Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Crazy

We've been a little busy and feeling a little under the weather. Not the best combo. I'm feeling a little caught up in the Christmas crazyness that I so despise, even though I LOVE Christmas. My shopping is maybe half done and I'm all out of ideas...don't you hate that? But, the Christmas cards are sent (as of today), I made my dreaded trip to the post office, the tree is decorated, the basement is clean (for the moment), and the kids are happy. I'm choosing to be happy about what is complete, rather than fret about what isn't. I'll save the fretting for 3am when I can't fall back to sleep.

And here are some pictures to pacify those both near and far away.

And just in case you were wondering...you're never too young to be "a really useful engine!" We love you Bradley!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh Baby!

I'm having some technical difficulties loading my video. I really wanted the cute little box with the play button instead of a link, but I can't figure it out. So a link it is. If you have a spare 4 minutes, watch the following video before you continue reading.

Engbers Family Video

We cut tape right before the tears started. Big sad eyes and a trembling chin were not what I expected to see from Jackson. He just kept saying, "But I don't want to have a baby." WHAT??? He's only been asking "when do we get to have 3 children in our family?" for about 6 months. He even asked a few weeks ago if we could maybe have a baby next summer. Too funny. He seems to have rallied from the initial blow and even called Nanny and Mema and the Papa's to share the good news...in case they had forgotten! Will just wanted to keep the baby's paci. He has no idea what's coming and that's probably best.

So, the word is out. I'm just over 12 weeks, and quite glad to have turned the corner as far as nausea and tiredness go. Even though we have had two ultrasounds, it was great to be able to hear the heartbeat from the outside at my appointment yesterday. My official due date is June 14 but we'll keep you posted as we move along.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Freebie

I heard about this great freebie that I just had to share. To be honest, I haven't actually tried it myself, but two close friends have and said it works. No strings attached. So, if you are looking to save a few pennies this Christmas but would still like to send out Christmas Cards check out Money Saving Mom to order 100 free Christmas photo cards. Now I just have to get a good picture of the boys! Hurry over, the offer expires on November 30.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sneak Peek

I did some creating today, but I'm only going to give a sneak peek. You know, with Christmas around the corner and everything. Happy peeking!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A special sweet treat

Halloween was especially sweet this year because we welcomed Bradley Bennett to our family. Our first nephew and cousin. Jackson and Will talk about him all the time and parade his picture around wherever we go. We love you little one, and what a treat you are!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Ok, so no bears, but we had a pretty cute lion and a tiger!

Monday, October 19, 2009


"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2.

These are the verses that Pastor Jim has been using in his childrens messages at Church. Each Sunday morning (for the month of October) he reads this verse, chooses a small part to further explain in "kid language", and then asks the kids to help him recite the verse (with motions!). This past Sunday morning Pastor Jim talked about blessings and what it means to be blessed. He explained that sometimes we know about blessings but sometimes there are surprise blessings in our lives. He gave the example of coming home from school to find grandma and grandpa at your house when you didn't know they were coming. It was at this point in the message that Jackson piped up and said, "Yeah, that's like when you are sleeping and Santa just sneaks in your door and leaves you some presents!" To which another boy chimed in saying, "Yeah well, my mom is just Santa." Nothing like keeping the pastor on his toes on Sunday morning! :)

Dave was mortified, wanting to crawl under the pew and disappear. The rest of the congregation thought it was hilarious. At least Jackson didn't ask if Jesus lived with Santa at the North Pole or if Santa was in heaven with Jesus. I'm quite certain that he was wondering about this last year at Christmas time.

We have so many blessings in life, not the least of which is a 4 year old with a curious mind and and uninhibited spirit!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

I recently made this soup for a meal exchange. Our family loves it...even the boys. You can either dunk grilled cheese or garnish with shredded cheese and croutons. Or you can eat it plain, but what's the fun in that? Hope you enjoy!

Tomato-Basil Soup

2 (28 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
Fresh, minced garlic (I used my garlic press)
18ish fresh basil leaves, minced
2 T. sugar
1 cup whipping cream
4 T. butter

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes, broth, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil and sugar. Reduce heat to low; stir in cream and butter. Cook until butter is melted.

A side note: I did try this with half and half (some even use milk) to reduce the caloric value a tad, but shockingly enough, it was much better with the cream.

