Wednesday, December 2, 2009

jude's 2nd birthday on november 1

Jude's birthday was just a few days after Josie was born. He arrived on his great grandma Josie Dykstra's birthday. And now he has a little sister who inherited that very name!

Grandpa Dykstra and Grandpa and Grandma Stutzman came to help celebrate along with Uncle Mike and Aunt Megan. We started our morning off with a trek to Stillwater for our final chance to scope out our favorite apple orchard before it would close for the season. They may as well have already shut their gates. We got there to find the hayrides parked and the petting zoo empty. The wine shop was open and they had a few caramel apples left for sale...not much to excite a two year old.

Two apple orchard's later we found the perfect place. The most commercialized one in Stillwater. The one I have always thought looked obnoxious and far from the quaint picturesque apple orchards us Minnesotan's all envision. Well, for the sake of the two year old, we stayed and had a most enjoyable time. There was a hayride AND a petting zoo. Oh, and there was our nice warm toasty van for my mom and I and baby Josie to reside in while the others galavanted around in the cold.

Looking a bit wind blown. It wasn't exactly a nice November day.

We've begun a cake decorating tradition with Jude. Last year Michael deocrated Jude's cake. This year it was Steve. We decided to go with an "interactive" cake with toppings he could reuse and play with! I decided that instead of feeling like I'm a bad mom because I do not enjoy creating beautiful elaborate cakes for my children's birthday's, I would delegate the honors to other family members. Less stress for me = happier children.

The happy party-goers....minus the photographer.

So I officially have a two year old son. I always tell Steve that if I could be guaranteed boys as sweet as Jude, I'd take 10 more. We just love him to pieces! We are blessed, indeed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

josie's arrival

Josie is 6 weeks and we've fallen head over heels. I still can't believe she's here! I felt as if I would be pregnant forever. I am certainly enjoying being the smaller me!

Here's how it all went...

On the evening of October 19 I began to feel slightly uncomfortable contractions. We were having dinner and I told Steve that this definitely could be it. I didn't really believe though that it would be because our due date was Oct. 22 and I was sure I would go late....certainly not early.

We went about our evening routine of dinner, family devotions, bedtime, etc. We even went for a little drive. After putting the kids to bed around 8:00, they lessened a little bit, but by 10:30 when Steve and I went to bed, they became increasingly uncomfortable and I was unable to sleep. They were still 15 minutes apart, so I knew that I had time and they weren't overly painful yet.

Steve went to bed and I stayed up. I called our friend, Erin, who lives just a few blocks away and told her that tonight could be the night and to keep her phone by her bed. She was planning to come and sleep at our house with the kids while we went to the hospital. at about 11:30, I called my midwife. She told us she would meet us at the hospital. I called Erin again and she was at our place in about 3 minutes. She's good!

We only live 2 miles from the hospital, so we arrived and checked in shortly after midnight. My totally awesome midwife, Amy, arrived soon after we did. I labored for a few hours in the hot tub which was amazing! I had decided that since I had a great labor coach, I would try and go without the epidural. Had Steve and Amy not been there to convince me otherwise, there were several points during the night that I could easily have changed my mind. I knew how totally awesome having an epidural felt and almost called for the anestesiologist several times.

At 5:00, Amy broke my water at 5:00. Josie Grace was born at 5:33am with a perfectly shaped head (unlike the other two kids) and the right amount of fingers (remember, Jude had a couple of extra digits!)

We adore her. We are thankful. The name Josie means "He will enlarge or make great" I think the name Grace speaks for itself.

We named her Josie because we love the name. It is also the name of Steve's Grandma. If she were alive today, she would be over 100 years old! The "J" theme is not intentional. You can read about Jeneva and Jude's names here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welcome, Josie Grace!
We welcomed her into our family on October 20, 2009
5:33 a.m.
7 lbs. 4 oz.

I will post more recent photos and the birth story later...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

for the grandparents

I blame everything these days on my lack of brain power due to pregnancy. I've had several blog post ideas swirling in my head for months, but can't seem to muster up the motivation to actually sit down and produce them. So, generically, here are some pictures of the kids/family spanning the past several months. In no particular order and without an abundance of creativity.

