Monday, June 27, 2011

Green Thumb


We're loving us some SUMMER TIME!



Taking a short break from blogging....




headed for Shipshewana and Michigan City!







But we'll be back in time for fireworks! Hope you all have a very happy Independence Day!





~Blake enjoying our green grass and "helping" mama dig up the weeds!~



Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Favorite Time of Day

Truth be told, I am not an early riser. My inner clock likes to stay up late and sleep late too. I don't remember alot of times in my life where I've been able to live by that kind of schedule though!

First it was being a school age kid. Up, dressed, and ready for breakfast with my siblings at home. Then it was college where "first hour" classes meant skipping breakfast and sometimes a shower just to grab a few more precious minutes of sleep. After that I joined the real world and a full time job had me going to bed by 10pm and rising in time to look adequately chic for the day!
It's not been until the last few months that I've settled into a late owl routine. And I have to shamefully admit....I love it. I know there's people out there who totally believe in the early to bed/early to rise philosophy, and I completely respect that. There's others who are saying right now, 'Yeah, just wait til you've got more kids/older kids/early morning kids'.


And I guess that's my point....right now it's just me and Blake in the mornings after Josh leaves for work. Blake usually wakes up around 7am and Josh will bring him in to lay down by me in bed and drink his morning bottle of milk.


This is my favorite time of day.

Why? Because now instead of thrashing around and poking my facial features, Blake will snuggle in close to his mama for a good hour and sometimes doze off right by me. We wake up slow. He reaches over to put his little hand on my face and curls up in a ball under the covers. It is sweet and I hate for it to end. Sometimes I just lay quietly by him and talk to God- just to say thank you for these times. The times where I am reminded of the great gifts in my life. The times where I'm not thinking about the goldfish crackers smashed into the carpet or crayon marks down the side of the t.v.!

It never lasts much longer than the last drip of milk in his bottle, and we are up for the day. All it takes is that little hand taking out his bink, looking at me with those big brown eyes, and saying 'Mmm nummy yummy'? And I know there's a rumbly in his tummy waiting for breakfast.

But until that first jabbery sentence of the day, I'm content to snuggle my not-so-baby-anymore boy.




~Is it morning already?~





~That's how I feel too little man!~






~Shoes & a hat make breakfast much better~


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Like Daddy

No. We have not taught Blake how to flash a peace sign. It's just a funny little post picture taking discovery I made as I was scrolling through my recent photos!

Blake loves to wear Josh's Tigers hat. He sees it hanging on the peg rack in our bedroom and wants to put it on from early morning until Daddy gets home from work. (Well except for maybe nap time!)

As Blake was walking away from his camera fanatic mama, I couldn't help but think how fast he's growing and how much he loves his Daddy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Every now and then I actually try out a recipe from one of the Family Circle magazines I have stacked in a basket in our office. The piles of print whose dog-eared pages seem to laugh at my lack of initiative...


If I said I don't try new recipes because I'm trying to avoid having baked goods in the house, would you believe me? Hmmm.....didn't think so! It just always seems like I don't have the right ingredients in the house when I am flipping through a new magazine, and then it ends up sadly forgotten about. I'm determined to change my ways! And this recipe is my first shot at it.





Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies



Makes about 2 -1/2 dozen
Ingredients:



2 cups all-purpose flour


1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened


1/2 cup creamy p.b


3/4 cup packed brown sugar


1/2 cup granulated sugar


2 large eggs


1 tsp. vanilla extract


1 bag (11.5 oz) chocolate chunks




  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  2. In large bowl, beat together butter and peanut-butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in both kinds of sugar until pale-colored. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. On low speed, beat in flour mixture just until combined, or, alternately, stir in by hand. Add chocolate chunks and stir until evenly distributed.

  3. Using a small scoop, form mounds of cookie dough on a large cookie sheet (about 12). Press down with a fork in a crosshatch pattern. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned. Cool on wire rack; repeat with all dough.

Here's the finished product:




End result? A really yummy cookie! My oven is always about 25 degrees hotter than the dial is set at, so I'll admit that a few of these babies got a little scorched on the bottom. But the ones that I pulled out at the right time were super soft, peanut-butter, ooey-gooey chocolate yumminess!



