Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tulip Festival 2015

I made it back home - Orange City, Iowa, for the Tulip Festival this year! It was the 75th annual Tulip Festival so they had a few extra things planned and a group of my high school and college friends were planning on getting together after far too many years apart. It was such a great weekend! I'm so glad my brother and his family still live in town so it still feels right to go back home and visit all my childhood favorites :) I also love just walking around town and seeing so many familiar faces. We even ran into a few college friends from Iowa State that we hadn't seen in years. 

The highlight was getting dressed up in Dutch costumes and taking some pictures with the kids and scrubbing streets at the beginning of the parade on Saturday.
The tulips were passed their prime, but there were still a few good beds.
Thank you to our friend Holly for outfitting the youngest two and me!

For as much complaining as I got from Rebecca while waiting to start, she had a great time once we got started!
Blake also loved filling his bucket and dumping water on the street. Making it clean for the queen and her court!
Blake was a little concerned his pants were getting wet :)
There are 2 parades each day and we watched 3 of the 6 parades. Blake wanted me to take pictures of his favorite things of course.
Pride of the Dutchmen Marching band - Blake says that the song they play is now his favorite song.
Budweiser horses and wagon.
Unity Christian High School float with a nice tractor (which is what Blake liked :)
This float has been around since I was a kid :)

Blake loves trains!
and boats!
It was also fun to see familiar faces from Pella. Here is the Pella Christian School Middle School band.
Some other fun things we did were go to the airport for a fly in breakfast and visit with old friends.
Great girl friends from high school and college. We got together at a friend's house, but also got to hang out watching a parade together.
Just some of our kids.
The rain in the morning kept the planes on the ground, but the kids still had fun looking at them.
Here are a few last pictures of our fun weekend in Orange City.
We grabbed a photo with Tulip Queen Cara while walking around.
Blake loved the car ride!
Rebecca was way more adventurous and road the Screamer twice!
The Screamer
The caterpillar roller coaster was also a hit with her.
Thanks so much for Tonya for hosting us. The kids had a great time with cousins Caleb and Deborah too!

Monday, March 9, 2015

February in review

So it's been a while since I've blogged. Can you guess why? It's because I was working full time again - no, not at school, but at home. I did child care for my nieces for a month while their grandma, who usually watches them recovered from surgery. I really loved watching a few extra kids, but it is like working full time again and I didn't have much free time during the day. The up side of working from home of course is that I could still get a few things done like laundry, light cleaning, and thinking about what's for supper before 5 pm. 

Blake and Brianna especially liked having their cousins here every day to play with. Here's a few pictures of our fun together.

Brooke and Katie are only 4 months older than Blake.

 We did lots of fun stuff together, like play time and story time at the library.

We also played with playdough about every other day.

 For Valentine's Day we decorated cookies. I let the 3 year olds do the sprinkles - not a complete disaster, but almost!
 And lots and lots of story time!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday Blake!

Can't believe our little guy is 3! It really is amazing how much he has grown and matured in the last year. He is such an energetic boy who keeps us on our toes and laughing all the time! He brings so much joy and fun to our family.
Construction theme!

Seriously, this is about the best family picture I got!!
Inspired by a picture on Pinterest of course.

Lots of fun presents!
Alright, here is how the cake was put together. It really was a pretty easy cake and very forgiving. It started with 2 8" rounds - one of them broke apart when I flipped it out which normally would have been awful, but for this cake it worked.
 I pieced it together with chocolate butter cream frosting. It was pretty messy but like I said, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is pretty forgiving. I just kept adding frosting until everything was covered.
 After the frosting, I put the trucks in place and the added a bunch of candy - cut up Snickers, Whoppers, mini Kit Kats and Heath bits.
I made the little signs on the computer and taped them on sticks. 
Ta-da! Or as Blake would say, "Tee-da!"

Happy Birthday Buddy!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I just love this time of year! Celebrating the birth of our Savior, getting together with family and friends, giving of gifts to loved ones, and the food! We had a great week celebrating and it's a joy to see the excitement the kids have for the season. Here's a recap with lots of pictures.

Christmas Eve the kids opened a box with new pjs, a movie, and some snacks. We enjoyed a quiet night at home and now Blake's new favorite movie is Charlotte's Web.

Christmas jammies!
 Christmas morning before church the kids opened their stockings. We also Skyped with Grandpa and Grandma Pontier in Canada so the kids could open their gifts from them "live" on the computer.

All dressed and ready for church Christmas morning!
Later Christmas day we went to my sister Grace's house in Pella and celebrated with her family.
Lots of fun with the Barnes cousins.
Finally we made it back home in the evening to finish opening our presents for the kids and each other.

Rebecca and Blake love their new scooters and had to practice riding them in the house.
 This past Saturday we had Dan's family over to our house for the De Vries Christmas. We spent almost the whole day together and had lot of fun.
Brianna got pretty good at ripping open presents!
Opening gifts from Aunt Linda and Uncle Bill.

Trevor and Blake intent on a video game.
All the little grand kids!
We still have some celebrating to do when my brothers and their families come to visit for New Years!