Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Invitation

Today our church had an outreach service at Allendale Christian School, led by Brian Najapfour, a seminary student from the Philippines. His message urged us to show our faith by inviting others to hear the gospel. He closed with this convicting illustration:
There was a man who was a great violinist. Although he earned a lot of money, he gave most of it away, so when he found a rare violin that he wanted, he had to save up his money before he could buy it. When he went back to the shop to get it, he found that it had been sold. After obtaining the name of the man who bought it, the violinist went to this man and asked if he could buy the violin from him. He was very disappointed when the man refused, saying the violin was for his collection. The violinist asked if he could play the violin one more time before it was consigned to silence. The man allowed him to do this and was so touched by the music, he gave the violin to the violinist saying, "I do not have the right to keep this music from others." In the same way, we do not have the right to keep the message of Christ from others.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Changes coming

Stay tuned. I'm fiddling with a new theme for my blog so right now we're under construction! :-)

What's Cookin'

Mon~Spaghetti, cheese stuffed breadsticks, salad
Tues~Brother Nate is bringing pizza, celebrating great-Grandma V's birthday with strawberry shortcake
Wed~ Mexican chicken
Thurs~Hoisin and Honey Pork, rice, veggies
Fri~Grilled chicken with Lime marinade, baked potatoes, grilled veggies and salad with my good friend Melisa
Sun~Good dutch soup, breadmaker bread

Now I have a little problem I need help with. I budget $220 for groceries, but last month I went over. Way over. So over I'm embarrassed to say how much. And I have no idea why. Well, partly because somehow I had to stretch it to 5 weeks instead of 4. So I'm really going to try hard this month to stick to $220 this month. This doesn't include diapers, but does include toiletries.


Last year not much was done outside our house. I was pregnant with Joel and had no motivation or energy to work outside. But this year, I got an earlier start and have had a lot of fun putting together the flower bed and pots. Hopefully I will be able to keep it weeded and looking nice this summer.

I've always wanted two big pots, one on each side of the garage door and today I found them 50% off at Meijer's and since my generous husband told me I had a blank check to fix up the outdoors, I bought them! I think maybe next time he'll give me an actual amount to spend, but I tried not to take advantage of him! I put some purple and dark red flowers in them (can't remember the names), so we'll see how they do. I'm going to get some dangly green foilage that my mom has and stick that in too.

These green spiky plants get flowers on them, but I can't remember what color. I'm thinking maybe yellow but I'm not sure. I need something to put to the right of the plants next to the step but I'm not sure yet. Maybe a bird bath or garden statue.

Don't mind the black in the corner of the pictures. The shutter was partway open and I didn't notice. Oh, and the black in the middle is just Simon. I think he wanted to pose for some pictures. All the plants in this front flower bed are from my sister-in-law Alice's overflowing perennial garden. She helped us put it all together a few months after we moved in. The hostas and seedum are already getting huge. The tree on the right is a cherry tree. Last year there was only one cherry on it, but this year there will be lots more. My grandpa Roffel made the planter on the front step. I also have a white bench that I'm going to plant the rest of the annuals I have in (I bought way too many!). I also discovered today that my strawberry plants were not murdered by the bulldozer next door! They were covered with dirt but they poked through and I see they have little green strawberries on them! Does anyone know if you can replant strawberry plants (after they're done for the season)? We're planting a small vegetable patch on the west side of the house with tomatoes, cabbages, and beans. I don't think its going to get much sun though so we may have to rethink that next year.

Joel's First Sink Bath

When Andrew was a baby, we gave him baths in the sink all the time. Sometimes he was in one side of the sink while we washed dishes in the other side of the sink. For some reason, we hardly ever gave Noah a bath in the sink, so I didn't ever think to give Joel a bath in the sink. So today was his first time sitting in the sink during his bath and he loved it! He would have stayed in much longer, but he was soaking my cabinets and floor.

Happy boy!

Testing out the waters...

I think its ok...

I like it!

Kid Pics from Auntie Andrea

The boys go to Aunt Andrea's to visit Kaimira and Jayden every other week while I go to school. They have a lot of fun!

Cousins playing together. They're not always this cooperative. :-)

Jayden and Joel~close cousins

Playing in Jayden's jumper.

Looks like someone's up to something!

Jayden is 2 and a half months older than Joel and he is crawling around and as you can see, has a few more teeth than Joel.

