Friday, May 29, 2009

List / Week recap

Holy cow! Is it already Friday?!?!? This week was incredibly busy, yet as I look back, I realize that I didn't really accomplish a whole lot. Oh well...there's another week just around the corner. Here's a list update:

#4: Expand the garden.

While the size of the old garden was fine for our family of four, it was also fine for a herd of five deer. Two years ago, in one night they leveled my garden. Last year we didn't even plant it. This year, we've discovered deer fencing. In order to make that work and still be able to move around in the garden, we had to expand it. This was not at all heartbreaking for me since I would love to try to grow some different types of veggies that need more room. This year, we're attempting corn, tomatoes, green beans, a lettuce blend, and summer squash. I figured this is the best way to get fresh, completely organic vegetables for a fraction of what's in the store. I'm excited! We'll keep you posted!

#29 Drink 4 purple jugs of water for 7 days straight.

Done! This item was basically me trying to get myself to get into a better habit of drinking water. Accomplished!

#36 Give up pop for 3 weeks.

Week one down. Hooray!

#42 Research and order a reading curriculum for the summer.

This one was basically a way for me to keep Adam's brain working throughout the summer. Since I'm not that inventive at devising strategies for this (or at least sticking to them), I thought we'd try the commercial route this year. I purchased Hooked on Phonics for Adam hoping that this will help bridge the gap between preschool and kindergarten. I chose this one for a few reasons- 1- it was cheaper than purchasing the entire zoo phonics or handwriting without tears curriculum. 2- it actually has a good set of reviews online 3--the books that he will eventually read are abbreviated and called "HOP" books. :) How could we go wrong with Hop books?!?!

Huked un fonix wurked fer mi!

#44 Help the boys start their own garden.

Adam has always loved helping me in the garden. It's usually a good time until he starting walking all over the vegetables- or picking them because he thinks they're weeds. While he did help me plant the garden, I thought he would enjoy tending to some plants of his own. We created a little spot next to the house and gave him some left over pepper seeds, a tomato plant and some bean seeds. So far, he's remembered to water them every day- even when it rains!
Wow- and I thought I didn't get anything accomplished! Hopefully I'll keep cruising through these items. I'll be starting a new list in no time!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughtful Thursdays

This post kills a few birds with one stone. It's an announcement, a line item on the list, and thought provoking at the same time. Well, at least thought provoking for Dave and me.


Here goes!

Tonight we had Adam's Kindergarten visitation, and we enrolled him at St. Mark Lutheran School for next year!!!

Check it out at

This has been a decision in the making for the past two years while Adam was in preschool. As many of you know, he's been in the public school system while in preschool since he needed some speech and developmental support through the ECSE program there. Since then, I have all but lost sleep over the decision we had to make when it came to where Adam would go to Kindergarten.

Even with Dave and I involved in the church, this decision was still a leap of faith. I tell you that this was well thought out. Dear family and friends, we have heard your solicited (and unsolicited) advice. We've heard your comments and your criticisms, and we've appreciated your support as well. So, lets work through the "comments", shall we?

-- Money: yep, that's a big one! However, we fully utilize the SCRIP program which gives us tuition credit based on ordering gift certificates for stores we shop regularly at anyway (i.e. gas stations, family fare, home depot and rite aid) In addition, there are scholarships available for families in need- if necessary. Basically, if there's a will, there's a way. Will this delay the addition, oh yeah. Does this affect our ability to take any vacations for the next 10 years? oh yeah. Does this affect our financial ability to have another baby? yep. All things I'm willing to go without. (I guess this also means I need to stop whining about my living situation, but I'm willing to drop that too!)

