Monday, December 29, 2008

Too Many...

There were just too many to not include them all. Eleanor is so easy to take pictures of right now. She is saying "cheese" and posing more and more also. What a crazy gal!

Paw Paw Snuggles

Recently Eleanor is like a totally different person when she gets around her Paw Paw (Josh's dad). She goes into what we've been calling the Paw Paw Coma. The other day He arrived to babysit for a couple of hours and Ellie walked right up to him wanting to be held and laid her head on his shoulder. He didn't even get a chance to take his coat off before she fell asleep. Last night we did a drive by to their house for about 45 minutes and she sat in his lap the entire time playing with the same toy as Jon rubbed the back of her neck. What I wouldn't give to have those kinds of snuggles from her!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We hope everyone had a blessed Christmas day and time spent with families. After spending the morning at home with our own family of four we headed to my moms for yummy brunch and the Ferwerda Family Christmas. Here are a few of the many images we captured throughout the day.
Jodi and the kids (Jack kept looking away from the camera so I finally had to hold his head in place)
Nana(my mom) and Ellie
Jack and Hailey watching videos on Uncle Scot's computer. We haven't seen my brother Scot since he was home last Christmas. It took a little while but the kids finally warmed up.
Jack got a pizza making kit from Nana and Grandpa Buzz
Eleanor received baby doll and a handmade cradle that her Great Grandpa made, but wait, where's the baby?

I think it would take me a while to warm up to someone with hair like that too. Love you Scot. Glad you're home, but get a haircut!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I'm a clonkey-bonkey donkey I sing hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw! Well actually those are the words from a book we have, but I could picture Jack reciting them as he played the part of donkey (at the birth of Jesus) for our church's preschool age Christmas program. Other than being stuck in the very back behind a kid whose "donkey" ears were covering Jacks face so I couldn't see him, he did a great job and had a lot of fun. I was bummed Josh couldn't be there with Ellie and I to watch our little clonkey-bonkey donkey!

Jack with one of his closest friends Annalie...The fake smile is great :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Friendly Face

Just in the past week or so Eleanor has become much more friendly with the camera. She says "cheese" now and smiles and tilts her head. It's pretty darn cute! One night this past week she wouldn't stop opening her mouth and saying Aaahhh... Everytime she did it, Jack would laugh and giggle at her just egging her on. Oh the personality this girl has!
This one above is my favorite. You can tell just how goofy she's being.

One week down...

Well, we made it through our first week of Josh working on second shift. Having known the change was coming for almost two months It didn't seem real like it was ever going to happen. (Some of you may or may not know that Josh was given a promotion at his job, however he will be working 2nd shift 6:00pm - 3:00am indefinitely but hopefully not more than a year) The adjustment will be harder than I thought. It's nice having him around during the day, but I miss having him here to put the kids to bed and to lie down at night with me. With winter upon us, Josh leaves for work, the kids and I sit down to a simple dinner and we hunker in for the night. There is not much socializing going on in the evening hours anymore. Thanks to all of you who were praying for us especially this week as we made the transition. Honestly I think the saddest part was on Wednesday when Josh was getting ready to leave and saying goodbye to Jack. Jack said, "Daddy, I don't want you to work nights anymore." (with a big pouty lip hanging out). God is faithful and good and I'm so proud of Josh for taking this step. If anyone wants to chat on the phone before bed, I'm available :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The first substantial snow fall of the season. Of course the kids are outside playing. Jack was so exited to wear his snow boots for the first time and now that Josh is working second shift he can play outside with them during the daylight hours...that means free time for me :)

It took me a while to realize all she wanted was the mittens off.

First time eating snow...mmmm!
It seems like the second child is always crying about something the older one did. Is it like this for others too, or just my kids?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Palooza

Christmas Palooza...the term Josh uses to describe the weekend after Thanksgiving where we cut and decorate our tree, The kids get to open one gift (Christmas pajamas) and watch a Christmas movie. All this and more to celebrate the beginning of the advent season.

Jack is very excited to watch the Polar Express!

At first Eleanor was not sure what to think of the tree, but quickly it has become her favorite toy. I think I need one of those circular gates or something to keep her out.

I tried many times to get a good picture of the two of them with their new pj's on. Jack just wants to get down and continue playing while Eleanor creates continued drama

Her favorite word, and why shouldn't it be...Cookie!

Cut Your Own Tree...

