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Showing posts from January, 2014


There has been a lot of laughter in our house lately and here are a few of the stories.

Mataya is much different from her brother and LOVES bath time. She has recently learned how to splash in the tub. I have just have her sitting up in the tub and she will splash and splash the water with her hands. She gets so excited that she starts to move her feet too, which has caused her to tip over a few times. So, I watch her pretty close and love the smiles and laughter from my wet little girl.

Joash often has funny things to say. Yesterday, I was put on a pair of tights at home and noticed they had a hole in them. Joash said, "that is too bad, Mom. Where can you get some new ones?"

"Probably Target," I said, "I looked last time, but they didn't have any my size."

Joash replied, "Well next time maybe one of those conveyor belt ladies can find some for you."

I guess he is figuring out what a cashier does!

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

One person can make all of the difference in someone’s life. Sam Moore knows that full well. But will she give up more of herself to her benefactor than she should?
In Dear Mr. Knightley, Sam has spent much of her life hiding. Growing up in an abusive home and then working her way through the foster care system, Sam hid to protect herself. Her farvourite place to hide was in the world of the books she loves the most. The works of Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare became her safe place. But now Sam’s life is about to change. An anonymous donor offers to pay for Sam to earn her graduate degree in journalism. The only stipulation on Sam’s part is that she must write letters to the donor about her progress and life. Sam finds this letter writing oddly therapeutic and through it she able to escape the world of her books and find who she truly is.
Being a “bookish” person myself, I found Sam’s character interesting. While I do not run around quoting books like she does, I can relate to retreati…

Where Does the Time Go?

When you have kids, everyone always says to treasure those early years because they go by so quickly. Well, that is certainly true. I have filled out the registration papers for Joash to go to preschool in the fall. He is just going to go two mornings a week, but I can't believe this time is here already. Yet, I am really excited for him. I think he just going to blossom in school and I really hope that he will learn how to play with kids his own age. He is going to be attending the preschool that is located in our church, so on Tuesday at Coffee Break, he talked with the teacher a little bit and got to see some of the fun stuff they get to play with at school. Since then, he gets very excited about talking about school.

Another funny things we noticed about Joash is how he seems to pick a word of the day and use that word as much as possible, whether is fits the situation or not. A few of his words recently have been "disaster," "energy" and "mischief.&qu…

8 Months

Mom: How are you doing, my 8 month old girl?

M(ataya): Pretty good, Mom. I am really enjoying all of the new things I can do.

Mom: Me too! What are some of those things?

M: Well, I can sit up all by myself and I am getting really close to crawling. With a lot of determination, I can get any where I want to go!
Mom: You certainly are on the move. You often surprise me by where you end up and you are already getting into things you should not be getting into!

M: I know, mom, but it is so fun.

Mom: I think I a going to be in big trouble the more mobile you get. How is eating going?
M: I really like to eat. I like to feed myself things like Mum-mums, puffs and pieces of bread. I will eat pretty much anything, especially if it has applesauce with it.

Mom: Applesauce does make things go down much easier, doesn't it. And what things do you like to play with?

M: I really all of my toys, but especially things that make music or a noise when you shake them, like my shape sorter and my picn…

Around Home Lately

Well, after all of the hullabaloo of the holidays is over, it feels like it has taken us this long to fully recover from all of it. Both kids got a cold over Christmas, and it seems to just hang on. One day they seem better, the next day they have a runny nose again. But overall, everyone has been in good spirits. Joash still love his sister.  And his sister is still on the move. In the picture below, she has just scooted between the chair legs like it was a little tunnel.
She is currently moving around using pretty much a one arm, one leg scoot. And she is getting pretty quick. She is also working on how to transition from sitting to being on her belly so she can move around. But some time she gets stuck in some funny positions and I have to rescue her to finish the transition. Things are no longer safe on the floor and low shelves!

Joash's House

Joash loves boxes. At Christmas time, he tried to hide in the box our fake Christmas tree is stored in. Anytime a box comes in the mail, he snags it and uses it to play with for several days.

We had a box kicking around yesterday. I was working in the kitchen, when I heard Joash say, "Mom! I am hiding!" And this is what I found.

 There he is!
He also pointed out to me that he had used his keys to make an air hole in his "house." You can see it in the picture above. I am glad he is so concerned about being able to breathe!