-- Transportation: yep, that's a big one too! I must say that I have thouroughly enjoyed the bussing that Adam gets to and from preschool for the past 2 years! A one-way trip to school (on a good day) takes 18 minutes. Round trip with one red light takes 40 minutes. In the winter, it's been known to take us up to 35 minutes to get to church. However, I'm sure I won't be making two trips every day. There are a few others in this area that also send their children to St. Mark, and I'm sure there will be calls made regarding car pooling. However, if that doesn't work out- it's still worth it. A question worth asking myself: am I willing to sacrifice his spiritual education merely for my convenience? not really.

-- We live in one of the greatest school districts in MI, how could we NOT take advantage of that?: Well, let me tell you... The children at St. Mark have tested comapribly to the FHPS kids. So, I'd have to say that the academics are pretty top notch as well. The way I think about it, the teachers potentially see our children for more awake time than we (parents) do during school days. Don't I want that person - who has more face time with my child- to be openly talking to him and disciplining him with God involved? And if he's constantly in an environment where its not ok to talk about religion, what is this unconsciously (or consciously) telling him about how to live his life? Dave and I can instruct him verbally all we want, but it is the daily examples Adam sees that he's going to notice more. **

-- Adam needs continued speech therapy. Can a small school like St. Mark really provide him with everything he needs? St. Mark works with the Kentwood program and brings a speech therapist in once a week- the same amount of time that he would have seen the speech therapist in the public schools. We will still meet yearly for the IEP (plan for his therapies). It's basically the same throughout the state- just insert a different therapist per school district. In addition, the smaller everyday class size will really benefit Adam. In many of the reports home, Adam's preschool teacher has noted his shorter attention span. She has stated that a smaller class size would be beneficial for him next year. Right now his class for next year looks to be around 8-10 kids. In the public schools, its guaranteed to be 20. Plus, St. Mark offers all day/ every day school versus the public school only offering a half time program. Adam has already been part of a half day/everyday program for the past two years. He's really ready to take that next step. We feel those extra hours of instruction will be beneficial to him as a great springboard for his elementary school years.

** Please don't think that we are casting judgement on any of the teachers that do teach in public schools. We're WELL aware that many of them are Christians and good people providing top notch educations to the students in our area. However, every family is different, and this is the route we're choosing to travel for our family.

Let me tell you, in talking to the principal at St. Mark (awesome guy, by the way!), he basically summed it up in a few words: "Sandy, St. Mark is your home." So true. So, so true. St. Mark is our home. The people at St. Mark are the family we have chosen. This is a ministry we choose to be a part of- and all that it entails.

The way Dave and I see it, Adam and Colin are God's children. They don't belong to us. But they do belong to Him. If He's trusted us with the awesome task of raising them here on Earth, why wouldn't we want to surround them with others that love and trust Him? Others that Dave and I can work with as a team to raise them in His Word.

So, now we leap. And we trust that God has pulled, pushed, prodded, nudged, and towed us in the right direction. This is a decision that I'm so at peace with, and I'm so grateful the decision is made.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grandpa and the Wii

This video speaks for itself.

Heavy Lifting

I think my mom has always been a "big purse" kind of gal. As long as I can remember, she's always had a big purse- and always with three or more compartments. Until I became a mom, I never really realized the necessity of carrying so much stuff. Well, now that I'm mom, I get it. Being the caregiver, banker, medical assistant, entertainer, chef, and all around go-to person for little ones does require having a few necessities on hand. That being said, I am now a "medium purse" kind of gal.
This video was taken when my mom was visiting a few weeks ago. Colin was trying to carry it actoss the floor.

Grandma, what do you have in your purse?!?!?!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Old vs. New

While I've posted a few pics here and there of the new goings on with the house saga, I realized that I haven't put many on the blog. For those that don't know, Dave and I are officially in the addition now- in our new room!!! Dave's work slowed a little bit this winter, so he thought he'd take a "week off" of work to work hard on the house and at least "finish" the basement. Funny, on day in February, I was on the phone with my friend, Erika, all giddy because I thought we would be in the new room within a week. Dave comes upstairs and says, "Matt's coming over later to help me move the heavier furniture."
WHAT?!?!?! Today?!?!? YIPEE!
Needless to say, this girl can be pretty strong and determined when she wants to be. I moved most of the bedroom myself! I just needed help with the frames of the dressers and mattresses. So, for those of you who haven't seen the old (or even the new) bedroom, I've placed some old and new in here so you can see a side by side of the improvements in my boudoir!

