Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gift Guide for Guys

The holiday gift giving season is officially over. Well, except for New Year's Eve and Day but who really gets presents on either of these holidays? My husband has triumphed through many gift giving occasions and really was quite the online buyer this year. When my sister asked me if Santa had been good to me, I had to honestly say he was VERY good to the kids this year. (Last year was my year when Jeff surprised me with an iMac. Oh, and diamond earrings this year for my birthday. You.the.man.Jeff.) But this year we were a little lame. Both of us were feeling a bit uninspired to buy when we are already so blessed with stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. I thought I would create a little guide for any man who wants to know what the women in their life really want. Feel free to add more ladies.

Guide For Men:
1. Plan a date night and get the babysitter all by yourself. You call and set it up. Seriously; you can do it.
2. Gift certificate for a pedi. It's fairly cheap, thoughtful, and every lady likes pretty feet. Well, except for one of my sisters who about crawled out of the chair the first time she got one ... But really, I think she is more of the exception than the general rule.
3. Starbucks gift card. Once again, this can be as cheap as you want and shows that you know that she needs caffeine to get through her normal daily routine.
4. Case of Diet Coke. (see caffeine note above.)
5. Take the kids grocery shopping.
6. Plan and cook a dinner.
7. Look her straight in the eyes when she gets in the car and has spent some time getting "dolled up" and say, "Wow. You look really beautiful." Remember, look only at her face. :)
8. Plan a vacation. Nothing says,"I love you" like planning a trip for just the two of you or the entire family.

That's it men. You too can achieve greatness; you just needed a little guidance.

Friday, December 18, 2009

White Christmas Party

How did I end up on a date with Don Johnson AGAIN?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Funny Dating Story

Year: 1990
Place: Senior Banquet, Amway Grand Plaza, Downtown Grand Rapids
Date's Name: Let's just call him Bob

Bob was a senior and I was a junior at the time of this spring banquet. The only way an underclassmen could attend was if he or she was invited by a senior. Since I barely ventured out of my class in search of friends, I thought I was safe. I was wrong. An acquaintance I knew from sports called and told me how hurt he was that someone had turned down his invitation to this big dance. He said, "I just wanted to go as friends. I don't know why she didn't understand that. You're my friend, right?"


I answered something like this, "Ummmm ... yeah. I guess we're friends."

To which he responded, "Well good. So you'll go to the dance with me as friends?"


Since I was raised to be nice and kind, I said sure. After much teasing from my best friend (who just happened to be a guy), I planned out some of the details of this mercy date. When Bob asked me what I would be wearing I told him I had a silver/light blue dress. He seemed disappointed in the color. I quickly found out why when he picked me up in a full white tuxedo with tails accompanied by a white tie and cumberbund. Bob complained that he couldn't find a tie & cumberbund to match my dress.


The date was fine and relatively uneventful. But maybe I just don't remember it that well since I was blinded by his tux for most of the night.

Pic of Earring

I must really like you ladies because I really dislike this picture of me. Here is my beautiful earring (which is part of a set but hey, this is a self-portrait.)

Friday, November 20, 2009


Men are funny and kind of predictable. Every year my husband asks what I want for my birthday and every year I tell him "nothing." Which of course translated from womenese to menglish means, "Can't you think of something on your own? Surprise me." I decided this year to have some fun and told him that diamonds are always a nice gift. I opened up a little jewelry box last night with diamond earrings inside. He thinks he is THE MAN and he told me he can't remember me ever saying anything about diamonds. Oh hon, you're so cute. Like an adorable little puppy who's leash I'm holding. :) (Disclaimer if my mother-in-law is reading this: I do not think of him as my puppy and just want you to know that you raised a pretty incredible son. And tell Dad thanks for cooking while he was growing up so he could see that men can cook and for teaching him how to do home improvement.)

They really are quite lovely earrings.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Here you go Emily!

Reasons I hate facebook.:.
1) Provides a slight attention deficit disorder for all users (FADD) [aka homework doesn't get done and neither does my photography editing etc on my computer]
2) It stole my favorite blogger

Sincerely, Emily B.

