Monday, December 29, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

Oh, what a year it has been. To think that this time last year I was still in a panic, trying to figure out if this whole "having a kid" gig was the biggest mistake ever. I was still having to be at Isaiah's beck and call every 2 hours, still getting up at 2:00 am for feedings, still worrying about gas bubbles in his belly, still having to make sure to support his head whenever I held him. Now, I can let the little buggar play with an amazing degree of independence, I can sleep through the night, I deal with super stinky diapers rather than painful gas bubbles, and we swing the stinker upside down to get him giggling! Amazing how much can change in a year. Some things, however, do not change. Every year I try to tune in to watch the ball drop in Times Square. It's always such an iconic symbol for me of the transition to the fresh start of a fresh calendar. So, in the true spirit of the new year, here's what I'm looking forward to in 2009:

  • Words! He busts out a "Mama," "Dada," and "Hi!" every now and again, but I can't wait to hear actual words. I'm so excited to hear him point to something and ask for it by name. I think I might just break down into hysterics the first time I hear him say "Thank You" or "I love you."

  • Personality. He is already such an individual, but I know that he is going to develop into such a little person in the next year. Toddlers develop a sense of self so quickly and it's going to be really cool to watch Isaiah grow into his personality.

Our Family:

  • We continue to pray that God will expand our family when he feels the time is right. I am hopeful that we will welcome a new baby in 2009 (or at least early in 2010!) and Isaiah can have a go at being a big brother. If all else fails, we'll probably get a puppy! :-)

  • 5 years! That's how long Evan and I will have been married come July of 2009. Hard to believe it has already been that long. Back when we were engaged and Evan was super-broke (he literally had less than $10 in his bank account), he got me a picture frame for a gift with a letter he had written that I wasn't allowed to read until our 5 year wedding anniversary. At the time, it seemed like it was so far away. Evan reminds me of that letter from time to time and admits that he has completely forgotten what it says! So, we'll both be looking forward to removing it from its home in the back of the picture frame that houses our wedding photo and reading what Evan wrote to me. He's such a softie underneath that sarcastic exterior, isn't he??

Our Home:

  • The Basement. We are desperately in need of a play room! This became painfully obvious when we unloaded all of Isaiah's birthday and Christmas gifts only to realize that we have nowhere to go with them. The living room is already stuffed with his favorite toys and I had to put many of his gifts into his closet to save until we have room for him to use them. Plus, he's becoming so active now that it is nearly impossible to keep him barricaded in the living room. He just needs more room to roam! That's why the basement really needs to be a priority in 2009. Our plan is to divide up the space into a play room, living area, office/scraproom, and a storage room. Before we get too far into the process, we still need to make sure that we've taken the neccessary steps to prevent any future flooding, like what we experienced this past summer. This will include installing a gutter & eavestrough system on the house. It is a very intimidating project to be sure, so you can imagine my excitement when I caught wind of the tax rebate program that we will be eligible for. We still need to look into more of the details, but we know that we can apply for a first time home buyers tax credit that will give us a $7500 tax rebate when we file our taxes this year. It is basically a no interest loan from the government that we have 15 years to repay and the payments come right off our taxes at the end of the year. Like I said, we have a few more questions to ask of our tax guy before we start doing cartwheels, but I am already thanking God for providing us a with a way to get the basement completed. That money couldn't have shown up at a better time!


  • What would a New Year's reflection be without turning the focus inward and pointing out all your flaws that you want to promise to fix in the coming year? Well, I'm not going to do that. I find myself doing that enough on a regular basis without giving myself an excuse to do so. Instead, I'm just going to say that I am going to make it my goal to be more positive in 2009.....about everything. Money. My weight. My job (or lack thereof). My relationships. It is my hope that this will have a trickle down effect on everything else. I have such a bad habit of finding the negative in things, so it is my prayer that God will help me to find the positive side of EVERYTHING in 2009. He will never do anything to purposefully harm me, so I need to trust that he is watching over me and helping me to grow closer to Him. My mom has this little card box in her bathroom that has been on the same saying for quite some time: "Sometimes God calms the raging seas. Other times, he lets the storm rage and calms his child."

Happy New Year everyone. May your 2009 be blessed.

A Week of "Vacation"

I am really looking forward to this week! I get to spend today being lazy with Isaiah at home while Evan is at work and then Evan is home on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before going back to work on Friday. It ended up being a good thing I was home today because Isaiah woke up with a chest full of phlegm (yuck!) this morning and has been a sick little snuggle-bug all morning. A couple girlfriends and I are going to try to get out to see "Marley and Me" tomorrow and I am determined to get a couple scrapbook pages done before Friday. Oh, and I have a LOT to work on for school too. That may seem like a busy, hectic week....but to me it sounds FABULOUS!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Photos Galore

I take way too many photos. I admit it. I have an addiction. After dumping more than 500 photos off my camera and into my computer (yes, that's just from Christmas), I have my work cut out for me as far as sorting through them and picking out the best ones to put up on Snapfish and such, so please be patient. I promise to try to get them up for your viewing pleasure ASAP. In the meantime, here's a small appetizer. Enjoy!!

Talent on a Jug

I just had to share the amazing gift my sister gave my mother yesterday at our Christmas. She hand painted this milk jug with beautiful birds and pinecones and even took the time to put snow on the branches of the trees. Seriously Erica, I want one for the basement!!!! Remember....think "vintage football." Ghostly portrait of Vince Lombardi is optional.

Friday, December 26, 2008

So tired...

