Thursday, April 29, 2010


This post is SO long overdue: I'm sorry, AJ!

Can you believe my little man turned FOUR this month? My baby... my puffin-munkin... my cubbie... is four! I can hardly wrap my head around how fast the last four years have gone, but then again, and it's really hard to imagine the time when we wasn't a part of our lives. He's that perfect little puzzle piece. One of four four perfect puzzle pieces in this here family.

AJ, I think you are starting to grow out of it a bit, but overall, you are still my little homebody... happiest at home in jammies. If you have a day at home, playing with Noah during the day and with Andrew outside in evening, you are a happy little man.

Want another way to make a little AJ man happy?? Give you pizza. Seriously, you ask for pizza for e.v.e.r.y meal. We already have pizza once a week for sure and occasionally twice, if we pick a cheap one for lunch or something. But every meal, you ask... and then your follow-up question is (not kidding), "When's Friday"? Friday is our pizza night.

Your other favorite foods are the stand-bys: peanut butter, cashews and dried cranberries (you love them together), and Raspberry Yogurt.

At four, you are, thankfully, still very much a snuggler. Way more than your brother ever was. Early in the morning, before bed, after naps.... really anytime is good for you. We still have to kick you out of our bed nightly because you sneak in.

In just the past two weeks you have learned to make the "L" sound!!! We were starting to get just slightly concerned and then, almost on your fourth birthday to the day... the L's started coming. You still have a few other sounds that need work, but we are very excited to be hearing "Dandelion" instead of "Dandewion" (even though the latter is so terribly adorable still).
And I'm so thankful at how well you play with your brother, Andrew. I know there are time when you bicker and fight; but most of the time, you two get along beautifully. I pray you continue your great friendship your entire lives.

You are learning 4 year old humor and it's cracking us up. You pick up on what makes mom or dad laugh and then repeating it over and over.
AJ, we are so thankful for you and what you bring to our family. You are a true joy and you surprise us each day with how much you are learning so quickly. We love you, kiddo!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I recently found out, or just tuned into at least, that our local public museum gives city residents free admission on Mondays.  And last week, I surprisingly found myself not babysitting and not going into the office on Monday.  So that afternoon, I packed up the kids and we hit the musuem.  Seeing as we had never been there before, it was interesting, but I confess, not something I would want to do over and over, like the Gardens.  However, they did have a special exhibit there that was pretty cool.  It was BUGS!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Report: Angels and Demons

Angels & DemonsDuring my long l.o.n.g. drive to and from Iowa, I made the sure the boys were properly outfitted with their headphones and Loony Tunes before popping in my recently borrowing book on CD, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown.  It's funny since the DaVinci Code by Dan Brown is what I listened to last year during the same drive.

I don't think I liked it much as Davinci Code and there were some parts that were just a little too much. I'll also admit that the very ending, like the last few paragraphs, were as cheesy and corny as ever and almost seemed like they were written by someone else entirely.  However, overall I enjoyed this book and was fascinated by all the works of art referenced and the history behind them. 

I would love some feedback: I am now interested in watching the movie, but considering how graphic and gruesome some of the story is, I'm not sure I can handle watching it "on film" unless they handle it well.... ie: not show too much gore.   Have you seen this movie?  What do you think?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Season Premier: Snow Cone Maker

It's finally warm enough to break out the snow cone maker.  This little contraption by Pampered Chef has been so worth the money. 

It's funny.  My mom bought me this snow cone maker years and years ago... like when I was in high school, I think.  And it sat around forever, never getting used.  I even considered selling it on eBay at one time or another.

However, last year, we rediscovered it and snow cones became our daily, yes daily, afternoon treat.  The boys were so excited when I told them we would pull out the snow cone maker.  I even stayed up late the night before making the syrups.

I take cleaned out 8oz Wishbone salad dressing containers.  They are the perfect size and have a squeeze top that is just right.  Then for each flavor, I boil 1 cup of sugar and 6T of water until clear.  Add 1/2 packet (1/2 tsp) Kool-Aid.  

