Friday, December 28, 2007

To be Fair...



To be fair, I had to put a picture of the "other" important person in my life. I realized that I had talked about Jimmy and the girls and left out a very important person...my boyfriend. He is the sweetest little boy..all boy...but such a lover!!! It is funny how "proud" he is that he can call me his girlfriend and how proud I am to call him my son aka boyfriend!!!
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

Like the song goes, here are a few of my favorite things. I love my husband. He drives me crazy, but he is all mine. I thank God that he is the one I get to call "my man". He told me this morning that I am his excitement in life. Technically, he said me and the kids. I took that as a great compliment, hopefully, that is the was he meant it:)! Boy, is he mine.

This also another of my favorite things. I only have one sister in this world, lucky for me...she is also my coworker, neighbor, scrappin' girl ect. She (like my husband) can drive me crazy (ok, I see a pattern...yes, it is me!!!), but at the end of the day I also thank God for her. She is my "go to girl"!


Ok, this picture is extra special. It includes the most important girls in my life. These four girls love me unconditionally, as I do them. I am so blessed to have a mom that loves me...no matter what...and has always made that known. We have our moments of disagreements, but at the end of the day, SHE IS MY MOM!!!! I hope to be half the mom she is. My mom is a very strong woman, she has gone through a lot in life, but has always managed to keep love at the top of her priority list. These are my girls. Through thick and thin, I would do ANYTHING for them. They help define who I am...a daughter, sister, and mother. Minus wife, these three "definements" are the most important thing to me...so are these people!
This is the first family picture taken. We have been talking about getting a professional picture taken for years and I thought why not get one right here and now...in the basement! Thanks to Steve's cool lens, we could all fit in the picture! Of course, Isaac thought he would be "funny" and keep his eyes closed in every picture. You know what, it doesn't matter! I have a picture of my family to treasure forever! All of us, in one spot, celebrating together...now that is what I call Christmas!
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I love Girls

I love this picture of the girls in their matching dresses and CURLS. I take my job as a mom of girls very seriously:). I make sure they are dressed for Christmas (church) from head to toe. Ok, the curls maybe more for me than them, but I just love them. As long as they let me do their hair, I am going to. How can I resist?
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My Angels



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Getting ready for Christmas Eve


The kids were too cute! I found the girls dresses in October when I was shopping with Jodi in Holland. There they were 2 dresses in a 2 and 4 just waiting to come home with me. I thought I would have plenty of time to find Isaac something matching. Let me tell you, they don't make dark brown things for boys. I found some cords at the Gap and let him pick out a "Christmas" tie. I had given up! The battle was not over. They do not make brown shoes for little girls at Christmas time. EVERYTHING is black! They could not wear black shiny shoes with brown velvet dresses. Needless to say, I had to give up on that too. Ashley actually picked out the glitter shoes. She thought they were beautiful. They had brown bows and the glitter actually was the same colors as the polka-dots on the dresses.



I loved Alli's tights. She is so skinny, she could not even fill them out!


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Monday, December 24, 2007

Good Job, Jimmy


Good job, Jimmy! Not only did he take a picture of me with the kids, he actually got me and the kids. He is notorious for "background" pictures. We tend to be a VERY SMALL element in the picture, the wall (or other background item) tends to be the subject. Not bad Jimmy, not bad at all!!!
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Christmas pj's or getting ready for jail????

I am not sure if we are getting ready for Santa's arrival or getting ready to do 20 years. The pj's are actually green, red and white, but look more like jail bird outfits if you ask me. The kids, once again, thought it was the greatest thing ever to have ALL matching pj's. Brady was adiment on wanting to be in the picture, but once he got on the sofa (for the first time) he could care less about the picture. Typical!!! It is always a treat setting my selftimer on the camera and running to get in the picture and have everybody ready in 7 seconds. All in all, not bad!! Merry Christmas!
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Christmas at the TenBrink's


Christmas at the TenBrink's was great again this year. It was a lot of fun to have Uncle Jared and Aunt Kate there too. Thanks for the drive over!!! The kids (Jimmy and I too!) made out like bandits. Cheryl made the girls these really cool "southern belle" dresses. Alli has more appreciation for it than Ash, but they both like them. Uncle Jared and Aunt Kate got the kids a really cool puppet theater. They have been bugging us to put it together so I know what we will be doing this afternoon. Thanks again guys for a great Christmas!!!
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Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Party Pictures




What a wonderful party. Thank you Mrs. Simon...as always it was great! What is this? My dad can smile!!!! He must be proud to be "a poppy"!!!

