Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One last week...

With Dylan going to preschool this year, this week really feels like the last week of summer. In past summers, September still felt pretty summery around here since I stay home and our weeks are pretty much the same regardless of the season.

Sunday and Monday, Ella and I went up to Traverse City to visit a very good college friend, Amanda, and her husband Rob and little girls Samantha and Olivia. It's always beautiful up there, and it was so good to sit and talk to Amanda and spend time with her family. She took some pictures of the girls that I'll post when I get them - it's like an out of body experience to watch your kids play with your best friend's kids. We joke about them becoming college roommates at Hope someday :)

Today and tomorrow I have work meetings here which is always strange for me because I work from home and also work remotely (the main office is in Indianapolis). For the most part, I don't identify much with being a working mom because I don't have to deal with issues like childcare or being away from my kids. These bi-annual meetings give me a taste of what those moms deal with on a weekly basis!

Thursday morning is Dylan's preschool orientation. I'm excited about him going to preschool, but also a little worried because we don't quite have all the poop issues taken care of. I'm hoping he can hold it together for a few hours each week while he's at school and we can continue to work on it at home.

And then we have one last long weekend before fall. Matt has Friday through Monday off which is always quite the treat around here. We'll spend some time at the condo and he also has a fantasy football draft and I hear rumors of a MSU football watching party.

Hope you all enjoy your last week of fall!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I currently have four children successfully napping simultaneously upstairs. I'm watching Micah and Arika, our friends Craig and Kori's kids, today while Kori works on moving (they're building a house and moving into her parents' house in the meantime because their current house just sold.) Katie, Xav, and Zoe stopped by this morning too to play and help out. It was actually a pretty delightful morning because the kids are old enough to play together and not get into too much trouble. Kori's kids are potty trained too which is a bonus :). Nothing to this having four kids thing! Kori actually has four kids herself - a 5 year old, a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 week old - we think she's amazing because she takes care of four kids every day and does a great job too!


A friendly game of pickle at Kollen Park. Love the look on Ella's face.


We spent the weekend at my parents' condo in Holland and the kids had a blast playing with their cousins, Isaac and Nicholas. The boys especially have fun together and Ella does her best to keep up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

mommy's birthday, then & now

Cake picture 2008

Cake picture 2007

It's funny to see how the kids have changed over the past year 
(I definitely don't look a year older :) )


This picture just cracks me up. The kids have been playing a lot this summer with their buddy Xavier (and little sister Zoe). The kids (usually/kind of, sort of) stay out of trouble giving their mama, Katie, and I some time to drink Biggby Big Chills and enjoy adult conversation. Katie and I have been "playing" together since we were Dylan's age, and it's been a blessing to call her a friend through all these years.

Ella & Zoe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bullet Points

  • The Olympics are ruining my life. I'm a tad bit obsessed and it's hard to fit any other activities into my life when I'm watching Olympic coverage from 10am to 4pm and then 8pm to 12am. Today I resisted turning the TV on during the day (except to watch the amazing men's relay from last night that I had DVR'ed), and I'm going to DVR the prime time coverage again tonight, so I can put off watching it until later tonight and then zip through the commercials. Sad that this much thought has gone into this, I know. I expect to get my life back in approximately two weeks.
  • We just found out that we have a Disney vacation/cruise with my family to look forward to in October. We've had it on our list of vacations to do for a while, and everything worked out for everyone to go this fall. We'll be spending four days in the parks and three days on the boat. I've started skimming guidebooks and I'm excited to take our kids but also a little overwhelmed!
  • Mark your calendars...my Birthday Week is coming up. I know most people only get one day to celebrate their birthdays, but I prefer to stretch out the celebrating as long as possible, usually into an entire week if I can swing it. Thursday we kick off the festivities at Matt's parents' for dinner, Friday is a picnic in the park in Holland with my family, Saturday is date night, and Sunday (my actual b-day) is a get-together with Matt's mom's side for all the summer birthdays. This is really only a Birthday Long Weekend this year, but it'll do.

Another weekend...

...another basketball tournament. Matt played in the Belding Macker this past weekend with his brother Chad and the Robert's brothers, Josh and Dirk (team name: The Robstra's). They took home a third place finish which they were OK with. I took the kids up on Sunday and they survived another basketball tournament. Ella is happy to wander around, climbing on things, and Dylan loves practicing his dribbling and "shooting around" with the big boys.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Got blueberries?

Blueberry Buckle 

2 cups flour
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 to 1 cup of milk
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter (do not use margarine)
1 egg
2 cups of blueberries

1/2 cup of flour

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons of cinnamon
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) of butter

There's no need to use an electric mixer. Just hand mix the dry ingredients together; cut in the butter; add the egg and milk. Fold in the blueberries. You can add pure almond extract to the batter once in a while to change the flavor.

For the topping, mix the ingredients together well. Use hands to make sure the dry ingredients mix well with the butter. If it's still a little dry, just add a little more butter. Crumble the mixture on top of the batter.

You can use a 9 x 13 (bake 35 to 40 minutes) or a thick 9 x 9 round pan (bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes) – do not over bake. It's okay if the middle is a little gooey.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Coast Guard '08

Yesterday we went out to Grand Haven for the Coast Guard parade with our friends the Oosting's and their friends the VanOmmen's. After the parade, we went back to Bethany's parents' beautiful house and enjoyed their pool and fire pit. We ate and ate, watched the kids play, and just relaxed. The kids cooperated at bedtime, so we were able to put them down, enjoy the fire, and sleep over. Today we all took naps to recover from the fun, and now we're getting a few things done around the house before Monday. A perfect weekend!
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