Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Halle and her love for winter

I'm glad that one of my kids loves winter. Both Nick and Arianna could easily skip this whole season except for the opportunity for snow days!
Halle absolutely loves it. She always wants to be outside playing in the snow.
Here she is the other day playing outside riding her sled down the slide
On Sunday's we've let the kids have their own turn in the hot tub because if they're all in their it's a bit of chaos! They've loved being the only one in their with either mom or dad.
This past Sunday it was Halle's turn and when I came down it was so cute to see her with Mark so I snapped a picture!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mack's big day

Mack had a busy day yesterday. While Mark and I were in the hot tub he looked very lonely so we let him out to run in the snow. He found a frisbee and decided to play catch. We would throw it and he would get it and keep bringing it back. He looked really cute because every time he would pick it up his nose would be full of snow.

After that he got the privilege of pulling the girls on the sled. They had so much fun (the girls- not so sure about Mack!) He's such a nice dog- we love you Mack!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Back to Reality

We're back from our wonderful weekend. We had so so much fun! We left at 8:30 Friday morning and headed down to Canton to go to Ikea. The weather got a little nasty- we saw 7 accidents on the way down but we weren't going to let that stop us!! We did really well at Ikea. I got a wavy mirror for the girls room for $10 a huge wicker basket for the basement for $13 a new silverware tray for .99 a timer for the computer for .99 I know there were a couple more things but it's Monday morning and I can't remember them- anyway I got out of there for $35 and I got quite a bit! Then we went to the hotel and sat in the hot tub- it was awesome there was no one there so we had the place to ourselves.
After that we went to On the Border- it turns out we all love that place. It was wonderful to only have to pay for 1 dinner, have to only entertain ourselves, not cut up any food other than our own!
We went to Kohls after that and just looked around. Then back to the hotel for more hot tubbing and then we played phase 10 in our room- we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt (maybe it was from eating too much too!)
In the morning we went to Target and wandered around and then we went to Uno's Restaurant- I've never been there before but I highly recommend it- it was so delicious!
Then we started to head toward home and stopped at the Tanger outlet mall. I'm so glad we did because I went into The Childrens Place. I got the girls a beautiful sweater with the fur outlining the hood for $5!!!! I got really cute t-shirts for $5 and really cute skorts for $2.50!!!!! Can't beat that price!
We were all really tired when we got home but what an awesome time! It was so nice to just have a little mom time! If you want some pictures go here.

Think of me this week- I've banned the t.v. computer and game systems for 1 week. I want the kids to find other things to do and not be so attached to these things. I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is it Friday yet???

It was a rough morning today. Both girls have coughs and Halle especially wasn't 100% this morning. Not bad enough to stay home from school but not feeling normal either. Well already last night she was saying she didn't want to go to school. This morning it continued. Didn't want to get dressed, brush teeth etc... I wasn't going to give in because she's a home body and if I let her stay home for the sniffles once it would never end. I was telling her how she has to go to school it's important for her to learn and then she drops on me this bomb... (Thanks so much Michelle!!)
"But Eden and Faith learn and they stay at home!!"
Well I'm sorry honey but you adopted into the wrong home and got the wrong mother for you to stay home and learn! I'm not as patient or as smart as Eden and Faith's mom is!!
So we get our snow pants on which by the way weren't good either because they weren't the pants kind- they were the whole snowpants and she hates them! Out we go to the bus and the tears start falling. I'm trying everything in my power to just get her on the bus because I know she'll be fine when she gets there. I ended up telling her that daddy would take her out for lunch tomorrow because he is taking the day off and was planning on that anyway. I told her to decide where she wanted to go and she could think all day long of which restaurant she wanted to go to.
She did get on the bus with no more tears. I hate this - she started not wanting to go on Monday and I sure hope and pray this isn't something I'm going to have to deal with every school day. Hopefully it's just the cold and cough talking! (I'm not 100% convinced of that though!)

On to more pleasant topics... Tomorrow Michelle, Julie, Brenda and I take off for Detroit to go to the new Ikea store there. I am so excited and I just can't wait. We are going to have so much fun shopping, sitting in the hot tub, going out for dinner and not having to cook... Oh the bliss I can't stand it! I'll tell you all about it next week!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Prayer Request

I'm sorry to be posting so much about Kelli lately, but she just touches my heart. Here's an update on her situation and she really needs all the prayer she can get. Please continue to lift her and her family up.