One of the great things about Michigan is the many tree farms in our area. There is always the option of stopping by any number of the corner businesses who are also selling fresh cut trees, but who wants to do that when you can have the experience of cutting your own. The hot cocoa, marshmallows, Christmas music, bonfire, tractor rides, muddy boots, and sap all over your gloves and hands is just too good to pass up! I love as our kids get older to hear how they actually remember past events of their short lives. The car ride to the farm all we heard from Jack was "remember how last time when we got our tree, Nana and I went on the tractor wagon and then it broke and they had to stop and get a new one. Remember that Daddy?" Though there was no tractor drama this year we had a great time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last of the Leaves

Yesterday we picked up the last of the leaves still left on the ground in our yard. There is one tree way in the back where the leaves don't fall until really late in the season. It was cold, but at least not snowing or wet. Last year winter came so quick the leaves stayed on the ground until April. I love how cute the kids look all bundled up!

How can you resist a smile like that!

"Holiday Happenings"

These are pictures of a table decorated by me and a friend last week for a Women's Ministry holiday event at our church. We also provided dessert for those at our table...Red Velvet Cheesecake and Pecan Pie Bars. The cheesecake is really rich, but oh so delicious and the colors make it a great fancy holiday dessert! Below are the recipes if you want to give them a try.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

1 1/2 c chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c butter - melted
1 T sugar
3 - 8 oz pkg light cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 c sugar
4 lg eggs -lightly beaten
3 T unsweetened cocoa - sifted
1 c light sour cream
1/2 c whole buttermilk
2 t vanilla
1 t distilled white vinegar
2 - 1 oz bottles red food coloring
1 - 3 oz pkg light cream cheese - softened
1/4 c butter - softened
2 c powdered sugar - sifted
1 t vanilla

stir together cracker crumbs, melted butter, cocoa and 1 T sugar
press into bottom of a 9" springform pan
beat 3 pkg cream cheese and 1 1/2 c sugar to blend
Add eggs and next 6 ingredients til fully blended
pour into prepared crust
bake at 325 degrees for 10 min
reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 min
or until center is firm
run knife along outer edges and turn oven off
let cheesecake stand in oven for 30 min
remove from oven - cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 min
cover and chill 8 hours or overnight
beat 1 - 3 oz cream cheese and 1/4 c butter with mixer til smooth
gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla - beat til smooth
spread evenly over top of cheesecake
remove sides of springform pan
garnish as desired

Pecan Pie Bars

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/8 t salt
3/4 c butter - softened
1 c brown sugar
1 c karo syrup
1/2 c butter
4 lg eggs - lightly beaten
2 1/2 c pecans - finely chopped
1 t vanilla

combine flour, sugar and salt - add butter and mix til resembles fine crumbs
press into greased 9x13 pan
bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 min or til lightly browned
combine brown sugar, karo syrup and1/2 c butter in saucepan
bring to boil over med. heat - stirring gently - remove from heat
cool slightly - whisk into eggs - stir in pecans and vanilla - pour over crust
bake at 350 degrees 30-35 min or til set
cool and cut into bars

Monday, November 10, 2008

Welcome Drew

Our first nephew, Drew Daniel Ferwerda, was born on Friday, November 7 to my brother Dan and his wife Holly. He was born at 9 lbs. 1 oz. and 23 inches long. Everyone is doing great and they came home from the hospital today. I was sad not to be able to hold him myself because I had a pretty bad cold, but Josh and Jack sat together with Drew for a long time. For those of you who know Jack personally he has such a soft tender heart for a boy. It was so sweet how he was just getting down in his face and talking to him. He even put both his hands on Drew's cheeks and kissed his nose. Everyday I love to watch his big brother skills in action. Eleanor doesn't know how good of brother she has yet!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Part 1...On Thursday we had a playdate/party with my cousins and a handful of other moms that we do regular playdates with. Usually we can get them all to at least stay in one general area for a picture, but getting them to look at the camera is another thing. "We have a frog on the loose!"

Great Grandma with all the kids

Part 2...On our way to Josh's brother's neighborhood for a little trick or treating.

You must be talking about someone kids don't pick their nose!
Fireman turned Ninja
The only thing Jack wanted from his treats immediately following were the cheese curls from the package Nana gave.
I think the funniest part of the evening was when the little girl of another couple we were with kept walking right up and into all the houses she was trick or treating at. It took her a while to get the concept of just staying on the porch and waiting for the treat.