Monday, March 31, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice...

I found out today that my boys like the Beach Boys. So, I spent part of the day with them on YouTube, listening to Beach Boys songs, with their favorite being, "Wouldn't It Be Nice". We even went as far as putting their "Greatest Hits" on hold from the library.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I think we've been busy?

I've been a bad blogger, I know. We've been busy. I'm just trying to think of with what. Last weekend was Easter weekend and my parents came to visit and celebrate the boy's birthdays. They each got Easter baskets with books and candy and Andrew made me play the 'hide the Easter eggs' game all week long.

Marc and I are also starting pre-marital counseling with one of our young couples from our Wednesday night Bible Study. So, we have been meeting with them and preparing for that. Pray for us... 'cause other than being married for almost 8 years ourselves, we have no experience in counseling another couple. And of course, we had our Bible Study on Wednesday.

We packed up on Friday (after spending the morning at the Burger King playland with my boys and Noah - because we found out the gym was closed after the boys were all excited about it) and headed down for our first fishing weekend of the season. Although, because of the weather, there was no fishing. But since a Cabela's run was made... it still counts. Of course, they had a great time! Oh my - Andrew was sad to come home, but they both crashed hard in the car. And here's the miracle... they both slept well, both nights! They got up stinking early, but I'll take it.

We just got back this evening. Marc played ball tonight and I am just getting some work done while the boys are sleeping.

This week is also looking to be pretty busy - again with counseling and the Bible Study (more the prep work than the actual meetings), and preparing for AJ's birthday on Sunday, along with the usual business of the week. Have a great one and I'll try to be a better blogger.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weird - Part II

So - check out this link. I've neer seen it before, but it looks somewhat like a TV directory website. Anyway, I clicked it and got this...

It somehow linked back to this post from a little while ago. Hmmm....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter.

He can move the mountains.
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save!

Author of salvation.
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Clean as a skrieking whistle...

So this morning, Marc and I are working around the house, Andrew is playing in the main room and AJ is downstairs in the playroom... or so we thought.

Marc is vacuuming, but over the noise we hear AJ give a little short cry. I head downstairs to check on him. Not seeing him, I come back up in time to hear him start screaming. I race upstairs - give the standard audible gasp when I see AJ that causes Marc to drop the vacuum and come running. AJ had found our foaming soap dispenser. His entire face was covered in white foam. He looked like a snowman. The poor kid's eyes were squeezed shut and he was hysterical!

I grab him and immediately stick him in the shower, clothes and all and start spraying him down, not waiting for the water to warm up. Poor kid... soap in the eyes and a cold shower. By now, Marc is up and helping hold our screaming AJ while I continue to spray his face.

We finally get the soap out of his eyes and mouth and the rest of him washed down. He was tramatized for while needing lots of snuggles and he had little red eyes for a while, but he is doing much better now.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Busy Day

It started out early with Noah coming over bright and early. It was a really late night last night with the last of the college/career leaving at almost midnight. So, I was dragging a bit. We eventually got going, got all three boys fed and dressed, and they got to watch SuperWhy (our new favorite TV show). Then we headed out. I stopped and got a coffee and we ran a quick errand before hitting the library for play time. At noon, we left and hit the pharmacy, then picked up an el cheapo pizza to take to Noah's house.

We had lunch and visited with my friend Kari and their new baby and came home for nap time... including me. Granted, I only got about 20 minutes and Andrew didn't sleep at all, but the rest was needed. As soon as AJ woke up, we hit Aldi's and Meijer and then dropped off a few groceries at another friend's home who also just had a new baby. We made it home to eat rotisserie chicken and potato wedges (cheater dinner from the deli). Phew...

I still have a boatload of groceries to put away and dinner to clean up. Plus, I have one stinky little boy running around here. So I should be off...

Oh, by the way... the last of the March babies were born today.

Four Year Old Initiation

Daddy has put off Andrew's requests to play video games with him in the past by telling him that he can play when he turns four. Well, today was the day. Below are pictures of how Andrew usually plays with Daddy.

But today, Andrew got a lesson on the buttons and got to actually play and control the game himself. It was a very exciting moment.

