Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Jonah!!!

Today we got to celebrate my little buddy turning FIVE!!! We are SO thankful for Jonah, and the enormous blessing he has been in our lives. He makes us laugh everyday and has brought us so much joy.

We celebrated a little bit earlier in the month with the rest of the family... a "Monster Party" with the DeKocks, and a party for Jonah and his cousin Eli on Thanksgiving with the Driys. Today Jonah got to be the special helper at school, which meant I got to come along. He was pretty excited to wear a special birthday crown at school and have everyone sing to him. :) We then had some special mommy & Jonah time going out for lunch & dessert, and then he chose to go out to "the Buffalo Restaurant" for supper tonight. It was his lucky night... a balloon man was there and made him a birthday hat, a penguin, and did some magic tricks for him. And of course some more presents from mommy and daddy... he's getting a little too used to being spoiled since his birthday has been spread out for a couple weeks! ;)

We Love You, Jonah!!!! Hope you have a fun year being 5!!! Happy Birthday!!

Madison's First Birthday

On October 26th we celebrated Madison's 1st birthday. Where has the time gone?? On some days the pain of missing her makes it seem like it was just yesterday that we held her in our arms, on others it feels surreal, like it was a lifetime ago. I wonder everyday what she'd be doing... what her smile and laugh would be like, if she'd still have her curly, dark hair, if she would be walking yet, if she would be an easy baby or a little trouble-maker, how her and Jonah would get along... do you think they take pictures up in heaven? I like to think God or someone else up in heaven is making a scrapbook for me for all those moments we are missing out on...

On her birthday we celebrated Madison by going to her grave with the whole family and singing Happy Birthday and sending balloons up to heaven for her. We also carved a pumpkin for her, and then went for dinner with just the 3 of us.

I thank God everyday for Madison, and for the short time we had with her. I know God has a good and perfect plan, and though I will probably never understand why part of that plan included taking my baby girl home so quickly, I can still PRAISE Him for the promise of eternal life and that we will see Madison again.

Thank you to so many who have been thinking and praying for us over the last year... for the many cards, messages, flowers, meals, hugs... and to our wonderful small group who also planned a special birthday celebration for Madison. Thank you all, it is so appreciated.

Happy Birthday sweet girl, we love and miss you everyday... and can't wait to see you again!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Jonah had his first week of Preschool this week! He was so excited to see some of his friends from last year and meet his new teacher, Mrs. Wiersema. On the first day the kids got to bring their mommy's or daddy's along to help everyone adjust and learn together how the school days would go. We got to do a little scavenger hunt finding things in the classroom, did a craft, and sang some songs. The rest of the week Jonah was on his own... what a difference from the beginning of school last year! He has no problem with me leaving in the morning and can't wait to get started on his projects for the day. He is absolutely loving it, though getting back on a school schedule has been a bit of an adjustment for him... he was so tired tonight he was in bed by 7 o'clock! ;)

Madison's Garden

Last spring we cut down a huge, dying pine tree in our front yard, and in its place we planted a garden in memory of Madison. Our wonderful neighbors had gotten us a gift certificate for a tree, and after reading "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith {amazing book for any baby loss mamas reading this}, I knew I wanted to get a Japanese Cherry Blossom tree. It will have beautiful pink flowers in the spring, but they will only last a short time... just like we only had a short time with our beautiful baby girl.
We want to thank our neighbors, family, and friends for your contributions to the garden, and help taking down the old tree. You have all been such a blessing to us. We are so thankful to have this beautiful garden to remember our little girl.


Well, school has officially started, so I guess its time to do a quick update on our summer! As always summer has flown by, but we have had a great one. Lots of weekends up in Cadillac spending time with family on the beach and in the lake, my sister Liz & her husband Javi's wedding, swimming lessons, trips to the zoo, the beach with friends, hanging out with neighbors, camping with friends from our small group... lots of fun stuff! Rather than try to remember lots of details from the last few months I'll just share some pictures :)

{playing Wipe Out in Cadillac}
{swimming lessons}

{Binder Zoo}
{my little triceratops}
{camping at Hungry Horse}

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Last Day of School & Memorial Day Parade

How can it be that my little boy has already finished his first year of school?? My how he has changed since the beginning of the school year!! At the beginning of the year it was very hard for him when I would bring him to school... lots of hugs, wanting mommy to stay, and sometimes even tears or chasing me down the hallway. By the end of the year I hardly got a "bye mommy!" before he was off playing with his friends or working on his crafts. We were blessed with some AWESOME teachers, Mrs. Scholten and Mrs. Dykstra, that made Jonah's first experience with school such a great one. Now hopefully he'll still love it this much in about 10 years... ;)

One the last day of school we were supposed to have a field trip to Timbertown with Jonah's class, along with any parents or siblings that could come along. Even though Friday turned out to be a beautiful day, we had a lot of rain for a couple days before that, leaving the park pretty soggy. So we had to move our picnic to school instead. Jonah was pretty bummed at first, but it ended up a really fun day. We blew bubbles outside, made some fun games to play out in the hallways, did a scavenger hunt, face paint and went to the gym to play with a big parachute. Such a fun day!! Jonah sure is going to miss it this summer!

After Jonah's last day of school last week Friday he didn't have to say good-bye to his teachers and friends for too long... he got to ride on a wagon in the Memorial Day parade on Monday. He was SO excited to get to be in a parade, and loved waving to everyone as he rode by!

{Showing of his shaker he made for the parade.}
{Everyone under the parachute!}
{Jonah and Mrs. Scholten}
{Mrs. Dykstra and Jonah}
{Ethan and Jonah}

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Celebration Program

Jonah was in his first church program tonight! The first song he just stood there looking cute... straight face, no singing, no motions... But later he came back and sang This Little Light of Mine and the New Doxology with all of his heart! I'm such a proud mommy! :)

Praise God, Praise God.. Praise God who saved my soul! Praise God, Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!