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!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Laundry baskets are for playing

We've had a lot of fun playing with laundry baskets over here lately.  You'd think we didn't have any toys around, although we don't have nearly as many as we used to.  The girls are getting to such a fun age where they love to play and giggle.  They especially love it when Kaden plays with them, or when you entertain them with ordinary objects.  Here are some photos of us playing with ordinary objects, turned into lots of fun.  You can also check out some videos of our playtime here and here.

Empty house

It's a strange feeling to go through your home and notice that it's empty.  None of your clothes are hanging in the closets, the furniture is gone, the pictures have been taken off the walls, the cupboards empty.

It was a mad rush the week before we moved.  We moved in with my mother-in-law on a Sunday, and spent the rest of the following week moving things out of our house and taking things to the storage unit.  After the movers came on Tuesday, the house was pretty empty, but we still had a few random things to bring over to the storage unit.  My parents came into town for the girls' birthday, so my Dad helped make a few trips as well.  The night before we turned over the keys, Andy and I went over to the house to finish up cleaning.  We dusted the trim, cleaned the closets/walls, vacuumed everything in site, washed every nook and cranny, wiped down cupboards/drawers, etc.  It was a lot of work.  Clearly some of those cleaning practices were not in my weekly routine.  I won't even begin to tell you the dust that had accumulated behind the headboard.  Ack.  Anyways.

At about 10pm on Thursday night, we had finally finished cleaning everything.  Both cars were packed for the final trip to the storage unit, and the house was empty.  I took a final walk-through of each room, and got in the van to drive to the storage unit.  It was cold and rainy, I was tired, stressed, and just done with everything.  10,000 reasons came on the radio, and I just lost it.  I think it was an accumulation of so many emotions bottled up inside, of things changing, the unknown, and sadness.  Sad that this house would never be our home again, sad to think about all of the wonderful memories we've made in this house.  As the song played, I couldn't help but feel blessed.  The song reminded me that I would continue to praise the Lord for providing such wonderful opportunities for our family.

As I stood by the storage unit, staring at my life's belongings all in one small space, I was overwhelmed.  I knew we were ready to move on to the next phase, but I was still nervous about what was to come.  I realized that our empty house was just that- a house.  It was no longer a home, since we were no longer living there.  I thought back to a sign I had hanging on our wall that said, "What I love most about my home is who I share it with."  I was reminded that my home is the space I share with people whom I love the most.  It didn't matter that we were living in tighter living spaces for a while, it didn't matter that Golfcrest was no longer our home.  What mattered is that the people I love the most are all still together.

So, empty house.... I'll miss you.  Thank you for all of the wonderful memories you held for our growing family, and for so many life changes you saw over the past 9 years.  Thank you for being a safe place for us to raise our children, and a happy place for us.  We will miss you, but we know that you will continue to bless those who live in it, as we move on to a house that will provide the same thing for us.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Someone has really taken a liking to mashed potatoes :)

Click here to watch the girls in action.  One loves potatoes.  The other hates them.

Moving Day

I'm totally behind in blogging.  Like a month behind.  So even though we've already moved, I wanted to make sure these important life events were documented.

Tuesday, Sept.25 was our official moving day.  On Saturday, Sept.22 we moved everything that we needed for the next 5 months to my mother-in-law's condo, and we spent the day on Sunday getting us settled in there.  Our first night staying with Grandma was that Sunday night.  We spent the next week going back and forth to the house, cleaning things, making sure that everything was packed, etc.  The movers came on Tuesday, Sept.25, and by then everything left in the house, garage, and shed had to be taken to the storage unit.  2 guys worked all day wrapping our furniture with padding and making trips to the storage unit.  Our unit is packed to the brim!  It's kind of a weird feeling knowing that your life's belongings are being held in a storage unit.  Thankfully we got insurance, so at least I can sleep at night knowing we'd be taken care of if something were to happen to all of our stuff. 

Moving and living somewhere else temporarily makes you really think about all of the "stuff" in your life that's really unnecessary.  You realize your kids have way too many toys, you realize that everyone has so much clothes you don't need to do laundry for weeks.  You realize you don't need to keep your final exams from high school any longer, and that teachers just carry a lot of stuff with them.  I think we had over 20+ boxes of just books! :)  It was sickening to realize how much stuff we've actually accumulated over the past 8 years, yet freeing to get rid of quite a bit.  At the end of the day, as long as I have those I love around me, I really don't care about all of that other stuff.  I told Andy that we clearly have everything we actually need here with us at my mother-in-law's house and that we should just have an auction to get rid of everything in the storage unit.  I suppose that would present some problems when we move into our new house and have no furniture! :)  Definitely puts a whole new perspective on buying/getting rid of stuff, and while I'm blessed to have more than I need, I've challenged myself to think more carefully when I purchase and be more stewardly when it comes to my earthly belongings.

Our mess at my mother-in-law's house.  We've definitely taken over the basement.

The house getting emptied- room by room.

You never know what you might find hidden in your furniture when you move it.  A can of white hominy.  This dates back to a Christmas party almost 2 years ago, maybe more?!?  Love our friends.

