Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I love summer!

Anaya before she found the water...

And after, licking the sand off her fingers~YUCK!


The guys at the stick racing beach!

Anaya and her friends Lexi and Gabbi, who was also adopted from Guatemala!
We had a little bit more of a relaxing week this week! We went to the beach on Tuesday night, and had a great time. The boys have found their favorite beach already! This beach has a stream going into Lake Michigan, and they like to race sticks from there to the big lake. Anaya is scared of the big lake, where the waves come toward her, however she loves the still water. She crawls right in and will stick her face into the water. She will also eat sand! Yuck, she licks it by the fist full! She also loves to splash the water. Here is a video of her eating sand!!
video
Then today the boys and I were going to go pick blueberries with some friends, however when we got there the sign said they were closed for today! So we went to the beach with them instead. Fun stuff.
Tonight we are winding down from a fun night with the youth group doing the Amazing Race! Ryan has seen midnight more since becoming a youth pastor, than in his entire lifetime!
We are headed to Holland this weekend, and are bringing back 2 of my nieces and 1 nephew to stay for a few days, the boys are so excited~it will be a house full of kids~but we will have fun spending time with the cousins. They miss each other so much since we moved!
I can't believe that it was just over 3 months ago that we were able to have Anaya in our arms again ~ and not have to give her back! It seems like she has been with us forever! Amazing how the pain and struggle has faded, everyone said it would, just like childbirth!! I keep thinking that the fun and newness of her will wear off to the boys, but just the other day Dylan said, "I'm so glad we adopted Anaya, she is sooo cute!" And they still want to feed her and hold her, I love that they love her too!!
Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers(& sister)live together in unity!
Amen!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another fun filled, busy week!

Sunday started our week out on a busy note, simply because we were not thinking straight, and forgot about the church potluck, until we sat down in church Sunday morning! Since we have such a big clan, I would never dare to just sneak in without bringing any food, so I skipped out of church in a frenzy, and long story short, made it back with my 2 dishes to pass just in time for the potluck! Then I wondered why I like potlucks, as we no longer can socialize with others, since our family takes up a whole table! I talked to another mom of 5 in the bathroom, where she was waiting for one of her kids for the umpteenth time, and we both felt the same way! Then we realized, we were socializing right there in the bathroom, so I guess that's what makes potlucks worth all the fuss!!

We were supposed to have lunch with Ryans parents, but we called and left a message, so we thought! Come to find out our new phones and plan we just bought weren't working out so well up here, and they were waiting for us! OOPS! But we finally arrived, and decided to head to the beach!
Playing at the beach with cousins! Brylynn, Mady and Tryna were staying at Grampa and Grama VZ's cabin for a few days, while Robb and Lisa are in Italy, having a wonderful time! Lucky them! Although I believe they deserve it after the year they just had! Lisa had breast cancer, surgery, chemo and radiation, and always had the sweetest spirit, and awesome attitude! She is my hero! Enjoy your trip girl!!

Monday night, we parted ways once again, as Ryan and the 3 older boys headed off to Manitou Island to do some prep work for the group he is taking there in a few weeks, so that left me with just Easton and Anaya!
Tuesday night our church threw us a baby shower! Wow, we received so many nice things! What an incredible blessing that was!
Anaya in her new pink stroller!! And opening up some of her own gifts!

Tuesday night, I decided to go back home with my Mom and do some shopping, since I only had 2 kids! On the way back home wed. night, Max our dog, decided he had to make a nasty duty in my van!! I am not much of an animal person, I put up with him for the kids sake, but this was almost too much for me to bear! This only happens when Ryan or the boys are not around!! YUCK! I was ready to be dog free that night, but then Ryan and the boys returned home and I saw Jayden loving his dogs, and it almost made me forget the trauma of the evening!! What we don't do for our children!

Then on Thursday, we went to the beach with some friends, Anaya just loves the water!!

Thursday night, we went over to another friends house, and together, we have 9 boys between us! Easton and their littlest one are not in this picture, but we just laughed to see such a mob of boys! Oh the joys of boys!!


Anaya started to cruise around furniture this week! Wow, that was a huge surprise, as she usually cries when you stand her by anything! She is learning and doing so much, and it is fun to watch her experience new things!

Someone asked me if we have slowed down since we came home, and I don't know if we will ever really slow down, but we are all together(most of the time!)and having fun, so I am not complaining!

Thank you Lord for family and friends, and the ability to enjoy life to its fullest!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Open house photos!

