Thursday, March 31, 2011

This girl with the big expressive eyes and a curious personality keeps our
days busy and entertaining. She LOVES playing outside. She is so content
when she is outdoors exploring.

We have been spending a little time down at our cabin.
Hazel really likes it there.

Merit started baseball last night and is so excited!
Vance took him to his first practice. It was fun to see how
excited both Vance and Merit are about baseball.
Baseball and soccer will overlap for about a week and a half
so each evening and on Saturdays we will be at one or the other.
It is so fun to see this determined sports loving boy doing
what he loves to do.

Imaginative Willem!
Willem is a puzzle builder and fabulous pretender. Yesterday he had
his sweet friend Addison over and I loved listening to them play.
They are very kind to eachother and like to pretend together.
Addison got hurt while she was here however and I felt terrible!
One of those things where I was kicking myself. Anyway, this sweet
cutie went home with a scraped up face. Willem was so worried about her too.
Say a prayer for Addi. Her swollen lip and scrapes really scared her.

Addison and Willem

Carly and Kelcy came by Tuesday for a nice visit and brought
me flowers!! It was so good to see them and the kids liked seeing their  
aunts. Hazel showed off for them a bit.

Pretending boy

Hazel loves to play football, basketball, baseball...
monkey see monkey do

Our family loves spring

Monday, March 28, 2011

Uncle Matt, Spring Weather, Fun Weekend

Uncle Matt came to visit!
Lots of laughs and good times were had by all.
We had great weather too.
Hazel was all over Matt.
I don't know what happened to our shy Hazel, she is
anything but shy! A complete opposite of Willem at this age.
And Merit was somewhere in between.

Willem, Hazel and Merit before Merit's soccer game Saturday morning.

Hazel, Matt, Vance and Rudy

We had a great weekend and SOAKED UP the sunshine.

So, each spring Vance and I discuss getting chicks.
Fresh eggs sound so wonderful, but the work of raising chicks
and taking care of chickens may be more work than we want.
Especially when we can't even keep up on this yard! I
am ready to simplify, big time. :)
I stumbled upon this picture of a glamorous chicken coup online
and fell in love! : )

Friday, March 25, 2011

A good day of remembering

After yesterday's flower post, I continued to think of my mom and the
many memories I have of her with flowers.
The above picture is of my sister Lesha, my mom and my Grandma Alma (mom's mom).
It was taken in front of my Grandma's roses.

This picture is of my Zylstra aunts, my cousin Megan and my mom. My
mom is in the center. This was taken the day before my wedding.

Us girls
Mom, me, Lesha and Natasha went to Laughlin,
Nevada when I was 19. It was SUCH a fun trip!
 I took this pic of mom and Tasha on the trip.
A couple of beauties!

Lesha lived in a cute little Front Street apartment for a while. Here is
my mom and Lesh at the apartment. I love their smiles!

Phil, Matt and my mom sitting down for dinner
They came to visit Vance and me in Moses Lake.

Phil and mom!

I love thinking about little vacations and get aways with my family!
This was in Leavenworth, WA. The big Zylstra family went to celebrate
my grandma's 80th birthday.

My mom and Grandpa Ken
Two of the most patient, kind people and wonderful role models!
Both of them went home to heaven on March 25th. My mom's been gone
ten years, my grandpa seven years.

Today has been a really good day of remembering. I enjoy my
children so much, thanks so much to how my mom raised me and enjoyed raising
her five children.
Oh how I wish I could make a phone call to my mom, how I wish I could share
these children with her and her with them! But I believe she sees the goodness
and the joy we experience with our loved ones.
I'll bet she is snuggling my nephew Case and I know she is
certainly enjoying the beauty and glory of heaven.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flowers and memories of my mom

me, my mom, Grandma Dorothy

My mom's front porch and raised garden beds always looked so beautiful.
I loved the holly hocks in her garden.
Her petunias were always gorgeous and her hanging baskets "mammoth."
She planted her own hanging baskets and rarely bought the ready made ones.
That way she could personalize them and save money.

