Monday, November 23, 2009

He's baaaaaaaack!

I haven't posted many stories about our 'little rascal'...he's still 'in business', but he has slowed down a bit.
A couple weeks ago....
Dan and I were talking in the kitchen enjoying a great conversation...all the kids were upstairs playing and it was probably a bit too quiet as I think about it now. Josiah and Alayna were doing their own thing and that's when this story goes down hill. Seth came downstairs with a REALLY and I mean REALLY wet towel. There were wet spots from the kitchen all the way upstairs to our bathroom. Yep, he soaked it in the toilet (clean water) and brought it downstairs. We got upstairs with our socks getting more wet with each step only to find more wetness in the bathroom and our bathroom rug in the toilet!! He looked totally innocent and had a great time pulling this little trick, but we had a mess to clean up and he had a timeout to serve!
This morning....
Normally when Seth wakes up he comes in to let me know and then cuddles in bed with me for a bit until I'm more coherent (he loves laying with my and playing with my hair anyway so it's a win for both of us). This morning, Josiah was up earlier then normal and went downstairs to get some breakfast and start getting ready for school, Alayna must have followed and of course the 'little rascal' did too. I went down to say 'good morning' and make sure it was all under control. They were enjoying breakfast together and sitting nicely. I went up to shower while Dan switched spots with me to go downstairs. In that amount of time, Josiah finished eating and went up to get dressed and Alayna was resting on the couch....Seth on the other hand...he decided the plant by my sink needed watering. When we water it we spin the faucet around turn the water on for a bit and then shut if off and we're done. When Dan went down stairs he found a drowning plant, water on the counter spilling onto the floor with dirt particles everywhere. Now we wouldn't want to automatically blame Seth all the time...however, he was the one with wet PJ' was obvious!!! Many towels and a load of laundry later...all is well again...we shall see if my plant survives the 'love' of a 2 year old!

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20th

Today is a day I will always's bittersweet....November 20th, 1993 my dad lost his battle to cancer, but he won eternity in Heaven. He was 41 when he past away.
I choose not to focus on the details and sadness of that day, but rather the legacy that my dad left. I have been without my dad for more years then I was ever with him, but research shows that the most significant years of a childs life happen before age 7 and since I was 13 when my dad past away, I can honestly say he played a major role (you too mom) in who I am today.
I am thankful that he instilled in me the importance of Christ in my life. Now days there are tons of Christian organizations out there trying to help families raise their kids to know Christ....back then, there was Focus On The Family (which of course is still around today). My dad was a fan of James Dobson and I have to throw in he was also a listener to Paul Harvey. :) He was a family man, no doubt about it. He valued family meals and family devotions. He drove a semi and I remember often riding with him and spending the day in the truck.
People will say that girls marry someone that reminds them of their dad...I don't know that I truly 'thought' about it when Dan and I got married, but in many ways, Dan and my dad are the ways that are important and I'm thankful that my dad, being who he was, set a high standard for me.
Our kids know about Grandpa Van Dam and talk about him regularly (which is kind of crazy since they have never met him), but Josiah often likes to talk about what will happen when he dies...that he will get to meet Jesus and just how cool it is that he will have a grandpa already there waiting for him and he's very excited to meet him.
I loved my dad and I'm so thankful for the legacy that he left for me and my family.
A common thing for him to fall asleep when putting us to sleep. :)

*I know my siblings won't love having their pictures from 'back in the day' posted, but they weren't half bad looking then...really. :)

My dad and I

Here's a poem that we were given when he past away:

Don't grieve for me now I'm free, I've followed the path God laid for me, I tood His hand when I heard Him call, I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or to play. Work left undone must stay that way, I found God's peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void, please fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, are all the things that will be missed.

Do not be burdened with grief and sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life's been full, I savored much, good family, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seems all too brief, don't be weighted down with undue gried. Lift up your heart and rejoice with me, God wanted me now--He set me free.

Comandment 7

This commandment gets a little tricky when you're talking to 4 and 7 year olds, but that doesn't mean it's not important....Commandment 7 - Do Not Commit Adultry.
We chose to focus our Family Time conversation on marriage. What is it? Why it's important? What does it mean? Who gets married? When we say this commandment instead of saying "Do not commit adultry" our kids say, "only love your husband or wife", for now, that works.
They really enjoyed talking about this and asking questions. Then we divided up the boys and the girls and allowed them to ask more questions (this was mainly for J). It wasn't anything too deep or difficult, but our purpose was just to make sure our kids know that they can talk to us about anything, there are no topics off limits and that we're always willing to listen.
Then we came back together as a family and since we didn't have time to watch our wedding video, the kids were the audience while Dan and I re-enacted our wedding day. We walked down the aisle, we said vows, explained what the pastor talked about and then of course, he kissed the bride b/c according to our kids the only people that kiss lips are people that are married (that's a great thought process and one we wouldn't mind them keeping!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Commandment 6