Taken From Family Circle Magazine, July 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Milestones and Memories

So I've decided to color my hair. It needs it and I'm being brave. Well, not THAT brave....I think it'll just look a little less dull and little more red! In the meantime, as I sit here getting high off of the fumes, I'll catch ya up on the first part of June and some of the fun things that have been going on.

Bryce's Graduation
June 3rd and 4th were such wonderful days! My younger (10 years younger, 6 inches taller) brother Bryce walked down an aisle to the sounds of Pomp & Circumstance to receive his high school diploma as we all watched! And the following day was a great day of celebrating with friends and family during his open house at my Mom and Dad's home. What a special and exciting time in his life- the start of something new and a little unfamiliar...we know he's going to SHINE! Bryce is planning to study electrical engineering maybe this fall, and maybe at Cedarville University. There are so many "maybe's " during that stage of life....but then again, there are so many "maybe's" at every stage of life aren't there? I'm so glad we serve a faithful God who knows the answers to all of life's "maybe's"! Congratulations Bryce! We are SO proud of your accomplishments, love you tons, and can't wait to see what God uses you to do!



~Bryce is right in the middle~



~Our niece, Addisyn, giving Bryce a big hug!~



~Josh, Bryce, and Me~

The Zoo (and Other Fun Places!)
The week following Bryce's graduation was such an awesome week! I know I've mentioned before the fact that 2 of my sisters and their husbands/families live out of state....but this week they were ALL here in Michigan! (insert happy dance here)



We made the most of our time together by taking several "day trips" including a drive down towards Kalamazoo to visit a bird sanctuary, a morning at a local park with a Splash Pad-which was great for the 90 degree weather we had-, and a day at the John Ball Zoo.



My niece Addisyn has helped us create a tradition that I think everyone has come to look forward to when summer arrives. We always manage to squeeze in a trip out to Holland and the grand shores of Lake Michigan to watch the sunset. It is by far one of the best things to do in this area, and has made for lots of precious memories and sweet times! Josh and I got engaged right out there on the sand dunes even =)



After the beach, Captain Sundae gets a visit from 10-15 Thiel/Gathard/Polderman/Russ ice cream eaters! This cute little ice cream spot has become our stopping place before heading home, and we LOVE to sit in the big wooden ship or the benches by Captain Sundae himself!




~Papa, Gramma, and some of their grandkids with Captain Sundae~



~Josh and Blake~



~Katie and Addisyn~



~Me and Colleen~




~Jack Ryan, Blake, Sam, Jack, and Addie~


A few last thoughts.....first: No, I did not finish this entire post in the 20 minutes it took to let the hair dye kick in. In fact, if I'd left it in as long as it's taken me to finish this post, I might resemble Raggedy Ann or Mary Jane from the Spiderman movies right about now!

Second: I will never get used to not having all of my siblings and their families living nearby. But at the same time, I am so blessed by the times where we find ourselves all together. It seems like such a short time ago that my sisters and I were borrowing clothes out of eachother's closets or I was taking Bryce and Bren on Christmas shopping excursions...and while we have grown up and our lives have changed, I think we will always cherish the sweet times we've had and the sweet times that are still to come!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Wiegand's: giving

One of my favorite, newly discovered blogs...so impressed and encouraged by this mama's heart! Please Enjoy!

The Wiegand's: giving: "Do you know the story of the widow's mite? I will summarize big time here..... it would be like if you had a million dollars and gave $100...."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Confession

I am a klutz. This post will be picture-less for 2 reasons: First, there's nothing to picture. Well unless you invision my complete clumsiness and inability to fix reason for no pictures #2. Second, my camera lens has pathetically crawled back into it's hole after being dropped in the beautiful sandy beach of Lake Michigan.

Second confession: I am forgetful. My camera has resided in Ohio since I left it there mid-January after a rousing birthday party for some of my favorite littles- Jack and Addisyn. I've been using Josh's old camera, which is better than having nothing. But I was SO looking forward to taking some nice pictures to post with! Instead, on one of our fist excursions after I got my camera back, I dropped the poor thing right into a sandcastle. There's little hope! At least until I scrounge up enough fix-it money or convince Josh we needed a newer, trendier model anyway!

So, any future blogging may have to include copyrights of my talented sisters who if asked might just let me snag some of their amazing photography from the last 2 weeks! There's much to share...I'll do my best to convince them =)