Merry Christmas

video

Preschool Christmas Party

I have never been so proud of the kids. They did such a great job and sang so loud. Other parents even commented on how well the kids did. I love these "moments" of being a mom. I get so caught up in the day to day life, I sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) forget to take a moment and just love that moment. I think raising kids is a lot like your wedding day. You take months of planning (and LOTS OF MONEY) to plan this "perfect" day and then poof it is over. If you are lucky you may have some faint memories of the long planned out day. I spend so much time "planning" ( I use this word very lightly...as I am not a planner!) my day that at the end of the day I am not sure what happened. Did I even enjoy the day? Did I tell the kids that I love them? Did they do something so little that I took for granted, but really was a huge deal to them? I always have so many things going on. I need to figure out a way to take a breath and just enjoy them. I have been reading a blog of a lady that is very inspirational to me. She lost a daughter several years ago and makes it a point every day to love her kids and make the most of EVERYTHING because tomorrow might not be. I am trying hard to follow this advise. We will see how long it lasts!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Decorating Cookies with the Gilbert's




Here are some of the pictures from this past weekend. It was our 3rd year making cookies with the Gilbert's. It is always a lot of fun to get together. As you can see, the "boys"...aka Jimmy and Rusty had more fun making cookies than the kids did. In the words of Jimmy, "there is still dough left." The kids ate more frosting than went on the cookies, but the cookies still turned out great. I recommend making cookies with friends. I made some with just the kids on Friday and had a good time, but it was even better with friends. I think I have to relax and I enjoy the "moment" more when other people are involved...crazy Krissy can't come out:)!

Playing together without fighting


My animals are "teaching" my children how to play together without fighting. To bad they don't make glass partitions for children. I guess they might, maybe I should look into it:)! Anyways, Brady and Chevy played through the glass for quite awhile batting back and forth. It was really sweet. I had the kids watch...hoping through osmosis that this "loving" relationship would wear off on them. Oh who am I kidding, they all love each other, BUT they will always fight. It is what siblings do...right Jodi:)?!?!?!?

That Snow White


A few of my favorite pictures with Snow White. She was so sweet to the kids. Isaac still talks about her. Of course he tells me he loves me more and I am his only girlfriend, well, "you and Erica". I guess I will take what I can get!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First Day at Epcot




I realize that it has been a month since we left for Florida...better late than never. Right?!?! I am following my sister's thought of not having a post without a picture and I have no pictures at work, so this one will have to do. Besides, I like the sun in our face. Poor Alli can not even open up her eyes. Don't I wish we could have brought that back with us. I like the seasons in Michigan, but I like to see sun more. These gloomy days tend to make me the same way. How can I be gloomy with Christmas right around the corner. I have been keeping up with my fellow bloggers and realize that I have more than enough to be thankful for. If my biggest complaint is the sun is not shining, I have to say life is pretty good. Everyone out there having a tough time right now, please remember what doesn't break us only makes us stronger. I SO BELIEVE this!!!! I know it is easy to question God why these things happen, but trust me He does have a plan. I remember trying to have a baby. I only wanted one, just one. Everyone around me was having babies and I had always wanted to be a mom, but it just was not happening. I remember making deals with God, for the record, He doesn't make deals:)! It was a very trying time for me as a person (the person with the problem(s)) and for me and Jimmy. It was hard to deal with the disappointment every month. It is drilled in your head at such a young age, if you have sex, you will have a baby. Jimmy told me he was fine not having kids, but I was not, which led to problems between us. I had always pictured my life with them. Eight awful months of driving to Grand Rapids several times a week, 3 months of shots in my belly and butt, and $20,000 later, I was not only having my SO WANTED BABY...I was having 2!!! If you ask me today to pick my favorite, I would rather die. Those two kids complete me...so I thought! To find out 16 months later that I was pregnant all on my own...CRAZY! My broken girl body decided to actually work...who knew? That baby (along with the Alli and Isaac)...that COMPLETES my family and need. My point is that you have to believe that everything will work out as it should. I remember one of my friends calling me and asking me questions about IVF and memories that were so vivid were just gone! I guess it was just a means to an end. God knew I needed Alli and Isaac together and they would "pave the way" for Ashley. They told me I had a 1 in a million chance for Ashley. If some asked me if I would rather win the lotto or Ash, I would so take her again in a heart beat!!! I am not sure why I just "spilled" all of that. Maybe it is because it is the holiday season and I have to remind myself how wonderful the season is because of those three kids. Their faces on Christmas morning are priceless! The wonder and excitement are contagious and I love it. I know there are people out there who question my "mother skills" and think I should be different, but honestly, how can I be? All I can do with these three miracles is love them. I have EARNED that right! Before I was a mom, I was going to be a great CALM mom, who did all of these great things with her kids, and they were going to be great calm kids. You know what, 1 out of 2 ain't bad! They are GREAT, calm maybe not, but they are working on it, as am I. I think it is great that they are confident enough in themselves and know that they are loved no matter what. That to me is priceless. Raising kids is hard work, to know that they feel loved is HUGE!

