Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I think that all of my cards have made it out so I can reveal it on the blog.Huge thanks to my friend Jen Kroll for her time and talent. The pictures are amazing!

This past weekend we were in Chicago to celebrate Christmas with my parents and Leah and her family. We stayed in a really cool hotel downtown, braved American Girl Doll, went to ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo and had a great time.For those wondering - no baby for Jason and Leah yet. She is taking her own sweet time!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Third Grade PowWow

The third grade put on a great presentation for the parents last week. Claire was part of the Chinook tribe and her Native American name was Fast Tree Frog. After a wonderful program full of poetry and song, we had a Native American feast. Each child was instructed to try something they had not eaten before. This would not be difficult. The menu consisted of:
Corn, pies, roasted pine nuts, venison, goose jerky, fry bread, fruit, berries, mashed potatoes, and squirrel. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, Claire ate some. The kids all learned a lot and had a ton of fun! Thanks so much Mrs. Pfruender and Mrs. DeHaan!

Advent Calendar

I know I said I'd share projects earlier so you could have time to complete them, but this one slipped my mind.
I created a magnetic advent calendar for this year. I purchased different size tins off of etsy and ebay and covered them with decorative paper and the number.
Each day there is a little surprise. Candy, coins, cards, pens, lip gloss, you name it. The girls are enjoying opening a new tin each day.
Sorry for the horrible pictures. I snapped them on the way out of the house this morning. Not great light! You get the idea.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

It has officially begun. The madness that leads up to Christmas. This year will be different in many ways. First, we are cutting way back on gifts. The girls are not thrilled about this, but they will get over it.
Second, we will be celebrating with the DeRuiter side of our family early because Leah should be having a baby the end of the month.
Our tree is up and we are starting to get into the Christmas spirit. I put up a new advent calendar this year. (I will post on this later because I haven't taken pics yet)
One of my new buffet decorations is these glitter trees. I found the tutorial at eighteen25. I love her site. I also love the way they look in my house.
So simple and cheap! I got my candle holders at the $1 store!

I also worked on one of the girls' gifts last night. Lilly loves to play library. I saw a kit online that had all kinds of library stuff in it, but it was a little pricey. So, here is my version.Each girl has her own case. I got the little suitcases at Hobby Lobby (reg. $8.99 but 50% off right now) and filled it with goodies. There are reading awards and overdue book slips (both created in Publisher and printed on card stock), library cards (old gift cards with stickers on the front), a date stamp and ink pad, pen and paper. Oh, and a library id for the librarian. I added bar codes to the library card and ID to make them a little more realistic. Still to be added are the book cards and pockets. I think I will add a removable adhesive roll (used for scrap booking) for them to add the pockets to books without doing any damage.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meet the newest Settergren

I know. I said we'd never do it. Have another one. But, I caved.
Welcome Leroy to our family.

Every once in awhile Calvin lists animals for adoption. I saw his face and loved him. He is 14 weeks old. Most of their cats are already fixed and have their shots. When I went to check him out, he came right up to me and snuggled in. He had me at hello.

I picked up the cat and Jim got the girls. We sat them on the couch and told them to close their eyes. They were shocked to say the least. They love him a lot and want to hold him all of the time. He is extremely playful and chases yarn and balls all over the place. Melvin is still getting used to sharing his house, but they chase each other and I am sure will be good friends.

We spent many hours trying to come up with the perfect name. The people at Calvin had called him Gar, but the girls weren't into that. Coco came up with Leroy and it stuck.
The girls wanted to take him to Grandma Deb's today because they didn't want to leave him alone. I think they love him already.

If you are looking for a kitten (3 -4 months old) I highly recommend the WMRL on the campus of Calvin College. Their program is run like a well oiled machine. They take a lot of precautions to protect all of their animals from getting sick (you have to wash your hands and change shoe booties between each room). Their staff was very helpful and it was evident how much they care for the animals. More than once it was mentioned that "Gar" was a favorite. Check out the kittens they have for adoption.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

This is probably the last year that Coco will be around to Trick or Treat with the girls. She requested that we do a family theme like we did a couple of years ago with Wizard of Oz. We went with Alice in Wonderland for this year. Sorry for the blurry pic. Claire's friend Cameron also joined us as the White Queen

I purchased dresses for the girls off of ebay and embellished them to look like their character. Because we live in Michigan and you never know what the weather will be like on Halloween, I made each of them a short jacket to keep warm. I added a ruffle collar and cuffs to Lilly's Queen of Hearts.
Coco was the Cheshire Cat. She had a little to much fun with this one.We followed up trick or treating with handing out candy and Mummy Dogs for supper. Another great Halloween in the books.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Costumes

You have seen the costumes my girls have worn in the past. Last year they were cupcakes.

The year before that, Peacocks.In 2007 we were The Wizard of Oz cast.This year we planned on being the cast from Alice in Wonderland. I bought the girls dresses, embellished them, made jackets, found wigs and make up. Then I was down and out for a couple of weeks so progress stopped. Now, Trick or Treating is tomorrow. The girls are set. Coco, Jim and I do not have costumes.
Claire is Alice.
Lilly is the Queen of Hearts.Even if the rest of us don't figure something out, they are still an adorable pair!

It's been awhile.

