Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve...

The kids opened gifts from each other...and were very thankful!

 Might be my favorite moment of the day....Abby bought Sophie 'best friends' necklaces for them to wear.  Sigh. 

 We decorated a gingerbread house. 
 All 3 kids were in the Christmas Eve Program at church.  The girls sang in the choir.
 Noah was the Innkeeper.
 Abby was a speaking angel.
 Sophie was also an angel (2nd row, 3rd one from the R)  (Abby is 2nd row, 2nd from the left)
We also had a wonderful dinner and opened gifts with my parents, Laura, Gavin and the kids. 

The night ended with the reading of, 'Twas the Night before Christmas' in front of the tree.  We are blessed beyond words. 

Friday, December 21, 2012


Although I have not been faithful about updating my blog this fall, I have been recording my gifts.  Earlier this week I reached #2000:  "Remembering what is important and living for it."  In light of the tragic event that took place last Friday, I find myself gathering my children close this Christmas.  Snuggling my family tight, because I can.  Because they are what is important. 
This past week was full of pre Christmas fun:  continuing a Christmas baking tradition with  my parents (cookies and chocolate candy), the Brummel Christmas party, the kids 'readers theater' performance at the library and culture night at their school, and even some sick day snuggles with Noah as he fights an awful cold/cough/fever.  I am blessed this Christmas and I want to live each moment remembering that.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Basketball and Sophie the Student of the Week!

The girls had a wonderful basketball season that wound up this week. Tom was an assistant coach, and they all had a blast! It was so fun to watch them grow throughout the season!

 The picture below is Sophie's first basket!  Sorry for the poor photography!  I was so excited!!  (Abby was high scorer one game earlier this season!)

Sophie was selected to be the 'star student' at school this week.  She has been waiting patiently all semester!  She was thrilled to put up her special pictures on Monday!  Love it!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A new tradition

Ok, it wasn't like you see in the movies....chopping down the family Christmas tree.  It was a busy weekend, but we were determined to make it a relaxing and fun new tradition!  In order to have a more relaxed time, we bumped it to Sunday afternoon.  Saturday was sunny and crisp, but we would have been really rushed.  Sunday started with a few beautiful snow flurries on our way to church.  After church the flurries seemed to be mixing with rain.  After lunch it appeared to have turned all the way to rain.  We didn't let it stop us!  Even though we did not head south to the farm recommended by friends, we still found a wonderful family owned farm, and we had a fabulous time walking the field selecting the perfect tree (ok, we could drive right out in to the field...but we still walked around).  The rain even let up for a few minutes during the search.  Many of the beautiful trees had remnants of the morning flurries hidden in their needles.  It wasn't like the movies, a couple of feet of newly fallen was wet and muddy but we laughed and we made memories.  We love our beautiful tree. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

We are here and we are thankful!

 The kids spent some time this weekend reading old blog posts in our book.  It made me sad to think that the last post I had done was in early October!  I will admit honestly that this fall has gotten the best of me!  It has been very very busy.  I guess that has made us cherish this Thanksgiving weekend even more.  We have enjoyed baking pumpkin pancakes, "grandma's little rolls" (my grandma Jane Mosher's recipe), and pumpkin pie (my grandma Jane Mosher's recipe).  We enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving dinner here with my parents using grandma Bonnema's beautiful plates.  We enjoyed a great soup 'supper' with the Bonnema's.  (Note:  I struggle to understand the definitions of dinner and supper, I really do).  We enjoyed snuggles, reading, hot chocolate, sleeping in, movies, football, knitting and a tiny bit of shopping.  We are blessed and we are thankful! 
(I tried to post pics but apparently I am over my storage limit.  I tried deleting some of my old posts, which are printed, to no avail.  I have the option of paying for more storage...  Anyone else run in to this?) 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Last week was full of adventures!
I was in DC for a wonderful conference and enjoyed an amazing Indian lunch, a reception of the Capitol (in the fog), and an amazing tea bar at the conference hotel.
Back home in Holland my dad enjoyed a before school breakfast with the kids (and me) on Friday morning.
The kids jogged ~2 miles during their school fundraiser Friday afternoon (so thankful for a flexible enough schedule that allows me to attend many of these events)
Saturday after the football game my parents, my aunt, the kids and I headed to ArtPrize in GR.  The kids really wanted to see the was a nearly 3 hour process of getting through the art museum...but well worth it! 
Noah spent the night with a friend Saturday night and under the careful watch of the parent, learned how to shoot a bow (sigh).
During the slumber party the girls and I enjoyed a little quality time at Qdoba!
Special hot chocolate with special Sophie Grace. 


Lots of football around here these days!  Friday night the Rocket Football teams were recognized at the West Ottawa Varsity Football game.  Noah loved having a special evening with grandma and grandpa Mosher and me!  (Tom was a deer camp)  Saturday morning Noah's team scored their first touchdown of the season (Tom drove back down for the game)!  It was very exciting, despite the rain/sleet!!  The final score was 6-6, but it was still a 'victory' for our team! 

End of September!

