Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life with Boys

Because AJ's AWANA Bible verse this week is Genesis 1:1, this morning AJ and I were discussing creation and all the things that God created.   We were mentioning the obvious.... like animals and trees and each person.  Yet, do you know what AJ realized and focused on for most of the conversation??

God created ARMPITS!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Week in Review...

Okay, this is more for me than anyone reading out there, but I'm going to recap last week.

Last Saturday, Marc took off for his annual week-long fishing trip up north with my cousins & gang. He had been SO looking forward to it and was practically giddy the morning he left. Shortly after he pulled out of the drive, I packed up the kids and drove to Ohio to visit my parents and cousins for the weekend. Those weekends are always relaxing. We eat good and do a whole lot of nothing.

My dad then followed us back home on Sunday. He spent the week with us in order to help me out while Marc was gone. Normally, I have no problem having Marc gone, but now that I am working, I needed someone to watch the boys a couple days a week and help out getting Andrew to and from school.

Papa was more than helpful... although we couldn't send him to the store without him bringing back something(s) that wasn't/weren't on the list. Things like.... chocolate donuts, Halloween candy, chocolate milk, a "Lunchable" for Andrew's school snack, etc... But the kids weren't the only spoiled ones... Papa made or bought us lunches & dinners while here, too. And as payment, my boys woke him up bright and early every morning at 6am just to show how excited they were he was here.

Monday, I worked, so Dad had the kids and took them to McD's for lunch & made us roast for dinner. Tuesday, I watched my other boys during the day. For dinner, we picked up Taco Bell and took it to the lake for a picnic.

Wednesday, I watched my other boys again. We had a quick dinner before Parents Night at AWANA. After going and watching what AWANA is all about (never did it as a kid), I'm very excited that the boys are in the program. AJ is like a memory-verse-sponge right now, learning his and Andrew's verses with no problems. We had a little mix up with Andrew and he accidentally got placed in the 1st grade class. No one knew he wasn't a first grader. Once we figured it out, we just decided to keep in him in that class anyway.

Thursday, I worked again. Marc was home at this point and all the boys got taken out to brunch after Andrew got out of school.

Friday, Dad took Andrew to school and visited his classroom before taking off for Ohio. I had the day off... no other boys and no work, so AJ and I ran errands and went grocery shopping in the morning for this coming busy week. After we picked Andrew up and ran home to put the food away, I took the boys to the Gardens. Now that our schedule has gotten busy, we hadn't been there in the while and I'm not sure when we will get there next. It's so nice there this time of year with all the color changes. Plus the Great Lakes were still open... bonus for the boys.

On Friday, Marc also picked up a bushel (64 ears) of corn from a local farmer's market for us to “put up” this year. So this whole weekend consisted shucking corn, cutting corn, measuring corn, cooking corn, bagging corn, freezing corn. LOTS.OF.CORN.

Saturday morning, I had a ladies brunch at church, we worked on the corn in the afternoon, and because some other plans fell through, we had a friend over for dinner & hit our Saturday night service at church (it's our preferred service).

Sunday, we slept in as long as the kids would let us, worked on corn more, worked around the house, celebrated a Vikings & Lions win, then had dinner over at some friend's house in the evening.

So it was a busy week and we were a'hopping. This week looks like more of the same.... minus Papa.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Impromptu Trip

Each year, we try to take a trip to Grand Haven in the summer for the evening.  We didn't get there and we didn't get there even though we had it planned here and there.  So last Tuesday, when I got home from work, Marc suggestioned we  head there.  Great idea and we had a really nice evening.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Share Bag

Today was a big day for Andrew.  Yesterday, he got to bring home the "Share Bag" from school.  You get to put something in the share bag and write hints about what's in it.  Then you get to bring the bag to school, share the hints, and see if your class can guess what's in the bag.  Then I think it's like show & tell from there.
Anyway, Andrew wrote the following hints about his "object".
  1. It's red and black.
  2. It's round.
  3. It bounces.
What is it?  His basketball! 

Ok... it's nothing super exciting, but to my five year old... getting to take his basketball to school in the share bag was bliss.

