Monthly Archives: August 2008

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Here it is! My brand new blog!

I’ve imported all the old posts over into this one, so it will probably take me a little while to make sure they are all looking right. So if you encounter any problems looking at old posts that is probably why. But I have the posts for the last couple months looking good.

Make sure you update your bookmarks, links, google reader or whatever because as soon as I’ve got everything how I want it, I will be saying goodbye to typepad and canceling my account over there.

end of summer fun


supplies used: Jen Caputo template , Heather Ann Designs papers (from Vintage Easter, White Out and Watch Me Grow kits), fonts: Marketing Script and News Gothic.
I really can't believe our summer vacation is about to end. It has flown by once again. I just can't believe how true it is that once you have kids, especially school age, the time goes by so quickly.

Last weekend, during our very wet yard sale, mom suggested we take the kids to John Ball Zoo for one final summer outing. We went on Monday and it was a fun time, despite kids complaining that their feet hurt from all the walking. Chloe was the little model all day long, constantly stopping next to flowers or posing next to animals. It was cute. Zach wasn't in the mood. He wanted his picture taken a few times, but then he got hot and grumpy and wouldn't cooperate with us at all. The zoo was pretty fun. We haven't been to John Ball since Zach was a baby. A nice way to end our summer.

We usually look forward to the annual family reunion on my dad's side of the family at my grandparents farm in Ohio. But this year, because of our lack of funds, we've decided not to attend.  I'm kind of sad about that, but it's just best if we save that money right now.


jake's job
Well, he's not loving it. This place has way too many supervisors and a lack of organization. Jake has barely been trained on anything. People just don't seem to be very forthcoming with the information, he says it's because they have a lot of temps cycle through there. People don't want to take the time to train someone who might not be there the next day. But he's going to stick with it because we need some sort of income right now.

healthy living
Still eating pretty good. I'm down 18 lbs. and holding. I have slacked a little lately, though, so I know once I get back to only healthy food that number will start to go down again.  My jeans are starting to feel quite loose, which is an excellent feeling!

It's hard to believe that school is starting next week. We visited both schools today and saw the classrooms. Zach's teacher is really nice and we were happy to see a few familiar names on the class list. And Chloe actually gets to be in the same classroom Zach was in for kindergarten. Different teacher, but I thought it was fun that she will spend her first year at school where her brother did. :) She immediately headed over to the reading corner, picked out a book and started reading out loud. She's such a good reader. So, next week, I will walk my baby girl to class, hug and kiss her and send her off into the world.  Her teacher put this cute poem in the info packet for us:

The First Day
I gave you a little wink and smile
As you entered my room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
And know your child must stay.

You've been with them for five years now
And have been a loving guide,
But now, alas, the time has come
to leave them at my side.

Just know that as you drive away
And tears down your cheeks may flow
I'll love them as I would my own
And help them learn and grow.

So, please put your mind at ease
And cry those tears no more
For I will love them and take them in
When you leave them at my door!

I thought that was really cute. I will most definitely have tears flowing down my cheeks.

Happy Labor Day weekend!!!


2:30 pm today marks 13 years since I walked down the aisle toward this man and vowed to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our ceremony prelude was all about movie music. I loved (and still do) musical scores from films and that’s what I chose to play while people were being seated – instrumental music from the movies. Loved it. It was so us. We love movies. Like reeeeally love movies. Our relationship was started watching lots of movies. I mean, come on … “our song” is “Journey to the Island” from Jurassic Park, which is what you are hearing play right now. haha!

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.

I love you, Jake! Happy Anniversary to us!

rainy days

mom + yard sale + downpour + rain tarps = photo op

Well, I spent 10 hours a day all week long sorting, cleaning, purging, organizing, pricing. And this is what I got. Rain, downpours at times, on the day of our yard sale. I was really disappointed at the beginning of the day. It was hard to get everything put out because of the rain. We did it, though, and kept everything covered most of the time. I felt like crying at first because of the exhausting week I had working during the day to get stuff sorted and working 5-6 hours a night (until 3 am every day) trying to get work stuff done. But we tried to look at the situation with some humor and we had fun with it.  

