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31 October 2012

Life lately

Good morning! We've got cinnamon rolls in the oven and chili in the crockpot this morning. Does anyone else enjoy that combination? A friend told me about it a while ago, and we've been hooked ever since. I'm perfecting my cinnamon roll recipe and hopefully I'll share it this winter sometime.

This post was so wonderful...and it's caused me to think about margin in my own life. As much as I dislike busy-ness, it manages to creep into my life in the most well-intending of ways. As the holidays swiftly approach, I am prayerfully considering ways to quiet things down a bit. Maybe I'll share more as time allows. Or maybe I won't. You know, in the interest of fending off busy-ness.

Maren took her pumpkin to preschool last night to carve with Brett. We were charged with the task of 'getting the goop out' first. I am loving that Truett is becoming more and more engaged in our family times. He has turned into quite the proficient climber, to his delight and my distress.  I anticipate a trip to the ER in the coming months...hoping against it, but feeling like it's inevitable!


I love them...and I love that they love each other.

Truett was so happy until he reached his hand into the slimy pumpkin...after which he FREAKED OUT. He did not like the feel of the pumpkin guts at all. Poor kid. Maren and Brett made a cat-faced-pumpkin. I do not like cats, but Maren does. She has a fake cat that purrs and a pumpkin cat now. That's as close as we'll get to welcoming the sneaky species into our home.

This morning Maren approached me with a ball of yarn and this hippo strapped to a backpack. She insisted that I tie the backpack hippo onto her waist because carrying it around was making her hands sweaty. I do not know where she comes up with this stuff, but I'm glad she does. Her quirky ways make me smile.

Tomorrow I'll share about our Halloween escapades. We've got a golfer and a doctor in the house. And cinnamon rolls and chili. And non-sweaty hands. It's turning out to be a wonderful day.

26 October 2012

Insta-october: our month in phone pics

A look at the past month through my phone lens...and maybe even a few September stragglers!

We went to a Brazilian steakhouse for Brett's birthday...it was delicious and a really exciting experience with 2 young children.

Craft group...more on this later!

Such a happy boy

Watching the fish in the grizzly bear exhibit at the zoo

Pausing for a rest in the grizzly bear exhibit

Maren took it upon herself to pack for Michigan during quiet time

Car riding

Pajamas for the plane

Pre-flight wrestling

Wheaton homecoming

Uncle Zach

College friends...Katie and Hannah (hi!)

Waiting for the train in Chicago

City strolling

Waiting for pizza

Giant Michigan pumpkin

Coffee with my mom

Maren playing with my little ponies...literally

Packed for her sleepover with the cousins

Sushi date!

First ballet...Cinderella!

Dancing...I think she asked to be called Jewel or Diamond or some such sparkly object

And Truett is climbing on everything

Book club reading and a charcoal mask that is so great

Again with the climbing

Winter weather cinnamon rolls
Happy October!

25 October 2012

October in Michigan: part 2

We had grand plans to spend our last Saturday in Michigan cheering on cousin Paige at her soccer game and taking a family trip to the farm for some good ol' pumpkin hunting and other fall festivities. Sadly, we were greeted on Saturday morning by blustery winds and chilly rain. Maren had the privilege of having a sleepover with her cousins on Friday night. We altered our plans a bit, and still had a memorable day together. We met for donuts and coffee at Forest Hills Foods. What a fabulous grocery store! They had a wonderful little cafe area where we could sit and enjoy our morning. The dads sat with the kids while the moms enjoyed a separate table. We've got some great men in our family! (That's my dad and brother, Ben.)

The 2 boy cousins...Ben and Allison will even things out when they welcome another baby boy sometime in November. (Can't wait!) Truett is a little young to 'play' much with Will, but I hope these two will be good buddies sometime in the future.