Anaya in her "Worth the wait" outfit! Ryan is not too sure he likes all the "fru fru," as he calls it! But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! It is so much fun to finally dress a girl!! Sometimes I open my washer just to see pink swirling around!!



Grama great Ulberg loving on Anaya!
The food table!
Aunt Steph begging for a kiss! Which she eventually did get!!
Dad manned the grill!

WOW! What a great turn out we had at the open house!(We think there were around 200 people that stopped by!) Thank you all for coming, we so enjoyed seeing everyone again! It was quite a treat to see some family members all the way from Washington, and Alaska!(actually, Thomas and Carrie have been all over, most recently on the island of Pohnpei, in the south pacific, and will be living in New Zealand this fall!) They didn't come just for this=), but we sure are glad they stopped by!


Anaya did great for her party, and only had one little breakdown, but nothing that a bottle from Grama great Tuinstra couldn't fix! She didn't mind being passed around, as long as someone would walk her around a little, or let her crawl around, she was very pleased!




Especially, when she got a hold of cousin Rylie's sucker! That really made her happy, sticky, and messy, but happy!


Lots of cousins, and lots of friends!


It was a great time of introducing Anaya to everyone back in our hometown, and we just wanted to say "Thanks for all of your prayers and support!" Thanks Mom, and Dad, for hosting our party, especially on the heels of your surgeries, you guys are the best!!

"Thank you God for all you have allowed us to experience during this journey, for the generosity of your people, for carrying us through the tough times, and most of all for the wonderful gift of Anaya, we are truly blessed!"

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, July 14, 2008

And were back!!

All 10 of the Vander Zwaag grandchildren, plus Ryan, after a successful fishing trip! We stayed at a cottage on Brooks Lake in Newago for a week(minus the men, for the majority of the work week) with the whole Vander Zwaag family! We need to get a bigger boat now, at one point Ryan had 6 kids in his boat, and one on shore crying because there was NO ROOM!!
Easton with Meeko ~ Brylynn, Mady, and Tryna's new puppy!
Dylan waterskiing!
Anaya was great! She did pretty good sleeping in yet another bed! She loved playing in the water with Aunt Lisa! Unfortunately, my camera is on the outs, and I didn't get a picture of the two of them in the water, but she sure loved it!
We celebrated Easton and my niece Brylynn's birthdays while there! Uncle Robb was in charge of lighting all of the candles! (and eating most of it!!)



One month ago tomorrow, Anaya and I finally stepped foot on American soil! Since then, we have been flying around and haven't really settled in just yet, however we have been enjoying ourselves, and are finally back in our home, for how long we are here in this home, remains to be seen!( It is for sale, and we may have to be out soon!) But we are here for now none the less!

Anaya is doing well, she is eating very good, she is happy most of the time, but she does have quite a temper! The boys are still loving her, and she loves to watch them, as long as they are not all over her! She is the fastest crawler I have ever seen, and she gets into everything, she is starting to go up on her feet while her hands are on the ground, so I am thinking she will be trying to stand up soon!


Mom had her surgery and it went well, both of my parents are doing well, and are happy to have their surgeries behind them!!
Thanks for checking in! We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible this week Friday night at the open house at my parents home in Zeeland. If you have any questions, or need directions, feel free to email me!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Together at home!!!

Finally, for the first time since April 28, we are all here, at home, under one roof! YAY!! It feels so good! We went to the beach last night, then came home and had a fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows! All of the fun summer stuff we love to do.


Dylan ~ 10 years old!
Jayden ~ 7 years old! Spencer ~ 5 years old!
Easton ~ 3 years old!

Anaya is doing very well, she cries a bit when we put her to bed, then sleeps through the night, and she takes a good afternoon nap. She loves to crawl around and explore. At my parents house, I watched her crawl behind the couch, which is against the wall! I figured there was a toy she saw or something, but, her behind got stuck, and she got very mad when I pulled her out, and there was nothing back there but a long dark space! She has quite a temper! She gets mad, and the first thing she does is this thing that looks like she is trying to pull her fingers off, then she starts screaming, her face turns red, and her head sweats! Sort of funny, mostly not! Thankfully, most of the time, she is so sweet, and quiet, she babbles sometimes, and she likes to do this thing where she sticks out her tongue, and spits (I don't know what it is called, but she does it a lot!)
We are having fun, and enjoying our time together! Thanks for checking in!