Monthly Archives: December 2009

Click on the title of the blog post to view the entire entry.


merry christmas!


It’s hard to believe it’s almost Christmas. The kids are asleep next to the tree right now. A little slumber party by the tree was their advent box activity for today. I’ve never seen Chloe this excited for Christmas and it’s going to be so much fun to see her face when she opens her gifts. I love that part.

Above is our Christmas card for this year, which I decided to send as an email newsletter. I had hoped to mail them the old fashioned way, but it didn’t happen. There’s always next year, right? Anyway, I thought I’d share it here, too, with all of you, my wonderful blog friends. :)

Happy Christmas to all of you! Have a wonderful holiday!

spring 09 flashback

Here are some more pictures from this year that didn’t make the blog before. There weren’t many pictures in February. I always tend to get in hibernation mode in the midst of winter and don’t take a lot of photos. Must change that this year. So these begin in March.

Chloe on Easter Sunday wearing her basket on her head.

Hanging out at MiMaw’s one warm spring day. Love Chloe’s cute little charm bracelet around her ankle. hehe!

Love the way the sun is shining on all her loose hairs in this one. She was being such the model that day. :)

Mother’s day. Playing badminton with Grandma.

Swinging on Aunt Shari’s tree in Ohio for Graham + Cooper’s 1st bday.

Chloe loving on the baby kitties at MiMaw’s.

An evening at Tangle Town. Zach’s favorite thing was lounging in the tire swing.


We had a fun time, but toward the end of our visit, Chloe had to go to the bathroom. Really bad. The park was doing construction, so all that was available was a very nasty port-a-potty. It was seriously disgusting. She ended up trying to hold it, but she failed and peed all over her jeans. We stripped her down and wrapped her up in a blanket for our drive home.

These crack me up. It’s Jake and Zach walking across a parking lot, holding their arms up so they look like eyes. The one on the right, they tilted their heads so it looks like the eyes are looking to the side. hehe! So clever.

Hope you’re enjoying these. I’ll put some from summer up soon.

january 09 flashback


me + Chloe being silly at Heather + Jeff’s for the Olczak Christmas

While reading blogs this morning, one of my favorite bloggers, Karen Russell, shared some pictures from throughout year that didn’t make the cut on her blog. Photos that she still loved, but she just hadn’t shared. I thought it would be fun to do the same here on my blog. I take so many pictures and it’s always hard to narrow them down when I’m blogging. So here are a few more from January of this year.

Chloe + Jeff. comfy on the couch. watching a movie I think.

This picture made me laugh out loud when I saw it. Dad O. lost his pinky finger in an accident a couple years ago and Heather thought it would be funny to pretend to chop it off for this photo. :D

Zach’s gonna love me for this one someday.

Holding up my gift from Jeff, then peeking over the top at him.

Don’t ask me why, but this is Zach’s “mug shot”. He made me take a picture of him holding up this paper and then he turned sideways for me to take another. Hopefully this will be the only mug shot he ever has. Later, Jake and Zach put together the Lego set Zach got for Christmas.

These are from late January when we went to my parents house for the afternoon. The kids got these “sled butts” for Christmas. Can’t remember what the actual name is, but that’s what we call them. They are shorts you put on over your pants and they’re supposed to let you just slide down the hill like a sled. Do they work? Not really. But they made for some funny pictures.

Mom will probably kill me for this one. She went in the pole barn and the door got stuck when she was coming out. This is her laughing and yelling for HELP!

Since mom couldn’t find her sled, she got the lid of a storage tub out of the barn to use since the “sled butts” didn’t work. The lid didn’t work as a sled either, so there was no sledding that day. And I like this shot of Chloe trying to lick the snowflake off her nose. So cute.

That’s all for now. I’ll share more later.

all she wants for christmas


Chloe lost one of her front teeth tonight. She looks so cute. It was really loose earlier and I told her to just grab ahold and pull. She freaked out and was crying and I got her to forget about it by giving her pancakes for dinner. Later, she and Zach were playing and they got a little rough and he knocked her down and the tooth fell right out. LOL!

I made her pose for pictures and then Zach got in on the action, too.

The kids and I had a pretty good week. If you follow me on twitter or facebook, you know we’ve had 3 snow days this week. We haven’t left the house since Tuesday evening and that’s been fine with me. Jake, on the other hand, had to brave the roads every day, but he was able to take my car with its all wheel drive. I think we ended up getting about a foot of snow over the past couple days. Today, the blizzard ended with some light snow and the sun even peeked out this evening. If only this were the end of winter and not the beginning. Ah well, at least we’ll have a nice white Christmas.

christmas party


Jake and I had a wonderful time last evening at the Zondervan Christmas party. It was held at Frederik Meijer Gardens, one of my favorite places, where we had a nice dinner and good conversation, met lots of Jake’s friends and co-workers, took a walk through the Christmas tree displays, and had a carriage ride around the grounds. One cool thing about our carriage ride was that we rode with another couple and the woman used to be a narrator for the tours there, so she was telling us all the names of the sculptures as we rode along and some of the history. It was really nice. It was our first Christmas party for Jake’s new job and the first time we’ve gotten dressed up and gone out together I think since we lived in Germany and attended the Christmas ball. (We lived in Germany in ’96-’97, so that right there tells you how long it’s been). We had a really nice time together. :)

