Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Everything In Order

Well, it's 11:53 PM here so I have officially 7 minutes left before Christmas. To keep my mind from wandering too much to the sadness of missing my family I decided to write a quick post and give you a glimpse into my last 7 minutes of Christmas Eve. Enjoy...

I've been admiring my cute little tree and the presents underneath. Just looking at the presents remind me of how every year my dad would tell us kids that Christmas was going to be small that year and to not be disappointed. Every year we woke up to a room packed with presents and were never in the least bit disappointed!
The stockings are placed and stuffed to the brim. I think mine may be the fullest. What can I say, it pays to be Santa's helper! :)
Little boys are tucked in snug in their beds with dreams of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
What the? I snuck into Jimmy's room to take a picture of him snoozing. The little stink is too excited to sleep. Can't say I blame him. Isn't that part of the fun of being a kid on Christmas Eve? I remember sharing a room with my sisters and giggling and having THE hardest time going to sleep because we were just too anxious...and then waking up at 3:00 am to see what the jolly man brought. Oh to be a kid!
My kitchen is a mess from the 73 pancakes I made for tomorrow's church breakfast. It will stay a mess until tomorrow. I chose to blog to you instead...good choice, eh?
And here I am in my pjs, wishing you a Merry Christmas.
And blowing kisses just for you...
Okay, let me go to bed already.
And now it is officially Christmas here in Holland. I love you all. I miss you like crazy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2 Videos For You

Is this too cute, or what? Don't you wish you were his puppy dog?
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I love this song...the holidays are sort of bitter-sweet for me this year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogger for Hire

I am looking to hire a blogger. Someone willing to come live with me and document my life - complete with pictures, witty comments, wonderful memories, and funny videos. Your compensation = you get to live with me and my cute boys and follow us around everywhere we go. I know, it's too good to be true. Any takers? I just have no time for blogging!

Here's what I do have time for:

1. Teaching early morning Seminary. It's held at my house 4 days a week. I am loving it. The youth are wonderful. Just like Bishop said they are. It takes me about 4 hours to prepare each lesson...I know, I'm slow! I'm learning so much and growing closer to my Savior. It's been such a huge blessing in my life already. That being said, I have to be honest and say that Thursday morning feels AMAZING when I've finished giving my last lesson of the week! I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Too bad that will be countered with the effects of staying up late blogging.

2. Getting my little boys excited for Christmas. So fun! Jimmy doesn't know who Santa Claus is but he does know Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The children here receive the majority of their gifts on December 5th or Sinterklaas day. Sinterklaas and his helpers (the Zwarte Pieten) arrive by steamboat from Spain in November. Some time between when Sinterklaas arrives and December 5th the kids put their shoes out before they go to bed. Sint and Piet leave them little candies. Dec 25th and 26th are mainly days to visit family and friends. You can read more about Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet here...like why are the little helpers called black pete? And what happens to the naughty children...it doesn't seem like a punishment to me!

3. Stopping to smell the 18 long stemmed roses on my dining room table. My husband is the best. He's so good to me. I'm a lucky girl.

4. Learning to ride a bike - again. Apparently I still need practice with this one. I swear it's the bike but Bishop said he could ride my bike blindfolded so it must be the rider! I bought a secondhand old fashioned Dutch Batavus bike. It is green. I love it. Except for the fact that it feels shaky to me. I know I already said this but, I swear it's the bike! It already has one child seat on the back so I just need to add one more. Jimmy and I took it for a test ride tonight and he loved it! I've only riden it in the dark so far...too afraid my wobbly self will be seen. :) Here's a sneak peek: 5. Trying to get a cute picture with both my boys in it. Seems impossible. Still trying. These are cute...but not Christmas card cute. As you can see, their plans were different than mine.
6. Watching my baby grow. He's walking you know?! Yep. And clapping. And biting (just me). And blowing kisses. And hiting. And growing more hair. And waking up 4 times every night. And dancing. Oh little boy, slow down. PS - These onesies are from Onesie Twosie. Aren't they adorable? You should check out how many designs she has. I love this one.

