Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

O Christmas Card, O Christmas Card

Getting a good picture of both the boys is never easy. My attempts at a Christmas card for this year were no exception.



Not to bad, but a little cheesy. It only goes downhill from here...



It now looks like someone is going to need their diaper changed...hmmm, aren't we supposed to be taking pictures?



I'm not sure if this is a cough, yell, or what. He usually is the good one when it comes to having pictures taken!









And really, this isn't what it looks like. Will was sneezing and Jackson was being helpful, but it sure looks like we have a mutiny on our hands! Better luck next time I guess.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bon Apetit

Deciding what to make for dinner is not one of my favorite parts of the day. About this time of the year the novelty of the pasta dishes and baked things we don't really eat in the summer wears off and I'm left pining for the grill and feeling like I make the same 4 or 5 meals over and over again. If I was really organized I'd make a menu for the week (or 2 weeks, imagine that) and just get all the annoyance over with at one time. This would also make for less trips to the grocery store. Going to the store with kids ranks right up there with deciding what to make for dinner and cleaning toilets. Ok, it's not that bad, but we always have at least one meltdown at the grocery store. Someone I hardly know bore witness to one of these works of art and actually sent me a card in the mail reminding me that God's blessings often come in ways we don't expect it. She was commending me on being a good mother (I must not have lost my temper during this particular meltdown) and saying what a blessing our children are, even when they have fits. So true and she was very sweet but I couldn't help being just a little embarrassed!
Ok, where is all this going? I found a recipe online and it was a hit for dinner, minimal ingredients, and it took about 2o minutes. Even better, the kids loved it. Even the picky one! That is one of God's small blessings right there. I thought I would share the recipe with you and help you to avoid the dreaded question of what to make for dinner.

Tuscan Chicken Simmer
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts halves
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup pesto
2 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup Italian cheese blend

Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cover skillet with lid. Cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium. Add cream cheese, water, pesto and tomatoes to skillet. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occassionally.

Return chicken to skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until chicken is coated and heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Very yummy! We had long grain rice and broccoli with it, but this would be excellent over pasta too. Happy eating!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Crazy kids

Kids are so goofy...ours are no exception. The things they say and do never cease to amaze me.

Goof #1- "Mommy? Do you have God's number? I need to call him." I'm beyond curious as to where this conversation is going to go so I ask him what he needs to say to God. "I need to ask him a question." Ok, what are you going to ask him. "Where's your house? Is it near the North Pole? Do you have all your Christmas stuff out yet?"

Goof #1 was apparently pining for summer because we found him riding his bike down the
driveway through at least 2 inches of snow!

Goof #2...where do I begin? The boy has been in love with dogs since the day he was born. Last weekend our friends James and Alisa brought their dog Winston over for an evening. (Jackson calls him Quniston- who knows why!) Winston is a big fella. He probably weighs close to 100 pounds and his cage is the size of Will's crib. Keeping true to himself, Will couldn't get enough of Winston, or his massive cage.

Did I mention the fact that I never need to hire a babysitter again? I just need a Winston sized cage!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Jackson-be-nimble...

In preschool Jackson has been learning different nursery rhymes. This one was a favorite!
video

Monday, November 24, 2008

A thankful kind of day

On and off over the last few years I've kept a "Thankfulness Journal." This journal is a way to remember the good things of the day. We have so much to be thankful for!

Today I am thankful for...

-Jackson's curious mind. He is learning so much each day and is constantly trying to make sense of all he's learned. The following is an overview of the conversation that took place on the way home from the store today. This conversation took place after I told him we were going to bring dinner to one of my friends that just had a baby. "Hey mommy, I've got an idea! How about we get 2 new children at our house. A bigger brother for me and for Will, and a little baby. The baby can just be a sister." Will proceeded to chime in, "Baby...bottle...drink it!" Oh, how the mind works! (And NO, there is no announcement being made, but apparently the pressure is on, even from the kids!)

-I am thankful that Will let me rock him to sleep at nap time. This really happened quite by accident, I don't tend to even try these things, lest we form some nasty sleep habit. Goodness knows, this child is just getting over 18 months of bad sleep habits. We will not be starting anything new. But, for today, it was nice. One of life's most peaceful moments is holding a sleeping child in your arms.