Side Note 1: the game of choice is Tricky (a snowboarding game) for Playstation II.

Side Note 2: The boys aren't the only gamers... I am currently trying to eBay items to earn money for a DDR game. I think it would be a blast and I think the boys would love it! (plus it would be a good workout.

A few God Stops

1. On Monday, Marc had to travel to the other side of the state. And while there, the car wouldn't start. We just put more money into the car than I care to recall, but stranded 2.5 hours from home, he called AAA. Meanwhile, Marc called his "car man" and he guessed it probably was an expensive fix (fuel pump - since the car was swimming a in puddle of gas). AAA sent a tow truck and recommended the big name car shop. It would probably take a full day to fix, Marc would have to rent a car to come home and head back on Tuesday to pick up the car again.

The tow truck driver showed up and told Marc that in no way should he go where AAA suggested, but he had a place for him. Marc agreed and was taken to a mom/pop type place that wasn't busy at all. They got Marc right in, it ended up being a broken clip, cost $30, and he was on his way home in an hour. Praise God.

2. We are leading the college/career Bible Study in our home on Wednesday nights. As of 4pm yesterday, due to many issues, we still had nothing planned for our Bible Study at 7pm that night. We were sweating it a bit. Marc called his brother and right away he suggested this short video study (out of the thousands of things he could have suggested). And we happened to own that video, but hadn't watched it in years and would have never even thought about it on our own. Then Marc called his dad and his dad happened to have a corresponding Bible Study to go along with it that he could e-mail us. So, literally, Marc and I are reviewing and pulling things together even as people are showing up at our home last night. Even though God waited until the 11th hour to reveal to us what he wanted up to study, I believe he had it planned all along.

God is good and faithful. Continue to pray for us and this Wednesday night group. Marc and I love it and are really enjoying the group, but it is truly stretching us. We feel unqualified and inadequate and now we are struggling to come up with what to study (we thought the church was going to provide a weekly study to correspond with the sermon, but we were mistaken).

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Corinthians 12:9-10


Whenever referring to something in the past - could be yesterday or years ago, Andrew calls it "a couple awhile ago".

Me: "Andrew, when did you go fishing with daddy?"
Andrew: "A couple awhile ago".

Andrew, like his mommy, loves his back rubbed. However, his "back" refers to his clothed back and his "underback" refers to his bare back. So he will snuggle up next to me, lift up the back of his shirt and ask me to rub his underback.

And here is my big little man writing his very own name on the back of an envelope.

By the way, if anyone knows a good way to teach a youngster how to properly hold a pen/pencil, I could use some help. I don't hold it the correct way myself, so I am really struggling to teach him this.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Tub Time! (a favorite part of their day)

This was taken the evening of Andrew's birthday. Must have been a good day.

A little video of my boys outside. Nothing too exciting, just life as usual here in the Dykstra home. PS: When AJ yells at Andrew he is saying, "Get up!"

Why I love new teeth...

The gooey, stinky diapers at e.v.e.r.y. diaper change.
The buckets of drool.
The runny nose.
The chapped nose, lips and chin from the previous two.
The constant wet little fingers from them being chewed on.
The draining of the meds.

Overall, AJ is pretty happy during the day except for those things mentioned above and I am sure they bother me more than him. Night's are still a little rough, but not too bad as long as we remain friends with the pink gold called Tylenol.

Here is my little slimy kid hiding in the kitchen...

Saturday, March 15, 2008


As I type this AJ is sobbing. It's 9:57pm and he is still not sleeping after several snugglings. He is teething and has been walking around for the last two days chewing on his middle finger and thumb like is getting ready to whistle. Are there two year old molars? He's had a rough couple nights now, too - living with Tylenol in his system. He is fine and pretty happy during the day, but cranky at night. He did finally take a great nap this afternoon catching up for the past couple days... but I also think his great nap is part of the problem of him no sleeping now. Little stinker.


Ok - go to this link.... it's a CBS story about a kid and a dog. All the way down at the bottom of the page is a link for Sphere, to look up related blogs. And guess what blog pops up? MINE! The story links to my blog, specifically my post a few days ago about the "Weirdness of March Eighth".

