Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 58 - Alexis is SIX!

In just six short years, you went from this
 to this!

Happy birthday, baby girl!  We love you!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 57 - Party Time

So my baby girl turns six tomorrow.  Eek.  I'm not sure how that happened exactly?  I mean, wasn't she just crawling around and climbing all up on things?  And now she's going to be six?

Anyway, today we celebrated the big occasion.  She's a typical girl - full of giggles one minute, then upset the next.  Ha ha.  She gets to have two friends stay the night - her besties, Jessica & Emily.  I wonder what time they will stop giggiling and go to sleep?  :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 56 - Date Night!

Tonight we went to a lovely restaurant with some friends from our church for a Couple's Date Night.  We had such a fun time.  Even though the weather was less than lovely outside (can we say blizzard folks?) the company and food inside were wonderful.  There's nothing quite like getting a bunch of parents away from their kids for a while to watch the youtfulness come out again.  :)  Thanks to my sweet sister-in-law Stephanie for keeping our kids tonight.  You're a doll!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 55 - Dave Ramsey LIVE!

We were stoked to realize Dave Ramsey was coming to Grand Rapids, and even more excited to realize we were going to go - for FREE!  God bless Tom V from Allen Edwin Homes for calling and asking if we'd like some tickets!

It was the six of us - me and Josh, my inlaws, and our friends Steve and Rebecca (thank you Dana for keeping TA&C!)  We had a blast and in the process we learned so much.  We're inspired all over again to live debt free and get those Baby Steps moving along in the right way. 

We want to "live like no one else, so that later, we can live like no one else."  Love it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 54 - Pretty Hair

Alexis' hair is quite long... and it's gorgeous, straight, and silky smooth.  Yesterday when she washed it right before school I decided to put it in a french braid, and last night before bed, I stuck a curler in the end of it.  She was so tickled with the results - and went up and pinned up some of it (all by herself!) to make the curls fall even prettier.  Here she is, all ready for school!

She's just lovely.  I can't believe she's mine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 53 - Chocolate Cream Pie

I realized the other day that I rarely make desert at home.  Sometimes I'll make brownies or cookies or something but we don't eat them right after dinner.  Anyway, it was still super snowy and I was feeling a bit domestic, so I decided on a Chocolate Cream Pie.  Yum.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 52 - Snow Day!

So last night it was raining when we were getting settled in for the night.  This morning?  Got a call at 5:20a from the school saying school was cancelled!  I was excited to turn off the alarm, but then I had a hard time falling back asleep!

My friend Rebecca brought her kids over to play in the 6 - 8 inches of snow.  The kids had a blast!  They went sledding down the big construction dirt hills and made a sloppy mess of themselves!  It was a fun day just relaxing and enjoying the unexpected day off!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 51 - Wiggily Teeth

"My tooth is the most wiggily!" 
"No, mine is!"
"Are you sure?  Look!  See how much my tooth wiggles?"
"Whatever.  Mine is going to come out first!"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 50 - Piano Practice

If you've been following my blog, you know that I got a new keyboard for Christmas from my lovely, lovely in-laws.  I've been practicing quite faithfully, and feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.  I've always wanted to give the kids lessons, and just never felt like we could do it.  Well, we finally bit the bullet and signed them up to work with Tyrus' Kindergarten teacher from his first school.  He adored her and we figured that if anyone could make music happen in him, she could. 

They started on Tuesday, and so far seem to love it!

Here's Alexis practicing today...  and of course, Carsten had to sneak in there, too!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 49 - Stir Crazy

So after being on the go for many days and weeks now, this particular week has been very calm.  We haven't had a lot of places to go, and the last two days I've been feeling a bit couped up - and needing to do something!  I have a car and could go places, but I don't really have anywhere I have to go, and so driving around sort of seems pointless, kwim? 

Anyway, I called my FIL today and said, "hey, whatcha doing tonight..." which then turned into us meeting them for dinner at Culvers.  Yay!

And so now, after having a very yummy pot roast dinner, plus some vanilla custard with caramel sauce with pecans, I'm feeling much less stir crazy!

