October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

This year Abigail has really gotten excited about Halloween.  The prospect of getting to dress up and then people give you candy - amazing.  This sweet tooth girl has been in heaven all week.
 Hitting the streets tonight will be my little minnie mouse and spiderman.  How they love their outfits.
 I love their little mooseketeers project they made yesterday.  Thankful for them as they are the extent of our halloween decorations in the house today.
Abigail was very excited when she asked me just what Naomi was going to be this year.  She was slightly disappointed when I replied with, your baby sister.  So to switch things up just a little, at our party yesterday Naomi put on a furry pink mustache.  I do believe she wears the slightly mysterious look well.

October 30, 2014

Klynstra Karving

This year was our first year carving with the kids.
It was so funny to see Ethan completely disgusted by the feel of the pumpkin guts and seeds.
When we introduced him to it he insisted on closing the lid.  When we talked him into it he then turned his pumpkin over said, "dump out." while pounding it on the table.  Smart boy but not the way it works.
Abigail is my slightly more adventurous girl and she dug right in, with a little help on the edges from daddy.
Both kids were very, very pleased with their pumpkins.  When Josh asked what Abigail wanted for a face she said, "make it girly."  Josh looked at me and I had to remind him that statement simply meant she wanted eye lashes.  So eye lashes she got.  But at the end of the evening she was looking at them and said in a sad voice, "they should have hair."
Josh is so creative, I love it.  Where I would say, pumpkins don't have hair, Josh went out and made it happen.  Presenting the first of many Klynstra pumpkins.  We think they are pretty great.




October 29, 2014

Oh Please

The other day I had the two girls and needed to run into our local second hand kids store for something.  Before we left the car I had a little talk with Abigail.  "We are going to exchange ONE item.  You will not pull things off the shelf, you will not ask for anything, you will not want to try anything on.  This will be a FAST stop."  What am I thinking?  Abigail really is a great shopper, well behaved but the joy of our little second hand shop is you really never know just what you are going to find and what kind of deal it is going to be.

So we go in, I make my exchange and as we get ready to head out Abigail found this pair of tap shoes. She stopped in her tracks and looked at me, looked at the shoes and said, "Oh, Please."

I know I should have stuck to my guns.  I know I should have kept walking.  But I didn't and you know what, it has been so much fun.  I am really the one to blame.  On slow days at the house I have been know to show the kids broadway tap dance routines on Youtube.  I encourage her dancing all over the house and even though she doesn't take any classes we play around in kitchen ballet and tap all the time.  Our showtunes playlist on Pandora is one of the most played, when daddy isn't home of course.
So tap dance shoes it was.  For $4 we walked out with just something extra then what we went in for.  Abigail was happy, I was happy and the sound of clickity clack now fills our home.

October 28, 2014

Fall Clean Up

We all enjoy fall but there is something so fun when the snow starts to finally really arrive.
A few weeks ago we got our first bit of snow that fell and stayed.  It was time for the last of the yard clean up before winter really set in.
 Remember the little house I wrote about a few ago.  The log one in the yard Josh built for the kids?  Well, with the snow on the ground we filled that house with birch bark pieces left over from splitting all our wood.  Then we burned it all.
 The kids didn't mind at all.
 Actually they loved it.  A bonfire in the yard means hours of outdoor fun in the snow without getting cold and fresh cooked hot dogs on a stick.
But the best part was the graham crackers and marshmallows.  Snow, treats, fire, and a cleaner yard - a perfect combination for all.

October 27, 2014

A Bigger Home

A few weeks ago I reported that the kids made worm farms in moosekeeters.  They loved it.  They loved it so much that they were over feeding their worms, aka the food was rotting before being eaten and thus stinky.  
 But lucky for us when I told a friend of this problem she said that she had worms.  They had them over the summer and kept them outside and thus the worms were going to freeze in the winter.  So with the arrival of A LOT of very skinny and hungry worms we needed to make a bigger home for them.
 The kids were especially excited at the prospect of using daddy's power tools to make the air holes for our worms.
And then the exploration of watching the worms began.  I promise you I won't blog about our worms too often but you must know they are an area of excitement around here.  The kids take turns getting to "feed" them our fruit and vegetable scraps and we are always on the look out for coffee grounds when we visit friends or church.  It brings me to a belly laugh every time I hear the kids proudly go up to someone new and announce, "We Have Worms."

