Wednesday, July 20, 2011

our summer

We've been having a great summer so far. It feels like we've been too busy, though. I still want us to get to the beach more often. It's just a little hard to get there with Charlie being so little yet. The girls have been having a great time playing with all of the neighborhood kids on our street. For a couple weeks, we had nightly baseball games going on in our yard. Now we've got a huge slip-n-slide that has become the new attraction. Natalie enjoyed a couple of churchs' vbs programs, swimming lessons, and in June she learned to ride her bike without training wheels. Our strategy with that was that we kept bending the training wheels up so she had to learn to balance herself. Then we loosened the bolts on the wheels so that eventually they just fell off when she was riding. And now she is zooming all over the place. Ruby still just loves to play with her babies. She is such a little mother to everyone and everything. My niece, Ava, and Ruby are best friends. Ruby's language skills are improving and I'm already starting to miss that Ruby jibberish! Charlie just had his first birthday! He isn't walking yet, just speed crawling everywhere! He has been enjoying the sand box and playing with his sisters. His language is really starting to pick up too. He was singing in the car yesterday!

Jordan and I have been busy.... Jordan was laid off for a week but he's been keeping busy enough with side jobs. He just put in a lot of work in my mom's kitchen. Jordan and 2 of our guy friends went on an 80 mile kayaking trip in the beginning of June. They started in Grayling and worked their way down. It was pretty cold that week (4os and 5os) but they had a good time. It took them 3 days. Jordan and I just did the Holland Hundred bike event for our church. We raised money for wells in Zambia, Africa. We biked for 36 miles which was a little much for me! I was tired but more than that, I just found it hard to breathe. Not sure why.... But I'm glad we did it and maybe next year I'll have to train for it! We also went to the midnight viewing of the very last Harry Potter movie with our friend, Sara. Good movie, interesting crowd....! We're about to be getting into tomatoes so I'll be getting busy with canning soon. Jordan traded his white Dodge Ram for a Pontiac Vibe. It was a good trade. There is more value in the car than in the truck! And 28 miles to the gallon versus 10 mpg with the truck! I had a terrible wisdom tooth extraction experience. I was tortured for about 15 minutes while the dentist tried to yank out and drill the rest of the wisdom tooth that remained after he had cracked the top off. A month later, I can finally yawn without pain. I actually got dry socket from the whole experience. Vicodin didn't even touch the pain. But my awesome husband went out at 11p one night to pick me up some oil of cloves which is the only thing that would touch the pain. It was actually a very nice dentist and he felt really bad that I got the dry socket since it probably happened because of the trauma. So lesson learned (a little late, I might add): get your wisdom teeth out BEFORE they come through! Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied!

As for the rest of the summer, neither Jordan or myself have been running but we hope to start up again soon (we've been saying that all summer!). I just signed up with some friends from church for the Grand Rapids Mud Run at the end of August so I have to get exercising again! This year we also tripled (at least!) the size of our garden! We're happy we did it but it is consuming much more of my time than I wanted it to! I am constantly weeding! Everything is coming up good though. But something I have to make more time for: the beach! Me and the kids just love to go, and I wouldn't mind getting a beach day without the kids too maybe!

Enjoy the rest of August!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

natalie's four

We just celebrated four incredible years of Natalie! We threw one party before her birthday and one a few days after. She enjoyed reminding us that is was her birthday weekend. She had fun at both of her parties but she was so shy when it came to opening her presents!

Even though it's such a gradual change, having a four year old is so different from the three year old stage. This summer, she's been hanging out with all of her neighborhood friends. It started with a boy named Alec whom she got the biggest crush on. It started that they would ride their bikes together or play with his pet bunny and in no time at all, the flirting began! Jordan and I watched one day as he rode his bike over to our house to tell her a secret, she blushed and giggled, and then he rode back home. I thought it was so cute but it bothered Jordan. One night she prayed for him and when Jordan asked why she liked Alec so much she said, "because I love him!" But she's over him now :)

We had a couple of not-so-fun weeks there surrounding her birthday. She began testing us all the time and crying over everything and it felt like we were constantly getting after her! I don't know where that came from but as quick as it came, it has once again left us.

Natalie still loves to act like she's an animal! She's gotten really good at running on all fours, she makes what she thinks are dinosaur sounds, and she does these cute bird kisses where she does this puckered mouth and big eyes and comes at us moving her head from side to side! She really pays attention to detail! She's an amazing artist, too and she's getting really good at hitting a (plastic!) baseball! I don't mean to brag... I just want to remember these things :)

She has brought us SO MUCH JOY and I just praise God that He has given us these four fabulous years with her.

Making her birthday dessert

cramming everyone into our living room for the party!

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