Instead of going to the 'farm' we went to an indoor place called Koetsier's. It was a big greenhouse filled with fall activities. The kids had a blast. Maren loved the corn boxes. I'm pretty sure all of the kids went home with some extra corn tucked inside their clothes. :)

I'm so thankful for my Michigan family...Mom, me and Allison.

Do you think they were having fun? There was a maze the kids must have gone through a dozen times.

The three older kids enjoyed painting and glittering pumpkins. We convinced Maren that my parents really wanted a glittery pumpkin at their house...thank goodness we didn't have to carry this home on the plane!

I loved going to church with my mom and dad on Sunday. We don't always go to church when we're back in Michigan, so it was a treat to see people from my past. (We're often at the lake or visiting around the holidays when we get snowed-in!) I also spent some time one afternoon visiting a friend I grew up with who now lives right across the street from my parents. Our girls played while we caught up. Our dads grew up together, and so did we, so we've literally been friends since birth! (Sadly, I didn't take a picture with Carri!) I also neglected to take a picture during our time with my cousin, Jodi, and her family. But we enjoyed a quick visit with them as well. Josh and Jodi had just learned that their 4th baby, due in February, has a heart defect. It was shocking to hear of such a close family member who will be walking the road we walked with Truett. They've been heavy on my heart ever since. I'm so thankful I am able to pray for them and support them during this season. (Love you, Jodi!)

Three generations of girls!

We also spent an evening visiting my grandparents. Truett loves exploring new places. He only lasted about 2 minutes on Grandpa's lap, but I was thankful for this sweet picture.

Grandma and Grandpa lived on the beach in Florida for years, and my Grandma would walk the beach every morning collecting shells. She has a lovely, inspiring collection. Maren loved looking at all the shells, and was thrilled to choose a few to bring back to Colorado with us.

And with that, our trip to Michigan was complete!

I'm off to spend the remaining time with Maren away at school in my craft room. It snowed here last night (!) and I'm working hard getting ready for a little crafter's open house my friend and I are hosting. I'll share more about that soon!

22 October 2012

October in Michigan: part 1

We were fortunate to spend some early October time in Michigan. It's been a while since we'd been back in the fall, and it was a treat to experience the beautiful colors and crisp autumn Michigan weather.  As always, we loved our time with family.

Growing up, I remember our trips to Robinette's for apples, donuts, and cider. I loved sharing this tradition with my kids. That huge apple has been there as long as I can remember. My mom used to participate in craft shows that Robinette's hosted in the fall, and I have fond memories of spending cool Saturday mornings amidst the bustle of vendors selling their wooden bears and various baby's breath and heart crafts. Remember the handiwork of the 80's? 

Truett loves balls, and anything semi-spherical is a 'ball' to him. Imagine his delight at this enormous, red ball!

Brett took the kids through part of this corn maze. They didn't make it all the way to the end, but it was certainly fun while it lasted! Have you seen the Curious George episode with the corn maze? Maren was sure she was stepping right into the race with Curious George.

Grand Rapids has a great little children's museum. It's the perfect size and has the best exhibits for young kids. We easily could've spent the entire day exploring and playing.

Brett made an excellent grocery clerk.

Our resident actress obligingly performed a show for us. And, I decided that I should make Maren a wooden microphone for Christmas.

Making giant bubbles...

Maren's favorite spot of the day was the vet clinic. She was able to perform ultrasounds on the pregnant puppies (pretend, of course!), and she gave each animal a bath before tucking them into their cages for the night.

Another fun thing about Michigan is that we get to visit cousins! Maren loves her cousins so much and it was a treat to spend some time with them. The kids asked Brett to draw them giraffes and this is what he came up with...he's quite the artist, right? It was a flurry of activity when all the cousins were together...so much excitement!

Brett took advantage of the high ceilings at my brother's house and gave Truett quite the thrill...he is such a brave little boy and loves getting thrown in the air. This picture cracks me up...he looks so tiny!

Truett loves my dad...he even started saying 'grandpa' (bumpa) while were in Michigan.

More Michigan to come...stay tuned!