It's a perfect, and cheap, way to spoil the kiddos on a hot afternoon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The story continues...

If you are visiting from Big Binder, please stop back and give her some bloggy love.  Drop her a sweet comment telling her how much you love being in loop on all the cool things going on around town.

Here is my baked oatmeal recipe and why we are eating it today for breakfast. 
Thanks, Jen!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Does it End: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

We are back from our Spring Break vacation and jumped right into a busy week.  While I have so much to post about and hopefully will get around to it, I'll just jump right into to what we did today.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Single-Disc Edition)Our local theaters have a series of family friendly films running where children's tickets are free and adults are only $3.50.  A couple weeks ago, by strategic planning on the wives part, Marc and his buddy took all the kids to see Astro Boy.  I looked it up on a Christian website and without seeing myself, deemed it ok.   And according to Marc is was okay, even though it got a little scary and Andrew struggled with "scary thoughts" about the movie for a while.

Well, after hearing great reviews about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, I decided to take the boys today after work/school.  We grabbed a quick lunch and settled in the theater.  A mere hour later we were walking out.  Too scary.  I had one boy even in tears he was so upset and begging to leave.  

Good thing the movie was so cheap.   And I'll just have to figure out a time to watch the ending myself.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to make an Airplane Cake

My little man recently turned four. (That post is long overdue.) Anyway, I made this airplane cake and received some questions about it. And since I took some pictures as I made it, I'll see if what I did makes any sense to anyone else.

How to make an airplane cake
Bake 2 round 8 or 9 inch cakes. One cake mix box worth. Cut one cake in half.
How to make an airplane cake

Put those halves together with icing.
(Use homemade icing if you want to please your picky hubby.)
How to make an airplane cake
Slice the other cake to make the rest of the pieces. I actually made one more cut that I didn't take a picture of (image a little off the middle piece). Hopefully the pieced together cake will make sense.
How to make an airplane cake
Use more icing to glue and assemble all the pieces.

How to make an airplane cake
Cover the whole think in blue icing. Pipe white "clouds" along the base.
Use more white for the windows
How to make an airplane cake
I then piped green to outline and spell out "AJ" and "4!". However, personally, I thought it looked better before I added the green. Oh well.
How to make an airplane cake

Ta Da! An Airplane cake to please a preschooler.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jesus Paid it All

Oh, Praise the One
Who paid my debt
And raised this life up
From the dead!

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An "It's Almost My Birthday" Party

I will be taking the boys to IA over Spring Break to visit Grandma and Grandpa Dykstra.  Marc, however, will not be coming along because he will be too busy working.  Yes, praise God... the man has a job! 

Next Tuesday is AJ's Fourth birthday and since we will be in Iowa, we had his birthday party tonight.  Just a small little something with a few friends, but I think he enjoyed it. 

We started the day with chocolate chip pancakes and he got to watch "Cars" this morning.  Then because of the gorgeous weather (I think I heard we had a record high), he spent the rest of the day playing outside with his buddy, Noah.

For his party in the evening some other friends came over, along with the kiddos I babysit, for pizza.... AJ's all time favorite food.  Seriously, the kids asks for pizza for every meal.  Then came the piniata.

AJ then got to open gifts.  I know the picture below is blurry, but can you see AJ's face?  He totally freaked out when we opened this little spiderman toy he had wanted.  It was hilarious.   He also got a scooter like Andrew just got for his birthday... except AJ's is blue.  So now they can scoot around together (plus... the scooters fold up and are much more portable for traveling than bikes.)

Finally, we ended the party with an Airplane Cake... complete with Grandma Dykstra's Icing Recipe.  (I was told I gypped my oldest last month by frosting his cake with storebought icing.)  I admit.... this was SO much better.  Below is AJ blowing out his 4 candles with the help of his buddy.

What a good day for a birthday party.  And the best part... he gets to put on the birthday shirt again and celebrate all over again in Iowa on his real birthday next Tuesday.
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