Friday, December 24, 2010

Update!

I haven't posted in a few weeks. Mostly we've been busy with the holidays, the kids and company.

Nick's parents visited and while they were here Lucy, Nick, and his dad braved the weather to head down to Ford Field in Detroit and watch the Lions and Packers play. They had a great time...even though the Packers lost. Lucy was able to go down on the field and run in for a touchdown after the game and a host of other memories were made...so overall it was a successful outing.

We also were able to visit the Henry Ford Museum and see the new George Washington Carver exhibit. It was quite an enjoyable day to share something fun in our area with Nick's parents. The museum was decorated for Christmas and had trains set up and a few other activities for the kids to do which made it especially special for them.

My favorite part was listening to the reading of "The Polar Express" in a train car that has only been opened to the public once before. It is the train that carried President Hoover from Detroit to the depot now at Greenfield Village where he then took other transportation the last half mile to the entrance of the museum for it's grand opening. The train was only used that one time and the detail and beauty was exquisite! It was quite a treat for me to see and fun to imagine what taking a train ride would have been like in the 1920's. The man explained that the museum opened the week before Wall Street fell and the great depression began, so most likely, riding in the train and attending the museum opening was the last extravagant affair Hoover would have had during his presidency.

We also went shopping and did a few holiday activities including watching Lucy in her preschool Christmas performance. Nick did videotape it, and maybe next week when things have calmed down we'll get some footage up. She knew all the songs and was excited to sing and belt them out! She looked beautiful!

Overall it was a great trip and we enjoyed our time with them. We sure do wish all the grandparents all lived closer, but the visits are definitely nice.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Awake at 5 AM

Yep, that's right...I'm awake at 5 in the morning...with no apparant purpose. After a restless night sleep I woke up at 5 am...pretty much ready to go, and hungry. So, I decided, rather than laying in bed being hungry and listening to Nick sleep, I would wake up.

I thought...I'll get so much done! However, after eating a bowl of cereal I realized there's not much to do because I don't want anyone else to be awake yet. My in-laws are sleeping downstairs, my kids and my husband are sleeping upstairs...so I'm in the kitchen with 1 light on...goofing off on the computer.

So, for future reference, I now know...there's not much I can do at 5 AM without waking my family...or at least being afraid I'll wake my family. Soon it will be 6, and then I'll shower...but until then, I'm just hanging out! Oh yeah...enjoying the QUIET!

We're Pregnant!!!

I can't be the only one who has ever looked at a pregnancy test and felt at the exact moment a whirl of emotions ranging from pure ecstatic joy to deep fear...or I suppose if I am the only one, I should explain.


This pregnancy is so joyful, I was thrilled when I saw a positive result. My first impulse: call Lisa and begin scheming how I will tell Nick. Yes, that's right folks, my husband was not the first to find out...but he wasn't the last either.


I love my husband and he is everything to me...but there's something about a girlfriend who is the other half of your brain. I could not possibly begin to process or truly accept I was pregnant until the other half of my brain knew...so I called Lisa.


She immediately understood, was excited with me, and then started asking all the questions that were going through my head. How was I feeling? Was it like the last time? Did I feel like this baby would "stick"? What would do about a car? What would we do about sharing rooms? Who will sleep where? What about names! What about my body! What about money, paying for college, paying for diapers! Will I stay with my same doctor or use the doctor who delivered Murray last time? What an adventure to be pregnant at the same time as my sister! and I'm certain many more...


These are the thoughts that go through the head of a mom....an experienced mom who knows what to expect...who knows what can go wrong. When you find out your pregnant, the baby is about the size of a poppy seed (or smaller)....and yet, immediately you want nothing more than to keep that child safe, to feel it grow, to meet him/her and to continue to protect and nurture him.


Yet, it's completely out of your hands. At this point, millions of things are happening each second with your baby. He's working on growing organs, working on making those adorable 10 fingers and 10 toes that you'll later stare at in amazement...kiss, tickle and eat. At this moment, you're trusting God has a plan, He will grow your baby strong, He will introduce you to your baby when His time is right.


The moment I saw that positive test...I prayed that this time would be His time...that this time...it would all go right in my eyes. That this time, I will get to snuggle with my baby and bring him home to meet his big brother and big sister.


So, as I wake up each day feeling sick because something the size of a grape is growing every moment inside of me. As I worry about who will sleep where, how this will change my relationship with my husband, and how we will pay for college...I trust in HIM who gave this child to me and I remember:




Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not




on your own understanding. In all of your ways submit to him




and HE will make your paths straight.




Proverbs 3:5-6

Just in case you're worried....I told Nick later that night....in the funnest way I could imagine. I had a close friend of ours call him and act like it was common knowledge. (This was how we shared the news of our engagement with a friend of mine Taiwan) He didn't buy it at first...thought she was crazy...but when I walked into the room laughing he started laughing too, realized what was going on and we were both laughing and crying tears of joy!

What a blessing this child will be...and if it's anything like the other 2...how adorable, loud and much fun this child will be! I'm 10 weeks today and we went to the doctor last Friday. Everything is going well and the baby is "just as it should be". Lucy is super excited to have a baby this summer and Murray is starting to make some sense of it.

We look forward to the coming months and especially for July when we get to meet and hold our new addition!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for pajamas! It's great to be able to stay in them ALL DAY LONG! and get a few things done of course. As these winter days get shorter and colder and I am not leaving my house unless absolutely necessary, my children and I are finding ourselves staying warm and happy in our pj's for longer and longer durations. On Monday we actually changed Murray from one set of pajamas into another at bedtime.

I feel wonderfully blessed to have a warm cozy house, a warm cozy bed, and warm cozy pajamas. Mine are retired work out clothes...over the years through multiple pregnancies I haven't yet "splurged" to resupply my sleep attire. I have however added to my workout clothes...so my retired yoga pants have become excellent pajamas and they're just as comfy and cozy as any other pj's might be.