What?! It's a nice sweet story, but it has nothing to due with our March 8th day and definitely nothing to do with me. Just Weird!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

First a bike, then the top bunk, then basketball...what next?

Big week for Andrew...

On Monday - the weather was nice, so he got to take his first official bike ride through the neighborhood. He did really well considering there is still quite a bit of snow around. Occaisionally, his training wheels would get caught in the snow and his back wheel would just spin as he tried to pedal his way out. I also had Noah that day... so it was the whole gang of us outside.

We did a little grocery shopping and errands on Tuesday and welcomed the second of the three little babies we were waiting for into the world.

Yesterday was gorgeous out and while I had a lot to do around the house to get ready for Bible Study here last night, I could send the boys into the back yard to play. It is SO NICE now that they are old enough to play out back by themselves!! I just keep the back door cracked a bit to hear them and check on them every few minutes and they are happy as can be. They went out in the morning and in the afternoon and both times didn't come in until their snow pants were thoroghly soaked. Man, even though I would stop every few minutes to check on them... I got a ton done with a couple hours of them being outside. This summer will be great!

Of course last night we had Bible Studywith a potluck. I made BBQ beef sandwiches and bought pretty full expecting leftovers. Nope - Gone! The night went well, but was a late one with the last leaving at 11:45pm. Which is fine, but just made me a little sleepy this morning. Today, it was too cold and windy to be out much, but we did hit the library for a bit. Then, we ran some errands as a family tonight picking up Wendy's while out... a real treat for the boys.

Although, Andrew was asking a million questions tonight as we were heading to a store. And finally he asked what store we were going to and I joked that it was one where they sell four-year-olds (bad mommy!). This didn't phase him much at the time. However, we got to one place and Marc just dropped me off at the door so I could run in quick. While I was in there, I guess Andrew seriously asked Marc if I was buying another four-year-old to bring home. He didn't want another four-year-old, because he was four and we didn't need two four-year-olds.

Now, the boys are in bed and tonight is Andrew's first night sleeping the top bunk. He had a practice run during naptime, but he didn't actually nap. So we will see how tonight goes. My cousins and 3 kids are coming up this weekend and we will probably need the top bunk, so we thought we should do a trial night before the house is full of people. Andrew is SO excited for his cousin Gideon to be here. He stopped our librarian today and told her all about Gideon coming tomorrow night for pizza.

Tomorrow is gym day in the morning with the NEW BIKE! While we are there, we will also be signing Andrew up for a pee-wee basketball class with daddy (using birthday money - thanks!) It starts in April and I think his daddy is pretty excited about it, too. We will then run to the Christian bookstore (Marc and I will be conducting premaritial counseling to an engaged couple in our young adult Bible Study. Pray for us and them!) before heading home to get the house ready for GIDEON!

Well, there you go again. Our week in a nutshell. It's been a good and blessed one.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A good day to turn four.

Today has been a good, tiring day. We played hooky from church this morning unintentionally. We really meant to get there, but with the time change, the lack of sleep last night (see previous post), three boys instead of two, etc... we just didn't make it. And I have to confess, I am glad we had a little down time this morning as the rest of the day was kinda nutty... but good nutty.

We took all three boys to McDonald's for a birthday lunch before naps. We also decided to have a somewhat impromptu party at our place this evening for Andrew with a couple other families. And as I know I have mentioned before, something happens on Sunday that causes our house to seem to blow up. So during nap time, in between fielding birthday calls, I was cleaning and wrapping gifts, etc... while Marc ran a few errands.

Once the boys woke up, we all headed to the hospital to visit Noah's mom, dad and new baby brother, Benjamin. He is so itty-bitty and adorable! Noah could not be pulled away from mom to come back home with us (plus, I am thinking that mom was missing Noah and didn't really mind), so just the four of us came home and finished up a few things before the party started. We ordered pizza and ended up with 5 adults and 5 kids here. Ryan brought a piñata, and we had a racetrack cake and treasure hunt. The kids seemed to have a really nice time.

