Thursday, December 27, 2012

Simple festivities

Wow.  I haven't blogged in a month!  It seems like the month of December got away from me.  Ironically, we really didn't have much going on.  Somehow, though, it's after Christmas and I haven't shared our festivities with my blog followers!

This year our Christmas preparations and festivities were simple.  Christmas felt different this year.  I think because we weren't in our own home, and couldn't decorate or do any of the usual Christmas traditions we've done in the past.  Most of our Christmas stuff was packed away in the storage unit, so we encouraged Grandma Rysdam to put some of her decorations up.  I put a few things up in the basement where we mostly reside so it felt a little Christmas-y down here :)  Our only Advent activity this year was simple- we did the traditional 25 Christmas books.  I wrapped up 25 of our favorite Christmas books, and Kaden opened up one each night.  Christmas Day was a new book to add to our collection.  I love this little tradition.  It's simple, yet encourages the excitement of sharing in so many wonderful Christmas stories.  We of course baked Christmas cookies (and decorated them... thank you Gordon foods for your shaped cookie dough!), went and saw Christmas lights, wrapped presents, went Christmas shopping, got Christmas cups at Starbucks (my heart always skips a little beat when they start using the Christmas paper cups!), and put up a Christmas tree.  Here are a few pics of us decorating the tree.  I mostly stayed behind the glass with the girls.  It was safer that way :)

Next on the blog list... sharing pictures from Christmas in MI this year.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


This is technology at its best here folks.  Wow.  What ever happened to having a conversation?!?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This year we had the privilege of going to NJ for Thanksgiving to spend time with my family.  Christmas is in MI this year, so we knew that our family in NJ wouldn't get to see the kids and wanted to give the great-grandparents some time with the kiddos!  Despite battling the flu that hit our whole family before we left, we managed to have a successful flight to NJ.  We toted lots of stuff with us- 3 carseats, suitcases, backpacks, diaper bag, stroller..... you name it, we probably had it with us.  Uncle Brian flew on the same flight as us and was super helpful keeping Kaden under control while we dealt with the girls! :)

We had a great time catching up with family, hanging out, eating lots of great food, and of course doing some tax-free shopping.  The best part was being all together to give thanks for the many blessings God has given to our family.  While things aren't always perfect and we sometimes question God's plans, we know that He is completely in control, and we give thanks for that.  We are thankful that we can spend time together, for good health, and an abundance of blessings that go beyond just meeting our needs.  Thank you, God, for another year of blessings and your provision over our family!

Yup, this is how we roll.  Andy is superman.  Car seat carrier on back, car seat in hand, rolling the suitcase, backpack in front.  Aren't we quite the site! :)

I like wearing your hat, Grandpa!

The 3 cutest kids I've ever seen

Brian carving the turkey

The girls enjoying their Thanksgiving meal

The whole clan (minus extended family members- we missed you!!)

Kaden got to take his first trip to Madison Square Garden in NYC to cheer on the Wolverines at a MI basketball game.  He was super excited to go and had an awesome time with Uncle Brian, Daddy, and Grandpa.  Kaden wasn't a fan of the smell in the city.  He said, "Dad, the city smells like food and trash."  Yup, pretty much sums it up, Kaden!

Snack time for the girls!

A lazy morning hanging out with Daddy

My Grandma VDH with Makenna- I treasure these moments.