My old ceiling and light fixture: (yes, I slept under that for 4 years!)

I'm actually slightly embarrassed to post this picture.

My new ceiling and light fixture:

My old closet:

(this is a water line to the outside spigot)

My new closet:(that triangle is the stairs coming down)

This is the first time I have been able to hang dresses up in our room!

My old favorite wall:(oh wait!!! That's not a wall!)

Perhaps its a good time to tell you we slept in a basement/utility room/office/laundry area.

My new favorite wall:

The old linens and window:

New linens and window treatments:

We still need carpeting, but are getting by with some area rugs and remnants. Dave also plans on building a built-in bookshelf behind the door. This probably won't happen until it becomes a guest room. Every night when I go to bed, I'm still reminded how incredibly blessed I am! I can't wait to show more old/new pics as the house progresses!

Currently: We're saving for trim work. We're almost half way there!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week recap and list update


So, I have decided to just do a regular Friday blog regarding the list. I figured this way our blog doesn't become all consumed by "the list," and it could actually look like I accomplished a lot in a little bit of time.

#36 - On Tuesday of this week, I started my journey of no pop. I have noticed in the past that my GI issues are worse when I consume the all-too-yummy beverage, and in general I just feel blah afterward. Noticing that diet pop contains absolutely ZERO nutritional value, I cut it out. BUT THEN I found that Meijer brand makes a Diet Cranberry pop in 12 pack cans. Oye...I was weak, and I succumbed. And it was soooo yummy. And I felt blah. Then, if this wasn't enough to teach me a lesson, I purchased another 12 pack. Really, Sandy!?!?! Yep...more blah. So, Monday I had my last day of cranberry aspartame loaded carbonation goodness, and later blahs.

#29 - A few weeks ago, I picked up a new water container from Target. This one is stainless steel- thanks to the whole bpa- fiasco. But its actually very pretty too. :) My goal is to consume 4 of these jugs a day. Most of them are water. If I get to the 5th, then I'll treat myself with some additive like tea or juice mix. Half way through the first week, and going strong!!!

#61 - On Monday, I met my friend Jeannie at Applebee's for dinner. I chose Applebee's because they have a Weight Watchers menu, and what do I order when we get there? Well, I'll tell you this- it wasn't on the WW menu! And later, I indulged in a yummy coffee drink...mmmmm. (I'll credit my mom and Laura for intorducing me to those!) Jeannie is one of those friends that I just love to spend time with her. Every interaction with her is always a positive one. This is why she's on my list to see (3 times). I think its funny how God puts certain people in your life at certain times. I just LOVE that He put her in my life at this particular time.

#65 - This morning, we had our first friend outing to the zoo. We brought along Miss Kathy and her daughter, Sabrina. We met them through Dave's sister (she's actually the sister of Dave's brother-in-law). In talking, we realized that we have TONS in common, and thouroughly enjoy spending time together. We hope to see them a lot this summer!

By the way, we have a membership to John Ball that allows one extra adult guest and unlimited children- feel free to ask us to take you to the zoo anyday! We love the zoo!!!

#96 - While I technically wouldn't call this an "all" romance novel, it does have some romance in it. My mom originally turned me onto this author. Well, she has a new release called "Summer on Blossom Street" which is part of a series she's written. While were at the library this week, I spotted in on the Express Book shelf. THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME! It was my lucky day! I saw it as a sign that I was to sit on my butt for the next 48 hours and read her new book. So, that's exactly what I did. We checked it out on Tuesday, and I finished it last night. And now I need to catch up on laundry, audits, and general cleaning.*

For those of you who have never heard of Debbie Maccomber, she's a great writer. She's really easy to read and easy to follow. The thing I really like about her novels is that there's no crazy sex scenes in her books, and many (if not all) of her characters wait until after marriage before hopping in the sack. I know that a lot of late teens and early twenties girls are reading her books, and I'm glad she takes responsibilities of role models seriously in her characters.