-I am thankful for the beautiful blanket of white snow that fell this morning. It is truly a winter wonderland!

"You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:28-29

Friday, November 21, 2008

A gift from the Heart

My friend Katie shared on her blog the touching story of one man's Christmas gift to his wife. In a world where Christmas becomes more about stuff, wrapping paper, and overspending, this is truly heartwarming.

For his Christmas gift to his wife, this husband and father began collecting letters written from mothers to mothers. The Mother Letter Project started small with his close circle of friends writing letters of encouragement and praise to his wife. It has since been expanded to a much bigger level involving people from all over the country. This sweet man has even offered to share all of the letters written with each person who contributes to the project.

I plan to write a letter and I'm sure I will be inspired and encouraged by the letters written by so many others. If you too are touched to write a letter, you can do so by following the link to The Mother Letter Project. Happy writing (and reading!). And thank you to Katie for sharing this story.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A work of art

Just one of the many reasons why toddlers
should not be given markers.



However, it kept him busy for at least a half an hour while Jackson and I transformed the uncarved pumpkin into a turkey.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Question of the day

"Mommy? Who is God's mother?"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I DO like them Sam I Am

Jackson got to take the special book bag home from school this week. In the bag is a stuffed Sam I Am, the book "Green Eggs and Ham", and a journal to write about your adventures with Sam. Sam has come with us everywhere and Jackson was even brave enough to try green eggs!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat

Last week Tuesday night, Dave and Jackson spent the evening carving Jackson's pumpkin. Jackson was so excited for this. He and Dave shared a chair and mapped out their "punkins happy face". Jackson was distressed for just a moment when Dave started carving the face (he like the way it looked drawn with the marker), but just sat and watched giving his opinion every once in a while.

Making the pumpkin face...it was really funny watching Jackson try to wink!

Friday was trick (or trunk in our case) or treating. We headed to Holland Christian to trunk or treat before the football game. The Cat in the Hat and the dinosaur now have more candy than
they know what to do with.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall Fun

This last week has been a little crazy. What is one to do with Dave being gone for a week, one less day of school, a 3 year old who has decided napping is over-rated, and the dread of single parent hood? Why move in with the parents, of course! It was a crazy week of spending lots of time at my parents, being home for minimal amounts of hours, visiting with GR friends, going to the zoo, and visiting an apple orchard. We had a great time but were ready for Dave to come home today.
video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two colds, the flu, lack of sleep, oh my!

It has been some time since I've posted, but not for lack of activity. We've been keeping busy mostly having nasty colds and a case of the stomach flu! Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come in the winter months. Since getting sick, Will has decided, much to his parents dismay, that sleeping all night is highly over-rated. I think it's funny that kids never cry, "Daddy, Daddy" during the night. Somehow it's always, "Mommy, Mommy". Hmmm... Given the oh so cheerful mood of everyone in the house lately, we haven't had the camera out a whole lot. I was looking through some pictures from earlier this fall and had to laugh at these two. I don't remember the context exactly, but Jackson ended up in time out. Will decided to keep him company for a few minutes. Not long after, Will ended up in time out. Their faces tell it all!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Curtains 101


I just finished my first solo sewing project. RoseAnn bought me a sewing machine and a bunch of goodies to go with it for my birthday. When we were out in Massachusetts in August I picked out some fabric with the intent of making a valance for my laundry room window. Today was the big day. It turned out alright...a little crooked and it could be a little fuller, but I like it. RoseAnn and my Grandma Nuiver will be especially proud!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crazy Boys


Sometimes kids do the funniest things for no reason; other times their motives are very clear. Jackson, I know, wants to be so much like his daddy. He has always imitated Dave in so many ways. Will on the other hand is just a giant goof. Don't ask me what he's doing...I have no idea.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A lazy Saturday

The weather this past weekend was beautiful! Warm, hot even, and a great time to be outside. While Dave was in the shed getting the power washer out, Jackson discovered the wagon. The wagon has been "hiding" in the shed all summer because the last time we had it out, Will only wanted to ride standing up. A little too dangerous for my taste. Anyways, we got the wagon out and they had so much fun. Jackson pulled and Will rode for HOURS! It was fantastic.

