"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Monday, December 6, 2010

St. Nicholas Day

Last night we got the kids all dressed up in their Christmas PJ's and attempted pictures (Take Two tonight, it didn't go so well last night)

Then we set out  their stockings in their rooms for them to be filled with goodies.
This is a tradition new to me that Matt's side of the family has followed, due to their Dutch heritage I'm sure. I love traditions and feel they are very special to keep up. Also I feel a bit bad that I am slowly thinning out out the dutch blood in the family ;)

Emily really didn't know or understand it. But Claire was very interested in the story.   She is a bit confused as to who fills the stockings.. is it St. Nick, Santa or mom and dad? Nevertheless, she is excited to get her stocking filled. After I told her the story of St Nicholas and how he was so kind, she told me that she wants to give him a present because he is just so nice. How sweet.

This morning Claire and Emily woke to find their stockings filled.  They played with their toys and Noah's too. Then we had to rush to get dressed and drop Claire off at school! A hectic morning, but still very fun.

 This is a tradition I am glad to be a part of, and I hope some day our kids continue it with their kids as well.

More on St. Nicholas Day:


Friday, November 26, 2010


This year I made my first real Thanksgiving meal myself.. AHHH! It actually turned out pretty well and I timed everything perfectly to finish at the same time (that's the hardest part for me!) It was a bit stressful because everyone including me is still sick. The kids are getting better but they are irritable and just not themselves still. It was a little rough but we somehow survived. Now today things are slowly starting to look a little brighter (and I think we are starting to feel better). I think the best part of our Thanksgiving meal was having Claire get excited and dress up, put flowers at the table and set the table. She was really into it, and that made me feel good. That worse part for me was afterwards when we had nothing to do. I am used to piling into another room with family and drinking coffee and talking, and it's just not the same. We will have to find a new thing to do, a new tradition. This year we were all under the weather so I'll let it slip, but next year we'll make more out of the day.

We made Thankful leaves and I read them out loud to everyone.. here are a few things Claire was Thankful for this year:
 -Jesus making the whole town
-Thankful for Noah
-The card Lilly made her
-Mommy giving her a Carebear picture

Claire dressed for Thanksgiving dinner

I had to take a picture of them getting along. Claire was reading Emily a book
Emily chose not to sit at the table

So she was to stay in her room til she was ready to join us

Noah dived right in!


Emily realizes it's more fun to be with family then alone in a room

Claire fixing her floral centerpiece

Friday, November 12, 2010

Things I'm Learning About the South

I often find myself thinking about how different things are down here. I didn't even realize it at first but I seem to be making a mental list; slowly adding a new thing every few days. I think this is good for me, in a strange way.  It helps me to enjoy and embrace the difference, for these things are always something good or quirky (and I like quirky) I always get bored with the 'same ole, same ole' and so this small, yet slowly growing list helps me see the good in the new life I am now living.

1. The 4 way stop signs are "all way" stop signs

2. Shopping carts are buggies

3. If someone starts the conversation off as "I've lived here all my life" I know right off the bat that I will be saying "what?" and "huh?" quite a few times in our conversation. (thick accents are so hard to understand!)

4. You will be invited to a lot of churches by a lot of people, most are Baptist.

5. Not everyone will greet you and be friendly but those that are, will be very warm and welcoming and you won't forget them.

6. Bread seems to get moldy quicker here (I guess this isn't a positive thing, but it is something that I noticed)

7. The fall is warmer!! :)

I'm going to slowly add to this list as i learn new things..

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nap Time Talk

Everyone is sleeping!!

The girls loved sorting out and playing with money money today- it kept them busy while I did a few things around the hosue.  They have their own piggy banks but we left them at our house in PA so I decided to make them new ones. I just got a peanut container and bread crumbs container and cut a slit on the lid. I think later today or tomorrow we will break out the feathers and glue and have some fun with it.

 We had an Open House yesterday at our home in PA, not much is going on with it but we are still hopeful. I am grateful for this time in our apartment though. It's really allowing us to figure out where we want to live when it does come time to buy a house. Also it helps us to save some extra money since ITT is paying for our rent and ulities here. Of course we still have to make our monthly house payments but not much else. So this is good for us to be here for awhile. I just have to look on the bright side, right?