***update on Seramise***
I checked the blog today and Lori reports she is doing much better and thanks everyone for their prayers!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Big news people... Big news

A big event happened at our house yesterday. We've waited 8 years for this and yesterday afternoon it finally happened.
Arianna came home off the bus and the excitement was pretty much bubbling out of her.

She pulled out her own tooth!!
Now she's lost teeth before, but it's always been a HUGE ordeal. It's always ended up with a very upset little girl who wants her tooth out but won't do it herself. She was determined this time that she was going to do it- not us.
Right before the end of the day at school she got up the courage and gave it a tug (now I use this word very liberally because her breathing should have gotten that tooth out- it was so loose!)
She gets to bring it back to school today because when they loose a tooth she gets a tooth necklace from her teacher but because they were packing up for the end of the day they didn't have time yesterday. I can't wait to see what the necklace looks like!
Good job Arianna- mommy and daddy are so very proud of you!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Please Pray!

I check the blog of a nurse in Haiti and today I'm posting this link
to have as many of you pray as possible. I can't imagine what Seramise is going through right now. I'm relieved she's a Christian.
Please uplift this poor woman in your prayers!

Quick update!

Just wanted to let you know that Kelli just posted an update and the whole 18 months of her cobra payments have been raised!!! That is so incredible! I've got a huge smile on my face- how about you?!?

Friday, January 19, 2007

There are no words for the cuteness you're about to see!

Mark was going through files on our old computer last night and asked me to come downstairs to see something. I got down there and this was what he showed me.

These are pictures of Halle when she was about 2 1/2. She always used to wink.
The other pictures below are from the cottage. I love the one of her snuggling with Grandpa!
I knew she was cute, but oh my goodness- I can't stand it! I so wish there were pictures of the other kids on there- but we didn't have a digital camera at the time so we don't have any pictures on the computer of them. I'll just have to look at their books to remember back then!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kelli's Thank You

If you haven't read this yet- I'm linking Kelli's Thank you below. BooMama isn't going to update the totals anymore so the last total she has is:
$8,799.36! God is so awesome- miracles still happen!
Here's Kelli's Thank you

I'm 40!

Actually I'm not but I do feel like it some days. I took the real age test and I ended up being 40 years old. If I would exercise every day I would be the age I should be. This should be motivation for me to get going- why is it so difficult to exercise every day? Could it be because I absolutely hate doing it!! Why yes I think it is!!
If you want to find out how old you really are go to:
and find out how you do.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kelli Update

I have to be honest and say that I shed some tears last night and I'm choking them back again this morning. I just checked the total again and as of 10:30 last night the donation was up to 5,400!! That is so amazing and it feel so good to be even a small part of something so wonderful! Thank you to any of you who contributed to her cause!

On a completely different note I want to share a recipe that I made for supper last night. My WHOLE family liked it and when everyone likes it I know it's a keeper!

Chicken Chalupas

6-8 flour tortillas
1 cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. milk
4 chicken breasts- cooked and diced
1 medium onion
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese
Additional sour cream and salsa to garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. Mix together soup, sour cream and garlic powder. Add enough milk for creamy consistency but not too runny. Set aside. In the center of each tortilla place some chicken, onion and cheese. Spoon some sauce over the cheese and roll up. Place in pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled. Reserve some sauce and cheese for the top. Spoon remaining sauce over chalupas and sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until warmed through. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Please consider helping!!

I've never done this before but this just really tugged at my heartstrings. Please go to Boo Mama's and you can read all about Kelly and what is happening in her life. I can't imagine the desperation that she must feel right now as she is struggling to get a transplant in order to LIVE!
Then add on the financial worries on top of that- it's a lot to handle. I am pushing the button to help and I pray that you will feel led to push it as well. I really want her to feel overwhelmed with God's incredible way of providing through incredibly surprising ways!

