Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Norah took a summer beginners tumbling class, and she had lots of fun- here are some of her action shots! They did a lot of jumping, somersaults, balance beam, and trampoline. Way to go, Norah!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Butterfly/aquarium visit.

We had a great weekend! It was good mix of activity and relaxation. Friday night Kley and I had a date, Saturday we spent most of the day in Sioux Falls, and Sunday we had some friends over for supper and grilled outside. (Summer is the best time to have people over because you can just grill and the kids can play outside!) We also threw in some other weekend staples like Saturday morning lawn mowing and Sunday afternoon naps. 

We went to Sioux Falls to visit Kley's grandma, who had a stroke last week and is in the hospital there. She is doing well, considering, and we are thankful for good reports so far and thankful we got to see her! While we were there, we also went to a park and the Butterfly House and Aquarium, which was a lot of fun! Norah loved seeing the fish and butterflies.

Touching some sort of sea anemone. 

We tried to tell her the real names, but those fish are always just Dory and Nemo to Norah.

Checking out the fish in the 3D bubble!

It was really neat and fun for a one time trip, but the aquarium was pretty small.

Lucy's favorite spot, being held and on someone's chest. The twins were there and happy, but didn't really care about the fish or butterflies. Ha.

In the butterfly garden!

I was wearing Ellory in the carrier and she kept bumping my camera, so I tried my best.

I asked the worker to take our picture, and he acted like he'd never taken a picture in his life. This is what we got, and I felt bad asking him to try again, so this is our one shot wonder!

Norah has been all about the monkey bars lately (with help). 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Summer fun.

Here are some fun things we've done lately to enjoy the summer! I feel like the biggest question people ask in passing is, "Any big summer plans?" I get that, because a lot of people take a summer vacation or something, but in short, our answer is just a straight no. This is a very quiet summer for us, which has been good, and what our family needed. We knew the twins would be little and we knew traveling would be tough, so we are staying put. 

So far, we've gone to Des Moines two weekends this summer (to visit family), and the girls handled it really well! Lucy and Ellory have been champions in their car seats, and have slept great at my parents too (I was preparing myself for neither one of those things to happen!). Other than that, we've been here at home. Norah has had a summer Kindermusik class and a beginning tumbling class once a week for part of the summer, but otherwise we've basically had nothing going on. It's been nice to get into a routine with three girls and to just enjoy our time together!

Our church does a baby shower a couple times a year to bless all the new moms in the church, and Lucy and Ellory were celebrated at the last one! It was a star theme and was very cute. It was a fun time of fellowship and a special time of prayer over our girls and us as moms. I'm so thankful for our community there and that our girls can grow up in such an encouraging, serving environment. What a blessing to have other strong believers love on your kids!

Looking at each other instead of the camera!

We also tried Lucy's first mini ponytail the other day. She wasn't sure what to think!

Ellory was also present, but no ponytail for her. Ha!

What fun outfits they got as a gift!

Another summer fun activity has been visiting our local We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym. It's such a neat place! It's designed for kids with sensory processing disorders, but is an all-inclusive gym for any child. They have many fun things, like zip line, trampoline, swings, monkey bars, train table, play kitchen, arts and crafts table, and much more! Norah's favorite things are the swing, trampoline, and has recently gotten really brave on the zip line!

We have different sensory bins at our house, but Norah loved this one with dump trucks and small rocks. (My personal favorite sensory bin is pom-poms because you can do so many things with them, like sorting or counting, with many different materials, like tweezers and ice cube trays, and they are easy to clean up!). 

Love all the different swing options!

This has been a great option for us this summer too for rainy days or days where it's very hot, because our young twins can't handle many weather extremes, so an air conditioned gym with soft mats is perfect!

Trying to get them to smile as they are practicing their rolling over!

Love this mid-roll expression.

Didn't get many smiles, but they sure are cute!

Fun on the trampoline!

Norah loved putting all the animals into this barn. We've taken advantage of their special deals they sometimes offer, like a Groupon deal we bought last winter, or their summer pass right now, that makes it more affordable, because we enjoy visiting. We'd highly recommend checking it out if you've never been!

Hope you are having a great summer!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lucy and Ellory's dedication.

Last weekend was so special! We celebrated Lucy and Ellory's dedication to the Lord at our church. It really went so well! It was such a neat time of celebration of their lives and prayer over us as parents, that we would be faithful and intentional in teaching them about Christ, and for them, that they would grow up to love and serve Him. The verses we had in mind for them were Deuteronomy 6:4-9, where it's talking about loving God with all your heart and impressing that on your children and talking about it often. 

(Lucy started to get a tiny bit fussy near the end on stage, and Norah kept burying her face in my shoulder and whispering that she wanted to go sit back down, but it was a win! No crying or big scenes.)

We had beautiful weather and even got some great pictures. Couldn't ask for more!

These next two pictures are probably my favorite!

Lucy and Ellory, you bring so much light. Having twins makes our lives so full in the best sort of way. Wouldn't change it for anything!

Norah is the best big sister! She loves to crawl into their cribs when they wake up, give them toys, and talk to them. If they are crying, she'll tell us to pick them up or walk with them. Ha.

I'm so thankful for our family. What a demanding stage, but so precious and fun too.

We were grateful to have a lot of family be able to celebrate with us too! The girls have such wonderful grandparents, aunts/uncles, and they even have all eight great grandparents living and were at the lunch after the service. Incredible!

Grandpa and Grandma.

How amazing that the girls are able to get to know their great grandparents! (Here are my grandparents, my mom's parents.)

Here are my other grandparents (my dad's parents).

Siblings! Unfortunately, my sister and her husband couldn't make it, but very glad that Kayla, Rose, and Keaton were there!

Kley's grandparents (Brad's parents). Unfortunately, the girls weren't happy, but I still really like this picture anyways!

All eight great grandparents! I know this picture will be a huge treasure, as we will probably never have them all together again. What a great heritage to have such strong legacies of faith, for us and our girls!

The Schut (my) side.

The De Jong (Kley's) side. Unfortunately, Kley's sister and husband couldn't join either, but we were thinking of them!

Grandpa and Grandma! Jana, my mother-in-law, hosted the lunch, which was very generous and it was so nice!

This was definitely a weekend to remember! We are so thankful for our girls, that we were able to dedicate them, and that we have such loving extended family.