I know that many of you have been waiting patiently for a post filled with my charming wit, unbelievable talent, and hillarious sense of humor. Well, this is not it. This is an explanation of this blog has been inactive for so long.
On September 18 I was in contact with lightening. It was not a direct strike (thank God!), but I did have some health issues because of it.
I have been so tired that I was working only part days, taking 3-4 hour naps in the afternoon and going to bed at 8:00 pm. If you know my usual schedule, you know that is not me.
To make a long story short, I am much better. My brain is "beautiful" to quote the Neurologist, they are monitoring my heart for another couple of weeks, but I feel 10x better.
I am back to working full-time and don't even need a nap (although I'd sometimes like one).
I promise I will try to get back to regular posting.
Thanks for all of the prayers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001

This is the same post I made last year on this day. I still feel the same way.

These are not my photos, but when I was in NYC last year we went passed this fence. It is outside of a firehouse at Greenwich Ave and 11th St. Someone organized school children and anyone else who wanted to participate and they created tiles to decorate the fence. All of the children had different reactions based on where they were and who they lost.
We all have our own memories of where we were, what we were doing and how we felt. In an odd way, this day pulls us all together.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Claire and Lilly's Birthday Party Featured on Ohdeedoh

Today I received an email letting me know that the girls' birthday party would be featured on Ohdeedoh. Ohdeedoh is the children's division of Apartment Therapy.
Check it out!
The girls are very excited and think that this is going to make them famous.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Day Late. Happy Birthday Coco!

I tried to schedule this post for yesterday and the pencil post for today, but messed up on the dating of the posts. Oops.
Anyway.....Courteney is 20. I can hardly bring myself to type that number. Time flies! I met her when she was 4. Married her Dad when she was 5 and loved every minute of having her as part of the family. When the little girls were born, she sucked them up! She loved doing everything for them. She is the best big sister they could ask for. They start to cry when they think of her moving out next year. (She is living with us for her first 2 years of college and for that I am thankful.)
She has had a lot of ups and downs, but those things have made her the amazing woman she is today. Courteney is kind, gracious, considerate of others. She puts her needs on hold to help those around her. She loves her family and friends deeply.

I love you very much. I am proud of you. You never cease to amaze me.
love, Jen

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School Teacher Gift

I looked for awhile for a teacher gift for back to school. I wanted something useful and not just clutter for their desks. I found some great ideas online.
Here are a few I considered:

Crayon Initials. Very cute, but quite possibly clutter.School Supplies 6 pack. Loved this, but what would I do with that much Starbucks Coffee drinks when I don't drink coffee.
Ultimately, I went with this idea from Made with Love and Glue.

Her version was made with glass hurricane vases, but I found my cute ceramic container at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off. Total cost of project was about $5.

I filled the container ($2) with pencils from the dollar store (2 packs - $2) and used a rub on initial and wrote the teacher's name with a paint pen (on hand). Packaged with clear gift wrap an tied with a bow!
Teachers always need extra pencils and the container can be used for multiple things after the pencils are gone.

Start of School Madness

Typically I post pictures of the first day of school. However, having one in 3rd grade (which started Monday) and one in Kindergarten (which started with Camp Kindergarten yesterday and continues with the official first day today) it is more like the first week of school.
It kicked off with Claire's first day of 3rd grade on Monday.Claire was very excited that she got the teacher she wanted this year. Mrs. Pfruender goes to our church and the girls just love her. I am looking forward to having Claire in her class.
Claire and her best friend Cam hugged as if they hadn't seen each other in a long time. In reality they swam together on Saturday.
Tuesday meant Camp Kindergarten for Lilly.Her friend Zach from church met us on the way in. He is in the other class, but they will still be able to play on the playground.Lilly's teacher is Mrs. Bosma. The teacher that Claire had for K retired, so this is our first time having Mrs. Bosma. I can say that Lilly thinks she is great!
Camp Kindergarten was lots of fun. They made backpacks, bugs, snacks, took a hike through school and sang songs. Click to see larger
At one point Lilly looked at me from the reading circle and whispered "Will you stop taking pictures?" As you can see, I did not.

One more meeting tonight and then I think we are finished with their school stuff for awhile. Good thing my students come back next week, otherwise what would I do?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This week we harvested our first tomatoes. We made tomato, basil, mozzarella cheese salad and BLT sandwiches and they were delicious!
Today we made a trip to the farmer's market for more goodies. Check out our loot!Beans, Carrots, Berries, Corn, Bread, Peppers and Honey Sticks. Yummmm!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

No More Braces!

Today Claire got her braces off. She was a little (read a lot) nervous about the removal, but Dr. Hannipal did a great job talking her through the whole thing.Once the braces were off he polished them all up and she has a beautiful white smile!

We go back in about 2 weeks to pick up her retainer. She chose bright pink with gold glitter. Who woulda thunk?!?

Do you think Lilly likes to cook?

While Claire was fishing, Lilly was baking. This girl loves to cook, bake, anything in the kitchen - even dishes. I love her smile in this picture. Pure joy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beach Tea Party

After the rain cleared on Saturday, we decided it would be a nice night for a beach tea party. I thought I'd get some great shots of the girls, but it turned out they were not interested for very long.
Soon the chairs moved into the water and it became a free for all!

Not really what I had planned, but they had fun and that is what matters most.