Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm thankful for the blessings...

a little Kelly Clarkson for you...

This Thanksgiving Eve, I am going to attempt a thankful list. I know I have so much more to be thankful than what I put on this list, but here is a few in no particular order and I will stop when I am needed to help put my three crazy kids to bed. Which leads me to my first couple of blessings...

I am thankful for my 3 wonderful crazy fabulous kids. They make me have a variety of emotions throughout the day, but ALWAYS at least once, without fail, bring the biggest smile to my face.

I am thankful for my husband, he too, can bring a smile to my face, even when I am in the worst mood...maybe it has something to do with those dimples and great butt...

I am thankful to have a house to live in. It keeps me warm, it provides me with daily would I spend my evenings if I couldn't clean the house and do laundry (which are also blessings!! I have the ability and means to keep myself, family, and home clean)?

I am thankful to have two wonderful parents who set a GREAT example of love. Growing up, I thought they were out to get me and maybe (just a little) crazy. Turns out, they weren't crazy, they were parents! I have 100% turned into my mother...and that is a huge compliment to me!!!

I am thankful to have a sister...a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker all in one. I am also thankful to have Keith, Caleb, Andrew, and Kyle. They all help complete my family and I would not have it any other way.

I am thankful to have in-laws. I am thankful to Jim and Cheryl for having a fabulous son that I was lucky enough to marry. I am thankful that they raised him to be a good husband and an even better father...for the record, he set his "even better" standard high...he is a great husband!! I am also thankful to have a brother and sister in-law that moved back to Michigan to be closer to to find the time to see them and actually get to spend some time together:).

I am thankful to be able to write this take the time to actually think about all the wonder things and PEOPLE I have in my life. Funny thing is, if there were no blogger, I would not be in contact with some of these wonderful people.

I am thankful to blogger comments...I just LOVE when people leave comments on my blog!!!

I am thankful to have WONDERFUL friends (who leave comments and who don't!). The older I get the more I realize YOU NEED TO HAVE FRIENDS...someone who has your back...both figuratively and literally!!!

I am thankful for my job. In this economy, these words are enough, but I am lucky enough to actually LOVE my job and work with the BEST people. I am thankful for Steve, Lynn, and Larry for being my family 9-5 Monday through Friday (except Wednesday's :))!

I am thankful for Shelly. I have never had to worry about the safety of my children or of they are loved. You have no idea what kind of pressure that takes off from a mom! The kids love Shelly and love to go there. They have never cried about going...they think of it as their second home and I will be FOREVER grateful for all Shelly has and will do for my kids.

I am thankful for my (and my families) health. Minus being a little off our rocker every now and again :), everyone is happy and healthy.

I am thankful for bed times, for being able to be home at night to tuck my babies into bed, to give them hugs and kisses and most important, to tell them how much I love them and I how lucky I am to have them.

I am thankful to God, for His many blessings. The ones that I realize and the ones that are so simple that I do not even pay attention. THOSE blessings are the ones that I am most thankful for. I am SO thankful for all that He entrusts in me, for his confidence in me that I will let these kids live another day:)! Seriously, thankful does not even begin to describe ALL the gratitude that I have.

Well, there is so much freedom...that I am thankful for, but I am being summons to a bedroom or two for some "night time lovin' " and I am not about to miss it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's that time of year again...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Christmas Card Preview

So, trying to be somewhat prepared, I got the kids in their "Christmas clothes" and started taking some pictures. Classic chaos kids could not all look at the camera at the same time or else had this face that looked like they had to take the biggest poop. Regardless, a single picture of the three of them smiling (not constipated) and LOOKING at me was harder than I imagined! They did, however, manage some cute pictures alone. I went to "find" a Christmas card with several openings and that was WAY HARDER than I originally thought too. The only multi-photo cards I could find had 4 openings or 3 (1 large and 2 smaller). Darn three kids anyway!!! So in the end I compromised with a group photo. Not my favorite, but like Jodi said, they are all looking at the camera and smiling...that is about as good as I can get!!!!
A few individual shots that I really liked:
She likes to tip her head, annoying at times, but cute in this photo:)!

These were the individual photos that I liked the best, but could not find a home for...

I love her eyes in this picture!

Cute girl, holding a purse, screams Alli!

