Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I realized I've been getting behind on posting so I figured I'd better catch-up before our trip to Guatemala that's coming up. Soooo.... I'll start with Natalie. She started preschool this year! She is loving it so far! She was very shy at the open house and almost started to cry even which we were shocked at. But the first day rolled around and we haven't had any problems. I just cannot believe that she is old enough to go to school - she's still my baby!! There are four other VanderZwaag descendants in the same preschool year (different class times) at Borculo Christian and my uncle is the principal. So that is kind of special for me! And... (this is getting added into the post way after the fact-I think my brain is trying to erase the memory) I picked Natalie up 25 minutes late on her first day of school! I had the wrong time! I felt terrible. And I was so embarassed! But at least she didn't seem to mind. Never again...!

Ruby is very jealous that she can't go to school with Natalie. I maybe should have done threeschool with her but I wasn't ready to send her off just yet! I've been trying to do some 'schooling' with Ruby while Natalie is gone. It's been going ok but I'm hoping to get more of a routine down! I haven't worked with Ruby as much as far as shapes, colors, and letters go. I feel like I was able to give Natalie more attention seeing that she and I had more time alone than I will have had with the other two. So I'm really looking forward to spending some time with just Ruby (Charlie takes a little nap while Natalie's at school). Ruby is a hoot! You never know what she's going to say... or wear! She is changing so much. And definately making the transition from toddler to little girl.

Charlie has been doing some changing as well. He has been walking since the end of August and getting pretty fast. He can't quite run away from us yet but he's getting closer. And he is starting to get into everything! He loves to sit on the bathroom floor and make a mess with the toilet paper! The other day, he went 'missing' and I was seriously starting to panic when I saw that the shower curtain was tucked into the tub the tiniest bit and sure enough, he was sitting in the tub. He's getting much more vocal as well. He knows how to sign 'more' and 'milk' but if I'm not looking at him, how's he supposed to get that through to me. So he yells! He can say 'mama' (but he only does if he's mad), 'gary', 'dada', and 'num-num'. He's copies everything the girls do and they all think it's hilarious!

Jordan and I have been busy working on the house (hopefully I'll have pics to follow soon when it gets completely done!). We're also trying to prepare for our trip to Guatemala that is coming up soon. I'm getting nervous and scared to leave my kids. Also, I'm feeling very overwhelmed with everything I think I need to accomplish. I've also been very busy with massage and with spa parties. God has been blessing us tremendously as usual! I contributed all of my massage earnings for the month of August to our trip and we raised just over $600 in one month! That is nothing short of a miracle because I have never made that much in one month! I'm hoping that maybe I can blog about Guatemala while we're there....

Also, on September 9, my uncle Bern died. He fought a cancerous brain tumor and the tumor won, but really, so did my uncle. He is now in his eternal home. The funeral was a beautiful celebration of his life and we truly do celebrate that he is much better off in Heaven. It just kind of makes you come back to reality when someone dies, you know? Everyday is not just another ordinary day. It really could be our last. And we all have to face it that life does not go on forever but that someday, we will be face to face with Jesus. It just really makes this urgency come up inside of me. Am I living for God? Am I sharing my faith with everyone? Is He the center of my universe? If you know me, you know that I am always in a hurry. I have too much to do all the time and it's all by my own doing. But am I urgently pursuing God's will for my life? Am I making time to worship Him? Sometimes the 'here and now' isn't the reality I should be focusing on since our lifetimes are just a vapor in time. Whenever I lose someone in my life, it really makes me stop and think about what I'm busying myself with and about the kind of legacy I hope to leave behind. My uncle definately left a great legacy. He knew what was important in this lifetime. My aunt Jan gave Jordan and I a large amount of money to go on this trip. She said that Bern was visited by a friend, while in Hospice, that did a lot of mission trips and Bern told his friend that if/when he would get out of Hospice, that he was going to do these trips as well. So my aunt told me that the money was given in his honor. And what an honor it is for us to accept that gift and to use our full potential while on this trip. And isn't it the same for life? Jesus gave His life for us, why shouldn't I use my life to honor Him not for just one week while in Guatemala but for all of my days?! Ok, I'm just rambling now. Anyways, my feelings are all over the place with this trip. So excited to go and serve and so sad to leave my kids!

I guess that's about everything that's new with us. Hopefully the next update will be while we're in Guatemala or once we're home. Pray for us :)

Natalie on her first day (these are all fake smiles!)

my crazy girls...

and my little monkey!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

charlie photoshoot

These are Charlie's one year pictures that I took in August. He's changed so much again though, so I should take some more soon.

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natalie pictures

Here are Natalie's four year old pictures that I'm just a couple months behind on. We took them in the 10 minutes we had to spare before we had to leave for school. And that's the way to do it... fast and painless for us both!

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summer is for....

selling veggies that we grew....

and giving away some gumballs, too.

fried green tomatoes are a tasty snack,

bugs Natalie catches that I make her put back.

sunday afternoon drives...

bathing suits...

bike rides.

warm afternoons playing in the sand,

many tomatoes waiting to be canned.

raw corn on the cob is what Ruby likes best,

but now it's time to put summer to rest.

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muddy moms

The last Saturday of August, Elsie, Tori, Brooke, and I got down and dirty at the 2nd annual G.R. Mudrun! It was a 5k race with mud obstacles. We had a BLAST! I'm definately going to do it next year and you should too... so fun! So here are some pictures that Jordan was able to get of us!

This was at the starting line (notice how clean we are!)

The girls didn't want to touch me but they cheered me on!

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