Oh my goodness. I can't believe I ever thought Christmas was tiring BEFORE I had a 13 month old running all over the place. I am so incredibly beat after 3 days of Christmas with Isaiah followed by an immediate closing shift at the restaurant that I can hardly hold my eyelids open. Maybe Evan will be sweet enough to let me sleep in tomorrow so I don't have lovely dark circles under my eyes for the party at the Bresser's tomorrow night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

P.S. For those of you who complain when I don't update the blog every day (you know who you are!!!), I promise I will try to stay on top of it better from now on. I can't promise every day, especially since I'm teaching fulltime now, but I will do my best. It's nice to know I'm popular though.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Merry Christmas! Here we are in Waupun on Day 3 of our Christmas festivities and it's only Christmas Day! Big day ahead of us - brunch at 10:30, big meal at Grandma's at noon, and then another big party at another Grandma's tonight! Gotta love it though. I'm not feeling incredibly well this morning, probably something to so with the copius amounts of my mother in law's amazing alfredo that I ate last night. Oh my was sinfully good. I'm always going to be a chubby girl if I keep eating food like that, but it will have been worth it!

Speaking of such things, if you haven't heard, my sister in law is quickly becoming a super skinny HOTTIE of epic proportions. That amazing woman has been busting her butt at the gym several mornings a week and has pretty much completely given up sugar. I don't know which of those items I would find more difficult, but they're both pretty incredible accomplishments. She's already such a beauty, but she's rapidly approaching bombshell status. Way to go!!!!

As for our family, Isaiah has already made a haul this Christmas, which has me a little worried because I have absolutely nowhere to go with any of the stuff. Our basement is still a disaster and not even close to being ready for play and only slightly conducive to storage at this point. So, I'll probably end up storing a bunch of his presents in his closet until we actually have the space for him to play with them.

Christmas is such a joyous time of year, but it is also difficult for my family, as it reminds us of when my Uncle Jack passed away in 2006. We vaccilate back and forth between laughing and pausing to think about him. You can always see it in my aunt's and my cousins' faces when they are taking a moment to remember him. Although it's sad to remember that it was over Christmas that we lost him, we take comfort in knowing that my uncle trusted in God and in the little baby that was born on Christmas so many years ago. Now, Evan's family is going through something similar as his Grandmother is in rapidly declining health and the family is using this time at the holidays to say their goodbye's. Grandma Koerner is an absolutely amazing woman who is, in her own words, "on speaking terms" with the Lord. I know the family will miss her very much after she goes home to be with God and that the holidays will be that much more difficult in years to come. But, like my family does at Christmas every year, they can take comfort that they will be together to remember her every year and recall their love for her as well as for one another.

From our family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and travel safely!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Emma the Goat and the Kangaroo

Teaching is never without its excitement. I've only been back to fulltime teaching for three days and I already have some funny stories. Every day I meet during 8th hour with the group of teachers that I work with on our team. Yesterday Shawn* (the math teacher) and Bill* (the social studies teacher) all of a sudden asked Jennifer* (the science teacher), "What's going on with the goat?" I'm thoroughly confused already, but they continue this line of questioning, wondering if it was actually a llama and not a goat, did she decide to bring the goat, and is the kangaroo coming too??? At this point I demanded to be let in on the joke.

Apparantly, Jennifer has an uncle who is married to a woman who has a goat that she brings with her EVERYWHERE. She has a note from her doctor (a head doctor, that is) that allows her to bring Emma (that's the goat) with her placed. Emma has been to Perkins. This year, Jennifer is hosting Christmas at her house and the family was hoping to get as many of them together as possible, since Grandma is quite ill. So, the question was whether or not the aunt would arrive with the goat in tow. Jennifer said, "Absolutely not." There was no way she was going to allow the goat to attend Christmas at her house!! The aunt was very put off by this, understandably, and demanded to know why Emma wasn't welcome! And, for that matter, what about Roo??? Oh yes, there is also a kangaroo. Roo doesn't go quite as many places as Emma, but she gets around.

As you can imagine, I was laughing so hard I thought I might cry while being told this whole story. I made several jokes about this situation, about how one would be a bit surprised to see a goat in Perkins - imagine you're just trying to eat your breakfast and suddenly your fork is gone and you discover it being chewed on by Emma - and about how they'll bring the skunk and the emu to Easter.

Ah, family.

*Names have been changed

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick little note to send our warmest holiday greetings out there to you all. It's been a year with its ups and downs, but we are so thankful for all the blessings God has given us this year. Our family is really looking forward to going back to Waupun tomorrow to spend a few days taking in Christmas with those we hold dear. For those of you who we won't be seeing, have a very Merry Christmas!

Oh, and Maribeth (I know you're reading this).....Thank you SO much for the sweet gift you sent with the Christmas card. I can't even begin to explain how much it meant to me. Plus, I always relish in the moments where I can prove to Evan that his family likes me better than him!! :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Trusting God

You know, God has a real knack of speaking to you right when you really need it or sometimes when you least expect it. Those of you who know what has been troubling my heart will understand why reading this verse on the LPM blog this morning was like hearing the Lord whisper in my ear, "Trust me. It'll all work out according to my plan. I'm in control." I was crying within two seconds.

"Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

Let it Snow...Let it Snow...Let it Snow!

Yowza, that's a lot of snow! Despite the fact that one of Evan's coworkers was nice enough to give us his old snowblower yesterday, it is looking like it won't stand a chance against the amount of snow we have out there this morning. So, Evan's still deciding whether to suck it up and bust out the shovel or to go ask a neighbor if we can pay to borrow their snowblower! Either way, I'm glad he was planning on a vacation day today because at least I don't have to worry about him going to work. Looks like they're saying it was about 8-10 inches of snow and now it's blowing and drifting all over the place. I'm not looking forward to driving to Sauk for work tonight!