Ok, so this entry really had nothing to do with Epcot and it kind of rambled on about nothing, but it is something to me. Those three kids and Jimmy are everything to me. So my Christmas gifts this Christmas are once again my three kids and husband. I will let you know when the excitement and "fabulousness" of this gift wears off. Trust me, I have my moments when I would like to return my models for the "upgraded" version, but at the end of the day, the "imperfections" are my favorite thing about them. Those imperfections are what helps me grow as a person, wife and mother. Merry Christmas to me and all of you in Blogger world!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This is too funny! Thanks Shelly...

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1160090260

They saw a sucker in me



Ok, Disney World took A LOT of our money and is still taking our money and we are back in Michigan!! They now offer this photo pass thing. Basically, they give you this card and have people set up around all of the parks to take picture of your family...the whole family! As a tourist trap waiting to happen, a mom who NEVER gets in pictures, and a mom who LOVES family pictures, this was heaven sent. When the week was done we had over 115 pictures. They let you order a 5x7 pictures for 12.95 plus s/h and tax or they give you the option to buy the all the pictures on a cd that you can make as many prints as you want. What a deal!?!? Don't you think? Needless to say, I purchased the cd and the posted picture is my ABSOLUTE favorite picture. I just love it. How ironic, there is no mom or "family"...just the kids, but there is TINKERBELL. You have to love Disney magic. I will post some other pictures of the family with MOM in later posts.

Friday, November 30, 2007

What the?


I was so excited about the kids school pictures. I have banned Penney's and really wanted to get a "professional" picture taken of the kids. I even went as far as getting Ashley's picture taken too. I wanted the backgrounds all to match hanging on the wall. Ash was the first picture of the day. They snapped a picture (to get the camera ready) and then took another cute one. I know, I saw it on the camera screen. The pictures were suppose to be back prior to our vacation, but their computer system had some errors. Some errors is right. They printed the "ugly" picture of Ashley and put Alli and Isaac in front of a blue background...not the traditional grey like I had wanted. So now I have a super ugly picture of Ash...in grey, 2 BLUE pictures of the big kids. Mrs. Simon (the teacher) knew this is not what I wanted and called Geskus to see about retakes because yes, they were "retaken" while we were in Florida. They apologized for an errors and said they would be happy to retake them if I wanted to go to their studio in Grand Rapids. Tell me, when do I have time to get three kids "prepared" for photos and drive them to GR?????I am writing this so everyone knows when they get these pictures in their Christmas cards that I am not the freak Mom who made a girl in a brown sweater and a boy wearing an all blue shirt have their picture taken in front of a blue background. I also want everyone to know that "Chunky Monkey Ashley" really is not quite that chunky...it's just a bad picture. What is that they say, the camera adds 10 pounds?

Check out my Slide Show!Meeting Cinderella for the first time

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Introducing...Brady





I have no idea what possessed me to decide we needed a puppy. I guess I like to "challenge" myself. We went to Thanksgiving at the TenBrink's and Jared and Kate's baby, Annie and the TenBrink's baby, Pebbles were there and the kids played with them and thought they were great. It was a little chaotic, (sorry Jim, Cheryl, Jared, and Kate) but so much fun to see the smiles on the kids faces. The next day we went to get a Christmas tree for Jimmy's work. When we got to the office, I decided a puppy was something we should consider. Long story short, 8 pm that night we were driving home with Brady. At the time his name was Stewart (after Tony Stewart), than George, Bless You (yes, Ash wanted to name him Bless You), Harley, H.D., Lucy (leave it to Alli, she could care less if he was a boy, she really wanted a dog named Lucy). He has been a really good puppy. Isaac had found a new best friend. My only complaint(S) are every shirt Isaac has worn since Friday now has holes in it, I have my eyes on this puppy at all times...trying to make sure he does not pee or poop, and I DON'T SLEEP. As stated in prior entries, I NEED SLEEP!!! I love to sleep and I have to have it. I think having a baby is easier. Maybe because I was off from work and those first few weeks were such a daze, but this SUCKS! He is getting better. After having a "mini melt down" yesterday, Brady went out last at 10pm, slept until 4:30, Jimmy took him out (yeah, I did not have to get out of bed!) came back in and slept until 7am when I woke him up! Not bad. Right now, after my 8 hours of sleep, I am glad we have this dog! I think this is a great thing for the kids, someone to play with, to love, to learn responsibility. I also like the idea of having a dog were we live. Hopefully, I can get through the next couple of weeks and CALM DOWN and start to enjoy this little guy instead of feeling like he is just adding too much to my plate! If any of you have any great ideas on how to "raise" a good dog, I would love the suggestions.