Not only did the kids play this way all morning, it was the first thing Jackson wanted to do when he "woke up" from this nap. The afternoon pulling and riding was also great fun, but a new twist was added. Jackson was happy to load and Will was happy to sit and stick all sorts of really dirty things in his mouth. Not only did Will consume considerable amounts of dirt, the mosquitoes had a feast with the poor child because he is covered from head to toe in bites.
The novelty of wagon pulling and riding hasn't worn off just yet, and I'm happy to sit back and watch them play.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The "bonus" of free babysitting



I'm not sure when the furniture at our house became an indoor playground of sorts. I think I have my parents to thank for the "Double Jump Routine" Jackson perfected while they were babysitting on Satruday night. The couch and chair in the basement are a regular old jungle gym these days. Of course, Jackson can't jump and crash alone, Will is right in on the action. It's all fun and games until we go to Grandma Niecia's house for lunch on Sunday and her couch is now the indoor playground! Thanks mom and dad! Next time, if we pay you, can you try to encourage some sensible play?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Day of School








Jackson had his first day of preschool today. I can't believe my baby is going to school. The teacher had planned for a parent to attend with their child on the first day, so off we went. He was a little shy at first, but immediately found the trucks and started to play with a couple other boys. I have to say, he was one of the better behaved kids in the class today...we'll see if that keeps up. Today his class sang songs, had devotions, did a scavenger hunt, decorated place mats, and spent time playing with the other kids in the class. It was a great hour packed with fun. I'm curious to hear how Friday goes, when parents aren't attending with their child. Honestly, I think anyone who wants to teach a room full of 3 year olds is a saint!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Buddies



Our dear friends the Bos' came to visit yesterday. We had a great day filled with riding bikes, swimming, and playing on the swing set. Thanks for coming Suzi, Peter, and Isaiah!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Three School

Today was a big day. I took Jackson to meet his teacher, Mrs. Mulder and to visit his preschool classroom. He was a bit shy when we arrived holding tightly to my hand and talking very quietly. He warmed up quite quickly once he saw that in one corner was a big play kitchen and in another, a big pile of trucks. He was much more interested in playing with the trucks than talking with the teacher...big surprise. His first day is right around the corner, September 2.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trouble's brewing

Unless they boys are sleeping, when things are quiet around here, it usually means some sort of trouble is brewing. Late last week Dave had been in the basement with the kids; he came up and had to leave for one reason or another. I was on a roll getting things done upstairs and didn't really want to go down to referee. I was a little nervous leaving them down there alone, but I thought I would let them be and intervene when necessary. I folded a load of laundry, no problems. I cleaned up the kitchen, no problems. I dusted the main floor, no problems. In fact, hardly a peep. I should have known better...I snuck down the stairs, just to spy...Jackson was playing with cars and Will had found a bag of goldfish crackers (I'm pretty sure it was at least a quarter full before he found it). He was just having a grand old time, sitting in the chair, eating away. Bailey was perched on the floor right by his feet, eating up the crumbs that Will was scattering everywhere. He polished off the whole bag...did I mention it was almost 9 at night? He must not have liked what I cooked for dinner...surprise, surprise!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do




It always seems like time is going too fast; especially family time. It is hard to believe that our boys are 3 and almost 16 months. Where does the time go? We have so many memories and stories. But, how quickly we forget the small stories of life. Take today for example...Jackson was supposed to be napping, a habit he's unfortunately giving up. Dave went in to get him after an hour or so and much to his surprise, Jackson had emptied the shoes out of his closet, had a different slipper on each foot and a baseball hat on backwards so he could "be like Daddy is". This hat trick started a few days ago and since most things at our house are "monkey see", "monkey do", Will, of course, needed a hat of his own. Jackson helped him out and this morning, they were playing in the family room with their hats on just like Daddy. The only problem, Will needs a Red Sox hat!
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