Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a wonderful Christmas

Well, now that Christmas has officially past I thought I would give you a quick glimpse into what went on around here. We hope you had as an enjoyable Christmas as we did.
Christmas Eve was spent at home with just the 5 of us. The kids were very patient all day (much more so that mommy - I just wanted a clean house.):) It didn't take long for the kids to have their gifts open and start enjoying them. Jaren got an electric race track & his first Bible, Bethany got an inflatable trampoline & a Boz the Bear movie & Erica got a teeter-totter & a Boz the Bear game. We enjoyed spending a quiet evening together as a family.
Christmas morning the kids opened their stockings from "Santa" and then it was off to church to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas...Jesus birth. After church we went to my parents for a wonderful prime rib & ham lunch, sledding for the dads & kids and of course more presents. My dad is always very creative when it comes to wrapping my mom's gifts and this year he didn't let us down. She got lots of nice gifts tucked away in old tool boxes all wrapped in sports wrapping paper. :) The kids got to call Jason & Kristin and sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" since they were at the hospital with their little girls. We ended the night with the kids watching a movie and the adults playing games once we got the men away from the pool table. It was a great day and lots of fun.
Yesterday we headed up to Des Moines to see Hailey & Brynn...ok so I saw them, everyone else settled for seeing Jason & Kristin. They are some of the cutest little girls I've ever seen and I can't wait to be able to hold them sometime soon. We also got to go see where Uncle Mark lives in Des Moines and do a little shopping.
Today is left for organizing and cleaning up the mess from the past few days. It is very icy outside today so staying home is a great plan.
Brynn sunbathing in the light to help her jaundice
Kristin & Hailey
Both girls have the oxygen tubes completely removed and are doing extremely well.

Drew & Bethany having fun together

Kurtis entertaining Drew with his new snowman

Reagan, Bethany & Grandpa walking up one of the sledding hills

Erica "eating" her Christmas lunch

The four oldest cousins at the kid's table

Jaren (Ford) racing Kurtis (Chevy)...according to Jaren Ford won every race

Wild hair after jumping in her trampoline
All three kids bouncing together

All three kids trying out the teeter totter

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Miracles

We are excited to announce that my brother Jason & his wife Kristin welcomed two adorable baby girls into the world early this morning. Hailey & Brynn wanted to experience Christmas so decided Dec. 24 would be the perfect day to be born. They are a little early (born just shy of 32 weeks), but are doing very well. Brynn is breathing on her own and Hailey is getting some oxygen yet. Please pray for these miracles that God has given our whole extended family.

We love you Hailey & Brynn!
Hailey Elizabeth
3 lb. 9 oz. ~ 16"
12:56 am

Brynn Marie
4 lb. 5 oz. ~ 17-1/2"
12:57 am

Monday, December 22, 2008

Silly kids :)

Well, I'm on the mend from having the flu last night and trying to decide what to have the kids eat for supper. Kurtis had to make a run to Cedar Rapids this evening in the semi otherwise this would have been his job.
I asked the kids what they wanted for supper, but I told them no stinky foods because that would make mommy sick. Of course they just started laughing and Bethany replied "I want a dirty diaper for supper!" laughing hysterically the whole time, which in turn got them all wild and out of control. Thankfully they all settled on finger jell-o and cereal. :) Ok, maybe not the healthiest.
I think next time I might want to explain what I mean by stinky food or just use an entirely different word.

Birthday Party Pictures

Jaren patiently waiting to open his presents.
His scooter...he's been asking for one for a long time.

Jaren & Luke...great buddies

Blowing out his candles

No party would be complete without games...Aunt Jennifer throwing the football through the hoop.

Jaren painting his pinata a couple days before the party.

Jaren taking a swing at the pinata...I told him to close his eyes to make it more challenging. :)

THe kids picking up the candy from the pinata.

Jaren, Drew & Luke...little hawkeyes

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Go Hawks! ~ Happy Birthday!

Today we celebrated Jaren's 6th birthday. On Dec. 20, 2002 we were welcoming Jaren into our family. So much has happened in those 6 years, so good and some that we'd like to forget. Listening to his first words, especially the first time he said "I love you", watching him start to walk, his first camping trip, watching him build friendships, learning how to ride a bike, going to school and the list could continue to go on. We've had our battles, especially with his health...3 hospital stays in the fist 1-1/2 years is plenty. We rejoice because he is a strong, healthy boy today who is a wonderful son and terrific brother. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAREN! We love you.

Here are a few pictures from today's party. It was an Iowa Hawkeye party which included football and helmet cakes, football themed games and of course some guests even came with Hawkeye apparel. Thanks to everyone who braved the wonderful Iowa winter weather to come help Jaren celebrate. Before bed tonight he said, "That was a great birthday party, wasn't it mom!"

Okay, so the photos won't load today, so look for them in the next couple of days.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Birthdays are so much fun!

Jaren had his first friend's party tonight. He invited a few friends from school to go bowling and out for pizza. From the pictures it's evident that they had a great time. They got a little rowdy at Pizza Ranch but that was okay since we had our own room. They definitely ate their money's worth of food...hopefully no one gets sick tonight. :)

Jaren bowling...notice the Hawkeye hat in preparation for his party tomorrow!

They were fascinated with the balls coming back to them.