O.K. I got this message from an obviously talented, witty, and well-read stranger. ;) I'm really trying to get back into blogging but most days fb wins. I find myself thinking in status updates instead of blog posts. It fits my writing style; heck my personality. Get in, get out, be quick, be funny. Here are the other top five reasons I haven't blogged lately:

1. This rainy, cold fall weather is sapping my wit.
2. I am volunteering way too much in my children's classrooms. I was on the PTO board for the past three years (yeah, I'm not your typical PTO mom) but now I get to be a little more hands on. However, I did have another mom tell me she hasn't seen me around school very much this year and actually said, "It's like you've faded into oblivion." I just googled that word to see if she used the right one and this is the definition, "the state of being completely forgotten or unknown." Wow ... thanks lady. Let's do coffee sometime.
3. I'm doing homework sheets with my kindergartener every night. Yep, not every other night. Every night. Darn school district with high academic standards.
4. I'm driving my kids to soccer all over the city of Grand Rapids. Three kids + four fields = two months of no Saturdays.
5. And finally, can one blog about laundry too much? Because I think I do, or did, and probably will again.

Stay smart Emily and I'll try to keep blogging.

Where'd these little girls go?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Zach Man

While eating breakfast the other day Zach asks me, "Mom, does God talk to you?" Well buddy, that's some light conversation to start the day with! After launching into a mini-sermon about how he talks to me through prayer Zach stopped me to add something else to the conversation. He said, "God talks to me. He says, (now he's whispering),'Hi Zach.'"

Alert the media. I think we have a modern day prophet on our hands.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blog On!

I would consider one of my vices to be sour gummy bears. And now that you know this personal information about me you can choose to find this either oddly endearing or slightly immature.

I will read a book in a day if it's good. And yes, I don't intentionally skip words but probably do on occasion. I really do remember a lot of what I read.

My children are the best parts of me and my husband. Oh, and sometimes the worst.

I don't like beer. Gosh, I wish I did because it's a much cheaper alternative when out at a restaurant or bar.

I mow but I don't blow off the driveway or use the trimmer. I don't want to emasculate my man by taking over all the outside chores.

Speaking of my man, there is nothing sexier than a man who cooks. He was rolling meatballs last night at 10:30 p.m. Hubba hubba.

If my backyard neighbor moves, I might have to quit baking. Seriously. That woman provides me more vanilla, eggs, brown sugar, flour, and baking soda than Meijers.

I have three kids in soccer this fall. One is a great at defense, one is great at offense, and one is great at making dust clouds on the dry fields.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Goodbye Summer

This is an ode to the summer of 2009. The summer of sweatshirts, running the air-conditioning only a handful of times, and to one that did not require me to move the sprinklers around the lawn all day.

Goodbye summer. Goodbye to lazy mornings, severe tan lines, freckling noses, and the swirl of sand in the laundry wash-tub. Goodbye to camping with friends and family and eating way too many amazing fire treats like "dough-boys", s'mores, and the infamous biscuits.
Goodbye weekly laundry loads of bathing suits and towels and sniffing to see if they could be used just one more time.
Goodbye to the neighborhood kids calling or just showing up and announcing that they could stay for lunch. Yippeee!
Goodbye to caramel frappacinos (I never seem to order these in the winter) and picnic lunches and visiting playgrounds, beaches, and pools daily.
And finally, goodbye to no agendas or appointments, no team practices, no piano lessons, and no over-packed schedules.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I get to raise these three kids with a loving husband and a Lord and Savior who loves me. How blessed am I?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July Camping Trip

Music is by Michael Gungor. Song is entitled, "I Will Never Stop".

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2 Concerts in 4 days?

How I knew that I was no longer at a David Crowder Band concert; the first t-shirt I saw someone wearing at the Indigo Girls concert read, "I love boobs." And it was worn by a woman. Enough said? 2 concerts in 4 days. Worlds apart and yet both groups were highly talented musicians. I couldn't get myself to raise my hands however when I was singing along to "Galileo" or "Closer I am to Fine" after raising my hands to the Lord at the Big Ticket Festival (Christian rock extravaganza in Gaylord, MI). Sorry Indigo Girls, only Jesus gets me to raise my hands and worship Him.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm Sorry Hair

I feel I need to apologize to my hair after finding my old passport and my new passport picture together. I'm sorry hair. It was the 90's and I didn't know any better.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lucky 13

In a very "Say Anything" kind of a way, my boyfriend Jeff stood at the end of my driveway holding this sign. A dozen roses were laying on my bed with a card that said, "look outside your window." So from my childhood bedroom, I looked down from the second story to see my future husband on bended knee. I am so glad I answered yes to this question. I love you Jeff. Happy Anniversary. Let's go for another 13 ... and more! (And yes, I have kept this sign for 14 years stored in a box in the basement. I guess I'm more sentimental than I thought. My kids loved hearing the story of how daddy proposed until he mentioned the part where we kissed!)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The big 8!

