Saturday, November 30, 2013


With three kiddos ages 5 and under many days fly by. Well, often in the moment they seem to creep. In reality though it's hard to believe I have a 5 year old! The past few months I have been reflecting on our daily grind and I'm working hard to have a more positive attitude.

I despise laundry most days. With 5 people in our house plus 2 in cloth diapers there is a never ending pile. As the amount increases, my gumption to do it plummets. Maybe because it seems like such a daunting task. Or the fact that I can never get ahead of it. As soon as the basket is empty, new items reappear. But how blessed am I to have 4 other people to provide clean clothes for?!?

I have the same attitude towards getting the dishes done. The repetitive cycle of fill, wash, empty drives me crazy. Yet I have a dishwasher to use. And the ability to make meals for my family. So many people go without, how can I possibly think of this as a *problem*?

Many mundane tasks that never bothered me before seem to feel like a burden these days. The reality of juggling three kids, a household and my sanity leave me at the breaking point sometimes. You can not obtain all three. Unless you have a live in maid and child care.

There have been days when Jason comes home and asks what I did all day. I simply look at him exasperated and reply, 'I kept your children alive!'. Enough said. The Lord is teaching me, through my sweet children, that there is no 'perfect'. I don't need to have a spotless house all the time. So what if my kids look like ragamuffins in public. They are happy and healthy.

It is more important for me to be present in their lives than for my floors to be vacuumed three times a week. I have been blessed with these sweet little people and I don't want to miss out over laundry baskets of clothes that need to be folded. Sometimes I find myself stressing more over the chore than actually getting it done!

Moving forward, I hope to look for the good in our everyday lives and be thankful for all we've been given. I am so grateful for my wonderful little family, today and every day.
Here is the *only* picture I captured on Thanksgiving. Looks like the food and festivities wore her out too!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Diggin' Up Bones

On Sunday we took a family outing to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to see the new dinosaur exhibit. I was a little nervous that Emma was going to be afraid and Easton was going to wreak havoc on the displays, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Both kiddos were a little nervous around the first few dinosaurs. they quickly warmed up though. they loved the hands-on activities too. I loved that they were the perfect level for Easton to play with while staying strapped in the stroller.

Elissa slept through the entire ordeal.
So thankful for Sundays to spend time together as a complete family!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Furry Felines

A few weeks ago three furry creatures showed up on our door stop. No idea where they came from. Sadly someone must have decided we needed barn cats on the farm and abandoned them. They were very sweet. Certainly not afraid of people.

Emma fell in love. I struggled. Growing up with lots of pets personally, the hubs and I have a different view on animals. His opinion- God placed 'em outside, that's where they belong. They certainly don't need humans to survive. And while I see some merit to what he says, I want them to be indoors with a warm, dry place to sleep at night. Safe from speeding car tires and other wildlife.

However, with 3 children to keep up with and a husband to care for I don't currently feel equipped to take on three more lives full time. We agreed on a happy middle ground. I would take them to the vet to get the bare minimum of shots required so they could interact with the kiddos and they would stay outdoors.

In less than 48 hours in our care, the cats were found scarfing down D-Con. They had followed Jason into one of the barns. Mouse poison never crossed his mind. So we watched and waited. As much as I did not want to see these cats die, we couldn't spend hundreds of dollars on barn cats.

Meanwhile, I scrambled all over town looking for Vitamin K to feed the kittens in hopes of saving them. Emma had become smitten. She even built them a house to live in on our front porch. So my mom did some crazy math and I started crushing vitamins to mix in with their food.
Five days later, one cat disappeared. Exactly how long it takes for the crud to do its thing. He was no where to be found. We told Emma he probably just ran away. Bad parents, I know. There were two kitties still, so there was some hope.

Two weeks after the kittens appeared the remaining two disappeared. No clue what happened. Not a single trace of them. It's like they were never even here. A few days later my mom almost hit a fox right down the road so I wonder...

We now have another cat someone dropped off. This time we were asked first. I was a little hesitant because I've quickly learned just how temporary barn cats can be. I don't want Emma to keep getting attached to animals that are here today, gone tomorrow. Someday she can have an indoor cat when she is ready to be responsible for the litter box. Until then, I guess an outside cat will have to do.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Barnum & Baileys

This weekend I took the kids to my moms so we could go see the circus. I kept our outing a secret from Emma to avoid her asking about it every 5 minutes. Plus surprises are always fun.

My brothers have never been to the circus either, so it was a first for them too.