My kids however grow quickly and enjoy fun pj's...so they have an over abundance of pajamas and look quite cute and cozy in theirs! Here's a few pics to enjoy. Tonight when you snuggle into your bed...be thankful for your pj's...what's the alternative!?!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Humbled

This has been one of the toughest weeks for me. I haven't been feeling great and I've had to take things slow. Often we're forced to slow down and take a look at all we're doing and decide what needs to be done versus what we think should get done. A lot of of those should things haven't been getting done around my house this week. Some of them will be needs shortly. I'm not sure how much longer my family can be sustained by me cooking only a few days a week. I will need to go to the store...or at least make a better list when I send my husband.

I've had weeks like this before. I know just a few weeks ago I wrote about looking at my priorities during a busy week and making time to enjoy my family...it's harder when things aren't getting done because you just can't. Not because of time, but because you're just not up to it. This week, my body has decided that relaxation is key...to much time up and about and I hit a wall, so to speak.

It's an interesting and humbling experience to rely on Nick for so many of the responsibilities I'm used to doing. I'm grateful for his patience and his willingness to help. I'm also grateful we haven't hit the full swing of Advent...while it was a busy week for him...he still had a little wiggle room.

I'm also blessed with 2 adorable little helpers who give me snuggles and help out...most of the time. Nothing like 2 rambunctious children to put the needs into perspective. Lots of books, coloring and singing have been going on this week...and lots of imaginative play.

I hope I'm feeling back to normal soon...but being humbled isn't a bad place to be.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

I didn't write last Thursday on Thanksgiving because I was enjoying the holiday with my family and honestly didn't get on the computer for most of our time there. So, this week I will be thankful for an amazing holiday with my parents and friends. We had a fantastic meal, much relaxation, and just created some great memories together.

I'm thankful that I am able to share my children with my parents and that they enjoy entertaining them while I catch up on my own relaxation. Lucy and Murray both enjoy the wonders of Grammy's sewing room and all the projects that happen there. Murray saw his first big screen movie and his favorite part (typical boy) was the preview for Cars 2 before the movie began. Although, I would say that he enjoyed the movie itself as well.

A visit to see Santa at the Library and a few shopping trips and brunch with Owie Owie and Tony No Hair also rounded out our holiday. Along with pin the hat on the turkey and of course Scrabble...which I must admit, I'm thankful that Olivia and I won :) Not very many years are the "moms" beat...I'm thankful I've done it!

I'm thankful I have so many wonderful people to share these special memories with, and I'm thankful my kids do to!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays



Murray reading to Matthias...teaching him all about boy things.
Oh how we love a visit from our friends :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Traveling for Thanksgiving

About half way to Chicago we had an upset/crabby little princess.
Thankfully she cheered up for the rest of the ride!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 22, 2010

Because They're Long Overdue


Here's a few pictures of the kids in their Halloween Costumes
(yes, I realize it's almost Thanksgiving).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cakes and Counting

Today when Lucy left for preschool I mixed up some cake batter and made two 6 inch cakes and 6 cupcakes (that's what you get with a box of cake mix). I'm working on my first wedding cake and it will have a 6 inch top tier. Murray was home and was "watching" me do my baking. He's not allowed to touch any of the cake badder for the wedding. He did however help me decorate the cupcakes with some leftover frosting.


While the cakes were baking Murray and I read a few books and just spent time together. After a while the timer beeped and I went to check the cakes. The cupcakes were finished, but the cakes still needed a bit more time. So, I took the cupcakes out of the oven too cool and left the cakes to continue to bake setting the timer for a few extra minutes (so I didn't forget...hey, it can happen, I've been known to leave a squash in the oven for 2 days b/c I forgot, don't worry, the oven had been turned off...but that particular squash never became baby food, just cooked trash)...


"Those hot mommy?" Murray asked "Yes, those are very hot, don't touch them." I said about the cupcakes sitting on the counter.


We went back to reading until the timer beeped again and I checked the cakes, carefully sliding a toothpick in...not quite done.


Back to reading we went. When the timer beeped a 3rd time, Murray was excited to get some toothpicks out of the box to help me...he knew what we were doing. He graciously took out about 15 toothpicks for me to check the cake with. I took 2 of them and sat him on a stool far away from the oven.


I checked the cakes, which were done and placed them on the counter to cool. Murray, was busy checking the cupcakes with toothpicks. He stuck the toothpicks in each cupcake, counting as he went. "Look Mommy, cakes done!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Success!

We've been having a successful weekend here at the Koschmann house. I've been successfully avoiding my "to do" list (difficult for a mom you know) and Nick successfully completed stage 1 of a new batch of beer, Lucy has been successfully learning Kings Corner (a card game) and Murray has been successfully using the potty.

Now, some of these accomplishments are much greater than others. Murray for example is a champ! We've been making this potty training push for a few weeks now...and while we've been successful, it's just been in the past few days that Murray has moved into the "independent" stage of it all. Getting up from the table and announcing "I have to go potty" and being successful.

This morning while I was at a 2 hour Bible study the nursery worker said he went potty 5 times!!! They were drinking lots of juice and water, but hey, that's quite a success! Friday morning the boys ran errands and he stayed dry throughout the 2 hours of errand running with only 1 potty break in the midst of it! Way to go Murray! We are so proud of you and your accomplishments!

Lucy's accomplishment is just as entertaining...while maybe not quite as much of a milestone. She asked to play cards the other day and I told her I wasn't sure there was a card game she could play. (We have a "Go Fish" deck of cards...so I know she wouldn't go for that). I then remembered a Koschmann favorite: Kings Corner. So, last night we sat down after dinner and she was on daddy's team for the game (Murray was on mine, but he just counts and draws cards...and knocks on the table).

What fun we had! It was even more fun today to see her making decisions and pulling cards out of Nick's hands to play. She's really getting the basics and I'm sure if we keep playing soon she'll be able to be her own team.

What a joy my children and family are and what a great way for us to spend time together. I'm so proud of how they're growing and changing every day. Just wanted to give everyone an update on our successes...if you come visit get ready to drink some beer and play some cards!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

With Thanksgiving approaching quickly we are surrounded by people being thankful...or at least I am. Many of my friends are posting 30 days of Thanksgivings, and certainly we all have more than 30 things to be thankful for. I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge of remembering to post everyday, although I certainly am thankful for many things daily...it's all those things I'm thankful for that keep me from focusing on writing blogs!