   I have all of Claire's paper work ready and hope she can get in and get her vaccinations so she can start school ASAP.  Also want to check out a rec center nearby that apparently has a playground in it. I finally found a play group nearby and once Claire starts school, I want to start going. I am getting more brave about taking kids out all at once, I guess I just have no choice. Also it's killing me but I have to be a grown up and make phone calls and other things like that.  I usually try to avoid those type of things or make Matt do it.  Again, I just have no choice. I guess I am starting to be a grown up now whether or not I want to ! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Day in Greenville

..Well not actually a whole day spent in Greenville, but oh well, you get the point! Today we wanted to try a little bit of the city life. When I want little bit of home, I willtravel about 30 minutes to Anderson. Clemson is 10 minutes away and a small college town. Still not much around but it's a little more 'happening'. In Seneca, where we live, it's a lot more secluded. Greenville is a near by city. It's a small city but it's nice. It seems well kept and pretty. I'm not a fan of cities and I doubt I will be driving there by myself much but it's where you go if you want in on a little more action and fun. We hope to visit the Greenville Zoo soon.
 Here is a link you can go to if you are intrested in seeing more of the downtown Greenville area: http://www.thebestkeptsecretofthesouth.com/greenvilleSCphotos.html

The kids missed their nap besides the small cat nap all three kids took while driving there. It was a nice time just driving and talking to Matt awhile our kids slept. Soon enough, they all woke and it was time to explore. The kids were full of energy as usual and it took a lot of effort to keep them near us and from running off full speed. They really enjoyed the Falls Park, it was beautiful and is really neat to see something like that in the middle of the city!  I'm looking forward to seeing the area in the spring.

Now the family is home, the girls are in bed. Matt and I are watching football- the Packers are in the lead against Dallas. Noah just woke up to eat and Matt has him out to watch the game with him even though he should be put back to bed. Oh well.

 Good night, everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (on a Thursday- Oops!)

Forgot to post my "Wordless Wednesday" picture yesterday!

Can you guess what I was making ??
(my wordless wednesdays are not very wordless)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday's chit-chat

 I will start off saying that i will have to go out and buy some more Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters because by the time I am done writing this, ours will be all gone :)

Today is our first full day back since we came back from PA again. This is the real deal, because I don't have that thought of 'Oh I'll see everyone in two weeks when we come back to York' in the back of my head.
The kids have helped me cope today by being very well behaved. I even ventured out to walmart with all three of them! Of course I only managed to get half the things on my list but I truly felt as though I was on top of the world! We celebrated with popsicles once we got home :)

 It must be obvious that I am in a better mood and feel more in control because Claire came up to me and told me that I was being a such a sweet girl and so she will give me a hug. Nothing like a good pat on the back form your 4 year old!
 Also today I witnessed something jaw-dropping: Claire was holding her little star gem (she received from a fairy at the fairy festival months ago- a truly treasured item) and gave it to Emily and told her that she can hold it for a little while. Emily didn't even ask for it. I was very impressed. I think it's official that the "devil Child" title has gone from Claire.. and now I belive it is showing it's self to Emily..

Tonight I am going grocery shopping (on my own) I have yet to do a full grocery shopping trip. Our fridge and pantry is pretty bare, and it is needed. I am looking forward to it but not to hiking up the 3 flights of stairs with a family of 5's worth of groceries! Luckily I have a big, strong and helpful husband ! :)

This week I hope to..
-get things started some so Claire can get into preschool
-look for a pediatrician for the kids. Noah is soon due for a check up. 
-get South Carolina plates on our cars

Not a lot of things to do but it seems like a lot to me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Claire the helper

It's so sweet to see Claire step in and help Emily. They fight terribly and often. At the same time I also am seeing her express her love for Emily now more then ever. Her social skills really seem to be developing much more these days and I see her really learning how to express her feelings better. I know that she loves Emily so much but sometimes she just can't her herself.. Tonight I caught Claire getting Emily's toothbrush ready and a cup of water for her in the bathroom before bed. It was sweet seeing her take care of her little sister! Just needed to share that before I head off to bed!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Been A Week

We have been here for a week now. In some ways this week was so incredibly long but in other ways, it really flew by.

 We are looking at preschools for Claire and have visited one and plan on visiting another one this coming week. This preschool right next to the Clemson campus, and even more exciting, the Mellow Mushroom izza place! That prechool looks promising to us but I guess we'll just have to see!

We have visited the Greenville Mall and Anderson Mall, I really like the Anderson area, about 20 minutes from Clemson.  Speaking of Clemson, I just love the school spirit around here! We hope to take the kids to a football game here sometime soon,  I think they may like it, even if we can't see the whole game.

We have gone to the Walhalla Oktoberfest on Saturday just to get out a bit. On Sunday, We went to a church called Foothills Community Church. The kids loved it, Matt and I liked it but not too sure, we want to check it out a few more times. We just really enjoy Pastor Steve's way of preaching at Living Word and it's hard to compare. But the message at Foothills was good, and we visited on a really good day and really got a chance to see what this church was really about. I feel confident that it is a good church, I just miss my old one.