School was cancelled, of course, so no teaching for me today. I met my students for the next three months yesterday when Trina went in to have her baby. I am pleased to announce the arrival of a perfect, beautiful baby GIRL. Her name is Seneca Sylvie and she weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. Trina totally had me fooled. I really thought it was a boy! We had to unwrap the gift I had for her so I could take out the blue blanket and Badger onsies I got her. Oops. Now I need to wait for a break in the weather so I can go to Walmart and exchange for something girly!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Perfect Day

I love days like today. It was WAY too cold to even tempt me to go out and do anything, so Isaiah and I spent a very lazy day at home, but it was absolutely perfect. He was so wonderful today. He ate his meals and didn't fuss. He took two 2 1/2 hour naps exactly on schedule....9:00 and 2:00 with no crying whatsoever. He played and ran and squealed and had a grand ole time in between his naps and even let me have some snuggle time. It was such a fabulous day and I'm so glad I got to have a day like this with him this week since I'll be starting my full time teaching gig within the next couple days. It's going to be hard to leave Isaiah, but it's only for three months and then I'll have my Mondays and Tuesdays with him again.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New photos!

Oh, do I love those eyes!! My friend Jenn Van Wyk was kind enough to drive all the way out to Arena yesterday morning to take some photos of our family since we hadn't had a good photo of all of us taken since Isaiah was 7 months old. After we got in a couple shots inside the house, we bundled up Isaiah a bit (it was a pretty warm morning) and took him out to experience snow for the first time and he did not disappoint! He dove right in and got "dirty," so to speak, and it made for some really cute photos. Thank you again, Jenn, for taking such special photos for us!

If you would like to see all the photos from our session, go to and click on "CLIENTS" at the bottom of the page and go to Online Ordering. Click on the link for "The Kooiman Family" and the password is "Isaiah." Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Silver Lining

This has been a very difficult week for our family. As many of you may or may not know, Evan and I have been looking forward to adding to our family for a while now. We love Isaiah so much and we can't wait to give him a little brother or sister! Earlier in the week, we were very excited because we found out we were pregnant. It's such a rush to see that word pop up on the test and we had even started arguing about names. Good arguing, though. We started making plans for how to go about telling our family and other things that would need to be taken care of before Baby #2 arrived. I was also pretty psyched to be due on August 17 since a new baby would be a pretty awesome birthday present for me!

But God had other plans for us. I had a early miscarriage. We found out yesterday for sure what exactly was going on and a miscarriage at this stage of pregnancy is commonly known as a "chemical pregnancy." What it basically means is that the mother was pregnant just long enough to get a few positive tests and start the initial planning for the baby: making appointments with the doctor, etc. At some point early in the process, typically during or right after implantation, something is found to be wrong with the embryo and the body terminates the pregnancy. So, Mom is suddenly confused because she gets her period out of nowhere and so, in a panic, takes another pregnancy test which turns up negative.

This has been a hard couple of days for me, but I'm quickly becoming more at peace with the whole situation and through the support of family and a lot of prayer, I've found my silver lining. We conceived a baby! How cool is that??!! The way I see it, this was God's way of letting us know that we're going about everything correctly and we're working just fine. He wanted me to know that he's watching out for us and for our baby and that he's going to take care of us. He's going to make sure that when the situation is just right, that baby's going to stick around and be perfect for us. He won't let us settle for anything less. I still feel the pain of losing a baby and mourn what I know was there, even if it was only for a short time, but I am also comforted to know that God understands my grief.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Three More!!!

No wonder Isaiah has been quite the cranky pants the last week or so. We found THREE new teeth last night!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Any Time Now

As many of you know, I have been "hired" to be a long term sub at our local middle school to teach 7th grade English while the regular teacher goes on maternity leave. Since her due date is December 16th, I'm really on call now....she could have the baby at any time. It's kind of scary to think that at any moment, my phone could ring and suddenly I will be working full time again, every day until Spring Break. I've gotten so used to having my couple days a week (at least) with Isaiah and I'm really starting to feel stressed out about being away from him so much for so long. I know it's only temporary, since I plan on going back down to 3 days a week after Spring Break, but it's going to be really hard.

I am also looking forward to working this job, for obvious reasons. We need the money really badly, I'm sure that goes without saying. I was so embarassed to actually have to call Alliant Energy to set up a payment plan for my heat bill, but the woman I talked to said it is happening a lot right now. It hardly made me feel better, but at least I know I'm not the only one struggling to keep things afloat. Work at the restaurant has been nothing short of dismal. So, it will really help to have that steady income for a while....even if it is only temporary.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Walking Wonder

After getting a lot of practice in over Thanksgiving, Isaiah has the whole walking thing down pat! Here are a couple videos I took today to show how good he is at it already!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us here in Arena, Happy Thanksgiving! I realize that Turkey Day isn't until tomorrow, but we're planning on hitting the road pretty much immediately after Isaiah has his breakfast, so that doesn't leave much time for blogging. We've got a full day ahead of us filled with family and, of course, food. The latter is something I know I'm going to struggle with this year. I am so prone to over-eating in my daily life and the holidays only make it worse. I'm going to really make an effort to try to not stuff myself like a turkey. I'll probably be too busy trying to keep up with the "Walking Wonder" to be able to eat anyway!

So, what do we have to be thankful for this year? Where do I start? Here's the uber-edited, short list:

  • Our beautiful son
  • Each other
  • Our family
  • Our home
  • Our health

I guess most of all, I'm thankful that we are, when it comes down to it, really happy. God has blessed us beyond measure this year and we are so grateful. Despite the difficult economy and having to live paycheck to paycheck, our family is happy because we have each other. And for that, we are truly thankful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Red Banoons

My very wise mother-in-law sent me this email a few minutes ago and I just had to post it on here so I would see it every time I opened up my Internet explorer. It's so cute and so wise at the same time. Thanks Sandy!

