Saturday, December 27, 2008

about time..... i know

so, i have been a bit m.i.a. lately and my blog has paid the price. i kinda don't know where to even begin with all the things we did over the last couple of months. we have been super busy and have done lots of fun things including: going to chicago, lots of fun weddings, disney world and disney cruise...... just to name a few.

i hope all of you had a wonderful christmas - we certainly did! happy new year!

Monday, October 06, 2008

home sweet home

according to our airline tickets we should be in new york city right now....... dave and i bought tickets a while back for the two of us to take another quick trip to the big apple for a little getaway. however, after much deliberation, we decided to stay home. can you believe it!! i just felt like i have been gone more than i've been home recently and wanted to just be home. it was only a month ago that dave and i lived it up in nyc with our friends the olthoffs and celebrated our 9th anniversary and jasons 35th birthday! as much as i love getting away i am thankful that i love to be home too!!happy 9th anniversary!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

little hassles..

i know i am no different than anyone else. we all deal with little hassles now and then.....right? but i am ready to scream at my dishwasher; as i sit in my office (which is in the basement) and listen to the water-droplets landing into the bucket i have placed to collect the water dripping from the ceiling from my dishwasher upstairs. we have had a serviceman come out and look at it and he couldn't find anything wrong with it.......AHHHH! for some reason the dishwasher doesn't leak every time we use it - just about every 10th time. seriously.

so, i know i haven't done very well on keeping up with the happening in our life as of late. and frankly, it's just been because we've been so busy. i'm hoping to update you all with some pics from some of our fun adventures this past month.

enjoy your day - i'm off to clean up this mess!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

tuesday - september 2, 2008

i adore my kids. after having each one of them i found a new capacity for love that i had no idea existed. it amazes me how much each of them are a bit like me, a bit like dave, and a bit all themselves. they are each amazing and a gift....

just about five years ago when i still had three in diapers i began to calculate how long it was going to be until all of them were in school and i would re-claim my sanity. well, today was that day. it was the first day of school - for all three kids!!! as dave and i drove away from dropping them all off it was incredibly bitter-sweet. i'm no longer looking to re-claim anything (especially my sanity) as i have come to realize how fast it all goes by and the fact that we are all a little bit crazy....
caleb began 3rd grade. he is getting HUGE! i can actually wear his flip flops!! as we sat around the breakfast table before leaving i asked how he was feeling. he told me, "my stomach doesn't know how to feel - there are just too many emotions - i'm excited, scared and happy, it just doesn't know how to feel."
luke is in 1st grade. he is excited about learning how to read and hanging out with his friends. although he would tell you that school was boring there is no doubt in any of our minds that he is loving it!
lilly jane started kindergarten. she could not stop bouncing and smiling. she loves her teacher and was quick to tell me all about her new friend, although she couldn't remember her name :) for as excited as she was once she realized her dad and i were leaving she got noticeably upset. we both gave her a few more hugs and then i told her i needed to go and that i would be back in a bit. as i walked to the door she called out to me and said, "mom....i love you, i love you, i love you...good-bye, good-bye, good-bye." and then blew me a kiss. at that moment i knew she was going to do great!

Monday, September 01, 2008

twas the night before......

tomorrow marks the first day of school for the kids. yes, all three of my babies will be in school. i wish i could have captured their excitement as they laid out there clothes and backpacks in preparation for tomorrow. at dinner i asked what they were the most excited about. all three of them agreed it was their classrooms. then i asked them what they were the most nervous about, so we would know better how to pray for each of them. all three of them agreed again and said that they wouldn't be too shy or nervous. i love my kids and their sweet innocence.
yesterday was a big day in our house as our dear friends got married. jeff mcclain became one of our closest friends since we moved to muskegon three years ago. we have spent countless hours hanging out, playing settlers, and talking together. jeff two years ago rode with our family 24 hours to florida for a week long family vacation. he is a member of our family and we love him dearly. a year ago we said good-bye to jeff as he left for north park seminary. there he met the amazing carrie. over the last year (and yes, they both came on vacation with us this last may) we have fallen in love with carrie too and couldn't be happier to see the two of them come together in marriage. dave officiated the wedding and this is the first wedding (the kids can remember) ever being invited to. needless to say we all had a blast. we danced the night away with all sorts of friends and enjoyed the day to the fullest
congratulation jeff and carrie --- we love you!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

camera is M.I.A.

ok, so it's not actually missing....just not in my possession. i left it in my mom's car over the weekend and haven't gotten it back yet. AHHH! i can't believe how naked i feel without it. at least i have a REALLY good excuse for not blogging recently. i mean, it's too hard to blog without a photo, right? well, hopefully i will get it back soon and i will get to upload a bunch of fun pics from our trip to mimi and papas last week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

chicago - - here we come!