This week I am thankful for my husband and all the laughter he brings to my life. He's been really helpful this week doing chores around the house and although he's been super busy with work and his homework he's been very aware of it and making sure he makes time for us as a family. Most of all...he's been starting my day and ending my day with lots of laughter. It's pretty great when he nominates himself for husband of the year multiple times and explains that the standards are much lower for husbands than wives...it's also pretty hilarious when he and Lucy come up with a scheme to "sneak" Murray into the football game (for your info...Murray still would get in free without any sneaking involved)...but I laughed really hard at this one!

Wordless Wednesdays

Going along with www.mamato3blessings.blogspot.com Here's my Wordless Wednesday.
Daddy's Little Helpers











Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tomatoes or Potatoes

Friday morning Nick preached at Concordia Ann Arbor, and we all went along. So, we were all up and eating breakfast and then I wanted to clean out the leftovers from the fridge (a job I dread) before the garbage man came that morning. While cleaning out the fridge I saw the roast I had taken out of the freezer the day before so we could have it for dinner that night. I was SO GLAD I had seen it. I sometimes forget that I was planning on making a crock pot meal until it's too late! So, I got out the roast, potatoes, carrots and soups to top it. I started washing the veggies and before long I had a helpful observer.

Murray likes to watch me while I work in the kitchen. Most of the time I don't mind unless it's him following me around so I can't take a step without walking on him. I was stationary and he was on a stool next to me...this is my favorite kind of help. We started talking about what I was doing. Washing the vegetables for dinner tonight, we want to get all the dirt off. "yes, dirt yucky" says Murray.

"What's that?" He asks. "That's a carrot." I reply. "That's no carrot, that's too big." Says Murray. So, I show him the baby carrots we eat for snack and explain "These are baby carrots, they're washed and cut before we buy them at the store. These are big carrots that grow in the ground. Mommy will wash and peel them and we'll it them for dinner." "I like carrots!" Was Murray's response.

And then we moved onto the potatoes: "What's that?" he asks. "That's a potato." I say. "I no like potatoes." says Murray. "Well, we don't like to eat them before they're cooked Murray, but you do like potatoes." "No, mommy like potatoes...I no like potatoes." insists Murray.

"Murray, mommy doesn't make potatoes very often. Daddy doesn't like potatoes, but I'm pretty sure Murray likes potatoes." I respond, beginning to think dinner is going to be a long battle. "I no like potatoes, mommy like potatoes, I pick potatoes for mommy." He says pointing to the window sill. There sits our last ripe tomato off the vine from the backyard.

"Oh," I say. "Yes, mommy likes tomatoes, Murray does not like tomatoes. But, these are P-P-P-potatoes...not T-T-T-tomatoes. Murray likes P-P-potatoes!" This continued for quite some time attempting to distinguish between potatoes and tomatoes. At dinner Murray gobbled up his potatoes but then had to ask again, "I like potatoes, but I no like tomatoes?" (both words sound the same coming from Murray...barely recognizable as different words. So with our foreheads pressed together giggling we once again revisited the difference between potatoes and tomatoes...but he ate the potatoes, so whatever he has to say about them, I'll take that!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for flour, salt, water, oil and Kool Aid. Strange things to be thankful for? Maybe, but not when combined they make over an hour of fun and entertainment for 4 kids! We made our own play dough today and what a marvelous time Lucy, Murray, Veronica and Carter had making it and then playing with it. We made Mickey Mouse, pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, and just plain smashed, squashed and molded that dough for over an hour! Kool Aid play dough is my favorite no cook play dough ever!!



I also think I may have discovered how the driving range was invented...I know they're using hockey sticks and just being little boys...but this is where great ideas come from. Hilarious! I think they spent over half an hour hitting the balls down the steps and getting them then trying again! (that's a super long time when you're 2!)

Coming Soon

Halloween Pics are coming soon. Nick put them on his computer so I need him to be home and not on his computer at a time when I can sneak away and upload pics to a blog...they're coming, I'm just not sure when...sorry for the delay folks...it's been a busy week!
That being said, I'll tell you a bit about our Halloween adventures. We had a great weekend with Grammy and Pop Pop visiting. It's always fun to see the kids interact with their grandparents and this visit was certainly no exception. Lucy was in Grammy heaven when my mom first arrived and they began sewing the finishing touches of her costume which included making her hat. It's such a special thing for Lucy to be "learning" to sew with Grammy...I hope she keeps it up and gets really good...maybe I'll even learn a thing or two along the way!

There was lots of story telling and book reading by Pop Pop and also lots of car watching and playing ball with Murray. It was great to hear all the conversations and giggles that happened over the weekend between my parents and the kiddos.
On Saturday night the Troxel family made the drive down to introduce Matthias to my parents and to carve pumpkins. Let me tell you 5 kids and 6 adults is a lot of busyness for my house to handle! All pumpkins were carved and all mouths were fed and one especially cute little boy was passed around so overall I say it was a successful trip.

Sunday was Halloween of course so after church, naps/football, and some pizza for dinner we headed out to Trick or Treat. Jarret joined us on this adventure and what an adventure this particular walk around the block was! This was the first year that Lucy really got into how much candy she could get, while keeping Murray from plopping down and eating the first piece he received was a challenge all on it's own. It took us just under an hour to go around the block and their buckets were full by the time we got home.
Murray did not appreciate the scary costumes and skipped a few houses because of them and by the end would yell "NO SCARE ME!" at any passerby who was dressed to frighten! We did our best to avoid these costumes... When we arrived home both kids were excited to pass out candy and take a look at what they had received. They each picked out 1 piece of candy and enjoyed it before heading up to bed.

Monday we decided Lucy could skip preschool so we could all go to the Henry Ford Museum. My mom hadn't been before and we wanted to show her a favorite of the kids. What a fun and full day it was! We started on the opposite end than we usually do and explored some new places as well as visited our favorites: the combine, the Dymaxian (round) house, and the train.



