Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I thought I would write a Christmas letter this year and just post it to my blog instead of wasting all that paper printing it out.

Life around our home is busy, but very enjoyable. The children are growing much faster than I’d like them to, always changing and constantly learning new things. Most of the time they are a real joy, but each day brings on a different challenge.

Jaren just turned 5 on Dec. 20 and is in preschool this year. He attends Sonshine Preschool on Mon/Wed mornings, which is located within the Oskaloosa Christian School. He has made a lot of new friends and is so excited everyday when I pick him up to tell me everything he did. We celebrated his birthday with a dinosaur themed party – his favorite animal right now (see post below). Scary dinosaurs, crashing cars, and teasing his sisters are what he likes the best. Jaren started taking swimming lessons this year and had a great time. We are taking a small break right now and will start him back up again in the next few months.

Bethany is 2 (almost 3) and a very sweet little girl. As Kurtis put it “Only Bethany can make the word generator sound so sweet.” As you can tell she has her daddy wrapped around her finger. By the way, she was talking about a generator because last week we were without "regular" electricity for 3 days due to an ice storm and so had a generator running. Bethany fills her days dancing, playing in her kitchen and trying to do as Jaren says. They get along great, but you can definitely tell that Jaren is the boss (typical oldest sibling). :) They love pretending to go camping and on picnics. Bethany can’t wait until she turns three so that she can attend Sunday School and Kidshine at church.

Erica as you can tell from the picture is a little bundle of energy. She can be quite the handful at times, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Erica will turn 1 on Feb. 2. She loves exploring, getting into Jaren's & Bethany’s things and climbing the stairs (if only she could figure out how to get down). She is not into sitting still for more than two seconds because then she might miss out on something. Erica is also starting to follow in Bethany’s footsteps and is getting daddy wrapped around her finger as well.

Kurtis is keeping very busy on the farm with the hog work and most recently the harvest. Times like now when the electricity goes out adds more work to his full schedule, so thankfully that doesn’t happen often. He also moves trees for my dad and really likes the change of scenery from the farm. Kurtis is enjoying his time at being a Deacon in the church and also being head of the sound committee. With everything going on, it leaves little time for recreational activities. Kurtis is going to be going to Colorado skiing the beginning of January with the guys in his family. This is a much deserved vacation for him and he is really looking forward to it. We'll let you know if everyone comes back in one piece. :)

I continue to be blessed to be able to stay home with Jaren, Bethany & Erica. I also enjoy being able to go to Momshine at our church. We meet every other Thursday morning for crafts, speakers, and socializing. It is a great time and I look forward to the small break I get from the kids. I also keep busy by watching Micah & Becca DeHaan three days a week. Micah is 3 and Becca is 16 months, so they are the perfect ages and get along great with my kids. It is great to see their friendships grow, especially Becca and Erica’s.

We hope that you all have a very enjoyable Christmas and that the next year will be a blessing to you.

Kurtis, Lisa, Jaren, Bethany & Erica

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Well, as you can tell from the title, Jaren is 5 years old today. I thought I would share some pictures from his dinosaur birthday party that we had this past Saturday night. There was a dinosaur cave where they had to hunt for dinosaur eggs using their flashlights, a dinosaur dig where they had to dig for dinosaur bones (aka scooby doo graham cracker bones) in oatmeal and a rousing game of pin the tail on the dinosaur. Everyone played pin the tail, and I will post pictures of that when I get them. Jaren got a lot of really neat gifts and is having a great time with them all. The pictures don't show the excitement he had when he opened all the gifts, but I'm glad that we have video for later use.
We also went to Pizza Ranch yesterday for lunch to celebrate once again. Pizza Ranch is his favorite restaurant because he gets to go through the buffet and pick what he wants to eat.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Snow Fun!

Just wanted to share a couple of pictures with you of Jaren & Bethany playing out in the snow last week. It was the first snow of the year so they were very excited. We went sledding Thanksgiving day, but unfortunately I did not get any pictures...instead I was in charge of pushing them down the hill. :) As you can tell, they enjoyed throwing snowballs at me, but I did get them back. They also liked to hide out in their "restaurant" to warm up and make me food.
I thought I would also include a picture of Erica with her new Christmas ornament. She thought it was the great that mommy actually let her play with it for a while. The crying started after I took it away from her when she tried to eat it.

See the resemblence?