Monday, September 14, 2009


So.... what's been going on.... with me.   Well, things have been a whirlwind lately.  No kidding, it's feels like I went from mild stay at home mom with hardly a thought to the minute hand to crazy schedule woman.

You all know about kindergarten and how that has rocked our schedule... driving Andrew across town and back twice a morning everyday.  And you already know that I also watch two other boys a couple days a week as well, right? 

Well, one week before school started, I started working part-time on my off-days of watching my "other boys".  I am a marketing assistant for a realtor.  I work in an office not too far from our home.  So... pretty much every day is busy now. 

Also, I've started running.  I'm up to two miles in about 22 minutes about 3-4 times a week.  We have a nice 1-mile loop in our neighborhood, so I'm out there holding Marc's radio/walkman (no iPods in this home), beating the sidewalk. I'm enjoying it, although at this point, I'm not sure I'm not just a fair weather runner.  In fact, calling me a runner sounds funny anyway.  My good friend runs 6 miles every morning...rain, shine, blizzard, etc...  She is a runner.  And I run.  There is a difference.

Of course, there is also LOST.  We are just starting season four.   This has drastically cut into my reading time.  In fact, I am STILL, S.T.I.L.L. reading the Ugly Series by Scott Westerfeld.  I am on the final book... I flew through the first three in a flash.  This last book, Extras, is taking me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to finish, at no fault of the author.  I've borrowed from the library, then renewed it, then borrowed it, then renewed it and borrowed it again.  I'm trying to finish it before forced to renew it again.

However, now that football season has started, the LOST watching may go down and therefore maybe my reading will get the boost it needs. We'll see...

Oh! And we start AWANA this week. Which I am really excited about. Jesus time for the boys and childcare for mom & dad for one evening a week!

Other than that, I am trying to just keep up with the usual.... grocery shopping (couponing, deal hunting, etc...), cleaning, laundry, cooking, church, etc...   And purely by the grace of God, we are currently managing unemployment physically (bills are paid) & emotionally (most of the time). Prayers are always appreciated.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Got Blessed

Tonight was the first Saturday night service of the fall for our church.  Marc and I really enjoy attending on Saturday evenings, if our schedules allow.  Tonight's service was amazing!  Pastor Rod spoke on James 5.... only the first handful of verses... and God used him.   It was nice to be there tonight with the smaller gathering vs. the large crowds on Sunday morning.  Anyway, I am truly blessed in so many ways and tonight just help remind me of that.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Have you been blessed lately?  Wanna read about how God is blessing others?  Check out It's a website started by one of Marc's good friend from high school.  Here's a except from the I Got Blessed Facebook Page:
How did this website start? I called and emailed a believing friend of mine ever day, who was also laid off from my company. We shared stories--sometimes of how our job applications were one of 300 and how dim the job landscaped look. Our communication, however, always was purposeful in lifting one another up. We prayed together and encouraged one another. As we celebrated incredible answers to prayer, we excitedly shared with as many people as possible, thus leading us to www.IGOTBLESSED.COM
Check it out and God bless you.

Week 1 - Complete

Andrew (and family) has survived the first week of school.  And get this... the kid was bummed out this morning because it was Saturday and he couldn't go to kindergarten today. 

Oh wait... you mean, tomorrow is Sunday and I can't go then either??? I have to wait all the way until Monday before I can go back?  THE HORROR!

I think that's a good thing, right?

So after last Wednesday morning, I decide that on Thursday morning I would walk him in one more time. I wanted him to get another feel for the craziness that is "before school playground time".  However, in order not to stand out there so long, we left a little later.  Too late.  We got there at 7:55... early enough for school, but too late for playground time.  This, I think, would be the ideal time to arrive in general, but since the whole point of me walking him in was to experience the playground again, we were too late.

Just so you know that I am not exaggerating.... we have another mom that I am getting to know and she said her kindergarten daughter is completely loving school until she finds out that she has to go on the playground in the morning... then she starts crying.