Okay bloggers, who wants the job? I could've been in bed two hours ago if you were already here. Please come soon. Bonus: I'll even let you cuddle up to "the biter" every morning at 3 am! Now you're sold, eh?! And there's a Lovelace forehead for you! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Settling

Much has happened since we said goodbye to the 203B. I am starting to feel like we are actually settling now. After 3.5 months of being here...about time.

-I have made it through most of the boxes and found places for most of our things. I can finish once we get closets. Isn't it strange that many houses here don't have built-in closets or cabinets? Check out our fancy dining table and chairs.
-In case you were wondering, mattresses can be folded and as far as we can tell no damage was done. Horray for sleeping in the bedroom!

-Below are a few of my tips when shopping for large household items without a car. And yes, I smiled like this the whole time! It was just so much fun to go back in the store 3 times because wiggly baby lost a mitten and then a shoe. :) (click on pic to see larger)

-I downloaded Skype and talked to my family for the first time in 3.5 months. We talked for 3 hrs 4 min & 8 sec. It made me miss them more. I wish I was eating Thanksgiving turkey with them right now.

-For the first time since being here I ran into someone I knew at the grocery store. It was wonderful. The settling is beginning!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just for Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,

This post is just for you. Approximately three years ago you made me something wonderful. Something so spectacular. Something I had dreamed of all my life (all 22 years of it). Something that would bring me the most joy I had ever experienced. Something that could make me cry or laugh at any given moment. Something I will always cherish. Something I look forward to every day of my life. Something miraculous. Something heavenly. You made me a Mommy. Yours.

I couldn't be prouder of you, my little man. You are such a sweet little boy. You were given challenges when you were so tiny and yet you have always shown such patience. You are such a great big brother. I love hearing you encourage your brother, even if it is opening the safety gate to the stairs and egging him on the entire way up, "Go baby, go baby, go! Almost there. You made it!" (And thank heaven he did. Apparently you forgot how crazily dangerous these Dutch stairs are?) Please watch out for your little brother. Keep him safe. Be his best friend. Love him. He loves you so much. I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his squeal when you enter the room. He adores you.

Thank you for being so quick to forgive me when I'm wrong. Or when I'm not so nice. Or when I mess up. I'm learning too. I've never been a mommy before. But I promise you that I'm trying so hard. Thank you for always loving me. For giving me hugs, kisses, and tickles. I promise you that I will always love you no matter what. Because you're my little guy. And you always will be.
I love you more than I can possibly describe. You have officially won my heart little boy and part of it will always be yours. Thank you for making me something so wonderful, spectacular, miraculous, heavenly...Thank you for making me Your Mommy! I love you.

...And for the record, you had an awesome birthday!




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Long Awaited Day

Today our new house is full of boxes! Boxes of clothes, toys, books, dishes, decorations...it felt like Christmas day. We finally got cleared through customs so our shipment of things from the US could be delivered. We've been telling Jimmy his things were coming on a boat and I think he was a little disappointed to see merely a large truck in front of our home. The disappointment didn't last long. From the metro to our house all I heard from him was, "I excited! My bike. My vacuum. My lawn mower. My couch. My tee-wee (TV). My bed. My tools. Yay, Mommy!"

video
Can you stand the excitement? :)


We will now be up to our ears in boxes for a while but I couldn't be happier about it. Can you believe the movers even set up our beds, dressers, tables, and the highchair? The sad thing, I don't think there's any way we can fit our king size mattress up the stairs. They just don't sell them here, as far as I know, because they don't fit through the staircases! Three grown men couldn't get it to fit so we're thinking we may have to sleep in the dining room and eat in the bedroom! Anyone know if it's bad to fold a mattress in half in order to fit it up the stairs? :) So how do you get a king size mattress here in Holland...purchase two twin beds and push them together...no joke, that's what we have here in the hotel room. Then you get the lovely crack down the middle which can be nice because there can be no disputes about where the middle line is. This may have been handy when I was sharing a bed with my sister and we'd "draw" lines down the middle of the bed. Not so useful now!

