Sunday, May 27, 2012

some days

we wake up exhausted from all the playing. and by we, i mean the adorable three.

some days, i have big plans for the fam.

inolving outings, and acitivities, and travel (like to the northside of holland)

and some days, the babes just want to stay at home and play.

because some days, teaching your sis to dance is way more important than fishing.
the technique can really be quite comlicated.

and some days, carefully watching bayside concrete pour some cement is way more enthralling than a trip to the beach.
especially when you as good of spectators as my children.

we bring our own chairs, and pets.
we take observing seriously around here.

and some days,
you just want to slip
and slide
in your own backyard. 

love that grandiose happenings are not the only way to enjoy the day.
that sometimes the best that life has to offer is right there in front of us.

just waiting for some day when we acknowledge the beauty and joy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

summer vacation

somehow, my sweet little hesitant boy embarking on his educational journey last fall

became this boy, graduate of preschool.  confident in his abilities.  comfortable around teachers and new students alike.  counter, writer of letters and numbers, artist extrodinaire (by my own severely lacking abilities) and now kindergartener.

it has been such a joy to watch you grow and mature in your social and educational undertakings this year max!!

i got to be at school with him for his last day, and i was so blessed by the opportunity!  maxer in his school context is different than maxer at home.  with his fam, max is leader of the pack of kids, the oldest and most experienced and knowledgable. at school he is content to quietly play and learn, very obedient, very hardworking and proud of his accomplishments.

we walked to get ice cream as a class.  it was a beautiful morning and i adored being at my son's side.

and now, we are marinating in vacation.  no agendas other than what we plan, no waking up babies from naps to get maxer from school and no interruption in our fam time other than the occasional day/night of work for mom and the every day work schedule for brad.  love it.  yesterday was the first day we would have had school.  so far i have been asked approximately 798 times who was coming over today or whose house we were going to.  the child likes his friends.

thankfully, i am able to distract max and his sibs with other activities rather than stalk his classmates.  this morning we enjoyed our breakfast on the porch, soaking in this beautiful summertime air while consuming poptarts to our hearts content.  and then we had a second breakfast of english muffins and cake batter.  i like to keep things very well rounded here.  obviously.

as our days fill up with the want to's and the have to's, i am loving being home with all three.  summer is sweet, and i plan to soak it up with all the trips to the beach and the library i can.  my sister in law debbie has the same determination this summer as my oldest nephew is off to college in the fall.  what a startling reminder that these days are fleeting.  and the importance is not necessarily in the amount of effort spent learning to tell time, but in spending our time together.  for each morning devotions, afternoon popsicles, and evening playing outside is a precious gift that i intend to savor.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

team elliot

sunday we got to be part of team elliot for the great strides walk in grand haven.  we were honored to get to participate in the walk, as we are blessed to be friends with little elliot and his fam.  the days approaching the event were spent in preparation.  not only was money raised to help fund the research required to discover a cure for cystic fybrosis, but lots of prayers were said as people were made aware of the disease and the adorables it affects.

allow me to set the scene of the great strides event:
temps soared into the 90's as friends and fam and total strangers gathered together at the grand haven middle school.  though the leegwaters had an incredible representation of people who know and love them and their beautiful son, there were hundreds of other folks present.  and we were united, though i had never met and never really did meet most of the walkers, we were together in our passion to see a cure found for cystic fybrosis.  every one getting water bottles and tying their shoelaces before the walk represented a life dramatically impacted by this disease, making us all bonded together.
maxer was a committed walker.  towards the end he did need some wheels to assist, but still so impressed by this big boy!

enthusiastically, the crowd hit the pavement, moving as one huge organism, praying and hoping and working together for breakthroughs in science that will make cystic fybrosis far less devestating.  the route was scenic and the walkers determined and upbeat.  except for ayla jo whose mama accidentally got sunblock in her eye for the 25,000 th time in her little life.  so baby blue was crying. a lot.  and i was feeling real guilty because i was the one that inflicted the pain and isnt this whole walk about cherishing people?  so at last i relented and unstrapped her from the double stroller and held her at my hip.  that was really difficult and really hot.  but i did it.  until bear started crying.
bear riding in the klein's wagon with emma.  team elliot def had the cutest peeps.

