To fund our Christmas...

Landon has decided to be potty trained!!! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about not buying or changing diapers during the day! Surpsingly, the majority of the time he's even been staying dry at naps and bedtime! I know boys can be especially difficult to potty train, therefore, I am SO grateful that we got lucky.

And here are some of the great pictures that our friend, baby-sitter and nanny (when I was working) Abbie took...

Stitches, round III

As many of you know, Madisyn has had two sets of stitches in her forehead (two sutures each). To summarize:

1st incident: Madisyn fell into the corner (not edge, which would have likely not left much of a mark) of a drawer in our closet. I frantically called Rob and told him that he had to get home immediately because Madisyn was bleeding everywhere... no more explanation than that (I know better now :) )!

2nd incident: While shopping with my mom, sister and brother, Madisyn walked into a clothing rack and fell, somehow cutting her forehead again! I ran out of the store with her in my arms, and called Rob balling since she had just gotten the other stitches out! Off to Zeeland ER we were again!

By the way, I got her eyes checked following the sets of stitches, but alas, she has good eye sight...

Which brings us to Black Friday. No, I didn't make Madisyn wait in any lines or run through the shopping craziness. BUT... I did promise her that we could put up Christmas lights and decorations that day. After Ra and I did some early morning shopping, we took a nap in Madisyn's bunks, when all of a sudden I awake from a HUGE thunk (followed by screaming)! Come to find out, Rob was following through with our promise to put up the Christmas lights outside and Madisyn was rushing to help him out. She needed to use the restroom. With all of the excitement, she was running to the bathroom, pulled her pants down before she reached it, and you guessed it... tripped right into the door frame, this time cutting through her eye brow. Five sutures later, she is all in well :)

Maybe it's one of those growing things (she's got some HUGE feet ;) ), clumsiness, or maybe just one of those kid things... who knows! But I sure hope that we won't be making anymore trips to the ER anytime soon!

I think it healed rather well!

Breakfast with Belle

Madisyn was in heaven when I told her that we could go to "Breakfast with Belle" at Unity High School! Cousins Joshua and Levi were staying with us for the weekend, so I brought Madisyn and Joshua while Rob took LD and Levi to the park. PLUS... they assigned us tables and one of Madisyn's best friends at school was at our table!

Since I'm so far behind posting, I'll post Madisyn's stitches story and pictures soon!

Quite the weekend...

A few weeks ago, Rob and I were fortunate enough to go away for a long weekend to celebrate our anniversary. Although I don't tend to care for the amount of traveling that Rob is required to do, it is nice when we can benefit from his frequent flier miles, hotel points and car rental rewards! We essentially went on our anniversary weekend for free... corner room, executive suite all included :)

As for what we spent while we were there, well, that was another story! I have no idea how we got so lucky, but we found so many clothes for Rob! Generally, we need to buy all of his clothes online... but while we were there, we found options for jeans in both 36" inseam and 38" inseam (I've never actually seen 38" before)! Needless to say, we bought one of each :)

While we were gone, the kids stayed at Uncle Dave and Aunt Kate's house (and cousins, Joshua and Levi). From the looks and sounds of it, they had a wonderful time!

Following the stay at their cousins' house, my parents watched them at our house. My dad was kind enough to be willing to stay with them on Monday until we returned late that night. At the last minute, my mom decided to stay the night as well... and good thing that she did! In the middle of the night my dad began having severe stomach pains. Long story short, they called an ambulance and he was brought to Spectrum for numerous tests. He said that he hasn't been in that much pain since he had Pancreatitis and was hospitalized for five days! The good news is that he hasn't been in severe pain like that since that day, the bad news is that they couldn't find the problem. We're praying that it was a one-off and won't happen again!

Needless to say, here are the pictures of the kiddos from the weekend (thanks Dave and Kate!):

Post Family Farm

We barely got our Post Family Farm trip in this year... Tuesday night (when it was beautiful out) we finally made it! I wish we could have been there longer, but the kids had a great time, regardless.

Pictures for the family

I've been so terrible at taking pictures of the kids lately, so here are a few pictures of the kids on M's second day of school.