Just a side note- I made it through yesterday- it wasn't great by any means- but I made it through. When the dad came to pick them up- they were getting all their stuff together and were bickering like crazy. He looked at me and said- Wow- I bet you had a fun day today! I had to chuckle a bit- it wasn't just his kids- mine were bickering too! It was almost worth while though because Mark gave me a 40 minute back rub in the hot tub tonight- it was so relaxing- I almost feel asleep in the tub! Thank you so much- what a great hubby I have!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

If you don't hear from me today.......

Well, I'm quite concerned! The weather is not sounding good at all for tonight and tomorrow. This could mean a ..... SNOW DAY!
It seems that the snow days always happen on a Monday or Wednesday- which means day care kids. I really enjoy snow days when it's just my kids but you throw 4 extra kids in the mix and it rapidly turns into an insane day.
If you don't hear anything from me tomorrow you'll know why and it may even take till Wednesday for me to recooperate.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Well, I was going to post about something else today but then I read this post over at Shannons -the mama code post.
It really hit home with me. Now you see I've been very blessed with 2 groups of people that I can count on at any time. My family and then my friends. I'll post about my family at a different time. This one is for my friends.
1 of the friends I have known for years now- I met Brenda when we were in the adoption process for Arianna. We instantly bonded and there's been no looking back.
God has blessed me this year with getting to know 2 friends from church at a completely new level. We have all adopted and have quite a bit in common. It's these 3 friends that get together every Wednesday. It is so wonderful to have people that you know would do anything for you at any time and same for me. We can be completely honest with each other and we don't have to feel like our kids have to be perfect (because lets face it- they aren't- close but not quite!)
I really am so thankful that God brought you all into my life. Here's to friends- I'd raise a glass but all I can find right now is sippy cups!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday friends

We had our weekly gathering yesterday- it was so good to be back again after the 2 weeks I couldn't be there because of no school. We filled our hot tub the night before so I told the girls to bring their suits and we could sit in the hot tub for awhile.
Sorry- I'm not taking pictures of that!! We had so much fun and it felt so good to be back in the hot tub. We are really late with it this year but it's been so warm it didn't even sound good before now.
A couple of the little kids weren't so thrilled with us being in the hot tub and them not being allowed in. There were a couple of faces just looking out the door at us. We just waved and smiled!
When it was time to go home Eden came running up the stairs and gave Halle a huge hug. It was so cute I had them hold the pose and I snapped a picture.
They are adorable aren't they!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I've always meant to write down in some sort of book when the kids say funny things so this is the perfect way for me to remember them now.
Halle came up with 2 good ones recently.
The other day she came in with a magazine or something that had Chinese writing in it. She said to me "Mom- this writing is very hard to read- they really need to slow down!"

The other one was she was trying on a new shirt and came in to show me. I told her how beautiful she looked. She was so proud of her shirt and she had the biggest smile on her face. I said to her "Halle- do you know what is the best thing about you?" She didn't say anything and I told her "Your smile" She looked at me and said "I like my heart the best!"
Kids are so smart aren't they! Halle you are absolutely right- I love your heart the best also!!!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


We have a rule at our house that the kids may not go on the computer before school. I know that probably sounds ridiculous because why would kids already be on the computer that early in the morning. I don't know where they would see that action displayed- it couldn't possibly be me!! Well, I had to start that rule because lots of stuff was getting done on the computer, but nothing was getting done for getting ready for school like for example, brushing teeth, combing hair, going to the bathroom etc....
This rule has been in place since last year so it's nothing new to the kids. Well, Arianna got a webkinz in Shipshewana and it's been taking over her body. If I don't see her, I know where she will be. Now, I understand this addiction when you first get your webkinz but this morning it caused some trouble.
She wasn't done getting ready and I didn't see her. Well off in a corner with my laptop, there she was- logging on to webkinz.
I stopped her and told her she knows that she's not allowed to be on the computer before school and she proceeds to have a melt down- "But I need to feed my golden retriever!" She then got even angrier and she got sent to the naughty chair.
I heard the whole- oh so familiar- "IT'S NOT FAIR!" over and over again.

So the punishment is no computer at all today. We had the whole talk about rules and that they are there to help us even when they don't make sense at the time- mom and dad know what we are talking about! (Shhh don't tell her that sometimes we don't!)
She was fine by the time we went to the bus- I was relieved because she is capable of holding on to her anger for quite awhile. I hope she is still in a good frame of mind when she comes off the bus!

