Tuesday, June 30, 2009

8 Great Years!!

Eight years ago today I married my best friend. To think that eight years ago we were walking down the aisle after just graduating college seems crazy. My life with you has been everything that I dreamed of and more. You are such a wonderful husband and father and I couldn't have asked for anything more. I am so blessed to have you as a husband and three beautiful and healthy children. Happy anniversary honey!!! I love you!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Run, Amber, Run

Saturday I ran in my first ever race!! I ran a 5K in the Reeds Lake Run in East Grand Rapids. A group of girls from my moms group and I started training about 6 weeks ago for the race. Erin, the veteran runner, was nice enough to set up a training schedule and help to coach us. None of us have ever have ever been runners before but we all finished the race and did great!! I didn't meet my goal of under 30 minutes but I came in at 30:46, not bad for my first race.
We had met a couple of weeks ago at Erin's and tie dyed shirts for the race.

Mandy and I buddied up and ran the race together. Here we are getting close to the finish line.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

On Saturday we went strawberry picking at Krupp's Farm. I have never been strawberry picking before so I didn't really know what to expect. We had such a great time that we ended up picking 13 pounds of strawberries!!

Emmy showing off one of her picks!

3 Cute Little Strawberries!! The benefits of having 3 kids!

They even had a small petting zoo and the kids were able to feed some animals.
We will definitely do it again next year. Now, I am off to figure out what to do with all of those berries. So far I have made lots of jam ( a first for me), frozen a lot of them, made strawberry shortcake, and had strawberries on everything from ice cream to pancakes. I probably won't run out of strawberries until it is time to go picking again next year.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Happy Father's Day Chris!!! You are such a wonderful dad and kids and I are so thankful for you. We hope that you enjoy your father's day, you deserve it!!

Father's Day 2009

Father's Day 2008

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to Reality

Chris and I had a great kid-free time in Chicago. We ate a lot of good food, did some shopping, went for an boat tour, and did some dancing. While Chris was working on Monday, I shopped some more and ate lunch with some friends from high school. It was a nice break but now that mountain of laundry and dirty house is calling me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

100 Summer Boredom Busters

I had come up with some things to keep the kids busy for one of my moms group, so I thought that I would post the ideas here. Some of the ideas are for local places but I am sure that there are comparable places everywhere. Enjoy!

100 Summer Boredom Busters

  1. Check for cheap or free movie showings at local theaters
  2. library story time or go to library in morning and spend afternoon outside reading under a tree
  3. join the summer reading program at the library
  4. plant a small garden (maybe veggies in containers)
  5. spend a day at the beach
  6. make a fun lunch (everyone be in charge of part of it (i.e. dessert, drinks, etc.) and take it to the park
  7. tie dye or decorate some t-shirts (you can dye shirts that have stains on them instead of throwing them out)
  8. plan a block party
  9. slip-n-slide
  10. family bike rides (ride on new trails instead of in your neighborhood)
  11. make lemonade from lemons
  12. make juicy ices ( w/ paper cups and sticks)
  13. go get ice cream
  14. make your own ice cream
  15. paint on the sidewalk or driveway with ice/water
  16. use sidewalk chalk
  17. try to catch butterflies or fireflies
  18. make a pie with berries after going berry picking
  19. have a water balloon fight
  20. host a teddy bear or favorite stuffed toy themed picnic
  21. go bowling (very cheap rates during the day)
  22. play miniature golf (I think that Craig’s cruisers is the only place around here)
  23. make snow cones (the snoopy snow cone maker is back)
  24. pick and eat peaches
  25. play with the garden hose
  26. set up the baby pool, put it at the bottom of a slide
  27. blow bubbles (can make your own bubbly solution)
  28. have a bonfire (and eat some sores)
  29. dress up flip flops (tie pieces of fabric or ribbon around the strap)
  30. feed the ducks at a pond
  31. have a tea party
  32. have a watermelon seed spitting contest
  33. teach the kids how to bake a recipe of moms or grandmas (or if they are younger just bake with them)
  34. make a fairy village
  35. make homemade play dough
  36. tint some shaving cream, spread it in a baking pan, and doodle or write words
  37. buy a kids arts and crafts book and try a new activity each week
  38. play a tourist in grand rapids
  39. learn about a new place and have a meal based on that area
  40. go on a nature hike/photo exploration
  41. go geocaching
  42. picnic w/ a blanket on the kitchen floor on a rainy day
  43. make silly putty or slime (Instructions online)
  44. let the kids stay up late and star gaze
  45. Plan a week long camp for your kids at home (plan tradition camp activities like arts and crafts, swimming, nature hikes, bonfires, etc.) You could come up with a camp name, song, and flag. This could be something that you do every summer.
  46. have a spa day at home
  47. run through the sprinklers
  48. cloud watch
  49. build a sandcastle ( if you have a sandbox or gr township park has a big sand area)
  50. Start your own club with your kids. It could be whatever interests you (i.e. dinosaur club, etc.). Plan a fun activity related to the club each week (decorate t-shirts, make bookmarks, read books about the topic, paint figurines, make up skits, etc.)
  51. dance in the rain
  52. create a blog
  53. have a root beer float dessert night
  54. make homemade ice cream sandwiches (bake cookies or use chewy chips ahoy, scoop ice cream onto cookies, wrap in wax paper, let them freeze for an hour and enjoy)
  55. make a step stone for your garden or yard
  56. play with big boxes, turn them into a car or a fort (can call around to stores and get boxes for free from them if you don’t have any)
  57. pack up lunch and explore local state parks
  58. host a neighborhood bike wash
  59. set up a popsicle stand (or lemonade stand)