We've been a little busier than normal as Rob has been out of town every other week for just over a month. Luckily he'll be home tomorrow and will be for at least eight weeks straight :D

Gift of Sight Contest

As most of you know, my mom recently encouraged me to enter a contest through Grand Rapids Ophthalmology to win LASIK eye surgery. Although I know the chances are slim that I'll win (or even become a finalist, .235% and 2.35%, respectively), I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

The general public selects the ten finalists via online vote and Grand Rapids Ophthalmology chooses the winner from there. That's where all of my family, friends, distant relatives... you, come in :) I'd love to at least make it to the top ten (FYI - I guess the top ten will be in the GR Press on October 25) to have a little chance of winning.

If you're interested in voting, please go HERE, click "VOTE NOW" next to any name, fill out the information (they use this to prevent multiple votes/person) and pick my name in the drop down menu (in alphabetical order by last name).

Here's my story if you'd like to read it, but don't want to page through to find it:

Twenty years ago, I began wearing glasses. A few years later I was encouraged to try contacts due to my active involvement in sports. I primarily wore contacts for a decade before starting to have pain while wearing them. My eye doctor suggested switching solutions which helped with some of the pain but my eyes would still become irritated after a few hours of wear. I have since switched contact brands, length of wear and solutions numerous times, but have not found a combination that works on a regular basis.

Although I prefer the convenience and appearance of contacts I rarely use my daily disposable contacts. I reserve wearing my contacts for running and special occasions as I can only wear them for a few hours before they begin to feel uncomfortable. For the past year I had planned on looking into LASIK as the answer to my contact issue. Financially that idea was put on hold four months ago when I decided to leave my career and become a full-time stay-at-home mom with my two children, ages two and four. As a mother and distance runner, I would love the opportunity to be given the gift of LASIK and no longer deal with the inconvenience of glasses or irritation of contacts. Thank you for your consideration!

Sometimes, I just love taking pictures...

Seeing that Madisyn is now in school and I am now home, sometimes they just all end up being of little LD... I seem to think that he doesn't mind.

At Bill's House

Last week, the kids went with Papa and Grandma Grandia to Bill Steffen's house (Chief Meteorologist at WoodTV 8). He goes to Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, where I attended in high school and my mom still goes (my dad too, when he's not pastoring another church for Specialized Interim Ministry). Bill's involved in the nursery there and is great with kids! The kids had no idea who he is, but enjoyed getting their picture taken with him, none-the-less!

Dave concert

For six months now, we've been planning this trip with Brad and Katie. It was perfect! We headed to Chicago on Saturday at 1:00, checked into the hotel, made a stop at IKEA (Rob and my first... we made it out with only purchasing a pack of disposable straws!), ate dinner at BW3's and headed to the concert. Sunday we went to Cabela's (my first experience there) and headed home. It was honestly very nice to get away for a night and relax, especially after being home a lot last week while Rob was in Utah and Wyoming. Brad and Katie, thanks for a fantastic weekend!

Holland - 19th Best Place to Retire by!

I've always liked Holland, but this is crazy! Check it out here!

First day of school

I feel like a whole new world has started for us. Madisyn has been waiting for school to start ever since she left her old "school," a.k.a. daycare. She absolutely loves it! Not only do I love that she's enjoying it so much, but I love that I get a few hours every week to have one-on-one time with LD. He is such an angel when he gets time alone with Rob or I (which is not necessarily his typical demeanor) :) Yet, it's so hard to believe that our little baby is old enough for real school!


You may need to see it, to understand it, but this is very "Madisyn" right now!

On a side note, I'm finally learning how to use my camera a little more (we've only had it for 4.5 years ;) ) and was excited to see this picture (unedited) among my shots the other day. I guess everyone can get lucky once in a while!

Tiece of Cake

For those of you who haven't noticed the sidebar, I thought I'd let you know that I made a blog specifically dedicated to my cakes. My sister-in-law came up with the name, which I love because it's creative and original! I've enjoyed sharing my creations with everyone, but I don't want it to continue to consume this blog with our family updates :) Thanks everyone for being so supportive and encouraging! There's contact info on the blog and prices will be available soon!

