Monday, December 29, 2008

cakes by jeneva

Jeneva thinks this place would be fun to visit someday. I bet their cakes are just fabulous! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

merry christmas

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas? I purchased this book at the beginning of December in hopes to read through it as an advent devotional to prepare me for this season. It is called Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas. It is a collection of 22 advent devotionals from various authors.

I am sure that Steve and I will read through this book every December. It has been an encouragement to my soul and has helped me better prepare for this Christmas in the midst of what the world says about it.

Let it be about Christ this Christmas!

"'Tis all I ask. Your emptiness, your nothingness, your want of feeling, your want of goodness, your want of grace---all these will be but room for him. Have you room for him? Oh! Spirit of God, lead many to say, 'Yes, my heart is ready.' Ah! Then he will come and dwell with you."
~Charles Spurgeon, chapter 9

Thursday, December 18, 2008

jeneva's dream and her crazy imagination

Every once in awhile, when Jeneva wakes in the morning, she will tell me about a dream she had. Yesterday morning, it went something like this:

J: "In my dream, we were hiding in our house and the Israelites were coming. Megan was at our house too and we were having breakfast."

Me: "How did you know they were coming?"

J: "They called on your cell phone, I think it was Moses that called, and said they were in the neighborhood."

Me: "Why were they coming?"

J: "I don't know, but we were hiding from them. But we got away and we went to Africa. I know Africa is far away, but it didn't take us very long to get there because we drove really fast. When we got there, we hid in a cave....I don't remember what happened next."

I often forget the ending to my dreams as well....just when they start to get really exciting! Any one out there who is good at interpreting dreams?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

just jude

I love this boy! I love how these pictures capture his personality. He is very happy...all (well, almost) of the time. Thanks, Megan for the great photos! My apologies if you already saw these on facebook. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

thanksgiving happenings

Thanksgiving was spent in Wisconsin. The last time we were there, Jude was only 7 weeks old. This year he was saying "hi" incessantly and "goot" while pointing to Uncle Cliff and Aunt Lanie's dog.

Here he is hanging out with Uncle cliff and "Goot." We are very proud to have a son who is not afraid of creatures much larger than him. (the dog that is, not uncle Cliff)

We had a little "late" birthday party for Jude. He share's his birthday with his cousin Emily. She turned 12. As you can see the cake was made primarily for Jude. Twelve year old girls probably don't ask for "dump truck" cakes.

After lots of yummy chocolate cake, a bath is required of the two youngest. Jude and Jake hanging out in the tub. Fun!

Jeneva and Emily spent hours coloring. Emily was a good example to Jeneva.....she is now getting much better at coloring in the lines. Thanks, Emily!

From left to right: Jude, Jake, Leanna, Jeneva, Matthew. The five youngest of the cousins. They had much fun sleeping together, bathing together, and just running around together.

Oh look...Jude isn't following directions. When will he ever learn?!

We had much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Now I cannot believe that Christmas is only 3 weeks away.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

a-z tag

We just returned from visiting the Dykstra family in Wisconsin. I have some fun pictures to post later. We also just got back our family photos from the best photographer ever, Megan Quist Photography and they turned out awesome! Thanks, Megs! I can't wait to post those later too. Blogging about anything significant lately has been at the bottom of my "to-do" list, but I did get tagged recently by Sara so here goes...

A. Attached or single? attached....and head over heels....

B. Best friend? What is this? High School? :) I have several close girl friends. I am thankful. Very, very thankful.

C. Cake or pie? depends on the occasion, the type of pie, and the thickness of the frosting on the cake.

D. Day of choice? Wednesday

E. Essential item? eye liner

F. Favorite color? kelly green, olive green, red

G. Gummy bears or worms? neither

H. Home town? Kalona

I. Favorite indulgence? jeans, coffee (I indulge myself daily with that one), turtle cake

J. January or July? July

K. Kids? Jeneva (5) and Jude (12 months)

M. Marriage date? 07/28/2001

N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 younger brothers - Michael and Matthew

O. Oranges or Apples? Grapefruit

P. Phobias? very small tight places

Q. Quotes?

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ~C.S. Lewis

"To know Christ, this is Life!" ~Elisabeth Prentiss

"Gratitude is past-oriented dependence; faith is future-oriented dependence. Both forms of dependence are humble, self-forgetting and God-exalting. If we do not believe that we are deeply dependent on God for all we have or hope to have, then the very spring of gratitude and faith runs dry."
~John Piper (A Godward Life)

"I bet as I grow bigger, my tastebuds will grow bigger too and then I will like mushrooms." ~Jeneva (4)

R. Reasons to smile? God's grace

S. Season of choice? anything warm

T. Tag 1 person: Kristy

U. Unknown fact about me? Whenever this question is asked, I always blurt out the whole 6th finger story......why can't I think of anything else? I always feel like everyone knows everything already. So, for lack of creativity......I was born with 6 fingers on one hand.