Our family.  WE. ARE. BLESSED!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giving up

I wish I had an explanation for it, but it seems like lately Kaden has had his fair share of temper tantrums.  He gets overtired and then there is no reasoning with this child.  Nothing you say works, he just loses it.  The other night, after a battle about which toothbrush to use (because "he doesn't care if his teeth fall out"), which PJ's to wear, etc., we were at a loss for what to do.  I told Andy to just leave him in the hall where he was throwing a fit.  Usually us trying to solve it or talk calmly to him makes it worse.  After 15 minutes, we went to check on him upstairs.  We figured we'd see 1 of 3 things: Kaden laying in his bed sleeping, playing upstairs, or sitting in the hall calmly.  Well, we found a combo of those things.  Sound asleep in the middle of the hall.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dressing girls

I'm sensing a theme here.  Yup, I love dressing girls, I'm not going to lie.  I think the girls look so cute in these outfits, I just had to share.  I'm glad everything finally came together, I had to search for awhile to get everything to match! :)  Of course, once again, they're missing their cute headbands and shoes, those don't last long.  Maya had a little photo shoot for these- all her debut! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Ok, I'll admit it, I love Matilda Jane.  I don't love how expensive it is (times 2), I don't love all of the craze and markup on their platinum and exclusive items.  That seems a bit extreme to me- they are just clothes after all.  Does our girls' wardrobe contain some MJ pieces?  Yes.  Most of them were bought during a sale at a fraction of retail price, or as a gift, or secondhand, so I'm okay with that route.  I do have to admit I love how adorable the clothes look on the girls, though.  I like how everything coordinates, which gives me lots of options with the girls.  I scored an awesome deal on a set of 5 MJ coordinating pieces in the girls' size through a resale site, so I thought I'd share how adorable the girls look in their outfits! :)  They have MJ flower headbands for their hair, too, but that's a losing battle.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween wasn't really ideal weather over here in MI.  But, it didn't stop us from enjoying the day.  Most of you know that I don't really get into Halloween.  I prefer simple costumes, not the ones that cost $30 at the store for cheap plastic junk.  I don't do witches, ghosts, skeletons, etc.  Nor will you ever see my kids dressed as those things.  It's fun for kids to dress up as something fun and get some candy from friends, but that's as far as we go around here.

The girls wore some cute pumpkin princess outfits during the day, and Kaden wore a pumpkin shirt to school.  Of course he wouldn't let me take a picture of it.  The girls were cupcakes for Halloween and Kaden was a Cubs player.  Despite the nasty weather, we bundled everyone up and went out for an hour or so.  Kaden had fun, the girls squealed with laughter when they saw all the other kids in their costumes, and we had no meltdowns.  Woo whoo! :)

Maya trying to take off her headband as usual

Makenna as a pumpkin princess


Looks like she turned her headband into a necklace

They looked adorable!

Nothing like some playtime before getting on our costumes!

Cutest cupcakes I've ever seen!!

Go Cubs, Go!

Ready to get some candy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


 Helping Daddy get the guts out

 We went to a pumpkin-carving party at one of Andy's former co-worker's house and tried to get a cute picture of the kids in the leaves, and clearly they cooperated.


 The girls



 I love how her blue eyes just pop in this picture!

 Maya playing in the leaves

"So, we have to go in those, Mom?!?"

"This one is mine, Mom."

 Sitting in a pumpkin is so much fun!!!

"This is the worst thing you've ever done to me, Mom."

Yay for 3 pumpkins!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


We've been wanting to get to Robinette's for a few weeks now, but it seems like the weather has never cooperated.  Last week we managed to squeeze in a trip one afternoon after I was done working and Andy was home with the kids.  Little did we know it was "meet Justin Amash" day at Robinettes, so there were quite a few people there, but it wasn't nearly as busy as it would have been on a weekend, thankfully.  Kaden enjoyed playing outside, his donut, and jumping on the large trampoline.  It was great for him to get outside and burn off some of that energy.

The girls of course were adorable in their pumpkin outfits trying to walk around in the leaves :)

And we all enjoyed pumpkin donuts.  Delish.

The girls even enjoyed a donut :)
Maya loved running around in the leaves :)

Makenna playing with the leaves

Oh, I can't eat these, Mom?!?

Love it.

My kiddos.  I {heart} them.

More fun with leaves


Daddy and his girls by the infamous Robinette's apple

Attempt at a family shot.  Terrible shot, but had to prove we were all there.  I don't think any of us are even looking- haha!!