My handsome boyfriend!
Side note to my Fab Five girls (Jennie, I LOVE this!!)...I had the absolute BEST time in Chicago, I just have not had the opportunity to blog about it. Basically because I have no idea how to get the pictures off from Jimmy's camera. As for not leaving any comments...I don't really have a reason other than my comments would be too long, I would cry, laugh, and use some naughty words to describe how COMPLETELY WONDERFUL you all are and what a FANTASTIC time I had. Can't wait to see you at at Olive Garden!!
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Life is not all that crappy

I realize that life is not one big "rose colored glass". LOTS of bad things is crazy...CHILDREN AND HUSBAND make ME I do all by myself! Life does seem to pass me by on some, OK most days. I wonder how life can go so fast. My children, these precious gifts from God that I wanted more than anything...DRIVE ME CRAZY!!!

Do you see the word CRAZY a lot in my blogs? :)!

On my way to Chicago I was talking to one of my friends about "getting through" our day and she has little saying that she says to help her through. I sing! Yes, like Ally McBeal. I have always been this way. Someone can say a little phrase and I break out in song. It is how my brain works. It makes me happy. I have found myself doing this more with my kids. It is my way of counting to ten. The most recent song is Trace Adkins...Your Gonna Miss This...I am not a big Trace fan, but this song is so true. Instead of worrying about what is next or wanting something more or different than what you have...just be happy for the THIS moment....because in 2 seconds, this moment is gone and you are going to miss this.

Please do not think for one moment that life is all rosy now and I am "at peace", I am just trying to appreciate what I have a little more. That everything in my life...the crazy and all...were meant to be mine.

This blog is my one place in life that I can actually take a breath and look at the positives. Like I said before, my life is not all sunshine, but here, on this blog, I can take the "good" of the day and talk about that. Look at the positives in that. BE VERY HAPPY WITH THAT!!!

For instance, I do ALL the "work" at the TenBrink household. It is not a secret; Jimmy will agree. I's my job. Jimmy has been very busy at work (for the record, not complaining, in this economy I will take the busy). To be honest, he really didn't do a whole lot to start with, but that is not the point here:)! So much so that just this past weekend, Jimmy came down stairs and said "You know, I have no idea how to turn our dishwasher on"! Classic, we have had this dishwasher for 2 years!!! I started to laugh and he said "We have "inside" and "outside" jobs, you do the inside, I do the outside." Note, there are not many "outside" jobs, I pick up dog poop and the lawn gets cut by one of his customers. has a way of working out...look at the good in a CRAPPY situation...

These picture are my husband outside in the bitter cold standing in crap!!! Yes, our lift station has been causing some issues for some time and finally just had enough. My husband (honestly, the great man that he is!!!) has the ability to fix most things. I have no idea how he does it, but he really is quite amazing. He says it is because he is a boy. Regardless...I bet he was wishing he didn't have to do "outside" work:)!!!

See it is all how you look at it. Yes, I do a lot more in the house, but I will NEVER stand outside in poop in the freezing cold...NEVER!!!! It makes all the laundry and cleaning seem not so bad!!!

And finally, I leave you with one more great thing.

My little Christmas tree is front on my big Christmas tree

Oh and one more, a beautiful tree outside our house. I HATE winter, but love fresh fallen snow. I know what you are thinking...crazy...but I do. It is so pretty. Everything is clean and like new. Especially in the morning, the sun is shining and the day can be anything it wants to is a clean slate...just looking for the positives....and I am singing...walking in a winter wonderland!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Krazy Kristin

OK, yes, I am a little crazy, I can admit that. Yes, I am the person who went and cut her tree down almost 2 full weeks before Thanksgiving. When I say "her", I mean Jimmy, of course:)! It is not my fault that Thanksgiving is late this year and we had plans this coming weekend so it seemed only fitting to go on Saturday and cut one down. The lady at the tree farm also thought I was a little nutty, but took my money with a smile. Amazing how that works!
It did start to rain while we were there and it was VERY cold AND JIMMY WAS GETTING ANNOYED so we found a tree and cut it fast. Unfortunately, I did not get any "good" pictures. Oh well, next year...maybe you will see our tree in our Halloween photos:)!!
I like to be prepare, I can't help it. Our lives are very CRAZY and I need to have control over things that I can have control over. Does that make sense???

How many TenBrink's does it take to cut down a tree????

No, this is not the tree we was the tree the kids thought was "so cute" and wanted to get their picture taken with.

On another note, we HAD to go sledding yesterday. Jimmy told the kids "when the ground is white, we can go sledding!" Well, the ground was definitely WHITE!!! Who wants to put all that work into sledding? Jimmy just tied the sleds to the 4-wheeler and we were off. I LOVE doing fun, crazy family things together. Thanks Aunt Jodi and Uncle Keith for letting us use your yard...again:)!!!

