Monday, September 30, 2013

September 29, 2013

Today we had a 'mother-daughter book club'.  This month we read Harriet the Spy.  It is an old book that the girls ate up.  We started reading it aloud together, but when Tuesday arrived and we realized we had 200 pages to go, we all had to start reading it separately.  At one point we had 3 books from 3 different libraries in the house.  I found the book to be a little sad, asking questions like, "do her parents know their daughter at all?" and thoughts like, "she is so lonely".  I am always amazed by the insight and questions the girls share.  This is not a staged picture, at one point the girls were all searching for various quotes in the book.  At another point the girls discussion carried on when the moms stepped away.  We talked about the book, shared cake, milk, and tomato sandwiches (you'd have to read the book to understand this!) and the girls loved 'spying' in the Hope College Library.  I love this time with the girls! 

September 28, 2013

This morning Abby ran her first 5K.  One of the items on our summer list was "train for a 5K", so the summer started with the 4 of us running together.  For a while Martha ran with us.  Adelee ran with us too.  Once football started Noah stopped running with us.  Once school started Sophie decided she would rather bike along side us.  Today Abby achieved her goal.  Let me tell you that this girl can run.  She has the stride of a gazelle.  I struggled to keep up with her most of our training runs.  Before the race began she set the goal of 30 minutes.  I let Abby set the pace, and she did not slow.  She ran hard and fast the entire 3.1 miles.  All of her grandparents, her dad, and her siblings cheered her (us) on at the starting line.  Grandma and Grandpa Mosher biked much of the course and cheered her (us) on several more times.  Grandma and Grandpa Bonnema, dad, Noah, and Sophie were there to cheer as she (we) crossed the finish line.  (Grandma and Grandpa Mosher just missed us!)  Abby Jane, the gazelle, finished the race in 28:55.  She finished 3rd in her age division (14 and under!).  We had actually left before they handed out the medals, so on our drive to try to pick it up tonight she said, "I've never won a medal before."  Well, she has now.  So proud of you Abby Jane. 
In other news Noah played the football game of his life about an  hour after we finished the race.  We estimate that he had about 150 passing yards, including a ~35 yard pass that led to a ~60 yard TD.  He did extremely well as QB and when playing defense.  His team lost by 1 TD, but the improvement of the entire team brought all the parents and grandparents to their feet!

September 26, 2013

My parents and I have set out to have 'quality time' each Thursday afternoon while the kids are in school.  This week after I finished work we had a wonderful lunch (Salmon salad!!) at 8th Street Grill before mom and I headed off to learn beach glass jewelry making at Flying Colorz Studio in Holland.  Granted, dad got the short end of the stick here, but he did get to have a left over Chai Cupcake with the kids when they got off the bus.  Mom and I had fun, and made some pretty awesome pieces of jewelry.  Maybe next time I'll remember to take an 'after' shot!

September 25, 2013

I have a wonderful student assistant at Hope.  She works hard and brings joy to my life.  She is an International student from India and makes me the most amazing Chai.  For her birthday I made her chai cupcakes (similar to the recipe found in Martha Stewart Cupcakes).  Admittedly they were a little dry, but the honey vanilla buttercream frosting made up for it! 

September 23, 2013

Today I brought home a great book from the library:  Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun  Even though we had a short time between school and football practice Noah declared that he would open the book to a page and we were going to do it.  He opened to a page with an obstacle course.  We decided to expedite the process each kiddo would bring one thing to contribute.  They were creative and before we knew it, we had a great course in the backyard!  We laughed.  We played.  It doesn't get much better than that! 

September 21, 2013

Today after Noah's football game the kids and Tom headed up north for their annual 'Kids Deer Camp'.  It is a weekend that the kids look forward to the entire year.  They play flashlight tag, ride and drive 4 wheelers, and eat a lot (of junk food).  They all come home tired, but full of stories and laughter.  It is a childhood memory I know the kids will treasure always!!  Go dads!

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013

TGIF.  Today we are thankful for:

  • A 2 miles run with Abby before the sun came up
  • Gym at school
  • Time to finish a book
  • A metal works class (I made a Ginko leaf pendant!)
  • Pumpkin Latte at LJ's with Noah (he had a 'Green Army Guy')
  • The girls volleyball clinic at Hope with good friend Ella
  • Noah mowing the lawn for the first time
  • Time to play
  • The promise of the weekend to come (including the much anticipated KIDS DEER CAMP!)

September 19, 2013

Noah loves to build things out of legos.  He loved Thursday afternoon because he had a day off from football practice, thus giving him free hours!  He went to the basement and came up an hour later with this amazing boat.  It has so many details, and he does it all without directions.  I love how his brain works!  I love when he has the time to be creative! 

