Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Here are few pictures from our early Halloween Weekend. More are to come.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just a note:

Our laptop is having technical difficulties. So, my computer time is limited until fixed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Can't Get Away"

Ladies and Gentlemen, after many, many weeks.... a new favorite song has been chosen on the Dykstra Boys Favorite Song list.

Move over "You Never Let Go" (Oh No Song) by Matt Redman:

And their new Number One Song is.......... "Can't Get Away" by Rush of Fools.

I think those Dykstra Boys have great taste!
( I just need to learn the lyrics now, because they always want to sing it in the car and I only know a few lines).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Preschool Prayer

This is the little prayer that Andrew learned at school.

Dear Jesus, hear my prayer
Keep me in your loving care
Be with me all through the day
In my work and in my play.

(The best part is that he says Amen with a nice "Awwwmen")

Friday, October 24, 2008


So AJ has been 'talking back' a bit lately. Nothing too terrible. Just when we ask him to do something, instead of just doing it, he states almost rudely "I am!", rather than our preferred "Yes, Ma'am" or "Yes, Sir." or really anything positive and not, "I am."

Me or Marc: AJ, please put your shoes in your closet.
AJ: I am putting my shoes in the closet.

So, we have been dealing with this for a few weeks, now. Last night, since I was still not feeling well and just lounging around on the couch, I was reviewing past Octobers on my blog... just to see what we were up to this time of the year in the past. And I came across this... something I had completely forgot about.

Interesting. It is posted when Andrew was the exact age AJ is now. It's like they're brothers or something.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Am My Mother's Daughter

Tomorrow is Andrew's snack day at school, which also means he gets to be the line leader. It's a very exciting day.

Last Sunday, I made pumpkin spice muffins for the following Muffin Monday. Andrew liked them so much he asked if that is what he could take for his snack day. No problem, I can make more for his class.

Today we were at the store and I decided since he was taking these to school that I would use paper muffin cups. I never buy muffin cups as I just spray my muffin tin... No real reason, I just do. Anyway, I found that muffin cups are $.69 for 90 cups – way cheaper that I thought they would be. And after using them now and not having to clean my muffin pan... I am converted.

Anyway, after I put the paper cups into the muffin pans, I caught myself absent mindedly repositioning the cups so that no two alike colors were next to each other.


That is what I use to do with my mom when we made blueberry muffins before gymnastic meets when I was little. I haven't used muffin cups in years and years. Yet, there I was rearranging the cups. Heaven forbid my muffins bake next to another like-colored muffin.

So silly how some things stick with you.

Broke Down

I have been stockpiling bags of Halloween candy here and there that I have been able to buy for next to nothing. I've been able to keep them from myself and my hubby now for quite a while. They were practically hidden away with a note attached just in case that read: "DO NOT EAT - FOR HALLOWEEN".

Well, we broke down and broke into them tonight. There's only 7 days until Halloween... I think we can make it last...I hope.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Omaha Steaks Update

Too good to be true? Kinda.... I received an email today (after I received a couple different confirmation notices from Omaha Steaks) that back them out of their offer. My guess is TONS of people did this deal as I found it several places online and they weren't prepared for that. I still really can't complain as I will still only spend $1.98 and still get 8-5oz. steak burgers delivered to my door... I am just losing out on the 12-4oz steak burgers. Oh well...

The email is listed below:
Thank you for shopping at Omaha Steaks! We appreciate your business
and are confident you will be delighted with your order.

We do show when placing this order, a special offer for a free item
was combined with the $25 reward card. As stated in all promotions for free items,
offers cannot be combined. Your order will ship without the free item.

If you have any questions regarding your order, please contact us
at1-800-329-6500. We would be happy to assist you.

Omaha Steaks

And an even more detailed run-down is explained here, where I originally found the deal. Sorry, if anyone else tried it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Under the weather...