V. Vegetable? corn on the cob

W. Worst Habit? inconsistency

X. Xray or ultrasound? I was just about to make a comment about what kind of crazy question is this when I realized that these are all alphabetical questions. WOW! I missed that one. I guess I would choose ultrasound.

Y. Your favorite food? Mexican, Indian, Thai

Z. Zodiac sign? Cancer

Thursday, November 20, 2008

random family update 2

These random updates work better now than real blog posts. So, here goes....

~Jude's two words are "hi" and "goot" (while pointing)
~Jeneva likes to "legato" and "staccato" while listening to classical music. She finally pronounces "classical" correctly. She used to say "plastical".
~I am making bracelets for the craft boutique this weekend. Fun!
~Steve is taking Jeneva on a "date" tonight.
~Jude still just likes to crawl and not walk.
~I just finished the book A Thousand Splendid Suns. Read it.
~We are still visiting and applying at various schools. I'm glad for the choices!
~No major home improvements going on right now. Hallelujah! I'm not saying that there's nothing to be done. Oh no. There's plenty to be done, but nothing in the works. No messes.
~I filled up my gas tank for $1.73. Woohoo!
~We have the greatest small group evah!
~Jude has a mouth full of teeth. His favorite foods are peas and sausage and raisins. Odd.
~Jeneva's favorite is Wheat Thins dipped in Hummus.
~My favorite thing to eat is what other people make.

That's all I can think of right now in this five minutes that I spared to write this post. Nothing too exciting....just normal life I guess. For that I am THANKFUL! If I don't post in the next week, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a mocha i will drink, but anoka i prefer to drive through

Yesterday, Jeneva brought my friend who was visiting, a mug with hot liquid in it and said "I'm bringing you Anoka." (If you aren't from here, Anoka is town 20 minutes north of us). :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

my five year old

Is it possible that I have a five year old? She just looks so grown up!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

much too young

Jeneva: Ethan asked me today if I would want to marry him someday.

Me: Well, what did you say?

Jeneva: (shrugging her shoulders) Well, sure. But I think Papa might want to marry me too. I'd probably rather marry Papa.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

demolition first birthday cake

I can't believe he turned one on November 1! This year went by so quickly.

Jude's golden birthday was on a Saturday. It doesn't get much better than that. Michael and Megan and Grandma and Grandpa Stutzman celebrated with us. We missed Matt, hence the missing person in the family photo.

Can you tell what the cake is? Uncle Mike was the decorator. Yes, Mike has many talents. Cake decorating apparently is one of them. I decided against the three dimensional cake this time around. Jeneva's was too complicated and caused me much stress.

goin' in for the kill...

"Oh my. This is the best. Sugar. I love it. Why hasn't anyone fed me sugar before. This is the most fun I have have my WHOLE life."

"What? Do I have food on my face or something?"

"The destruction could continue into the night....if it weren't for my mom and her obsession with clean floors."

Fistfulls of sweet goodness.

Oh yes, and there were gifts too. Jude got some very nice toys and clothes. I shop thrift stores for toys and clothes, so it's kind of fun to get "new" stuff too!

"I've got the coolest dad, EVER and I think he likes my tool kit and goggles more than me yet."

Happy Birthday, Jude! We love you tons and tons and thank God for your life EVERY DAY!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

fascination with the garbage truck...

...and the recycling truck. They each arrive once a week. When Jeneva was between the ages of 2 and 3, she would hear it in the morning and run to the front window.

The truck would then turn and go down our alley, so she would run to the window that is right by our alley. The truck would then stop (about 2 feet from our window) and load up the neighbors recycling. How exciting to be so close to the "recycle man" and the "garbage man."

As it moved from our side alley window to the back of our alley, the view was exceptional from the kitchen window. So, her little feet would take her to that location. More excitement!

She outgrew this weekly ritual sometime in her "4's." Every once in awhile it will evoke some excitement in her, but not like it used to.

I believe that Jude will be following in Jeneva's footsteps (literally) as he races from window to window just to get a glimpse of the mysterious guys in the cool trucks.