he also had sunblock in his eye.  so i strapped cupcake back into the stroller and carried bear on my hip in the heat.  thankfully i was distracted by great friends and hardly noticed the hysterical boy hanging off me. bear finally found relief when i took his team elliot shirt off and soaked it with water for him to use to wipe at his very stingy eye.   at one point the peeps behind us had mercy on my soul and offered us one of their strollers to utilize. 

cupcake and her swollen and sunblock filled eye.  my parenting fail

we were close.  i am terrible at estimating distances, but at maybe 2/10ths of a mile left and maxer was dragging.  we settled the big boy into the double stroller just in time for a wheel to fall off the back.  the very same wheel jessica klein pointed out to me at the start of the race in concern.  her concerns were very valid.  moments later, the second wheel fell off.  max got out, brad lifted and pushed the stroller while i did everything i could to not pee my pants i was laughing so hard.  and really hot.

at last we made it to the tahoe, ditched the broken equipment and cut our goodbyes short as bear kept complaining his legs were falling asleep which, translated, means he was really really tired. 

so there we go.  we made an impact with our fundraising, drama, and presence yesterday at the cf walk.

love you elliot leegwater!  daily i pray for your miraculous healing, all the while thanking the lord for his faithfulness and his promises to be intercessing on your behalf always.  may you be blessed by his unfailing love, transcendent peace and unending grace as you walk this journey before you. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

a time to plant

whenever we leave the house these days, there are tractors literally in every field sorrounding our home.  some are planting, some cultivating, some applying anhydrous, regardless of their task, they all captivate my adorables as i hear shouts of "there's another one, a big daddy one" echoing behind me in the veen. 

each season of fieldwork begins very optimistically for me.  i can do this.  i will joyfully serve my husband and children by myself.  it will be fun.  by the end of night one, ayla jo is crying because she is desperately overtired but will not give in to sleep, bear is crying because he just dumped over his entire glass of milk in his big boy lightening mcqueen cup all over the couch and i yelled, and maxer is crying because he just wants daddy. 

thankfully, His mercies are new every morning so once everyone finally falls into an exhausted slumber things start looking up again.  for real though, left to our own devices, some cra cra things happen.

case in point:

our rainbow bubblefest.

using dishsoap and food coloring the kids were entertained for 3.2 seconds. 

okay, it was more like a half an hour. 

we also planted flowers.

the kids needed direction as they were fading fast into crabbiness.

bear was especially good at managing.  he is proudly grasping his blue birdie that we recently purchased at a garage sale.  he had been asking for a parrot for the last 4 days.  like randomly, like "mom after our snack can we please get a parrot pet?"  to which i would say no and there would be lots and lots of tears.  so we are pretending the bird is a parrot. 

maxer continued his hard working ways by wielding the trowel like it was his job.  also, extremely adorable, while watching ayla jo pretend to be a puppy, max was giggling hard and told me seeing baby blue do that made him feel cozy inside.  presh.
so, until sunday, this is how we enjoy daddy. 

either riding in the tractor, or waving to it.

thank you farmers!
cupcake is currently obsessed with her dora pjs.  she points and says dowa every 2 minutes and looks beautiful before bed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

happy mothers day

mothers day presents a myriad of emotions in me, a rollercoaster of extremes.  i am undoubtedly blessed beyond measure by my three adorables who made me into a mommy, yet i am devestated by the state of affairs my relaitonship with my own mother.  the days and weeks leading up to mothers day reminds me of things i never experienced with my mom, with needs left unmet and longings lasting a lifetime.  alongside those feelings of despair i experience a joy unmatched as i marvel at the three cuties that call me mommy. 

my nights recently have been spent carefully considering my actions towards my children during the day, ensuring that there were no similarities between me and my mother's damaging choices.  do the darlings feel cherished and treasured?  do they know i would do anything and everything for them?  did max get enough guided practice with his letters and numbers today?  was i too short with bear as he fought me about dinner?  did ayla jo get snuggled and loved enough today? 

i grudgingly acknowledge that my mother did what she was able to do, gave what she was able.  but giving her credit is difficult.  because so much was left undone.  so much burden was on me and my siblings.  so much pain has been borne from her addiction. 

so i puruse the cards and creatively conjure ways of altering them so they would fit for my mother.  "you are a great mom" becomes, "you are a great mom".  becuase even with her efforts, she still passed out drunk every night between 6 and 7 pm and that is not great mothering.