Last week our Family Time was divided a bit. It was Veterans Day and so there was no school and so Dan and Josiah were both home all day and Alayna didn't have preschool. As a family we did a couple appts. and errands together and just enjoyed our time all together. Then when the youngest 2 were napping Josiah and I went on a movie date (after he got his free movie pass he was very excited to use it) and saw "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" -- cute!
When we got home we played and hung out as a family went to the park and then later that night we had lost track of time playing together that we forgot about our Family Time devotions. The kids were getting ready for bed and we told them we would do a full activity and everything the next night b/c mom and dad forgot that night (change the routine by having everyone home and we get all mixed up) unless they just wanted to talk about Commandment 6 and not have an activity. They voted just to sit and talk about it.
So we did...we talked about how "thou shalt not kill" doesn't just mean actually physically killing can also mean hatred toward another person, or wanting something bad to happen to another person. They have each had moments when another kid hasn't played nice with them or has hurt them and so we talked about how that makes them feel after that happens. We talked about (in kid terms) if that hurt turns to anger that anger can turn to bitterness and that bitterness can turn your heart to wanting to seek out revenge and wanting to do something mean back. They definitely understood and we talked about how many people think that as long as they haven't killed anyone they have followed Commandment 6, but in reality, it's a much higher calling that God has for us then that. It was a fun conversation before bed, when the night was coming to an end, and they were talkative and engaged (so that they could stay up longer) and overall it was a great conversation...I guess we don't ALWAYS have to have an activity with our topics. :)

Another deal if you're interested....

Here's a deal on Christmas cards if you're interested....
in addition to that...check out...
**I have not used either of these deals. I do know someone that did use the Christmas cards deal and it worked, I design my own Christmas cards though and so I passed on that freebie, but I may give the other one a try later today. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Great Deal!!

This works and it's a GREAT deal!!

I went there with my coupons in hand and it worked great! I got a $32 tag reading on sale for $28....I paid $8.99 + tax.

This is what you do...Take this coupon

and print off the Tag coupon on this Target site. You might have to search for it. (It's on page 3 of the toy coupon list)

For the books: Go to: and on page 14-15 you'll find the books. Click on them to print out the reduced price and effective dates to take to Walmart for the price match. You can print off the first coupon a couple of times and use the $5 off coupon for the books at walmart.

You also get a free ABC book here when you register for the leapfrog program.

If Target gives you issue with the Target coupon, tell them other people have used it for the Tag Jr. That might help.

Happy Shopping!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Nice Day In November

It has been nice enough the past couple of days to play outside. Hooray!! Yesterday we enjoyed scootering (Seth got to practice with his new scooter) and today we took a long walk/scooter ride to the "far away park" (that's what we call it anyway). I love being able to be outside...we have pictures from a couple years ago of the kids scootering in December...could we be so fortunate to go that long without snow this year?!?!

I love Seth's can tell he's glowing with pride at being "just like the big kids" with his own scooter.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Time - OCC

We took a break from the 10 Commandments this week to create Operation Christmas Child boxes. If you don't know what this is check out:

Before heading to the store we talked to the kids about what we were doing and why we were doing it. They know that Dan and I have been to Uganda, Africa as well as Jamaica where there are many kids/people in need and so this helped to make these places seem more real. We talked about the fact that we were giving them these shoe boxes not because the items inside were full of great meaning, but because we are showing them Christ through our actions of love and caring for people we have never even met.

They were of course very excited to pick out things and fill the boxes...we filled a box for a girl and a year we will probably do 2 boys b/c Seth will be old enough to enjoy picking out the items for the box. It was a great time! We didn't buy anything else at the store, the kids didn't ask for anything for themselves...even though we did have fun looking at all the fun toys in the toy aisle! :)

If you've never done this before, I would recommend giving it a try...there is most likely a church in your area that is a 'collection site' for the boxes.

The Birthday Boy!

Last Sunday (I know I'm a little late in posting this!) we celebrated Seth's 2nd birthday! It was a lot of fun having everyone over and Seth had a great time...non-stop fun and love everywhere he went. We played, ate, opened presents and then watched the football game using my brother's projector and 72" size football players. :) All in all, it was a great day! He also got some fun toys that he LOVES to play with (thankfully...a few things to keep this little rascal busy)!

Blowing out his candles....he decided this was REALLY fun and so we had to do it twice. Then the next day when he got to have a cupcake after lunch he wanted to blow out candles again...2 more times. Who knew blowing out candles would be SOOOO fun?!
This is how he takes a little bit, but it works. :)

We had plenty of kids, but they played great and had lots of fun...all in all there were 10 kids!

Another one of his new was fun even before the motor and wheels!!

Now he won't have continue trying to scooter with the 2-wheel versions....

His first remote control car

He's a Vikings fan! Ok...maybe not...he just likes football...A LOT!