Friday, October 31, 2008

A Fairy Princess and a Pirate

Here are some pics from our fantastic Halloween. I say fantastic now that it's over. That last hour before trick-or-treating begins is always so least in our house! I'm trying to get the kids to eat something, bribing Jake so I can get him into his outfit without him taking it off, and the biggest feat of all - attempting to take a picture of the kids that captures how adorable they are together. Whew! But so worth it - the kids had a great time.

We even got a picture with all the neighbors - all the kids smiling? no way. But at least they're all present! Well, almost all - where's Luke???

Our candy-hander-outers

And thank goodness the Tiesma kids came over earlier that day to help with the carving of our pumpkins or they probably wouldn't have gotten carved this year!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Trip to Kansas

The kids and I got to go on a road trip to go visit the Ciccone family! Tim was out of town for the week (as was Ed), so the timing was great for Maria and I to spend the week together with the kids. She kicked my bootie into shape by bringing me to her gym everyday. I also got a tour of the city and we took the kids downtown to a great kids' crafting place. Of course, the best part was just spending time together and catching up! I miss them!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Picking

Our family enjoyed a day at Lewis' Farm Market in New Era with the Nannenga family - picking out pumpkins, jumping on a giant pillow, riding the Booberry Express, and maneuvering through a corn maze. Oh, not to mention the petting zoo where Ed made a new friend! What a great fall day (except for the temp, that is - I think it was near 75 degrees! Way too warm for me in October, as all who know me are aware)! The kids got to pick any pumpkin they could carry!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cousin Kelly!

Jake and Claudia finally got to meet their first cousin, Kelly Soo Bin Hwang! Ed's sister, Jane, and her husband, Jong Ho live with their 11 month old daughter, Kelly, near DC, so we don't get to see them much. The kids took to Kelly right away and she enjoyed them as well! We had a great weekend visiting with them at Ed's parents' house in Kalamazoo.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hope's Homecoming 2008

Ed and I had a chance to return to Holland for Hope's Homecoming this year. Ed's 10 year reunion! Wow! Here are some pics of us with our old and dear friends.

Dorian sisters - Rachel Haveman Eriks, Kerri Langerak Allen, Jodie Manning Talluto, me, Beth Rathbun Bruns, Jen Grieme Haaga, Kara McGillicuddy. And say a prayer for our sister, Nicole McClain and her family - the McClains and Liechtys. Nicole was supposed to be there this weekend but was killed in a car accident on her way. Hard to imagine the loss her family and close friends are feeling...she was one of the most fun, energetic, and inspiring people I have known.

Chris Caldwell, Natalie, Chris Riker, and Ann Caldwell

Jeff and Amy Holloway

Ed and I

Tara Porter and her family

Casey (preggers!) and Steve Coy

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Claudia's First Day of Preschool

Claudia started preschool this week! We have had a countdown going for the last two weeks in anticipation of the big day - outfit ready, backpack hanging by the door - and she loved it! As her Mommy, I have been dreading the day, but I held back my tears and was just happy that she was so excited. She came back and told us she played outside in the sand, had a snack, and painted. Already I feel I'm not getting enough information from my child!

I can't believe God has already give us four years at home with our girl. Guess it's time for us to share her!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Is it true? Is summer over? Here are some pics and highlights!

and is an elephant on Pere Marquette Beach...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Michigan's Adventure, Take 2

I came across these pictures and just had to share Jake's first experience on a "rollercoaster" -- the Frog Hopper...too funny!

And, he was ready for another ride!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jake Turns 2!

Our little Jake turned 2 this past Sunday, July 27! We love him so much. He is adorable, mischievious, quiet (mostly), loving, and easy going. He knows that he is 2, but now he likes to say he's "two HALF!" Little stinker - already trying to grow up too quickly. God gave us such a precious little boy!
We had a party with our family to celebrate. Jake woke up after his nap, and we brought him downstairs to his party - I think all the balloons, people, presents, etc, kind of overwhelmed him because he was pretty quiet...He perked up and enjoyed his day though. Here are some highlights...

The cake! Jake's Great Grandpa (age 87!) was a baker and makes all of our family's birthday cakes. Isn't it cute? We are so blessed to have such special cakes at each of our special occasions!

Here's Jake with his Great Grandparents...

Opening gifts - we made the mistake of letting Jake open his gift from Claudia first - two little "launchable" motorcycles. He would hardly let go of them long enough to open anything else! But here's a cute moment with Daddy...

Claudia also enjoyed all of the presents and had some difficulty letting Jake play with them first!

Nana cheered her up...

We ate a good dinner all together - Ed's parents, my parents, Great Grandpa and Grandma Kastelin, and Uncle Steve and Aunt Meghan were all able to celebrate with us. We sure missed Aunt Katie (on call in Grand Rapids) and Aunt Jane, Uncle Jong, and new cousin Kelly (who live in D.C.) - wish you were here!

Jake loved his new Harley Davidson scooter!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jake's 2-year-old Photo Shoot

Just wanted to post a few quick pics from Jake's 2-year-old portrait session. My cousin, June, from June Kuiper Photography - you HAVE to check out her website at - is fabulous as you can see from the pics below. Jake did a pretty good job getting his pics taken that day, though it was tough to get his thumb out of his mouth!!! But June was at our house for a whole morning, so she was able to capture a variety of moods! There's also a couple pics of Jake and Claudia together below - now THAT was a challenge. Getting a good pic of 2 kids under 4! But she did it!

Anyway, isn't he a little peach? I just love those cheeks. I can't believe he is going to be 2. It has gone even faster with him than with Claudia! He is such a little BOY now. He LOVES motorcycles, candy, and pop (hmmm....sound like any other boys in our family?) and is naughty, naughty, naughty! But I like to say where Claudia is naughty in a way that makes me want to pull my hair out, Jacob is naughty in a way that just cracks me up. He is just such a little stinker and loves to test the limits. But he is so fun! And he has even become a bit of a cuddle-bug in the last 6 months! Something I've never really had! AND, he usually prefers Mommy! This year has been great with our little Jacob Eddie.