60. Paint faces

61. Have a pillow fight

62. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard

63. Bring a trash bag to a local park and help clean up (or just do this around your neighborhood).

64. Visit the humane society (they even have camps for the older kids and they can volunteer there).

65. Adopt a webkinz

66. Learn a new word and use it

67. Play dress up

68. Play a board game

69. Use binoculars to watch birds

70. Cut flowers and make a bouquet

71. Pop popcorn and watch a movie (check out a movie from red box)

72. Choreograph a dance in the living room

73. Make a scrapbook

74. Make origami

75. Write your own story and illustrate

76. Make hats (and pants and shoes) from aluminum foil

77. Play with squirt guns

78. Make stilts from empty coffee cans

79. Make a kite and fly it

80. Build a volcano

81. Make people out of marshmallows, raisins, and toothpicks

82. Climb a tree

83. Tie streamers on the ceiling fan

84. Kick the soccer ball/ shoot some hoops

85. Make life size portraits, trace around body lying on sidewalk w/ chalk and draw in body parts

86. Catch bugs

87. Organize a summer playgroup

88. Plan a treasure hunt

89. Start a neighborhood business (if your kids are older let them start a pet walking business or be a mothers helper)

90. Puzzles

91. Hold a carnival (if kids are older let them plan and organize)

92. Go swimming

93. Visit local fairs and festivals (see west Michigan list)

94. Rent a projector and hang up a sheet in your backyard or project onto your garage door, instant drive in movie

95. Go through toys and have kids pick toys to donate to charity

96. Ice and decorate cookies or cupcakes

97. Paint with pudding (can even let the kids body paint w/ it and then hose them off)

98. volunteer somewhere with your kids (even if it is just helping an elderly neighbor)

99. Make animals out of clay or pom poms

100. Go roller skating

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tiny Dancer

Emerson had her first dance recital tonight and she did great!!! She was the best in the class (and I am not just saying that because I am her mom). I think that we have a future dancer. She had so much fun in dance class, so this was the perfect way to end the year. She had great teachers and made some great friends in the class too. I'm already looking forward to next years recital. Seeing how cute she looked in that dress and how well she danced made it worth all of the money that it cost this year (I had no idea how expensive dance is).

Giving Daddy a kiss before she went backstage

What a cutie!!

Emmy and her friends Sofia and Bridget. Us parents are already planning our dance class schedule for next year to make sure that they are in the same class.

The final bow

I tried to upload the video but it is just too big. I did post it on my facebook page though if you really want to see it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The floors may not be clean....

...but I am one happy momma lately. I decided a couple of months ago to start doing more for myself. That might sound kind of selfish but we all know the saying ,"If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy." As a mom of three young kids, I felt like I was always giving, giving, giving and not always receiving. You wake up in the morning and there are immediate requests for milk, breakfast, stories, shows, etc. Even the baby asks for milk before I am done changing his diaper (remind me why I teach my kids sign language again??). Having 3 preschoolers requires a lot of work but I wouldn't trade my job of staying home with them for anything. So I had to figure out a way to get in some me time. Hiring a babysitter just isn't an option financially, so luckily daddy has really stepped up and given me a chance to do some things for me. I have started running. I run with a great group of girls from my mom's group and we are training for our first 5K. That may not sound like much to you runners out there but I wasn't working out or running at all before I started training so this was a great first step. I have found that I really enjoying running. Not enough, to do anything crazy like a marathon but enough that I think that I will continue to keep running after our training is over and may even try the 10K next year. As a mom, it is a great way to get in shape and you are not away from the kids for too long. You can even take them with you in a jogging stroller and still get your run in (although I have discovered that it is much harder pushing a double jogging stroller with 60 pounds of kids). I look forward to my nightly run by myself with my only worry being what music I want to run to (My humps and Katy Perry's Hot and Cold being 2 of my favorites right now).
I have also been sewing and doing other various crafts a lot more. My favorites list on my computer is overflowing with projects from blogs and websites that I want to try. But instead of complaining that I never have the time to try any of them, I just make time. My bed may not get made every day like it used to but who sees your bed besides you anyways. My kids are still getting all of their needs met (and much more) and I even have dinner on the table almost every night. My kids have "room time" every afternoon for an hour while Perry naps and that is when I have been diving into a lot of my projects. I have also been trying to be better about doing these things at night after the kids go to bed instead of watching TV shows that I don't care about. Emmy is modeling a dress that I made last night. It is actually for an 8 year old but it is equally as cute on her. I also made a matching headband and a matching dress for a doll. What little girl wouldn't want that??

These are some bouquets that I made for Kaden's teachers for the last day of school. Very fun project and free!

And these are my favorite!!! Aren't these watermelon cookies adorable?? They are almost too pretty to eat. I made these for Kaden's Young 5's picnic. I found instructions on this website. I just can't wait for another excuse to make them. So if you invite me to a potluck or picnic, chances are I will bring these.
So to all of you moms reading this, I encourage you to do something for yourself. It makes you feel so much better about yourself and I find that I enjoy myself more when I am with my kids.