Today has been a bit of a nothing day. I am under the weather. It's only a cold... but sometimes it seems like the simple cold can kick my b*tt. So we are just hanging at home today.

I am not sure if I mentioned on here or not, but I am watching my friend's children on the regular basis now. It's a very good thing and I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time with them while bringing in a little extra income. However, I am thankful that it was just me and the boys today. Usually with my colds, one day is rough and it gets better from there.

However, a few nice things happened today. First of all, I was feeling really guilty because we have been so busy lately, that I haven't been able to take the boys out for walks/bike rides lately. And here was this beautiful day out, who knows how many we'll have left, and I just wasn't up for it.

But around noon, our neighbor & Andrew's classmate knocked on the door (with me still in jammies - at least the kids were dressed), asking if they could take the boys for a ride. Andrew rode his bike with Gabe and AJ rode in the bike trailer behind Gabe's dad's bike. What a blessing. The boys got some fresh air and energy out and I got a little down time with the house to myself.

Secondly, because I wasn't up for all the usually things that need to be done like laundry and cleaning, I was able to tackle a few projects that required me just to sit.... things that needed to be done, but would get pushed to the wayside by more pressing things, like laundry and cleaning.

Finally, and I don't know if this is a good thing or not. But I put the boys down for a nap around 1pm. They talked and played for a while, at least a half hour if not a little longer. But one minute they were talking and giggling and the next it was silent... like they just crashed instantly. This surprised me as Andrew is napping less and less and I usually let him back up about about a half hour of quiet time in bed. AJ got up after his usual 1.5-2 hour nap.

At FIVE O'CLOCK, I went in to wake up Andrew and it was like I was trying to wake him in the middle of the night. I stirred him and told him it was time to get up, then left him to get up on his own (plus he is on the top bunk, so I can't exactly lift him down.) At 5:10 I repeat the process. At 5:20pm, Andrew finally makes his way downstairs. He must have been exhausted! This from the kid who usually springs out of his bed. AJ is usually my slow riser.

We ate an easy dinner (Marc has work meetings tonight) and I sent the boys to the backyard to play while I did manage to at least pick up the kitchen and tidy the main floor a bit. Then we settled in for "Herbie" and popcorn. I let the boys stay up later tonight because I know Andrew is not going to be ready for bed a mere 3 hours after he woke up.

Tomorrow is back to a busy one. Andrew has school, I am watching two additional boys, and I have Bible Study in the evening. Here's hoping this cold high-tails it out of here.

20 Omaha Steak Burgers for $1.98!! (including delivery!)

Read Update Here.

Thanks to Catherine at Catherine Wheels, I am able to get 20 Omaha Steak Burgers (8-5oz. & 12-4oz.) delivered to my door for a grand total of $1.98!! ROCK ON! That is an amazing deal. To see how it's done... check out her site. As she mentions.... that's $.36 a pound.

When you get to step 2, you are more than welcome to use her link, or my link will work, too. One gives her the credit which she deserves and the other gives me the credit for passing it along to you.

Enjoy! I will. Thanks again to Catherine, Money Saving Mom, Geico, & of course Omaha Steaks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a Weekend!

Wow! I just got back from an amazing weekend. My friend Becky and I left our kids with our husbands and took off Friday morning. She had two free tickets to Cedar Point for Friday night only. We drove to Sandusky, checked in to our hotel, then hit Cedar Point at 5pm. We stayed in a Cedar Point hotel and therefore got a 1-hour early entry.

Cedar Point was perfect. Friday nights are really the way to go. From 5 until midnight, we did 21 'things'.... with 15 of them being big rides! Our longest wait was 30 minutes, but the average was about 15. There were even a few rides where we could run around and get back on the very next turn! (We admitted we were pretty dorky, racing with 12 year old boys). It was so much fun!! Really, I am not sure we could have hit more had we had the whole day on Saturday. We even hit a few 'scary' things as it was a "HalloWeekend" there.

