Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday party

On Saturday evening, we had a birthday party for Josh, Tori and I with both our families. It was fun to hang out together and of course, open presents! :)

Can you tell that Tori was just a little bit excited about this gift? It was the movie, Madagascar 2. :) If you want to hear her excitement, watch the video below.

Baby shower pictures

On Saturday, we had a baby shower for my sister, Jenny, at my parents church. She is expecting a boy on June 4. My mom and I were a bit overwhelmed with all that needed to be done but it turned out really nice. It was fun to see so many friends and family and to see all the cute baby things!

The cute pregnant lady!

A special handmade blanket by our cousin Amy - it was made with material from Jenny, our mom and our grandma.

Jenny was given a piggy bank so someone came up with the idea to pass it around and fill it up with change. What a fun idea for a future shower!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Cake

Here is Tori's birthday cake - it was not quite as simple as it looked. Okay, maybe it was that simple and I just really don't like messing with cakes. When I put the top layer of cake on, it started to crack across the top. Luckily, the frosting covered it up, although I did have some issues with the frosting scraping some of the cake off. I don't know why but frosting a cake really stresses me out. It did turn out cute though.

These were the "doggie" bags that each child took home. There was a bag of puppy chow, a dog bone cookie cutter, a doggie bowl and some peanut butter cups (because what is a doggie bag without some candy?). Each child also received a headband with puppy ears.

I decorated our dining room table with a table runner, stamped with paw prints and dog bones and then we had some stuffed dogs holding down the balloons.
Overall, it was a very fun party and Tori had a great time. I overestimated the length of time for the games and should have had more activities or a shorter party time. Now I know. :) I also had 3 good friends who stayed to help and I'm so grateful they were here. I'm also grateful it's only Friday night and the weekend is just beginning!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting ready for a puppy party

I'm kind of a slacker in the birthday party department. We normally just do a cake and ice cream and invite family over. One year we let Brendan invite a few friends but even still didn't really do a theme. I was feeling a little on top of things awhile ago and decided Tori could have a birthday party this year. We were talking about themes and she decided she wanted a dog birthday party.

Luckily, my close friend Julie had thrown her dog birthday party for her daughter about 6 years ago so she was full of ideas and helpful hints. She also loves to plan birthday parties. She helped me make the invitations and gave me an article from a magazine with some different ideas and showed me pictures from her daughter's party. I had all kinds of grand ideas.

But now the party is just two days away. I'm slowly dwindling the list of ideas down. Some just seem too impractical and some would take way too much effort then I want to expend on this. I am learning that I am the type of person who would rather just buy something or pay someone else to do it for me than to actually do the work, at least with birthday parties. I wanted to find some puppy ear headbands. I know many would think, "Oh, easy - just buy some plastic headbands and some faux fur material, cut and hot glue them on." I saw them on a website and thought, "Fantastic! For just this much money, I just enter all my info in and it will be shipped here in a week." I don't know if I will always be like this or if I'll get more daring as the twins get older.

So, Friday night our living room will become a kennel. Each child will have their face painted and play some "doggy" games. There will hopefully be a cake that resembles a dog (wish my sister-in-law Maryann could be here to help with that!) and some fun doggy treats. I don't want to give it all away before the party! I think it will be a lot of fun and will be a birthday she'll remember. And if I don't drive myself crazy trying to do too much, maybe we'll do another one someday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A day with friends

We had a lovely day visiting today with some good friends. It definitely didn't feel like a Wednesday! These friends, Jeremy and Andrea, moved to Costa Rica about 4 1/2 years ago and are missionaries there. We've stayed in touch through occasional phone calls, emails and facebook but haven't visited since they moved down there. Awhile ago they called and said they'd be up in Grand Rapids for a month in March and wondered if we could find a time to get together. We were thrilled and after putting our calendars together, decided that today was the best day. Josh took the day off work and they arrived around 10.

They are the type of friends who we just fall into conversations with very easily. We pick up wherever we left off and can talk about little things or big things. It's fun to be around friends like that and know that there are some relationships that don't take a whole lot of work to maintain. It's good to touch base every once in awhile but we both know the other is busy and we just appreciate the times we get. They mentioned that they'd be back every 4 years for mission conferences and also said we'd be welcome to visit them down in Costa Rica. I said maybe we could plan to go down to see them in 2 years and then they'd be up again 2 years after that. Sounds like a good plan to me! We'd better start saving up for those plane tickets.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So many things to think about

Or maybe I should title this "Hanging on by a thread". I just feel like I have not done very well this week at keeping up with things. I have stayed up late every single night and gotten up late almost every single day. I have only done my Bible study two mornings this week so far. I'm way behind in laundry and the house needs a good cleaning. The basement is a wreck (again!) and there are piles of paper all over my kitchen counter. Oh, and did I mention that we want to list our house again?!?

We've decided it would really be beneficial if we could sell our house and move. Not necessary but beneficial. I have to keep reminding myself that we'll be okay if we can't move. Because I really, really, really want to move. We looked at a house that was for sale on Wednesday and I'm ready to sign the papers now. I had everything figured out - I could picture how our life would look there and I liked the look of it. But it might not happen. I have to prepare for this reality. I don't want my happiness to depend on the house I live in. So I have to rein in my emotions and try to be content with whatever happens.

I had originally wanted to have the house ready to list by the first of April but after looking over March, I don't see how that will happen. On a good week, I stay caught up with housework. When am I going to be able to get ahead? I think I need to work on baby steps. But remember the spring cleaning fiasco? I couldn't even keep up with that! Maybe we'll just have to take a day off and make that our work day and see what can be accomplished. Maybe the house won't get listed until May. Maybe that is all part of a bigger plan. Maybe I just need to do what I can do every day and not put unrealistic expectations on myself that turn me into "momzilla". I think I'm onto something here.

I love starting a blog and ending in a completely different spot than where I had planned. I feel more at peace already. Now I'll focus on what I did do this week instead of what I didn't do. I taught Brendan and Tori this week. I took care of Rachel and Owen's needs and sometimes their wants. I finished taxes and filed them and both were accepted. Yay! I started a new on-line budget system called Pear Budget and have it completely caught up now. I am very excited about this and think it will really help keep me accountable. I love how I can review our spending for each month and see if our budget needs to be adjusted. You should check it out. It's like the spreadsheet I was trying to create but a thousand times better. Definitely worth the $3 a month. I was really beginning to hate my spreadsheet. We bought two new dressers at Ikea and Josh put them together Tuesday and Wednesday night. Today I moved our old dressers out and put the new dressers in and switched our clothes over.

And now I go to bed late once again. But tomorrow it is Friday. :) And our family will be going down to stay with my sister and her husband for a few days. It has been a long time since we were down there and I'm really looking forward to hanging out with them. There is also a used bookstore in their town. :) Enjoy the weekend!