Thanks for the fun night, D & ML!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 48 - Library

One of the things I love most about our city is our very cool library.  They have this entire kid friendly section full of toys and books and lovely painted walls that my kids really enjoy.  Many times over the years, we've gone and I've let them play while I just flipped through a magazine or book.  It's great.

We met my sister there tonight and let the kids play while I picked out some books.  Hopefully this will be enough for a while!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 47 - Laundry

yep... that pretty much sums it up for today!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 46 - New Neighbors!

I noticed this morning that a man was out in the lot across the street from us, posting stakes with pink flags on them... which could only mean one thing:  a new house is going to come in!  When we came home today, the kids were super excited! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 45 - Sisters

I read this today and thought it fit perfectly...

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.
But... sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 44 - Coming Along!

Can you see my new nephew in there?!  He's growing every day!  We can't wait to see his sweet face sometime around the beginning of May!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 43 - Cheese!

I went up again with my dad today to see Grandma.  My sister and her husband decided to come along too.  While we were waiting to go in, my adorable nephew Josiah had grabbed his momma's camera and was pointing it at me saying "deeeezeee!"  How could I not take a picture of that?

We were able to go in and talk with my grandma today.  She was awake, and coherent, and seemed happy to see us, though she was still very weak.  It seemed taxing on her just to try and talk.  But I do think she was thankful to see us and could feel our love.

She's got a long recovery process ahead of her - at least another 4 or 5 days in the main hospital, then 3 weeks of 24 hour care assistance, then therapy.  She could sure use your prayers and good thoughts...  My dad and uncle and his family all leave tomorrow to make the trek back to Denver.

I'm still really tired.  These emotion things can sure take a lot out of you, huh?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 42 - Grandma Wilkins

It's been a very long day... 

On Wednesday we got the news that my grandma Dee was in the hospital having heart issues.  After a battery of tests, it was determined that she was going to be needing open heart surgery today.  My dad and uncle (who both live in Denver) along with my uncle's family, drove straight through yesterday (around 20 hours) to get here as soon as they could.  They got in late, around 2 AM our time, and slept just a short amount before it was time to get up and go to the hospital to see my grandma before it was time for her to go into surgery.  Thankfully, everyone was able to make it - as exhausted as we all were.

My grandma was in good spirits - considering the situation - and we all wished her well and told her we loved her, before they wheeled her off.

The surgery was 6 hours long, and then recovery was another 3 or so.  It was a long, exhausting day, needless to say.  Even though the family was together under circumstances that weren't so favorable, it was still fun to be with them all, especially since we live in all different parts of Michigan and Colorado.

Thankfully, my grandmother came through surgery just fine and did better than the doctors had expected.  We were able to see her in the post-op ICU.  She was still heavily sedated, but we were still all glad to see her.

Once we knew everything was okay with the surgery, I decided it might be OK to take a few photos of everyone... somehow earlier in the day it seemed sort of lighthearted to take pictures when Grandma's situation was so uncertain. 

Here's my uncle Terry and my aunt Becky and then one of me and my cousin Ashley... gotta love self-portraits, right? 

Me and my sisters cheezing it up!
After we got back to our city, we decided to go eat.  Texas Roadhouse was wild and packed out since it's Valentine's weekend, but we still managed to squeeze ourselves into two booths.  Here is me and Josh and my dad  and then an adorable one of Alexis and my nephew, Dom.

Tomorrow is another day.  I'm exhausted today.  Most likely I'll head back up to Grand Rapids again tomorrow with my dad to see Grandma again...  right now, sleep.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 42 - Chocolate Stories

Today I got to take part in two of my very favorite things - reading stories to my baby and eating chocolate.  What could be better?
Here's my view while reading stories to Carsten... and yes, quite often I do reach down and smooch those lovely cheeks! 

And then, tonight at church, we had a Valentines party for the ladies... the theme was "O Taste and See" - meaning taste and see that the Lord is good (and so is the chocolate!)  Oh so very yummy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 41 - Snow Day!

We had a big storm last night and got about a foot of snow and so school was cancelled.  There's nothing quite like having an unexpected day off and getting to sleep in!

