Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A wonderful Christmas

Our Christmas in Lynden was really fun. We were able to see lots and lots of family! Our boys had a ball. Hazel was a content angel! What a fun long weekend!! I took several random pictures! Here goes...

My sis Lesha and niece Brielle (isn't she adorable?!)
Brielle, Will and Lane -- cousins!
Merit on Christmas morning!
Will on Christmas morning!
My brother Matt and nephew Case
Lane and Merit, cousins, buddies, wrestling pals
sisters! I am SO crazy about these girls!
Dinner at dad's out in the shop
My dad cooked a delicious prime rib dinner.
Abby and Hazel - our niece Abby is so good with babies! It was fun to have her help and Hazel loved her. Christmas morning at my in laws - Stan and Adie's - was fun, comfortable and cozy... just like always.

Me, Hazel, Lissa and Greta. Lissa is so dear to me! We have been friends since were were FIVE years old. The memories the two of us have are endless and they are TREASURED. She has been at my side through the best of times and the worst of times. We were childhood friends going through Ebenezer Christian (a small private school in Lynden). So many memories to laugh about now... how wonderful it is going through school having a BEST friend!
We hung out in high school, we married friends, we were in eachothers weddings. All four of us, Vance, me, Lissa and Travis graduated from highschool the same year. Lissa was an amazing amount of support -- not just to me but to my siblings and grandparents too -- when my mom died. Her empathy and love was incredible. God really showed his care through Lissa and we were and are so blessed by her!! ( my siblings love her too, BTW)
Lissa and I had our first babies (Emma and Merit) one day apart! And Lissa and I are just one day apart! Can you believe that!? I am one day older than Lissa and Merit is one day older than Emma! Now Lissa and I are both busy moms of three little ones! Lissa has three adorable girls. Our kids love eachother, our husbands laugh together and we will always be there to laugh with and cry with eachother. I am blessed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Celebrate Jesus Birthday, Enjoy your Family, Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

This is the Christmas card I am sending out... or a variation of it... one more stack to mail! But for my blogging friends, here it is. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! With love, Michele

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thoughtful, affordable teacher gifts, Gingerbread House, SNOW and more...

Our Gingerbread House! Check out Willem's excitement!
Both boys had a lot of fun making this.
We have SNOW!!

This is a fun, affordable teacher gift! A wrapped bag of tea and a couple of candies (you can put them in clear envelopes or ziplock bags) Then fold a piece of cardstock or cute background paper to staple over the top. I then did a little poem and picture of Merit. I did chamomile and green tea and Werther's Originals. Other ideas include lemon tea and lemon drops, raspberry tea and raspberry chocolates, licorice tea and dutch licorice (my family and I love salty dutch licorice!) And my sisters and I are fans of licorice tea so I think I might do "licorice goody bags" for my sisters with a sisters poem as stocking stuffers... shhhh:)
Merit, Vance and I are getting over strep throat over here... ugh. I had planned to make Merit's 1st grade teacher, reading teachers, music and PE teachers packets of cards... but the tea idea is easier and more simple but still cute.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Remember the REASON for the SEASON

Thursday was Willem's Happy Hearts preschool program. I loved listening to those little ones sing about Jesus. Happy Hearts reminds me how important it is to teach are children the REASON for the SEASON. Jesus Birthday -- what an awesome thing to celebrate.
As I looked at all of the darling children singing about Jesus, I noticed our son, Willem, had broken a hole through the knee of his pair of "nice" brown pants. I knew they were wearing thin, but a hole?? Oh yeah, he had fallen in the 10 degree cold on the pavement on his way into his preschool. Also that morning his hair was so full of static! Miss Pat tried to apply a little lotion :). Miss Claudia could tell by the look on my face I had had better days... feeling a bit emotional, lacking some sleep and feeking like I can't quite keep up. She gave me a chocolate and said she'd pray for me... two pretty great things a friend can do. :)
Then I wondered during the program why I hadn't bought Willem new pants, put a little hairspray in his hair and just been more aware.
I have moments of feeling inadequate - but I am guessing we all do. I am an irresponsible pet owner, I'm indecisive, I can be an emotional mother, a wife who often considers the needs of her children before the needs of her husband. Some days there just isn't enough of me to go around. Or at times I become critical of myself and think if I were a "better me" there would be enough of me to go around. This time of year can be hectic and emotional too. But in the past few days I have been so blessed by friends and their encouragement. And more importantly I have been blessed by the power of prayer.
I am feeling some regret, along with sadness regarding a recent decision I've made - not something I want to get into now but it has felt tough. And it has triggered lots of emotions.
It is very wonderful to have a baby in the house and Merit and Will couldn't be better big brothers, but I have a lot to do and a lot to keep track of. I love my days with these children, they are precious gifts.
Liz, Kelly, Kris, Natasha and Daphine -- thank you for helping me deal with life this week! Most of us are doing the best we can with what we've got. God places some pretty incredible people in our life. And these women, this week, were the support I needed.
Happy Birthday today to my friend and husband Vance -- I am grateful for his dedication and love.
Today is a good day, a day where I am stopping to count my blessings! -- our little angel Hazel is as content as can be. The boys are finally getting some FRESH air playing baseball outside with the neighbor kids... they were a bit stir crazy. It has been sooo cold here, like 10 degrees. Vance and I are enjoying a quiet house, if only for twenty minutes.
Christmas Programs -- a highlight of our week
Willem, striped shirt, front row :)

Merit, plaid shirt on the end
Life is Good. And when I am stressed about holiday hoop-la and busy days... I must remember the Reason for the Season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Morning Update

It is so fun decorating for Christmas, listening to Christmas music, baking... both of our boys have their Christmas programs this week!  Christmas crafting is fun too. I've included super cute graphics from the graphic fairy blog. Google -- she has many cute, printable graphics. I'll post what I am doing with those later this week. We are well, but Hazel is so stuffed up. Poor little thing. Between 3 and 5 in the morning she is usually snorting so bad and when I try to nurse her she can hardly breathe. I hope she feels much better soon! During the day she does fine. I have a humidifier going in her room and have been using saline in her little nose. I hope she feels better tonight. She is sooo sweet, giving up the smiles now and loving cuddles from her big brothers~!

Christmas Decor!
check out these little silver slippers for Hazel Jane! Second hand store!!

 Proud brothers and
their sweet sister!


If I can find the time today or tomorrrow - I hope to make some cards with these sweet Christmas graphics!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This has been a pretty good weekend after a very sad Friday. On Friday morning our lab, Betty, died. She  was hit on the road. Vance and our friend and neighbor buried her that morning. Man it hurt losing this sweet dog. We had two black labs, Rudy who is almost 12 and Betty who was 1 1/2. Rudy has been a good, loyal, wonderful pet. We wanted to get a second dog while Rudy was still alive so Rudy could help "train" the new pup, teach her to stay home, to be good with the kids etc. So a year and a half ago we got Betty.  Betty had been a true puppy! Her first six months of life she chewed and had tons of energy, then last spring and summer she had calmed down quite a bit, plus she was getting lots of exercise. Our family spent lots of time outdoors and Betty got many good walks in. I LOVED Betty as a walking partner! She was "birdie", sweet and energetic.
Anyway, many tears were shed Friday and as the weekend has gone on we are enjoying looking at pictures of her and remembering her ... but it is sad. And our old dog Rudy seems to be missing her too. Vance and Merit are taking this the hardest. Merit just joined me at the computer and read this post, through tears. Betty the Boopster will be missed.