Wednesday, April 28, 2010

tractor time

nothing elicits the response from my boys as the occasions they get to ride in the tractor with their daddy. legs and arms flail about, voices screech out "daddy" and "tractor", and there is no distracting them from seeking out the sight of the john deere with daddy behind the wheel. to be honest, both boys think that brad is behind the wheel of every tractor. slowly they are starting to shout, "there is mr. john" if they understand it cannot be daddy, then mr john it is.

spring and fall are full of tractor rides for my boys and i. what a privilege! we so enjoy the time we get to spend crowded together in the cab watching the fields be prepared for planting. i still consider myself a beginner when it comes to all things farming, but boy have i made some progress! when i have a question, i can just go to my hubby, or my son maxwell who has already logged more time in a tractor in his short life than i have in all my 26 years.

to maxer, farming is serious business. he rarely cracks a smile or even speaks as he surveys the land. occasionally he will point out wildlife or other tractors nearby, but otherwise he is concentrating at the ask at hand. bear is less intense when it comes to riding. he bounces along looking for the food that i cleverly pack and then distribute to brad when we rendezvous. weston and i usually depart before maxman is ready to roll, then pick up the eldest later. that happened this evening and really worked to my advantage because when i got max from the tractor he promptly revealed $5 dad gave him in his pocket for ice cream. whether that was a bribe to get max out or not i do not know, what i am focused on is the french silk i devoured before even reaching home.

the last few days, we participated in the cultivation process with bradley. the man loves to farm, it is innate and it is a deep passion. though it is difficult to be without brad during fieldwork, these special moments together in the tractor with our boys compensate for the quantity of time we miss out on.

when we arrive back at home, max and wes get out all their toy tractors and reenact what they just did. precious. we will be eager to have brad home again, but for now, we are enjoying the fun of fieldwork!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

swingset someday

thanks to the generosity of brad's parents, the boys now have a swing set. almost. it is in our possession, it is just in parts still. several parts. so many, many parts. the entire thing came in three relatively large boxes packed with a random variety of boards, screws, bolts, and misc swing set type necessities. brad and i had fun perusing swing sets online, and then locating the perfect one at meijer. the excitement mounted as we lugged the boxes to the backyard and opened them to find the aforementioned parts.

well brad and i are nothing if not ambitious. (that made me giggle to type even.) i meant to write, brad is super ambitious and when it comes to his boys he is willing and ready for any task at hand. this swing set is a big task. within minutes, brad was using language i rarely hear, by this i mean adjectives mostly that were slightly profane. do not worry, the boys were out of hearing range.

although i could not relinquish my clutch of the directions, i did take several mental pics of the boys' entertaining themselves. here is the image: imagine the large pile of sand (a sandbox someday), with bear struggling hard to climb to the tippy top while big bro maxer shoves him from behind. upon successfully reaching the summit, they take turns sliding down the sand pile on their once clean bottoms. this activity was followed by exploring the fields, throwing various objects out into any puddle in sight, and chasing birds. what a night.

brad's physique was manipulated in such a way as to drill holes in places few men have been before. his mouth was full of hex bolts, and tapping screws, a pen, and drill bits. his head full of loving thoughts towards me, his beautiful wife, as i said things like "huh, it kinda looks like this board is in the wrong spot... do you think that matters?" and "oh, i just saw a little notation regarding spacing and how imperative that is but since we already drilled those in we can just continue", as well as " when it says something about being vital to be level does that still count for us because it will be in a sandbox?" and frequent questions regarding carriage bolts and flat washers whatever those are. brad has rarely been more in love. just kidding.

so here we are. feel free to drive by and honk your encouragement as the swing set gets bigger little by little. remember to be gracious in these next couple of weeks for lack of progress due to field work. the good news is that the boys still are not aware of what we are building, so they are not anxious about the finished product. this is huge as we just could not handle more pressure, though does not say much about our progress to date. truth be told, brad and i are mostly working well together and i do appreciate the opportunity to build something with my man as this may be the one and only time it happens. it is awesome to see the progress and spend time together in this element. it will be even more awesome to spend time together watching the boys play on a swing set we built on love :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

the love of conversation

my name is lyndsey, and i like to talk.

