Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One of those days

Today was just one of those days. I got a late start this morning (I stay up too late and then I can't get up in the morning!), left 15 minutes later than I should have, and was only 5 minutes late to another day of training at Calvin College. By the end of the day at Calvin, I had such a headache. My brain keeps filling and filling with SO MUCH information, I feel like it's going to **burst!** Of course, the more I learn, the more I realize I have yet to do in order to prepare for classes in a couple of weeks. What changes can I make? Will students still like me if I make changes? How do I learn the new management system at Calvin and make the changes in time for classes? (I won't bore you with any more of that stuff). Then I came home, and Kaden was cranky, which didn't help. The poor kid has a cold and hasn't been sleeping well, so I can't blame him, but still... not what I needed. Then, our power went out. Just great. I was planning on hosting a Stampin' Up event at my house tonight, so I had to scramble around trying to find phone numbers (our Internet doesn't work when our power goes out) to cancel the meeting for tonight. Meanwhile, Andy was getting anxious for me to take him to the airport. So, back in the car we went....leaving our garage door up of course because there was no power to close it..... free stuff at the Rysdam's this evening! :) Ran to Jimmy Johns for a quick dinner for Andy, and drove through a red light on the way to the airport. Just fabulous. I'm just glad that there were no cops around. The running of the red light wasn't intentional- I'm just not very focused these days. After the airport, I picked up a kid's meal at Sonic for Kaden ($1.99 on Wednesdays), and promised him he could sit on the couch and watch TV while eating his dinner. Perfect plan for a mommy and Kaden dinner.... except for the fact that I arrived home to still find no power. Shoot. I forgot all about that. In my mind I was scheming up how I was going to explain this to a 2 yr. old. I took him out of his carseat only to discover that he had wet through his clothes and the carseat and smelled like urine. Are you kidding me? Wait, when was the last time his diaper was changed?!? So, I brought him inside and cleaned him up. After dealing with one of Kaden's meltdowns and trying to (1). explain to him why he wasn't on an airplane with Daddy, and (2). that NO, Daddy couldn't put new batteries in your lightswitch on the wall to make the lights come on, it suddenly occurred to me to throw a DVD in our laptop. So, we were all set. We sat and enjoyed our dinner, in the dark, watching Charlie Trash Truck on the laptop. Oh, a perfect date. After dinner we decided to play on the deck for awhile, and in the midst of texting Andy at the airport (whose plane was of course delayed), my cell phone died. So, I have no technology or way of calling for help if I need it. It's dark in my house, my child is cranky and doesn't want to go inside, and my husband just left me for 5 days. Woe is me, right? :) Well, to close out the saga, I finally got Kaden inside and put his PJ's on. The power came on amidst all of that, my cell phone is charging, and I have Internet access to blog. The trash is brought out, the toys are picked up, a load of laundry is in the washing machine, and the lights are on. My to-do list will be tackled and I'll go to bed early. Only to wake up, head to Calvin College again, and hope for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It was 8:00 tonight, Andy was outside fixing the sprinklers, Kaden was watching excitedly from the window inside the spare room. "Sprinker..... spinker..." he kept yelling. I asked Kaden if he wanted to say hi to Daddy outside before we got ready for bed. "Yeah!" he yelled. I carried him out there since he had no shoes on. He leapt out of my arms as soon as we got on the driveway and ran to Daddy. Of course, he didn't really listen as we told him to stay away from the sprinklers. Off came the clothes, and before we knew it, our child was running around through the sprinklers in the front lawn at 8:15pm with only a diaper on. Not the norm for me... almost sketchy! :) But you know what? This 2 yr. old was the happiest I had seen him all day (and that's saying a lot because he was in such a good mood all day long!). It was worth it. And to top it all off, we got some fabulous photos. I love spontaneous moments of pure joy with my 2 yr. old little man.

Nothing like little toes splashing in puddles!

He kept saying "butt....butt.." trying to get his butt wet.

Can't you just see the joy in his face? WOW, do I love this kid.


Crafty for Cars

My order from Hawthorne Threads arrived in the mail on Friday, and brought some glee to my Friday afternoon when I saw the package in the mailbox! :) I knew that I had to get my hands on that fabric and craft something this weekend. My first project planned with the fabric was a travel car mat for Kaden. Kaden loves playing with his matchbox cars, and I've seen these travel car mats on Etsy for at least $20. I knew I could make one for less than that, so I did! I found a super easy tutorial online and took a stab at it on Saturday morning. It was so easy to make and I made it in no time at all. Kaden of course loves his new car mat... and so do I! :) Now we'll throw it in the diaper bag and use it when we're out, or just use it at home!