i don't have a photo today.... sorry! the day just kinda got away from me. we are heading out to chicago in about an hour for the rest of the week. i am really excited to see family and friends and of course, just hang out by the pool. going to mimi and papas is such a vacation for us and we love every minute of it! this will be our last trip to naper-thrill before school starts. which is rather bitter-sweet. it some ways i feel as though summer just started and in other way's it feels like the kids have been out of school for an eternity :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

what a weekend!

we had a wonderful weekend. we had a blast as a family and with friends. although i can't wait for school to start i am very thankful for the time we had together this weekend.

the kids have begged all summer to do a lemonade stand - the day finally came on saturday. the kids set up their stand at mary and joseph's house, where grommie works during their garage sale. the kids worked it all morning and had no problem asking for money!after a long morning "working" the kids went tubing. if you can believe it, this is our first time out this summer on the tubes. needless to say they had a blast!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

nothing like summer in michigan

it seems as though summer took a long time to get here this year. however, today was an awesome reminder of how awesome summer is here in michigan - especially on the lake! as the slogan says, "yes michigan.....the feeling....forever".

Friday, August 15, 2008

family date night

tonight we went out just as a family. we are blessed to have a lot of people in our lives and love hanging out. most nights of the week we seem to spend with friends. a usual question from any one of the kids at any given time is, "who is coming over tonight?". well tonight, it was just the five of us. we went downtown grand haven and walked around and then found ourselves at one of our favorite restaurants and sat outside for dinner. we had so much fun together.
tonight i was reminded of how precious my sweet family is..... considering earlier today i was beginning to question if i still wanted to be a mom. it sit here writing this amazed at how fast it all goes by and what an honor it is to be their mother.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


our goal for the summer was to play settlers of catan with our friends the olthoffs every thursday night. although we didn't quite meet our every thursday goal, we have played together quite a bit. i love our dear friends and am so thankful they'll play geeky games, eat brownies and enjoy "christmas in a cup" with us.
dave won!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

mother of the year!

i was an awful mom today...... i have nicknamed our tv "nicki - the babysitter" to make me feel better about when i tell my kids to go and sit in front of her. today was one of those days. i had a bunch of loose ends to get caught up on and found myself working all day in front of the computer. fortunately dave took the kids to the gym in the morning - but the rest of the day was spent with "nicki" until we rushed out the door at 6:15 for a meeting a church. there i earned more points for my mother of the year award as i left them for the next two hours in the church nursery and did i mention that i didn't feed them dinner. so, i pulled into burger king at 9:30 to buy the kids dinner and on our way home lilly says to me, "mommy, you are the best mommy ever!" then luke & caleb chimed in, in agreement. i almost started crying - as i thought about what a neglectful mother i had been to the kids today. i know that their praises were coming as a result of the fast food aroma filling our vehicle - but hey, i'll take what i can get and appreciate the fact that they will love me despite my inadequacies and short comings :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

47 in a 30

this morning as i was heading back to the hospital to have a ct-scan done on my kidneys to see if there are any more little stones finding a home in there, i found out that laketon (the street the hospital is on) is 30mph. i was driving 47 as the police officer so kindly pointed out. as the police officer came to my car with my ticket in hand this is what happend....
    officer: here is your ticket - i cannot be leniant when you are exceeding the speed limit that much.
    me: i'm sorry - it's been a long time since i've gotten a ticket
    officer: yeah, your record is clean
    me: i'm just glad my kids aren't in the car
    officer: (with a chuckle) nothing like trying to explain why mommy is getting pulled over
    me: (with a gigle) yeah!
    officer: you have 10 days to dispute this ticket - just call this number
    me: dispute it?....(giggle)....i know i was speeding
    officer: so, where were you headed in such a hurry
    me: to the hospital for a ct-scan, i was here last week with kidney stones.
    officer: i hear those are awful
    me: yeah, the worst pain ever. i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. (with a giggle) i wouldn't even wish it on you...
    officer: (full blown laugh)....i hope everything is ok - have a nice day!
    me: you too!
now this is where it gets funny.... so, i roll up my window and put my car in gear to go when i look in my rear view window and see the police officer waving me down.... so, i rolled down my window and he approached the car and said...
    officer: let me see that ticket
    me: ok (handing him the ticket he had just given me)
    officer: i am going to just give you a warning (tearing up my ticket)
    me: seriously? (in shock)
    officer: yeah, it's just really nice to have someone take responsibility for what they did and be so nice.
    me: thank you....(pause)...thank you!
    officer: have a nice day maam and slow down