Andrew mostly got outdoor gifts... an oversized ball and bat, a tackle box and fishing pole, and the highlight of the night.... "A BIKE WITH TWO WHEELS!" (and training wheels). He rode the bike in our house quite a bit tonight. Our house isn't that big and you can't ride backwards because that is how the brakes work. So he would ride the length of our house, then walk it backward, ride forward, walk it backward, ride forth, back, forth, etc... So cute. Despite our very busy day tomorrow (plus there is a chance we will have Noah again), we will definitely have to make time to get him out tomorrow.

Here are some pictures from the day... a good day to turn four.

AJ took a turn nailing the piñata!

Andrew with Micah checking out his new tackle box.

Daddy showing Andrew the ropes of the new fishing pole (the answer to the post below).

The Racetrack Cake.

He loved getting sung to.

And finally, a video of Andrew "releasing the candy!"

Maybe it's a good thing he didn't want to take off the helmet.

You have one guess... guess what Andrew is getting in this gift.

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Wow, Andrew… I can’t believe you are four already! You have gotten so big, so smart, and so funny this last year. Sometimes I am blown away by how mature you act. And of course, sometimes I am blatantly reminded that you are in fact merely a child.

You are an amazing big brother. I almost never need to ask you to help me with AJ. As soon as he fusses, you run immediately run to give him whatever he wants. You even put up with him when he doesn’t respond in kind and takes things away from you. You are the best of friends (most of the time) and the worst of enemies (on occasion). And the favorite part of my day is after dinner, but before bedtime, when you and AJ get a case of silliness and laugh non-stop while running and tripping over each other.

You still love the movie CARS and all things CARS related. You also enjoy “My Friends Tigger and Pooh” and “Sesame Street”. However, recently, you have become a big fan of “Signing Time” and often tell me what the sign is from something I’ve just said. You also occasionally move your hands in a totally random way and then ask me what sign you made, as if every possible gesture is a sign.

Lately, you have been using pretend voices when you play. My favorite is your robot voice. You. Talk. In. A. Mono. Tone. Voice. You talk in a robot voice while doing the robot arms. And you always start your sentences with “Meep. Meep”. So it’s not uncommon to hear this in the afternoon, “Meep. Meep. I. Am. A. Robot. May. I. Have. A. Snack. Please?” The answer is expected in robot-speak as well.

You energy is astounding. Even complete strangers comment on it frequently. (I am not always sure how to take that). I just can’t seem to wear you out. And as of a month ago, naps are pretty much a thing of the past. You grace me with an average of two a week, now, even though you are required to ‘try’ to nap each day. You are also an early riser. And despite my attempt to wake up earlier than you, I always fail.

You are curious. And it’s a good thing we love you so much, because your questions can sometime drive us insane. They simply do. not. stop. Ever. There are times your father and I look at each other like, “Are you kidding me?” But I know it’s a good thing and that you are just trying to learn, so for the most part, we do the best we can to answer you questions… Even if it means resorting to the final end-all be-all answer, “Because that’s how God made it.”

Your favorite foods right now are cheeseburgers and French fries… preferably from McDonalds. We don’t eat there much, so is a special treat for you. You are a pretty good eater and do well packing away the meats and bread. Fruits and veggies are still a struggle, so you have apples and carrot sticks for almost every meal. You love ‘white’ (vanilla) yogurt and recently started eating it plain (with no Grape Nuts). Of course, you are always trying to talk us into giving you a ‘special treat’ after a meal – which is anything sweet. And because your parents have such sweet tooths, you usually get it.

You are still very much into playing with cars, trucks, planes, and trains. Your favorite right now is to make them do tricks. I constantly hear, “Watch this, mom – watch what this truck can do”, as you make the truck ‘fly’ and ‘flip’ from the counter top to the couch.

You love hanging out with you dad and often ask if just you and him can go somewhere without AJ and me. You think watching him play his snowboarding video game is about the coolest thing ever and you’ve already inherited his itch to fish… already talking about when you are going to get to go on his boat with him again.

