Thursday, January 26, 2023

Norah's first time playing basketball!

Norah is doing winter rec basketball! Kley is pumped and we are excited she is trying something new. It's the 1st/2nd grade team, so technically she could have done it last year, but I had the flu during sign up and by the time I felt a little better and remembered, it was full already. Oops! Glad we were able to get her in this year. She was a bit nervous about it, but we said that several friends she knew would be there and Kley is coaching, and all she can do is try her best! These pictures are from night one- she was nervous but did well! It's for six weeks, and I really love that our rec program here does sports like that, so you can try things out but not be committed to it for the whole year. Ellory made the sweetest sign on her drawing board to encourage them and kept waving it at Kley and Norah while they were practicing. Go Norah! :)

Monday, January 23, 2023

Recent reads.

The Wish by Nicholas Sparks- Nicholas Sparks books are always just a fun, enjoyable read to sneak in every once in awhile. This one is about Maggie, who was sent away to live with her aunt when she was 16, and she met a boy there and fell in love and a passion sparks for photography. Present day, she is an accomplished photographer, dealing with a hard medical diagnosis, and starts sharing her story with her assistant, so the book goes back and forth in time between present day and back when she was 16. 

On The Bright Side by Melanie Shankle- I have read several of Melanie's books now, and have enjoyed all of them. She is a Christian author, though her writing places a higher emphasis on just sharing her personal stories. She is funny, entertaining, and relatable. Her stories are light, pleasant, and fun to read. This book focuses on finding joy in what life has to offer, and covers topics such as aging, comparison, finding your people, raising kids, etc.

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp- I read this in 2022 and really loved it. I found it very encouraging with much depth and Scripture references/Biblical teaching. If you are looking for a daily devotional, I would highly recommend this. It was one page a day, so not a lot, with a short Scripture reading at the end.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Tubing, niece/nephew date, and holding Margo.

We had a fun weekend in Des Moines! It was SO fun to hold our new niece/cousin Margo! We met her for the first time in November, a couple weeks after she was born, but we were recovering from sickness, so we didn't get to hold her. This time we were healthy and we took full advantage of many snuggles! :) She is so sweet!

My brother was out of town on a work trip, so we took Jorie and Murphy (my niece and nephew) out on a date to Bass Pro Shop and Chick-fil-A. They love that store and our family had never been, so it was fun to have them show us their favorite things! Murphy was holding Norah's hand the whole time, so cute!

We were all so happy to hold Margo!

Cousin time is sure a great time!

I also got to briefly see a friend from high school and surprise my close friend, Stephanie, for her birthday while we were in Des Moines- thankful for opportunities to stay connected!

New Years Day we also had a very fun family date tubing and eating at Olive Garden- a great way to start the new year!

Monday, January 9, 2023

After Christmas and Happy New Year 2023!

Happy New Year! We had fun celebrating with friends. We ate supper together, Kley made a trivia game about 2022 events, and we had an early ball drop (where we played the ball dropping from last year) for the kids with brownies, ice cream cups, headbands and horns, and a toast with sparkling apple juice. Pretty great, right? Thankful for a new year and all that God has in store for us in 2023.

The joy children have for celebrations is so fun to watch. (But those horns definitely went in the trash after the party- so fun but so loud.)

We had hoped to go to Des Moines for a few days over break, but that didn't end up happening because my sister had her baby a few days late and then my parents were with her helping. But that's okay- so exciting to have a new nephew/cousin in the family! Love him so much already! Since we didn't travel anywhere over break, the girls and I came up with a few fun things to do while Kley was working. One day we went to an arcade and had fun playing games and mini golf.

Lucy lost her first tooth during Christmas break! Technically, this is her second tooth lost- she lost the first one when she was two when her and Ellory bonked heads on a slide- but this feels like the first. It's funny how different kids are- Norah and Ellory really don't like pulling teeth out and try to avoid it, but Lucy was all for it and was in the bathroom yanking on her tooth while looking in the mirror for days before it came out. She pulled it out on her own! Ellory actually lost her second bottom tooth over break too! She really didn't want it to come out, and said no for days, but one day I said that it was so very loose that she could pull it or I could pull it. She tried once and didn't get it and then I tried, and she was very brave and sat still and I got it in one small tug. Girls are growing up! :)

We opened stockings a couple days after Christmas to spread out the gifts. So fun! They were all probably most excited with a big container of gum. I love that kids don't need much to make them happy!

We went swimming one morning too for a fun and different activity- super nice to be in the hot tub on a cold day!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Christmas 2022.

Merry Christmas! We pray you had a sweet time with family, treasuring His birth and our great Savior. We had a special time with Kley's family! Friday we did gingerbread houses together, Saturday we had Christmas Eve service and then Christmas celebration with Kley's grandma (and family), and Christmas we had church, our own family Christmas at home, and then afternoon/evening with the De Jong/Guthmiller clan. Monday we had the extended family Ver Steeg celebration. What a fun and special few days!

A rare photo of the four of us with no kids in the photo! (Kley has one sister, Elizabeth.)

Matching cousin Christmas pajamas are the best. :)

What a cutie, Will!

A couple years ago we started a "find the pickle" game at Christmas after hearing about a few other families that did it, and it's great fun! We do a kids round and adult round. Kley found the first one! 

Norah loves to hold the baby cousins!

The best sister picture we got. What a winner. ;)

Family shots- Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Opening presents from Kley's grandma on Christmas eve. 

Kley's grandma, Shirley, is his only living grandparent and she lives very close to us, which is a huge treat!

Praying you had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, January 2, 2023

Gingerbread houses and our light tour fail.

We had a great start to Christmas weekend by decorating gingerbread houses with the De Jongs! The girls really look forward to it and enjoy it. Fun to see everyone's designs!

Modeling their beautiful houses!

Lucy and Ellory were both SO proud of theirs and had such a sparkle in their eye about it. Norah had fun too!

Very special to do it with cousins!

Excited to be reunited again!

We had a very unfortunate Christmas light tour fail. We have a favorite place in a neighboring town that's the absolute best and we love it every year. We had a night planned for it, but then we had a snow day with bad weather, so we didn't go. Fast forward a bit and we had more bad weather (wild month weather wise), but it came to be the 22nd and if we didn't go that night, we weren't going before Christmas because of other plans. The weather wasn't the best and it was absolutely freezing, but we all wanted to go so we drove very slowly and wore tons of clothes, only planning to be outside for a short while. We make it there safely only to find it wasn't turned on because of the cold temps. So disappointing! We were going to go to a different place we hadn't been to before, but that was closed too. We ended up stopping at this house in our neighborhood that does a really nice job and snapped a quick picture there. It was "eyes start watering immediately" cold, but after all that work we were going to get a family picture by some lights! Lucy fell in the snow right before this, so she was crying. Best family photo ever? ;)

At least we got to go out for supper out of the ordeal! Other than this night, we are thankful for many other fun Christmas memories! And while this night wasn't our most favorite, it definitely turned out to be memorable too! Hope you are all having a very Merry Christmas.