when i consider receiving these cards from my own kids i am equally as heartbroken for it is impossible to live up to those cards praising perfection in mothering. 

after days upon days of struggle and frustration and pain renewed, mothers day blessed me with solace and encouragement and affirmation.

brad and beans teamed up to provide me with a day of fun leaving me feeling honored and loved. 

my ever impressive little sis gifted me with a day of fun with her by my side.  she arranged for us to see hunger games, just the two of us.  we went from the theater to the salon where melanie chopped 8 inches from my tresses.  our hair was dryed side by side, and then i got a makeover.  next beans and austin watched my fabulous three so i could date my hubs for the night.

meggles took the opportunity to pour into my heart and soul with her love and admiration.  brad dedicated a day of daddy to the littles and a night of intentional words of recognition and appreciation and love.  between those two, there was a lot of love and celebration.  of me. 

typing this i am tearing up.  sorry that my sis and hubs have the additional burden of soothing my harsh doubts and criticisms about myself that i cling tightly to when it comes to being a mommy.  incredibley grateful for how jesus so lovingly meets my deepest needs through brad and beans on mothers day, for it was a life giving experience.

now, there are a few memories i would like to share from sunday's festivities.  they add reality to the meaningful words i have already written.

1.  after the earlr service at ridge, we partook of a little mcdonalds breakfast.  thank you bradley!  while there, bear had approximatel 76 meltdowns over his shoes (one of which he threw), the size of the pancakes (which brad had carefully trimmed to his desired specifications), and the lack of breakfast happy meals.  at one point during our 3 minute meal, i told maxer that he was the one that made me a mommy, before him i was not a mom.  bear looked over at me and demanded "well who were you then?"  thankfully i had mere moments to contemplate my answer.

2.  we also stopped in at family farm and ranch or something.  a new store next to engedi church.  baby blue found a little plastic kitty near the toy tractors.  we were looking there for a few seconds before heading outside to let daddy buy the strawberry plants and his i love chickens shirt.  once outside, i noticed cupcake still was gripping that toy.  i rushed back in the store with the $2.99 worth of cat held out before me to ward of an arrest.  when i got back to the veen, my boys were very concerned the police were on their way. 
i believe cupcake is holding the kitten in her hand right here. 

the remainder of the day was spent contentedly basking in the sun with good friends and unsuccessfully fishing with grandma and grandpa lampen. 

so blessed to be a mommy each and every day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


the boys discovered a litter of kittens hidden in our barn this weekend.

 maxer was fearless when it came to extracting the kittens from their protective shelter and their hissing mama.

bear was a little more cautious in the kittens retrieval, but very aggressive in his love.
allow me to introduce jo, jerry, angelcake, weenie and brad alan. brad felt incredibley honored to be the namesake of a barn kitten.  these names change every time i ask the boys.  for a consdierable amount of time, bear called one kitten ass-ey.  i almost peed my pants.  he was really trying to say mazie, the name of his cousins' new kitten, but it always came out ass-ey. 

 the timing was impeccable for this joyous occasion as we were working hard to get the old garage down and burned.  the kittens provided an amazing distraction for the babes. 
 our intention is to try to keep them tame ish so they stay around the farm and become effective mousers.  so during the day we keep them in this humble home and then bring them back to their mom in the evenings.  the mama is named thumbs, a donation from the boeskool fam years ago.  we renamed her thumbs due to her extra paw finger.  now all the kittens have one.  which is kinda gross.

despite how presh my adorables are in loving and holding and caring for the kittens, they will under no circumstances be allowed in our house.  because they really gross me out.  they are super cute and i keep trying to say that sweet three little kittens who lost their mittens nursery rhyme, i just keep thinking of kitty germs and shudder.
so they play and i disinfect and everyone is happy.  except the kittens mostly.  good thing they have nine lives.

ayla jo is not exactly gentle in her cuddles. but she is enthusiastic. and beautiful in her joy. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the water park

we had rains this week.  crazy rains.

the wet weather resulted in a wet park.

so wet, our park became a water park.  the fun started innocently enough, the boys tip toeing in the water, trying to swing without splashing.  then i offered to retrieve some bathing suits and i came back to this:

naked boys.