Beth Moore has a blog that she posts to and her daughters do too. This was such a neat one from her older daughter Amanda, I thought I'd share with you two. Good stuff for all of us to remember.


Jackson's Red Banoon
Yesterday after church, Curtis, Jackson and I had a yummy lunch at Luby's Cafeteria with all the other church-going folks on this side of town. As we were leaving, Jackson was given a big red balloon on a string. It was his joy and his delight. Let me just say that his joy and delight are fragile things. Having seen this particular joy swept away in the wind too many times before, I tied the balloon onto his clothes to keep him from losing it. Of course he had a fit about that. My banoon, Mommy! My banoon! He wanted all the control in his sweaty little hand! To my very great surprise, the balloon actually survived the trip home. It was still intact this morning and he enjoyed several more hours with it. He loved it so much. I cringed though, seeing my son get all of this happiness from something so fragile and temporary. It would only be a matter of time before it popped or sprung a leak out of nowhere. Then I'd have a sad, sad boy on my hands.
I think God must look at me in the same way when I'm trying to get my joy and happiness out of earthly things. I wonder if He thinks, Oh, baby girl, that is so temporary. It's already got a leak in it - you just can't see it yet. Find your joy in me! I'm everlasting! My unfailing love it what your heart truly seeks. So today I'll remember that my beautiful white house, compliments I may get because of this or that, my cute new maternity clothes, the holiday atmosphere that will soon surround us - all of these things I like and love so much - are about as safe for my heart to depend on as a simple latex balloon. These things add color and festivity to my life, but they are not sturdy enough to support my soul. There's only One who is, and He's more than willing to do it for me! He wants to! Thank You, Lord!

What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar. (Proverbs 19:22)

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. (Psalm 130:5-7)

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18)

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:21-22)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Looking Ahead

Can you believe it? Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is next week! Last night I even found myself telling Evan and I wanted to get the Christmas tree up soon. Hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. I'm such a nerd because I am already really excited about all the fun experiences I'm going to get to scrap from this holiday season, now that Isaiah is old enough to be able to have some fun. Thinking about scrapping all those great upcoming holiday photos got me dreaming about the new office/scrap space I'm going to have when we get the basement finished off and I've got a "Honey Do" list churning in my brain....all sorts of things Evan can build for me! :-) I'm sure he won't mind, right? I found this photo of someone's scraproom and I fell in love! Of course, I know mine won't look anything remotely like this, but I'm definitely stealing the idea of the lime green wall paint and the storage. Nothing wrong with having some inspiration, right? Oh, and I also managed to add about 25 more things to my wish list today. I am ready to admit that I am officially addicted. We've moved beyond hobby here, people.

One of the upcoming events that Evan and I are looking forward to is a trip to the Overture Center in Madison to take in a show. Evan enters a lottery of sorts every year at work where they give away extra tickets that the company buys for "important people" and this year Evan was lucky enough to win the tickets to The Wizard of Oz! We almost didn't even pick that one on our form because we thought for sure it would be everyone's first choice so there would be no chance of us winning, but we got lucky. The long and the short of it is that we are in need of a babysitter for Saturday, December 13th. We'll need someone from about 5:00 or so until LATE. The show starts at 8:00, but I wouldn't expect to be home before 11:00, so an overnight stay might be in order. Let me know if you're interested! As far as I know, that is the only date so far in December that we need a babysitter, but I'll let you all know if that changes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It took me a little longer than I would have liked, but I have completed the first of two layouts for Isaiah's birthday! Then I get to begin on our first general family album. It will be different to scrap something other than my son, but who knows when that event will actually occur. For the time being, enjoy another Isaiah layout!

Trouble in the Bathroom

Ah, the classic funny scenario: Baby finding completely inappropriate things to play with in the bathroom and Mommy recording it because it's hilarious.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Busy Weekend

Ever have one of those weekends that seems to rocket by so quickly that you swear it was just Friday and suddenly you're going to bed on Sunday night thinking, "How the heck is the weekend over already?" The bright side is that these super-fast weekends always seem to speed by because you were so busy, hopefully doing cool things. That was the case with us this weekend. Saturday was a really fun, but busy day for me because I had to work for a friend Saturday morning, but was relieved of my duty an hour early to go to the Badger game! My buddy Serena has an uncle who didn't want to go to the game this weekend because it was going to be "too cold" so he offered her the tickets. Even though she could care less about football, she accepted, knowing that I would probably crap my pants when she invited me to go. She was right! After I changed my underwear, I made arrangements with Evan to watch Isaiah (don't worry....he gets to go to the game next weekend so it's fair) and off we went. It ended being one of the most exciting games I have been to and we had a great time. One of the fans in our row was ejected from the game for throwing peanuts so we even got to spread out a bit, so that was a bonus.

And yesterday we had our annual Fat Man's Thanksgiving celebration. It was at our apartment last year and we held it early in the month since I was due with Isaiah the day before Thanksgiving. This year, we had our meal over at Joe and Jess's house and the evening was not without its drama. We ended up waiting outside for the fire department to come because the carbon monoxide detector kept going off upstairs so Joe finally called 911. Better safe than sorry where there are wee ones in the house. Isaiah got to sit in the fire truck and the house was all clear of CO, so it ended up being all good.

Now today I'm in Waupun for Isaiah's 12 month photos and to do some visiting with family. Tomorrow will be his 12 month checkup with Dr. Baker ('s been rescheduled twice) so we'll finally get a concrete idea of exactly how much of a tank this kid actually is. So, after a busy weekend, I can look forward to a busy week as well. Can't say I'd really want to have it any other way.