Rolled up with cars in it

The double-sided mat

Kaden putting the mat to good use

Putting the cars in the pockets

Folded flat without cars

Friday, August 20, 2010

God is good

I just spent the best 12 minutes and 45 seconds of my day talking on the phone to my Grandma who lives in NJ. My Grandma is 84 years old and still works 4 days a week helping "clean" for a wealthy NJ family. Mind you, she doesn't clean anymore- they have a cleaning service that comes in. She answers the phone, gets the mail, changes the sheets several times a week, does their laundry, empties the dishwasher... all of those mundane tasks that all of us find our days filled with. Must be nice to have someone do those things for you! :) On the other hand, I kind of like doing those kind of things. Anyways, every once in awhile, I get a surprise call from Grandma. It's usually at 7am on my birthday when I hear a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY YEN" on the other side of the line (the yen comes from her fun Dutch accent). Let's also add in here that the 7am was not so much appreciated before Kaden, but now I'm up anyway, so I enjoy the early morning greeting!

Today Grandma called to thank me for sending her Kaden's 2 yr. pics. She just adores this kid, and I feel so many emotions when I talk to Grandma. I feel so joyful and happy because I have so much love for this woman. She makes me laugh with her little quirks, she makes me feel warm when she encourages me, and mostly I feel sad when I'm done talking to her because I miss her terribly. I've always had such a close relationship with my Grandma VDH, and I know that she won't be around forever. Strangely, I can almost predict what our conversation will be like. "Hi Yen! How's Andy? How's his job? How's Trudy? How's Kaden? He's getting so big! How's Steve and his girlfriend? Are you keeping busy? You have such a wonderful family! I miss your Grandpa so much, but I had so many wonderful years with him and I'm blessed, and I get up everyday and think it's a new day!"

That's pretty typical for a conversation with Grandma....I forgot to add the 5-10 "Goodbyes" I hear at the end of the line when I say bye. While the conversations are predictable, I wouldn't change them for the world. I've found that God uses these conversations to tug at my heart a bit, and He uses her to encourage me. Today she kept saying that even though the economy is rough and we've gone through bad times, God is good. You know what, God is good. I'm blessed beyond words, I have a wonderful family, job, support, food, more clothes than I should, and a relationship with God. God is good, you're right Grandma!

Oh, and did I mention I'm flying to NJ by myself to surprise her for her 85th birthday in September? I'm SO excited! Shhh... don't tell her- it's a surprise! :)

Here are a few older pics with Grandma (April 2010):

Small changes

Lately, I've been on this change kick. We changed our bedroom decor, our bathroom decor, I've added a few new decorations around the house, etc. I'm starting a "new" position at Calvin in a few weeks, Kaden is growing up so quickly, Andy has a fairly new position, etc. Change is good, and over the course of my life I've come to know that God brings changes into our life for our own good and continues to remain faithful through all of those changes. So, to go with the theme of change, I decided to change my hair. I've been growing it out for quite awhile now (I could easily pull it all back in a ponytail), and it was very blonde thanks to a 2 yr. old who enjoys spending more time outdoors than indoors. However, with the changing of seasons approaching us (the cooler temps lately have made me anxious for fall again- dark, cool colors, jeans and t-shirts and football..ah!), I wanted a change. Now I have lots of dark low lights, no more beach blonde hair, and an "angled bob" if you want to get technical. I attempted to take some pics with our Mac camera, but it's a computer camera, so don't be picky! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I've been feeling non-crafty lately, so I've been spending a lot of time blog hopping... or wasting time on the computer as my hubby would say. Thanks to many of the blogs I frequent (see the list to the right), I've been inspired again. As a result of my inspiration, we've had a few new things added to our home (as well as more fabric ordered from Hawthorne Threads... more to come on that later). First, a mustard purse with a Pleated Poppy pin. LOVE it. Thanks Land's End and The Pleated Poppy! Secondly, a gumball machine. I am with this!!! I found it for a steal on Craiglist. I've always wanted something cool and vintage looking, and I found the perfect thing! I spent some time cleaning it up, taking it apart, and filling it with Skittles so it meets every level of perfection. What better way to greet guests than with a candy machine. Kaden loves it, too, but hasn't quite figured out how to turn it to get out the candy- thank goodness! We did change the settings so you don't need a coin every time- lucky for me! :) I can't wait to greet our first guests with our newest addition to the entryway!

On another note, I'm thinking about giving up Facebook for awhile and blogging. But, I want to know something. Does anyone read my blog? If you read my blog, and would like to hear more about my daily life experiences as a mom, teacher, crafter, shopper, child of God, etc..... leave me a comment. I'm feeling very inspired these days to share something with my friends every day on the blog. These might be random thoughts that go through my head, my adventures as a mom, bargains I've found, creative projects, and things I lust after. Let me know what you think. I'm in if you're in.

Mustard tote/purse with Pleated Poppy pin

Heavenly Skittle Goodness.

Perfect location.

Fabulous front entryway.

One more glimpse of perfection.