One last krazy Kristin story...every week the kids "learn" a new letter. They write it 100+ times both in upper case and lower case, learn a song, and learn ALL the different words that start with the letter. Well, the kids make a puppet on Mondays (the size of a brown paper lunch bag) and have to bring back something that starts with that letter. I have to be different; I have to use the letter several times over. For example last week was "p"~ Alli brought in a Pretty Plaid Purse, Isaac brought a Picture of a Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza. Yes, crazy, I know. This week was "I". Not a lot of things start with i. Isaac said, "Isaac does." So that made me think Isaac's Iris...I know, I know...KRAZY KRISTIN!!! It is all starting to make sense know, isn't it???

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Reason Number 607

Reason number 607 why I LOVE my digital wonderful kids taking pictures of each other and themselves. By the way, if you are looking for a super cheap cool thing for your camera, I would recommend a "shutter button". I am not sure if that is the name, but I got it on ebay for $10 with free shipping and it comes in handy when using a tripod in low light camera shake. It also comes in handy when your son wants to take self portraits!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Halloween

I have been having a tough week last week. Crazy Kristin has had some issues, but I think I am coming back to reality...and it is good! I tend to get myself worked up over things and once that happens, it takes a lot to get me back:)! Another issue I am working on!! After a terrific day in Chicago with a GREAT bunch of girls (who for the record were the most non-judgemental people I have ever been around!!!) I think I am happy again:)! More of Chicago to come...

Here are a few pictures of Halloween...thanks Jod for the pictures...mine seem to have disappeared somewhere on my computer. And yes, Jod is not a typo, but please don't call her is my nick name and I tend to get very territorial over it...just ask Jod:)!

The boys cuter than ever...the girls...we won't go there! My mom told me if I had nothing good to say than to say nothing at all! NOTHING!!!

The Hoffman girls...enough said on that one as well:)!!!

LOVE this picture...backs and A LOT of Daddy love!!!!

Family photo using my new actions!!!!
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Shack

Two years ago in December, Jimmy's "employees" gave us a gift certificate to the Shack in Jugville, Michigan. This was the first weekend we had an opportunity to use it. Basically, the only reason we used it was because it was going to expire on the 18th of December and it was my birthday weekend. Yes, Jimmy was conned/manipulated into going. It really is a cool place to go if you ever have a chance. We had a LARGE hot tub/bath tub in our room. I think it was big enough for all of Camp Chaos to fit in it at once, but that would defeat the purpose of a relaxing QUIET weekend!! So quiet in fact, that they make you turn off your t.v. and lights at 11pm. Kind of weird, I know, but still cool. It is all log cabin, on a lake, with trails and things around (a little museum, a chapel in the woods, a gazebo). One of the best parts is the banana split they serve at night time...rock on to that!!!!

The main building of THE SHACK

My husband (who for the record is not the most romantic of men) was actually romantic; he packed some fancy wine ($29 at Meijers...must be bad neither of us drink wine...), some mai tai premixed drink (more on our line of drinks), fancy glasses and a rose. For Jimmy, this is VERY romantic:)!!!

Cuddling on the "love seat" in our room.

View out our window...taken on our "romantic walk".

Jimmy, looking rather dashing, or maybe more like a senior picture...either way I LOVE this man with my whole heart. He did his best to make sure this weekend was very nice for both of us...OK, me more than him!! He even held my hand the whole weekend (for the record, that included going to the Montague football game and into WalMart:)!).
A cool spot we found on our walk. Across the bridge is the most quaint place, I want to get married here. I know, I am already married, but still, a very cool place, very simple, right on the water with a cross that is lit up. My memory card was full so you will have to take my word..SUPER cool place!
Another cool place, a chapel in the middle of the woods. I bet this place is FABULOUS in the "heart" of fall with all the leaves changing colors.
Thanks James for the get away. It has been a long couple of weeks. Lots of sadness, self discovery, and goodness all in a few days. I am trying to leave it behind me...with the realization that you can't change people and they can't change you. Sometimes the decisions that you make are the BEST ones at the time. Time also changes ALL things. The past is the past...time to leave the hurt there. As for the good, I just want to say I am so proud of my father in law. If you are reading are the man!!! Keep up the GREAT work...we all love you!!!
Also, once again, thanks Mom and Dad for taking the kids. You guys are the best!!! Thanks for the "beautiful" cake too. Pictures of that to follow....

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