Loving life

That is about all I can say about this past month of being home with the kids!

As for our summer, we're as busy as ever (as you can see!). Madisyn amazes me... I put her on her bike without training wheels this past May and after a couple of days she got it. Now she's finally able to turn, start and stop and is loving her new found glory :) LD is loving the fact that I'm not trying to keep him from being his crazy wild self anymore. His tongue is pretty much fully healed, which is just incredible. We've been spending lots of time outside (not getting the house cleaned and organized as I had originally thought would happen when I stopped working, but there's always winter for that ;) ).


I can't believe that it's only been eight days and his tongue already looks this much better! Last Sunday and Monday (when it looked its worse), I didn't think that there was any way that it was going to heal the way they thought it would.

Update on LD

Sunday I called Urgent Care to see if he should be seen again (as the section that he bit was now a flap of tongue, which looked worse than Saturday night when it was swollen and bloody). The receptionist from Urgent Care who filters the calls, sent the call to the nurse, who filters again (at least that's my understanding), who then sent the call to the on-call doctor. The on-call doctor then discussed the situation and wasn't entirely sure that he shouldn't be seen, so called the Spectrum Pediatric ER doctor and the doctor that we had seen. Conclusion: he's okay without sutures, without being seen again unless an infection (redness, pain and/or pus) develops, which is VERY unlikely in the mouth.

Today: wakes up crying (in pain) and his tongue has a lot of pus. Before this, he hadn't seemed to be in any pain (remarkably). I decide to call the doctor's office to see if he should be seen. After the nurse decides that he should be seen, we bring him in and the doctor tells us that the white pus is normal and he'll actually have more of it during the healing process. He also said that an oral antibiotic isn't necessary and that we should have a follow-up visit in two weeks because it's likely that he'll need to go to an Ears, Nose and Throat Specialist to have excess tissue removed after the healing process is complete.

Long story short, I'm glad I brought him in (even though throughout the ER and pediatric visits, nothing was actually done), simply because I didn't realize that he may need to see an ENT Specialist in a couple of weeks. It was also nice to get a peace of mind that what we were seeing was normal and not something to be concerned about.

The pictures that I took today are even more graphic than the ones taken on Saturday, so I won't put any of you through that... I just pray that no one else has to go through it!

NOT for the faint at heart

Early in the evening (Rated : G)

After ER visit (Rated : PG)

Close-up of tongue, be prepared that it's not pretty (Rated : PG - 13)

Long story short: Landon missed the first of two cement steps in front of our porch and hit face first. Blood was everywhere. He bit his tongue, got a gash on the inside of his lower lip and a little road rash on his chin (I have yet to figure out how the tongue and gash could happen in one incident). I ran him to Zeeland ER and was fortunate to have our brother-in-law's sister working in the ER and Rob's sister working in OB, but available to join us. No stitches were "needed" since they'd need to sedate him and they said the results would be virtually the same. Needless to say, he's alive and well (talking and eating too!). Hopefully it heals as well as they hope.

(photograph by Tina Vink, link on picture as well as below)
We are a busy family of five! I enjoy time with my husband and kids, running, being outdoors, shopping for deals, and cuddling. My wonderful husband keeps busy playing with the kiddos, hunting, fishing, exercising and working on projects around the house. Madisyn is six, in 1st grade, loves being outdoors and isn't one bit afraid of bugs or worms! Landon is four, a spitting image of Daddy, and is the sweetest, naughtiest and funniest little boy, all in one! Tinley was born February 24, 2012 and has already blessed us beyond belief! Here's a glimpse into our crazy and wonderful lives... hope you enjoy!

Tiece of Cake

I've finally decided to make a blog (Tiece of cake) dedicated to cakes... as to not consume the family blog.

(photograph by Mindy Leigh Photography, link on picture as well as below)

Madisyn Grace

Madisyn Grace
"Baby" & "M" (photograph by Melissa @ M Design and Photography, link on picture as well as below)

Landon Adrian

Landon Adrian
"LD" & "Bubba" (photograph by Melissa @ M Design and Photography, link on picture as well as below)