So... here comes Friday morning and Marc is taking him to school.  I make sure I stress that he has to get Andrew there early and that he needs to walk Andrew in, so Andrew can have one more experience learning the routine with a parent present.  I half expected Marc to come home, tell me the kid was completely fine and that I was silly to think he needed to walk Andrew in.  Nope.... Marc wants to give him yet another day of being walked in.  It is nutty, I tell ya.

Other than playground... Andrew l.o.v.e.s school.   I can't get him to talk much about it in one setting.  You know us moms... the second he gets in the car, I bombard him with questions.  But throughout the rest of the day... little tidbits of his day leak out in conversation here and there.

What we know:
  • He's sits at the Green Triangle table.
  • He loves snack time.
  • He likes to play pirates during recess with two friends, but he can never remember their names.
  • He's already had music class and gym class.
  • He already had picture day. AJ, possibly as an act of revenge, pelted him with a toy in the tub the night before... so we'll see if the picture show the bruise on his cheek... at least I'm confident his shirt was on the right way.
  • He already has his first fundraiser... a Walk-A-Thon.
  • I'm already signed up to volunteer at his school next week and bake for a Fall Festival Party.
  • He has his first homework assignment. (A big yellow sun was sent home and he has until Tuesday to decorate it with pictures, drawings, stickers, magazine cut-outs, etc... of what he did this summer.)  It will be hung in the hallway for the whole school to see. 
  • We might be carpooling with another family on the short term basis until the official school carpool list gets released and we can both find better options.
  • The pick-up system is still a little rough... hoping parents get their act together this next week
That's a lot for only 4 days.  They mean it when they say these charter schools are very parent involved.  Other than the distance from our home (about a 17 minute drive - twice a day) and the carpooling fiasco that I really have even got into here online, I've been very pleased.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I will remember....

....because I still flinch when I hear today's date.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09.09.09 - Day Two

Day Two of Kindergarten...

So this morning, we get out right on time at 7:30am. After only two days, I think we are finding out that it doesn't take as long as we thought to get to school and unless there is bad weather (there will be - this is Michigan) we can leave the house a little later in the morning.

Today, we get to school at 7:45am.  After walking Andrew in to his class yesterday, we had mutually agreed that today I was just going to drop him off with their drop-off system.  I even double checked this with him a few minutes before we got to school.  However, once we got into the actually drop-off lane, Andrew had a change of heart.  So we did a quick swerve and found a parking space. Keep in mind, I had planned to simply drop him off.... so I was sporting uncombed hair, no make-up, etc...

The good news is, is that Andrew was able to find his classroom with no help at all. However, apparently, going straight to your classroom like yesterday was the exception, not the rule.  That was a first day of school thing only.  If Andrew gets there earlier that 7:55, he sets his backpack in the hall and goes out to the playground with all the other kids.  A.L.L. the other kids.  Like the entire school.  Like including great big scary eighth graders who all know each other and are running around thrilled to be back with their friends on the playground.

Even my big, outgoing Andrew clung tightly to me with his eyes a little bugged out. I think my eyes were even a little bugged out. And then, something happened.... maybe a whistle blew or a signal was made, I'm not sure... but all at once a mass wall of children came running sprinting tearing back for the school. Oh, how I felt for the little kindergarteners who were alone this morning.

Once all the big kids were lined up in appropriate lines, the rest of the designated adults rounded up the little lost Kindergartens and showed them the ropes.... when and where to go. It seems like a good system once you know it and I think Andrew will be just fine, however, I have every intention of not being too terribly early in general. I will also be walking him in again tomorrow, just to make sure.

And I'm sure, by this time next week, he'll have all the confidence of those big kids in the morning. Knowing him, he may even ask to go to school early to play before class starts.

I'll be heading off to pick him up here shortly.  I have my other boys today, so the Dykstra bus will be heading out and we will be taking advantage of the pick-up system today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Kindergartner

Today was the day.  First day of Kindergarten.  I think it went well.  At least well enough that Andrew wants to go back tomorrow.  It was hard to get anything out of him at first when I asked him how his day went, but I think over the course of the afternoon/evening, I was able to get the jist of his day. 

