Friday, December 30, 2022

Church Christmas program 2022.

We had our Church Christmas program! Always a special night. The girls did great! We curled their hair before and they loved it. Our three beauties!

There's something so beautiful about kids voices!

Each class had a special part. The 1st/2nd graders recited a poem about the wonder of it all is that God loves me.

Kindergarteners played Silent Night on the bells!

Way to go girls! It was fun to get a very front row seat this year because I'm helping teach preschool Sunday School, so I was up front helping and got to see all the action! Kley also played guitar for a few songs during it too!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Fun Christmas happenings.

We headed to my grandparents for supper after Norah's piano lesson one night. My grandparents recently moved out of their house for 35+ years and into an independent living community. It's strange for them to not be in the only house I have ever known them in, but peaceful too as it's a good move for them and they are happy! Being close to them has been one of the biggest blessings of living here!

Ellory got new glasses and she's thrilled with them! Both of the sticks of her old pair were super glued on for awhile in the end, so it was high time for a fresh pair at her annual appointment. Beautiful girl!

Norah had her Christmas piano recital! It was at the retirement community where my grandparents now live, which was special! They got to be there, and also her grandparents and great grandma that live in the same town as us too. Special day- she was nervous but did great!

We love Mrs. Heidi! She taught the girls' Kindermusik classes for years and now teaches Norah piano. So special to have her in their lives!

We also had fun at the library Christmas party and said hello to Santa!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas cookies, sledding, and snow days.

I love Christmas traditions! Making Christmas cookies is a favorite of the girls. When they were younger, we just decorated pre-made cookies, but the last couple of years we have made our own. A bit easier to do when they are older, but no shame in pre-made cookies no matter the age! It's messy but so fun and they have a great time. 

Their hair looks a little crazy because they love to take the hair ties out of their own hair and put them in their Barbie's hair when they are playing downstairs. A little detail I want to remember! :)

We have had the most crazy weather! We have already had FIVE snow days and it's only mid-December! Last week we had three- Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Even two in a row- this has to be some kind of record! It will be nice to get back to a regular schedule, but it was also fun to be home together too for some extra time! Love it! (Update- since I first wrote this, we are now up to SIX snow days!)

Since we had so much snow already, we had to go sledding! The extra is our neighbor friend, Elizabeth. She's 10 and has been the sweetest friend to our girls over the years. So thankful she's our neighbor!

Decorating the cookies! We make them one day and then decorate another day- makes it more manageable and extends the fun! We delivered many plates to our neighbors and friends! I love tying in giving and blessing others with the cookies too!

Monday, December 19, 2022

Holiday parade and Christmas wonderland.

We had a fun family night doing one of our favorite Christmas traditions- holiday parade and Christmas wonderland! Every year a neighboring town does something called Pioneer Village Christmas Wonderland, which is like an old time looking street all decorated for Christmas, with different buildings all filled with tons of Christmas decorations, like the Christmas houses, blow ups, figurines, snowmen, Santas, angels, etc. It's fun to see! The first night of it there is also a holiday parade to kick it off. 

Watching the parade.

Exploring the Christmas wonderland. 

Happy start to the Christmas season!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022.

Happy Thanksgiving! We had a really nice mix of seeing both families! The girls had three days off of school, which was really nice for them to have a bit of a break. We were with Kley's family Wednesday and Thursday, and my parents and sister were here for the weekend. We were originally going to go to Des Moines to see them, but they ended up coming here so they could see my grandparents too, who live in the neighboring town to us. Thankful for family time, and many other things. God is so good to us. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Lucy and Ellory recently.

It's been far too long since I've done an update! Lucy and Ellory are growing up so and it's such an honor to be able to watch that happen and be a part of their lives. Kley and I just commented last night about my c-section scar and their arrival, and now it's been over five years since that. What beautiful years! When people ask me about having twins, I say that it was the best surprise we ever got.

