Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthday Weekend

While I usually try to keep the blog about the kids or our family as a whole, I am going to break from that a bit in showcasing this past weekend which included my birthday!  Steve and the kids helped make my day very special and memorable.  One of the things in life that always seems to surprise me is how excited the kids are for birthdays.  Of course they are beyond excited for their own big day, but the genuine excitement that they have for another person's birthday is just sweet to me!  Maybe it's just because they love cake so much, but I am going to enjoy these moments! 

On Saturday afternoon I left to run some errands.  Upon arriving back home, Steve had cupcakes, with a lit candle in one!, out along with a card and gift for me.  I was really surprised!  And of course I loved it!!  It was a fun way to celebrate.  He also took me out on Friday night and made dinner Saturday night!  What a great guy!

Since Steve had to work on Sunday (the actual birthday), the kids and I went to Steve's mom's house to celebrate my birthday, Steve's brother Russ', and our brother-in-law Joe's birthday. 
Shane and Uncle Joe had lots of fun together!

Puzzle master Faith beginning her 150 piece puzzle

The masterpiece is finished!  And she did a majority of it on her own!!

Shane claimed he needed to check his email!

Here the kids are at Steve's firestation!  We stopped by on our way back home.  They enjoyed eating some dinner and watching tv!  They also played basketball, which was really fun! When we first arrived, Steve was out on a call, so we walked to get some ice cream! 
A highlight each time for the kids is seeing daddy slide down the pole!

This is them watching Steve!!  So cute!

A March Madness looks like Shane is going to be the winner!!  He picked Kentucky to win it all, and no one else has any teams left in the final four!  Way to go little man!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kitchen Plumbing!

Over the weekend we finished the final major step in the kitchen remodel...all the plumbing!!  I never thought I would be so excited about running water in the kitchen sink, a dishwasher, or even a working stove and oven!!  While we still have some minor things to complete, this was what we were waiting for to fully be able to enjoy our new kitchen!
new faucet and dishwasher

stove/oven in and working!

On another note...Faith has been working hard at being more kind to her brother.  In other words, not hitting, shoving, or hurting him in any way on purpose!  She has a kindness chart that she can add a sticker to if she is kind for an entire day.  When she earns the specified number of stickers, she gets to go out for ice cream!  Well, today was the an ice cream day for Faith!  Since we had such a busy afternoon (the dentist and then swim lessons), I suggested we pick up dinner from McDonald's (I know...not too healthy, but I had a coupon!) and get some ice cream there.  She remembered that they have a yogurt parfait there, which she calls frozen yogurt, and so she asked if she could get that!  As I tried to hold back the laughter from thinking she is not even going to have ice cream if she gets that, I told her that would be great!  And she loved it!! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Aspiring Artist?

While I was taking a hot, relaxing shower enjoying the fact that I was not hearing any fighting, crying, or yelling...this is what the kids were up to...
Every mother should know that too much silence is never a good thing!!!  Thankfully, the markers are extremely washable (wiped off with just water), and the bodies were the only surfaces that were marked!  After a talk about the proper surface on which to use markers (just paper!!), a picture to commemorate the ordeal (so it doesn't need to be repeated!), the marker privileges were taken away for the rest of the day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our home to yours! Since we are not Irish, this is about the extent of our celebration of this day - wearing green!  And thankfully Michigan does not play today, or we would not even be able to sport the green clothing! 
Faith wanted a picture by herself as she will be cheering for Michigan State today. Apparently, she confused Michigan and Michigan St. while filling in her brackets (a mistake she will be sure to not make again!!) and picked the Spartans to win the tournament! While I was pained filling that in for her, I let her do her own picking trying not to sway any decisions!

So whether this is a day of celebrating heritage or the real beginning of March Madness, may it be a wonderful day!! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

we're getting closer!

As promised a few days ago, I have pictures of the latest additions to the kitchen - the shades and bench cushions!
Showcasing the shades and cushions!

From the other angle

And here is a glance at the sink area as the trim and tile work were redone

Other than the kitchen, we have been trying to do things outside as we have had beautiful weather lately!  Inspired by Faith's field trip last week, she and I went to the local nursery to buy some flowers to plant.  It was really fun to go and pick them out together and have her help me plant them in pots for our front porch.  Also this past weekend, there was a celebration at Faith's preschool for the Woodland playground that was completed.  It is a great outdoor, exploratory playground for the preschool!  I enjoyed watching Faith and her friends play!  As a special treat, someone brought in a number of Bongo drums and other types of drums for the kids to play.  Faith had a blast with those!!  Sadly, I did not have my camera along!  The girl was all smiles making music! 

And this week we look forward to the start of March Madness!  The kids and I made our picks today.  I am proud to say that they already know to dislike Ohio St.!  Both of them picked OSU to lose in the first round!  While that is highly unlikely, I applaud the principle!

Friday, March 11, 2011


As our remodel continues to progress, the highlight this past week was getting lights and electricity in the kitchen!!  We have a great electrician, Steve's brother Russ, and it is amazing what a little light can do!  With every finishing detail that is put into place, it makes everything else look better and better!  We are so excited about it all being finished!
The fan we had before, but everything else is new!

It's really coming together!

Since the walls are completely finished, Steve hung some of our new decorative pieces as well!  This is made by Steve's Aunt Carol!  We love all of her work! 

Also completed this week were the cabinetry (two doors that needed replacing were replaced and our recycle center was put in), window shades, and the cushions for our nook benches!  Look back tomorrow for pictures of the shades and cushions!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Preschool Field Trip

Our morning's outing today was a Preschool Field Trip!  The two four-year old classes from Faith's preschool had the opportunity to go to a University of California Agricultural Center.  Even though it seemed that the kids had no clue what an agricultural center was, they were excited!  Shane was able to tag along too, which was fun!  On the field trip, the kids were able to plant some seeds to take home, watch a puppet show about plants, listen to a plant story, learn more about worms, and venture through a zoo garden.  It was a beautiful day once again, so we enjoyed being outside all morning!

Shane was thrilled to color with markers, and he carried his paper with him the rest of the time!

Listening to a talk on worms...neither Faith nor Shane would touch the worms!

Listening to the plant story

This was from Sunday...Faith was busy building her Thomas the Train Lego set before church.  She actually can follow the instructions pretty well!

While Faith was building, Shane - the little business man!- was checking his email!

Enjoy the March background!!  March Madness will soon be upon us!! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had a great weekend...and not just because the weather was so gorgeous, but also because Grandpa and Grandma Bruinsma came to visit!  We all enjoyed eating out (the kids know the usual places we go when they are here and make sure we go to those restaurants!), doing fun things outside, and just a change in the normal routine of life! 
Friday after Faith finished school we headed up to the zoo!  As usual, the kids expended great energy playing on the giant ant hill!  They even attempted to slide down together!

But they soon discovered they could slide faster going alone!

Grandpa and Grandma with the giraffes

Much to our delight, one of the gorillas was once again sitting right up against the glass!  This time Shane decided to be very brave and and stood next to the gorilla talking to him for quite a while!  It was really cute!  He made sure to tell the gorilla that he would be back soon to see him again!

Faith was inspired by her brother's bravery to get up close and personal as well!  She wasn't as fascinated as Shane was...or she was more cautious!

Just playing together!

We had a great weekend - even ventured down to the beach on Saturday afternoon to soak in the beautiful sunshine!  The kids were glad to hear that Grandpa and Grandma will be back in a few weeks for Faith's birthday!