Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OC Birthday/Graduation Celebrations

There was a lot to celebrate in May up in Orange City. Erin graduated from nursing school (and passed her boards this week, awesome!) as well as Gracie and Addyson's birthdays!
Addy was really excited about the cake!

...and it's always fun to open presents!

Lots of presents to unwrap, with so many, Nathan decided he needed to help out the girls!

Gracie and Heather are all smiles with her bucket of birthday fun!

The gals!

We had a great time celebrating in Orange City with the family. Good food and lots of fun.

On a final note, I was floating around the party and found these two little ones on the couch with lots of smiles, what a cute picture.

...well with some prompting from Uncle Seth, we got a few "silly" faces out of these two!

Awesome! I guess that's what uncles are for!

Tulip Time 2011

I am a little behind on this update, but Tulip Time this year in Pella was a blast. The weather was great and the tulips looked wonderful!

We went Friday evening with our friends, the Pines, and had a great time. We found plenty to eat and lots to see! Heather, Joni and Miya even waited in the Poffertjes line to get those delicious treats!

...nothing like the Dutch Touch!

A little rivalry ensued while we were waiting for the evening parade to start, as both Derek and I laid out our blankets...it was Central vs Wartburg...the epic battle!

A new float this year that looked great in the night parade!

Saturday, Heather and her former court walked in the afternoon parade. 4 of the 5 gals made it back and they had a blast catching up over lunch. Meanwhile, I had a blast at Pella Books bookstore (highly recommended, but I didn't take any pictures)

Go Tulips!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Big News

In Pella, it is a tradition to bring chocolate chip cookies when one is announcing that they are pregnant, so we did just that, since we are expecting a new addition to our family on October 27th!
Heather and I took a day off work and packaged up some chocolate chip cookies and hit the road to tell our families the exciting news, Announcement Day!

We told both our parents prior to our big announcement day and to our surprise, both parents didn't tell anyone...good work you guys!

Our first stop was to Newton to see Heather's grandparents.

...then it was on to Pella, we sure did surprise Shay!

Nathan was really excited about the cookie!

We made a stop to see Heather's friend Beth.

...and then on to Indianola to tell Wade and Christa.

Morgan was excited about the cookie too!

...we didn't make the drive to Orange City on Announcement Day, but managed to send some cookies up to the OC VL's!

...we stopped by the Pines, Derek was really excited about the big news!

...and the Siskows were excited to hear our big news too!

We had a lot of fun driving all over and sharing our exciting news with our family and friends, it was fun to see everyone's reactions!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Review: Love and Logic

With Baby Comfort on the way, I have started reading some books to get prepared (as much as I can). I just finished reading Love and Logic - Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years and I thought it was outstanding. The father and son team of Jim Fay and Charles Fay do a fantastic job of laying out the fundamentals of this parenting style they have deemed "Love and Logic".
The offer simple steps that are easy to remember and lots of examples of these methods.

Basically there are 2 rules that they unpack:
#1 Take care of yourself by setting limits in a loving way
- Act without frustration or anger
- Stop using threats and repeated warnings
- Set a limit once
- Make statements you can enforce
- Give kids a healthy sense of control
#2 Turn every mistake or misbehavior into a learning opportunity
- Always provide a strong dose of empathy before delivering a consequence
- Replace punishment with logical consequences
- When possible, show your child how to solve his/her own problems
The rest of the book provides explanation of these two principals, lots of information and plenty of examples. They also give experiments for parents to try, sort of easing parents into these concepts.
All in all, I thought this is a great book and I already planning on how to use these strategies in my own parenting style. I would highly recommend this book to any parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or anyone who is around kids.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review: Flickering Pixels by Shane Hipps

I listening to Podcasts from Mars Hill church in Grand Rapids, MI and Shane Hipps is one of the pastors of that church, so when I saw this book on the shelf at Pella Books bookstore, it caught my attention. Subtitled "How Technology Shapes Your Faith" this book takes a look at how the message of Jesus is delivered and the medium used to deliver it.
Shane does a great job of unpacking how technology has changed through the ages and also looks at how the message of Jesus has been influenced by those changes, both positively and negatively. For example, he talks about moving into the print age, books became available to everyone (positive) but people no longer needed to pass on oral traditions and peoples memories weren't as sharp (negative).
Shane also looks at how the medium impacts the message, or how what we say changes by how we say it. He then unpacks how that has shaped the church and the message of God.
Ultimately, Shane makes the statement, and I agree with him, that the church is God's medium and message.
All in all, I thought this book was excellent. It really made me think of not only what message I am communicating and but how do I communicate, I would highly recommend this book.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Klompen Classic

Every year, the Wednesday before Tulip Time is the Klompen Classic 5k. I have ran in this race every year since 2005 and this year drew the largest crowd yet with just over 2,000 runners and walkers completing the 5k!
Before the 5k goes, there is a kids race. Nathan was running in the kids race this year and he was super excited to be wearing his fast Nike's!
...all lined up at the start!

We asked him if he won and he replied "No, but I did get a ribbon and a popsicle!" Just as good as winning!

As I was getting warmed up for my race, Nathan wanted to give me a high five to wish me good luck!

...all lined up at the start!

...and we are off and running.

Thumbs up and smiling as I pass all the tulips!

My cheering squad trying to keep warm in the wind, thanks Pella VL's for cheering!

...and here I come down the home stretch.

...and into the finish. I finished in a time of 17.27 for 8th place. If your interested in the complete results, click here.

After the race I talked with Julius Rotich, the winner in 15.40, he's a really nice guy and really fast! Heather and I after the race, she is always on the course cheering me on! Thanks babe!

My dad and I, they came to cheer me on too!

Chris Lauman ran with his son Chase this year, Chase finished in 30.54...pretty fast for a 6 year old!

I also talked my friends, Doug and Heather Gaumer, to come and run in the race, Heather wasn't too sure about running the 5k, but the both finished with smiles! Nice job guys!

What a great way to kick off Tulip Time, nice weather and a fun 5k. It is always fun to see friends, family...and the tulips!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Derek!

Saturday evening, we went out for Derek's birthday. We went to Gusto Pizza, of course, great pizza and they have outside seating!
Derek, Aaron and I are in a book club and we thought since we read books...maybe we should also smoke pipes. They got me a pipe for my birthday, so Aaron and I got Derek a pipe for his...Aaron, can you guess what you are getting for your birthday?
Derek, his pipe, and Joni are all smiles as we enjoy some great pizza and a sunny evening!

Dawn and Aaron (nice photo-bomb Derek!)

Heather and I

We had a great time celebrating Derek and his birthday, great friends, great food, lots of stories and lots of laughs!