Christmas on the Island

Before we left for our adventurous journey to Michigan, we were able to celebrate Christmas on the Island. Wilbert's brother and sister-in-law drove up from New Jersey in the ice storm the Saturday before we left. That was an adventure for them as well, but they made it just fine.
Sunday we had a ton of snow on the Island, so our church services for the day were canceled. While we did miss going to church and celebrating advent, it was nice to have extra time with family. We ate lots of food and of course opened lots of presents. We even had a cute construction worker visit.  This was the only picture I actually took of Christmas time on the Island. More pictures are found on Facebook posted by other members of the family. So, while it is nice to have the pictures from everyone for my personal use, it doesn't make it very easy to share on the blog. So, you will just have to believe me that we all had nice time!

Oh the Weather...

Well, I think most of us would agree the weather this winter has been rather crazy thus far. We had a rather cold week last week here and today we have had freezing rain and now rain as the temperatures are above freezing. And back in Michigan it is crazy cold.

And the weather had a bit of a surprise for me on Saturday. I went out to start up the car Saturday morning to get ready to head out to Kindermusik. The car started just fine, so I got out with my snow brush to brush the snow off everything and let the defrost do its work. I close the car door and thought the snow slid off the back window. I went over to brush the rest off, but there was no window. The back window had shattered into tons of little pieces!

Thankfully the in-laws have a car we can borrow until ours is fixed.

So whatever your weather is, be careful out there!

Christmas Trip - Part 4 - Coming Home

Well, thankfully, the trip home was much less stressful then the trip to Michigan.

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to check in. We were a little worried to see that we did not have seats assigned for our second flight, but hoped that would all work out at the gate.  After getting our terrified 3 year old through security, we had time to wait and eat breakfast at the airport. We departed just a bit late, but the quick flight to Chicago is always nice.

We arrived at the gate for our next flight in Chicago and were greeted by the gate agent. "You must be the Talen family." We were surprised, but she handed us our boarding passes for the rest of the trip and said we had been upgraded to the Economy Plus seating for the next flight. We asked how she knew it was us and she said that she knew she had an infant who needed a seat, so Mataya was the give away for her.

Flight to Newark was fine, but a little interesting. This is the flight were the passenger would not swi…

The Painted Table by Suzanne Field

How much do your past, your parents and even your grandparents influence who you are in the present? That is a question that Saffee wrestles with throughout The Painted Table by Suzanne Field.
Saffee’s  mother Joann, was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. Throughout her childhood on the North Dakota prairie, Joann found a haven under the large handmade table in her parents home. When the heirloom arrives at adult Joann’s home, all of the memories and challenges of Joann’s childhood come rushing back to Joann. She attempts to cover up the memories by painting the table over and over again. Saffee watches her mother paint and sees that with each brush stroke, her mother is slowly losing her grip on reality.
Now Saffee has a home of her own and he husband insists they take the painted table with them. By refinishing the table, will Saffee be able to confront the demons of her own childhood and break free from the past and step boldly and redeemed into the future?
I thoroughly enjoyed rea…

Christmas Trip - Part 3 - Traveling with Children

Traveling is always an adventure. Traveling with children, even more so.

Thankfully, our children were amazing travelers. They slept in car and plane rides. They were generally happy. They did not cry like crazy on the plane. The travels were good.

But here are somethings we learned on this trip about traveling with children:

1) Have lots of snacks. I knew this and was pretty well prepared. It made all the difference, especially on the planes.

2) Gate check is awesome, but takes time and is unpredictable. We gate checked a stroller and car seat, which was very nice. But you would think when you are traveling with same airline, things would be pretty consistent from flight to flight. But no. One flight our gate checked items needed a pink tag. On another a green tag. Good grief!

3)Traveling as a family doesn't necessarily mean that people will always be willing to switch seats with you so you can sit together. Most of the time we were able to be next to each other. But on one fligh…

Christmas Trip - Part 2 - Being There

Once we got there, our time in Michigan was great! Lots of time with family and lots of extra hands to help with the kids. We went to the Christmas Day service at my parents church and got to hear the church choir's Christmas Cantata. Then we spend much of the day eating and letting the kids open gifts. My parents had also put together a Christmas Memory Game with prize. Make a match and you win what is pictured. It was super fun and Joash had a great time being the present distributor.  My grandma also came over on Christmas day to spend time with us and meet Mataya.
Thursday we got to see my sister's house, which is super nice. In the evening we got together with entire VerBeek family for family pictures and to have a meal together in celebration of Grandma's upcoming 80th birthday.

Friday the girls and kids visited one of my aunts and cousins on the Overweg side. It was so nice to see them as well.

Saturday we had a sledding party at my aunt and uncle's farm. It wa…