Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Side by side: Do they look alike?

Joel, 11 months

Mabel, 8 months

Quick weekend trip

We went to visit my Aunt Ev in Ontario this past weekend.  It was a bit of a long trip because our van has no air conditioning, but at least there was no wait at the border.

Mabel enjoying a french fry at Burger King on the way there.  Luke played with a straw wrapper the whole time and then ate his lunch in the van.

Enjoying Aunt Ev's pool and the beautiful weather.  The boys loved having a pool right outside the back door to jump into.  The boys ate most of their meals outside.  I'm looking forward to that at our own house when our deck goes up soon!

On the way home, we stopped at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing.  We were able to get into the zoo free with our JBZ membership.  We ended up renting a stroller for Luke and Mabel.

Mabel loved her ride!  Notice her white pants.  This is the first and last time I will buy her white pants.  She promptly filled her diaper which overflowed onto her pants right after this pic.  Changing a baby's diaper gets more looks than the rhinos.

Noah was thrilled to go to the zoo!  He really did enjoy it.

It was a really pretty little zoo.  We didn't stay more than an hour or so because we wanted to get home and it started thundering (we made it to the car just as the clouds opened), but we really enjoyed the zoo.  They had quite a variety of animals, including a few that our zoo doesn't have, like the rhinos (a black and white rhino) and a red panda (that doesn't look anything like you'd expect a panda to look like).  What I liked better about this zoo is all the information they have posted outside the exhibits.  JBZ's info is a lot of environmentalism and multiculturalism while the PPZ had a lot of good information about the animals.  Andrew even learned some new words like the word 'prehensile.'

There were multiple peacocks wandering around the zoo. That was another great things about the zoo, you could get pretty close to most of the animals. We even had good views of the lions and tiger.  I would definitely visit this zoo again.  It looks like they are slowly redoing the exhibits.  A new moose exhibit is opening next summer and a new home for the red panda is being built right now.

What's Cookin'

Tues~Mini meatloaves, potatoes, corn
Wed~NBS kick off
Thurs~Tacos, fruit
Fri~Grilled chicken, olga bread, salad/cold veggies
Sat~Pizza, cold veggies
Sun~Sloppy joes, chips, cold veggies

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Saying Goodbye

One of the most interesting and special parts of Chris's job at the seminary is meeting all the different students and their families.  The Udes are from Nigeria.  Rev. Ude graduated in May and he and his family are leaving next week, first to visit their family in the Netherlands and then home to Nigeria.  We will miss their cheerful faces at church and around the seminary, but I am sure they are excited and eager to continue their work in Nigeria.

Luke took a liking to Rev. Ude and would've gone home with him.

Chris and the boys with Rev. and Mrs. Ude and two of their children, Rineke and Nick. Rineke is Mabel's special friend. :-)

We pray that God's guiding hand will be with them and that He will bless their labors in Nigeria.

What's Cookin'

Mon~Chicken and gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots
Tues~Hamburgers, roasted potatoes, salad
Wed~Late afternoon snack and a graduation open house
Thurs~Sheet pan fajitas, rice, salad
Fri~Chicken gyros with Olga bread, cold veggies
Sat~VT reunion
Sun~Sloppy joes, chips, cold veggies

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Kid snippets

Aaron comes upstairs this morning and says to me, "Hey, girl.  What's up?"

After getting Luke dressed, he looks at himself and says, "Pretty!"
Also heard Luke say one of his first sentences this morning.  After emptying his sippy cup, he says to me in his best tyrannical 2 year old voice, "I need more!"

After asking Joel to dry some dishes:  "Drying dishes is women's work!"  So maybe no more Beverly Hillbillies for him.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Summer Reading for Kids (mostly boys!)

Anyone else have trouble finding decent books for their kids to read?  Our boys, especially Andrew, read a lot and there aren't too many books at the local library that I want them reading.  Today I looked up the Sonlight reading lists and reserved some books at the library for the boys to read and I thought I would share some of the books that our boys enjoy.