Oh, and stay tuned for a fun little video of what Isaiah was doing in the bathroom this morning to keep himself occupied while Mommy put her makeup on. Classic stuff. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Memory Lane

Nothing like a good ole trip down memory lane to make a date night special. Tonight Evan and I went out for a great dinner (yay broiled scallops!) at Green Acres and then attended the Sauk Prairie High School production of Once Upon a Mattress. For those of you playing along at home, yes....that's the show in high school where Evan and I met. It's the show that I almost didn't try out for. It's the show that I ended up landing the lead role in, which lead me down an entirely different path in my life. It's the show that changed both of our lives in ways that we shudder to think about now what would have happened if one of us hadn't been in it. I cried when Princess Winnifred sang her first number tonight. I still knew all the words to all her songs. It was such a great time to be able to enjoy that with Evan, 10 years after we enjoyed it together as cast members. The music program at Sauk is amazing as well, so the show was fantastic. If we had had half of the resources at Waupun that they have, our show would have been very different. Oh, and do they have some serious vocal talent! I can't even begin to gush about the amazing voices from these students. We left having enjoyed ourselves immensely and at least I felt rather sentimental. Hard to believe sometimes how one decision can end up changing your entire life, but that's what Once Upon a Mattress did for us. I guess it will always have a special place in my heart because of it.

Dancing with Junior Asparagus

Here's Isaiah doing his morning workout to Veggie Tales!

He's Back!

Oour little boy is officially back to normal, thank goodness. For a good chunk of time there, he was really, for lack of a better word, OFF. After having a fever for a few days and then daylight savings time....well, he was not acting like himself. Crabby 24/7, waking up at 4:00 am, not wanting to eat, not wanting to play. No longer! My playful, mischevious, curious boy is back to his normal disposition and I am so glad. Now I just have the next bout of teething to look forward to, since he always becomes a bit of a beastie during that.

Stay tuned for a video of the little guy doing his morning dance to Veggie Tales! (It's uploading right now to You Tube)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Isaiah!

Hard to believe that it has already been a year since this little guy came into our lives! This has certainly been the most stressful year of our lives, but by far more wonderful than we could have imagined!

Photos: Snapfish is updated! The 11 month album is complete and there is a whole album with photos from the birthday party yesterday. Go check it out!

And, for your viewing's the birthday boy enjoying his first birthday cake!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you so very much to everyone who made today such a wonderful day for our family. Isaiah's birthday party was WONDERFUL and there were so many people who contributed to that very special memory for us. From making food, to helping blow up balloons, to giving a gift, to just showing up....your kindness was truly appreciated. I am working right now on downloading the photos and video from the party so I am hoping to have them ready for your viewing pleasure by tomorrow. Again, thank you so much for making Isaiah's birthday so special!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dancing with Daddy

Yet another humorous performance by Evan and Isaiah. Watch how Isaiah continues the "dance" even after Evan stops moving the high chair!

Eggs are Hilarious

What else can I say? This is just cuteness at its best.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Thank goodness it is finally here. I went to the polls at about 7:15 this morning, so I am proudly sporting my "I Voted" sticker for all the world (ok, just Isaiah) to see! It will be interesting to see how things unfold as the polls close tonight, but I am really glad that it's almost over.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sick Baby

Poor, sick baby! Isaiah's been fighting a fever for the past couple days and I think we finally have that under control, but the main problem now is congestion. He is so stuffed up that he's finding it difficult to eat and sleep because he can't breathe out his nose. He was up SCREAMING at 4:00 this morning (yes, that's after DST) and Evan was up with him for a good hour and a half after that trying to get him back to sleep, but he was just miserable. Maybe I should get a humidifier for his room?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cup and Jelly

Sometimes the simplest things can make a little boy concentrate very hard for a good 10 minutes!

Snapfish Update

I have updated Isaiah's 11 month album as well as the Halloween album on Snapfish as of this afternoon, so there are fresh photos for your viewing and/or purchasing pleasure on there. For those of you who are members of "Isaiah's Room" on Snapfish, are you receiving an email about once a month or so to let you know that photos were added?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Our poor, poor little monkey. Little guy has been running a fever for over a day now, but he stuck it out so Mommy could parade him around in his costume for some photo ops. Man, I love this kid!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grocery Shopping

Not a very exciting title for a post, but I just had to share this photo I snapped on my phone of Isaiah helping me shop today. This was after I had emptied the cart of the mounds of stuff that was in it. He was fussing sitting up front, so I plopped him in the main part of the cart where he had a grand ole time grabbing an item...messing with it for a bit...then putting it aside and grabbing something else. He stayed seated like this the entire time, including while I put all the groceries in the car. It didn't hurt that he was dead tired, so he didn't even really have the energy to climb out, but it made for a pretty good shopping outing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spooky Cute!

I'm worried that Isaiah will have grown out of his Halloween costume before I get to show him off in it on Friday! I took the opportunity to scrap about this tonight and I'm very pleased with how my first Halloween layout turned out. I didn't notice until after I was done that I had applied the lace a little crooked, but oh well!

Wanted: Babysitter

Here are a couple dates in November that I'm looking for a babysitter for Isaiah.

Thursday, Nov 13 - Evening. From about 6:00 to 10:00 or so.

Saturday, Nov 22 - Morning/Afternoon. From about 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Any takers?

Monday, October 27, 2008


The other night at Grandma and Grandpa Kooiman's house, Isaiah was in such a crazy mood that he was giggling at just about anything, especially his sippy cup. Not sure why he found it so hilarious, but we didn't really care! It made for a great little video!

Tortellini and Teaching

One of my favorite things to get from the Schwans guy every couple weeks is a mega sized bag of three cheese tortellini. It boils up quick and is a yummy meal for me. Recently, I offered some to Isaiah to see what he thought and he gobbled it up like he was a starving little boy! The only problem, of course, is when it shows back up later. Talk about stinky....