Oh and the first things pulled out (besides the toys) were our winter coats. We've been cold and are so happy to be warmer now! What a happy day. Amidst all this joy I almost forgot it was Jimmer's big day tomorrow...the #3 big day. It should be another fun one tomorrow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween in Holland

So Halloween isn't really celebrated here in Holland. Thankfully our American friends (The Pecks) living here in Holland invited us over for a Halloween party. Before getting the invite we were just planning on staying home. It was a little tricky to come up with costumes for four people in four days when no stores are selling costumes & considering I don't have a sewing machine let alone even a good pair of scissors, but I had fun with it! One thing easy to find here is punk clothing. Thus the little boys and I were rockstars and we'll see if you can figure out what Jarom was. I really enjoyed handstitching the skull & crossbones onto Glade's onesie. Jimmy loved his "tats" on his hands. And I have worn my 5 euro "punk" shoes every day since I bought them (except to church). They are just so comfy!


The food and treats were yummy and some were gross looking! The first prize winner for scariest treat was brought by a Dutch family...Poep Met Wormen (poop with worms). I couldn't get past the look of it to try it! There were also chocolate rats with gummy worm tails and my Peanut Butter Fingers won second prize.

The Rocker Boys won first prize for funniest costume. Sadly I don't have many pictures of Jimmy. He was busy running around with the kids and having fun!
The Pecks went all out. They had awesome decorations, Batman greeted us at the door, cookie decorating, a giant spider web for the kids to crawl through and get candy, decorating pumpkin faces, bobbing for apples, make your own slime, and I'm sure I forgot something. We had a blast!
Btw, do any of you think the lady holding Jimmy resembles my mom? This is Lucy. She's in our ward and she's the only one I've left the boys with since coming here. She is the sweetest lady and I can't help but think of my mom when I see her. I don't know if she noticed but Jimmy said to her, "C'mon Grandma" at the party. Apparently he has noticed the similarities as well. They have become fast buddies!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All A Boy Could Want

I thought I'd share a "few" pictures from Glade's birthday celebration. Well, when I tried to find them on my computer I noticed they were all gone! ALL the videos and ALL the pictures we took on his birthday were gone. After feeling depressed for a few hours I decided we'd just do it again. Afterall, he doesn't know the difference!

So here are pictures from Round Two of Glade's Birthday (second cake, second hat, second song, luckily I saved the banner)! I still need to take more pictures of him with his presents. We got him a bike and a puppy (thankfully one that only barks when batteries are inserted and never poops on the carpet)...what more could a little boy want?! I was surprised how much this little boy LOVES his new bike. I thought his older brother would get most of the enjoyment out of it but boy was I wrong. Glade has never had a hard time sharing until said bike came around. Although he cannot climb onto it himself he will crawl over to it, pull up on it and whine until he is helped in it, at which point he will squeal with glee! He has even been known to fall asleep on the bike and still put up a fuss when he was taken off. I suppose we did a good job picking his gifts! As for the puppy, Jimmy thinks it's his baby and carries it everywhere (I believe he got his love of animals from his Aunt Renae).


Don't you all wish you could harmonize as well us Higleys?

The first cake was vanilla and he loved it. I think he was upset because I made a chocolate one next! :)




Oh my how we love this boy!

Diaper Wars

I'm in the process of posting about Glade's birthday.
In the meantime, enjoy this...

(Hear the music in the background? I was surprised to find out how many American songs are played on the radio.)

Halloween Funny


This made me laugh. No offense intended. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One More Tag

So I was also tagged by Meg. The tag is to post the 4th picture in your 4th picture folder. This picture was taken the night we said goodbye to the Higley cousins.

I tag my old Ward buddies...you know who you are!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Closer Look

So my Aunt tagged me for this meme...oh, 3 months ago. I'm finally getting to it! The rules are to take pictures of everything as is...no prepping first.

1. My Kitchen Sink:

Pretty much the only time my sink has dishes in it for longer than 15 min is when the dishwasher is running. Proof...see the red lights on the dishwasher. Side note: one bad thing about the sinks here in Holland - no garbage disposals. I don't think you can put one in even if you want to. So sad.

