Thursday, December 30, 2010

winter wonderland

what do you do when it's 70 degrees at the end of december? you go OUTSIDE!!
it's been a rough couple of weeks with no school, holidays without family and lots and lots of waiting for our new arrival. today was an unexpected gift of sunshine and activity.

Monday, December 20, 2010

easy peasy treats

aren't these cute? the best part is they're even yummier and easier than they are festive. if you need a last minute gift or treat to bring to a party i guarantee these will be a hit.

Start by lining a cookie sheet with wax paper, then fill the sheet completely with square pretzels. Top each pretzel with a peppermint Hershey Kiss. Heat your oven to about 170 degrees and WATCHING CLOSELY warm them for 5 to 6 minutes. You want to soften the Kiss, not melt it (or it turns into a big mess)! When it's soft, you can press an M&M on top. Chill for 5 to 10 minutes to set, wrap in a cello bag with ribbon or put on a pretty plate (you want the plate to be pretty cuz the treats will be gone so quickly all people will see is your plate)

for those weird, um, i mean few people who don't like peppermint, or just for a taste reminiscent of a turtle you can follow the same instructions but use Rolos with pecans. yum!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a good, clean gift

i love to make my own laundry soap. the first time i heard about it, though, i was intimidated. there were ingredients i didn't know how to acquire, there were quantities that meant i would be committed to this venture more than once, and the whole process just required a bit of initiative that made the bottle of tide on the shelf look really good.
thankfully, i did overcome this and now make my own detergent regularly. when i mention it many of my friends say "i want to try that!", but i think they face the same obstacles i did. i decided for a gift this year i would take away all the reasons not to do it and let them try and see if this is something that works for them.
i gathered the ingredients, grated and measured them into convenient little pouches. see? very un-scary.
then i got a bucket (big enough to make your batch in), printed off the instructions and tossed everything in. i also included a link to the tutorial i always use that has pictures and makes the whole process a lot less intimidating (thanks, jeana!)
then i used my cricut to cut out these letters to cuten up the whole thing a bit and i was done! all my friends need now it a little time and a lot of water and they're on their way to earth-friendly, 1 cent a load, clean smelling laundry!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

special delivery

i captured one of our covert operations on video. most of the time we got away undetected and the few that "caught" us were gracious enough to pretend they didn't see us:)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

sinterklaas day 2010

the boys with their "stocking stuffers"
skittles sent all the way from michigan

opening more gifts sent from family in michigan
i was very surprised to find my shoe overflowing so much that it needed it's own space on the floor!
junior mints, york peppermint patties, and andes mints....does my husband know me or what?
sonny got "a christmas story" on dvd
the after math
a good time was had by all

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


our mantel between thanksgiving and sinterklaas day

the real story of "santa". if you'd like to read more see this post from our archives.
our "stockings"
in st. nicholas' time people would leave their socks and shoes by the fire to dry at night and when st. nicholas would drop coins down the chimney to hide his identity they would land in the inhabitants "stockings". if we lived in the netherlands, wooden shoes would be our footwear of choice. we'll need to make a trek to holland, michigan this summer to have one carved and personalized for judah:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

not just for the ballet

our nutcracker collection
notice the new addition on the right. yes, it truly is a sinterklaas nutcracker! my mom got up early on black friday to snatch this guy for us and he's perfect! he's got his bishop's hat, cape, and staff as well as his dangling pair of wooden shoes. happy sinterklaas day! (more pics of the fun yet to be had will be featured soon:)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

advent wreath

the advent wreath or "crown" is designed to help commemorate the time of waiting, anticipation, expectancy of the first arrival of Jesus on Christmas day. each week another candle is added to the lit ones and the accumulation of light is an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
the boys got to make one for our family this year last sunday (the first day of advent).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

