Saturday, December 30, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Yesterday I had to run to the grocery store and pick up just a couple of things for my daughter's class party. I was rushing in and saw the Salvation Army bell ringer. I have given to just about every ringer I have seen this year (mostly because my kids are begging me for change to put in the bucket) and I am more than happy to do it. But today the ringer watched me from the door into the store and said, "Hello. How are you?" I said, "good," and then quickly ran to find the items I needed. Then as I walked out (five minutes later) he once again says, "Bye. And Merry Christmas." He seemed like a nice guy, he said all the normal greetings, and yet, somehow I felt guilty that I didn't put any change in his red bucket. Why did I feel like I needed to tell him I have given to many ringers this year and that I was in a rush?
The second instance of being "guilted into giving" was left in my mailbox and it reads:
'Twas weeks before Christmas and all through the 'hood
The weather was warm and the driving was good
The houses and yards were bedecked with good cheer
And I said to myself "Looks like my kind of year!"
But what to my wandering eye should appear
But an Artic cold front! And it soon would be here!!
It's blizzards and fat Sunday papers I fear!
It's a paperboys' Christmas ... oh but ... Happy New Year.
My paperboy is a 60 year old grown man who deserves points for his creative Christmas story but loses some for including his name & address on the bottom of this Holiday greeting in a shameless plug for a tip.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I am married to Mr. Claus. My husband just LOVES Christmas. He loves to put up the outdoor lights, make homemade Chex Mix, wrap presents, and dip peanut butter balls. Every year his mom rolls out the peanut butter balls (also called Buckeyes) and brings them over for Jeff to dip. I am a somewhat reluctant dipper so Zach & I were "supervising" & bringing in the chilled peanut butter balls for Jeff and the girls. The girls were "dipping machines" and Zach did a great job too - eating the chocolate chips straight out of the bag!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Here is Zoey and her candy house creation she made last week at school. She was so excited to make it and kept saying to me all week, "Tomorrow is candy house day." (Which proved to me once again that young kids have no concept of time!) I am paying for my busy week last week by being sick this week. I have strep throat and let me tell you, it is kicking my butt. Everyone kept telling me how easy it is to recover from once you get on the antibiotic. Well, I am on dose number three and the only thing I have recovered from is the body aches and fever. The unusual feeling of swallowing needles has persisted however. So, in honor of being sick I would just like to thank these people:
Mr. Tylenol and Miss Ibuprofen - you truly are good friends.
Nick Jr. and PBS Kids - thanks for watching my kids the past couple of days.
And last but not least, to my hubby who took off work at lunchtime yesterday and cleaned the house, watched the kids, and made a steak dinner for the family. You are the man. Now if I could just get you to baby me a bit more and not look at me like I have a leperosy. :) (Since my husband has worked in the medical field, he has become a bit of a germaphobe.)
Thursday, December 07, 2006
'Tis the season to be busy. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. I think everyone had the same idea: Plan Christmas events in the first week of December to avoid the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Result: Stress everyone out and have them realize that they have no time to clean the house, do laundry, or even think about Christmas shopping. Here's a snapshot of my week: Dessert Gala set up and event, babysit neighbor's kiddo, Yearly Dr. appt. (fun,fun), Book Club, Advent Family Party at church, make a dinner for a neighborhood family, bake cookies for two different events, volunteer in Paige's class, design and create 4 bulletin boards at school, make 2 monkey breads for a PTO brunch, & make a gingerbread house with Zoey at school. If you need to find me during the holidays, I will be home with a glass of wine! :)
Monday, December 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Yes, you dog lovers. Your dog may be your best friend but don't foget it's an animal. We dog sat my sister's black lab while her and her family went down to Florida over Thanksigiving break. This is our fifth or sixth time dog sitting and we all love Maddie (I know, some of you have children with that name - the Dog Rescue named her.) The dog was a little stressed out this time and would not go out to go potty unless we walked her out with a leash, decided it would be fun to roll in another dog's poop, and the most offensive thing, ate out of the bathroom trash. For those of you who are thinking, "who cares if a dog eats a kleenex or two?"let me remind you that we have well & septic and certain things just can't be flushed down ... you get it? We had to give the dog hydrogen peroxide (learned this trick from the emergency vet we called the last time this happened) and then tied him up outside to let him purge. Once we thought he was good and cleaned out, we let him back in the house where he immediately jumped up on Paige's bed to sleep for the night and left her a present at 2 a.m. :( Jeff has made a new rule: No dog sitting while I may be having my period.
Thanksgiving weekend would not be complete without going out to cut down our Christmas tree. I think this a fun family activity and really reveals each person's personality.
Jeff: Hunter, must find the perfect tree.
Laurie: Impulse buyer - after about five minutes, I'm good - this one is fine.
Paige: Ever so helpful by tossing everyone's gloves in the maybe trees.
Zoey: Tough girl, has to carry the very long & jagged saw.