Anyway, we had tortellini for dinner tonight and, needless to say, Isaiah was having a grand ole time!
On the job front, substitute teaching continues to be an adventure every day. This morning, I got the call at about 6:00 am after I had been awake to Isaiah screaming since about 4:45 am. In my sleep deprived haze, I said "yes" without even really hearing who the teacher was that I would be covering for. When it finally hit me that I had agreed to sub for the CD teacher (CD = cognitively disabled) it was too late to back out, so I had to go see what I was in for. It became clear almost immediately that this is SO not my area of expertise. I struggled all day with trying to figure out what was "appropriate" for relating to these kids. I found myself speaking to the ones with the ability to read and write as though they were third graders and I didn't know if that was demeaning or if I was still going over their heads. There were two students who had physical handicap that the school had accomodations for that amazed me. Everything from electric powered wheelchairs to motor powered harnesses to lift them from their chair and up into what I could only describe to be like a backboard that they use in the ambulance, only upright. One student even had to spend the entire 6th hour in "visual stimulation time," just looking up at twinkling lights on the ceiling. Bless the hearts of those amazing teacher's aides that work with these kids every day. I know there is no way I would have the patience for it, and yet this department is essential to the school at large. It was a very difficult day for me, but eye opening at the same time. At least I now know that I can handle subbing for that department if the opportunity arises again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Isaiah attack!

Boy, oh boy has my kid turned back into the Terrible Teething Beastie lately! He has been so whiney and fussy all day long with no end for several days now. On Tuesday, the poor kid only napped for a TOTAL of 50 minutes the whole day! Quite the day when he's used to between 3 and 4 hours of nap time. We're still holding at seven teeth, but I can see number #8 sitting on deck up top. Only a matter of time, now. Of course, fussiness while eating is a fun additional side effect of the whole teething process. A one vivacious eater, Isaiah has beceome so picky and even more messy then usual. The big favorite lately has been grapes. Maybe because they're kind of cold and mushy so they feel good on his gums, I don't know. All I do know is that it's almost as if he's out to get me, like a game or something. "Here she comes with the spoon. What a sucker, that Mommy is. Does she really think I'm going to actually let her feed me something with that? I'll just open my mouth to make her THINK I'm going to eat ... and here it comes. Juke left, fade right and BAM!!! SCORE!! Now, to go for the two point conversion....."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend

A little piece of advice to anyone who is considering just taking their 11 month old baby along to a wedding.....GET A BABYSITTER!!! I don't know what kind of freaky trip I was on, thinking that I could easily bring Isaiah along to Fran's wedding this weekend without any issue, but I was dead wrong. He is at the age where is he is far too wriggly and squiggly and LOUD to be even remotely appropriate to be at the ceremony and don't even get me started on the reception. I'll never forget the look on the quaffed blonde's face sitting across from me as Isaiah, strapped into his portable high chair, raised both hands into the air and shrieked in triumph after just flinging a rather large hunk of cantelope about 5 feet into the air. The day certainly got better later on, but the morning and the early afternoon were rough for me. I've been friends with Fran just as long as Evan has and it really upset me that I didn't get to see him get married. I was in the back library trying to keep my baby/almost toddler under control. The worst thing was not getting to see Evan sing. I could hear him from my bunker (although a bit muffled), but it would have been nice to be in the sanctuary to enjoy it. All in all, the day was a success. Fran got married, Evan sang beautifully, we all made it home safe and sound.

As far as the rest of the weekend goes, not much else to report. I just spent about an hour and a half going through all the recent photos on my computer that I hadn't yet dealt with and I am pleased to announce that Isaiah's Room on Snapfish is now up to date! Woohoo!! There's a big, whopping 11 month album just sitting there waiting to be enjoyed, so go check that out. (Again, just let me know if you'd like in on that because it is password protected.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lucky Number Seven

Isaiah had a big surprise for me this afternoon - TWO new teeth! That brings his grand total up to seven! It's no surprise that he's eating more and more big kid food with all those chompers in there.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Indian Summer

Isn't this weather AMAZING???!!! Hard to believe it's October when we've had these beautiful 75 to 80 degree days. As much as I love fall, it has been really great...if for no other reason than that we were FINALLY busy at the restaurant this weekend so I was actually able to make pretty good money this weekend. Ever since the new family restaurant opened in town, we've been losing an average of $300 per day and our tips have taken a serious hit since business has been so slow. Thank goodness so many people were in town to check out the fall colors because we got absolutely rocked all day both yesterday and today. It sure leaves me exhausted, but it's worth it when you make decent money.

Plans for Isaiah's birthday are coming along nicely. I've started talking to the the "powers that be" at the restaurant about the menu and I think I'm going to have Monnie make some of her awesome crab dip. It's super good with crackers. I think I want to opt for a bowl of yummy punch instead of soda though. Anyone have a good punch recipe (and a punch bowl!) they'd like to share?

Isaiah continues to be so close to walking. It's just ridiculous because I keep thinking that he'll just bust out the steps any moment and I don't want to miss it, so I'm obsessed with having the camera with video within arms reach at all times. He practicially runs along the edge of the couch using it for support and can easily "walk" back and forth between Evan and me if we're sitting on either side of the corner, but he just hasn't been able to move forward on his own yet. I'm kind of hoping that he gets it before his birthday so he can be walking for all his party guests. Got a great photo of Isaiah "flying" with Daddy tonight:

I've been dying to get those cute photos from the pumpkin patch into scrapbook layouts and I've been able to complete two of them the past couple nights. I got some great fall themed (and Halloween themed) items and I'm really pleased with how they look!

Such a Pumpkin

Pick of the Patch

Monday, October 6, 2008

"Kiss" - My new favorite layout!