October 24, 2014

On Being Two

Oh being two.  Not so much the terrible two's but maybe alternating between the terrific two's and the trying two's all within the same three minute time frame.  Long gone are the days of baby Ethan, welcome to my smart, strong willed, loud and determined little man.  Recently this two year old...

Has started to say, "doo it."  I wish I could catch his slight slang/accent when he says it.  But it is what I hear all day.  This boy wants to do everything himself.  I even tried to say good-bye to Josh the other day and half way through I hear, "No mama, doo it."  That combined with, "need dat" which is what he says for treats, toys and anything else that hits his fancy.
He has also really become quite the talker.  On Tuesday nights Josh takes Abigail to AWANA and it is just the two little kids home with me.  He is sad to see Abigail go but as soon as she is out the door he starts talking and doesn't stop until he is in bed asleep.  

He has really started to express his imagination.  I love this about hearing him talk, really getting to find out what he is thinking.  He loves to become things.  His favorites are animals that roar.  Most recently he likes to become dinosaurs, a different one each night.  But he also loves to be a bear, lion, or tiger.  Naomi helps to encourage him by always laughing at his deep belly roars.

Even as he grows he is still by cuddly boy.  In addition to the hugs I get all day he has started to initiate telling me he loves me.  Really, nothing can stop you from being frustrated as quickly as hearing his little voice say "lub you."

Now if I can just focus on these fun things and not all the times he runs away, doesn't listen, destroys things, and lashes out incorrectly, we just make it to three!  

October 23, 2014

Regarding Hair

Last year when Abigail turned 3 I started thinking that maybe we should be using more than just baby shampoo on her hair.  So for Christmas Santa brought her princess shampoo.  Honestly, I never liked the stuff.  Her hair became dull and tangled easily.  So when the shampoo finally ran out this summer we just went back to washing her hair in the baby shampoo we still use for Ethan.  But once again her birthday is coming up.  It seems like a 4 year old should have something else for her hair besides Baby magic but I don't know what.  Right now she doesn't mind, it is just what we always use.  Ethan and Naomi all use that same bottle of baby shampoo so there are no differences there.  If her hair is ok, is it?  Wonder if my girl will pack for college with a bottle of baby magic in her duffle bag.  
This picture was originally taken last week after I commented that Abigail's hair looked good that day.  She asked to see it and since we have no hand held mirrors in the house for her to use I just took a picture then showed it to her.  I love the digital age.



October 21, 2014

Dinner Success

 Last week I wrote about how I was helping to organize a fundraiser for Operation Christmas Child.  Well, I am super happy to report that it was a huge success.  Yes, we raised above and beyond what we could have ever imagined but to me my favorite part was watching all the fun people had.
 The big fundraiser was our silent auction.  Abigail was super excited to go "shopping."  I gave her some money in her wallet and she carried it in her purse all night.  I worked on teaching her the lesson of, don't show people your money, but she was so excited she might have slipped a few times.
Ethan loves to be my helper and while Abigail ran off to be here or there he was right by my side.  He helped carry this or that, run things here or there and overall was my buddy in a crowd.  
 Our church family is an extension of our family and it was so fun for me to see Abigail shop with her friends, eat with other friends and help count money at the end of the evening with more of her friends. What joy to see her running around completely in her element.  
 What an event it was.  Such a random collection of things to auction, a high stakes out-cry auction for desserts and bowls upon bowls of chili were tasted.
I left the evening tired but we all left happy and a whole lot of children will get boxes of clothes, toiletries and toys this christmas. 

October 20, 2014

Growth

I am the type of shopper who buys the end of season sales.  It is a great thing for the budget but also a guessing game since you are never exactly what size your children will be when that new season comes around. 

Two weeks ago we got our first real snow, the kind that falls, sticks and stays.  So the kids and I had a fashion show to see just what snow gear they might need for this coming winter.  Coats, pants, hats, boots, gloves and all are needed for these little bodies.  And after trying everything now...
 We found the only thing Abigail needed was a new pair of boots, even though her old ones could have worked but pink boots are more fun than last years blue boots, and a new pair of mittens.  Amazing, this girl has now worn this same snowsuit for three winters - 3 winters folks.
Ethan I was sure would need new clothes so I pulled all of those out first and you know what, they were just too big.  Ethan's new additions were Abigail's old boots and new mittens.  So the next sizes will continue to hang in the laundry room waiting, because winter does last until April here.  

