Friday, April 24, 2009

Time to have fun!

It seems that I only blog about the fun things that we do around here. Rest assured, some work does get done, but usually only half hearted. :) Spring is in full swing around here with the planting, spraying & field cultivating. Hopefully the corn will all be planted before the major rains starts to fall tomorrow. Kurtis already told me not to get my hopes up though of him being home because of the rain...he has 4 loads of livestock to haul next week. This is why we cherish our summer vacations together as a family. It's a time for us to all reunite before fall arrives. :)
Jaren is in his final weeks of Kindergarten. Today is actually grandparents day and tonight is his spring concert. Pictures will be coming soon. On Wednesday he had Wild West day. He had so much fun dressing up as a cowboy.
Watch out girls, there's a handsome young cowboy coming your way. :)

This little guy is another sign that spring is definitely here. Each spring we get to have a groundhog living under our front porch. Who knows how big his family is or what other animals have made their home there. Maybe we should start renting out the space under the porch.
Last week we got together with our cousins Carter, Alexis & Lisa for a fun time at the park and then lunch at McDonalds. The kids always have a great time and Lisa and I like the socializing part. :) This is definitely going to be a reoccurring event this spring/summer.

Jaren walking across the wobbly balance beam.

Bethany loves the slides, but even more so she likes to make new friends. We were there less than 5 minutes and she had already made at least one friend. She's our social butterfly.

Jaren & Carter taking a quick picture break before running off.

Erica loves the slides more than anything. This was her favorite...probably because it was the biggest.
Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter, Baking & other random things

I thought that since I finally got the pictures of the kids in the Easter outfits, the Easter egg hunt and all the other pictures off my camera that it was time for me to update our blog. We've had a busier week due to me having meetings, Jaren in school every day, extra kids here to play, and all the other typical things that go on. It's fun, but I have to admit I kind of like this morning a lot with Jaren not having school and us not having to be anywhere until at least 9:30 and that's just the park to play! I could get very use to this...that is a big invitation for summer schedules to arrive. :)
I'll start with Bethany's baking adventure. Since I was in the kitchen baking, she decided that she would like to bake a little also. This was her own concoction...Chicken Pot Pie. Don't let the name confuse you though since no chicken was present in her ingredients list. :)
This is towards the beginning of the process.

Daddy was the lucky one to get to try this. They tried to get me to eat it, but since I watched her put it together I just couldn't stomach it.
Bethany taking her first bite and the verdict is...

"Mommy, you have to try this. It is soooo good!" I bet you all want to know what was in it so here it goes. Fruit snacks, peanut butter candy egg, flour, sugar, baking powder, water, salt, strawberry milk, strawberry pop, mt. dew, one grape, vegetable oil and to top it off, almond flavoring. Her catering business will be opening very shortly so if you'd like a one of a kind eating experience for the special occasion, please give Bethany a call. :)

Decorating Easter eggs with Farm Grandma

Very proud of the finished results.

With the two new additions to the VanMersbergen family, we are now up to 6 girls and 3 boys. Grandma should have a lot of fun shopping with this whole crew in a few years. Hope you have your credit cards ready. :)

Bethany getting to hold Brynn for the first time. She has waited nearly 4 months for this day.
Uncle Kurtis getting his cuddle time in with Brynn. They are such sweet little girls.
Aunt Jennifer and Bethany checking out Hailey.
Erica having fun with Drew & Lauren while they're thinking, "What is this goofy cousin of our doing?"

Jaren is really big into Geo-caching so for part of the Easter egg hunt this year, Grandpa hid a cache for Jaren & Luke to find. It took them to 3 different locations before they found the rest of their treasures.

Erica showing off her basket of eggs.

Lauren & Drew loved having all this fun stuff brought to them.

Bethany having a good time finding her eggs & other goodies.

Erica & Bethany showing off their new Easter dresses.
Jaren posing with his IA football. He's turning into such a handsome young man...not that his attitude always reflects this.
I had some fun the other day taking pictures of Jaren & Bethany in their new Easter outfits. I don't have pictures of Erica yet. Erica has to be in the perfect mood in order for something like this to take place and be pleasant. Maybe tomorrow I'll get it done.

Here's our sweet princess, Bethany. She loved her new dress and was very picky when we went to the store to buy one. There wasn't a whole lot for selection here in town, but we did find this one and she loved it...especially how well it works for a twirling dress.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Cookies

As we remember the death of our Lord today, we can also look forward to His resurrection and the hope we have for eternal life because of Jesus' death and resurrection.
I received this recipe at my Momshine group and thought it was such a neat idea and a great way to get the true message of Easter across to young kids. I encourage you if you have a chance to make these with your children.

Easter Story Cookies
(to be made the evening before Easter)
1 cup whole peacans
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Ziploc baggie

Preheat oven to 300° F

Place pecans in Ziploc baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 10:28-30.
Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and then brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus dies because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with the mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matt. 27:65-66.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66.
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pinewood Derby Car Races

Today Jaren got to experience what it's like to race pinewood derby cars. For those of you that have been in cadets you know exactly what I'm talking about. Grandpa VM gave Jaren a couple of cars to spruce up for the races. I'm very proud of Jaren for taking the painting job very seriously and thinking it through before just slopping on some paint. He was very excited with how they turned out. This morning Grandpa picked Jaren up for the registration and then the girl's and myself joined them later to watch the actual races. Although he didn't win any trophies this year, he is looking forward to next year in the hopes of winning on then. He did receive a participant ribbon and then a nice man from our church, Gene DeBruin, gave Jaren his medal that he had won for showmanship. Thanks Gene, you really made his day! Thanks Grandpa for taking time out of your busy schedule to to bring Jaren to the races today. He had a great time!!!
Jaren & his classmate, Angela, lining up to race their cars. Congrats Angela on a 1st & 2nd place finish!

Jaren's car is the 4th from the left. He placed 4th place in his division.

Jaren & Bethany watching carefully, hoping for a good end.

Jaren and his cars that he painted by himself. Great job buddy!!

Jaren showing me his participant's ribbon.
First question when we got home, "Can we make a trophy case?" :)