we soon remedied that issue. 

and then the boys dove on in.  maxer instantly became one of the swamp people we occasionally watch on tv. 

bear could hardly believe the state of affairs happening at his park.

fear not, we took good soaking baths after playing in this.

my boys are totes wild things. when it comes to waterparking.

it is a beautiful reminder when your kids demonstrate the considerable blessing involved in turning the disappoint of not being able to build a sandcastle into the joy of splashing in your sandbox. to often i will see the unexpected puddle and mourn the loss of the sand instead of donning my suit and swimming.  and self pity and focus on the negative can really absorb all your attention so you miss out on the positive and goodness that may be waiting for you. 

i am committed to finding the fun and the joy where it might be missed.  i am determined not to let even a single blessing slip through my grasp because i was to focused on the wrong things.  i am holding to tightly things that keep me from receiving better blessing the lord is just waiting to give me.  and i am sorry, but praise his name his mercies are new every morning.  and this morning, i am opening my clenched fists and rejoicing that they are overflowing with his goodness.

thank you jesus, for your blessings, in your time, and in your way.  for you lord are perfect in your love.

Friday, May 4, 2012

drama mama

this morning i almost ate my cinnamin roll off a plate previously given to harv to lick clean.  then i about gagged and passed out with grossness.  but the title refers to my daughter, not me.  here is why,

yesterday while we were playing/working, ayla jo got an injury.

she did not even notice said knee scrape until she and i were whipping together dinner instead of getting pizza and captain sunday as i had so wisely suggested.

notice aylaroo's sneak peeking between her fingers to make sure i was watching her struggle through her owee

as i was stirring the chicken and rice concoction, i noted the owee and said, "on no baby blue, did you get a little boo boo?"

that was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.  because right then and there cupcake demonstrated the closest example of a baby panic attack i have ever seen.  she was beside herself.  screaming in terror and pain, pointing to the injury with tears streaming down her face.  we bandaged the knee, cleaned the wound, and still she was wild with sorrow and pain.

i was able to distract the darling invalid quite easily by asking her to blow out a candle or stir the fruit salad.  but soon after she would flip out all over again.  during dinner she could not see the band aid from her high chair vantage point so that went quite well, but upon release from her seat it was the same story.

playing outside again seemed to be exciting enough that aylaroo was able to find happiness once more.

she also found lots of mud.

this little fox is not really all that into being dirty.  she shows me her hands and says "all dirda".  also, she lifts her shirt up while splashing in mud puddles so as not to soil it.
bear is really enjoying the big bro role some days.  he likes to be able to show baby girl new things or help her with things he can do that she cannot.  so sweet to witness. 

and another thing that is not really dramatic, but practically beyond presh; max told me he was going cricket on the swing earlier.  that means crooked.  that child is adorable.  just signed him up for golf lessons this morning.  o will that be a sight of cute to behold!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


remember when laura ingalls wilder and her fam would have barn raisings?  the whole like community would gather together and whip up a huge barn while ma and pa and their 32 kids cooked and ate well and probs played games and sewed.  well, that is not really happening here at all.

but, we are taking the old garage behind the house down and plan to build another.  and by plan to build another i mean to say that other people, builders in fact, will be building another in its place. 

this is a big deal over here.

we are currently in the tearing down, burning, and getting rid of some random stuff stage. 

but the building part is really monumental.  this is the first addition/replacement to the farm brad has made since his own farming career began.  he is continuing the legacy in his own way and that is to be celebrated. 

lest you think it is all work and no play at the meiste's:

we took time to go to the park after school while brad brought some scrap steel away.  cupcake demands to be pushed from the back.  just ask auntie beans who dared give her a frontal push only to be gestured at and told back repeatedly.

while playing at the park, a strange boy found my boys' intriguing and ran up to them saying "hola amigos!  that means hi friends in spanish!" to which my boys only stared.  when the other boy gave up communicating in either language, bear whispers to maxer " did you see that boy?" we then had a lovely discussion about being kind to others.

in other news, ayla jo is obsessed with shoes.  she wakes up looking for them and attempting to put them on.  this morning she literally spent 20 minutes screaming in her own baby blue high pitched way because her flip flops did not stay on well.  then i hid them while distracting her with some pink jellies i found.