You have lots of God questions. Questions that little known to you, are deep theological questions that we struggle to find age appropriate answers. We do our best to give truth in an understandable way and usually you are satisfied. You love going to church, seeing your friends, and singing the songs. You are amazing at memorizing scripture… this past year you memorized the bulk of Luke 2. Your recent verses have been John 3:16 and John 14:6.

Sweetie, you really are a good boy and even though there are times we are frustrated with you, the times you make us proud outnumber them. I still get surprised often when I see how old you are. I love how you are often the first to tell us that you love us. I truly believe it’s a gift you’ve been given… to tell us just when we need to hear it. I love how you love your brother and your dad and myself. We love you, too, Kiddo Joe. Happy Fourth Birthday.

The Weirdness of March Eighth

Yesterday morning, we woke up to find that our back passanger seat car window had been smashed out. Nothing was taken although there was nothing to take. Unsettling regardless, but Marc cleaned it up, covered it in plastic and we moved on.

I ran some errands in the morning and Marc took off for the day. When I got home, our mini basketball hoop had been moved from up high to down low. Seems minor, but it was the first thing I noticed and thought it was funny that Marc would have moved it before he left. It was an obvious move and I didn't notice it changed before I left.

When Marc got home later that night, it was also the first thing he noticed and asked me about it. Now, we realized that neither of us moved it (too high and placed in odd spot to suspect the kids). And we determined that there was about 20 minutes after Marc left before I got home from errands when he accidently left the garage door open and someone could have access to our home. Nothing was missing in our home and I had been home all day with the three boys, but it was just weird that the hoop was moved. We even started calling our friends asking them if they stopped by during that 20 minute window, came in and moved the hoop as a joke... but no dice.

Finally, we wake up Andrew to ask him if there was a chance that he did it. Of course, he had been fast asleep for the while and as much as we tried to ask him about it and even make him try to recreate it (he did confess to it at one point), we couldn't get straight answers out of him and we weren't convinced that he did it or even could do it.

So, naturally, this puts Marc, the man of the house, on high alert. We kept talking about how it was probably something totally explainable, but the fact that it just didn't make sense, kept him from sleeping last night. I was praying aloud over our home in the authority given to me in Jesus Christ and I know Marc heard e.v.e.r.y noise. Add that to the fact that we had Noah and therefore a baby monitor on picking up every noise from downstairs, too. At one point there was a loud bang noise... he shot right up and re-checked the house all over again. (this morning, I found the suckers had fallen from the top shelf of the pantry.)

So, now that Andrew is fully awake, I have re-asked him and he has fully confessed to moving the hoop... something we would have never thought he could do, let alone would do. (it would make more sense if you saw where is was originally and where it was placed). Plus, he must have done it while I was out with Marc cleaning up glass because neither of us noticed it before we left for the day (and like I said, it's an obvious move). So, praise God, other than the window being smashed, everything else was circumstantial ... but because of our funny mind-set... sleep did not come well last night.

I love it when...

...I take a quick call after giving the three boys yogurt and come back mere minutes later to find them throwing their yogurt at each other. Yogurt was E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E! In hair, on walls, in carpet, etc... Thankfully - it was white yogurt. The boys were immediately sent to their beds while I cleaned up and cooled myself down. Then it was tub time for all.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Good in Daylight Savings Time

Maybe, just maybe, my boys will wake up at a reasonable 7am, instead of an awful 6am tomorrow morning.

Last day...

Today is the last day that my Andrew will be three years old. (I am working on his cake today... I won't say much about it in case it doesn't turn out). We also have Noah today as it looks like at least one baby will make his arrival today. And Marc made an impromptu trip to Cabelas for the day. So it's a busy one here in the Dykstra Home. (Might be a good evening to have pizza & movie night!)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Nutter Butter is wearing our bread & butter.

Thanks to Amie for sharing this cool feature...


Blogging Block.

I hate this rut I am in. I have been terrible at blogging the way I like to. The kids have been hilarious, we've had 'adventures', things have been happening that I would love to share, but just don't get around to it. Then when I sit down to write, none of those things come to mind. So I succumb to writing these 'update' posts that are boring the write and I am sure more boring to read. I am in a blogging rut. I hope you'll forgive me for these posts if I let you watch the "Donkey Dance".