Monday, August 11, 2008

lilly and her funny words

some of you may not know that lilly had a very difficult time talking. at 2 and a half she only had about 10 words. she screamed A LOT in frustration because she wanted to talk so desperately but just couldn't for the life of her figure it out. with the help of a speech therapist - by her third birthday lilly was a talking fool, but not without a few mis-formed words. lilly's under developed pallet made it difficult for her to form certain sounds and as a result she had a hard time enunciating certain words. today you would hardly be able to tell that she ever had a problem with her speech. if you spend more than five minutes with her she will talk your ear off :) so, i tell you all this because i just had to chuckle tonight at how how she say's mcdonalds. now, i'm not sure if it is actually a struggle for her to say the word or if she says it this way because she's so used to saying it that way..... but i love it when she asks to go to "mcdongals".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

oct. 19th

yes, i know october is still a ways off. but this is the date a group of us gathered to talk about this evening. as renovate continues to grow one of our visions is to work with and in our community, partnering with existing organizations. on oct. 19th we have the opportunity to work with every womens place, an organization who both shelters and cares for women and children who are coming out of domestic violence. as a church community we will be going to their facility and offering a day of pampering to the women which will include hair cuts/styling, mani's/pedi's, massages and facials. we will also be offering child-care, food and gift baskets which we are hoping to fill with items that may or may not be covered by government assisted aids (ie: diapers, disposable cameras, gas cards, etc.). we are all really excited about the opportunity to serve hopefully 50 women in this manner. although we have quite a feat in front of us in terms of raising funds and donations i believe it will all come together. already we have a number of people within the renovate community who are volunteering their skill sets to help with the day of pampering and care taking. so, if you are reading this and would like to either donate or help participate in any manor please let me know. blessings to you all!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

blueberry pick'n

today we got to go blueberry picking. YUMMY! friends of ours have a blueberry patch in their backyard that they open up to friends and family. this year was our first year taking advantage of the opportunity. we picked for a little over an hour and filled up an entire bushel basket. it was so much fun watching the kids eat more than they picked. lilly ended up being the only one who actually contributed to the stash we brought home. it was a beautiful day. for dinner i made blueberry waffles - they were delicious! i can't wait to go back and pick more - i want to make sure we have plenty to freeze :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

new series - artwork

i just finished designing the next teaching series artwork for church. dave hasn't actually approved it yet, so there may be some changes. what do you think? the new series will be starting on aug. 11 titled, "what if everyone cared, prayed, shared".
i actually took this picture at the "public market" in downtown seattle this last winter. here is the original photo... gotta love photoshop :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008


well, i'm only into this "blog post a day" thing 6 days and i've already blown it :) now, i do have a pretty good excuse..... i was in the e.r at hackley hospital most of the day yesterday passing a kidney stone. seriously, i never need to experience that kind of pain and agony again in my life. i have heard it said that passing a stone and child birth were on the same pain spectrum and i will admit that the two are both extremely painful however there is one blazing difference......when it's all said and done you have a stone vs. a baby.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

meeting mackenzie grace

we drove into grand rapids today to meet mackenzie grace. the newest addition to the pohlad family. she was born on her big sisters birthday, july 27. it is james and annies fourth child - amazing! we had a blast hanging out with them, my other brothers and rita and of course all of the kiddos. mackenzie is beautiful and looks a lot like her daddy :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

losing it...

i went into the bathroom, 15 min. before a family (whom i had never met before) was coming over for dinner, and saw an all to familiar sight. pee! all over the toilet. needless to say i was frustrated. so i called the boys and told them they needed to clean the bathroom. i gave them the necessary tools to complete the task and sent them off to clean and i went back to the kitchen. a few minutes later i realized the boys were in the basement bathroom (i wanted them to clean the bathroom off the family room). here is how the conversation went:
    me: what are you doing? (shouting, like every good mom, from the top of the stairs)
    boys: cleaning the bathroom - and we're all done (very proud of their work)
    me: where are the paper towels you were using (i'm not sure why i asked this - i guess i just knew what the answer was going to be)
    luke: i flushed them all down the toilet (showing me an empty roll)
    me: WHAT!!!! (running down the stairs to see that the toilet was about to overflow. AHHHH! (i totally lost my cool and swore)
    boys: i'm sorry mommy!!
    me: GET ME THE PLUNGER!!!!
    boys: i'm so sorry mommy.
    me: go up stairs and clean THAT bathroom.

after cleaning up the mess in the downstairs bathroom i took a deep breath and went and apologized to the boys. i hate it when i lose it on them. they did end up cleaning the right bathroom and they did an excellent job!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

just the two of us....