Emma never took her eyes off the show. Unless it involved food. She was very concerned whether she would get to devour some over priced processed sugar. Papa Joe came to the rescue and bought her a giant snow cone. Grandma Jen couldn't be out done and proceeded to purchase a large bag of cotton candy to compliment her drink. We only had to drive three hours home later that night.

Easton was entranced. When he was awake that is. After the first half hour he decided to take a quick cat nap. The smell of popcorn and nachos brought him out of a slumber at the intermission and he was able to partake in the sugar consumption as well.

Elissa watched a little, ate a little, slept a little. She was very content throughout in the Moby.

What a fun afternoon, so glad we were able to make those memories!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Simple Pleasures

I bought a bag of dried beans at Aldis this week for Easton. I thought he cold drive his trucks and tractors in it for some quiet time fun. Emma used to play in a tub full of rice, but I thought this might be a little easier to clean up. My son is not the neatest child...

Needless to say this activity was a hit. he played for almost an hour no stop. Bonus for mom- I can work in the kitchen uninterrupted and still keep an eye on him. I have a feeling we'll be utilizing this a lot  more often. Guess I better stock up on beans!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby Sprinkle

I got the chance to host a baby sprinkle for a dear friend who is expecting an unexpected blessing in January. It was such a blast and I love how everything turned out.

They do not know babe's gender so we had a little pink and blue :)
I think I may be a *bit* obsessed with pinwheels

Cute little favors for guests.

I might add that I couldn't have accomplished all this with out my mom's assistance. She helped with a lot of the details and managed my kiddos for the morning while I prepped for the shower. A lot of the guests offered to bring food as well which was so sweet and super appreciated!

I'm bummed I didn't get more pics of the actual event, but nap time finished in the middle and they wanted to join the festivities. That makes this momma a little more frazzled and less on the ball in regards to things like pictures.

What a wonderful afternoon surrounded by awesome ladies to celebrate this amazing momma and her sweet babe. Can't wait to meet Meiste #4!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A House Doesn't Make the Home

We have officially lived in our new place for a year now, crazy how quickly time flies! As a good friend recently told me- the days are long, but the years are short...

I'll be the first to admit it; I did not want to move (read more about that here). I loved the house we were in. At some point I wanted more space for our expanding family. But I hate moving. And painting. Don't even get me started on remodeling. Basically many things that involve a new home. I have a really hard time with the end vision for a project. While building may seem enticing, I can't imagine having to pick out every.little.detail.

So there we were a mere 365 days ago, up in arms over the big move only a few miles away. I felt forced into it which did not give me warm and fuzzies about the new house either.

All I could see was the endless wallpaper that had to be stripped, trim that needed to be painted, walls that needed repair, carpet to tear up. Meanwhile I had a busy 9 month old and 4 year old to entertain and keep out of trouble. Honestly, without the help of family our house would still be in a state of chaos and half finished projects. Who am I kidding- we still have plenty of both those things, but that has more to do with the family that now lives here.

This whole experience has helped me to focus more on the people that live within our house. They are what makes these four walls a home. There will always be things that I would like to change. Some of them are feasible, like a kitchen remodel. That's part of the 5-10 year plan. Others are not, like the way our garage is behind the house and you enter in through the basement. Altering this would be a huge undertaking and require more than some paint and new flooring.

Improvements or not, my husband and children are more important than the place where we lay our heads at night. As long as we are all under one roof that is all that matters. We are what makes this house our home.

Friday, November 1, 2013

3 Months

Our sweet baby girl has been making us smile for a quarter of year already!
In the past month you had your first overnight at grandma's, went trick or treating several times, and you continue to reward us all with smiles. Definitely the best milestone! You also continue to battle a cold on and off. The rock and play really helps you sleep with all that icky drainage.
We currently don't have much of a schedule still, but mommy's trying to work on it. You typically take 3-4 naps throughout the day and do two 4 hour stretches at night. Most days you nurse 7-8 times.
You have moved up to size 1 diapers and no longer wear the newborn cloth diapers. Newborn clothes have been packed up for the most part and even most of the 0-3. Your legs are just too long for most of the pants.
So far you don't seem to mind tummy time. We don't do it as frequently as mommy would like for fear of you getting trampled on the floor. Toys are starting to catch your interest.  You also love to watch what everyone is doing when you're awake. Sometimes you even get in on the action :)

I love watching you grow and develop, but mommy is a little sad the newborn stage is gone!