Lucy and Ellory finished up preschool really well. They had a great time there with wonderful teachers and friends and learned a lot. They had a special graduation ceremony in May. They also got to have a graduation ceremony in May for Kindermusik. So thankful they could attend that for years- what a special program and they learned a lot about music. Lucy and Ellory did t-ball this summer and had a great time! Lucy is determined and athletic and loves sports. Ellory does a great job also, but is more there for fun and to go along with the flow. Kley coached and they had fun having Daddy there! They also did a two day tumbling camp. We did swimming lessons for a week also. They both did a fabulous job and have grown a lot in the water! Lucy and Ellory also did sports central this summer, where they did a different sport each week (kids games, softball, kickball, and track). They did their own little track and field Olympics at the end and they loved it! They had different races and challenges. They were so excited to run the race on the “real track” at the college. Lucy talked about it so much and even asked me to wake her up early the days before the race so she could train (I did not, I told her good sleep was also important for athletes!). Lucy got first and Ellory got second- so proud of our brave runners!

In March, we went to Disney with the De Jongs- what an amazing trip! We were supposed to go in 2020 shortly after everything shut down, but I'm thankful it worked out to go this year instead because the girls were at such good ages for it. We had a wonderful trip and are thankful for the special times we got to have. Watching the girls' eyes light up was incredible! In June, we got to go to Brainerd, MN with the Schuts and had a fun few days by a lake. Grateful for family time!

Lucy and Ellory are in kindergarten! We decided to keep them in the same class this year and we are glad we did- it's been nice for them to have each other as they adjust to going to school for the first time, though we are thankful too that they have good friends in class and don't depend on each other too much. They have both done amazing with this transition! No tears at all about school and have had great days and drop offs. They come home tired, especially Lucy (which results in being hyper because she's overtired), but overall they are both doing incredible and we are so grateful. Their teacher is very sweet and kind and I'm glad they got her. And she has the same last name, which they were excited about!

They had their 5 year wellness check in March- Lucy was 38 lbs (40%) and 44” (85%) and Ellory was 40 lbs (56%) and 43” (73%). They are still wearing S/6 clothes. It is extremely rare that Ellory would be up in the night. Lucy is doing so much better at sleeping through the night, yay! Lucy is wearing a size 11 shoe and Ellory a size 12 shoe- they both switched before school started. Ellory lost her first tooth recently! She lost her bottom right central incisor on 10/2/22. It was very loose but was terrified to pull it. I pulled it and she didn't like it, but was pleased when it was out. All of her six year old molars are in too and she just got sealants at the dentist, while none of Lucy's are in yet. She also got her ears pierced! Norah had been talking about it and was going to do it for her birthday, and Ellory said she wanted to join and was very excited about it, so we let her! She was so proud. Lucy didn't want to, which was great too.

A very fun addition to the family is new cousin Margo! She was born on 10/18/22 (shares a birthday with Daddy!) at 6:38am, 19.5” and 6 lbs 15 oz. We love her so much already! We recently celebrated Norah turning 8. The girls got to do NWC cheer camp for a day and got to cheer with the cheerleaders for the first quarter of the football game. What fun! We also recently had Halloween and they loved trick or treating. Lucy was a Dutch/Vikings cheerleader (usually she just said Dutch, but sometimes Vikings too- it was a purple costume so could be either). Ellory was a monarch butterfly (and she wanted to tell everyone she was a monarch, not just a butterfly). They are enjoying kindergarten Sunday school.

Lucy loves to be outside and ride her bike and shoot baskets. Her favorite things are Hot Wheels cars, people/animal figurines, Barbies, dolls, making crafts, and Lil Woodzees houses. Ellory loves to ride the EZ rider outside and play in the sandbox. Late spring, Ellory learned how to ride her bike without training wheels- she was so proud and she loves to ride! Her favorite things are stuffed animals, coloring, reading books, Playmobil princess castle, Barbies, Lil Woodzeez houses, and dolls. Both of them like to chew gum! Lucy and Ellory, you bring so much joy to our family and being your parents is a great blessing. We love you so very much and pray you grow up to love Jesus!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Norah recently.

It's been too long since an update! Norah has grown up so much in the last year it seems. It's an honor to be able to watch her grow up into who God has and is creating her to be. Being her parents is such a blessing.