When we first sat down, we actually had towels over our heads until a lady arrived with a great big umbrella and we were like "Oh yeah, an umbrella might be nice. Why didn't we think of that?" Don't ask me why neither of us thought to look for an umbrella, but we were cracking ourselves up about it.

Later, we discussed how the characters in Jane Austen movies always end up running through the rain and then getting sick or falling down. :) I felt like I should be standing on a hill in the downpour quoting Shakespeare. "Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: O no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken"  hehehehhehe!  Can anyone tell me which movie that's from?  ;)

Though it poured pretty much all day, we stayed open. Yes, we actually sat out in the rain all day long and greeted our die hard garage sale customers. Half of our stuff was inside so they were able to run right in there first and some people even snuck under the plastic covers to browse through the stuff. It was pretty comical. For the most part, we would consider it "rained out" because we didn't have very many customers in comparison to the other yard sales we've had this year. But it wasn't a complete bust because we did sell some things and made a little bit of money. We've decided to run it once more before fall sets in. Hopefully we'll have better weather next time. Then I am done with yard sales for a long time. Sooo much work. Afterwards, I went for a drive with my parents and my dad treated us to some ice cream. :)

Looking forward to a restful weekend. A couple fun projects to work on and some relaxation. Sounds good to me!

blog break

Taking a blog break this week to get ready for our final yard sale of the summer.  

Spent all day today going through the office, throwing away junk, making a sell pile.  It felt awesome to get rid of so much clutter that's basically been sitting in our house for the last few years with no real purpose. A lot of it was paper trash. For some reason I felt the need to keep every scrap of paper that had any sort of information I thought may be useful in the future. Yeah, I totally forgot what was even in all those storage containers so it really wasn't that useful after all.  And it wasn't important stuff because I trashed most of it and have 4 empty containers to prove it. So happy to declutter. It's awesome!!

Jake's job is going well.  Third day and he feels like there's a real need there for good workers so he's ready to prove himself.  :)

Be back next week.  Oh, and soon this blog will be getting a brand new home and a complete remodel. So be watching for that soon, too.

Wish us luck on the yard sale.

rachel’s having a baby

Had a quiet weekend. Jake took the kids up north to a family reunion on Saturday and I stayed home to work and clean. It was so quiet that I had to turn the TV on to have some background noise while I worked around the house. And by the end of the day, I really missed the usual sounds of our life. It is nice to have a really quiet day once in a while, though.

This afternoon (Sunday), my mom and I drove to Zeeland for our dear friend Rachel's baby shower. Rachel's family and mine have been the best of friends for over 20 years. (Wow! Has it been that long?) They are truly like family to me and it filled my heart up today to see them.

Look at Rachel's cute baby belly. :)

Marsha and Mom. :)

My best friend Kelle. :)

Opening the gifts. Rachel is such a cutie mama.  :)

This is SUCH an awesome gift for breast feeding moms so you can feed your baby in public without having to completely expose yourself to everyone. A friend made this for her. So cute.

I love this one. My mom will probably hate it since she threw her head back laughing at the moment I snapped the picture, but I still really like it because they were talking and reminiscing and laughing together like old times.

We definitely don't see them often enough, which is why us girls are planning a get together next month in Chicago (Naperville to be exact), where Marsha lives. Can't wait!


We're not really drinkers, but if ever there were a time for a champagne toast, this is it!!!


Not the one we were hoping for, but it's a manufacturing job within the same company we were hoping he would get into. It's a temp position for now with the chance to be hired in. He starts next week!  He's going to work really hard and show them what a great employee he is so he will get hired and get benefits after the temp period is over. He's planning to work hard and hopefully move up within the company.  For now, we're just really really happy that he'll be working again and bringing home a paycheck. Our goal right now is to get caught up with all the bills and then work very hard (with the help of Dave Ramsey) to pay down our debt and get in a better place financially so if something ever happens where Jake is without a job again we won't be in this situation.

