Monday, July 30, 2007

Our New Arrival

Yes, we are once again expecting a little one to arrive at our house around mid January.  We are currently 14 weeks into the pregnancy and are very excited.  We got to see the baby in an ultrasound last Monday and the heartbeat was loud and clear.  These things put my heart to rest that everything would be okay this time around. 
 
Abigail has been telling everyone she has 5 babies in her tummy and Mommy has two and they'll all come after Christmas!  It has been fun as she is learning and talking about it.  We had to explain to her that boys don't have babies in their tummies because she kept insisting that Nathan had 4 babies in his! 
 
Anyway, I have been busy trying to keep up with the green beans, tomatoes, and corn from the garden and building some storage cabinets in our porch but I do plan on getting some pictures up for everyone to see the vacation we took and some of the other belated pictures.  Sorry it has taken me so long.  Not enough energy and time in the day some days.  Just keep checking back and I'll try to let you know when I post date them. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vacation

Well, we are back from our vacation.  I will try to get some pictures uploaded before too long but with the garden and trying to catch up with everything it may be a while.  Anyway, we had a great time in Michigan.  We got to see Marion's cousin, Paula and family on our way up.  It is always nice to see them and spend a little time with them.  Then when we arrived in Michigan, Marion's aunt, Jean, had a condo available for us to stay in and so we had our own little space.  It was very nice.
 
We visited with Kim and her family Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  Kim now has two little girls Caitlyn and Mariah.  They also have a lively dog named picaso.  Nate rather enjoyed the snakes down stairs and even Abi went to visit them a couple of times.  We got to go to Grand Haven and see the beach and peer and the four adults went out one evening while the kids were playing with a babysitter.  Sunday was more of a relaxing day but we did get to visit with the Smith's (kim's parents) and have a party for Abi's 3rd birthday. 
 
Saturday was spent relaxing in the morning and running a few errands and then we spend the remainder of the afternoon and some of the evening with Jean, Samuel, Jeff and Pam (Marion's cousin and wife).  It was great to be able to visit with them and Jean put on a FABULOUS meal! 
 
On our way home we stopped off at Pella, Iowa a dutch community and had a great time looking around.  I'll try to get more into that when I add the pictures.  Well, I think I'll sign off for now, just wanted to let you know what has been up with us lately.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pella, Iowa

On our way home we stopped off for an evening at Pella, Iowa. I was really excited becasue this was sort of what I really wanted to do though Marion had not decided until the last minute that it is what we WOULD do! Anyway, we walked into this really awesome hotel called the Royal Amsterdam Hotel and asked if they had a room. They had one that had been smoked in so if we were interested then we could have it at around 1/2 price...well we said SURE! So I was really excited! When we got to the room, the rate on the door said it was like a $199 dollar room for double occupancy...and it only went up from there! OUCH! (and it didn't even really smell like smoke to us!) Anyway, one of the cool things about this hotel is that it is apart of this whole block that is all brick and had a canal that runs through it...I didn't get any pictures of the canal, but you can see it here if you want to go to the link of the hotel: http://www.royalamsterdam.com/index.html

Here is a picture of the painting that is in the hallway of the hotel...














Anyway, the lady at the desk recommended we eat at Georges with the kids...it was sort of an italian place but you can get all kinds of food. Marion got the Lasagna, the kids had grilled cheese and french fries, and I had steak and potato! It was really a great place...they even served free ice cream with every meal...though we didn't figure that out till later!

After eating we started to walk around the town square and the main shopping area...it was a bit hot but not too bad. Being a Dutch community, they have a lot of windmills around. Here is one in the park...they also have lots of flowers around...in the spring they have a tulip festival with tulips everywhere!


















They have a VERY nice park with this water fountain in it. We actually saw I think three different fountains that evening! I didn't post them all here though.


















Later that evening we went to the courtyard and watched the clock with its figurines. The courtyard had six or seven of these great tile portrait things like below. And then at certain times of the day when the clock strikes, the little figures come out. It was dark by this time and my pictures didn't turn out the best but here is one of Wyatt Earp who grew up there.







Overall, we had a great time. We even went to the Pella Window/Rolescreen Museum which was very interesting. There was alot more to see and do but time was getting away from us and the with the kids you have to keep those things in mind.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Abi's 3rd Birthday

Abigail celebrated her 3rd birthday while we wer in Michigan. We were able to go to the Smith's and have a party with them. Here are a hodge podge of pictures with her opening her presents, her cake, and the girls playing with these masks that Jan Smith has...they are all feathery! We also got some great pictures with this HUGE rocking horse that Ken make for the grandkids...I guess each of their families are going to get one, but he is making them on a smaller scale...enjoy:












Friday, July 13, 2007

Vacation Pictures

Okay, I'll go ahead and post these on the date they were taken even though the summary of the vacation was posted later in the month...it will just help me keep things in order...

These pictures were of our trip to Grand Haven and the beach. We took a wagon and a double stroller to fit all the kids in:














Here is a picture of the whole crew (except me of course).















Here are the three older kids looking over the peer walk at the water.















The Coast Guard has this bell that sits in a little park area along the peer...the kids can ring it...we heard this go several times by various groups visiting. The kids really enjoyed this part of the trip.














We walked the whole way to the end of the catwalk which stretches out into the lake. I was VERY particular that the kids stayed IN the wagon! They really did pretty good during this part of the walk...we estimated that we walked about 3 miles or so.



















Finally toward the end of our journey we let the kids play in the sand. We had a little problem with sharing and had to cut our trip short but overall I think they had fun. We also stopped off for ice cream on our way back as well.



Friday, July 06, 2007

Our House and Garden 2007

Some of you have never seen our house or the area in which we live. This year has been a beautiful year for us. We have been blessed with some good rains and some great overall weather. Below is a shot of our house from the road, followed by our side yard with our merry-go-round, followed by a picture of our garden this year, and just a view of the calving pasture just south of our house and up the hill.







In the foreground you'll see our strawberry bed which was done producing by this time, then we have potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, and corn. You can't see the onions and carrots between the potatoes and tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July

Well, we were still in harvest this year, which was the first year since we got back that that had occurred...anyway, we didn't do a whole lot to celebrate because of that. I did get a few smoke bombs, snakes, and snap its for the kids to enjoy. Abigail struggled with making her snap its work but Nathan loved them all...





































Later in the evening I finally decided to go to Osborne and visit with some friends who were having a party there. We got to see the end of the big city show and then their neighborhood was VERY alive with their own! Abigail was a little frightened and at one point I told her I wouldn't let any of the fireworks hit her....about 10 minutes later...here comes a loose firework straight for us and lands in our chair....while I was still sitting in it holding both kids! We managed to get up and not get hurt but it was definately and eye opener for us all!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Abigail's Achievements

Okay, I don't know if this goes beyond bragging but I do think it is worth the noting and since this is kinda like our family journal I'm going to go ahead and put these in...if they are too braggy...just ignore this post :-)

Abigail has really started to draw and write a lot more. I labeled these drawings so that I could remember what they were but they are pretty good none the less. The first one is of a house and trees.















This next one I tried to help you identify the letters...they aren't always that clear and the picture is small but you can still see she was trying VERY hard to spell her name both long and short...the typed letters are of course by me. She struggles with her B and G and doesn't always get the letters in the right order...but this is one of those things she did on her own and then proudly showed me later...