I have a picture of my mom that I love where she is on her front porch surrounded
by her flowers. I searched my computer for that picture this morning as Hazel was sitting
on my scanner, begging for dutch licorice and pushing any keypad button she could push.
I was reminded that sometimes in March I neglect my duties as a mom and wife and dive into
every picture I have of my mom. Searching, remembering, reminiscing --- it
is good and can be really enjoyable, but it can be hard too.
I strive for that healthy balance of remembering and embracing the great times, but
keeping up with my dear little family who needs a healthy mom and wife.
This week each March I allow myself to spend some time missing my mom
and thanking God for my mom.
I am also so grateful for my four siblings.
Siblings are such a wonderful gift.

My dad brought my mom yellow roses in the hospital right after she had me.
When my mom passed away, my five dear Ebenezer girlfriends bought us a yellow rosebush. We took it to Boardman, Oregon with us. We were in the process of moving. I had to leave it there when we came back to Moses Lake. But when we bought this house, there was a beautiful yellow rosebush in the yard. Every time that rose bush blooms I think of my mom.

My sisters were both engaged when our mom passed away. She died on March 25. Natasha had a June 2nd wedding and Lesha a July 13th. Lesha and our mom had chosen the flowers for her wedding before our mom died. Mom's special touch for Lesha's wedding was a gift, but our mom was so missed at both the girls' weddings. We so badly wanted her there to celebrate their marriages.

This winter seems to be dragging on...but the past couple of days have been so beautiful. I bought some daffodils yesterday to add a little spring and sunshine to our place and watching Willem and Hazel with these bright flowers was so much fun!! Hazel was imitating me as I as putting them in a pot and adding potting soil.
This bright little girl packing around daffodils was so cute! Soon (hopefully) the tulips and daffodils will be blooming in our yard.

The 55 degree heat wave, along with Hazel
dumping a little potting soil down Will's shirt caused
him to go shirtless for a while. :)

So today, I am missing our mom.
I am so thankful for God's gift of flowers.
I am also thankful for memories.

Tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary of her death... hard to believe we have had ten years without her.
I have more pictures and memories to share tomorrow.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Out Of Town

Girls Weekend

A girls weekend is refreshing, fun, a good opportunity to laugh and have deep conversations... a good opportunity to reconnect and encourage eachother.

Lesha and Lissa

Me and Lissa
I am holding the Cheesecake Factory buzzer which let us know our table is ready.
The theme of the weekend seemed to be Cheesecake Factory! We just kept
going back for more!
Seems that when we do this get away, often we have a newborn
with us or one of us is pregnant. This time around it was Lissa. She
is pregnant and due the beginning of June. :)
Sitting at a restaurant or Starbucks for an hour or two just talking and
enjoying the conversation and food is so fun! It feels so relaxing and
Shopping was great. We hit H&M, IKEA, Old Navy, Cost Plus... we got some
fun bargains and did lots of looking.
We missed Natasha this time around, but hope she can join us next time!

If you haven't tried the Cheesecake Factory's cheesecake, you
have GOT to. Yum!

Lesha and Michele
I rarely get chunks of time with this sister of mine,
so this get away was a TREAT!

These girls make life so much more enjoyable.
Thanks for the great time!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Bathing Beauty

Oh Hazel Jane.
Hazel is spirited, fiesty, funny and loveable.
She is not as easy going as she was in her first year of life.
During Hazel's first year she was "Miss Go with the Flow"
Now, she knows what she wants and will often try hard to get it.
We giggle at her and with her often. The boys adore her
and play funny cute games with her. Oh Hazel, you are a little dear!

I have been house cleaning and spring cleaning. Willem
has been a wonderful helper. He is cleaning bathroom mirrors, washing windows and
Once I got my craftroom in order (somewhat anyway)
I started getting in the mood to make cards.
Hazel really wants to get in on the card making, so
I handed her three washable markers and some cardstock.
She had fun :)

good thing the ink is washable

Our boys havin' some hot tub fun!!