Blessings from the last week in September!
A homemade pop tart for an after school snack!
Abby gets to change her earrings for the first time! 
Abby and Sophie NOT watching Noah's football scrimmage in Allendale :) 
Sophie knitting a poncho for her American Girl Doll.
Sophie playing at the park on a Friday night!
I even took a turn on the swings!
A break for Kilwins while waiting in line at the GRAM during Artprize with my friend Amy!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Computer problems kept me from posting this collage (from last week) earlier.  Last week we cherished:
  • homemade peanut butter cookies after school. 
  • A beautiful rainbow (two actually) on our drive to school Tuesday. 
  • The girls are doing a free acting class at the library on Tuesday afternoons, I particularly love the quiet time doing homework and reading with Noah. 
  • Clean towels all folded and put away
  • Sophie's laughter during dinner (and always)
  • quiet reading time in the chair with Abby and Ernie
  • Noah's football game
  • First annual 'Appetizer night'.   A student in my First Year Seminar wrote about a family tradition she had growing up that involved a family room dinner of all the frozen appetizer they were NEVER allowed to have followed by a movie and ice cream.  We loved shopping for these 'naughty' treats (Abby:  " Mom, why is everything in our cart frozen?"  and Mom:  "What do you think mommy would have said if you would have asked for these foods on a 'regular night'?  Kids:  "NO WAY!!")  It was super fun, though left me with a bit of a stomach ache!  :) 
  • Starting a list of 'Newbery Award' potentials being read by each member of the family

Monday, September 17, 2012


#1853 3 kids in new converse
#1854 Sunshine coming in my new office window
#1855  Happy Memories in my minivan (lots of state park stickers!) 
#1856 My new Sienna
#1859 A praying mantis found by the girls at Hope
#1862 Saying "yes" to time at the park on Saturday afternoon
#1865  a day of Urban Agriculture in Detroit with my First Year Seminar


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Noah's first game

Noah's first football game was this morning.  They lost, but Noah had some great blocks and they had fun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The end of an era

Lots of trips to the State Park over the years.....

The trunk I loaded the triple stroller in to more times than I could begin to count.  And filled with groceries.  And filled with suitcases.  And loaded with chairs for sports events......

The seats we buckled baby car seats in to.  The seats we buckled toddler seats in to.  The seats they buckled themselves in to for the first time.  The seats they sat in without carseats for the first time.  The seats my kids sat in for just about every single trip and drive for their entire lives. 

The van driving away for the last time!

Noah's Scrimmage

Noah had his first Rocket Football Scrimmage last Saturday.  It was awesome!  It looks like he will normally play left guard and 2nd string center but he even got a chance to be on the defensive line!  It's going to be a great season!

Noah playing center (getting ready to snap the ball).

Noah #34

Noah on the defensive line.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Finding joy

It was a sad week.  My amazing Grandpa Low passed away early Sunday morning.  It was a busy first week of school.  It was a week full of football practice and the first church choir rehearsal for the girls.  It was a week full of classes at Hope (even on Labor Day).  It was a week with 2 trips to Jackson.  In the midst of the crazy, sad week there was joy to be found.

Beautiful sunflowers at our garden (not in our plot).
The girls picking me Queen Anne's Lace (my favorite) at Noah's football Scrimmage.
Watching Noah's football scrimmage on a beautiful 'fall' day (with Ernie on my lap) (more pics later)
Time in Jackson with family:  Laura flew in and we laughed and cried together.  A wonderful antique store.  Ice Cream at the Jackson Dairy.
Memories savored of time with Grandpa including the last photo, taken at a visit last winter. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A new beginning...

This morning at breakfast when we opened the bible to read, the chapter title was, "A New Beginning".  Pretty amazing start for the school year (although I hope there are no floods this year!).  The kids' teacher was not present at open house, so I drove them to school so we could be sure to find their lockers, etc.  They were excited and joyful as they walked in to a new school year.   And just like that, 3rd grade is off and running. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

The summer of no

As we checked off the final boxes of our 'Summer List 2012' the kids said, "Mom, the summer of no was the best summer ever!" 
The summer of no.  No spreadsheet to keep track of the kids events.  Almost no rushing to get somewhere.  No over scheduled days.  99.9% no 'signed up' activities (there was a loop-hole by Noah at the end of July....).  It seemed like the perfect plan to me, I always dread the spreadsheet required drop off and pick up charts dictating our summer days.  But I admit to wondering how it would really play out.  Would we be bored?  Would I long for a place to drop them off by August?  In June I created an "I'm bored" jar filled with chores kids could select if they used the words, "I'm bored".  Guess what?  It was never used.  Eventually it was placed up in a cupboard.  We had amazingly full days.  Days full of laughter and playing.  Days full of forts, hikes and time outside.  Days full of snuggles, reading, and ice cream.  Days full of the joyful sounds of summer mostly splashing and giggling.  We watched Disney Channel and sang along to Disney Radio.  We spent almost 10 days at the cottage.  We spent 10 days in South Dakota.  We took last minute trips to visit friends, pick berries, or wander the zoo.  In short, we enjoyed the summer as children...all of us. 
Tonight Noah is going to bed tearfully praying that Jesus will make summer last a little while longer.  That there will be an announcement that, "do to technical difficulties...summer will not end."  And if that did happen, I would be the happiest mom in the world.
I know that tomorrow will bring 'fall'.  It will bring 3rd grade.  It will bring busy evenings of football practice, religious ed, and church choir.  It will bring busy days at Hope for me with 2 classes and my mentoring program.  It will bring new adventures and new challenges.  My prayer tonight will be that we can always keep a little of 'the summer of no' tucked away in our hearts, and that on the busiest days we can loose ourselves in the treasured memories for just a moment.....until next summer.