Saturday, October 18, 2008

Zoo Goes Boo!

This morning, Katie and I took the kids down to the zoo for Zoo Goes Boo (the guys were at the MSU/OSU game). I've never been there for this event before, and we ended up having a really nice time. The weather was perfect, and they had tables set up around the zoo (usually sponsored by a company) that were all handing out candy, books, coupons and other goodies. It was a little crowded but it wasn't terrible. The event goes next week Friday and Saturday too if anyone is looking for a little family fun.

Dylan dressed up as a lion and Ella was a frog, however, these aren't their "official" Halloween costumes (Dylan wore the lion costume last year and the frog was a random clearance item that my mom had lying around). We will be in Florida this year so I wanted costumes for them that they could wear in warm weather - Dylan is going to be a soccer player and Ella will be a cheerleader - but I was glad we had some warmer alternatives to wear today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bring The Rain

I have been reading this blog now for a while - Bring The Rain. I'm not even sure how I found it in the first place. I stumbled upon it and I haven't been able to stop keeping up with it since. The author is Angie Smith whose husband is Todd Smith (from the group Selah). They have an amazingly painful, amazingly redemptive story which includes the miscarraige of their first child and the loss of another daughter, Audrey Caroline, due to problems with her kidneys (they also have three girls - Ellie, Abby and Kate).

Today, October 15, is the National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. Angie encouraged readers to post if they had lost a baby so that she could pray for them and we could all remember. I checked back tonight and there are over 1500 posts. As I read through some of them, I was overwhelmed by the pain and sorrow of these women. I have not lost a child myself, but I have friends who have experienced this loss.

When I delivered Ella almost two years ago, we found out soon after she was born that there were problems with the placenta that could have caused serious complications for both her and me. I remember my doctor saying to us, "You have no idea how happy I was to see a pink, healthy baby. Many times those babies are born still." It took me a while to process how close we might have come to losing to her.

I know many of you who read this are mothers yourselves. Please keep all of these women in your prayers.

Frederik Meijer Gardens

Today we were able to visit Frederik Meijer Gardens with our friends Katie*, Drew and Emily. Katie and Bryan have a family membership and they are also able to bring a guest with them each time. I haven't been to the Gardens since Matt's senior year high school prom which was TEN YEARS ago. It was fun to see everything they have to offer - the children's garden was obviously a big highlight along with the GIANT horse (above). My favorite sculpture is this one below. The name of it? Mad Mom. Love it.

*And yes, I have more than one very dear friend named Katie. This Katie and I go back to junior high when both "liked" the same guy. We quickly got over the guy and agreed to swap Michael W. Smith tapes for the weekend. The rest is history. True story.

Ella Jeanne

Our Ella is quite the little ham. She loves acting funny and making us laugh. The other night she was up past her bedtime (she cried and cried in her crib so we got her up so she would settle down...a rare thing for her to cry like that) and she sat down by the big basket of books downstairs and started "reading" them to herself one by one. She's so funny because she (obviously) can't read and doesn't know a ton of words but she pointed out everything she knew - dogs, birdies, bunnies, balls, etc. - and mumbled her way through the rest.
This photo was taken the other day while we were playing outside. I was actually trying to take a picture of Dylan (which is usually like pulling teeth), but Ella is always eager to smile and say "Cheeeeese!"


It seems like fall is suddenly here. Dylan woke up Tuesday morning and gasped when he saw all the leaves on the ground (and then asked when the snow was coming...let's not get ahead of ourselves). When we moved last year, one of the main requirements of the new house was that it would have mature shade trees. We definitely got that wish and now the work of cleaning up all these leaves begins!

Friday, October 10, 2008

@ the farm with MOPS

Today we went to Post Family Farm with the MOPS group I'm in this year. I had the option to leave Ella at home (Matt has today off), but somehow I thought it would be fun for her. The collage above illustrates all the different kinds of "fun" she had today. If you look closely, she's pretty unhappy in all the pictures. We did actually have a good time (mostly because I am able to laugh at situations like this instead of cry) but it was exhausting hauling/herding two kids and a bag of pumpkins around all morning.

The collage below contains some happier shots (although they are almost all slightly terrible pictures in one way or another). We were with our friends Katie and Xavier and one (of the many) reasons why I love her so much is that we just laugh our way through life, chase each others kids, and when all else fails, we eat - and today our treat was homemade pumpkin donuts :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Shop 'Til You Drop

I spent this past weekend over in Birch Run SHOPPING. I think we have been doing this trip for 8 or 9 years now, every fall, and it's usually a highlight of the year. In the past I've gotten some Christmas shopping done, but this year I mostly shopped for myself and the kids (I usually do my Christmas shopping WAY ahead so I'm starting to freak out a little that Christmas is 2 1/2 months away and I haven't even started). This photo is of my sister-in-law Michelle and her mom Pam and my sister-in-law Yesenia and my mom in Lansing (where my brother and sister-in-law live) before all the shopping fun began!
This year was significant because it was a baby-free year: one of the few years that we haven't had a baby in a stroller to push around. Matt wins lots of brownie points for being a stay-at-home dad all weekend long.
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