i know many of you reading right now are in complete and total shock, but it is the truth. my day is made up of conversations more than errands or accomplishments. for example, this morning, i chatted it up with marcia from the bank, learning about her weekend of hibernation in this cool weather. while at meijer, i ran into my dear friend lisa and caught up on their newest member of the family a foster child from guatemala named erica who is struggling to learn english but could not have a more amazing fam from which to grow in love. during the checkout, joyce told me all about her days as a girl scout leader and all the crafts she would do. on my way home, i discussed mothering with my good friend blair, we came to the understanding that three year old boys are full of spit and vinegar. at the park, i made a new friend with a mother of three who lives in the hamilton area and feels content about not having more children.
these are mere snippets of our interactions during which i spilled just about anything and everything about me. this includes several details no one really cared to know, but i oh so willingly divulged, it is a problem.
anywho, all those words were meant to do is assure you i find conversing just beautiful. my fave is to talk with the lord. though i do not do this frequently enough, i am overwhelmed with gratitude to have the opportunity to discuss my everything with jesus christ. we talk about needing protection, guidance, and patience with my boys, we talk about my desire to infuse him ever more present in my life, and we talk about fears, hopes, and dreams. basically, we really talk about it all.
it has come to my attention, that maxwell is learning this valuable gift. his prayers are the sweetest and most random little discussions with his jesus. if ever i try to keep him on topic or suggest prayer requests, he furrows his brow and says, "mom, i am talkin to god!" right on, who am i to interfere with that!! before his nap today i prayed aloud about max remaining holy and blameless in god's presence, at which point max says "presents? i love presents" :)
here is maxwell's prayer from lunch on sunday:
god is great, god is good, now we thank him for our food.
thank we mommy can feel her baby move.
thank we have daddy here.
thank we go camping soon.
thank we go to the waterslide tomorrow. (he likes to peek during this thank -you / hint to mom and dad)
thank we have big friends over to our house. (big means large quantities here)
thank we have chepup. (ketchup, the child loves his ketchup)
thank we ride in daddy's tractor and spread nure that is deesgusting.
AAA men
amen is right. amen to pure hearts and childlike spirits, amen to keeping jesus a constant presence in our lives, and amen to the gratefulness expressed by one of my greatest blessings, maxwell alan.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


oh, it is that time of year again, every hog farmer's fave, i am sure. time to haul the honey. that cute phrase is one that mom lampen uses to refer to the disgusting job of slinging pig poop from a tractor onto a field. it does not matter what one calls it, it stinks.

literally. just ask a certain construction company with an office located smack dab in the middle of farm country. i dont want to give away any names, but it rhymes with schmedeven brothers construction. they just called to ask my hard working man to work harder and later discing the field to hopefully help with the stink. the smell really was irritating them today. you know what irritates me? people who feel so entitled they actually complain about smells permeating the country air despite the fact that they quite certainly enjoy some bacon every now and then...

anywho, just complain about my husband and be ready for 110 pounds of fury. consider yourself warned.

as a preggers with a sense of scent that rivals any bloodhound, let it be known i recognize the grossness of pigs poop. any poop for that matter. i also really miss bradley as he runs to and from the pit and tractor, forego's supper to keep after a "hobby" that has not been financially successful of late, and tirelessly fixes our rather old spreader to the point of soaking the manure smell in his pores for months to come. however, here is what i know: spreading manure is a necessary part of this farm. my boys are learning to be men of amazing work ethic, few complaints, and strong character by watching and riding with their daddy as he hooks the tractor up for another round.

my apologies to the hamilton community for some days of yuck smells.
my suggestion for coping, just eat a pork chop and move on. :)

now i must move on to fill a tub in which to soak my boys, they are getting less and less discernable from the pigs these; days in smell and deed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

daddy day

as i was gallivanting across state lines this weekend, the boys got to spend the day with daddy. well, first they actually had a little val vacation time at the vanderkamps during which no injuries occured. just as a reminder, here is what bear looked like before i left:

cute as can be!

as we meiste's just cannot get enough of the nyhofs, brad decided to treat the boys to an afternoon of equipment exploration over at the nyhof's land. they drove over on the mule, played in the dirt, rode on the bulldozer, and basically had a super fun time doing boyish things. until bear took a spill onto the dozer. as dan said, "there is nothing soft on a bulldozer". brad heard the thud of head against metal and rushed to comfort the crying bear. bear's nose was bleeding and brad felt awful. then dan brought attention to the large goose egg forming on bear's forehead. brad bolted soon after catching a glimpse of the injury. as soon as he got home, brad called me saying "i dont even want to ask you this, but, how do you know if a baby has a concussion.?"

thus began 45 minutes of phone conversations with various mothers, zeeland community hospital, and my devastated husband. after pleading with the nurses to not call child protective services regarding this particular incident with child and bulldozer, we determined it to be a head wound and not a brain injury though we took precautions through the evening.

here is bear, 2 days after the "incident". notice the distinctive markings of the steel grips found on the steps of a dozer, evidenced on bear's nose.

when i returned home, oh how i loved on my boys. all three of them. they are so precious, even when slightly deformed :) though my stomach hurt when i saw the baby bear all swollen, i was so grateful for the concerned and compassionate daddy he has. boys grow by bumps and bruises i am told, so expect a growth spurt coming on! he will be a tough one this little bear!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

shower power

a radical road trip, beautiful girls, and one very surprised sister filled my saturday this weekend. Beans' adorable roomate emily threw megan her first bridal shower, a surprise lingerie shower.