It baffles me at how well Claire is accepting this move she is already calling PA our "old home" and this place our home.. I can't even do that yet! I'm so glad for that. the girl are fighting so much more now but every once in awhile I'll see them kissing or hugging (followed by a push/shove!) So it's good to know at least the love is there.

I love that there are so many parks hiking trails and waterfalls around here. They are everywhere. We just checked out one briefly today. We were in the Appalachians at blue ridge trails, only about 20 minutes away.  The girls loved it and I think we will do that stuff more often.

So far this week we have had nothing but sunny skies and warmth. The nights are getting colder though. And the sun seems much hotter here.

Over all it's been a good first week. I am stressed but mainly because the kids are not getting along well and  I don't know where to take them to keep them occupied.  Everyone is lacking sleep and are so cranky. Since I am busy with Claire and Noah, it can be hard to teach Emily the simple lessons that I have taught Claire at 2 years old (terrible twos). I am looking forward to Claire going to preschool so I can spend time with Emily and Noah and even just make sure I can practice with Emily in stores and teach her appropriate behaviors.

 This post was rushed, I hope it made sense. I just wanted to do a quick update about our first week before I went to bed!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting adjusted...

I'm laying in bed right now, just finished a small nap and Claire is napping beside me. The kids are so tired and grumpy all the time yet somehow can't seem to sleep! How does that work? This morning Claire told me I looked tired and why wasn't I sleeping? Funny child.

Matt is going to work for a half day so I need to find something to do with the kids today. I hope we survive!

I'm on my iPod right now, I think I will sneak out of the room and hopefully not wake Claire and finish writing on the computer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'm starting Wordless Wednesday where I post a picture without explaination every Wednesday!
Here's today's photo:


Friday, September 24, 2010

Sibling Togetherness

I am really trying to promote a healthy sibling relationship between Claire and Emily but it's just so hard!  They have skipped the bickering, teasing part and go straight for the kill: hitting, biting, pushing and kicking. It's so hard to watch two kids that you would do anything for cause that kind of harm on each other. Not to mention it's exhausting physically and mentally to keep up with them, keep tabs on them and make sure I am not missing a beat and everyone gets the love, attention and discipline they need.

 In my desperation I have searched for some tips. I came across some good tips from the Dr. Sears website that I thought I would share (http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/T064200.asp)

Now I just need this all to magically work!

 Parents of more then one children; feel free to leave me some perals of wisdom of how you keep the peace and togetherness with your kids, I'd love to hear about it

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Of Those Days

Yeah, It was a tough one today!
    The day started off with both girls going into time-out for fighting nonstop. and I mean FIGHTING. The day ended with Claire coming downstairs saying "mom, I put a hole in the wall" She was trying to throw a book at Emily and (thank God) missed- Emily was throwing things on the bed while Claire was trying to sleep (or so I was told) and Claire felt she had to put a stop to Emily's behavior

I am sitting here just about ready to pass out but I know I will be up tonight , desperate to get some 'me' time, no matter how tired I am.

Tomorrow I hope to make it a better day. Claire and I will go through her allowance money and she will give some of it to Matt to help pay to fix the hole in the wall. She's not too happy about. She told me that she hopes all her teeth fall out so the tooth fairy will give her more money. Maybe she's too young to really get it but I told her that when I break things then I have to pay to fix them; so when she breaks things, she will have to pay as well.  I never feel very sure about what I'm doing as far as discipline but I guess at least I am doing something, right?

I am feeling a bit worn out lately, I have so much looming over my head and yet can not seem to get motivated to do it all. Overwhelmed.  When I feel overwhelmed I pretty much shut down but shutting down is not ideal when you have 3 young kiddos.

I'm determined to give tomorrow a better start. I hope I can do it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

so much randomness stuffed in a post

   This morning I heard yelling and screaming from the girl's room at about 6:45am. Then I heard Noah crying at about 7:00 (because of the yelling/screeching) I am just not a morning person. I am the most miserable and unmotivated person in the mornings and screeching children doesn't help!
  The girls quiet down and then Noah quiets so I sneak just a few more minutes of rest in. It's so hard to get out of bed!