Playing paper, rock, scissors at Pizza Ranch
The boys posing for me. Erica wanted in on the picture also. :)
Bethany didn't want to miss her chance of having her picture taken with a couple of the boys...only a sign of what's to come. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Well, we're getting ready to stay put for a couple of days, hopefully with electricity. We've got rain, sleet & snow heading our way today with more ice than the electric lines can probably hold. This reminds me of Feb. 2007 when Erica was only 2-3 weeks old. The house was sharing a generator with the hog sheds and so we sat in the dark when Kurtis had to go a feed the hogs. Hopefully that will not be the case since Kurtis is on his way to Grinnell to snatch up one of their 2 remaining generators. If worse comes to worse we can head over to Keith & Gloria's and hang out there. :)
Bad weather always seems to come around the time we are planning a birthday party at our house. Jaren's party is suppose to be Saturday so hopefully the roads are clear so the aunts, uncles, cousins & grandparents can all make it. We have a lot of fun planned, including a "football" pinata (you have to squint your eyes to make the football shape really appear).:)
Well, have a good day and stay safe.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

DB Family Christmas

Saturday night we had the fun of having our first Christmas celebration. We got together with Kurtis' family for an evening of food, acting & fun. You will notice in the pictures that we all dressed up and acted out the Christmas story. The kids were so excited. Bethany put on her angel costume on Friday already and began rehearsing her lines to the shepherds. I thought she looked pretty angelic myself! :) We had the traditional pizza, Canadian bacon w/ pineapple, plus the every year Christmas tree jell-o mold. We are always questioning if the mold will come out and this year was a success. It was a fun evening and the kids will have great memories. Hope you enjoy looking at the pictures.

Joshua played baby Jesus despite laying on the scratchy hay.
Jaren was first a shepherd and then a wise man

Jason, Karen & Madelyn

Bethany the angel...can you tell she was just a little excited!

The wise men coming to see baby Jesus

The whole family enjoying
How many guys does it take to open a bottle of wine? A lot when you have to be creative.

The Christmas tree jell-o turned out very well this year
The kids had fun teasing Madelyn and she didn't seem to mind the attention.
Jaren getting attacked by "Mad Dog"
Kurtis spending some time with Joshua

Joshua with his gift from us...I think his daddy will play with it more than Joshua for right now

One of the cutest presents there!

The kids opening their gift from Tim, Lonita & Joshua...Kung Fu Panda and lots of candy! They were thrilled!

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a GREAT day!

Well, I'm just hoping that today can be half as good as yesterday. The kids and I had such a great day together. It started off with Jaren, Bethany & I going to Momshine/Kidshine at church. The kids joined the moms this morning for a fun time of acting out the Christmas story and then working on a fun craft together. We had to finish ours up at home, but that gave the kids plenty of time to be creative and not feel rushed. Erica stayed home because she has been fighting off a little bug and I didn't want to take any chances of her getting other kids sick. Daddy stayed home with her and gave her his undivided attention for 2 whole hours...she LOVED it!

After lunch Jaren & Bethany finished their mitten wreaths, I put Erica down for a nap and then went to work making frosting. Jaren & Bethany decorated 4 dozen cut-out cookies. I really didn't think they'd stick with it that long, but they were having so much fun they didn't want to quit. They turned out awesome and if you're lucky enough you might get a little taste of the delicious end results.

The day ended with supper at McDonalds all together, even daddy. Then to church to set-up for the Christmas program. The kids had a ton of fun playing with the 3 sons of the other committee member. They are older than my kids, but they loved entertaining them.

Time for bed and time for mommy to put her feet up and relax. I turned on all the Christmas lights and a small lamp, read my magazine and listened to Jaren's Christmas CD that he listens to every night and also sat quietly listening to Jaren read in bed. That was one of the greatest sounds to hear. I can say that I'm a proud mom! :)

I hope you all had a great yesterday and I'm looking forward what today will bring.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Random thoughts

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving was already over 2 weeks ago and Christmas is quickly approaching. The month of December is always a very busy month, but that means we get to spend lots of time with family. Between all the Christmas get-togethers and then we throw in a couple of birthday it is a month of celebrating.
This past Saturday we helped my niece Reagan celebrate her 3rd birthday. She had a Hello Kitty party with fun games, yummy food and lots of time for the cousins to make a huge mess throughout the house - sorry Jennifer. :)

Happy 3rd Birthday, Reagan!

I am helping out with the church Sunday School program that will be Dec. 14. I think it will be a very nice program, but I always highly dislike practices because they seem so chaotic. The kids always pull through and say their lines perfectly when the parents are in the congregation watching them.
Jaren's birthday is coming up rapidly also. He has decided on a Iowa Hawkeyes themed party. I love throwing parties, especially if they are for my kids. I'm working on games, proper food ideas to go with the theme, and finishing up the invitations. Kurtis rolls his eyes at me whenever I talk about my party ideas because I put a lot of thought & effort into them. Jaren's also to the age now that he wants to have a party with some of his friends. We're still trying to decide what to do and how many of the boys to invite (there's only 14 of them and we don't want hurt feelings).
Well, I'm off to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas with the kids and eat some popcorn.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Thought I would just post a couple of pictures from Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time and were able to spend Thursday with the VerMeer's and Friday with the DeBruin's. We got together with my family earlier so it worked out perfectly.

Grandpa & Grandma with their grandchildren - Joshua, Madelyn, Jare, Erica & Bethany

I have more pictuers but it's not wanting to upload them right now...maybe I'll try tomorrow.

The kids also loved going out to play in the first real snowfall of the season. It was great packing snow for a snowball fight in which the kids found out very quickly that I have poor aim. :)