He is starting a bit young it seems, but he is a boy after all. He isn't walking yet, so his view is simply from one place, not all three....yet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

wordless wednesday

two reasons for this:
1. Papa dressed me.
2. Mama needs to do laundry....this was all that remained.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

farm cats and dogs

I am sooooo not a cat person. I loved having them on the farm when I was little, but couldn't care less about them now. I won't ever have a cat in my house. If someday we live in a place where our cats can dwell outside, I will definitely consider it, but house My kids adore them though, so for that reason, I am glad that my folks still have cats around their farm (not in their house thankfully). Jude could look at them and giggle at them for hours (okay, maybe not HOURS, but a really long time). As for dogs......I really love dogs. I really do, but prefer them to be outside. I don't mind being around dogs in other people's homes, just as long as they don't jump on me and lick me. Ellie (Misner that is if dog's have last names) is probably the only dog I can really enjoy and that's because she is small and cute and doesn't shed much. I would probably enjoy a dog like her in my house if my house were more set up for a pet. I think today we might stop at the pet store and buy a goldfish or maybe a beta!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

james 3

Wow! I just watched this. I have been guilty of this. Have you?

"How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell." James 3:6

did i hear her right?

While *organizing* her art supply drawer this morning, Jeneva says: "Organizing is my favorite thing to do. I like it even better than cleaning."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

two scenarios....

Perfect fall day. Leaves are at their peak in Minnesota. 75 degrees. Peaceful drive to Stillwater. Beautiful trees and the river to look at along the way. Eat at a quaint cafe downtown Stillwater. Walk across the river bridge into Wisconsin. Enjoy the countryside. Peruse the quaint shops with all of the other happy shoppers enjoying the beautiful day and God's creation. Camera's ready to take lots of beautiful pictures. Good friends enjoying a nice day with their mommies. Happy children.

Perfect fall day. Leaves are at their peak in Minnesota. 75 degrees. Two girls argue and act silly during the 30 minute drive to Stillwater. Trees and river are beautiful, but kids couldn't care less because they are too busy putting their sweaters on their heads. Eat at a family diner with a lame waitress. Walk to the closest gas station to buy hand sanitizer because the closest potty was a very unsanitary outhouse. No hand sanitizer available for purchase, so rubbing alcohol will have to do the trick. Drive across the bridge into Wisconsin, what should take 5 minutes takes 45 minutes because of the tourist traffic. Beautiful countryside, but the girls are making up silly songs too much to enjoy the fall colors let alone stop and take a nice picture. Peruse the quaint shops that are so narrow that pushing a stroller through them involves the 1 year old pulling valuables off of the shelves and occasionally another child's hair who is also in a stroller. Crabby children unable to enjoy the beauty.

Can you guess which scenario ACTUALLY took place? We did manage to get two photos....though the smiles and love don't really portray what actually took place. We should have just walked around Brookdale or something.

Heather, next year when we will be SANS children. Maybe when they are 17 we can enjoy a nice mature day out with the girls. Whatdya think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

31 things...

1. Where is your cell phone? in my purse....i think.
2. Where is your significant other? at the hardware store.
3. Your hair color? dark brown (with a few grays....)
4. Your mother? mary
5. Your father? harry (well, Harold:)
6. Your favorite thing? too many....the leaves right now.
7. Your dream last night? don't remember...
8. Your dream/goal? to be a good mom/wife
9. The room you're in? office/spare bedroom
10. Your hobby? thrifting, Legacy
11. Your fear? if I fear, then I'm not trusting....
12. Where do you want to be in six years? wherever God wants me to be. really, I'm open.
13. Where were you last night? at home
14. What you’re not? exercising
15. One of your wish list items? a new computer and a home resembling something in Real Simple.
16. Where you grew up? kalona, iowa
17. The last thing you ate? some reeses pieces. oh, and i test tasted the curry i'm making for supper.
18. What are you wearing? jeans, a cute sweater i got at a thrift store, my comfy Keen's.
19. Your TV? is in the basement and rarely used.
20. Your pet? nada.
21. Your computer? is loud.
22. Your mood? on the up. God is good.
23. Missing someone? no one at the moment
24. Your car? honda accord wagon.
25. Something you’re not wearing? jewelry (except for my wedding ring)
26. Favorite store? unique thrift store, target
27. Your summer? was peaceful.
28. Love someone? so many. i love the people in my life. lovelovelove em.
29. Your favorite color? red.
30. When is the last time you laughed? this morning.
31. Last time you cried? today....just a teeny bit when i was on the phone with a friend.

odem haz cemoe

This morning Jeneva went outside, got a leaf, pasted it on the paper, and wrote this all by herself without ANY prompting from me. Start it on the bottom right. She wanted to write "autumn has come" and sounded it out herself. I think she did a pretty good job!

Monday, October 20, 2008

what's that?