It turned out to be a big scrapbooking day for me today. I just finished this one at about 10:30 tonight and I can't stop staring at it because it is probably my favorite layout ever. I just love it. The journaling reads:

"How can I possibly express how much I love you? When I look into those bright eyes, I see joy and my heart leaps. When you smile, I see how much you love me. You represent pure love: the love of your parents....the love of the Lord. How can I express all the love I feel, Isaiah? With a kiss."

Mudslinging and Mommyhood VP style

The dreaded moment has finally arrived. With the election less than a month away, the race is really starting to turn ugly and I really HATE it. I hate that I can't log on to the internet without seeing link after link attacking Sarah Palin. I hate that Sen. Obama is painting himself to be the prospective leader of a utopic society. I hate that Sen. McCain is starting to resort to character attacks and accusations of lying. I hate that Tina Fey looks exactly like Sarah Palin and her skits as the VP nominee are getting millions of hits on YouTube every day. I'm all for good comedy, but I'm just frustrated! How are voters supposed to make informed decisions with all this crap out there? Everything is biased. Everything is skewed. Nothing is reliable. Where is the undecided voter supposed to turn? To SNL? To the Internet? To the debates (where neither side seems to want to answer the questions posed to them)? It's an absolute mess. This is why I absolute HATE election time. I will be so glad when it is over, regardless of who wins. Of course, then comes the period of moaning and complaining about who won. Ah, America. I love that we have the freedom to vote, but I just wish that it wasn't such an ordeal.

One interesting thing that has come out of this race, is the new perspective on working mothers that is popping up in Mommy & Me classes across the country. Does Sarah Palin represent a new role model for working moms or is she the antithesis of what we consider to be "good" parenting? Regardless of the answers to those questions, I think what's most important is that her nomination has opening up the avenue of conversation for women who might not otherwise feel comfortable discussing their opinions, views, and struggles of motherhood. Let's face it. It's not an easy gig, as I quickly found out last November. Personally, I give Sarah Palin all the credit in the world for being able to look as good in those super-chic skirt suits she's wearing only 5 months post partum when I'm still carrying around 25 (ok 30!) pounds of Isaiah weight 11 months later! That's an admirable feat in and of itself, never mind all the actual work she's done since little Trig was born. (Although, I can't say I'm a big fan of her naming skills. Seriously...will the next one be named Calculus?) I think this article from the Today show does a good job of exploring this phenomenon. When it comes down to it, regardless of party affiliation or opinions of Palin's politics, it can't be denied that a new form of female role model is emerging from this presidential race. I'd be willing to bet that no matter what happens in November, we'll be seeing a lot more of Sarah Palin and of other mothers like her.

10 Months Layout

I really struggled with this layout! Not sure why, but it really took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do with it. It is based off of Got Sketch 102 sketch #7. I found myself really wishing that I had all kinds of fancy schmancy embellishments to play with to really make it pop. I also had a hard time picking out my papers. I really need to start buying my papers in sets of two or I'm never going to be able to pull of two page layouts!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We had a really great day as a family today, just out enjoying the beautiful weather. Taking advantage of my day off and a late Badgers game, we all went out to the Treinen Farm on Hwy 60 to see what all the buzz was about. They have a HUGE corn maze, but we didn't do that today because we didn't want to push Isaiah in the stroller for an hour. Evan and I definitely want to go back and do that together sometime. During the day, of course, because I think I would be too scared at night. It's just so "Children of the Corn." Anyway, we did take a horse carriage ride up to their massive pumpkin patch and Isaiah had a grand ole time picking out his first pumpkin and messing around in the dirt. It was a really good time and we were both really impressed by all the activities that were available for kids of all ages. We'll definitely be going back next year when Isaiah can walk and play. That will make for some super cute memories. As for today, here are a few of my favorite photos from the afternoon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Celebrating Fall

Autumn is hands down my favorite season and although it was a bit delayed in reaching me with 80 degree temperatures last week, it has finally arrived! I took Isaiah out in our front yard last week and took some fun photos and then today we went to Tom Dooley Apple Orchard in Waupun and had a great time in the hay bales with Grandma and Aunt Erica. I think you'll agree that these are some great shots of my little one enjoying fall as much as I do. If you are a part of Isaiah's Room on Snapfish, these photos are up on there for you to enjoy and purchase prints if you would like.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Teeth!

It's no wonder Isaiah's been especially crabby lately. He cut TWO new teeth over the weekend and he has another one on deck to cut within a few days or so! So far, that brings the grand total to five teeth, soon to be six! I'm on a mission to try to get a photo of the chompers, but so far no luck.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bath time and Badgers

I'm a bit behind on my layouts right now and this one literally took me a week to finish because I just didn't have the time to work on it, but I did finally get it done tonight. I got to use a couple of the new embellishments I got from and I think it's a fun layout. Gotta love baby bath photos!
Edited on Saturday, Sept 27
On another topic, I figured I had better write something in this post about the Badger game so the heckling, I mean....comments Maribeth has been making wouldn't be so out of the blue. My poor, poor Badgers....completely blew it. They had Michigan against the wall, up 19-0 at halftime only to completely shut down in the second have and end up losing by two stinking points. I could have slapped Allan Everidge. Dude SUCKED today!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Family

I can't say I'm thrilled with how this one turned out, but I think the colors work really well together and I love the family photo on this layout. Plus, I got to use those two super-cute photos of Isaiah from the Taste of Madison! The journaling on the tag underneath the photo of Isaiah in the shades reads:
August 30, 2008. We met up with Aunt Ashley and a couple of her friends at the Taste of Madison. Always the charmer, Isaiah was turning heads left and right, but nothing thrilled us more than when he stood up on his own for at least 45 seconds!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Isaiah's Birthday Party

Welcome to your one-stop-resource for everything you need to know for Isaiah's upcoming birthday party! The invitations point guests here for additional details, directions, gift ideas, etc. I am happy to oblige!