* Please note, Debbie is NOT one of Dave's favorite authors. :) He does not like to see her visiting our house. He says that she hurts my productivity. But, I simply say that she saves my sanity. :)

# 69 - And last but not least, tonight is our official first pizza and movie family night. Dave and I really wanted to spend some purposeful and quality time with the boys. So, this is one of our things that we've started. Plus, it gives me a break from dinner once a week. While at the library, Adam picked out a movie (Horton hears a Who) for free, and on the way home, we stopped at Family Fare to pick out a DiGorno pizza ($4). So, total cost for a family of four and movie= $4. Not bad if I do say so myself. Adam has asked that we eat our dinner on tv trays while we watch the movie. Since we don't allow it anyother time,we decided to make that part of our new special routine. I'm excited for this trend to continue as the boys get older. I'm sure that, in time (a lot of time), I'll end up watching more action flicks than not, but quality time with my boys (and man) will more than make up for it!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

101 Goals


1. Have a garage sale.

2. Organize boxes in the garage.

3. Find bunkbeds for the boys for under $100.

4. Expand garden.

5. Get trees cut down.

6. Clean out broken toys from toy boxes and sand box

7. Clean out my sock drawer and discard holey socks

8. Purchase light fixture for front porch

9. Add more sand to the sandbox

10. Spray the yard for bugs


11. Devise a strategy to increase SCRIP use.

12. Meet or exceed weekly audit goal for 4 weeks straight (0/4)

13. Gather information for MOPS crafts and form schedule.

14. Start blog for Dave's D&J portfolio

15. Set up schedule for working this summer and stick to it

16. Purchase a nice "wedding coordinator" outfit and comfy shoes.

17. Set up contact log for weddings and ministry options for after their big day

18. Clean out SCRIP boxes- at church and at home

19. Organize work projects into folders


20. Start a prayer journal

21. Refrain from yelling for three days straight (includes boys, dog and husband) (0/3)

22. Think ONLY positive thoughts and say positive things for 3 days straight (0/3)

23. Attend one seminar focused on improving some aspect of my life.

24. Finish the Ministry of Motherhood and apply to daily living


25. Stick to uber healthy eating plan for 7 consecutive days (no cheating!) (0/7)

26. Work out three times in one week (1/3)

27. Work out 3x/week for 4 consecutive weeks (0/4)

28. Join a class designed to help me learn about healthy living

29. Drink 4 purple jugs of water every day for 7 days (7/7)

30. Research and obtain healthy and effective cleaners for the house.

31. Get Adam's hearing tested.

32. Visit the farmer's market.

33. Go for a family walk 4 Sundays (0/4)

34. Give up sugar for 14 consecutive days (0/14)

35. Play a game of kickball

36. Give up pop (again) for 3 weeks (3/3)

37. Get my old rollerblades out and use them


38. Surprise my kids once a week for four weeks (1/4)

39. Make decision about Adam's school for next year

40. Teach Adam to ride a two-wheeler

41. Assemble Adam's computer and load educational games

42. Research and order reading cirriculum for the summer

43. Start Colin's scrapbook

44. Help the boys start their own garden

45. Enroll Colin in a music class

46. Enroll Adam in one activity

47. Build a fort with the boys

48. Run through the sprinklers with the boys

49. Visit a zoo that we've never been to before

50. Teach Adam all the lower case letters

51. Start Adam on FPU Jr.

52. Find a summer hat that Colin will keep on his head!

53. Allow Adam to help me cook/ bake something in the kitchen

54. Help Adam with his first loose tooth


55. Figure out 5 ways to show my husband I love and respect him.

56. Take a friend out for coffee

57. Send a card to a friend- just because

58. Meet Elliot Teeple

59. Find someone starting a business and support them

60. Have a friend or family member over for dinner