trip, part 2

we just pulled into OKC and although i unloaded the car, that's where my motivation ended. i'd much rather share a few pics of our trip on the blog and think about unpacking, laundry, sinterklaas day decorating and gift wrapping later.
we rarely frequent the "token place" (chuck e. cheese's) but whenver we're with oma, we seem to end up there. my kids were thrilled.
i got to connect with my friend jeannette who is so dear to me and just had her fourth baby in october. she was so gracious in hosting not only me, but my boys as well and we even got them all to sit still (minus baby jenna) for a moment.
thanksgiving table before it was filled with all kinds of yum
the activity table with thanksgiving mazes, word searches and other such fun
a stop at cracker barrel as we passed over the border or missouri and oklahoma today. i told the boys they had to rock at least 200 times to get some wiggles out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

trip, part 1

friday we left okc about 11:30 a.m. and drove to st. louis. we arrived that evening at this old school motel 6 that had an indoor pool to get all the wiggles out from sitting in the car all day.
noah sized pool!
i was awoken at 5:30 a.m. by two very excited boys. no sense in waiting around so we were on the road before 6 a.m.

within 3 minutes of our arrival the next day this was the scene...
cousins on communicating DS games
and noah diving into the "forbidden" sugar cereal that only oma provides
that night ari decided to have cousin derek sleep over, but just in case there was to be an unexpected invasion of girls, they made this sign:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

countdown to christmas

i know it's not even thanksgiving yet, but i'm already thinking advent as it will be right upon us after we return from our trek to michigan. one way we like to celebrate "the coming" (advent) is to read a christmas book each night leading up to the big day.
to add a little bit of fun i wrap each book and number it for the date we will read it. the boys take turns being the "opener" each night.
i put them all in a basket and we're ready for december 1st! if you don't have 24 christmas stories yet why not start giving each of the kids a book for christmas and grow your collection?

Monday, November 8, 2010

oral surgery

noah was such a trooper for his dental reconstructive surgery today. he has high anxiety about things of this nature-routine dental and doctor appointments, haircuts, and other such necessities put him into a high level of panic. this was anything but routine. this involved a hospital, anesthesia, and being without mom. here he is coloring his "your same day surgery" coloring book while we wait in pre-op.
the nurse gave noah a cocktail of valium, benedryl, and demerol, and daddy created this "turkey" from a glove. the combination gave noah quite a fit of giggles and relaxed the situation.
here he is a few minutes before he's wheeled back to surgery. he wasn't very confident when they took him away, but clearly the meds were still having an effect because there wasn't screams of terror. waking up from anesthesia with an IV, nose tube, and sore mouth was not a kodak moment so i don't have it here, but several hours later our vivacious noah is back! thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

in case you needed a smile today...

noah (5): do you think we'll have turkey for thanksgiving?
me: um, yeah. i'm sure oma will have turkey for us to eat.
noah: (gasp! eyes wide open) OMA KNOWS THE INDIANS?!??!

noah (5): how come i don't have school tomorrow?
me: cuz i get to have a special meeting with mr. mcewen to hear how great you're doing in school!
noah: um, it was me who broke the aquarium.

and for those of you who don't facebook this is one of my most popular posts ever...

Kristal Krommendyk Varela

just received a bunch of dora dvds from netflix. didn't order them. checked my queue and saw that my 5 year old had made some selections of his own and we were set to have scooby doo, veggietales, and dora for quite some time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

nesting, part crib

amazing name brand crib at less than half price due to a great friend, FREE adorable, designer, crib bedding from another great friend who ALSO assembled this crib with her own two hands.

if style and love have anything to do with how Judah sleeps, i'm looking forward to lots of 9-10 hour nights of sleep:)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween week continues

here is noah's pre-k class on their ghost and goblin parade (noah is at the end) friday morning
ari's class paraded in the afternoon
saturday night our friends scott and liz had us over for a festive dinner of mummy dogs and
ghosty potatoes
here's our trick-r-treating brood
"look what i got mom!"
sunday night we attended the fall festival at all souls church and this time i brought a doctor and a ninja...anyone need some candy? we have a few extra (hundred) pieces:)