Zachary: Happy Wanderer - Chasing a dog & running away from us into the woods.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Even though I went to church every Sunday and attended a Christian school, I don't remember when I specifically asked Jesus into my heart. (He has lived there for awhile now :) and I would say that reading the book, "Left Behind" in college helped me take the big step in living not just a "good life" but, a "Godly life".) Unfortunately, in my community it was often assumed that you were saved and that your faith would mature by the time you made Profession of Faith. For some people, this is fine and they don't desire to tell a dramatic beginning to their faith's story. However, I always felt my story was a bit boring, especially when I was asked to give my testimony while on a mission trip to Russia. Now as an adult & parent, I realize just how blessed I was to say that Jesus was always my friend and that as I grew, so did my faith. Christian schools, a loving Christian family, and attending church every week are a great place to start ... as long as you keep talking and growing.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Quick Update on my Life:
*Last night we caught the 10th mouse in our house. Yes, you read that number correctly. We are in double digits.
*I am officially done with what I affectionately called the "WW" (Weight Watchers) and lost 14 lbs. and went down a pant size. So, pass the Halloween candy & bring on the holidays. :) The most helpful thing I learned - "Food is fuel." The least helpful thing I learned - "Losing a 1/2 of a lb. is like losing a stick of butter." Ummm, o.k. Can I choose where I lose those sticks?
*Bible Verse I am trying to memorize, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
*Quotes that each time I read them they make me laugh:
"When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair."
"Never ask your 3 year old son to hold a tomato."
"You can't trust dogs to watch your food."
"Dogs still have bad breath even after eating a tic-tac."
"You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk."
Since life and relationships can sometimes be hard and complicated, I hope that this gave you a smile, chuckle, or even a LOL!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Well, the fall soccer season is officially over. Can I get an AMEN. Zoey's team ended up winless and Paige had to miss her last game because she has strep throat. The beautiful fall weather made the games so much more enjoyable however. (If you live in Michigan, you know I'm fibbing.)
Paige came home with a helpful card about "How to Handle Bullies, Teasers, and other Meanies". (Our school district has an excellent program called Project Charlie that works with elementary through middle school students to teach kids how to make good choices. Prevention vs. intervention - good strategy for life and parenting.) Anyway, I got an absolute kick out of their ideas so I thought I would share them.
Say "that's bothering me, please stop." (Obviously, they have never met my husband, this just encourages him.)
Ignore it and walk away. (Not a realistic option to those of us with short fuses. We never walk away.)
Give a witty comeback. ("Your point is?" "Whatever!!!!" "No, really?")
Agree in a funny way. (For example, someone tells you your breath is bad and you say, "I know, thanks for noticing!" How can they really feel like they teased you after you say that.)
And my personal favorite. Confuse them with a compliment/kindness. (For example, when my dad once told me in my first trimester that I was really big I should have said, "I really like your shoes.")
I love it when we can empower our kids & teach them how to use humor!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Zoey has always had many nicknames. Lately, she has been given this one time & time again by her daddy, our friends, and especially by Grandpa Pettinga - "mini - Laurie". It is kind of strange to look at her and know that when I was her age, I looked almost identical. Now the only question is: When are the freckles coming? :) The other day I asked her if she could put on her socks and she said, "Why do I have to do everything? Am I your maid?" Nice Zo, very nice. And just for the record, I don't think you can acheive the title of "maid" when you rarely make your own bed, have your clothes magically laid out every morning, and your snack is always packed in your backpack for kindergarten by mom.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Yes, I do like pictures of my kids playing in leaves. And I love reading books to my little dragon. Check out Zoey in her costume (she was looking down and so her face is completely hidden.) She has decided that since Halloween is coming soon, she needs to try on her costume daily. Two entries in two days - just for my friend Fabes who was worried about my blogging hiatus. :)
I am studying Acts in Community Bible study this year and found these passages to be inspiring this week. When we come to God and ask for something ... he will answer.
Acts 4:29 & 31:"Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."
Monday, October 16, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Ladies and gentlemen ... it is with great pleasure that I report that after watching my daughters play ten soccer games - we finally have a W in the Guikema home. Oh yeah. The drought has lifted. The month of September found us 0-8 and a little concerned about the future of women's soccer. :) Paige's team finally won today but Zoey's team is still 0-5 (I blame the Coach entirely ... oh wait, that's me.) Both girl's are learning a lot and having fun and the highlight of each game continues to be having a sugary snack after it. Coaching five year old's has been interesting and I have to say my competitive side came out a little today when I saw a girl on the opposing team using her arms a bit too much. After watching her manhandle my girls and go on a breakaway right at me, I just had to stick my foot out and tell her to watch it with those arms. I didn't exactly stop the ball or her forward march down the field ... but I got her to pause, if only for a second. I know, I'm rude. Her mom asked if that was interference and I just laughed and said, "well, she needs to watch it a little." She nodded and kept cheering her "princess" on. (This little lady came strutting up to midfield at the beginning of the game and struck a pose, lost her shoe two times while kicking and made everyone wait while she put it back on, and got "injured" and laid on the ground for a full minute going "oh my gosh" - read as OH MY GOSH.) I feel my actions were more than justified. Wait, am I really trying to teach a valuable life lesson in the middle of a game? :)
Friday, October 06, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
1. "I don't have a peanut. I'm a girl!"