here are some of the details

the location: chicago
the to-be-bride: overwhelmed with love and gifts of naughty little numbers
the friends: supportive and fun!
the food: desserts including cupcakes, puppy chow, cookies, cake, and chocolate covered pretzels

we departed from holland in the "ladybug" (kellbell's car, a volkswagen beetle) around 9 am, 2 of meg's highschool besties kelly and julie, kelstastic, and me. spirits were high as we cruised down the road to surprise our sweet sister/friend. her chicagoan homestead makes the visits few and far between, so we all missed her presence greatly.

bridal showers are such a beautiful opportunity to demonstrate one's excitement and love for the bride, and this shower was no exception. the reunion of sisters and friends was emotional, but em was ready with a game testing our beans knowledge. after kelly won said game, we started on the toilet paper dress masterpieces, i must say, i made one hot pregnant bride in toilet paper :)

kels' toilet paper wedding dress may have changed her mind about marriage...

following the shower, we continued to bond and explore wheaton's campus. after our spiritual tour of the billy graham center museum culminating in the hallelujah chorus, we loaded back into the bug and headed for home. i love my sista's so, and celebrating meg's impending nuptuals was such a treat!

Friday, April 16, 2010

one on one

these two are too cute.
sometimes, they are just too much. though i rarely feel overwhelmed to the point of despair, shopping does bring me the closest to that point of all my adventures with the boys.
well today, i welcomed home my grandparents from florida and conveniently gave them the gift of time with max while i took weston around town to run some errands. well it was downright enjoyable, mostly. i felt more in control of the situation, that is for sure. bear seemed to be enjoying his mommy time and demonstrated his adoration by pulling clothes off racks and hangers, conversing with the elderly we found at various locations, and going through my wallet and whipping out credit cards and cash alike. though that does seem like a wild time, max was not there hiding in clothing racks or begging for toys, so i felt good. also, i was able to really let my belly hang out and not try to disguise the fact that yes, she is preggers again. mostly when out with both boys i feel slightly like people who surround us are thinking she should not be bringing another child into this world until she at least can control these two. maybe i am reading into things, but still...
i went to three different locations, accomplished all my goals, and got burger king. when i arrived to retrieve max, he had picked me some dandelions and was playing right where i had left him. what a gift to be able to get so much done, and to cherish my time with the baby bear while he delighted in balloons, smiled so sweetly, and scarfed on goldfish. it is so fun to enjoy that time rather than rush through errands on a wing and a prayer!

Monday, April 12, 2010


as baby meiste performed acrobatics directly on my bladder last night, i tried hard not to pee and reflected on the current state of my life.

once upon a time, i pictured my life very, very differently than what it is. i planned to graduate college and move to florida where i would change the lives of hordes of middle schoolers through my amazing teaching skills. after years of tanning in the floridian sun and gifting students with a passion for reading and writing, i intended to snag a hunky husband and start poppin out sweet little girls the spitting image of their mother. i considered that we were going to live in a cutesy cottage ish house near a lake or ocean and all things towny.

right before i graduated, i met bradley alan meiste and suddenly the picture of perfection started changing. the cross country distance i had so been anticipating no longer seemed necessary because i found a man who would fight for me and defend me from myself and familial woes. town is 1/2 an hour away, seperated from us by gorgeous farmlands. teaching faded into the background as we got surprise pregnant 7 months after getting married and while on the pill. sweet little girls who would paint their nails and color with me were pushed aside for rambunctious and adorable boys who paint the bathroom with my nail polish and use tractors to haul crayons from one room to another. the hunky husband part, while i think it is obvious i accomplished that no problem.

my plan was nice, but gods plan is awesome! surrounded by boys, i am the princess of this family, and completely outnumbered. just look what happened during dinner last night:

i made some delish stromboli to eat while watching the masters and suddenly everyone was taking off their pants and standing on the table. there is no explanation, i just grabbed my camera amidst giggles galore and snapped a pic of my life.

oh how god must chuckle when i continue to bring before him my best laid plans. he continues to bless me beyond measure with an abundance i could never imagine, let alone ask for. each day i am so excited to see what he has in store for me and my fam. it is quite a ride, and his grace abounds through it all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

summer cut

we all knew it was just a matter of time until brad gave in and wielded the clippers.

cosmetology has always been a secret passion of his. just look at his own hairstyle.

well on saturday he finally denied his desires no more and cut the boys' hair.
as is evident from the pics, the boys were both absolutely fascinated by the whole affair. only one child bled when brad started getting fancy with the scissors, though there were tears from both.

i respect my love even more for this show of multidimensional giftedness. in order to prevent the event from being too feminine, please know that the conversation revolved primarily around killing things, farming, peeing outside, and tractors. much candy was ingested and pictures snapped.

