it is nice to be home, but I am kicking myself for horrible time management. I promise things too quickly and then I cannot get them finished without rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off. Sigh.

Missed all my bloggers though:-)!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

These photos were taken tonight. Kimberly-- a long time resident of Redlands and also co-founder of the
Kimberly Clark corporation (toilet paper and paper towels, etc)--gave 40 acres of land plus their house as a gift to the city when the last family member died. It was made into a community park, an "under the stars" theater, and the house is used for museum purposes. Since land space is at a premium out here, it is one of the few places that still has old trees, cobblestone pathways, coy ponds mixed with fountains and marble statues, enchanted gardens...some parts actually remind me of the Secret Garden.

It was always one of my favorite places to go, so we walked the trails tonight and looked over the city high atop Kimberly Crest.

The other is a picture of my other favorite historical house...I always thought it had a lot of character and would be fun to tour:-)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

More fun swimming...

we went yesterday to the nicest pool I have seen-- a cave enclosure, large slide, remote controlled temperature and bubbles, waterfalls flowing from the raised hot tub to the pool. The new thing here in CA is saline- it is supposed to be gentler on your eyes and clothing, and just all around cleaner water. It was nice to not smell like chlorine when we got out. Kayden's favorite part was the slide, although he thought jumping on those couches would be pretty cool, too.

We visited with a few more friends at night, the Agees. One of those down to earth couples-- the kind we really miss. We are having lots of fun and relaxing outdoors quite a bit. The house we are staying at had the housekeeper and the pool man come by today. Ummm...I think I need a housekeeper. It was pretty nice to go out to swim and come back to a clean house!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A few pictures from yesterday--we went out to the beach. The water was unusually warm, eight feet swells, lots of good surfing to be had. I did not get any of Josh surfing because tide was coming in and I could not get down there without Kayden being knee high in waves.

Kayden thought that throwing rocks into the ocean was the funnest thing ever, so that is what we did all day...find rocks to throw in. At night, we went to one of those places where they prepare the food right in front of you. Kayden loved watching the guy throw stuff into the air and in his hat. The only rough part of the evening was that I got a chopstick to the eye...and yes, that hurts.

Also, for some reason Walmart charged us 154 times for our purchase, so we have been stuck without access to money. Thank Goodness for Macatawa Bank. One call to them and it was fixed.

More to come later....