Cleaning the cupboards

It's hard to describe the feeling you get when you drive up to your house and see a moving truck.  Happy and sad all at the same time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Art Prize 2012

There were so many great ArtPrize exhibits this year.  It seemed like the weather didn't cooperate whenever we thought about going downtown to check out the sites.  We managed to catch a glimpse when my parents were in town for the girls' birthday at the end of September.  It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed a nice Sunday afternoon taking in the sites.  The kids were troopers and even survived an hour plus wait for our food at The BOB when they lost our order.  We didn't get to see a ton in only a few hours, so we decided that we would head back with just Kaden sometime.  The double stroller kind of limits where you can get around, and how quickly you can run in and out of places :)

Grand Rapids fishing lure

Penguins in the fountain!

(I'm pretty sure Kaden was more interested in the fisherman next to these than the actual exhibit)

Sand castle- this was amazing!

The fan blowing in our faces gave us the full effect :)

This is how Makenna felt after walking around and viewing the art for awhile.

For that reason alone, I thought it would be special for me to take Kaden downtown and meet up with Andy after work so Kaden could see more of the art.  The girls stayed home with Grandma and had a much better time :)

 I loved this exhibit- awesome colors and flowers!

 Kaden's rendition of "New York City"
Full version below...

 Pine-needle bear (um, no, that's not the official title.  I'm bad with that kind of stuff)

 Nemo.  Once again, I'm pretty sure that's not what the artist was going for.  This was made out of balloons- pretty cool!

Top 10 carved seal.  Amazing!

While we didn't get to see everything we had wanted to, we had a great time taking it all in. Maybe next year we'll get to see even more since the kids will be a year older :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Future Piano players?

Kaden was trying to teach his sisters how to play the piano.  It would probably help if he knew how to play first :)

Not so smelly trash man

For the past couple of years, every Thursday morning, Kaden would wait patiently to say hi to his buddy, the trash man.  He would watch by the window as the trash man made his way through the cul-de-sac down the street, and then head outside to wave.  No matter what the weather was, Kaden was out there.  Sometimes in just his PJ's, and even occasionally in just his underwear, I think :)  Kaden would stand in the driveway if the weather was nice, or just on the porch if it was cold out.  No matter what, the trash man would look for Kaden, and would wave and beep at him.  They became buds.  

Well, as we prepared to move, we knew it would be our last day seeing our trash man.  Kaden and I waited outside on the final Thursday we were there, and the trash man stopped to say hello.  We snapped a picture of them, and he even let Kaden sit in the truck.  He mentioned that he would stop by later and give something to Kaden.

Of course, that's all Kaden could talk about for the rest of the day.  "Mom, do you think the trash man will come here again?" "When is the trash man coming, Mom?"  My mom heart hoped that he would come and not break my little boy's heart.

Sure enough, at about 3pm that afternoon, our trash man drove up in his car, all cleaned up from finishing his route, and knocked on the door.  He handed Kaden a mini trash can.  You should have seen Kaden's face light up.  It was such a special moment, and gave me the warm fuzzies :)

It was pretty clear that our trash man looked forward to stopping at our house and picking up our trash.  He had a little friend who greeted him every Thursday morning, and they became buds.  We called EverKept after that to thank them for our great trash man.  I think they were pretty surprised that we were calling with a compliment, since they are used to people calling to complain.  We even managed to give our trash man a little monetary gift as a way to thank him for taking the time to wave to our little man every single Thursday morning.

While I regret not ever asking his name, I'd like to thank Mr. Trash Man for making my little boy smile.

Ironically, today Kaden is bringing in his trash can for show and tell at school :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Go Blue Kind of Day

On Saturday the weather was awful.  Rainy, cold, blah.  We decided it would be a stay at home and cheer on our team kind of day.  A GO BLUE kind of day!  Everyone was sporting MI gear! :)

 Mom and her girls



 The best shot we could get with all 3 kids

 Daddy and his girls


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Class trip to Schwallier's Country Basket

Last week Kaden had his very first field trip to Schwallier's Country Basket.  The weather looked a little "iffy" but we managed to squeeze in the visit before the rain came.  He was a little bummed that he couldn't pick an apple, but there were none to be picked on the trees due to our crazy MI weather this year!  He had such a blast picking out pumpkins for us, playing with his friends, petting the animals, and jumping in the hay.  It was pretty cute watching him interact with all of his friends from school- I love it!  I was glad I could enjoy this moment with just him, too.  I know the girls take up a lot of time, so I treasure these moments I get to spend with just my little buddy.

Picking out pumpkins

Are these good, Mom?!?

Feeding the goats.

Petting the goat.  Who is this kid?!?!?  :)

The popular slide.  Notice the goat poop on his shoes.  Well... all of the kids had it on their shoes.  You can imagine what their butts looked like after that.  I almost had to strip him down to his undies when he got to the car!!! :)

Jumping in the hay

Full of hay

Holding a bunny

He loved holding the bunnies.  Seriously, he NEVER would have done that last year.

Trying to milk the cow with no success.  He told me the gutters were clogged :)

"Mom, am I in the boy or the girl?!?"

He loved riding this large tricycle around.  He was a crazy man on it.  Crashing and flipping over on it didn't even phase him- haha!! :)