all in all, the cut was a success: the boys have charming summer hair. i consider all these boys just precious whether their hairs are disheveled, sticky, long, short, or gone.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

celebrating the risen christ is much more than the activities of one day. however, i am grateful for the opportunity that good friday and easter allow us to really recognize the sacrifice and the beautiful glory of our lord.

this year, both of these sacred days were spent working. i worked on good friday night at teermans, and brad worked on sunday. these unique circumstances really forced us to recognize our awesome god while worshipping him within ourselves as the actions of the days were generally not that special. we were humbled at the thought of christ dying for us, and overwhelmed with the miracle of the resurrection all while we went about mostly daily activities.

what a blessing this easter season has been to teach us that our every day must be filled with the resurrection. what a gift we have been given through christ's ultimate demonstration of love. this gift of freedom is meant to be grasped and lived out in all aspects of our life.

dont get me wrong, the boys were still spoiled with easter goodies from bopa, mr. wayne, and our dear neighbor kim. we still had a delicious easter feast, we still attended an easter service at church, and we spent some precious time with my sister and future bro in law. we even had a very special angus burger easter lunch in house 6 of the chicken coops followed by a tour of egg packers and chicken cages, much to the boys' delight.

but the most powerful part of the holiday was the fact that christ conquered the grave so we can live in relationship with him for all eternity
starting now.
while working, or playing, or blowing bubbles, or cleaning toilets, our god has redeemed us and we are his right now.
thank you jesus for this beautiful gift of life everlasting with you! help us to live our eternity together by glorifying you in our lives even today.

Friday, April 2, 2010

20 weeks baby!

half way there!

in case you missed the baby bump, brad zoomed in for you.

we are celebrating god's faithfulness in creating another healthy little baby meiste! brad and i took the boys to get a glimpse of the newest meiste during our ultrasound on thurs. max commented how much he liked my baby, while weston literally climbed up counters and chairs wreaking havoc of one kind or another.

dr taylor located the bladder telling us baby had just peed as it was empty moments earlier. he also showed us the eyeball, spine, heart, fingers, toes, cute little ear, and everything else totaling a healthy and seemingly happy babe. looking at the pics, i cannot decipher which parts are what, but i still show and tell that precious baby to anyone who will listen.
thank you jesus for this precious gift, we pray you continue to protect baby as he/she grows!!

as per brad's request, baby's gender is unknown. brad claims he knows baby is a girl, whereas i am convinced about another boy. the name game is not going well, brad's latest suggestion was russell. baby russ. no

we continue to peruse lists upon lists of names in search of the perfect match. suggestions are welcome as long as they are not stan or russell.

in other baby news, today was the first day a stranger asked to touch my belly. i was happy to oblige though i am not that big yet so it was a little more awkward and intimate than i hoped for...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

let's go fly a kite

we did! doesn't it look peaceful and gorgeous? keep reading

yesterday was super warm and we took advantage of the weather by bringing a kite outside with us! wind is a constant at our house, so i decided to make it work for us and bought a kite for $1. inspired to teach maxer about the letter k, i thought it might help for him to see what an actual kite was instead of me just saying k is for kite.

though there was not so much learning happening in the open fields yesterday, there was kite flying! as soon as i had that pooch assembled, it was high in the sky! at first the boys were enamoured with their amazingly gifted kite flyer mom, and the kite itself. i finally relinquished the kite to maxer after explaining the importance of hanging on very tight. he was really masterful initially! (apparently the wind conditions were ideal and the kite was well crafted, because really neither of us have real talent in this area). he kept telling me to look and was so proud of his own abilities. while we were discussing the properties of the wind and whatnot, max let go of the kite and it sailed far away to the middle of one of our fields. bummer

we all trekked out there, me with bear on my hip as he seems to have some fear of everything outdoors. mostly i believe the flies were bothering my baby bear, but he was bothering me with all the whining and crumpling to the ground in despair. maybe he was fearful that once we were in the fields we would not come back, perhaps the dogs were slightly overwhelming... regardless, he recovered nicely and enjoyed the remainder of his time outside taking in the sights, feeling the wind in his hair, and getting filthy dirty.
seriously, precious! weston encouraged my flying attempts with sweet little "oh's" and "wow"s.

we got the kite and parked it again in the grass watching it dance in the sky. when i asked max to hold onto it again while i took his pic, he repeated his previous craziness of letting go of it AGAIN. as much as i really delighted in hiking out over the uneven ground in the field, i thought better of asking max to take control of the kite. so here is a max pic while i was flying the kite :)
he looks like he is having the time of his life! i might have been a little hard on him regarding the whole free flying stunt he pulled with the kite.

not so much the educational experience i had intended, but lots was learned and much fun was had during the boys' first kite flying adventure!