September 18, 2013

Sometimes we have moments or even hours that we wish we could do over.  How awesome to wake up Wednesday morning and see this gift from God.  We knew that it was a reminder that it was a new day.  What a way to start the day.  God's love shines new every morning. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 17, 2013

After school snack!  When the kids got home today I had melted marshmallows on the stove and set out all of our cereal.  Each kiddo had their own bowl and was instructed to add 2 cups of whatever cereal combination they wanted.  After a minor burn on Abby's hand (hot marshmallows!!) we pressed each treat in to the pan to set.  I loved seeing their choices.  L-R  Abby (rice krispies and golden grahams), Noah (honey nut cheerios and golden grahams), Sophie (rice krispies).  Not the healthiest snack ever, but it was sure fun!

September 16, 2013


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 14, 2013

Saturday our nephew Zac married Katie.  It was a beautiful and personal wedding that was just perfect for them.  The reception was held at Katie's family dairy farm in Dorr.  The kids loved running, playing with cousins, playing with goats and a horse...and dancing the night away of course! 

September 13, 2013

I love that once they are all ready for school in the morning the kids often gather in the family room for a few moments of tv.  Even at age 9 1/2 and even with a room full of furniture, they still choose to sit together in one chair. 
Friday was full of joy:  it was Friday!  Tom and I had a birthday lunch with Laura!  We enjoyed homemade hot chocolate!  Tom and I had a date night at Salt of the Earth!  The kids had a campfire with grandma and grandpa Mosher! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013: What we are reading by Sophie

My Mom says people sometimes ask what book we are reading. I would like to tell you a series I am enjoying. I am reading the Nancy Drew series. I like to read the old and new books. The old one are from when my grandma was a kid. The newer ones are from the late 2000s. I just read one of the older ones. (I borrowed it from my grandma. She has a whole shelf of books. ) It was called The Bungalow Mystery. Some of the books start with action.In some of the old one Nancy gets trapped.The books are by Carolyn Keene. You can get them at the Herrick District Library at the children's department.
By Sophie

September 10, 2013

Tuesday evening we enjoyed a little snuggle time while the boys were at football.  This snuggle turned in to a giant giggle-fest very quickly!  Once we gathered ourselves, we braved the 90 degree temps for a 2.5 mile run (Abby and I)/bike (Sophie).  We are finding an after school rhythm.  We are thankful for less homework than last year (so far).  We are snuggling whenever we can!

September 9, 2013

Monday evening a local (and amazing) chef from Salt of the Earth in Fennville came to speak to my class.  My fabulous friend agreed to host us at her beautiful home.  The evening was perfect.  The students learned the beauty of local, seasonal food.  They learned how to cook with what you have, not necessarily from a detailed menu.  They learned what an heirloom tomato was, and how it tasted better than any tomato they have ever had.  They learned to make homemade mayo.  They helped chop, cook, and present the food.  They ate a deconstructed BLT with their hands.  It was a wonderful way to continue to get to know this new and wonderful group of students.  It was a relaxing evening.  It made my heart happy to share my love of fresh food with my students!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8, 2013

This morning Tom and Noah got up before the crack of dawn and headed out to the big lake with one of Noah's friends from school and his dad.  They had a wonderful time and brought us home Noah's salmon for dinner.  He was thrilled with his catch, and we all enjoyed the fresh caught fish.  Many nights before dinner we pray for "those who grew and harvested our food" and Noah was excited that for tonight, it was him!

September 7, 2013

Today Noah took his first snap as QB for his football team.  They had a scrimmage in Allendale and it was so fun to watch him in his new position.  He was a little sore and tired after the 2 hours of playing, but had so much fun.  He loves football.  He loves having his dad as one of his coaches.  He loves having his grandparents watch him play.  And, after his last series, he even came over and plopped down on my lap for a few minutes.  Sigh. 

September 6, 2013

Sometimes you just have to have pizza.  One of the things that helped make our first week of school successful at home was candlelight.  Dinner can be rushed and hectic.  On the nights Noah and Tom have football at 6 dinner needs to be early.  Most nights Tom can get home and we can eat together as a family before practice.  To help us slow down and connect this week we played piano music and lit candles.  It slows everything down.  It helps us relax and enjoy our time around the table, even if it is only for 15 minutes.  On Friday Tom was able to do a little relaxing, and my dad joined us.  We were happy to have the weekend upon us! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5, 2013

I missed the kids today...a lot.  It is an adjustment this week, that is for sure.  I was thrilled to have them home this afternoon!  We've been eating early dinners this week because of football practice, but we've taken to lighting candles and playing soft music while we eat.  It is really peaceful time around the table.  Sophie had choir tonight so Abby and I ran from church to my parents house.  It was a great run!  My parents drove us back to church to get Sophie!  On the way home we stopped at our garden, the girls love our giant sunflowers!  Anyone know how to harvest the seeds??  When Noah and Tom got home we joined around the table one more time for some apple crisp (processed sugar free!) and lots of laughter.  Although the best laugh of the night came as I wrapped up a bedtime prayer with Noah.  I paused at the end (before saying Amen) and Noah piped up, "Talk to you later, Bye!"  It was like he was ending a quick call to God on his iphone.  Needless to say we got to giggling!  We decided God didn't mind! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4, 2013