    I'm just not sure how to go about the girls sharing a room. In some ways it has helped their relationship I believe. Claire isn't so possessive about her room now and is getting a little better with "her" toys as well. I see her hugging Emily more and reading her stories. Even so, sharing a room is not a magical cure for sisterly battles, that is one thing I am sure of!  I wonder, does anyone else seem to have so much trouble with their kids sharing a room?  I know others did it all the time (maybe not as much now a days?) Did their kids stay up all night screaming, yelling , fighting and giggling too? Did they also wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning and act tired and grumpy all day due to sleep deprivation?  How strict should I be about this issue? I don't know if it's a battle I want to fight or not. I think (hope) it will solve it's self with time. It's only been a few weeks- this HAS to get better soon. It has to.

Noah isn't doing so great in the sleep department either, waking up at night. I never had this problem with the girls. Could it be because they were formula fed, I wonder. I will admit that I baby this little guy. He IS a baby though, so that's not too terrible, I guess.

On another note, Matt and I went for a run today . I am feeling pretty good. I really love my 'Couch 2 5K' app on my iPod! it really makes the idea of running a 5K seem possible.  Matt signed up for the Warrior Dash- it looks like a TON of fun so I may sign up too so I can stay motivated. I'll admit though, part of me just really wants one of those warrior hats :)

I actually think I could love running as much as I want to love it if i keep this up!
I won't be surprised if Claire turns out to be a little runner. she loves to run. and wants to go jogging with us. She has more stamina then I do- she puts me to shame!

Also another exciting thing today is that Matt got his official offer letter for the new job today! He had a verbal offer a week or two ago and has been waiting for what seemed like forever for the written letter. It really hit me when I read it. I think this was the first time I actually cried about moving to SC.  I feel confident that this is a right decision for us but it just is starting to seem so real now.  I was born here, I grew up here. This is my home.  It fits my personality just right. It's going to be really hard to leave it all. and it's really going to be hard to leave my family and my friends. It's scary to imagine that I will be in a place and not know a single soul besides my husband and kids. I will have to really put myself out there but that is terrifying to me in a whole other way. But I know God will be looking out for us and I need to just keep that thought in the back of my mind. I am allowed to be sad and even upset about it at times but I will not let it get to me and consume me. There is so much for me to think about while laying in bed tonight. I have a lot of random things on my mind right now. Thanks for those who bothered to read this random post that is pretty much about nothing.

Butternut Squash

    Today I made butternut squash for Noah- first time I ever made that. It was so easy!  It tastes like a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin.

    I really am having fun making baby food for him. Not only is it way cheaper (and we are cheap thrifty) it feels good knowing that i just made that for him and it's as fresh as fresh can be. and it's fun! I never really did it with my other two- not often at least I thought it was too much of a hassle but with the right tools (a blender or decent size food processor that works well) and the knowledge (http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/) it's really easy.

 I'm kinda strange in that I enjoy taking pictures of food- I always have! So here is how I made it:
cut butternut squash lengthwise and fill a baking dish with about 1"  water, scoop out seeds
put flesh side down in dish and bake at 400 for 40 min

Ding! it's done!

let it cool

scoop out and put in blender

freeze in ice cube trays

Warm it up and it's ready to eat!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Breaking out the sewing machine

Yes, I'm breaking out the sewing machine.. again! I'm pretty darn terrible at it., can't even sew a straight line. This totally brings me back to my 7th grade days of sewing a pillow and our "possessed" sewing machine, haha!

   So anyway, I am starting out with sewing some fleece liners for Noah's cloth diapers (only when he is in the prefolds- the fleece helps keep him dry, the other diaper have fleece in them already) they look like a first grader did it, haha it's really bad.

Since I am no good and I hate to waste money on fabric, I plan on practicing with the thousands of receiving blankets I have from when Claire was a baby. I think I will start with making an apron for the girls and see how that goes.

Once I feel more confident, I'll move onto making my own diaper covers and pocket diapers!



    Claire went to Home Dept with Matt. We just found out they have a kids thing the first Saturday of every month at all Home Dept.  Matt said she really loved it. The project was a football stand (or a little table for girls) She received her own apron and worked with a hammer, wood and wood glue!


Thursday, September 2, 2010


It was a boring,hot day today where all I wanted to do waas just stay in the house, so I decided to make cupcakes with the girls.  Cooking with them can be hard for me; I'll admit that I get a bit uptight about messes and doing it "just so".  This time I told myself that the only way any of us will have fun is if I just let it go and have fun.

Taking turns with the mixing
This was Emily's 'smile'

Filling up the cupcakes

Emily's nose practically touching it. 

This is serious work

Are they done yet?
Time for frosting!

I let them lick the spoon after frosting
Emily scooped up a huge spoonful before licking her spoon.
Time to eat!

Emmy even licked her plate clean