And I just have to put a special thank you out there to everyone who prayed for us and for those special people who helped us financially (you know who you are). We would not have been able to get to this point without you. I feel really blessed to have family that gave far beyond what they needed to. To have people in your life that help you make it through when you're hanging on for dear life makes you realize the meaning of family. We are truly thankful and blessed beyond measure.

reunion Sunday

Our weekend was really nice. The boys spent Saturday night at Jake's mom's while Chloe and I had a little girly night watching movies and eating popcorn.  Chloe's first movie choice was Wallace & Grommit – Curse of the Were-Rabbit. She loves that movie because of Grommit. She loves dogs. Then we watched Parent Trap – the one with Lindsay Lohan when she was still a sweet little girl. ;)  We had a fun night.  Girly was a little whiny, though, from being up too late.

Sunday morning (early) was spent riding in the back of my parents' car. Chloe was an excellent traveler. I was so impressed. She colored, read or played her Nintendo DS the whole way. I, of course, started taking pictures on the ride down and didn't stop until the end of our day.

Chloe was a little bored when we first got there …

… but she was much happier when the cousins arrived.

This slide was the most popular thing at the park. The girls spent hours on it and forced all us moms … and dads … and uncles … and grandpas … to go down it with them. ouch! It definitely wasn't made for adults. My hips still hurt from being smashed against that center bar while holding one of the girls on my lap.

This picture cracks me up. My angle makes it look like they're climbing up some crazy tall ladder, hanging on for dear life.  haha!

Budding photographers!

Kirsten was even down on the ground getting shots from below. I was so impressed!

Our drive home was beautiful. On one side of the car, we saw this.

And this is what we saw on the other side. The sky was so gorgeous and golden. These pictures don't even do it justice. It totally looked like the sky was on fire. This world is so beautiful.

Lovely lovely weekend spending time with family!

something fun in my mailbox

BHG Scrapbooks Etc. Ultimate Guide to Digital Scrapbooking 2

I was so excited to be asked to contribute to this guide again. There are some awesome projects and great tips in this special issue. Not to mention the beautiful pages!

Made this fun page about our day at Meijer Gardens last year:


There are also a few layouts from a Year In Review album I made. This is actually a little sneak peek of what I'm doing for my Year In Review book this year, but I used pictures from last year for the design that they published.

I'm so excited to start working on some more photo books.  The Year In Review for 2008, our Disney vacation, summer pictures.  I have lots of ideas, just not enough time right now.  I also have something very fun to share with you regarding my Year In Review book from last year, but I have to wait a bit longer on that.

Happy Weekend!


Posted some fun pictures on my photo blog yesterday of my cousin Joel and his brand new fiancee Sarah! We had so much fun at the beach together last weekend, just walking around in the heat. Even Joel started getting all sorts of ideas for poses by the end. Had a great time and these are some of my favorite engagement pictures I've taken in a long time. Plus, it's family and I love shooting weddings and engagements for my family. I'm excited to shoot their wedding next June in Indiana!:)

so, what's happening around here, you ask?

jake's job
Well, Jake's had some good leads on jobs this week and a few interviews. One that's pretty promising. We're praying something comes of it. Pretty much the only jobs he's finding are factory positions, but this one would be more of a management position. So we'll see what happens. If nothing then we know it's not what God has in mind for us right now.