We were sad to say goodbye to Grammy and Pop Pop, but thankful for the fun and busy weekend we could share with them! What an adventure to have people we love come to visit us!



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for my strong healthy children. We had a great time at gymnastics and signed Lucy up for the next level. Starting November 11th she'll go every week for just over an hour. I'm excited for her to learn more body control and to be proud of what she can do. I'm thankful to be blessed with children who are strong and healthy.

I realized today that I never posted my "Thankful Thursday" last week. I had it written before lunch and after nap it quickly became null and void. I had been thankful for dry underwear on Murray...we had 3 accidents that afternoon. I am however thankful for the progress we have made. We're wearing underwear at home these days...and even though he's still having accidents they're becoming less frequent and more predictable as when/why they happened. He is a stereotypical boy who when engrossed in his favorite play activities just doesn't seem to want to stop playing...I'm still figuring out how to help him with this and remind him to sit on the potty frequently. We're getting there though and I am confident he'll be "potty trained" soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Halloween From Lucy

Lucy's been learning Halloween poems and songs at school this month and she's getting really into it. She's been drawing Halloween pictures and pointing out anything that has to do with Halloween as we drive around town. This morning I heard an exchange in the hallway, Lucy snuck up on Murray and said "boo!" Murray's response: "No scare me cici...stop scare me!". There's been a lot of "scaring" going on in recent days. Lucy is VERY excited for Grammy and Pop to come and enjoy Halloween with her.

She wanted to share a little poem with all her other favorite relatives/friends who live far away. She doesn't quite have her numbers down in it, 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th....but you'll get the idea.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! (Lucy style)


video

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Great Pumpkin Festival

Saturday evening we did one of my absolute favorite Trenton activities. It's the Great Pumpkin Festival. People and groups from the community donate carved pumpkins to the cultural center (just up the street from church...so close to us!). The cultural center displays the pumpkins around the gardens and has risers and shelves for some of the pumpkins. It's so amazing to see all the pumpkins together and to look at each individually. Murray's favorite this year was definitely the spider ones and Lucy was impressed with the more elaborate carvings, a witch by the moon, a castle, a princess....


The whole event has made me even more excited for carving pumpkins with Lucy and Murray this year. It'll be the first time in a few years for Lucy and a total first for Murray...we just need to figure out when it's going to happen. Here are a few favorite pics from the evening out!
Murray and Lucy with some of the pumpkins.

We finished up the evening with a donut and cider...

Murray loved this!

Another fun activity they had was visiting the

fire truck that was on hand, just in case.

Overall it was a fun family activity, and I love that they are raising money for a good cause. DTE, the energy company in the Detroit area donates $1 to a shelter for battered women for each pumpkin donated. This year they were aiming to have 1200 pumpkins donated; I didn't hear the final count.

Running on Friday

This was our Friday afternoon! They ran races over and over again. Lucy won twice in the girls division and the 4 year old division...Murray won twice also, in the boys division and the 2 year old division. Then they just wanted to "practice". So they ran and ran! I'm pretty sure they ran a mile or more!
video

Thursday, October 21, 2010

They're Hiding Everywhere....

Vegetables that is...

My wonderful neighbor Amy gave me her "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook. I have borrowed it from a friend before, but had only written down a few recipes. Well, with the seasons changing over, it has been time to change the menu over as well...so I thought I'd go through the book and try a few recipes. I picked out 3 to try this week.

All of them have been a success! We did butternut squash mixed with cheddar cheese for quesadillas...they ate them all up! I did Blueberry Oatmeal Bars with spinach hiding in the blueberry center...they ate them all up! Finally we tried meatloaf with carrot puree...I was most hesitant about this one, b/c my children do not always eat meat on their plate anyway. I would say it was a success. Lucy discovered she like it with mashed potatoes on top, Murray liked it with ketchup and Nick thought it was great! Not sure it will be a weekly meal, but maybe monthly...

I think I'll try a few more recipes in the coming weeks, I'm intrigued by a few of the desserts as well as with the Pink Pancakes (they have sweet potatoes in them).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun with PlayDough

This morning we started a new routine. Mostly it consist of me waking up earlier so that we can all eat breakfast together as a family. We've been working on Lucy doing some memory verses at breakfast and just having it be a better start to our day. Our main goal for doing this is to get everyone up, dressed and moving so we have less whining and lazy time in the morning. Man did it work! By 9 am the kids had colored, done a number match game, and were working on playdough. All after eating breakfast, getting dressed and following me around for awhile until I redirected them to a few activities.

Around 8:30 when Nick left for work I sat down at the table with them and joined them for a combination of coloring, cutting and playdough. This turned into one of my favorite playdough activities...cutting! Murray is just beginning to show an interest in using scissors, he puts his fingers in the correct holes, but holds them in more of a horizontal way...so they don't really cut paper, but, playdough they cut! He was so proud of himself! He sat there for about 15 minutes cutting playdough.

Lucy who was busy coloring started to get excited too...so she started cutting some playdough, with her more advanced cutting skills she was able to cut out a princess shape, then add hair, a crown, a veil and eyes, nose and mouth...it was pretty neat to see all the pieces along the way...although the end product looked a little blob like, but if you looked close you could see all she had done! So what a fun morning we had before our day had even really begun. I think this is going to be a very fun, but busy routine for us!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's the little things...