Hop on over to Katie's blog to find some other fantastic soup recipes. Happy Eating!

A L-A-Z-Y Day

So, we're feeling a little lazy this morning. Both the boys have colds and Jackson has a "leaking eye", as he calls it. Not sure if it's pink eye or not. So cartoons on PBS are just what the doctor ordered for the morning. A little oatmeal for breakfast and maybe we'll head back to Crane's for some more apples. Depends on the eye. Maybe we'll just stay in our jammies all day and snuggle.And we'll give you a little smile, but don't think for one minute we'll peel our eyes off the TV.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One of those weeks

It seems like this week has been "one of those weeks" with the kids. Constant bickering, whining, pressing their mother's every button. You know, one of those kinds of weeks. Our trip to the grocery store this week was especially frightful and I'm sure if you live in a 30 mile radius of the 16th street Meijer, you could hear the massive meltdown as it was in progress. For those of you who are farther away, consider yourselves lucky. I was thinking of busting out this move like the Mother of the Year. (I wish I was really techy and knew how to post this video directly instead of just the link...sorry.) But please watch it...I did...at least 10 times.

I've recently started reading a blog called (in)courage. These daily postings have been refreshing and encouraging for me to read. Women from all walks of life post about their lives and their faith. A post worth reading from a few weeks back can be found here. Just a small reminder that I am not defined by my children (or their actions) but am to be defined by Christ alone.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Backseat Ramblings

J: Mommy, when will I be as old as daddy?

W: Just when you get no hair, Jackson.

Me: Side splitting laughter!

Giveaway Day

The Nester is hosting a fabulous Giveaway Day. Yesterday there were 24 giveaways in 24 hours. So, check it out and post a comment to enter yourself for some great winnings! I think all the comments close at midnight tonight. You're welcome!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday Fun

Due to a last minute change in plans, we had almost an entire Saturday together as a family. This may not sound like much, but this is a rarity around our house. We started our morning eating baked oatmeal, oh so good.
We then went to Crane's Orchard in Fenville and picked apples. The boys LOVED it and really they did most of the work. The trees were small enough that the apples were right at their height. We picked lots and lots of apples, most of which have been made into applesauce. Except for the Honeycrisps. We've been eating those like they might rot before the week is out.

Another rare moment was had on this wonderful day. I went to the grocery store...ALL BY MYSELF!!! And you better believe that I walked around, looking at everything under the sun, nursing my Pumpkin Spice Latte, savoring every sweet moment that no one was asking for pop-tarts and chocolate cereal, whining to say hi to the lobsters for the 17th time, and pulling every cotton-pickin' thing in arms reach off the shelves. It was a small slice of heaven, truly.

For dinner we had some delish quesadillas. Dave decided to test out the organic, poblano peppers that someone gave us. Some of us think medium salsa is spicy enough, some of us need a little more zing in life. Some of us should have stuck with the medium salsa. Just the juice of this baby was enough to cause sweating, faucet nose syndrome, and redness in the neck and face. These unfortunate side effects were slightly delayed in coming but showed their true colors while Will was praying. "Dear Jesus, thank you for...(insert every imaginable person or object that can be seen)". While this is normally so sweet, he tends to go on and on and on and on... Dave couldn't wait for this particular prayer to be done. Don't worry, the following pictures were not taken during the reverent moment of prayer!
On a side note, I don't recommend itching your eye after cutting poblano peppers. This has proven to be quite painful. One eye wash, a few glasses of milk, and many plain tortilla chips solved our poblano problem. How was your weekend? How did you make memories with your family?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups of Quick Oats or 2 ¼ cups of Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 cup white sugar (You can use less, it was quite sweet)
3 1/3 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

(I also added some cinnamon, and a peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple)

Grease an 8-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine oats and white sugar (cinnamon and apple). In a medium bowl, combine milk, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Add to oat mixture; mix well and pour into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center jiggles slightly. (My center didn’t jiggle after 40 minutes…well, MY center always jiggles, but the oatmeal center wasn’t jiggly. So, maybe cook for 30-35 minutes.) Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the top of oatmeal. Using the back of a spoon, gently spread sugar into a thin layer. Hide this dish from your husband and small children so that you can eat your fill before sharing with with the rest of the piglets in the house.