61. Have dinner with Jeannie three times (1/3)

62. Reconnect with an old friend I've lost touch with

63. Go for drinks with Karen

64. Go out on a date with Dave

65. Invite 3 friends to the zoo (1/3)

66. Visit the Hulsts

67. Have a family bonfire

78. Visit an outlet mall with Erika

69. Start a family movie/pizza night

70. Have a Girl's night out with Rochelle

71. Take Adam on a mommy-and-me date


72. Visit the dentist

73. Update checking ledger everyday for 30 consecutive days (0/30)

74. Plan dinners for 2 consecutive weeks (0/2)

75. Clean my jewelry

76. Back up all my digital photos to a cd


77. Introduce myself to every person on our street

78. Call in to a radio talk show

79. Introduce ourselves to a little boy we saw across Cascade

80. Sell something on Craigslist or ebay.

81. Invite someone to church with us

82. Unplug the TV for 2 consecutive days (0/2)


83. Get a new hair style

84. Go camping with the boys

85. Plan a family vacation for next year

86. Get a pedicure

87. Find a pretty collar for Molly

88. Go fishing

89. Learn about Paint Shop Pro

90. Get a family picture taken

91. Get a massage

92. See a chick flick in the theater (popcorn optional)

93. Read The Time Traveler's Wife.

94. Find fun sunglasses for the summer

95. Have a professional make-up consultation

96. Read a fictional romance novel

97. Go bowling

98. Watch fireworks

99. Research gubneratorial candidates and get involved in campaign

100. Find the perfect shade of lipstick

101. SECRET GOAL. This goal will be announced once it has been achieved. A group of select people will be made aware of this goal and will help me get there.

Deadline: May 15, 2011

Need to reach me?

Feel free to email!

letsgotothehops (at) yahoo (dot) com

Monday, May 18, 2009


I love the weather we've been having! Not too hot, not too cold- sunny and slightly breezy. This IS my perfect weather pattern. The only thing that puts a total kabosh on time outside enjoying this weather is the BUGS. Mind you, I'm not a girly girl. I don't go running at the sighting of a spider, and I'm willing to pick up the toads Adam finds in the yard. But we have these gnats or black flies, or whatever they a total pain! It's not just one or two...there's a SWARM of hundreds around my head every time I'm out for more than 10 minutes! This subsequently leads me to wanting to run into the house, toddler and boy screaming underfoot because they want to be outside.

Last year, I used a spray product that worked for a few weeks. (Later I read the bottle, and it said it "controls bugs up to 4 weeks.." which is pretty accurate) I purchased another bottle at the end of the season, but never sprayed it. When I found said bottle on the shelf today, I thought "EUREKA! No bugs, and number 10 on the list!" And I didn't have to spend any money!!

So, today at 2:30, I was outside spraying the bottle of Bug Free Backyard! As I'm spraying, the gnats came at me full force. I have bites all over my neck and arms- one last hurrah, guys....see you little buggers in a few weeks! (At which time, I'll spray again!)

And now, that I've actually read the instructions all the way through (you'd think I was a man or something!), I'm realizing that I need to wait at least 4 hours for this to dry before the boys can touch it. Oye. I think tonight is a good night for hair cuts and a visit to the park!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The List

If you scroll down, you'll see a list of 101 things. This I read on someone else's blog and I thought it was a great idea to push me into some new directions of growth- or just plain out inspiring me to be a better me. So, here's my list. I have a deadline of May 15, 2011- which is 2 years from today. I'm both excited and apprehensive about posting it. I tried to encompass different areas of growth- individually, spiritually, daily, professionally, maternally, relationship-ally (thought I would keep going with the -ally's). As I cross things off, I'll write a little post just to let you know what I've done and how I've done it.