Sorry!!



I know, I know, I should have updated this long ago. Please forgive me. This entry is going to be short, but I promise to make up for it...hopefully, this weekend. Yes, we made it back and safely. Minus losing Ashley at MGM Studios, all went really well. Ok, I said that rather matter of fact, because to think about it makes me want to ball. It has taken me 1 week to stop dreaming about it. But, enough about that, we are here and great and actually have a plus one. Camp Chaos just was not chaotic enough as is, we had to add a puppy to the mix. Let me tell you, I think he is more work than a baby. The big kids love him, Ash is learning to like him, Jimmy is head over heals for the little guy, I think he is super cute, but a lot of WORK! I am not a fan of pee and poop in my house and I have way to much to do to be watching a puppy and getting my stuff done. Jimmy keeps reminding me that it will get easier in just a little while. It does help that on most days he takes him to the office with him. Oh yeah, the puppy has a name...Brady. Sir Brady Jax of Camp Chaos to be exact.

The vacation was a lot of fun and so needed. We had a very busy time. We went to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Daytona USA, Cocoa Beach, Epcot, Disney World, Animal Kingdom, and MGM. We also had a day be the pool at the hotel. Kelley and Lucas came to visit, but the poor guy was shivering so bad. I felt so bad for him. Our hotel was great, about 20 feet from our window were giraffes. The only bad thing I have to complain about was how RUDE people were. It was NOT the happiest place on Earth. I guess there are rude people everywhere and you just have to be happy that you are not like that. I promise to put a picture and entry for each day, but now I must go.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Isaac's Dream Come True



Ok, we got to Universal Studios...a little late...do to the Daytona thing! We pulled in and they told us because we were driving a blue car for $2.00 more they would valet park our car (in obervance of Veteran's Day, they were stopping red, white, and blue cars). That alone made up for the lost time. We no more get into Islands of Adventure and Wolverine is just hanging out. I grab my camera and Isaac, totally excited about this oportunity...and Isaac starts to cry! CRY! He did not want to get his picture taken with Wolverine and either did the girls. What is this? We have been talking about this for months and we spent all this money just to see these characters. I, of course, got upset, not mad, just sad, but did amazingly well:)! We decided on trying again and buying an autograph book. Spiderman came over and spent a good 5 minutes just talking to Isaac. He was HEAVEN sent!!! He told Isaac that he was his "side kick" and all of the superheroes were going to need his help. He had to always do the right thing and above all, be nice to his sisters!! From that point on the big kids were all about getting their pictures taken and getting autographs. All until Storm and Rogue...they were girls...he wanted their autograph, but could not get his picture taken with a girl! Ash started out great, in the picture above she is "shooting webs like spidy man". I think this is the only picture I have of her with a character. She did not care at all from this point on. We all just had a great time. Universal is not Disney, but everyone, especially the characters, were so nice. Also, for the record, the Spiderman ride is pretty cool...the water spraying you, the fire, Jimmy and I are still trying to figure out how they make you feel like you are falling...too cool! Too cool in fact for Isaac, who did brave it two times to ride with his mother and father...and both times did not like it. The girls did not get a vote...too short!!! I can only imagine what tomorrow holds...Dora, Diego, Sponge Bob..oh my!

Daytona USA



We went to Daytona USA on Sunday and had a great time. I must confess, we were only going to make Jimmy happy. I thought if we did this first, he would be happier with the rest of the time doing what we wanted. I have to admit that we ALL had a wonderful time. We bought "hot passes" and got to do EVERYTHING at Daytona; we went in the infield, the garages, the infield "Bistro", the press boxes and the Frances' personal box. To most of you, this is nothing, but to a huge race fan, it doesn't get much better. Isaac and Alli got to do some race simulator thing that they thought was great, Ash and I got to go shopping. Speaking of the simulator, Jimmy "flipped" his car and rolled it 10 times, in so doing, lost his cell phone. Of course, he did not realize this until today, so back to Daytona we went. Which actually made me really happy. Whenever we go on vacation, we like to buy an ornament to remember the place or event. We thought about it on the way home yesterday. It was like Divine Intervention...I got my ornament!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Made It

We made it! The whole process was SO EASY!! I can not believe it. They were so good, going through security was a bit long, but they did great. Ash fell asleep as soon as we got in the air and the big kids watched a movie on Jimmy's computer. People actually commented on how well behaved our children were. See...this new, calm, patient thing is really working for me and the rest of the clan. Do I see a name change for the "camp" soon????? To soon to tell!!