October 17, 2014

Those Baby Days

Days are so steady around here.  Even the not out and about days are busy in simple life issues.  I don't leave the house much and that is how this mama can make it through most days.  But even still I find Naomi being carried here or there, put on a hip, set here and then quickly picked up and moved to sit there.  The day ends and I put her to bed with droll covering all parts of my clothing and dripped all over the floor.  I pick her up and make dinner, tuck her under my arm and teach the big kids, prop her on a shoulder and hang the laundry.  Simple days but busy.  
But even as I do each of those things I find myself snuggling her smooth skin, delighting in her smiles, eager to pick her up to sooth her fussiness, and longing for the chance to cuddle her as she eats in a quiet house at night when she has all my attention.  Baby days are tiring, baby days are fleeting, oh how we love those baby days.  Yesterday as Abigail greeted Naomi in the morning she gave her a hug and snuggled close to her ear to whisper, "Oh Naomi, you are so loved."  Yes she is indeed.

October 16, 2014

Silent Auction and Dinner

For a couple months now two wonderful ladies in my church and I have been planning a big event.  We are putting on a silent auction and chili dinner to raise funds for the shipping and packing of operation christmas child boxes.  Well, the big night is tomorrow.  Most of my preparations and plans were made thinking I would have Josh's help but the past week, and the next month or so, has been 12-14 hour days for Josh.  So the kids and I have been running solo on getting ready.  But lucky for me the kids are still in one piece and I am not alone in putting this all together.  Today is the set up, tomorrow the event.  

If you are in town be sure to come by FACC between 6-8pm for dinner and a great selection of items up for bid.
And even though Josh is busy at work now, he did put in his time to built this little set of wooden cars to donate to the auction.  A school bus, firetruck, ambulance, car and tow truck.  He had as much fun making them as some little boy will have playing with them for sure!

October 15, 2014

School Days

The other day Abigail wanted to pretend she was going to school and wanted me to fill her lunch box with fake food.
 We decided to do one better and that day for their snack I packed both of the kids their snack in a lunch box.
 They were so excited.
And it was fun to do something different but it sure did give me a scare.  Thankfully school days for my girl is two years away.  I know it will be here before we know it so I am so thankful for the chance to help them pretend to be at school and then watch them eat at my very own table.

October 14, 2014

Garden Growth Through The Years

Just like the cabbages at the fair, the garden in our yard has changed with us each year and a way we can mark the changes in our family.  It is a place where we as a family work, play, eat from, and grow together.  
 
2014 (with Naomi in the bouncy seat just out of view)


 2013 (Abigail 2, Ethan just turned 1 and me newly pregnant with Naomi)
 
2012 (no pictures of the kids but work in the garden the night I went to have Ethan and then the day I got home from the hospital)
2011 (Abigail just 10 months old and our other baby, Zeke, who I still miss having around)

I am so thankful for our garden and for this family it nourishes throughout the years.

October 13, 2014

Garden Clean Up 2014

A week and a half ago, before the snow, we had our annual garden clean up.

After not letting the kids come in the big garden almost all summer, it is a time when I open the gate and say go for it.  Ethan loved this but Abigail...
well, she is learning what is work and what is play and how is it digging in the dirt isn't fun to a three year old?  Oh I hope her willingness to get her hands dirt comes back around!  You might notice from this picture that "fixing mama's hair" has become a fun morning event.
But after pulling the last of our garden plants we dug up our potatoes.  This year we grew almost all Delta blues from seed potatoes that had survived over the past winter.  It is so fun to cook with a purple potatoes.  But thankfully we were able to get the plastic pulled, the plants put into compost piles and the greenhouse cleaned out and outdoor toys stored.  Winter has arrived and the gardening days of 2014 are over.  We didn't plant a huge garden this year with all that happened this summer and the weather really stunk this year for growth as well.  Better luck in 2015, we have a long winter ahead to plan for it that is for sure!



October 10, 2014

My Favorite So Far

We have made a lot of things in our weekly mooseketeers group over the past year.  But yesterday we made my favorite craft thus far.
Scarecrows.  Aren't they so cute.  And if you ask, to Abigail pink leopard pants go wonderfully with a red corduroy jumper.  I love a 3 year old's fashion opinion. 

October 9, 2014

Klynstra's Pets

In our house we don't have dogs, cats, hamsters, lizards or bunnies.  The kids ask for them all the time but I already feel like life is enough of a zoo and I don't need someone else to care for at this point.  But then the other day we got new animals in the house, and the kids are very excited.
In mooseketeers last week the kids made compost worm bins and they each got 5 or so worms.  Not enough to do a lot of damage but enough.  The kids are very excited each day to feed their worms the scraps from the kitchen.  Found out a friend from church has worms outside that are in danger of freezing and so she is going to bring us more.  That means a bigger bin and able to throw away less of our kitchen scraps.  No their pet isn't soft and fuzzy but for now it is fun and that is the kind of pet I can work with!