The above picture was taken at the very last minute before we left. I wanted to get the tripod out and set it all up and get a full length shot of us (to prove that I wore high heels. ha!), but we were running late and I just plopped the camera on top of a stack of storage tubs that are still sitting in the dining room that hold all our Christmas ornaments. Not the greatest picture or the best angle (never shoot from below), but it’s us.

up went the tree


This evening, Jake pulled the big tubs out containing our fake Christmas tree. Yes, we are fake tree people. We like the idea of going out to buy a tree, but it’s not in the budget this year. There’s always next year. In the meantime, we have our fake tree and that’s OK with us.

Zach pretty much put the whole tree together himself, which was pretty impressive. He just needed help for the higher branches and a lift to get the top on. I took a bunch of pictures and then Jake took the camera from me and took some with me in them helping the kids put ornaments on. This year it was Chloe’s turn to put the angel on top of the tree. It was so cute. She and Zach both started clapping after Jake lifted her up and she put it on.

Here’s a little peek at some of our decorations. A few ornaments – our “first Christmas together 1995″ ornament we got after we were married and two Germany ornaments we bought when we lived there in ’96 and ’97, cute snowman lights with our advent boxes in the background, and the nativity on top of my piano.

I sat down and played a few Christmas carols tonight on the piano. Chloe was in the room immediately singing along. She sang the entire 12 Days of Christmas song and after I left the room, I could hear her poking around on the keys. Then suddenly, she was playing it. The 12 Days of Christmas. She figured it out by herself. We have GOT to get that girl some lessons. She came in the office yesterday and told me that one day she was going to be a singer and people were going to buy her CD’s. hehe! I told her she can be whatever she wants to be. She said “I know, Mom.” She’s definitely got the confidence. :)

winter has arrived


Looking at these pictures, which were taken only three weeks ago, makes me happy for that last little bit of indian summer that we had. October was chilly and then we had a nice little warmup in November. But last night it snowed. A lot. We didn’t get a ton of the white stuff here, but north of us got around 10 inches. More in some places. I drove home in whiteout conditions this morning after dropping the kids off at school. Anyone who has read this blog for a long time knows how much I dislike winter. It’s pretty, that first snowfall, making everything lovely and white and sparkly. And I’m fine with it staying around for a nice white Christmas. But then it can go away.

Doing advent boxes with the kids again this year. Our first four days were:
Dec 1st – pop popcorn and watch a Christmas movie – we watched Elf!
Dec 2nd – make it snow indoors. we cut out a bunch of paper snowflakes and made paper chains to hang up.
Dec 3nd – write a letter to Santa.
Dec 4th – I gave them each a piece of candy.

I like to alternate activities and little candies or small gifts.

Jake’s first company Christmas party is next week. I’m very excited. It’s at Frederik Meijer Gardens and it will be so pretty. They always have a big display of Christmas trees with decorations from all different countries and tons of lights. We might even get to go on a carriage ride while we’re there. My mom took me shopping last week and helped me pick out a dress. Got a cute one at Kohl’s in the Vera Wang collection. I had my mind set on a black dress, but I saw this one and just decided to pick it up and try it. None of the dresses I tried on fit me right until I tried two Vera ones on. Something about the way they’re cut just hangs right on me. So I went with a cute little red/black one and found a red sweater to wear over it to keep me warm. Pretty sure I’m going to need that with this cold weather that looks like it’s here to stay. Also got my first high heels in years. It’s probably been since I was a bridesmaid in my friend Julie’s wedding in ’98 that I wore heels, so wish me luck!

My wonderful sis-in-law, Heather, and I had a conversation a couple weeks ago about the show Glee. She asked if I’d seen it and I had heard of it, but I really had no idea what it was about. She gifted me the first six episodes on iTunes and, after seeing the first episode, I was immediately hooked. I love it. My mom told me she used to be in the Glee club when she was in high school but they never did anything like the kids on Glee. haha! I watched all the other episodes online this week and I’m all caught up for the finale next week. I can’t seem to get the songs out of my head. My three favorite musical moments so far (for those who’ve seen them and know what I’m talking about) are “Don’t Stop Believing” from the first episode where Will is about to quit as their teacher, “Keep Holding On” from the episode where everyone learns about Quinn’s pregnancy, and “Imagine” where the Glee kids sing with the school for the deaf. I pretty much love it all, but there are certain scenes that really moved me and those are a few. And there is something about the guy who plays their teacher. He’s got such a fun spirit and when he cries, I cry. Love it! Thanks again, Heather! ;)

Got space cleared to put up our Christmas tree this weekend, so hopefully we’ll get that done. The kids will be happy once we get it up so they can help decorate it. Looking forward to that. :)

AJAXed with AWP