Andrea takes much better pics of Andrew than I can. He always has a real cheesy smile on his face when I try to take his pic.

Andrea said she had to take this picture of Noah because its so classically him~pants falling down.

Joel sitting up like such a big boy.

Playing horsie~I've never seen them do this at home.


Classic Joel~tongue hanging out of his mouth while he smiles.

Love you!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's Cookin'

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! Here's the menu for the rest of the week:

Tues~Pizza pockets, corn
Wed~Crockpot Sourcream Salsa Chicken (didn't get to this last week)
Thurs~Out with friends
Fri~Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, grilled veggies
Sat~Frozen pizza
Sun~Beef and mushrooms with gravy over mashed potatoes, carrots, red cabbage

Monday, May 25, 2009

Real Dutch

Everytime we visit the Dutch store in Canada with Grandma, Chris tries on the Dutch wooden shoes. This time, they had foam-like ones in the shape of wooden shoes that Andrew tried on. We would love to buy him a pair but they cost over 50 bucks!

Father and Son, true Dutchmen.

Special Keepsakes from Great-Grandpa

The boys' great-grandpa Roffel made them each wooden piggy banks. They slide out the drawer, put the coin in the slot and when they slide it in, the coin disappears! Best of all, there's no slot for the money to come out. Only way to spend that money is to remove the bottom with a screw driver. I hope they treasure this special gift in the years to come.

Grandpa with his 3 oldest great grand children (he has 4, all boys!).
The boys were thrilled with their gift. Grandma has no spare change in the house now!


Far Away Grandpa and Grandma

This weekend we went to visit my grandparents in Canada. We wanted to squeeze in a visit before June 1 when we will need to have passports to go to Canada. Before we left, we attempted to take some pics of the kids with their great-grandparents. Note the word attempted.
Oops, looks like we have one trying to escape on the left.

Hmm, almost everyone's looking at the camera.

Uh-oh, another one's totally escaped the picture.
Probably the best one of the bunch! Joel's too interested in everyone to pay attention to the camera.

At least they cooperated!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Cousin Jayden and Joel~10 months and 8 months. Notice how well Joel is sitting up! He holds his own bottle now too.

Happy boys! They don't even claw each other anymore (much!).

Cutie patooties!

Big Boy Bath

3 men in a tub~Joe Joe can finally sit up enough that he can sit in the big tub with the big boys.

Learning from his big brother. I think he looks a little scared!

Yeah, I know I'm cute! :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Noah's haircut~the BIG one

As everone knows (and reminds me!), Noah desperately needed a haircut, I had trimmed the backs and sides, but hadn't done all over his head yet. So yesterday was the day.

Before~not real thrilled over the prosepect.
After~I was going to use scissors so I could keep it a little longer, but scrapped that when I couldn't get him to sit still for more than 5 seconds. So he got the buzzers. Chocolate covered peanuts kept him happy, and I admit, he does look cute! But I'll miss his long, wavy baby hair. :-)

Chris's 34th Birthday

Chris turned 34 last Sunday and we celebrated on Saturday. It was nice to have a free day as we've been very busy lately.

Chris and his two eldest fellers about to open his gift.

Digging in...

an ipod nano! Exactly what he wanted!

At Chris's request, we had beef with mushrooms and gravy over egg noodles, fresh baked bread, carrots and broccoli, and red cabbage, with chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert.

Big Feller

Sometimes he's naughty, sometimes he's cranky...but lots of times he's cheerful, loving, helpful, and downright hilarious! How can you not love a face like this? :-)

Photo taken by Auntie Alice

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's Cookin'

So, didn't really cook much last week because it ended up being really crazy because Chris was busy at work, so here's this week:
Mon~Baked Bean soup (if the beans I'm cooking right now get done in time)
Tues~At my mom and dad's because I'm helping rip some furniture apar
Wed~Chicken Noodle casserole
Thurs~Crockpot Sour cream Salsa chicken
Fri-Mon~We hope to visit my grandparents in Canada if our van is fixed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Classic Noah

How I spent my Monday morning

Last Sunday the boys went downstairs to play and when we went down later to put them down for naps, here's what we found:

After a stern talking to, I'm sure they won't do this again, right? :-)

Uncle Don and Joel

Chris has a great uncle on his dad's side that never married, but he loves kids! Meet Uncle Donald: