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)


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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!
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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!