After watching "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" last night with the kids, I noticed a strong resemblence of Bethany and Cindy Lou Who. Take a look and see what you think!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Check-ups and Flu Shots

Well, yesterday was the wonderful day for flu shots. I thought it might be a good idea to have the kids get shots. I know it doesn't cover the stomach flu, but if we can avoid the nastier kinds of flu that are out there then we'll be better off.

When asked who was going first for their shot, Jaren proudly said he would because he's so brave since he's a 4 year old. He was very brave and didn't even cry saying it only hurt a tiny bit. Bethany on the other hand started crying the minute I said it was her turn. The crying lasted through the shot, but stopped once she was off the table. Then she started crying again when the dr. came in and I had him look at her nose. We thought she had maybe broken it by falling out of bed (she was suppose to be taking a nap, but instead was goofing off with Erica). Thankfully he didn't think it was broken so we didn't have to traumatize her anymore with x-rays.

Erica had her 9 month check-up yesterday. It's hard to believe that she's already that old, and harder yet to believe that she'll be 1 in less than three months. She weighed in at 14 lb 14.5 oz., which is at the 0-3% for her age. She was 27 1/2" long which was in the 50%. The dr. highly encouraged me to suppliment her with Pediasure to try and get her weight up a bit. I promised him that I do feed her and she eats a lot, but she is a very active little girl therefore burns many calories. I need to feed her high caloric foods (must be rough :) ). All in all she is a very healthy little girl with a lot of spunk!

I've included a photo of Bethany and Erica wearing their new scarfs that Aunt Ruth and Sonja made for all the little girls in the DeKoning family. They are adorable and of course Bethany has to wear it all the time - inside or out!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Catching Up

Well, it's been a bit since I last posted so I thought I should catch up. Lots has been happening lately including Halloween, Kurtis's Birthday, CRC 150th, family get-together. I guess I'll start in the order they occurred.

Kurtis celebrated his 29th birthday on Oct. 27. The kids had a great time making him cards and putting together a snack attack pack to give him for his birthday. We also enjoyed a special breakfast of muffins and an omelet roll. Jason, Kurtis's twin brother, came down later in the day to enjoy a great day of harvesting. Unfortunately, the combine broke down around 5 o'clock which meant the we had the evening free. Keith took us all out for suppoer to celebrate their birthdays, even though I'm sure they would have much rather been combining.

On Sunday the 28th, the Pella Classis celebrated the CRC's 150th anniversary. As Jaren put it "That's even older than great-grandma and great-grandpa and the other great-grandma!" We had a wonderful joint church service which Gloria was very involved with planning. Afterwards we went to my parents house for pizza to celebrate Kurtis's birthday once again.

On Tuesday night, my mom, the kids and I took off for Ankeny to go trick-or-treating. We met up with Jennifer, Luke & Reagan at Jason & Kristin's house and walked through their neighborhood. The kids got more candy than they need in a year, but Kurtis and I are helping them along. :) My kids also went trick-or-treating at Central College the previous Thursday with my cousins - double the candy this year! I''ve attached some halloween pictures for you to enjoy. Jaren was a Ninja Turtle (Leonardo) and Bethany was a pretty princess.

Yesterday, the 4th, we went to my Uncle Gene and Aunt Helen's house for the annual DeKoning fall gathering. We try to have an early Thanksgiving before my Uncle Marv & Aunt Ruth take off for Arizona. It was a loud, fun gathering. We are so thankful that we have such wonderful families that can get-together and have a great time. There was more food and desserts than we needed, but welcome to the holidays!

Well, that's a quick summary of what's going on over here. I think we have a couple of calm weeks, and then the holidays will be upon us. This has got to be one of my favorite times of year. I've already been scoping out great gift ideas for people and can't wait for my chance to go shopping!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Budding Artist

I just wanted to quickly share with you Jaren's recent drawing of a combine. I think he did a wonderful job. Notice that he even drew the shredded stalks shooting out the back, the corn yet to be combined and even all the corn in the combine. Daddy is driving the combine.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Flu season already!