Actually, I already have one to cross off. I started this list about a week ago while something was in the process of happening. And, as I was posting the list- it happened! Adam lost his first tooth! Dave and I were anticipating a lot of drama. He only let us touch it once a day. I often heard, "No mommy, you already had your wiggle of the day, you cannot touch it until tomorrow." So, we thought this was going to be a clinger. Then, today as I'm typing, Adam comes up to me with a big smile on his face, "Mommy, look what I did!!!" and handed me his tooth. So, technically, I did help him with loosing it by wiggling daily, but I'm grateful I didn't have to do any actual pulling.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A thankful heart

The following video was taken on Mother's Day afternoon. Dave took the boys outside for some football while I started dinner and worked on a few audits. While working, I heard my boys and my husband playing outside. I heard grunts, groans, and big belly laughs. Needlesstosay, my work time actually became spectator time.

It was in this moment, watching from my kitchen window, that I realized just how blessed I am. I'm so thankful for all God has given me- and thankful that He knows what He's doing when he matches a husband and wife. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather be married to. I'm so proud that he's the father of my children.

This video isn't a beach in the Bahamas, and its not a fancy mansion. It's just a daddy playing in the back yard with his boys. It's my life, and I'm so thankful.

I'm even thankful for the dog poop. :)

I'm even more thankful that its not my job to pick it up.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me Monday

So, apparently I'm a Not Me! every other Monday. I don't think I post enough to the blog to be considered and every Monday kind of here goes. My second Not Me! Monday...

  • I did not leave Colin in his crib tent for 25 minutes to finish my nap time projects. Even though he did wake up early from his nap and I had audits scheduled, I did not leave him in there until I completed them. I do not LOVE my crib tent since it keeps him confined until I'm ready for him.

  • I did not invite Molly (our dog) to jump the baby gate so she could eat up the snack crumbs left by the boys. This would be an awful example of laziness and apathy about what goes into our dog's stomach.

  • I did not let Adam put the bike trailer on his bike because Colin wanted to go for a ride and Dave and I were too tired to take them out. The following picture was not taken:

Thigns I did not say during the past two weeks:
  • No, Adam the bank teller is not a leprechaun. He's probably from Ireland- that's why he talks that way.
  • Boys, I love to cuddle with you, but can you get OFF ME PLEASE!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anything with a beat...

Colin is very music driven. Adam definately was not. I'm not sure if this was a basic personality difference or just the fact that Adam couldn't hear it well. Perhaps both. Anyway, it still amazes me that Colin can find a beat to dance to just about anywhere. He's even got a little swagger like Papa Ken in him...

Boys in the kitchen

The other day, the boys and I made some Rice Krispie Treats. Now, I don't normally allow the boys in the kitchen when I'm assembling anything. I'm not sure if this is my own control-freakiness, or if its just the fact that I'm super paranoid of my kids cutting/hurting/burning/ingesting cleaners while in the kitchen. But, I realized recently that its a fun way for Adam to learn about following directions and some early math concepts. So, rice krispie treats it was....

1. Lay out all ingredients.

2. Enlist "helpers" i.e. little brother

3. Scoff at the fact that mommy would only let you have 5 marshmallows (one for every year you are old)

4. Measure out rice krispies. Be thankful said helper has a top on his sippie cup- otherwise they would have been soggy cranberry grape rice krispie treats.

5. Melt butter and marshmallows in the pot. Continuously stirring (being continuously reminded to stir too)

6. Oops! We forgot to take a pic of combining them. Pour mixture into the greased pan after mixing...

7. Generously allow helper to clean out the bowl and spoon.

8. Add sprinkles and WAH-LAH!

9. Enjoy ( and look cute doing it too!)
Well, I survived to write about it- so I guess that means it was a success!