Jeneva asked for the "karma john" tonight at supper. She has always used that term when referring to what she is talking about. Can you figure out what she is mispronouncing? :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

fashion show at target

We are *fortunate* enough to have 4 Targets each within a few miles of our house. Actually, it's kind of ridiculous. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time there. I have become a bit lazy with list making because a trip to Target to pick up toilet paper or toothpaste really isn't a big deal and certainly isn't much of a drive. Not to mention, I really LIKE Target. I enjoy just walking into the store. It's sort of therapeutic for me especially when I am by myself. The red is soothing. The stores are nicely laid out and organized. There are always a plethora of clearance racks to peruse. I have always found the employees to be helpful and friendly. The selections in most departments are modern, contemporary, classic....not so trendy. Super Target carries a great selection of *generic* foods...but the labels don't scream *generic.* I like that. So, anyway, here we are at my favorite store...killing time waiting for our prescription to get filled...trying on hats. Of course we had a half an hour to kill and I could think of NOTHING that we needed to get at Target...until we got home and realized we were on our last roll of toilet paper.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

i haven't posted much of significance lately...

I haven't been overly inspired to write anything lately, so here are some pictures of my girl from this summer. The first picture says sweet and innocent....the second one....not sure what that one says.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

4 generations

my grandma, my daughter, my mom, and me
do you see any resemblances?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

random family update

~Jude's favorite activities include: climbing the stairs, turning the water on in the bathtub (not while he's in the tub, but while he is out of the tub just standing over the edge), eating, nursing (this kid is going to be hard to wean!), chasing Jeneva around the house, saying "hi", waving, riding in his carseat facing forward, and doing sign language for "more" and "all done."

~Jeneva has been taking a David Danced class on Monday afternoons. They learn to perfom biblical stories through dance. This afternoon we went with our friends Heather and Madeline to see a performance that her dance teacher, Mrs. Alness, was a part of called The Supercilious Ways of Walter Wading.

~On Tuesday I got to sub at Hope Academy. It felt so good to be in the classroom again! I've missed teaching at Heritage Christian Academy. We are considering Hope for Jeneva. We really appreciate the mission of the school, the teachers, and have heard lots of good things about it. It would be more affordable for us than other Christian schools. We aren't opposed to public schools at all, it's just that we are in the Minneapolis district and that seems a bit frightening to me (okay, a lot frightening). We are still planning on checking out the elementary down the street from us though.

~Last night Steve and I enjoyed going out...kidless! We went to Cafe Latte in St. Paul for dinner and dessert. That place is definitely a favorite! Then we drove down by St. Anthony Main and walked under the new bridge. It's enormous!

~Jeneva's favorite activities are riding her scooter and doing "math." I hated math when I was a kid, so I'm hoping she takes after Steve in that area.

~I am anticipating getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Yes, I'm 30 and still got em and they hurt! Now that I will be done nursing soon, I will have no excuse to not make an appointment!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

french fries...

Jude getting a hold of his very first french fry...

here goes....

in the mouth...

mmmmmm good! (and oh so healthy too!)

my preschooler

Just enjoying a picnic at a park after preschool. Unfortunately this weather won't last forever!

Remember Rainbow Bright? The socks say it all!

Jeneva started going to Happy Time Preschool. Here she is waiting for her carpool ride. She goes on Monday and Wednesday mornings and we absolutely love it there!

horsing around

Just the usual horsing around the house.

princess in the rain

Yesterday afternoon it started pouring. It looked like night time. Immediately Jeneva wanted to put on her boots and raincoat and take her umbrella outside. Of course she was wearing her princess dress at the time, so it went out with her. I didn't want to get wet, so this was the best picture I could take through out window without my camera getting completely drenched!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

not JUST your afternoon cup of tea...'s also a flavor (or scent) of Huggies brand baby wipes. Green Tea with Citrus. Seriously? Seriously! I picked them up awhile back at an Iowa K-Mart (I think I shop at K-mart once every 6 years or so). I was wiping my babies buns this morning and thinking that never before have they smelled so refreshing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

get lost!

That's totally what happened. We got lost in the corn maze for over an hour! The directions were terrible, but the kids were troopers. Dina and I took the kids to Apple Jack Orchards on Saturday. We spent the majority of our time there wishing that a helicopter would come and rescue us and that there wouldn't be any mysterious creatures lurking among the ears. There were a lot of "corny" jokes being told to make the time go by faster. We also had to be quiet because there were a lot of "ears" listening. Haha. Get it? That one comes from my father...I was basically raised in a corn field. You would think with my upbringing I would have been better able to navigate my way through a corn maze. That wasn't the case apparently.

Here are the kids at the beginning of the maze....oblivious to what was ahead.

Jude was a real trooper, but absolutely no help in getting us out.

Here are Lydia and Jeneva trying to read the directions.

The story does have a happy ending. We did get out....but not through the exit. We ended up cutting through the corn. I hope no one saw us. Eventually we got to enjoy what we went there for. Picking apples and raspberries! It rained. A lot. We continued to pick despite the weather. Fun! It really was quite an enjoyable time, but needless to say the kids were exhausted by the were the mommies. Good thing we had the remainders of our Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiatos from the morning on the way home to keep us going...

Thursday, September 11, 2008