this evening dave and i got to go out, just the two of us. we drove to grand rapids and visited another covenant church, fellowship covenant church. dave heard about a thing that was going on at the church called, the church basement roadshow with tony jones, doug paggit and mark scandrette. when we first got there i began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves in to. however, i was incredibly blessed by the evening and the words spoken by these passionate men about God's great love for his people.

afterwards dave and i went to adobe (one of my favorite drive thru mexican restaurants from back in the day). we sat in the car savoring our meals and enjoying each other. i realized tonight how few times we get to be, just the two of us.

on another note - we are in the middle of our series at church called summer cineplex. this morning james bean spoke to the movie the matrix. i haven't listened to the podcast yet - but i hear it was awesome! so, i thought i would put a link in case anybody else might be interested, click here to listen.

so, if you haven't noticed i am trying to post a blog a day for the month of august. not sure what i am hoping to accomplish - just thought it might be fun :)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

beach day!

today we went to the beach for the first time as a family. don't get me wrong we have all been to the beach but not as a family, until today. it was awesome! we borrowed a friends skim board - everyone had to give it a try (except me, i don't need anything

the boys found big sticks and battled each other for over an hour - it was pretty funny to watch. none of us can wait to go back!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Birthday Girl!

our lilly jane turned 5 yesterday. i am amazed that my baby is already five years old. we had so much celebrating her.
can you say "cheese"

she has been so excited about her birthday and loved all the attention. to celebrate we filled the day with all of her favorite things....

happy birthday princess lilly!

1. lots of presents
2. grandparents
3. went to see kit kiterage - an american girl (very, very good)
4. chuck-e-cheese
5. a homemade cookie cake she decorated all be herself
6. a party dress
7. lots of smiles, hugs and goofing around!

Monday, July 28, 2008


i went out into my garage this afternoon to grab a bottle of water and that's when i saw a very unfortunate sight. a very large puddle was forming in front of our freezer. as i went to investigate i realized that the door was open about an inch or so and as i opened the door more water came pouring out. AHHHH! thankfully, everything in the freezer was still cold, defrosted, but cold. the only things i decided to throw out was all the fish, although it was still cold it kinda grossed me out.

so, this is where i need help. i have aprox. 10 lbs. of chicken breasts, 2 lbs. ground beef, 1 lb. italian sausage, 1 lb. ground turkey, 2 lbs. sirloin steak. we are going to grill up the fillets for dinner tonight (nice alternative to the paninis we were going to have). i have everything in my fridge right now, but am figuring i need to make up as many meals with the meat as i possibly can by tomorrow. my hope is to make up meals that i can freeze for a later date - but i can only think of spaghetti sauce. so, if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

thanks friends!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

vacation at club diller (aka: mimi & papa's)

every summer, since we moved to michigan, we have taken a week to go to "club diller". dave's brothers family; doug, nettie, claire, abby and sylvia join us from portland, oregon and we all hang out together and our mimi and papas. below is a little synopsis of our wonderful family vacation together.

1) hanging out at the pool
2) all the girls went to the salon for mani's & pedi's
3) ate at tre kroner (my fav. breakfast spot) with jeffy
4) stayed up late with our cousins
5) saw indian jones at the $3 theater
6) hung out with a bunch of old friends
7) went to the city (millenium park, ruths chris, and blue man group)
8) visited new community church
9) i got my hair all chopped off (thanks becky!)
10) celebrated great grandma tena - just because!
11) luke learned how to play chess
12) lots of fort building
13) all the boys went golfing
14) annual diller pool party (lots of aunts, uncles & cousins)
15) lots & lots more....

i'm sure i have forgotten a ton of things. needless to say, we had a blast. it is so wonderful to have such an amazing family to hang out with and enjoy the summer with. i love you all! thanks bob and shar! little reminder, 18 weeks from today till we get to party again together on the disney cruise!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Caleb!

This last friday, June 27th, Caleb turned 8 years old. We celebrated as a family all afternoon and evening in celebration of Caleb's big day!