And the weather cooperated beautifully! We had a weekend plan B should the weather be too cold. But when we got back into the car at 12:20, the temperature was reading 55 degrees. That was supposed to be the high for the day and it was still that at midnight! And that's on Lake Erie.

Because Becky and myself were all after efficiency at Cedar Point and therefore we literally speed walked between rides, we crashed hard back at the hotel that night. Saturday morning we headed back up north to Ann Arbor for an afternoon at the spa. We both received a complete manicure and pedicure, both with paraffin dips. It was three hours of bliss and because of a gift card, it was very reasonable as well.

My toes on the left, Becky's on the right (isn't she daring!)

We continued home and after a few trips between our house and Becky's house due to being locked out, we finally landed at Becky's empty house for the evening (her hubby and kiddos spent the night at our house). We spoiled ourselves with girly food, wine, and a chick flick. I missed my fellas, but man, I could get used to weekends like this.

Turkey Summer Sausage & Fruit Salad. Cheeses: Light Brie, Smoked Gouda, Garic Cheddar, Colby & Sharp Pinconning. Sourdough Bread, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Peppers, Pretzels, Green Olives, & Raspberry Honey Mustard Spread.

We also roasted our own garlic. Oh wow - so good.

And finally, dessert. Truthfully, I think we had as much fun prepping the food for the pictures (pretending we were on the Food Network) as we did eating them. I told you we were dorky.

The Chick Flick.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The price of beauty...

We got Andrew's school picture proofs back today. The good news is he has his shirt on the right way. Somewhere during the day, he turned his shirt around and it was anybody's guess as to whether his shirt would be backward in the photos.

The other good news is that the pictures turned out SO GOOD! The pictures above don't really do them justice because the photographer's website intentionally has the proofs at a low dpi. We really don't 'do' professional photos since I take so many pictures on my own and the few times we have gone professional, we haven't had much success. So I was excited that he did so well in these pictures. I really like the one all the way to the right. This photographer did a really great job.
The bad news is... the photo packages are so stinkin' expensive! C'mon! Are you kidding me? Of course we think our children are the most adorable things (well, I know mine are) so we WANT pictures of them and THEY know that and charge and arm and a leg. Yikes! This will be one I contemplate a while.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We had an amazingly fun weekend at my Aunt and Uncles. Saturday was a completely packed with super-fun things to do. It started out in the morning with a treasure hunt that lead us all around the lot ending with a treasure box filled with candy, fake mustaches, stickers, bubbles, etc.... Very fun.

Next we carved pumpkins! Both Andrew and AJ did one (with help from Grandma & Mom).

Next we made caramel apples!

After lunch and down time, we all did the "Flying Squirrel"! Oh My Goodness!! AMAZINGLY, HUMOROUSLY A.W.E.S.O.M.E! So Funny! Picture each of us strapped up Peter Pan style swinging through space at high altitude. Even AJ flew!

Oh, but that's not all. We then went trick or treating throughout the camp ground. We have done this several years now and these campers are the most generous candy givers ever. And the layout of the campground means efficient trick or treating! Perfect for a now hungry and tired Superman.

We came back to a campfire with roasted hot dogs, chili, and chocolate cake. All in one day! And just because I don't think I've thrown in enough exclamation points, here are a few for good measure.

I LEFT MY CAMERA AT MY AUNTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here I have all this wonderful footage of the weekend... and none to share with you. At least not yet.


Thursday, October 9, 2008


Apparently, I created this post back on September 23rd and forgot to publish it. Ooops.

Last Monday was Andrew's day to bring a snack to school. We choose to make these SnacKabobs. Andrew told me his class liked them a lot, but I think they were a huge hit with Andrew himself. All he wants to eat now are SnacKabobs.

Fun with Food

I know this blog has been neglected lately... and not for lack of available content. On the contrary. We have so much going on that I, well, I am feeling very stretched right now. If I am honest, I am in that place where my mind doesn't turn off... at all. I don't want to use the word overwhelmed, because it's not necessarily a to-do list that keeps me preoccupied. I covet rest - rest in the sovereign God who is already 'there', wherever 'there' is. He goes before me.