This morning started out with Chocolate Chip Pancakes.  I know it's technically toasty Tuesday, but not the first day of kindergarten is a once in a lifetime event and chocolate chip pancake were in order.

I walked him into school for this first day (and I was thankful as he totally went down the wrong hall).  We found his class & his own cubbie, then dropped off his school supplies before finding his very own desk complete with desk name tag and shirt name tag.  We even  found his friend, Emma and her mom.  Emma was in Andrew's preschool class.

I got one final hug then was shoo-ed out the door along with the other moms & dads.   I really did fine, I think.  There was a twinge of sadness walking back down the hall and out of the school, but I was fine a few minutes later.

Marc & AJ picked him up from school.  Daddy then took Andrew & AJ out to Taco Bell for lunch and then took Andrew for an overdue haircut.

The nice thing is the pick-up/drop-off system the school has.  From here on out, we don't even have to get out of the car when dropping him off or picking him up.   From what I gathered from his day... he had a page to complete (see pictures below), they had circle time with a story & songs, they had playground time, potty time, & snack time.  That's about all I could pick from his brain... but then again, kindergarten is only 3.5 hours, so I'm not sure how much more they'd fit in. 

He was very excited about snack time.  For the longest time he has asked for pumpkin muffins ("Puffin Munkins" as AJ & I like to call them) for his first day of school.  So this weekend I made them for him and he got to take one to school today.  Somehow the Magic Snack Fairy also snuck an Oreo into his snack sack, too.  Amazing. 

Anyway, overall, I'd say that his first day was a success.  I've posted a picture slideshow below of the morning including all the "Me Too!" shots of AJ.  Enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Meme

I picked up this meme from Diaper Diaries.  Feel free to play along.

How long were your labors?
  • Andrew: mmmm... maybe 6 hours, with the first couple being  managable
  • AJ: about 5... but I was in denial the first 2 or 3 of it.
How did you know you were in labor?
  • Both: I hit the "5 minute between contractions" mark and they were more intense than normal. 
Where did you deliver?
  • Both: Hospital
  • Both: No. 
  • Both: No.
Who delivered?
  • Both: My Midwife. But my amazing friend who is an OB nurse was there for Andrew, too.
And as mentioned in The Diaper Diaries, "Let me know in the comments if you participated in the meme so I can read about your pain joy."

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I know... it's been two weeks.  Things have been nutty around here to put it mildly.  We've been busy and a lot's been going on, but I won't get into it all now.  Mostly our focus has been on this coming Tuesday... a mere two days away when my first born goes off to kindergarten.   (*gasp*).   Stay tuned... as I promise I will get pictures up and tell all about it shortly after.

In other news..... this is how AJ went to bed tonight. Why??  Because the back of his head had a run in with a rock outside....the projectile thrown by Andrew. 

So... we all know that head wounds bleed...a...lot.  However, the back of his shirt was immediately & completely saturated.  We went through the phases of, "Oh no... he needs to go to the ER", to "Okay, I think we can just take him to the med center for stitches", to "All right.... he's fine.  It's big & ugly and it's going to be hum-dinger to cover and protect...especially at night, but he's fine."

The thing is... it's in his hair... so how in the world do you protect and cover it?  We let it go most of the day... just keeping a close eye on it and cleaning it up as necessary.  However, how was he supposed to sleep on it?  It's not like you can stick a band-aid on the back of his head.

So this is the concoction, I made after talking with one of my nurse friends. (Apparently, there are no tricks the hospital has for bandaging a head wound other than wrapping the head, too.)  It's got a cotton pad smothered in antibiotic ointment stuck in there.)  

He had just had a shower (he had a couple today as it's the only real way to clean it without it hurting him) when I wrapped his head.  So I'm sure his hair will be a hoot in the morning.  We'll see if this even lasts through the night.

On a side note: Andrew immediately realized what he did and started bawling running to us telling us how sorry he was (this was before we even knew what happened).  I think all the blood (and there was a lot) freaked him out.   Anyway.... all is well and forgiven.
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