Sorry, no pictures. It didn't last long enough for me to get out the camera. And for those of you who think oatmeal makes you want to gag (mom), you might even like this less like oatmeal, more like apple crisp breakfast.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spanish Emergency

Jackson's first day of preschool went very well. He can't wait to go back tomorrow!

When Seeing Isn't Believing

The following is a devotional I "stumbled" upon yesterday, the day before the first day of Spanish Emergency (Immersion) preschool. I say "stumbled" but I believe that God placed this devotional before to ease my anxious spirit. I'm not overly anxious about sending my little one off to school, but school immersed in another language makes the situation seem more like the emergency that Jackson so innocently describes. It is my responsibility and privilege to lift my children before the Lord in prayer each day and be confident that the Almighty God has them in the palm of His hand.

When Seeing Isn’t Believing (Meditations from a Mother’s Heart by Pamela J Kennedy)

Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lords under Eli the priest. Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord.” 1 Samuel 2:11-12

I’ll never forget the feeling as I stood on the side-walk watching my son go into his kindergarten class-room the first day of school. I felt like I was no longer going to be there to protect and defend him. How would he manage if someone bullied him? Who would help him if he struggled with a problem? How would I deal with the negative influences he was bound to encounter? I experienced those same feelings again when he entered junior high and high school, and once more when I kissed him good-bye and watched him walk onto an airplane to fly thousands of mile away to college. As mothers, we are constantly saying good-bye to our children, relinquishing them to the influences of others.

When Hannah took little Samuel, who was probably 3 or 4 years old, to live under the authority of the priests at the temple, she undoubtedly hoped he would be cherished and tenderly cared for. In reality, the temple did not seem a friendly place for a little one. Eli was busy and distant, and his sons, the Scriptures say, were wicked. Again Hannah needed to trust a God she could not see. As a woman of prayer, she likely brought her son daily before the throne of the Almighty, asking for His protection and mercy to surround Samuel since her arms no longer could. If she looked at the circumstances it would be easy to become discouraged. But looking to God brought hope and encouragement.

When my family members are in situations where I cannot see solutions, when they endure difficulties over which I have no control, I can be like Hannah. Although I have no power to change circumstances, I do have the power of God available through Word and Sacrament. I can also daily bring my children before His throne and seek His guidance, protection, grace, and mercy for them wherever they are. This is one of the sacred privileges of motherhood. And the assurance we have is that the same God who guided Samuel and comforted Hannah is available to guide our children and comfort us. He knows and loves our sons and daughters even more than we do and is able to accomplish great things in their lives- things beyond our limited sight that He has prepared for them to do for Him and His kingdom.

God thank you that you are in control at all times. Sometimes I am anxious when I look at the circumstances that surround my children. Help me to trust you daily and to leave them in Your all-powerful care. Amen

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Winner!

Thanks again to Katie for a great giveaway of business cards from UPrinting! I feel like I never win, so I was quite surprised and pleased to be a winner in this give away. Now the pressure is on to either set up a blog or an Etsy shop for my creations. Any suggestions? Any ideas for a name for this little business?

A Laborless Weekend

What a weekend! I spend the first two and a half days of the weekend with the Holland Area Young Lives group. We went to camp at Timberwolf Lake and had an awesome time. It was a joy to spend time with this group of young moms. ALL of the girls completed the high ropes course, they worked together as a team to complete obstacle courses, they learned a little more about the God we serve, they loved their babies with amazing care and patience, and were bold enough to share some of their stories. (Pictures are soon to follow!)

While I was with Young Lives, Dave and the boys were busy in Arcadia. I met them there Sunday morning to finish off the weekend. We had a wonderful, labor less time there. Unless of course you consider water sports, boating, eating, and making memories labor!

Dave's idea of laboring...

It was such hard working jumping off the boat and climbing back up again...

And of course, the labor of eating ice cream...

We are very thankful for the long weekend and the time to relax and do some of the things we enjoy the most!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A great giveaway

Because Katie is hosting such a great give away of business cards I thought I'd post some pictures in an easy to find location. You know for all the people who are going to come looking at my blog wanting to buy all the things I sew! :) I wish I'd taken pictures of my most recent project, a hooded towel and washcloths but honestly I was so frustrated I couldn't wait to wrap it all up and give it to my sister-in-law at her baby shower. The finished product was cute, despite many bumps in the sewing machine to get there.