Sometimes I feel like we get a glimpse into God's plan, the minute details of what He hopes we will achieve or enjoy while we're on this planet. I like when you can look back on something and say, "that is more than a coincidence, that was planned". Well, I feel like we've been having one of those weeks in the Koschmann house. For better or worse, God has been revealing His hand in our lives and showing us our strengths, our faults, and where He can help us out. Not that we don't see that daily, but some weeks it's just more of a lesson learned.
It's been a long week, one of those weeks that feels like it has 5 Fridays, because everyday at some point you just think...it has to be Friday today...oh wait it's only Wednesday, or whatever day it is. At one point I thought it was Monday, I thought I had completed one week and started another...I was sad to find out it was only Thursday.
Ok, you're probably wanting me to get to the point, enough about my long week, I've already written about a wedding and a funeral this week, along with Nick being gone for 2 days, so this post couldn't possibly be about that again...right?!? Well, it's not, at least it mostly isn't. This post is about friendships. While Nick was out of town we had made plans to go to Greenfield Village. We actually had thought we'd go to the museum, but when the weather was supposed to be nice, we decided it was best to spend some time outside, what a great day it was!
So, where is the glimpse into God's plan in the midst of a visit to an outdoor museum? Well, it wasn't where we went, but who we went with. Our first call here to Michigan has proven again and again that God will supply us with all that we need. Earlier this year I went to a funeral for a friend's husband, while at this funeral I reconnected with a few friends from college who were a year behind me. People I knew, but hadn't even talked to since graduating. One of those ladies happened to live in Michigan, happened to live a little over an hour away. So, after a little facebooking we decide we'll meet at Greenfield Village on a Friday afternoon. We just both happened to be free on the Friday Nick was going to be gone. A double bonus for me as I would have tried to plan an activity for that day anyway. Wow is all I can say! Becky has 2 girls, 1 turned 4 in July the other turned 2 on June 10th (just 12 days before Murray).
I have never seen 4 kids who just met get along so well. I have never lost track of time while wandering around with someone I haven't seen in 4 years. Both of us are Pastor's wives with 2 kids virtually the same age and just had a blast! I know it may not seem like much, but I totally feel like God was smiling on us and saying...see, I know the plans I have for you...see, I placed you here together now and I placed you together before so you would have something to base this friendship on. It's amazing. That being said, I hope we get together again very soon!
So here's a bit about our day...
We wandered around and visited the glass blower, the tin maker, and the farm (a first for all of us). Murray LOVED the chickens. He chased them around and kept saying "here chicken" and "I see a chicken" He was so excited about the chickens that when we got to the carousel ride and he saw a chicken he just had to ride on it! That boy was all smiles and kept talking about riding a chicken...he kept saying "bawk, bawk" while the carousel went around. They LOVED looking at all the pumpkins spread throughout the village and we learned while on our Model T ride that they have employees and volunteers carve approximately 850 pumpkins every Wednesday in October! That's a lot of pumpkins. The larges pumpkin they had on sight was 966 lbs!! That isn't the pumpkin Murray has his picture by (it was roped off), but the large pumpkins were also certainly a hit with the kids! Lucy once again asked to go into the hat shop and we tried on lots of hats, Murray still prefers the hats with flowers...but I don't blame him, they are more fun! Overall it was a great fall day to enjoy the weather outside and we finished it with a train ride and a walk back over the covered bridge.
I'm so glad we've discovered this great place so close to our house and I'm so thankful we were able to share it with new friends! The kids were tuckered out and after going through the drive thru for dinner (they slept through all of it), we ate dinner and watched a movie waiting for Nick to get home. The kids were so excited to see him! After laying in bed for awhile Lucy came out and said "I just can't sleep because I can't stop thinking about Daddy".
What a great way to end a busy week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Aren't they cute...errr scary?!?!

We took these photos a few weeks ago and I just found them on my camera....after writing my blog about being exhausted I'm reminded...who can't be thankful for this?!? Lucy is doing her best "scary face" and Murray is just being cute! The both LOVE their Halloween shirts and were giddy when they realized that they were "glow in the dark" they spent about 15 minutes going in and out of our closet squealing about them glowing. What a joy they are!
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Thankful Thursdays

I'm having difficulty being anything but exhausted today. Nick left after midweek last night to head to Indiana Wesleyan University to start his masters program in youth ministry. What an awesome opportunity this is for him...I guess I'll be thankful for that! However, he left me home alone and Murray did not sleep well last night. He went to bed at 8, and I waited up till just before midnight when I received the text that Nick had arrived safe. He was driving a friend's car (another thing I am thankful for) and it was raining so I just couldn't settle until I knew he was at the hotel safe and sound. Murray woke up around 1, and again a little after 3 saying his tummy hurt. Each time he woke up and was crying I sat in his room for about 20 minutes b/c usually when he says his tummy hurts, a very stinky diaper follows and I didn't want him to sleep in it. He woke up for the day a little after 6...which equals not very much sleep for this mommy.

So, in my exhaustion I am thankful that it's Thursday...and a gymnastics Thursday at that. It was nice to have an outing for the morning (one that we could go on since Nick used a different car for his travels and we still have one at home!). It's also nice to have the kids I watch in the house today occupying Lucy and Murray. While it's a little more work for me at times, it also provides a little more playtime for the kids without my involvement.

I am also thankful that Nick will be home tomorrow evening...this isn't a very long trip for him, and he won't have to do it very often. Most of his classes will be online. I'm excited for him to be given an opportunity to grow in this new way.

If you wait a few more hours...I'm sure I'll be thankful for bedtime! Happy Thursday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Party of the the Century

Well, at least that's what the bride and groom were calling it. I'm not sure if others are claiming the title, but it was a great time. We had an extremely enjoyable weekend visiting with the Muther and Herbolsheimer families and Nick had the honor of marrying the youngest of each family (to each other). I'm pretty sure it's a once in a life time opportunity to marry the siblings of 2 of your close friends. A few highlights of the weekend were Katy and Mark arriving at our house on Friday evening so we could enjoy a little extra time with them (and they could have not quite as long of a drive on Friday). Saturday morning Katy and I totally lucked out and left early to go to Molly's bridal luncheon, leaving earlier than everyone was not necessarily lucky; but driving in a car just us with no kids was amazing! We had forgotten what 2 hours of uninterrupted conversation was like...we even missed an exit we were chatting so much. Good thing we'd left with plenty of time so we still arrived a few minutes early to the luncheon even with our 20 minute detour.

Murray and Chloe (Katy and Mark's youngest daughter) fell in love at the wedding. You may think I'm joking, but they spent the reception dancing and kissing. When Chloe wanted to twirl on her own she left Murray in tears on the dance floor only to be consoled by "Monkey Preschool Games" on Nick's ipod. I know there are pictures of them kissing on other people's cameras...and if I get a hold of one I'll post it so you can see the proof. It was quite entertaining!