On the second day of school the kids were a little more tired.  After school we enjoyed a snack and then really just wanted to snuggle up for a while.  It was wonderful.  Dinner was cooking away in the crock pot and we savored a little down time.  After we ate the boys headed out to football practice and the girls enjoyed playing at home.  The girls were getting a little restless so we decided to bike over to the park.  I loved taking a few minutes to just watch the girls.  I didn't read my book, or look at my phone.  I soaked up their crazy laughter and giggles.  I was present to their calls of, "LOOK MOM!"  On the bike ride home we laughed and played a little jingle with our bike bells.  These are the moments that come to mean so much more when the kids are in school all day.  Tonight I am thankful. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013

4th grade.  Today the kids started 4th grade.  As I mentioned before, their backpacks were packed Friday night (with a few additions at the last minute....the gigantic 'first day packet' that parents fill out every year, and their lunch).  They could hardly lift the backpacks as they headed out the door.  They were excited to go back and sweet to their sad mama on the walk to the bus stop.  As they boarded the bus, I prayed that their year would be wonderful.  They would work hard and learn lots.  They would have friends and be friends.  They would shine their beautiful lights. 
After school I met them at the bus stop and heard wonderful snippets from each kiddo about the day:
"Mrs. Wise is funny!"  "We have real math books, the kind with a hard cover that you can't write in!"  "My friend forgot a lot of things today, so I gave her a post-it note to write everything down"  "Our homework tonight is to read"  "I played soccer at recess"  They were tired, but happy after their first day.  I missed them so much but was overjoyed when their excited chatter filled the car. 
(Sophie will tell you that the best part of the day was finding out she won an ipod shuffle from the library summer reading program!)
And just like that, we are off and running.  Welcome fall!  (speaking of fall...I had my first pumpkin spice latte, I don't like coffee...but these...woo-hoo!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013: The last day of summer vacation

The Best of Summer Vacation 2013:

  • Sound:  Laurel Falls, Smoky Mountain National Park
  • Sight:  Smoky Mountains from our deck
  • Smell:  Pine Trees
  • Taste:  Bacon burger on the Pigeon River after rafting
  • Sight:  Watching KC1 take the field and play football
  • Smell:  bacon
  • Taste:  Mercury Burger bar bacon burger 
  • Touch:  a fish on the line
  • Sound:  cicadas in Gatlinberg
  • Smell:  Lemonade at our stand
  • Sound:  Jumping in to a pool
  • Taste:  Michigan Sweet Corn
  • Sight:  Water on 'the bridge hike' in Ludington
As for me, I love so many of the things the kids mentioned.  I love the thud, thud, thud, SPLASH of the kids running off the dock.  I love the sound of a screen door slamming.  I love the feel of sand in my toes.  I love the smell of the lake and of our pop up camper.  I love the sound of laughter and giggles.  I love the sight of smiles and sunsets.  I love the feel of jumping off the boat in to the lake.  I love the kids crawling in to my bed almost every morning for snuggles.  I love eating a late breakfast in PJ's and lunch together.  I love visiting the farmers market together.  I love trips to the garden.  I love saying 'yes' to ice cream or a trip to a park or both.  Most of all I love closing the door to Noah's room tonight and hearing, "Thanks for an awesome summer mom."  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1, 2013

Soaking in the down time.  There is something about changing the calendar to September that causes me to pause.  Filling in all of the football practices and games, work events, and activities fills me with an excitement for the season as well as a sadness for what we are wrapping up this weekend.  Today was full of ups and downs for me.  Ups included snuggles in the white chair with each kiddo, quiet thankfulness for the adventures of the summer in church, more lazy snuggles, a cook out with my parents complete with corn on the cob, watermelon and blueberry crisp, and Sunday night movie night.  Downs came in the form of sadness when I least expected them..or maybe I did, erasing the August claendar, quiet thankfulness for the adventures of the summer in church, making up the meal plan for the first week of school-full of packable lunches and snacks and easy, healthy and quick dinners, and walking without the kids through the store and realizing I wanted to be at home with them, not shopping for the supplies of the week.  The backpacks have been packed since Friday night, first day outfits have been selected, the snack drawer is full but we have one more day of summer vacation 2013.  Tomorrow will be busy because I have to teach in the morning, and we are excited to make a quick trip to the cottage to celebrate with Grandma Zeeff but I make a promise now to savor every last moment. 

August 31, 2013

We capped off an awesome Saturday with a surprise, last minute date night!  The morning held vegging out for the kids, the farmers market for Anna and her parents, pottery time for Anna, a little relaxing and a little cleaning for Tom.  The afternoon was full with a play date for the girls, massive marble run building for Noah and Tom, and snuggles for Noah and Anna.  We enjoyed a wonderful evening complete with dinner, a little shopping, and uninterrupted conversations.  The kids played hard with Bill and Joan.  Their evening was full with dinner and tons of fun at Craig's Cruisers.  They capped it off with frozen yogurt.  What a fabulous day!