My "mini-me", Zoey Elise, is turning 8 today. I decided to go through the albums and scan some pics of our very smiley red-head. Now I'm feeling just a tad nostalgic. O.K. to be honest, my feelings are bit stronger than a tad nostalgic. My babies are getting so big.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You Know You're A Mom When ...

In honor of the Mother's Day we just celebrated last week, I thought I would list some tell-tale signs of how you know you're a mom. Enjoy then share some of your own!

When ...

You do the nose wipe with your bare hand and wipe it on your sock.
You run down the steps in your jammies with your boobies in your hands.
You wear entirely too many ponytails.
You can take one look at your kids and know their sick.
You've learned to look away when your kids fall. Trust me. They'll cry less if they don't think Mommy just saw it all.
Your middle name should be legally changed to "Enabler".
Your nose can now rival a bloodhound. Every smell has met their match in you.
You've hand washed your panties only because you ran out of clean ones. And then used the hair dryer to dry them.
You save all the good fruit for your kids then realize you really should be eating more too.
Your kid spits something out in your hand and having nowhere to go with it, you pop it in your mouth.
You tell your hubby "not tonight" 'cause your hair looked really cute when you went to bed and your hoping to skip the shower in the a.m.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Here are some random thoughts if you were jonesing for my next post. Just kidding. I may have a healthy self-image but I'm not foolish to believe that people are actually awaiting my next post.

I've had a zit for so long on my chin, I may name it.
It would have been gone weeks ago if I would leave it alone.
I bought a pound or more of sour gummy bears and ate them all in a day and a half.
I actually hid them from kids.
Speaking of hiding candy, Jeff hid Starburst jelly beans in his truck.
When I asked the kids who they thought he was hiding it from, they said from me.
Smart kids.
I think people should monitor what they put on facebook more.
For example, pics of you in your bathing suit, bad idea.
I don't care how hot your bod may be.
Also, don't invite people to dinner or an event if you're not willing to invite all your fb friends.
Seriously. There is a box that says compose new message people.
How do high schoolers deal with this?
I'm 36 and still sometimes feel left out.
That's it folks.
Randomness concluded.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our 1st Baby

Happy Birthday to our beautiful Paige Elizabeth! I can't believe you're double digits. The big 10! And check out her black hair. I can still remember my OBGYN asking Jeff if he needed to be suspicious of the mailman. Oh, and he said this while I was still in stir-ups and he was working down "there". Nice. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Self Confidence

Alright ladies. This post is for you. I just went to party where you got your tummy wrapped. Why? Well, I told the host I thought I could make it, it sounded silly, and yes, sadly this is my "problem area." About ten women got wrapped and sat around talking about how fat they were and how time was stealing their good looks. A couple women even said that they wouldn't tell their 8-10 year old daughters what kind of party they were going to because they didn't want their little girls to think about weight and self-esteem issues yet.

Let me remind you, YOU were once a little girl. You were a little girl who used to twirl to music and thought you were beautiful and thought that that freckle on your big toe was the cutest thing ever. You believed your dad or mom when they said, "You're special. You're extraordinary. You're beautiful." You believed them even when you had a poodle perm, braces and the beginning of acne. And now look at you. You have birthed, nursed, and loved your very own children and you no longer can see your beauty.

Move closer to your computer screen. I'm going into mommy mode a minute. I am putting my hands up and holding your face in my hands and I am saying, "You are beautiful and special and SO worthy of love." And please, guard your ears and eyes from whomever or whatever that says you are not. Guard YOURSELF just like you guard your own children.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Zoo Crew by Paige Guikema, age 9

My family is a zoo.

My Dad is the giraffe - tall, hungry and easy to find.

My mom is a lion who cares for her cubs, but unfearful.

My sister is the spunky wolverine - fierce, but silly.

My brother is the monkey - loud and always snacking.

And I'm the cheetah - wild and up for an adventure.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Monkey Who Had Adventures by Zoey Guikema

Written by Zoey, age 7, second grader.

There wons (once) was a monkey named Phill.
He wonc (once) flingd (flung) poo. Then he got erested (arrested) for flinging poo.
He stad (stayed) in there for 100 years. He was hongry and tired.
Then he got out of galle. (jail) to see his grandson and he was happy.