October 8, 2014

Conversations

Little girls love to talk, even if they can form no words as of yet.  Naomi is definitely a little girl!
video

October 7, 2014

To Sleep Like A Baby

Sunday was a very long, tiring, and wonderful family day.  We went out, did new things, spent a lot of time outside in a snow storm, and came home for the evening of getting ready for the week ahead.  I tell you all this so that you will understand the hilarity of these pictures.  
After dinner Ethan sat on the potty and played the drums while I vacuumed and Abigail played music very loudly so she could dance.
And at the very same time Naomi took a nap.  Oh she doesn't sleep like these very often, but when she does we completely understand the phrase, To Sleep Like A Baby.

October 6, 2014

Need For Space

When we finished the basement two years ago we had a plan to make it into a sit down family room.  Couches, bookshelves, a cozy warm place to be.  But with little kids in a place with long winters the reality is that space is more important than another place to sit.
video
It snowed a lot over the weekend, winter is here.  Getting active preschoolers to let off energy is the name of the game every day!  No couches in the basement this year.  Room for bikes, that is much more important!

October 3, 2014

Milestones

I know I did Naomi's 4 month blog post yesterday but at the time I didn't have her stats. 
 Yesterday afternoon our girl had her 4 month well baby visit and here is where she is at:
Weight:  15 lbs 5 oz (75%)
Height:  24 1/2" (50%)
Head: 42 cm (90%)
Sad for her she also had 2 of the four vaccines for this month.  So hard for a little girl but so important.  Last night, for fun, Josh and I looked back at the 4 month posts for both Abigail and Ethan.  So fun to see how much they are alike and at the same time how different.  As Josh put it, it is so easy to just remember them as they are today.  It is so good we have pictures and videos of what they were then.  The video of Ethan especially made us smile.

Abigail at Four Months

October 2, 2014

4 Months

Today our little lady is four months old.  She is so responsive and loves to laugh and smile.  She loves to be held and carried around.  She has already started rolling from her front to her back.  Her biggest sense right now is taste and her tongue is always out licking things.  With that has come the drool.  The right shoulder of ever shirt of mine is drenched by the end of each day.  Toys are starting to be fun and she will reach out and grab a toy and then hold on to it for a little while.  Ethan was in for a shock the other day when she took one of his cars.  Oh no.
We love this little girl and are so thankful for how much she is growing, how fun she is, how healthy she has been and how much fun she brings to our lives.  

October 1, 2014

Her Space

Abigail is getting old enough that she is starting to need to have a little bit of her own space.  I have been considering this problem for several weeks now.  As I have been wondering just where I could give Abigail some place of her own I have been finding little stashes of her things behind a chair, under the pack n' play, in a random drawer or under her bed.  

Since she shares a room, and has trouble going to sleep, I didn't want to make her a place for her things in there.  The sitting area was an option but Ethan could easily get to her and thus defeat the purpose of having a place away from a little brother.  My mother suggested my guest room closet.  After some thought I realized it was perfect since it has a door, a light and since it is over the boiler room it is always warm.  The biggest problem was that it was filled with Christmas Decorations, set aside baby gear and toys, spare jackets, purchased gifts and more.  
But after a few evenings of cleaning it out and moving things around in the house it was empty and ready to be made perfect for Abigail.  I found the little pink chair at a garage sale, we hung some fun pictures on the wall and put up some purple decals, in went some of her dolls and baby cradle then I put in a little two drawer cabinet for her "special things" and a place to put her doll house.
The rules are no stickers, crayons or food can go in there.  She can shut the closet door but not the guest room door.  Lastly, she isn't allowed to take Ethan's toys in there where he can't get to them.  When I showed her the room she stood still for about a minute with her mouth open then turned around and hugged and kissed me non-stop.  She has now had almost two weeks with her special place and she loves it.  Ethan is starting to understand he can't go there and after a few very hard days he is starting to be ok with that.  I like to look at these pictures of it all set up since Abigail personally likes to keep it a mess.  But it is her space and it has a door.  What I can't see doesn't bother me too much.  Once a week we clean it up together and put things back in order.  For a little girl who loves to keep all random things this place is perfect.  One more step in growing up.