Monday, November 30, 2020

Recent reads.

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis- Kley and I read this book together. We have been licensed for foster care/adoption for four years now, and while I still feel naive and unexperienced compared to many, I am so thankful for all that we have learned and are learning in our training classes (you have to take six credits per year to keep your license up to date). So while I didn't feel like I learned tons of brand new things while reading this book now, it was a good review and refresher. I wish we would have read it sooner. If you are considering adoption and/or foster care, I would highly recommend this book! It talks about building trust and affection, dealing effectively with learning or behavioral disorders, and disciplining in love.

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian- A friend lent me this book awhile ago, and it took me a very long time to get to it, but I 'm glad I did! It had short chapters, about 30, about different aspects to pray for your husband about, so I read a chapter a day during my devotions and finished in a month. I enjoyed it a lot because it prompted me to pray for different areas that I don't usually think of. I would like to read some of her other books too, like the parent one.

Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle- I've read several other of Melanie's books, and I have enjoyed all of them. She is funny, relatable, and her books are entertaining and a light read (and I mean light read in a good way). I love hearing other's stories, and she is a great story teller- my favorite part of her books. She is a Christian, but I wouldn't say this book is for a Bible study per say, but more as a fun solo read or one to just talk about amongst friends. I love how she tied it all together in the end- life is about all the small little moments. We need to try to find significance in the daily things. While the big moments are surely defining, we mostly live in the small moments and that's often where God is working in us. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Three greats.

We recently lost both of Kley's grandpas in six weeks. While it's sad to say goodbye on earth, we are so thankful for the hope of Heaven and that they are with Jesus. Bus Ver Steeg passed away on September 30, 2020, and Hallard De Jong passed away on November 8, 2020. Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned this on the blog or not, but we also lost Kley's grandma, Alice Ver Steeg, a few years ago on September 3, 2017. The three of them were wonderful and we are so grateful for their legacy and the support and encouragement they gave to us. These are throwback pictures to when they first got to meet our girls. I treasure these pictures and the memories we have with them! We are thankful to have had all eight grandparents for as long as we did. Kley now has one grandma living and I have all four of mine still living- such a blessing to have good relationships with all of them!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Halloween 2020.

While Halloween looked different this year because of COVID, it was still so fun to have a holiday to look forward to! The girls were excited to dress up. They each picked their own costumes. Norah was cheerleader Gabriella from High School Musical and Kley was a good sport and was basketball player Troy. (How amazing is that? So amazing. :) Lucy was a penguin and Ellory was a kitty. Norah has liked the High School Musical movies for awhile, so that wasn't too shocking. I'm not sure where penguin and kitty came from, but they were sure that that's what they wanted to be! So cute. 

Our church does a super fun annual Harvest Party for the community every Halloween. We are thankful they still did it this year. It was smaller and more spread out, but still great and so glad they did it. The girls were thrilled to have a party to go to!

My good lookin' crew!

Go Wildcats!

This may be my favorite Halloween picture ever. :)

Cheerleader Gabriella!


Kitty! (Ellory's head piece didn't stay on very well, but she was determined to wear it. She really loved her costume! I offered to hold her head piece a couple times, but nope, she wanted it on the entire time!)

On Halloween day, the girls were so excited. Ellory kept saying, "Today's the day! Halloween day is today!" We got to go trick or treating around the nursing home, where Kley's grandpa is, which was great! The girls loved it, and it was special to say hi to him from his window. Our neighbor friend came with us as well, so Norah had a great time with her, and Lucy and Ellory were so sweet waving to every person in their window and saying happy halloween to them.

Kley's grandma walked with us too!

Happy Halloween! Hope you could find a fun way to celebrate! We went out at night to trick or treat, which was the first year we've done that. The girls really wanted to. We only went about three blocks, but that was the perfect length for us. It was a great Halloween! The girls truly enjoyed it and had fun and that's what matters!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Norah's 6th birthday- Frozen 2 friend party.

Norah had a Frozen 2 party with some friends! This is what Lucy and Ellory had earlier in the year for their 3rd birthday, and we told her she could pick the theme and she could pick something different if she wanted, but another Frozen party is what we had and she loved it! (Made it very easy because we already had the decorations!) She was very excited to have her friends over. I really do enjoy party planning, but it is also a lot of work, but so worth it to see her enjoy herself and how much fun she had. She had a countdown of the days and kept asking on the day how much longer until they came. She laughed and had fun and it was great! She planned the meal- macaroni and cheese, chips (her favorites), carrots (Olaf's nose), apples (for health :), and blue jello cubes (Kristoff's ice blocks). She was also very set on having banana muffins with frosting for dessert. We fairly regularly make banana bread, but I don't know where she got banana muffins with frosting from. She has never asked for that before, but said several times that that was what she wanted. Easy enough! 

Making a birthday board of the best pictures from the last year is a favorite tradition!

Happy birthday, sweet Norah! 

Party pals! The party went very well and everyone got along and seemed to have lots of fun! We ate, sang/had dessert, colored Frozen pictures, played "Pin the nose on Olaf," read two Frozen books, Kley played some songs on guitar (Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes insanely fast was the crowd favorite), and ended with free play. It was great!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Norah's 6th birthday- our family celebration.

One of my favorite traditions for every birthday is letting the girls pick our supper and activity. While parties and extended family gatherings are so awesome too, it's also special to celebrate with our little family! Norah picked Pizza Ranch and indoor swimming and we all had a great time! My sister goes to college in our town too, so it was fun to have Aunt Kayla join! 

All of the girls are getting better and better at swimming. Norah is doing amazing and did so great at her swimming lessons this year! They are getting more comfortable and trying new things. So fun to watch! As the girls get older, I'm trying to treasure all the favorites because I know they won't be favorites forever, like this sweet little duck slide. 

Lucy and Ellory used to not want to go down this blue slide by themselves, but now they do!

Norah went off the board without hesitation! She even jumped off a few times after this without Kley catching her!

Waterslide fun.

The lily pads were a favorite.

And Pizza Ranch is so good- great choice Norah! So glad we could celebrate your birthday!