Norah finished up first grade very well. What a transitional year for her as she adjusted to going to school each day. It was a big year and we are proud of how brave she was and persevered doing hard and new things.

Summer was a fun time! It was special to have full days together again. Norah did softball and did really well. She grew in skill and in motivation/determination. Kley coached and did a great job too! Norah also did a two day tumbling camp (with Lucy and Ellory) and a four day golf camp. Norah golfed with Kley numerous times and he said she was completing a few holes entirely on her own! Norah also did swimming lessons and completed level four. She is a very good swimmer and can swim in the deep independently (while being watched closely still), and does the slide and diving board solo. Norah really enjoys swimming!

Spring/summer had some bumpy moments too because Norah had tubes/adenoids surgery in June. She was pretty nervous about it in the weeks leading up to it, understandably, but she did it and was so brave surgery day. Glad it's over for her! The doctor said both of her ears were completely full of fluid and she was probably hearing like you were speaking to her with your hand over your mouth, poor girl! I think this has also helped her reading too, of course being able to hear more clearly. She has really taken off and we are amazed at how much she has improved in a year. She is enjoying reading and it's so encouraging to see her free read just because she wants to!

In March, we went to Disney with the De Jongs- what an amazing trip! We were supposed to go in 2020 shortly after everything shut down, but I'm thankful it worked out to go this year instead because the girls were at such good ages for it. We had a wonderful trip and are thankful for the special times we got to have. Watching the girls' eyes light up was incredible! In June, we got to go to Brainerd, MN with the Schuts and had a fun few days by a lake. Grateful for family time!

Norah lost two more teeth, so now she's up to 8 lost. She lost her top right lateral incisor on 5/15/22 and her top left lateral incisor on 5/24/22. She had her 8 year old wellness check- she's a healthy and growing girl! She is 52.75” (85%) and 64 lbs (75%). Norah is wearing L/10 clothes and size 2 shoes. She switched clothes sizes in the spring and has been going up a shoe size before school each summer. She is doing really well at sleeping through the night, and she's going to bed a lot better this year too, having less anxiety about going to school. She is still taking piano lessons this year. While practicing is not her favorite thing, she does pretty well most days and it's been a good lesson for her to practice responsibility and persevering through things you don't always want to do but need to. Hearing her start to practice Christmas songs again this year is my favorite. She is also enjoying second grade Sunday school. Norah is very responsible in doing her homework each day- she has a spelling sheet and reading comprehension sheet that comes home on Monday, and she does it right away to get it done. She has a leveled reading book to read each night too. She is excellent at studying her spelling words and does quite well on her tests.

A very fun addition is new cousin Margo! She was born on 10/18/22 (shares a birthday with Daddy!) at 6:38am, 19.5” and 6 lbs 15 oz. So excited for a new cousin! Norah is a loving cousin and enjoys being around and helping with younger kids. She's very gentle and sweet with them. We've helped in the nursery at church a few times lately too, and Norah does a great job. Last year at the beginning of first grade, Norah loved to write lists of all the words she could spell, and now she's writing her own chapter books! Each chapter is about a page long and it's fun to hear her latest stories. She loves to play with her American Girl dolls/barbies/playmobil princess castle, write/color, ride bike, play outside, listen to music, play house or school, and chew gum.

Norah recently turned 8! We had quite the month of October celebrating. The first weekend, we got to celebrate with the Schuts, and celebrated with De Jongs the second weekend. The third weekend, we did our family celebration with Culvers, ice skating, and a movie, and her actual birthday weekend she had a friend party at the pool with a few families. She chose a butterfly theme and it was cute. Halloween was right after that and Norah was Mirabel (from Encanto). The girls also did the NWC dance camp for a day where they got to cheer with the cheerleaders for the first quarter of the football game. Norah also got her ears pierced as a birthday present! She had been talking about it for a couple months and she was nervous but so happy to have them when it was done! What a fun month!

It makes me tear up how much Norah has grown in this last year. From reading, surgery, going to school so well, and handling big emotions, she has learned so much and we are so proud of her. What a beautiful girl, inside and out, and we thank God everyday for the gift of Norah.