Friday, December 14, 2012

New Blog!

Having a newborn to care for is not the only reason for the lack of blog posts recently!  To make a long story short, I ran out of room to post pictures on the blog.  So, i started a new blog!  You can contine to follow us at our new blog:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Arrival!

On Tuesday, November 27 our newest family member, Olivia Constance, arrived!!  We were thrilled to welcome this healthy, sweet, peaceful baby to our family!  It's hard to believe that she is now a week old!

At birth she was 8 pounds and 2 ounces.  Her size was a bit of a surprise as the midwife who delivered her thought before she was born that she would be maybe 7 pounds! 

On Wednesday Faith and Shane came to the hospital to meet their new sister!  From the first moment they were each just as in love with her as Steve and I were!

The look on Shane's face just is priceless!  They continue to love on Olivia all the time and ask to hold her frequently.

Here Shane thought that little Olivia wanted to watch his favorite show on television with him!  He held her for the duration of the show, and he didn't seem to mind that she slept through the entire program!
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

O Christmas Tree!

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas decorations are out!  We had a little extra motivation this year to get our tree up early!!  I always love putting up the Christmas tree as it just adds so much excitement and sparkle to the whole house!  The kids were extra excited this year too, and they were great helper in decorating the tree. 
Shane was pretty excited to rediscover some of the ornaments that he made.
Faith was very helpful, and she loves having so many ornaments with her name on them!  One of the benefits of having the same name as a Christian virtue!
The tree is decorated!!  We made sure to create full ambiance in our decorating as afterwards the kids had some hot chocolate and watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!  I think one of the highlights of Christmas each year is the family memories that are made!  We are looking forward to another wonderful Christmas season preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though it's a few days late, the sentiment remains the same!  Happy Thanksgiving from the Poelstra family!  This was a bit of an unusual year, given the unpredictability with the baby's due date!  It was challenging to make plans not knowing if or when the baby would decide to be born.  Since she did not make her arrival early in the week, I was thankful that she held off on Thanksgiving day!  Steve had to work Thanksgiving and Friday, which made it extra nice that she stayed put! 

We ended up having a nice day (even though we missed Steve of course!!) as we went to church in the morning and then to a friends house at night for dinner.  It was a relaxing day, which was nice too.  So this year I am especially thankful for the many very good friends that we have made here in Ventura who reached out to us and welcomed us to join them and their families on Thanksgiving.  I wish we could have spent the day with everyone who invited us over!  It's comforting to know we have "family" all around us! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Celebrations begin!

This is a week that has been highlighted on our calendar for a while!  We are all looking forward to both Thanksgiving as well as the baby's due date!!  It has been a bit crazy carrying on with life as ususal, yet planning for everything "just in case" the baby makes her arrival. 
Last week Shane and I went to the mall to get a few quick errands accomplished, and since he was such a big helper, I treated him to Auntie Anne's pretzels!  Thus the picture above!  We had a nice time!
On Thursday of last week Shane's preschool class sang a song in front of chapel.  Shane really does a nice job of participating in the singing and motions!  It's pretty adorable.  On a side note, Steve and I were able to watch the kids practice their songs for the church Christmas program yesterday, and again, Shane was so fun to watch as he really gets into the songs!
After chapel, all the preschool classes joined together for a Thanksgiving feast.  Faith and I were able to stay for that, and it was a fun morning of spending time with Shane at school and getting to know some of the other preschool moms.
Shane and I were both excited to find this Michigan t-shirt at the Gap while we were at the mall!  Apparently it wasn't a popular item out here in So Cal as it was marked down to just $5!!  How could we resist a bargain like that?  He wore it on Saturday to cheer on the Wolverines!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The latest from our fam

While we haven't been doing too many exciting things lately, I thought I would put up a few pictures from the past week. 

Sunday was such a beautiful, clear day, we went up to the cross at Grant Park for a panoramic view of Ventura.  It was obviously a popular idea, as there were many people up there!  In this picture, Faith is holding a picture of Flat Stanley!  One of my cousins in Michigan has a son who is in first grade, and his class read a story about Flat Stanley.  Since he is now flat, he takes adventures because he can be mailed across the world in an envelope!  So Stanley has come to Ventura for a visit, and we are taking him on a few adventures around our city before he is mailed back to Michigan!

