Thursday, December 1

Thanksgiving weekend

Living dangerously...that's what we're doing lately :) The truth is, when my dad and brothers get together, they discuss ideas and formulate ways to make the ideas happen. Well, in Vander Tuin fashion, it happened again and this time, in the form of a zip-line for the grand kids! All the grand kids were thrilled and were captured on film/video grinning from ear-to-ear...even the surly teenage ones :)

Sunday, July 24

Yes we are still alive

Well it has been awhile since an update. We are alive and well in BC and enjoying the summer. The pool has been very busy and Emma and Sam have started to grow gills and webs between toes and fingers. We haven't ventured very far from Byron Center this summer, but are having a great time. We are looking forward to Byron Days coming up and some camping in August and Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, May 14

Lucy the pony + sanity

Let's be honest...I live for play dates (i.e. sanity) just about as much (or more) than my kids do. While it's exciting for them to see friends, experience new things, play with new toys, I love (crave?!) a teeny tiny bit of adult conversation and a few sips of coffee w/o two wrangling kids attached to my hip. It doesn't need to be said that I love my children with every single solitary bone in my body and that I'd go to the moon and back for them, but for real...I'm not the type to sit around, hold hands, sing kumbaya, all while figuring out our next craft. (There's always room for improvement, right?)

Today, Lucy the pony (and accompanying farm, dirt, swings, dirt, tractors, dirt, friends, dirt, cat, dirt, etc) was part of our awesome play date. Emma's smile almost broke her face she was so excited/happy to be riding on Lucy's back...which also makes mom happy. Farms (and dirt) rule!

Monday, March 7

Angelic voices

Sunday, March 6

Sunday, February 20


I have a nephew, Aidan, who is sweet and kind as the day is long, but Shhh! don't tell anyone, he might not want you to know that :)

I had my triplet nieces and nephew over for the weekend (Joel was gone all weekend) and Aidan thought that Sam might want to watch Star Wars with him. Well, Sam got a little bored I he fell fast asleep in Aidan's lap. How precious to have such awesome family/cous
ins! I've said this before and I'll say it again; I grew up far away (South Dakota, Iowa, Canada) from any relatives so having family close by,now, is quite a treat and I will never take it for granted!

Saturday, February 19

Saturday funtime

Joel is gone all weekend with some small group boys, up north, so it was me, the kids and some cousins. What's the next best thing to the zoo? The local pet store. We spent quite a while looking at these charming specimens...they were quite "cute" in a creepy-stay-in-the-cage-please sort of way.

Pick me! Pick me!

No, meee, in the corner....Pla-ease! I beg you!

I promise to be nice, please, please, please...

I'm BEGGING you...pick me!

No! you can't walk away....Nooooooooooo!

Friday, February 18

Our baby is FIVE!!

Emma turned FIVE YEARS OLD on February 13. We are still grateful + amazed beyond words that God chose us to be Emma's parents! We love her dearly and often fall into bed at night (tired, of course) laughing, while reliving one of many Emma-isms or antics. She is a thoughtful, bright, witty and FULL of love of life! She will try nearly anything at least once, and has more excitement in her pinky than her mom and dad, combined.

Needless to say, once we decided to have Emma's birthday party at For the Kidz, she never stopped asking who was coming and how many sleeps until the party. We were just as excited as she was for the big day to arrive :)

This place is a kid's dream, especially in the midst of winter


Cake, Mmmm!

Thursday, February 10

Bedtime dance

A classic bedtime stall tactic, but priceless, nonetheless...


There are days that I whine, hate my laundry, am tired of my kids, don't feel like picking up, don't feel like list could go on and on. I'm not proud of this, but it's reality.

These are the days that I need a slap upside the head. Today, this blog was my slap. I read this blog often and I love it. It challenges me to be different, it challenges me to remember what is important, it challenges me to be like Jesus.

You should put this blog in YOUR blog reading repertoire, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, February 7

Weekend in review

Grandpa and Grandma H. were preparing to leave on a trip, so we made a visit
to say goodbye and just hang out. Here's Sam getting into Grandma's biz...what he does best!
Look how precariously he's standing on that magazine rack. lasts for about 2.7 seconds, then silliness ensues.
We went to David and Angie's for dinner on Friday night.
Angie made divine wet burritos!

This past Saturday was donut-Saturday! Mmmm!

Sam chowing down on a donut hole

No Saturday is complete without a stop at Menard's

Saturday night we went to Ada, to my parent's house to celebrate Emma's
5th birthday since my parents will be gone during her birthday
(interestingly, they'll be traveling with Joel's parents)

Dad reading the card from Grandpa/Grandma

Our typical Sunday plans were thwarted due to Emma's mild illness so she stayed home with dad while Sam and I ventured off to church. For the Superbowl, we had some friends over for a relaxing evening of food and commercial watching :)