(Don't ask me why it's the 'donkey dance', I have no idea.)

Grilling Dad = Happy Mom.

It's Thursday and this week has flown by!

Monday, I watched a couple kiddos during the day. We had haircuts that night and the boys aged five years instantly. Andrew had a blast tearing around the house with his buddy, Aiden, and had a nice red mark on his forehead from it yet this evening.

We did get a call that evening from one (out of three) of my very pregnant friends, to tell me that we were on standby because she thought it was 'time to go'. We still had to swing by another friend's house after haircuts, so it was a very late night and the boys didn't go down until 10pm and I still had to make scones. Of course, the night that I am fully expecting the get her call to tell me "it's time", is the night that my children - both of them - do not sleep at all!! Man, come 3am and still not asleep, was I ever praying that I would not get her call that night. She called me the next morning to tell me the labor had stopped and no baby. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I was praying against her delivering that night. (Although she reads this blog: Kari, I am sorry! You go into labor whenever you want and I will be ready! No matter how the kids are sleeping.)

Tuesday, we had our final Believing God Bible Study with my women's group. We had a wonderful brunch and just celebrated God and how he had shown up mightily in the last 6 months through this study. I really love these ladies and I am seriously hoping we can continue in some capacity before next fall. I did give in Tuesday afternoon and take a nap with the boys... the night before had done me in.

Wednesday we ran did a little grocery shopping in the morning, then just worked on cleaning the house. We had our college/career Bible Study at our home and it went well. We are also studying the Beleiving God study and will complete it next week. We are celebrating with a potluck. Always looking for an excuse for a potluck.

Today was a great day! My house was already clean from yesterday, the sun was shining, and we had nothing planned. We took our time this morning getting ourselves pulled together and headed to the library for a bit. It's been quite a while since we've done library time and I've missed having the 'new' books the read to the boys at night. Plus they had this seperate room set up to play with dress up, puppet show, puzzles, etc... After lunch and naps, we took a mile walk outside. Then... get this... Marc grilled our dinner! Even though it was still cold outside, there is nothing that lifts the spirit out of the winter blahs that the smell of the grill fired up.

Of course, my nice clean house is history, but I couldn't really expect it to last more than 24 hours could I? Tomorrow is gym day and maybe, just maybe, this weekend, we will be able to greet one, two, or maybe even three new babies into this world.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Seven days left and counting...

Remember that houseful of people that were coming over on Friday? We ended up with a headcount of 22 people. In our house! We have never had that many people in our house before. And it was good. We had a really nice time and I enjoyed myself quite a bit. I was introduced to the game "Mafia".

We will now start to have this group (it's the college/career group from church) over every Wednesday night from here through the summer. I am looking forward to it.

Saturday we hung out a bit with the Sischo's and got spoiled treated to a nice lunch. Then it was naptime for all and leftover pizza from Friday for dinner.

Today was church and the realization by one three-year-old that he was only one week away from becoming a four-year-old. AJ even gets into the excitement singing, "bird-day to you!" Andrew keeps telling me he wants another Diego cake. We'll see... I'll have to think of something.

We went to church this morning and it was amazing. I am so thankful for our church. We hit the early service today which we never do. And while it wasn't my idea and I would still rather go to the late service for selfish reasons (most my friends go the late service), it was nice to be home at a decent time and have time to make a decent lunch (glazed ham - a first for me - I think it went over well since it's gone) before naptime.

Today was beautiful! It got in the low 40's and we all went for a walk this afternoon. Granted the boys were in full snowpants, boots, etc... due to the snow and slush. But they had a ball and daddy had fun throwing snowballs and at them. (Poor AJ is just a little butterball once he is all bundled up and the snow/slush was still enough that he had trouble making his way down the sidewalk - but he loved every minute of it.)

This week is a little busy. I am watching Noah tomorrow all day and Riley tomorrow in the morning. We are also having dinner and haircuts in the evening at our friends. I need to finish my Bible Study and make scones tomorrow as well. Tuesday morning, we have our final Bible Study and brunch. And of course Wednesday is small group at our house.

I need to pick up the house a bit before bed. Have a great week.
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