On Monday we took Flat Stanley to the beach to see the pier and play at the beach park.  It was a windy day and we almost lost him, but thankfully he is still around!
Also last weekend we went to a birthday party at Chuck e Cheese.  The kids love to go there!!  It was Valentina's second birthday, and she is the sister to Shane's dear friend Miles.  It was a fun afternoon of pizza, cake, and of course games. 
With it being a little warmer the past few days, we could not resist a stop for some Fro-yo at Tutti Fruitti!!
And finally, Faith wrote a poem in school today that she wanted me to share!  The assignment was to choose a color and come up with some ways to describe the color using the senses. 
Pink is a doll.
Pink is cotton candy.
Pink is cake.
Pink smells like flowers.
Pink feels like a pillow.
Pink looks like watermelon.
Pink adds a smile to my life.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This past week was filled with all the fun and excitement that accompanies Halloween!  Naturally, the kids were super excited about Halloween and all of the festivities associated with it.  And we even carved our pumpkins this year as opposed to putting potato head parts in them.  The kids weren't too into it once we started as they didn't realize there would be goop and strange smells involved!  And Shane is the one who wanted the mad/sad pumpkin face!
The kids had many opportunities to wear their costumes.  On Tuesday we went to a lunch Halloween party with some of our homeschool friends from church.  Our hostess, Nicole, went all out fully decorating her house, making seasonal foods, and planning fun games for the kids!  After that party, Faith went to Kindersmusik were she also wore her costume and did some fun Halloween singing and dancing.  Finally at night, the kids had costume night at Awana!  To Awana Shane wore his Iron Man costume and mask that we bought earlier this fall, but to everything else he had to be Buzz...again!!
On Halloween night we went to a friends house again this year for a party and trick-or-treating.  We had to pose for a few pics at home before heading out!
Before going trick-or-treating we attempted a group picture of all the kids.  I think this is most of them!  It's always fun to go as a group.  While Faith had a great time, Shane was a little scared of some of the really decorated houses along with the costumes some people were wearing who were handing out the candy!  After a few scary houses, he would wait to see if the person was wearing a costume, and only go up to get candy once he saw that it was a "regular" person!  He ended up asking to go back early!
I had to include this picture too because I thought Shane's expression was just too cute!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Latest...

Once again I am playing catch up!  Last week Saturday Faith's soccer season ended.  I must admit, I was thankful as it resulted in two weekly events (Thursday practice and Saturday game) coming off our schedule!  But Faith had a great time playing soccer again this year, and her team won quite a few games, which was fun!  The season will be "officially" over this Thursday night as we celebrate with the team pizza party! 
After a busy day, Faith and I went to an Appetizers and Accessories party hosted by one of the ladies at church Saturday night.  Faith and her friends felt very grown up to be included in the party, and had quite a bit of fun!  They even put on a little fashion show for us, and Faith, being true to her expressive self, was very into the modeling!
We are all getting ready and are excited for the arrival of the baby!  The women at church hosted a shower last weekend for me and Terra, who is due a week after me.  With November 21 quickly approaching (3 weeks!!!), I know I am more than ready! 

Shane decided to be a cowboy one day last week!  I'm not sure what inspired him, other than he has been into wearing costumes lately with Halloween coming up!  The kids will have many opportunities to wear their costumes this week, so check back for pictures later in the week!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Week in Review!

Since it is fall (even if the temperatures still feel very summer-like!), we are embracing all things pumpkin!  I love it that the kids enjoy eating pumpkin foods as much as I do!  So far we have made pumpkin bread twice and pumpkin pancakes once!  In the above picture Faith is helping me make the pumpkin pancakes.  With our busy schedule, the weeks are just flying by, which is tiring in the midst of the business, but overall a good thing!
Faith is showing off her American Heritage Girl uniform in this picture!  She is very excited to have the vest this year, and looks forward to earning some badges to go on her vest. 
Last Tuesday night was Parents Night at Awana, so Steve and I were able to get a glimpse of why the kids love going to Awana each week!  And it was fun for us to observe the kids!  Shane was especially cute during the singing portion as he was really into the motions of each song.  Faith showed off her memory work skills as well as her competitive side as we watched her team compete in some games.  Overall, it is so nice to see how much the leaders at Awana enjoy our kids and love participating in the group.
On Saturday my friends threw me a beautiful baby shower!  It was such a treat to be spoiled by my friends, as well as enjoy some girl time over brunch.  Steve's mom and Aunt Joan also made the trip up for the shower, which was so nice!  I am truly blessed with great family and friends!
On Saturday night Shane got up out of bed to come and "read" a book to me!  It was so cute!  He has the book memorized, but even still, it's cute he thinks he is reading like his big sister! 
In the midst of our busy schedules, we are still finding time to cheer on Michigan football and the Detroit Tigers!  Thankfully Shane remembers the importance of not cheering for the Yankees from last year!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

It's hard to believe that we are already six days into October!  And with October and fall come all things pumpkin!  Fall is my favorite time of year; since we have no real change in season in either temperature of leaf color here in So Cal, it's good (in my mind!) to embrace all other "fall" things!  And so it is always exciting to head to the annual preschool pumpkin patch trip.