Lucy was a dance machine. Watch out Tom and Greta...she is now practicing her dance moves for your reception...I'm pretty sure she'll dance all night if we let her. She was still dancing today! At one point one of Molly's college friends was mimicking her every dance move and she thought she was pretty cool to have someone dancing like her!

I know there were lots of fun things the kids said and did throughout the weekend, and overall they were super well behaved. We enjoyed sharing this special time with our friends and their families. It was great to get to see all the little ones interact and enjoy each other (Molly and Brian had 7 flower girls, all of their nieces). A few of our favorite quotes from the weekend were Lucy seriously inquiring "Why can't Mommy get naked on the dance floor?" As Nick explained she could get her PJ's on at the wedding, but I couldn't. She also as she was falling asleep in the hotel one night asked Nick why God gave us the words I'm sorry and I forgive you. What an inquisitive little girl. Murray spent the weekend talking away and amazes us at the sentences he forms; describing every detail of the world around him.

Along the drive we were able to see all the beautiful fall colors that MI has to offer and we were extremely thankful for the beautiful views God blesses us with. Lucy has decided she likes all the colors on the trees except green and wishes it could be fall all year long!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for the laughter that fills my home. I've had an extra 2 kids all day, and it has been a blast. Listening to the imagination and creativity with 2 two year olds and 2 four year olds playing is something to experience. A lot of the laughter has been mine; but much has been the kids. It is truly a joy to be able to be a part of this day to day interaction as my kids grow older, and to share it with a friend's children as well. My house is more vibrant because of it, and my heart smiles as my children learn to share, interact and compromise...or at least take turns. What a joy to get a little peak into a child's mind, to overhear them set the stage for the "kitty doctor" and watch them pretend the way I remember pretending as a child...the fact that I remember trying to drink milk and eat out of a bowl like a cat is maybe more than I should share; but I do remember it and to see Lucy begin to explore the world in new ways makes me thankful and brings me joy.

I am also thankful for this verse today: "I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

A dear friend of ours lost her granddaughter this morning, a youth in our high school group lost her big sister. A tragedy, she was a young girl in her early twenties. They are doing an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, but believe it is related to her awful disease of bulemia. What sadness my heart felt today alongside the joy of watching my own children. Sadness for a grandmother, grandfather, a father, two younger sisters, a mother, and aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The only thing one can be thankful for in a moment like this is the peace and comfort that the knowledge that this is not it, this is not the end. She is no longer in pain, she no longer sees her body through the eyes of sin and sadness, but now sees herself in the true perfection she was created in. Created in God's image, and now she is able to see her true beauty with God. I pray for the loss her loved ones feel by a life cut short; so many things they will not be able to share with her as they continue on with their lives; but we rejoice that Christ has overcome the world! This is not it, there is more than the oppression of this world!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall is here!

I've been eluding to it for weeks, and although there are 70 degree temps in our forecast...Fall is officially here. The house is chilly in the mornings and evenings and before we head out we have to ask "do we need jackets?". Every year I think, I'll enjoy fall this year, I love the changing of the leaves, I love the fall smells of crisp air and pumpkin and apples (fall candle scents are my favorite!), but again every year I'm reminded that while I can find things I enjoy about the fall...I'm always very sad to see summer go. My toes, fingers and nose are really only warm when I'm cuddled under a blanket or standing in a warm spot of the sun...and let's face it, I don't get to cuddle under blankets or stand still for very long.

Before you give up on me for my pessimistic view on fall (I'm already longing for the first really hot day of summer next year) keep reading for a few sentences more and hear about all the fun fall things we've been doing. Yesterday I decided (while freezing and fighting the urge to turn on the heat) that we would celebrate fall. So, we took out our box of fall decorations (thanks mom for the jump start on those a few years ago) and decorated our house in fall fashion. Lucy is super excited for Halloween this year so it was a blast to dust and clean to place pumpkins, ghosts and goblins around our house. Don't worry...they're all the cute friendly kind. We did our fall light that is like a candle...made our family room smell delicious, and stuck our fall window clings on the windows. Lucy was very excited to welcome in a new season!

A few other fall things we've been doing are a trip to the apple orchard (it was still warm then...just before a rain came through and cooled things off) and we've been collecting colored leaves on our walks around the neighborhood. I'm hoping to enjoy more outside time this fall and winter since I have 2 big kids who can bundle up and enjoy playing outside in any weather! I'll post a few pictures of Lucy and I at the orchard below!


Happy Fall Everyone!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for a gorgeous fall day. It's warm, but not hot. The leaves are changing colors and the sun is out. It was a perfect day for a walk to the park by the train tracks. The kids climbed, ran and were pushed on the swings. At the end of the park time I let them run to the top of the big hill, and then run down. When we got to the bottom of the hill a train came by...YES!!! We have missed the trains the last few times we've been at the park and Murray has not been happy about it. So, I am especially thankful that we were able to see a train and enjoy this nice weather before it comes to an end (as I know it will sooner or later).

I am also thankful that a week and a half ago as I was menu planning I just happened to think today would be a good day to make some chicken noodle soup. Murray and I have been fighting off a cold all week (and I think our noses are losing) but I am beginning to feel a bit better today and chicken noodle soup sounds and smells delicious. So, I'm hoping after not making it for months my non recipe works out well...I tried a few new things this time. Maybe come dinner time I'll be thankful we have money in the budget to order a pizza...but so far, it's smelling pretty good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Wake Up