the bills
They're still there, but I'm feeling a little better about things. Our priority right now is to pay the essential bills (house, car, phone, electric, water, etc.) and deal with the others as we can. God is providing little by little so I know it's going to work out.  I have to give a big shout out to Anya for mentioning Dave Ramsey to me in the comments on my blog the other day. Thanks Anya!!! My dad tried to get Jake to go to see Dave Ramsey when he was in Grand Rapids earlier this year but it didn't work out because of Jake's class schedule. And I never really looked into what he was all about until Anya mentioned him again. I think this is exactly what we need to help us establish a good budget and work on paying down our debt. I asked my mom to get it for us for our anniversary this year instead of giving us money to go out or buy ourselves something like she usually does. :) So I can't wait to get it and start going through the program and changing our mindset about the way we deal with our money. I'm very excited about it.

the kids
I mentioned school the other day and Zach immediately told me how much he hates school. I really hope he does OK this year. He has trouble finishing his work when there are other kids around. We had such a hard time getting him to finish his worksheets in class last year. His teacher had to talk to us several times about it. My fear is that it's going to be even harder for him this year. He doesn't like a lot of noise and can't seem to work when there is chaos going on, which was one of his problems last year. They would have a time during the day when they were supposed to work independently on their worksheets and he would never get them done because he said there were too many kids talking around him, distracting him. I've been praying all summer that God would give both of the kids just the right teachers to help and encourage them this year. I'm going to be a disaster when we drop Chloe off at school. I just know it.

healthy living
Still holding at the same weight. I ate terribly pretty much the entire month of July so I'm really thankful that I didn't gain any of the weight back. And this week I'm finally back to salads and chicken and green smoothies.  I feel better already!

Well, I'm looking at my calendar right now and I see that this week is almost over already, which means we only have three full weeks of summer break left before school starts. I'm sad about that. I always have these great plans of things we'll do with the kids. This year, nothing really turned out how I thought it would. I guess I should just stop planning and let things happen. The kids are in no way disappointed with the summer they've had. They got to swim and hang out with their cousins and spend the night at all their grandparents houses. They've had fun and that's what's most important!

an organized browser
I read so many blogs and was checking each one daily for updates. What a pain not to mention a waste of time, especially if there are no updates for weeks. So I finally gave in and signed up on Google Reader. Oh my … why did I wait to do this? There were only a few of my daily blogs (mostly those with passwords) that I wasn't able to put on the reader. Now, I just wait until it tells me what sites are updated. Voila!

Then I discovered My own little Google dashboard and you can customize it with your Google Reader feed and all sorts of other things and cute little pictures at the top. You can customize your own picture, but I just chose a cute little whimsical drawing with the word "happiness". Here's what mine looks like right now. On the left is my google reader feed and a Twitter feed so I can keep up with all the people I'm following on there. In the center, I've got an iFrame Gadget that I found under the section where you can customize the page that allows you to embed a webpage into your igoogle page. I chose my Ta-da Lists page so I can keep track of all the stuff I've got to do each day without logging into Ta-da every day. On the right is a box to find Mapquest driving directions – very convenient since I use mapquest all the time – and a few games to keep me further distracted.

I love it! It's keeping my internet nice and organized and I'm able to see everything I usually check daily right there when I open the browser. And there are a ton of other things you can put on your iGoogle page if you click "customize this page" in the upper right corner. The whole thing makes me happy. I guess I chose the right header picture, huh?  :)

my weekend
I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Mom and I are going to see "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" tomorrow. yay!  I've been waiting for this all summer!  Love those books and I'm excited to see how they translate them into this second movie. From the preview, it looks like they combined the last three books all together into one movie. Not sure until I see it.  (Speaking of Sisterhood, I'm selling all four of my Sisterhood books over on our shop. If anyone hasn't read them yet and is interested in purchasing them at a discount, head on over.

Then on Sunday, Chloe and I are going to Ohio with my parents for a family reunion. My cousins will be there with their kids so I knew Chloe would love it if I took her along to play with all the girls. Plus, I just need to get in a little more time with my girl before she's off at school without me. ;)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Hope I haven't bored you too much with all my rambling today. ;)
AJAXed with AWP