A few bibs...

A blanket for my girlfriend Jane's baby Celia...(The original post with a picture or two of this blanket is here.)

And finally a gift set for sweet baby Johanna. Blanket, bib, and onesie.

All interested parties are welcome to contact me with orders! :) If I win the business cards I'll let you know!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A day to celebrate

Jackson has been working quite hard (most of the time) to fill in his sticker chart. Listening and obeying can be tough sometimes, but he filled the chart and we celebrated tonight by going to Chuck-E-Cheese, his prize of choice.
Unfortunately I forgot to take the camera along so we have no pictures from when we were there. The kids had a great time and Dave and I loved spoiling them for the night!

On another happy note, we got this letter in the mail today.
My student loan is officially paid off! We did a little happy dance, but truth be told, we already celebrated after writing the final check. Chuck-E-Cheese wasn't our top pick for celebrating. It feels pretty good to be debt free, ok, except for the mortgage. It was a day worth celebrating all around and celebrate we did!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mmmm, Mmmm Good

If you're looking for a clean out the refrigerator kind of meal, here you go.

Tortellini Stir Fry

Veggies...anything goes so clean out the fridge. I happened to use yellow squash, broccoli, mushrooms, some colored peppers, onion and maybe more but I can't remember.

Stir Fry Sauce


Saute the veggies in a little bit of olive oil. While that's cooking, boil some water for the tortellini and follow the cooking directions on the package. When the pasta's done combine it with the veggies and add the stir fry sauce. I think I used a 1/2 cup or so. Heat it all together for a few minutes, put it in a colorful bowl, and enjoy. Dave added some red pepper flakes too, 'cause you know, he's sassy like that. Very easy, very good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Someone's sporting a new do



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I scream...

Ice cream...

...I scream......

...we both scream for ice cream!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My 3? Sons

We've had a few changes around here. The most noticeable is the smiling sweet face of Payton who shows up four mornings a week to spend the day with us. He is just the cutest thing and the boys LOVE him.

Some of their reactions include the following:

Will, stating the obvious at all times. "Mommy, he's crying. Mommy he stopped (crying). Mommy he's tooting. Mommy he spit. Mommy he not spitting any more." Will also cannot fathom that this child doesn't like his paci.

Jackson is just taken by him. He loves to hold him and help give him a bottle. He likes to just watch him and I have been pleasantly surprised by how gentle he has been. At one point yesterday when Payton had been crying for a bit Jackson went through the list of things the baby might want...bottle, diaper, paci (he also was shocked by this paci-less child), clean shirt (because he'd spit up), blanket. When we'd gone though that list, he announced that "Payton probably just wants to go home".

Both boys were in giggle fits when Payton was passing gas yesterday. It was funny hearing such a loud noise come out of such a small body!

Someone needs a bottle, so I best get going... :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

31 Things

In honor of my recent birthday, I thought I would share 31 things you might not know about me. Enjoy!

I love to take pictures. I'm tweaking my "skills" and since the beginning of summer I've loaded 499 pictures onto my computer. A bit ridiculous I realize.

99% of my pictures are of our boys. They are my pride and joy.

Gerber Daisies are my favorite flowers and

Kendall Jackson Chardonnay is my favorite kind of wine. Just in case you are trying to think of a belated birthday gift for me! :)

Blueberry pie is my favorite birthday dessert. I ate a piece of birthday pie tonight.

My newest favorite breakfast is plain yogurt, blueberries, a drizzle of honey, and almonds.

Did I mention that I love blueberries?

I love to run. Even ridiculously long distances.

I'm thinking of doing the Mt. Baldhead Challenge this fall.

Dave and I will be celebrating our 6th anniversary this year. I am so thankful for my best friend and an amazing six years.

I am very much looking forward to going on a cruise with my mom's side of the family this coming January.

I really don't like tomatoes. I like tomato things, but not the actual fruit.

I don't really like chocolate.

I'll drink my coffee black, but if I use cream I prefer, Coffee-Mate, French Vanilla with the fat. The as opposed to black, 1/4 cream, 3/4 coffee.

I love it that Dave loves chick-flicks almost as much as I do.

I love our dog.