For an hour and a half today this is what Murray kept saying to me as he played with trains, read books, and just stomped around his room. He was supposed to be sleeping, but every time I went back into his room to put him into his bed he said "I wake up, Mommy, I wake up!" He was very proud of himself for waking up and just didn't want to sleep...apparently the 3 minutes home from dropping Lucy at preschool were enough to keep him going. I'm hoping he sleeps well tonight and maybe even a little late in the morning. He's been sniffling and sounding hoarse and I'm afraid he might be getting the cold I've had this week. I am also hoping that this is not the beginning of the end of nap time! I am in no way ready for my sweet little boy to give up his rests that make him even sweeter in the middle of the day. He was happy until about 4:30 with no nap, but I was thankful for the nursery and midweek tonight to get us through until bedtime. Hopefully it was just a one day strike! I'll tell you though...it would be just like Murray to give up his nap before he's fully potty trained! He just decides on his own when he's done with certain phases of "baby" whether I like it or not!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Up on the House Top

Up on the house top
click click click
fixing and painting
is our Dad Nick...
OK, well the song may be a little cheesy, but that is what we did today. After sleeping in a bit (until 7:45) after getting up twice in the night; we spent the day doing chores around the house. On an aside...in the middle of the night I told Murray to go back to sleep for a long time and he responded "I hope to Mommy." He sounded exasperated, like he was just as confused as I was as to why he was awake at 3 am. OK, back to our day...we ended up cleaning bathrooms and putting toys away. Then we all got dressed, put coats on and headed outside. Our gutters needed some cleaning in a few areas and a portion of the wood had lost its flashing so Nick painted it with some outdoor paint to protect it until we get that replaced.
The kids thought it was so great that Nick was on the roof. They ran around the house pointing and yelling/cheering for him as he worked. They also were very interested in the big tall ladder he was using to get up onto the roof. So, after waiting patiently and being great listeners they each had a turn to climb the ladder (with Nick close behind). What an adventure this was! It was great to see each of their personalities come out as they climbed. Murray was absolutely fearless, he climbed up to the top of the ladder without hesitation and Nick plopped him to sit on the edge of the roof for a minute. I wish I had my camera...he was so proud of himself being so high up!
Lucy had been talking excitedly about climbing onto the roof the entire time we had been outside. Negotiating down the age she was allowed to go onto the roof from 10 (what I suggested) to 5 (what Nick suggested). She was all about walking around on the roof with daddy. Until she got about 5 rungs up on the ladder. Then she started saying "this is really high" "I'm not too sure about this" and finally "I'm scared Daddy." She did make it to the top of the ladder and timidly sat on the edge of the roof where Murray had sat, but it was not the exciting adventure she had imagined. That being said, she was proud of herself and she is glad she did it...but I'm not sure she'll be climbing onto the roof to help anytime in the next few years! (I can't say I'm too upset about that).
After a super busy weekend, this was a perfect family day at home beginning to prepare for winter. It was great to spend time working together and to enjoy the finished projects by grilling outside and playing baseball in the yard...although I admit I watched from the window, it was a bit to chilly for me!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for an extremely busy week. While it isn't always fun to have your schedule be so full you can hardly manage it, this gives us the opportunity to cut out the excess and to rely on people the way we normally may not. All week I have been preparing for this weekend...it is as packed full of things as a weekend possibly can be. I will be juggling and managing both my time and my patience as I go from one event to the next all while being a mom and a wife. However as yesterday reached it's busy peak I was able to rely on Nick to help with lunch for the kids and more importantly in a quiet moment I was able to say "the rest will wait" and share a few special moments with my little Murray man. Sometimes a kick out of the usual routine forces us to make our usual busyness lay at the side to realize we need to make time for the important. While my house will need some TLC next week to recover from the neglect of this week, my children won't wait and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to prioritize them this week.

What you may ask is keeping me so busy? Well, this week was the start of ballet class for Lucy (unexpectedly) as well as the start of my teaching of learning lab (on the same day)...a bit chaotic but quite enjoyable. I am also doing final preparations for the mom to mom sale at our church this weekend. So rewarding once it's in full swing (and even more so when it's over), but a bit stressful getting everything ready and turning away last minute moms who want a table. What a great fundraiser for our church though! We have our district president preaching at our church this weekend and Nick and I have the privilege of dining with him and his wife along with the Bush's on Saturday...and lastly, but probably the most important, on Sunday we will welcome little Mathias into God's family as his sponsors. I am so excited to share this special day with such a special little boy...so excited I volunteered to make the cake...which will be a creative outlet in the midst of this busy weekend.

I'm thankful that we're all healthy and that I am capable of managing a busy schedule...I'm thankful for a little burst of summer weather as we head into fall...lastly I am thankful for 2 sleeping children upstairs which means I should have happy children later this afternoon. Today is a very Thankful Thursday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Murray's Been Up To...

Now, just in case you forgot that there are two adorable children living in the Koschmann house, I figured I'd update on Muray today as well. I can NOT believe how big he has grown. He is talking better and better each day and starting to put sentences together to describe the world around him. It's quite amazing to see. He also is still very active and very much a boy. He loves running, jumping, and hitting balls...or anything really. He's also been into building houses and towers with his legos or doing anything Lucy does. He loves his sister and loves to follow her around and play with her. They are really interacting well these days and aside from the expected arguments they play quite well together. Here's a few pictures of my sweet little boy.



This is how Murray builds houses...on top of cars!



Murray Playing cars in the kitchen. A few weeks ago Nick made a giant road on

the cardboard from our new patio table.

Murray painting! He loved it. I can't remember the last time I let him paint.

Growing Up Too Fast

Grandma Koschmann left Lucy a few back to school presents. In these was an adorable sweater with a matching belt. So, Lucy got all dressed up for school last Wednesday. I couldn't believe how big she looked. After getting her dressed and her hair braided, to the side per her request, I sent her down to tell Daddy "I'm ready to go to High School". Well, she gladly went down and announced this and then added "and then I'm off to Hollywood". Oh Lucy! What a personality this girl has.

A few days later I put her in a pair of old jeans with holes in the knees. They're from last year and she was just playing so I thought they would be fine. She became so excited and said "Thank you mommy for getting me pants like all the big kids." Lucy has apparantly been observing the fashion of the high schoolers and was excited to find out that she too could wear pants with holes in them! Yikes!!!