2. Inside My (little) Fridge:

One of the reasons I now do grocery shopping 3 times a week. I'm still not used to going that often. One of the other reasons...how much can I possible carry home on the stroller when there are already two kiddos in it? :)

3. My Favorite Shoes:

Let's just say I really need some new shoes. I've been wearing these almost every day for the past...I believe 3 years. They were fine in the states but they don't cut it here when I do so much more walking. I'm looking into getting some tall black boots.

4. My Closet:

Notice the "scary" blue monster hiding in there?

5. The Laundry Pile:

Always a work in progress. Oh how I miss my dryer!


6. What My Kids Are Doing Right Now:
















Well since they are both sleeping and I don't DARE risk waking them up, I'll post what they were doing just before naptime. We decided to take a little walk to the swings. I found out that somehow all of the pictures and videos of Glade's first birthday were mysteriously erased and the boys both have the sniffles so we ALL needed some cheering up and fresh air! Bobo (the bear) decided he wanted to come too.

7. My Favorite Room:

I just love the view I have when lying down in bed...and I love lying down in bed!

8. My Most Recent Purchase:

I've loved trying all the new candies (snoep), pastries, & juice here.

9. My Fantasy Vacation:

I know I am only 3 hours from Paris, but I don't care...I REALLY want to go home. I miss my family and friends. I got a few love letters from my family last week and it was so fun just to see everyone's (Mom's & Nae's) handwriting. Renae's letter made me lol while waiting for our metro. Emails are excellent but there's just something about holding a piece of paper in your hand that you know the person you love was holding just a few days before. I even smelled them to see if they still had traces of home...nope. Anyway, I miss all you guys. Terribly.

10. Self-Portrait:

I love swinging. It makes me feel like a kid.

Okay, so who do I tag...since it started in the family, let's keep it going with Amber & Kenna.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Year of Glade

I know every parent seems to say this (I did approx 2 yrs ago) but I cannot believe my baby is ONE! I pulled this from my journal entry written a few days after he was born:

I was watching the birth video and I actually only pushed for 10 minutes. I knew it seemed short when it was happening but I was thinking it was longer than that. He was just an anxious little guy! He's so sweet and perfect and I can't stop holding him. Jarom said I'm going to spoil him but I can't stop, it's just too much fun to hold him!

Glade has been such a complete joy to have in our family. He is such a cuddly baby and in fact will cuddle up to anyone who wants to hold him. He's such a happy little guy and has become a Momma's Boy big time! Here are a few of his one year "stats":

-pulls up onto everything but not walking yet
-has two bottom teeth
-makes the best squishy nose faces
-thinks his big brother is the funniest thing
-wakes up at least twice each night (just two weeks ago it was 4-5 times...BIG improvement)
-loves to be held and cuddled
-says, "mamamama", "dadadada", & "ba"
-shakes head "no" & nods "yes"
-responds to his name
-eats everything he sees
-loves to bounce on the bed
-wiggles to music

I put together a slideshow with pictures from his first year. I currently only have 7 songs on my computer but I figured this song still fit...voice of an angel to go with the face of one. So get ready for lots of grins and absolute cuteness from my brown-eyed baby. I love you so much, Baby Glade. I cannot even think of words enough to express my love. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Enchanting

I was told this past weekend may have been our last nice one this year. I took advantage of the sunshine and walked to a huge park 15 minutes away from our apartment with the little boys. We fed the ducks and the swan pretzels (that's what we happened to have stashed in the crevices of the stroller pockets), jumped in puddles left over from the last rain, ran as fast as we could, gathered sticks and other "goodies" from the brick walkways, tried to climb the massive trees covered in moss, and just basked in the sunlight hoping we would get another day like this before the cold creeps in. It felt heavenly. I was humming Hymns in my head as I watched others ride by on their bicycles. Truly. Enchanting.

"Why hello there Mr Duck."


Glade reached out and took this picture all by himself ;)



Such a sweet baby


Glade hated the grass.


Breaking Sticks...this one was a little too thick!
Can you see his two new bottom teeth?
Every time Glade cries Jimmy says, "His toof is coming in!"
Notice the couple that rides by in the background. My favorite is seeing the babies on the bikes and I also saw a really old couple riding side by side holding hands! Oh, how precious. :)