Getting sand in the shoes, the socks, the hair, the diaper.....the usual. It's alright. I like to vacuum.

A lazy morning at Lake Harriet.

Farm animals and Dinosaurs (or as Jude says: "o-sores") are Jude's current passion. He knows the sound of about every known species.

A family walk by the river after picking Jeneva up at school. Why did it have to get cold so fast? The weather on that particular day was Minnesota perfection!

Untitled. Maybe, just cute?

I couldn't resist this one. Jeneva and her bud Jack just chillin' at a local coffee shop. Note: Hot Cocoa...not coffee.

Oh what a fun day at the waterpark with some friends! Jeneva and Ava had a blast roaring down the slides! Had I not been 8 months pregnant at the time, I would have gladly joined them!

An impromptu 7 month pregnancy shot of me. I have some more recent ones coming. Stay tuned! I'm huge!


Hanging out one morning by the stone arch bridge. I miss summer already!

Jude loves the water too!

Just a little walk off the diving board.

Getting ready for the big half mile race at Webber Park! It's fun to run with friends!

Just because I think that pictures of young children lined up on a couch is adorable!

Dinner with friends!

My handsome boy sporting a hat. I love hats on kids. That's one good thing about the cooler temps!

Not quite tall enough to pedal the pedals, but scooting it around works just as good for now.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

photography by jeneva

Photography is the latest career path Jeneva is hoping for. All these photos were taken by her without my help and they even come with her very own titles!

"red lollipop" (self-portrait 1)

"i like smiling." (self-portrait 2)

"flowers are nice."

"pretty pink roses."

"lollipop, lollipop, yeah, yeah, lollipop." (self-portrait 3)


Friday, August 28, 2009

can it really be? is she 6 already?

jeneva turned 6 on august 28. how can it be that i have a SIX year old?

just jeneva....

calls jude "sweetie" and "honey"
enjoys sucking on lemons
listens to 'the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe' over and over
digs and plays in the dirt
loves the strawberry shortcake theme song
can count to 13 in spanish
asks to be read to often
likes to paint rainbows
hates to comb her hair or have it combed
wants to wear dresses daily
stops on bike rides to pick the pretty flowers
can float on her back
loves jumping off the diving board
can hold her breath under water for 8 seconds
hates having her nails clipped
always says "don't eat my food, but tease me about it" when she needs to leave the dinner table for a moment
sleeps with a wet washcloth on her belly if her room is too hot
bikes down hills fearlessly
is not afraid to tear worms in half
her special recipe is a banana topped with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and drizzled with caramel
loves loves loves her friends
wants to be a policewoman or a missionary when grown
writes notes to me and papa often and puts them by our bed
covers her mouth when she giggles
asks for ovaltine because it has vitamins in it
loves dill pickles
tells me i'm the best cooker (or food maker) in the whole world
asks to be tickled
jumps rope and sings simultaneously
answers the phone when it rings
likes nature walks
favorite CD is the fighter verses from sunday school
likes to dance to classical music and big band music
plays harmonica
names her dolls something different every day
sings her brother to sleep at night
has become a pretty good skip bo player
has a good repotoire of words she can read herself
thinks her baby sister is so cute even though she's yet to meet her
likes to run errands with me
loves loves loves life!

happy birthday sweet girl, jeneva. i love you tons and tons!

Friday, August 14, 2009

farmer boy?

Jude loves animals.....the stuffed kind, the pictures of them in books, and all of the noises they make. But up close and personal with a LIVE creature.....that's a different story. He's pretty much freaked out.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Jude loves shoes. He must wear shoes in the house and outside always. Whatever happened to running through the grass barefoot? Not Jude. Here he was tromping around in Jeneva's shoes for quite a long time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

bizarre pregnancy dreams

In my first bizarre dream I was being forced to eat a jar of Mayonnaise at the Airport because of failure to bring my passport which apparently was needed.

