Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still having fun!

I have internet for a few minutes at least so I will give a quick update, however pictures are probably going to have to wait till I get home, we'll see! It is a good thing I got the 2 things I wanted, sunshine and dolphins since the internet connection is so bad! We had a rainy day here on Thursday(so we went shopping at the very large outlet mall!!=),) but yesterday and today have been wonderful! Not too bad considering the forcast and bad weather all around us. We are having a great time, watching dolphins from our balcony, fishing, swimming and soaking up the sun! Why does vacation go so fast?!?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Were here!

Ok, so our internet connection is not good. I will try to upload pictures later(it didn't work this time!) But, we made it and are having a great time. Anaya was absolutly wonderful! Ryan and I kept looking at eachother in wide eyed amazement as she sat so quietly in her seat! It was truly amazing! We had rain and a thunderstorm last night and into this morning, but the sun is shining now, and it is beautiful! There was actually a tornado warning this morning, which is a tad disconcerting when you are in a highrise on the 7th floor! It is supposed to rain for the next 3 days, but so good! We are on vacation and so all is well!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So far so good!

YAY!! The kids were wonderful yesterday, and we made it to Glendale Alabama last night and have about 4 hours left today! The only "problem" we had yesterday was that our air conditioning does not work. The temperature hit 78 degrees in Indiana!!! =)And was 70 degrees when we got to our hotel at midnight. What a problem to have, especially since it was 44 degrees when we left at noon! I am loving the green and all of the trees are blossoming, it is such a welcomed sight! Hopefully we can update again when we get there!! (I am not sure if we will have Internet or not?!?)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gulf Shores....

Here we come! We finally booked a place to stay in Orange Beach Alabama, which is near Gulf Shores. We wanted to do Florida, but we couldn't find anything open that was in our budget in the area we wanted to go! So we decided to go to Gulf Shores as the drive is quite a bit less and there were plenty of condos in our budget! The weather probably won't be quite as warm, but we made sure we have an indoor pool so the kids can swim regardless of the weather! We are looking forward to it, and a tad nervous traveling with Anaya that far! The last trip to Chicago was not the greatest, but we are not going to let that stop us!

We leave Tues. around noon. Ryan roped me into helping him speak at a MOPs meeting, then we are heading out! YAY!!

We are busy packing and getting ready to go!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

hockey game and Winter Jam...

Easton the goofball all folded up in his seat!

Anaya spent most of the night trapped between Ryan's legs because she didn't want to sit! She would clap when ever she heard everyone else clapping, she did really well in her little spot!

We went to a hockey game a few weekends ago with the youth group. I had not been to one for years and I forgot how violent they are! Ryan likes to watch UFC fighting and I thought for a minute we were at one of those fights not a hockey game! Within the first 10 minutes of the game there were 3 or 4 fights, and at one point we only had 3 players on the ice besides the goalie(I think that is what he is called!?) Anyway, about 2 minutes into the game I thought..."I wonder if pucks could hit us if they went over that glass?" then I asked Ryan, as I noticed my boys were sitting out of arms reach. He said probably, and told the boys to keep their eyes on the puck. Not 1 minute later a puck landed in the lap of a lady directly behind Jayden! He was a tad bit nervous after that, being my non athletic son, he watched the game pretty intensely from then on!

Hawk Nelson

Toby Mac!!!
Dylan and his friends enjoying the concert!

Last weekend we went to Winter Jam in Grand Rapids with the youth group. One of the blessings of being a youth pastors wife is that we get to join Ryan in ministry quite a bit. The concert was great! It was pay at the door(which meant cash only~oops~the youth pastor and his family were scrounging up all the cash they could to try to get in as they only had plastic on them!!!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


What a fun day we had today hanging out with my sisters and mom and all of the cousins! This is the first time we have all gotten together since baby Olivia was born and we actually got a few good pictures of all of them, which is no easy task! They have so much fun together, it is fun to see them interact. I can't believe how fast they grow!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


We have finally sold our property in Hamilton. We have been praying for it to sell for over a year now, and just recently with some incentive in the form of a Florida vacation, the boys even joined in. However, as happy as we are that God answered our prayers, we are saddened to see it go. There are a lot of hopes and dreams attached to that land that will probably never come to fruition and the boys were very upset to think of not being able to hang out there anymore. But we knew we could not hold on to it any longer. There was a bit of debt we needed to pay off, but more than that, we needed to "let go" of our hopes and dreams and give our lives completely to God. Sure, we said we would go where He wants, and do what He wants, but we did kind of "stake our claim" so to speak on that land as a way of saying this is where we want to be. Now we are completely free to follow wherever God may lead, or park it, where He wants, for as long as He wants. We just want to be obedient to HIM!
Now, I am trying to plan a trip to Florida...for March 25-April 1!! We shall see how/if that works out. Another VanderZwaag family adventure...oh the rollercoaster ride of a life of faith in Christ!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Ryan and I read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan together and it really got us to thinking. In fact the thinking and stirring of our hearts started when we went to Guatemala, seeing all that poverty really pricked our hearts and we knew we were not going to be the same. But the book Crazy Love just fanned the flame and got us to really start thinking about tangible ways we can make a difference in other peoples lives. I could write a ton on this topic alone~but I won't! Let's just say we are diving in. We want our lives to reflect God's love and be on fire for Him! You need to read the book! But, all this to say, one of the things we did as a way to show God's love was to invite some of the elderly people from church over for a brunch. Wow, that was so much fun. They are great people and it was so nice to get to know them better. We will surely do this again, it was great for our boys to interact with them as well. Here are a few pictures.
The boys walked them in under the umbrella as it was raining! We teased them saying they had to wear black pants and white shirts and a bow tie and be the "servants", but they didn't go for that!

Anaya was smitten with this "grampa" and I must say, I was too! He was so sweet and so wonderful with her. She would not leave him alone! He was bouncing her on his knee and holding her up high and he is, get this*....93 YEARS OLD!!* I was shocked! He is incredible!

I had the table all set up pretty(minus the card table which was way shorter!) But, it was fun.
We are asking God to show us all the many ways we can reflect His love to those around us.
James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

our girl

She loves to play with her brothers, and they love to play with her too!!

Tell me why she does this? The boys never did this and if they did, it would not have been a problem, a washcloth to the head and we'd be good! But of course Anaya has to do it, and it is no easy fix!

I try to hide all of the "boy" toys so she plays with her doll and girly things, but look what she has in her hand! Oh well...still cute, I think she may have shot her brother with it, (she hasn't taken the gun safety course know... "we don't shoot people!")

We can do a pony tail!! YAY!! I am loving the girl things (bows, dresses and nail polish to name a few!)
I know it is scary, but she is doing very well at climbing the stairs~thus far!!
I have been trying to upload a video of her talking, (okay so she isn't really talking,) but she can say a few more words, and she is starting to mimic things we do, but for whatever reason blogger is not uploading it. (I will keep trying!) It is so fun to see her learn and do new things!
I am so thankful to God for allowing us to have her here in our home, and have been very mindful lately of the many children all over the world go home!
John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.