Date - November 8, 2008
Time - 2:00 pm
Location - Leystra's Venture Restaurant (click here for a map)

If you would like to volunteer to bring a dish to pass, please let me know via email or leave a comment and I will keep a running list below of who is bringing what so everyone can see what is already covered and what is not!

  • Sandwiches, Soda, Pie - Leystra's Venture

  • Birthday Cake, balloons, plates, cups, etc. - Evan and Sarah

  • Pasta salad - Serena

  • Party Mix - Sandy

  • Fruit pizza - Grandma Joyce

  • Veggie/Cheese/Sausage Platter - Dorothy

Again, just let me know if you would like to add your name to the list above.

Gift Ideas

Here is a list with a wide variety for you, but I want to stress this - DO NOT FEEL OBLIGATED TO BRING A GIFT!!!!! I am just a list-making, plan ahead freak, so I make lists like this so when people ask me, I have something concrete to show them. Please come and celebrate with us, gift or no gift. Click here for the gift list!


Isaiah was being super-cute while eating his lunch yesterday and so I busted out the video camera. I was lucky enough to catch on video the first time he clapped his hands! We haven't been able to get him to do it since, but at least I have proof that he CAN do it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Closing up Shop

I have some news to announce...though it won't really come as much of a shock to many of you. I'm at the point where it has been 11 months since my last order as a Mary Kay consultant. So, I can either place a new order to renew my consultant status, or just let it expire and "quit" in a manner of speaking. Since I can't really afford to spend money on new product right now and I'm not actively working my business, I've decided to let my consultant status expire. I do still have quite a bit of product on hand that I do need to try to move, so I'll probably be trying to sell on Craigslist or something. The only problem is that I can't even really get at any of it right now since it's still strewn about in the garage after the flooding in the basement. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Leaving Comments

It has come to my attention that there are some loyal followers of this blog that would love to be leaving comments, but didnt' know how. I did a little poking around and I found out that it was MY fault! I had the settings for the comments set up so that you had to be a registered user to be able to make comments. I've fixed that. From now on, you can choose to leave a comment even if you aren't registered by choosing the Name/URL option under the comment box. Just enter your name so I know who is leaving the comment and voila! Oh, and be sure to remember to type in the letter verification code it shows you so that your comment gets published. Hope this helps!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chow Time

Mealtimes with Isaiah are always an adventure, especially so since he started wanting to feed himself everything. So, it was about time that I did a scrapbook layout featuring our messy little boy. Here's the latest one I did for my class!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back to Work

It's official...I'm back to work! Yesterday was my first day back at school as a substitute teacher and Isaiah's first day at daycare. It was certainly tough for me, but we made it through that first day. I was the sub for the Physics teacher (with my infinite wisdom of math and science) and I had a really great first day back. My former students that I saw were happy to see me (most of them anyway) and it felt really great to be in school again. I had a real feeling like I truly belonged. At least I know that once all the kids we end up having are at school themselves, I can return to the career I love and know that it is the career I'm supposed to have. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to sub on Wed thru Friday until about mid December. Around that time, my former cooperation teacher will be going on maternity leave, so we're planning on me taking over her 7th grade English class until she comes back after Spring Break. I am really looking forward to that!!! We're warming Isaiah up to the idea of daycare with only the three days a week right now so that when it's time to go full time it isn't such a shock to him. Plus, I think I still need my Mondays and Tuesdays with him. Oh, and for those of you playing along at home, yes....I am still working my four shifts a week at the restaurant. Three jobs. I rock.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Isaiah's 9 Month Photos

The photos from Isaiah's 9 month shoot with Emily Jane Photography are now online. To view them, go to and then click on "Photography." Follow the links to the children's photos and you'll find Isaiah's 9 month gallery. Let me know which are your favorites. It's going to be hard to choose!

Little Explorer

I'm a bit behind on my "homework" for my online class, but here's my latest new layout. I'm going to need a new scrapbook soon to hold all these new pages! Eventually I will make one that isn't entirely of Isaiah, I suppose.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Isaiah Sandwich

Here you go, Sandy! As per your request, I give you.....

...The Isaiah Sandwich!!!

Scrapbooking Class Update

One week done of my online scrapbooking class and I just love it! Here are two (well, technically three) that I have done for my "homework."

The 4th of July

9 Months (Sweet Pea)

Want to join the class with me? There's still room!!

Little Slugger

I tell you what...I'm not so sure I can ship Isaiah off to hang out with this family any more. Oh no, it must be said! I won't hold my tongue when I see evidence captured on film (ok, so more like a digital media card) of my child being encouraged to.....PLAY BASEBALL!!! Come on people, work with me here. Evan and I hardly want to screw around with paying for college for this boy, so the sooner we get a football in his hands, the better. It's all about the scholarship, baby.

Just kidding around. This was pretty darn cute. I'm so glad to hear that he was in a good mood and put on a show for the folks at Judah and Mariana's wedding!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Go Bucky!

What a fun game!! We had the PERFECT weather for the Badger game today and, despite a very slow start in the first quarter where we were down 14-0, the Badgers came back to trounce Marshall by a score of 51-14!!! Never expected it to be a blowout after a very ugly first quarter, but it certainly was a good time. They can't expect to spot Big Ten teams 14 points and end up winning though. There's no way they can do that against Fresno State either or they will soon see themselves in trouble. It was so neat to be back in Camp Randall after a 5 year absence. So many things had changed, including the stadium itself, but the things that made me love going to football games as a student were still there: football, Jump Around, Varsity, football, Bucky, football, and football! I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for that Bucky though. He must have done something like 250 pushups before the day was out!

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