In my second over-the-top, bizarre, only-when-pregnant dream (last night) I came home to find that Steve had gotten a tattoo covering his entire chest/stomach. He has a somewhat hairy chest, so it was first of all shaved off. The design was of Noah's Ark with Noah being in cartoon form. To make things worse Steve was insisting on going shirtless everywhere we went. Thankfully, I soon woke up and the nonsense ended.

I have three months left of this pregnancy. What more bizarre mysterious dreams have yet to come to me in my sleep?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

an unforgettable woman

I want to remember Lois Hautamaki who died on Tuesday. She was 57 years old.

She was my principal/co-worker/friend/teaching mentor for the 6 years I taught at Heritage Christian Academy. I have known her now for 9 years.

She was a single woman who poured her life into teaching and being an administrator at HCA.

She was incredibly foundational in launching my teaching career. I cannot begin to number all that I have learned from her.

I regret not expressing to her enough how much she impacted my life.

A Conglomeration of Thoughts and Memories of Miss H.

  • She watched me teach and encouraged me.
  • She hugged me and told me she loved me and that she loved my family (even though she rarely saw them).
  • She expected excellence from her teachers and herself.
  • She came immediately to my classroom very early one morning after I left a tearful message on her voice mail about a difficult situation I was in. She then prayed with me and did everything she could to fix the problem and stood by me the entire time. I was loved and supported.
  • She wrote Christmas cards and "end of the year" cards to each teacher. She didn't just sign her name, she wrote lengthy and thoughtful words (in amazingly neat handwriting).
  • She prayed for each of her teachers daily....and if they had a spouse and kids, she prayed for them too.
  • She worked hard at doing things that did not come naturally for her.
  • She made it a point to learn each child in the entire school (300-400 students) by name.
  • She embraced her singleness and lived it fully.
  • She never gave up and stuck to her guns...even if it wasn't always popular.
  • She called me up one year after I had my first baby and told me she had the perfect part time teaching position for me. She was right.
  • She often shared personal things.
  • Her eyes welled up with tears a lot. She was a passionate woman.
  • Her life evidenced a deep love for Jesus.
I know God's timing is perfect. I rejoice with her being with Jesus RIGHT NOW. I know there are many who wish they could have told her something or given her a hug before she left. I am reminded that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Miss H, you are missed!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

whiz bang days

Jeneva and Madeline ran in a 1/2 mile race today for the Robbinsdale Whiz Bang Days. They had fun running together, wearing their numbers and getting their medals. They did great!

Click here for some pics from her last race on Labor Day weekend.

we haven't had much rain lately...

...but when we do.....

...we like do do a lot of this!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

a new found appreciation for walmart

So, Jeneva needs glasses. Her eyes aren't too bad. They're 20/30 and she has astigmatism. The doc says her eyes may improve to 20/20 if she wears glasses for awhile.

So on Wednesday we went on a hunt for some frames. We stopped at Super Target first (remember how much I love Target?) The cheapest frames for kids were $99. Ridiculous! I'll pay that much for adult frames, but not kids.

Next we decided to try Walmart. We found frames for $10. TEN DOLLARS! Target had a better selection and were a bit more fashionable, but the Walmart ones were of similar quality AND had a one year warranty.

So, we placed an order at Walmart for her new specs. She's totally stoked and is counting down the days until they arrive. I'm sure in a few years she'll be begging for contacts, but until then, I'll just be excited with her. Oh, and I'll post some pics too. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

and so much more could be said...

easy going
hard working
laid back

Love you, Dad! Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

fish aren't the only thing one can catch while fishing

these are usually the size of fish that hook onto her pink princess pole

"look, mom! wish you were here!"
(i'm just glad steve likes to take her fishing, it's not really my thing)

if one is lucky, a really cool turtle like this might just bite the line. that is just what happened!

(i was impressed with steve's artistic photography skills here:)

"i am sooo brave!"

"and now i think i need a break. THAT was hard work!"

Friday, June 12, 2009

the usual

just playing with trucks in the DIRT

a little SNOT mixed with the dirt never hurt anyone

yeah, sometimes it gets in my eyes

that's okay, i'll just keep playing....and then mom will probably make me take a bath. go figure.