Image result for book list

*The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew (The original versions, not the newer paper backs.)
*Tom Swift (These are science fiction stories that Andrew loves.  Now they are readily available on the kindle, but I remember my dad and mom snatching these up at flea markets and antique stores for my brother to read.)
*Tom Corbett series (Again, we bought these on the kindle and Andrew loved them.)
*The Chronicles of Narnia (Andrew has read these books numerous times.)
*The Boxcar Children
*Flat Stanley (short chapter book)
*Books by Piet Prins, especially the Scout series
*The Bark of the Bog Owl (a trilogy)
*Faith and Freedom trilogy by Douglas Bond (and his other books, but Andrew's only read this series)
*The Hobbit (but not the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet)
*Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (I just read about a family that wouldn't let their kids read these books because the disobedient children in these books aren't handled in a Biblical manner, but I tend to think that the behavior of these kids is so outlandish that my kids aren't going to be tempted to follow it and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's solutions are quite humorous.  I loved reading these books as a girl.)
*The Littles (These books were both Andrew and Noah's first chapter books that they really liked.)
*Childhood of Famous Americans such as Helen Keller, Daniel Boone, Amelia Earhart, etc.  (I was surprised, but Noah really likes these books.)
*Books by Lois Walfrid Johnson
*Step-up Biographies such as Meet Benjamin Franklin 
(These books are old. I found a couple at Goodwill and liked them so much that I bought a set on     ebay.  They have pictures, large print, and short chapters to introduce younger children to non-fiction reading.  My kids have really enjoyed them.)
*Some of the Treasury of Illustrated Classics (These books are easily picked up at Goodwill or garage sales.)
-Swiss Family Robinson
-White Fang (We're on the 2nd copy of this one!)
-The Call of the Wild
-The Prince and the Pauper 
*My Side of the Mountain and its sequel
*Books by Clyde Robert Bulla

We own a lot of these books because I've picked them up at Goodwill/garage sales or given them to the boys as gifts, but we also utilize the hold system at the library and since we just bought a kindle for the boys to use, we can also check out ebooks for their kindle and not have to worry about returning the book.  Also, some of the older books, like Tom Swift and Tom Corbett are very cheap to buy on the kindle.

These are the only ones I can think of right one.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.  We are always looking for good reading material! 

Dapper dudes

I forgot how much I paid for this, but I found this suit at Goodwill when Andrew was little.  It hasn't gotten a ton of use, but each of the boys has worn it a few times.  Luke's turn now!  He was pretty impressed with his tie.

What a couple of fellas!

My baby girl

 Now that she is 7 months old and much happier, she smiles all the time!

 Even when her brothers put their hats on her head!

 I don't think a John Deere hat's ever looked better on anyone!

We love her!

Aaron is 5!

Aaron turned 5 today!  Hard to believe that its been 5 years since I had this little boy.

He started opening this present and says, "It's a box!"

Turned out it was 4 of his absolute favorite cars, "Herbies."  He also got a new comforter for his bed and a Thomas swim suit (Goodwill specials).

Grandma Roffel's chocolate cake for dessert.  He requested pizza for dinner.  He ate 3 pieces!

Another present:  "I LOVE bubble baths!"

And a present to share with his brothers, squirt guns!

We love you so much, Aaron!  As Daddy prayed at dinner, we pray that not only will you have a first birth, but a new birth in Christ.

What's Cookin'

Mon~Aaron turns 5!  He requested pizza and I'll throw in a salad.
Tues~Italian chicken over noodles, broccoli
Wed~Noah's last soccer game of the spring season so we will pack a picnic for the park.  Probably sandwiches, chips, veg/fruit,and cookies.
Thurs~Balsamic Chicken and veggies, applesauce, crockpot bread
Fri~Chicken tacos, fruit, chips n salsa
Sat~Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Sun~ Leftovers/sandwiches