I am so blessed by my oldest son and thankful for the joy he brings to our family. Caleb, I love you so much!!

we spent the day doing the following Caleb inspired things...
1. Qudoba (he loves burritos!)
2. Ice Cream & presents (note the iPod shuffle - he was soooo geeked)
3. WALL-E (he was so pumped that it came out on his birthday - he was sure they did that just for him)
4. BBQ and Birthday Cake! (yummy!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

lilly rides a 2 wheeler!

this morning lilly woke up and announced, "today i am going to ride on 2 wheels". the funny part about her making such a statement is how it reminded me of when she decided she was ready to use the toilet. she walked into the kitchen and just told me she was "done wearing a diaper and wanted to wear big girl panties". it's as though she just wakes up and makes a decision to do something and BAM it's done. today was no different. once we got her training wheels off she got on her bike and without any prompting rode off down the driveway. i was shocked! she spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening going up and down driveways and around and around the cul-de-sac.

lilly we are so proud of you!!!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

florida vacation

we just returned from our 3rd annual trip to don pedro island. it was one of the most relaxing 2 weeks i can ever remember. i am so blessed by my family and the time we are able to spend with each other on this family vacation. below are a few highlights from our trip.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


caleb loves to read. about a year ago he started the series, magic treehouse. i bought him the first 12 books in the series and thought that would get him through the summer....HA! he finished all 12 of the books before school was even out and wanted more. throughout this last school year he finished the entire series (30 some books) and was ready to move on to something a bit more challenging. we went to the bookstore and looked through many of the book series that are available and after much deliberation he came away with the first book in the narnia series, the magicians nephew.

so, the other day i walked into the family room and saw caleb laying on the couch curled up under a blanket finishing up the book. he didn't realize i was staring at him - but i was. i just stood there thinking about how big he is and how independent he has become. not too many years ago i dreamed of the day when my kids wouldn't need me for every little thing and would stop begging me to read "brown bear, brown bear" one more time. i felt myself wanting to cry realizing that we are in a new stage of life with our kids. i'm not sad, just aware of how fast it all goes by.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

love note...?

luke came home today with this note in his backpack....
all luke had to say was, "weird". i had to laugh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

nyc birthday

for my birthday dave, dave nagel, and i went to the BIG APPLE. we seriously were there for 24 hours and had a blast. enjoy the slide show for a few quick highlights of our trip. which were....

- times square
- st. pats parade
- lunch in soho
- david letterman show (kinda lame)
- hanging out with rupert from hello deli (note pic of me and rupert!)
- dinner & drinks at native with our friends jose, mayra and javier
- walking everywhere and taking the subway
- enjoying jamba juice (we miss it in muskegon)

probably the best part about the trip was that we did it. it was a bit random and unexpected and we all had a blast! thanks for all the birthday wishes - 32 is looking like a great year :)

robin = spring

since we moved to michigan (three years ago) one of the traditions i have fallen in love with is "finding the first robin". on march 16th the above robin was spotted in our front yard. it brings me such delight to see signs that spring is around the corner :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

it's official....

... luke can tie his own shoes. this is a HUGE milestone in our lives not just for luke but for dave and i (or anyone else who has ever needed to put shoes on lukie). God bless my middle child however, i have to tell you there have been many days when i thought i was going to "lose it" over his needy whine when it came to tying his shoes and even worse his whine about how he didn't want to learn. i am so proud of our luke and was thrilled to see the excitement he had on his face when he realized he had "got it"! WAY TO GO LUKE!!!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

wishful thinking

the kids love going outside to play. everyday after school it is a mad dash to get out and explore the new mound left by the snow plow in the front of our yard. at one point this winter the pile was about 6 ft. tall and 20 feet long. yesterday afternoon i looked out our front windows and saw this...even the kids are dreaming of warmer days - lol!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

pop-up books and glue guns!

i don't know about you, but i have always loved pop-up books. for christmas, this year, caleb received an amazing one on beasts. he loved it so much he slept with it for several nights. i think what is so fascinating about them is the creativity it takes to make one. they truly can be works of art. speaking of art - this year we have delved into the world of glue guns. with the help of my sister in-law (thank you nettie) i realized that my kids were/are old enough to handle a glue gun. these are very exciting times!! we are fortunate enough to have a craft room in our house filled with many wonderfully creative things for our entire family to "craft" with. in any given week we can spend countless hours creating. so, some of you may be wondering where i'm going with all this and so here it goes......

i walked into the craft room this afternoon and saw a bizarre sight. i called lilly in and asked, "what is this?" she looked at me sheepishly and said, "i wanted to make my own pop-up book". so, with the help of a piece of paper, a glue gun, and several plastic dolls and furniture pieces she went to work. i couldn't help but laugh...... she had literally glued everything down on a piece of paper with the hopes of creating her own pop-up book story!

Monday, January 21, 2008

long time...

so, it is a new year. i have all sorts of things to post and a bunch of pictures which helped capture the holiday season. however, i haven't had time to post anything because it seems all of my efforts have gone to designing the new renovate website and promo material for the new church (which has an official launch date of feb.10). so, for anyone who would like to check out the new site please visit so, now that my workload is lessening i hope to post some pics and stories from the holidays :)