Crafty Lucy

Lucy has really been interested in paper, scissors and glue these days. I posted the flags she made and she has just been into everything and anything that involves these elements. She is constantly saying "I need to do a project Mom!" I do help her get started sometimes or offer suggestions, but for the most part she is doing them independently. Although they do leave a trail of paper throughout my dining room I am really enjoying her creativity and she is getting better and better at picking up after herself.

Here are few activities from last week (It's been a little busy so I'm behind on blogging). She wanted something to do so I suggested making a paper chain. I did help cut the strips and showed her how to use the glue stick and hold the circles together while they stuck. But she went to town with it. She worked on it on and off for most of Thursday and the end product was quite impressive.

See, the chain ended up being taller than she was. I couldn't believe it! She keeps talking about adding to it, so we'll have to see if she does and I'll post a picture of the "finished" product if it grows any longer.


Above is Lucy painting. She is constantly asking to get the paints out and I finally let her on a morning with Paddy was over. I was surprised that it wasn't as messy as it used to be. A testament to how much bigger the kiddos are getting. Even Murray got involved and kept his hands clean. He didn't like them getting messy so he ended up having a washcloth next to him that he kept wiping his hands on. We ended up with a a pile of paintings after this day...because after these paints we did some water colors! Once again...I'm enjoying being home so they're doing these crafts at my table!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful that my little boy who can be so stubborn is so stinkin cute. He and I had a battle of the wills over nap today...he just didn't want to miss any of the action. Who can blame him? Paddy was over this morning, and usually Murray goes to sleep before he leaves, but today he wouldn't. So I knew I had a small window after Paddy left before the other kids got here. He screamed, he cried...I pulled in the big guns. I sat next to him and rubbed his back and then stood in his doorway. I used to do this when he was just transitioning to a toddler bed. I knew he would fall asleep, I just hoped it was in time! Well, he sat there staring at me. Then slowly it happened. His head bobbed once, and he jerked it back up eyes opened determined to stay awake. This went on for about 10 minutes, the whole time I was stifling a giggle...finally he laid his head down and took a two hour nap! So, I am thankful for naptime and the fact that I got to watch my little boy fall asleep. He woke up happy and ready to play.

I am also thankful for thunderstorms. What an awesome testament to creation and God caring for it. Thunderstorms just wash away the dirt and grime and liven things up a bit. It almost feels like a fresh start for the gardens. I know fall is fast upon us...although our leaves on not changing the weather has cooled down quite a bit....but it's still nice to see the grass get a bit greener just one more time! I really enjoyed the thunderstorms outside today and watching the kids watch the wind blowing the rain sideways. What a fun day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Diary of a Potty Training Mom

So, I think I'll leave this up today as we make yet another attempt at getting Murray fully potty trained. I know he's young, but I also know that Lucy was potty trained by this point, and I know he gets it because as long as he's naked he's successful. Alas, fall is upon us and so is chilly air...so between colder weather and my tiredness of his naked behind, we're giving underwear a try again. I'm setting the timer for 20 or 30 minute increments and having him sit.

It's 10:30 in the morning and so far we've been fairly successful. We had 3 successful potty breaks, and then a poopy accident, however he screamed for me as it was happening and cried about it. This is a step forward...he's never seemed to care about an accident before. Hooray...maybe we'll get there in the next few days! (We'll see if this optimism continues throughout the day). He just sat and didn't go...so we'll see what happens in the next 20 minutes.

10:58 am SUCCESS!!! dry underpants and pee pee on the potty!!! Now it's time for some painting before lunch...well, at least 25 minutes of painting before we try again.

Success again!!! dry underwear and pee pee in the potty!!!

Well, we had 2 more accidents. I ignored the timer and let him go a few more minutes and he was slightly wet. Then he sat and did nothing but while eating lunch he had an accident. Thus ends the morning. He's in a diaper and taking a nap now....we'll give it another try this afternoon.

This afternoon was an epic failure. We went through 4 pairs of underwear in less than an hour. I guess he had told me he didn't want underwear and he proved it! So, he's back in a diaper. We'll give it a go again tomorrow morning...maybe we'll wear underwear in the morning and diapers after nap for the next few months? This boy is certainly throwing me for a loop!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for quiet moments in a busy house, and folded laundry put away in drawers. It's nice when you can enjoy the end of a busy day with the task you hoped to accomplish actually accomplished.

I am also thankful that my dear friend Lisa had a healthy baby boy today. God blessing a family with a child is truly a magnificent gift and truly something to be thankful for.

and now...back to my silence...it's been a busy day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From our Garden to our Table


What an adventure we had at the Koschmann house tonight. We had picked over 4 lbs of tomatoes out of our garden this week (from only 1 plant) and just didn't know what to do with them. After discussing it for a few days we decided we would make an attempt at making some pasta sauce. So, we researched a few recipes online and found one that was simple and to the point. We picked a night where we thought we had nothing going on and planned to make a family event out of cooking dinner. So, when Nick arrived home we all went to the garden to get the last few red tomatoes. We then boiled water and I carefully dropped the tomatoes in while Lucy and Murray watched closely. After 2 minutes we put them in ice water and began peeling the skins off. I thought Lucy and Murray would have loved this...they did not! They thought the tomatoes were slimy and gross. So Nick and I enjoyed peeling and cubing the tomatoes, Lucy and Murray played with the ice and water. Then we all went out to play while the tomatoes drained.


Lucy helped with most of the recipe while Murray played. What an adventure to let her mince garlic and cut basil. She also added the red pepper flakes to taste (a bit too much for me...but I guess that's how she likes it). The house smelled delicious as the sauce simmered for 30 minutes. We all were able to enjoy our dinner...although Nick took his to go because he had a last minute meeting to attend. Delicious! Lucy says that tomato sauce from the store is much better than from our garden, but Nick and I strongly disagree and will definitely be making sauce again sometime!! (maybe soon if all those green tomatoes turn red...). I just enjoyed being able to show Lucy and Murray that we can make our own food. Something that I think is lost by going to the store to buy everything we need...not that I mind going to the store and buying what we need...but, it's nice to make things from scratch now and then!

Here's a few fun pictures a little closer...I think if you click on the collage it will allow you to view the collage bigger.