I started the morning off by making french toast, which is not something I usually make for breakfast on Wednesdays.  :)  After that, we went out to snow blow out our driveway... the kids loved that and kept standing under the snow that was blowing.  I don't have a picture of it though because I couldn't hold the camera and the snowblower at the same time!  

Alexis and I came in first to thaw out and the boys stayed out a bit longer.  I then did something I never do:  I made the kids hot chocolate!  Why don't I ever do this?  Well, hot chocolate stains and stains big time.  But this particular day, I got over it and decided to live a little and let them have it, plus it was incentive to get T and C back in the house!

It looks like she likes it, eh?  :)  This was right before she spilled it down the front of her shirt.  lol
After lunch, the kids worked on Valentines.  That was fun.

It's been a great day.  And I guess, I'll get over the fact that her cute shirt is now ruined.  :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 40 - Banana Bread

So we're snowed in today.  Well, me and Carsten are.  Josh is at work, and Tyrus and Alexis are still at school because it has to snow at least 324 inches here before they call of school... but anyway, I digress.  :)

I had some ripe bananas, so I asked Carsten if he wanted to help me bake some banana bread.  He said he did, so he pulled up the kitchen chair to the counter and grabbed a yellow banana and the loaf of bread.  I asked him what he was doing and he said "getting the bread!"  :)

Anyway, he helped me take the wrapper off the butter and mix the sugar and butter together.  At one point, I walked away and he started looking intently at the recipe.  He said, "I'm just reading the recipe, mom!"  That's when I decided I needed to grab the camera...

Time to put in into the oven!

After 65 minutes (and a little sample from me) here's what we've got!  My house smells fantastic!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 39 - "I not tired!"

I told the kids it was time to put the toys down, and head upstairs to get ready for bed.  Carsten got really upset and said,  "I not tired, momma!"  He kept telling me this over and over as I was getting him changed.  I finally said, "I don't care... it is still bed time!" 

After prayers, and nose spray (to try and keep the bloody noses at bay), and the tape turned on, I turned his light out.  About 5 minutes later, I peeked in and saw this:

Uh huh.  'I not tired.'  Whatever.  :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38 - Home, sweet home

Today is the day we're going home.  We've had a lovely, lovely time here, but it's time to go home.  And Alexis' call to me this afternoon in tears saying she missed us, confirms it! 

Before we hit the road, we decided to stop and have a quick lunch at the great and wonderful Chipotle!

After spending so many days in gloomy, freezing, windy weather, the sunshining in through the windows was lovely.  Home, here we come!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 37 - Celebration

My in-laws are some of the greatest people on planet Earth.  There are a variety of reasons for this, but the one that is most pressing in my mind right now is that they have been generous enough to allow me and Josh to spend the weekend away from home so we can celebrate our anniversary.  Three nights, and three days away is a long time - the longest in fact, that we've ever been away since having kids.  In thinking about it tonight, I don't think I've ever spent a night away from Carsten, our baby, before this trip.  So, we're 2.5 hours away, in Oak Brook, IL which is just outside of Chicago, enjoying our time away.  Did I mention how great my ILs are?!

Today, we went to Shedd Aquarium and froze TO DEATH outside waiting for tickets.  There were many times when I felt like saying, "forget it - I don't want to wait any longer" but then I'd remember that we'd already dropped $19 to park in the garage, so we might as well get something for our money, right?  We were so frozen by the time we got in, we'd sort of lost our zeal for it.  Oh well.

After the Aquarium, we went over to the Sears Tower (thanks to a very nice, and WARM may I mention, cab ride) to stand in line again!  But this one was so much better, and worth it!  Now in general, I would say that I'm not afraid of heights, but when you go up 103 stories and can feel the building swaying ever so slightly, I get a bit more freaked out!  And plus, they just recently built these plexiglass platforms that have you step outside of the building so you can see the city under your feet!  Ahhhh!  So crazy freaky! 

Even now, looking at these pictures, I keep getting this queasy feeling in my stomach!  I stepped out on it for a brief moment, all the while holding onto this bar thing.  I laughed later realizing that if the whole thing fell, me holding on to that bar wasn't going to help.  It was a wild experience, for sure, but I'm so glad to know that we did it.  Plus, the city looked gorgeous from up there!