On a different note- I really liked Boo Mama's post. Read it if you want a little laugh and a little inspiration!

Monday, January 08, 2007


We ended doing a totally un-planned trip to Shipshewana on Saturday. We just love going there and we had nothing else planned. Since Mark's been gone so much, I thought it might be nice for us to just have that time together. There's an Amish grocery store there that has great prices and we like to stock up on some things so that was the plan. We got there and discovered that we picked a bad weekend to go. They celebrate Ephiphany and our grocery store, the cheese store and the bakery that I like were all closed! What a bummer!
We still had a great time just walking around the other stores- there were plenty that were open and of course the Essenhaus for supper made it all worth while!
We had fun taking pictures of the surroundings. The first picture we thought was just kind of funny. A horse and buggy at a gas station! The rest are just random shots that caught our eye.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How many are there of you?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Halle's craft

During Christmas break, I posted about how bored Halle was 1 day when both Nick and Arianna were over at friends house and she was left home by herself.
Well, I was cleaning downstairs and I come up and find Halle by the kitchen table with instructions she got off to make a craft. She had gotten everything she needed and was starting to make this by herself. She ended up only needing help to tie them on- I think she would have done it all by herself if I hadn't come up in time.
I think it turned out pretty cute and she was very proud of herself!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

President Fords Funeral

I'm still recovering from yesterday. I watched President Ford's funeral, since it was right here in Grand Rapids it was really a piece of history for me.
We went down last week and signed the condolence book- that was a neat experience also.
I was really bummed because we forgot our cameras. Yesterday was the funeral here in Grand Rapids and it was incredibly moving to watch. The eulogies from President Carter really made me have much more respect for him and Donald Rumsfeld did a really nice job also. They sang "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah" and I had tears streaming down my face because they kept showing his son, Steven, and he was singing along with tears rolling down his face also. Then they went back to the museum for the interrment. Oh my goodness- when the planes did the fly over as the sun was setting it was too much. I couldn't hold it in again. All of his kids were crying and then Vice President Cheney handed Betty the flag and she hugged and kissed it. How moving. Even the reporters were crying. It was so nice to see all the people that came out to show their respect to the family- 57,000 people came in less than 1 day to view the casket and there were that many again to view the interrment. We will definately have to go to the museum in the future to really look again- it's been years since I've been there.
Anyway- I still have a headache today from trying not to cry- which I failed miserably at but it was a once in a lifetime experience and I'm glad I got to witness it!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years

We got together with friends on New Years Eve. We always used to do Fondue but my stomach couldn't take it anymore so we tried something new this year. We got pizza kits and then got our own extras to make pizzas. The kids really liked it. I have to give credit where it's due- the guys made the pizza's and they turned out great! Seriously- my favorite pizza is at the Clover Restaurant and this tasted very similar.
It was wonderful! We decided next year to do french dips- that should be good too!
As the night progressed Mark and I found ourselves a little concerned with Brenda and Nate. It turns out they have a strange strange routine that they do between the 2 of them. All of a sudden as we were playing a card game they started "rhyming" words.
Well it must have been contagious because we got sucked into it as well and words were rhyming all around the table. It sounds ridiculous I know but we all had tears streaming down our faces and our stomachs hurt from laughing so hard. I promise you- there hadn't even been 1 drink of alcohol consumed by any of us!!!
We really did have fun- even though at 11:00 I was begging to just let me lay down on the floor for a little bit because I was so tired! How insane that it's that hard for me to stay awake till midnight- I even took a little nap in the afternoon but it didn't help. Getting old really stinks! Have a great 2007 everyone!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Last Christmas pictures

Allow me to just add a couple more Christmas pictures then I will move on to the new year!
The pictures are of Katelyn and Chelsea modeling their new slippers.
Terri getting her shock collar for when she misbehaves- I'm sure it will be used very often. Just look at the naughtiness written all over that face! It makes me want to activate the collar right now!
Dad getting his new grandkids picture frame. He really liked it- I'm glad we succeeded in at least 1 of his presents!