Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

  From our home to yours!
 We've had the Vander Zwaag Christmas party...
 Our family party...
and tomorrow we head out for the Tuinstra Christmas party!  We've done lots of baking...
 Lots of packing...{more on this later}, took down the tree, literally!

I said, "Jayden, don't just yank the lights off the tree, your gonna make it..."
Fall!  Nice. we have lots of nice white stuff falling to the ground! YIPPEE!!  But come Monday morning at 4 AM, we are heading to MEXICO!!!!  Now, lest you think we are going on some wonderful exotic vacation...think again.  We {Ryan, Dylan, Jayden, Spencer, and I} are all heading to Chihuahua Mexico on a mission trip to Lily of the Valley Orphanage with about 30 other people from our church.  We are driving in 2-15 passenger vans and one car, non-stop 30 some odd hours!  So, um, no glorious warm vacationing, in fact, Chihuahua is the coldest state in Mexico!  We're talking 20's at night(just got word it is 18 there tonight!) But it looks like we may be blessed with a warm up coming next week of upper 60's during the day!  I really am looking forward to this trip, however...I REALLY don't want to leave Luisa{or Easton and Anaya for that matter} but I've never left Lucy, except for once a couple weeks ago when I went to Chicago for the weekend!  I know that I will have plenty of little ones to love on while I am there, and I am sure time will fly.  It was a life changing experience the last time I was there, and I am so excited to share that with the 3 older boys!  If you think of us, please pray for safe travels and no car sickness!!
Have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our savior, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Luisa Joy!!!

I can't believe how fast this year has gone!  Last year at this time we were anticipating a trip to Colombia to pick up Luisa, and now here she is turning 3!  It feels as though she has been in our family forever, I can not imagine life without her, she brings so much JOY into our lives, and we are so SO blessed to be her family!  Happy Birthday sweet girl!  We love you so very much!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Last weekend was our annual girls weekend get away.   While we were shopping, this santa grabbed us, {literally} and brought us to his fancy chair so we could have our picture taken!  We were kinda taken by surprise, but we were laughing so hard, he was quite the jolly soul, and the real deal, no fake beard or stuffing!  I haven't had my picture taken with santa since I was a little girl!  We weren't sure what we were getting into, but they took our picture, and gave it to us, no strings attached!
 My brother in law Eric also surprised us with tickets to go on a chocolate tour!  We met our tour guide,{the one with her arm up, she held a flag saying "Chicago Chocolate Tour" up the entire time we were walking!} and we went to about 5 or so different little shops and bakeries around town and they gave us a chocolate creation to sample and told us about their store, chocolate and how they make different things.  It was very fun and we found a few new places to visit when we come back next time!  Thank You Eric!!
Our favorite place was Hendrickx.  Oh my, it is on Walton street, I believe, and both the waffles and croissants were AMAZING!
Another place we went, {but I don't think we need to go there again,} is a cupcake shop that sold some really good sounding cupcakes, and some really nasty sounding ones too.  Like, for instance...good= salted caramel, chocolate caramel, the bad= bacon cupcakes!  Say what?  So, of course, we had to try one, I took a small bite, and really it was sweet and salty, but I just got too grossed out to try any more, we all agreed bacon should only be used for breakfast!  Definitely not cupcakes!
Always fun hanging with my mom and sisters!  {and baby Josiah too!}  I didn't get a picture of him this weekend, but here he is in all of his chubby cuteness, he is such a good little guy, and loves to be kissed, which is good since he got lots of lovin this weekend!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Spencer!!!


 More cake... Good thing we love it!
Yesterday we celebrated Spencer's Birthday, I can't believe he is 9! 
We love you Spencer!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's BIRTHDAY season at our house!

First up is Ryan AND Jayden...
 Yes, these 2 share the same birthday!
 Not one, but 2 knives for Jayden...yikes.  He was thrilled!  Ryan got 2 pairs of much needed shoes, he was not all that thrilled. 
Happy Birthday boys!  I love you both so very much!
Next up is Spencer on the 5th...Luisa on the 18th...and then of course JESUS on the 25th!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World Aids day...

Today is World Aids Day, and we are praising God for the advances in meds that are keeping Luisa alive and healthy!   I just heard today that a recent survey showed that one in four people still think you can "catch" HIV from sharing a cup.  UGH!  Please, take a few minutes, if you haven't already, to watch the Truth Pandemic {click on the icon on the top left of my blog.} And share it with your friends.  Thank You!