Well, as you can tell from the title, the flu has hit our house already. Isn't it kind of early for this? I spent Friday trying to potty train Bethany using the "Potty Training in Less Than a Day" approach. I had little success and felt very frustrated by the end of the day. By 8:30 that night I figured out why she wasn't overly interested - she didn't feel well. She threw up (thankfully I had a bowl nearby to catch it in) and remained sick throughout the night into Saturday. I unfortunately got sick during the night and all day Saturday. With Keith & Dale both gone for Parent's weekend at Dordt, Kurtis & Scott had a lot to get done on the farm. Especially since it was finally dry enough to get back into the fields after many wet days. Thankfully my parents were around and took Jaren & Erica off my hands for the day. Fortunately Erica will take a bottle without any problems when I need her to. Kurtis got sick Saturday evening, but refused to come home and rest. There was work to get done, and I can't say I really blame him for wanting to get as many acres of corn out as possible before the next batch of rain hits. He is in bed this morning and we have decided that in the best interest of getting anyone at church sick or having Jaren get sick at church that we are staying home today. Erica is not feeling 100%, but she's a trooper and nothing will slow her down.
Let's pray and hope that this is not an indication of how the rest of the winter will go!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Never slowing down

Well, Erica is constantly learning new things at a very rapid pace. Today alone she learned 4 new things. It's amazing if you really think about it.
  1. Erica woke up from her nap, stood up and said "mama" until I came up to get her. I do have to let you know though that of course "dada" was her first word.
  2. She pulled herself up by Bethany's kitchen to play - her first big girl toy! Needless to say she was very impressed with herself and everything she discovered in the fridge of the kitchen.
  3. Erica learned how to drink from a straw like a pro. I had made yogurt smoothies for Jaren and Bethany tonight and thought I would humor Erica by letting her play with the straw. It took her less than 5 seconds before she had it figured out and was enjoying the wonderful strawberry/banana smoothie like the rest of us.
  4. As if she hadn't had enough excitement for one day, tonight Erica started walking behind her hippo toy. Of course I didn't have the video camera or the digital camera ready, but Jaren & Bethany saw it also so we can relive the moment for daddy tomorrow.

I have mixed feelings about all the new ventures that Erica is rapidly going on. I love having my baby stay little, but I also am thrilled that she is healthy and able to constantly learn new things. I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings. I hope you enjoy the picture of her "cooking".

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

First of many

This weekend is what I hope is the start of many more. What you may be asking...slumber parties. Saturday night Bethany and I had our first girl's night slumber party. Jaren was staying at town Grandpa & Grandma's house and Kurtis was out working late, so the girl's had a girl's night out. We went shopping at Wal-mart and then out for supper at Sister's (appropriate name for a girl's night). We then came home to watch "The Best of Elmo". We then ventured off to bed. Bethany slept on her princess couch and I slept beside her on the floor. After some talking and being goofy we both fell asleep. When she woke up in the morning she was thrilled to have me still right beside her. My body was saying otherwise, but it was well worth it and I hope there are many more slumber parties in the future.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

First Post

Well, I decided to get on board and start my own blog spot to keep everyone up to date on what's going on in our lives. I'll try to keep it updated including adorable pictures of the kids since they change so quickly.

Jaren is now a busy preschooler. He attends SONshine Preschool in Oskaloose 2 morning a week. He also just got done with another session of swimming lessons. He is a pro at diving which is a talent he must have inherited from Kurtis because I couldn't dive if my life depended on it. :) He is also enjoying going to Kidshine on Thursday mornings while I go to Momshine (similar to MOPs). He's getting a little to smart for his own good. The other day we were trying to get him to eat his food and Uncle Jason (Kristin's) said, "How do you think I got so big and strong?", to which Jaren replied "You had birthdays!". I guess that won't be enough incentive anymore to get him to eat. Jaren was also priveldged to be in Kristin (my cousin) & Luke's wedding a couple weeks ago. He looked extremely handsome and was even told by the bride that he was the star of the show. This of course went straight to his head and he felt pretty cool.

Bethany is our energetic 2-1/2 year old. She is full of spunk and loves her daddy more than anyone else. She has enjoyed being able to ride along in the combine with Kurtis. She wanted to ride along with Jason (Karen's) in his combine but I told her it wasn't big enough. She said that she would go home and get her wrench to fix uncle Jason's combine to make it just like daddy's. (Jason, I thought you might feel good about that.) She is in the incredibly fun/naughty stage.

Erica is learning new things all the time. Now that she has been crawling for a few weeks, she is experimenting with standing by anything she can pull herself up by. She surprised herself last night and pulled herself up by the couch and then got this great big "I knew I could do it" grin on her face. She has also started learning how to climb the stairs. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to keep up with her. You can tell she has older siblings who adore her and whom she learns much from. Babyfood is no longer (and hasn't been for a month now). She is very independent and loves to feed herself anything you give her plus anything she finds on the floor.

Kurtis has been very busy in the fields and moving a few trees. He enjoys taking the kids with him, as long as it's one at a time. There's to much negotiating when Jaren & Bethany both ride.

Hope you enjoy the pictues.