Sorry, that was not where this post was heading. Just keepin' it real, I guess. Okay, I'll lighten things up with a few pictures.

Apple Cars with either grapes or slices of string cheese for the wheels.
Huge hit!

We had homemade pizza for dinner tonight. Andrew took a bite and told me he had a rhinosaurus. Do you see it?
Of course, then AJ wanted me to take a picture of his pizza, too.

Then, Andrew's pizza turned into a smiling alligator.

And well, here is another one of AJ, 'cause he is just so cute.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thanks Mrs. Teacher.

Yesterday was Andrew's very first field trip. It was to the Apple Orchard and he was SO excited about it. And because he only goes to school for 2.5 hours a day, his teacher made sure to tell all the children to tell their parents to try to come a little early yesterday morning.

All the way home from preschool on Friday, I heard from Andrew and his buddy how they can't be late and they have to leave early. Mrs. Teacher must have really ingrained it in them.

So come Monday morning at FIVE FIFTEEN in the morning, Andrew comes bouncing into the room, already dressed head to socks with his preschool field trip shirt on all ready to go because Mrs. Teacher says to be there early and don't be late.

5:15 AM.

You try to explain to an excited completely dressed four-year-old that it is too early to get up and he has to go back to bed. That didn't go well. In the process, guess who else wakes up.... yup.

In plods AJ.

Both boys took naps.

However, Andrew's field trip went well. He told me that he didn't even get lost once. (I put a very special bright orange card in his pocket with our phone numbers on it that he was to pull out if he couldn't find somebody he knew - is that paranoid?).

They got to pick an apple from the tree, take a tractor/wagon ride, eat a donut and cider, watch how cider was made, etc... They each got an apple and coloring book to take home with them.

I didn't go on this trip due to many reasons, so I have no pictures. Our neighbor who did go is going to try to get some for us from another parent. So maybe soon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I love it when...

....I get to deal with this... painter's tape, clothespin, and all.

I'm not sure what happened but the whole lot broke. When it sprayer fell off initially, it sprayed water across our house, water hit the far wall, and broke out a light.

I've been dealing with this set-up now for a couple days and each day, due to the crazy lack of water pressure control and insane amount of pressure available, I have had to completely change my clothes (all my clothes) a couple times a day due to getting completely soaked. Washing dishes is pure joy.

In fact, just yesterday Andrew turned it on (we have told him not to use it, but like all of us have, he forgot). It sprayed him with shocking force and completely freaked him out. By the time Marc could run across the house and turn the faucet off, our kitchen floor was covered in standing water. I came home from Bible Study to a mountain of towels on the kitchen floor. Marc admitted that it was kinda funny.
Such is life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just Breathe.

It's been a while, I know. It's been crazy around here since I posted last that I don't even know where to begin. Oh, remember how at the end of the my real post I mentioned something about, "at least the dog is sleeping"? Ha! Jinx myself with that one. Let's just say that last weekend, with Marc gone and us puppy sitting, was not the best weekend for me. But I think I have recovered now.

We had our first 20-Something's Bible Study this past Monday. I am very excited about it and we had a great turnout. It's been a little nutty as all the details are planned out this week, but that should slow down here shortly.

Tonight I have my ladies Bible Study. Tomorrow some friends are stopping in the afternoon and then I am going to attempt to make it to the book club meeting through church. We are reading, "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. It's really good, but I haven't finished it yet and truthfully, I just don't know when I will.

Friday we pack up head off to a college retreat through Saturday evening. I finally found childcare - Praise God. It's coming from three different sources, so I will be hopping in between sessions, but that's okay. I have a feeling by Sunday we will be ready to collapse.

Sorry this is pathetic post. I don't think my brain has shut off for the past 2 weeks.
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