The end.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Alright, Alright Already

Yep. Blogging has officially become a chore on my "to do not" list. Let''s just say that the Guikema family is happy to have the month of February in the books. What promised to be a month of fun, turned into a month of poop. Seriously. Literally. Grossly. I have never talked about this subject so much in my whole entire career as a mom. We've experienced diarrhea, constipation, enemas, laxatives, and that's all for the youngest and smallest member of our gang. The principal at my girls' school even had a "meeting" in his office with Zach to discuss why people need to poop. (This was a hilarious conversation and quite effective ... if you know what I mean!) After the dam broke, Zach went to his room to get on his pajamas and without any encouragement from me, he folded his hands together and said sweetly, "Thanks God for helping me to go poop." Now who could get mad at a kid like this? Oh wait. I have gotten mad at this kid many times over the past month. :)

We had to miss out on going to the Dominican Republic with eight other members from our church because Zach was hospitalized the same weekend we were to fly out. My go to line when asked how we are doing is, "we are profoundly disappointed." Ultimately, the health of our children will always be the most important thing to us as parents and we made the right decision but that doesn't make it any easier to understand.

We have appreciated everyone's love, encouragement and commiseration and I even found that the Sunday school lesson that I taught this week was perfectly designed and timed for the teacher. Who knew a second and third grade curriculum could teach this old lady a valuable lesson? The lesson was all about prayer and learning the ways that God answers our prayers with a yes, no, or wait. When God says no this lesson writes, "God's 'no' will not always make sense. Sometimes you'll think, "Why did God say 'no'? I can't understand it!" Sometimes you'll be able to look back and say, Oh! I see why God said no and sometimes you won't."

Faith isn't always about agreeing with God's answer to our prayer and I think He honors a relationship that is honest and includes some respectful rage. I'm pretty much done raging and am looking forward to this spring and a renewing of health, nature, and hopefully, faith.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What I Know (Now that I'm Older)

- Tan underwear may be practical for wearing under white pants, but they ain't sexy.
- When you live in the Forest Hills/Ada area, the likelihood that your child will have a play date with the child of your husband's urologist (aka - vasectomy doc) is highly probable.
- You can feel skinny and the scale still knows the truth.
- Your tail bone will hurt if you go sledding AND you're over 30.
- Some kids are easier to like than others. I know this from my own kids and from countless play dates and school visits watching others.
- Eating dessert every night and saying you're on a diet is nonsensical.
- When your gym instructor wears a sports bra to teach a class in you can either be offended because it's inappropriate, or just jealous because her boobs don't jiggle.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is this thing on?

Alright people. I know I've been a slacker blogger now that I joined the newest obsession, facebook, but I still like blogging because it gives you the chance to not write in the third person (Laurie is ... ) and you can write something longer than two sentences. :)

So here's some funnies for you to laugh on and for goodness sakes --- leave me a comment already.

Zach is under the impression that God IS the sun. (He must like listening to Sara Grovers, "You are the Sun ... shining down on everyone. Light of the world ..." So when he sees the sun (which face it, is darn rare here in Grand Rapids) he will actually talk to it. This morning he said, "Hi God. How you doing." Then he asked me why God/Sun was following him all around the house.

He likes to talk about Barack Obama and when I asked him how he knew who that was he simply answered, "He won the competition."

Since Santa brought us a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and we finally opened it, Zach likes to ask for a sip sometimes. However, he calls it "Mountain Burp". I like it, it's catchy and accurate.

After losing something again in the house, I stormed around asking why people couldn't just leave MY stuff alone. I told Zo she was on my poop list and she quietly came up to me later and tried to pay me off with money out of her piggy bank. Apparently this girl thinks she can buy my love. :) I laughed and told her to keep her money and that I loved her.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stage Fright

I love this video for so many reasons. The first being the first three seconds I started taping before I realized my kid was crying and looking like he was in serious pain. I then quickly turned off the camera, started making goofy faces at him, and called his teacher over to give him some love. The rest of the program went on without a hitch (on his part but tears came to the adorable girl on his right so she went to the teacher's side to sing.) I also love the way Mrs. Boot (Zach's teacher) talks to the kids and the kids' incredibly sweet voices. And the last thing I love is that my kid has rhythm (check out his clapping) and that when he claps, he must stick his tongue out of his mouth.

I have changed most, if not all of my expectations of what my child should do up on stage from child #1 to child #3. I know not every kid loves to be the center of attention with 60 pairs of adult eyes staring at them while they "perform." And I know that some of the best moments come when you least expect it. (Like when Zach kept telling me the whole ride home how much he loved me. I think he needed some bolstering after the performance.)

O.K. the quality of the video isn't great (not sure why ... still playing around with both the new camera and iMovie) but trust me when I say, the first three seconds were priceless!

Monday, January 05, 2009

That's a Gaggle

This is a whole lot of Guikemas with one on the way. (Nope, I'm not pregnant just ate too many peanut butter balls this year.) Hope you are all doing well in blogsville. (Check out the new jammies from G & G.)