2. "I like your new underwear."
3. "I need more paper toilet."
4. "Look how big my poop is!"
5. "Why are your boobs so floppy?"
This picture is to document how two year old boys feed fish. This earned 'ole Zach a timeout and a spanking tonight. (By the way, no I did not even giggle a little because this was the third time we lost an entire canister of fish food. The first two went in the toilet followed by a big flush!)
Friday, September 29, 2006
After purchasing this old barn window one year ago(at the Allegan antique show of course), I finally have professional photographs to display in it. Steph took these shots of my kids this summer and she truly captured each one of their personalities.
Thanks Steph! I am a bit giddy with this new decoration in my house and could hardly wait to clean up the window and put the pictures in tonight. I think I even scared the UPS man a little.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Thanks everybody for hearing my desperate plea for comments. Except of course for you Steph - what are you busy or something? :) On Sunday, five ladies and one truck hit the road to the Allegan Antique Show. While the weather was less than perfect, the day was filled with "good finds" and "girl talk". Why is it that in our modern homes we decorate with chipped frames, rusted tea pots, & old barn windows? Probably 'cause it looks so cool. My dad however, is someone that just doesn't get it and keeps asking me when I am going to paint my table! (Keep in mind: This is also the man who when he saw the colors I was painting in our first house told me "you paint your walls with off white and decorate with color".) Love you dad, but I have my own style. Here are just a few of the couple of "finds" (which my husband calls "old junk") that I have got down in Allegan.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
1.) I have never colored my hair. I know - you can shoot me now. I inherited my grandmother's red hair and so all I have ever had done is a few highlights in the gloomy winter months.
2.) My Dad, my best friend from childhood, and my husband all have the first name Jeff. I'm sure Freud would have some interesting theory about that.
3.) I can't leave my house a mess before I go on vacation. It drives my husband crazy as he sits in the car waiting while I make beds, load the dishwasher, etc.
4.) My Dad coached football for over 20 years at my highschool and when I was born the assistant coach came into the locker room and said, "Coach Pettinga had another girl ."(#5) To which the entire team booed. What a warm welcome I had into the world huh?
5.) I once got a red card while coaching Varsity Volleyball. Who knew you couldn't yell at the referees while walking out on the court? :) All the parents of my players kept asking me if I was Irish. (fiery temper = Irish descent I guess.)
If you read my blog and have one of your own, you have been officially "tagged." In the words of the recess playground - "you're it and no tag backs!" :)
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Alright, a friend of mine is always blogging about her husband's meat (grilled - get your mind out of the gutter people) SO, I thought I should brag about my husband's wood. (Once again sorry Dad and Mom Guikema - I couldn't resist writing that!) Jeff just got finished building this beautiful kitchen work station and we promised his co-workers that he would finally stop talking about it at work and just show a picture. :) He did a great job and even put in a huge drawer for me to store some "baggie essentials". We actually have had the butcher block in our basement for three years just waiting to be sanded and built. Our first house had this amazing butcher block down on the work bench in the basement. When we moved three years ago, we replaced this beauty with a new top for the new owners. (Before you feel too badly for them - keep in mind that this bench IS the size of my old kitchen. I wish I was kidding.) We just discovered the former homeowner's initials burned in the side of the wood and he has been deceased since the 1970's! We are proud to keep Mr. Hooker's craftsmanship alive and I am glad to have a new addition to my kitchen. So remember, next time you see Jeff you have my permission to say, "nice wood."
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
While I love summer, fall is my favorite season. Here are five reasons why this is my favorite season.
1.) Putting on my jean jacket for the first time.
2.) Pulling on a pair of jeans and finding a ten dollar bill in them. Thank you very much.
3.) Eating candy corn or the candy pumpkins. By the way, they are supposed to make your teeth ache after eating all their sugary goodness.
4.) The new season of all my favorite television shows. Dancing with the Stars was great last night. Go Jerry Springer. :) Also, I can't wait for 'Grey's Anatomy, The Amazing Race, and Without a Trace'.
5.) Watching U of M play football and yes, I must admit I do watch the Lions faithfully too.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Quick post to show you the girls going off to their first day of school. I started writing a sign for them to hold when Paige was in preschool and now, the tradition has stuck. It is really helpful when you look back and wonder which "back to school" pic was from what grade. For those of you who have little ones ... another cute thing to do is have your kids stand back to back with you (with their backpack on) every year and watch them grow. My sister Lisa has done that with her four kids every year and it is amazing to see her 13 yr. old now almost as tall as dad. Hope everyone had a stress free/tear free start to their year.