In keeping with tradition, Shane needed to have his picture taken on a giant prize pumpkin!
Faith was able to come along on the field trip too!!
After seeing some farm animals (geese, sheep, turkeys, a goat, and a pig), going on a hayride, and hearing a talk about pumpkins, the kids were able to pick out a small pumpkin!  Good times at the pumpkin patch!
The kids started Awana a few weeks ago, but I finally was able to get a picture of them in their vests.  It was Patriotic night, and they picked similar outfits to wear!  Once again, they are both loving Awana!  The other night Faith recited seven verses and the books of the New Testament to earn her new level patch!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trip to Disneyland!

We spent yesterday at the happiest place on earth!  That's right - Disneyland!  Grandpa and Grandma Bruinsma were out for a visit, so we ventured down to Anaheim as a way to celebrate Grandma's birthday!  As to be expected, a good time was had by all!  Even in spite of hot weather (mid 90s!!). 

After driving down on Saturday afternoon, we stayed at a Disney hotel.  The kids were beyond excited to stay in a room that had bunk beds!  There was quite a bit of excitement for the whole trip, but I was even surprised how ecstatic they were about the bunk beds!

Before heading into the park, we went to breakfast with some of the Disney characters.  Since seeing characters was one of their highlights from our most recent trip, I knew that the kids would love this breakfast!  The picture at the top with Chip (or Dale!  the kids know the difference!) is one from this breakfast.  Shane enjoyed lots of time with Grandpa!
Dumbo was one of the first rides they went on!  Faith and Grandma were soon flying high in the sky!
It is always very important for an adult to come along who can ride on the tea cups with the kids since I can't!  Thankfully Grandpa enjoys the spinning cups as much as the kids!  This was their first ride of two on the attraction.
The kids with Goofy!  They were able to see some different characters from our most recent visit, so that was fun.  It was a great trip to the park as both kids enjoyed the rides and just being at Disneyland!  They also saw the afternoon parade on Main St., which was another highlight!  And a highlight for me was sitting next to Faith on A Small World and listening to her sing the song throughout the entire ride!  So sweet! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day on the River

On on our last full day of vacation, we took the boat through the lake and onto the Colorado River.  It's always one of our favorite things to do as it is such a beautiful boat ride, and finding a private beach is extremely relaxing! 
After finding a beach, we set up camp and had a picnic lunch.  Then we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, playing football, and building sand castles.
Kids splashing around!
The boat continues to run well and be a source of family fun!
Heading back to The Nautical, Faith did some of the driving!  It is one of her favorite things to do! 
As our vacation came to an end, we savored the time together, and I really savored the opportunity to relax!  Being our final vacation as a family of four, I know that vacations for the next few years are not going to be as relaxing for me with a new little one running around!  I am thankful for the time we could spend as a family, and of course for Steve for working so hard so that we could get away, and then working hard while we were there so that we could do so many fun things!  I am one blessed mama! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Boating Fun!

On Tuesday we took the boat out to give the kids a chance to ride on our new, two-person inflatable!  Faith loved it, and Shane said that it was fun, but he had a serious and worried look on his face for most of the ride! 
After awhile Shane was happy to ride on the boat while Faith enjoyed being on the inflatable by herself!
On Wednesday Faith asked if we could take the boat to a restaurant across the lake called The Springs.  We all thought that sounded like a great idea, and the kids took advantage of being on the lake by taking turns riding the EZ Ski!
Looking like a pro!  It wont be long before she starts asking to actually water ski!
Stopping for a swim and some Gatorade!  The kids sat on the back of the boat and shared a drink!
We made it to The Springs for an early dinner!  It had been over a year since we ate there, so it tasted extra good!  Faith was applauded for her great suggestion!
Shane enjoyed a long, post-dinner ride on the ski.
Such a brave little guy!  He did so well!