I hate that he sheds.

Having a cat is out of the question.

I brush my teeth at least 3 times a day, but really hate to floss.

Crime shows are my favorite kind of TV.

But, I'd rather read than watch TV. I read fiction, almost exclusively.

I enjoy cooking and am looking for new, healthy recipes.

Sewing is therapeutic for me and I just sold my first baby blanket!

I hope to open an etsy shop sometime soon.

My soda of choice is Diet Coke. Fountain style please.

I wish I started (or ended) each day in The Word. This is something I'm working on.

I like going out for breakfast. Real Food Cafe is my favorite place to go. I wish there was one in Holland.

Roses' is my favorite dinner place to eat. They have the best pesto pizza. The Brewery's pesto pizza is a close second.

I'm not very good at admitting when I'm wrong. I'm a work in progress.

Summer is my favorite season.

I really love to shop. Dave has taught me great restraint!

I no long allow myself to bake because I usually end up eating most of what I make. The one no baking exception is banana bread.

Ok, so that might be 32 things, but I'm definitely not 32!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

30 and counting...

And no, I'm not talking about my age. We're talking mosquito bites. Will woke up covered, from head to toe, with mosquito bites. This afternoon I was convinced that it was chicken pox, despite the vaccination. I guess I'm still not convinced that these are merely mosquito bites, but who knows. He looks worse than he feels because other than a few bouts of itching, he's been quite happy. We are all thankful that his bites don't swell to obscene sizes like they did last year. He'd really be a sorry looking sight then. We're off to shorten some fingernails and bathe in Calamine lotion!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

A glimpse of today

Outside my window... a beautiful day! Lots of sunshine and a soft breeze.

I am thinking... about the CPR training I have tonight in Grand Rapids. It's about time to pack up the kiddos and head out.

I am thankful for... my wonderful family! We had a great time with my family at the cottage last weekend and are looking forward to the arrival of Dave's family this coming weekend.

I am wearing... white shorts, black shirt, no shoes.

I am creating... unfortunately, nothing at the moment. I'm anxious for my sewing machine to be up and running again soon.

I am going... to Yesterdog for dinner! Cheddar dog with onion and ketchup, minus the pickle and mustard. YUM!

I am reading... the Twilight sereis. Currently looking to get my hands on the 4th book.

I am hearing... Disney's "The Aristocats". A little mid-afternoon entertainment for the non-napping child.

Around the house... our new blinds were installed today and I LOVE them.

One of my favorite things... Stacy's pita chips and hummus! Yummy!

A few plans for the rest of the week... My Grandma Nuiver turns 89 this week Saturday. We are all getting together to celebrate on Friday night. Happy Birthday Grandma!

How about you? What are you doing today?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

It has been awhile since I've last posted. Laziness mostly, but I did get sucked into the Twilight series so that hasn't helped matters. We've been up to a few things in the last couple of weeks, but mostly just enjoying summer (except this week feels more like mid October than like July...)

-Jackson ditched the training wheels and is now the proud rider of a two-wheeler!
-Jackson also just finished his second week of swimming lessons through the Holland Rec. department. He did really well and has really improved. He eagerly stuck his face in the water, slapped flippers on his feet, and jumped off the diving board. No surprise really! This is him at 2, jumping off a floating dock.
-Will is still wearing undies, with very few accidents. He still has a fit when I try to put a diaper on him, even at night. Truth be told, he is dry after every nap and dry almost every morning, but I'm not going down the no diaper at night road just yet. I figured he wouldn't want any more pictures of him in his underwear floating around on the Internet, so I settled for this one instead. Notice the pajamas? This was a pre-breakfast (cookie-dough) treat.

-Dave was offered, and accepted, the position of Athletic Director at the High School. He will be the interim AD for this coming school year and is planning to apply for the job when it opens up in the Spring. Both the Grand Rapids Press and the Holland Sentinel had great things to say. Click on the links if you'd like to read the articles. I'm so proud of him!

-I've been sewing some. Making a couple of baby gifts and a shirt for Will. The sewing machine is having some issues, so I'm going to hold off on any further projects until my sewing coach arrives from Massachusetts in a few short weeks! :)

-We are headed to Arcadia for the weekend to hopefully enjoy some sunshine, fireworks and good family time!
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