Thursday, December 30, 2010

Watch Me!!!!!

Last night we had the priveledge of staying in a hotel.....but not just any hotel, one with a pretty good sized splash pad/waterpark!!! Yesterday we met up with our friends, the Meyerings, and checked-in to a hotel in GR. Even though it took the guys about 30-40 minutes to check-in, while Katie and I were left in our cars with the kids, the time was so worth it....we had an amazing time!!!! Upon entering our room, the kids were pretty much already undressed and ready to go:) We also discovered the Manager's reception and free food along with lots of Diet Coke...all for the taking, which suited our hungry little ones just fine while we waited for our pizza (which took forever because the driver got lost!). The kids had a really good time playing with their friends and didn't want to get out of the pool today when it was time to go....and we let them swim past check-out time and longer than we had planned!My little water rats!Watching Brother Bear before bed:)Telling daddy something about the big slide....the kids weren't big enough this time to go down it, but I'm sure in the near future they will be!Taking a snack break today while they watched all the other people swimming!
It was so refreshing to get away, even for one night! Thanks Kevin and Katie for joining us....we had a great time and hope we can do it again sometime soon:)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Random Christmas

This year, as in years past, we spent some time as a family in the morning before heading to my parents for breakfast and opening gifts. The kids had a great time seeing how well their grandparents know them and playing with their cousins!Will loves his new guitar....he's really a rockstar now!!! He even needed it to go to the bathroom:)The girls showing off their babies in the new outfits grandma got for them!Go Green!
We had a wonderful Christmas this year, filled with family and fun.....and the real gift of all, Jesus!

The Best Christmas Ever!

On Christmas Eve, we took the kids to see Tangled at the movie theater and then headed home to do our last family advent activity tree: open stockings! The kids loved what they found in their "socks" and had hours of fun that evening:) After dining out for dinner we headed home to take showers and watch one last Christmas movie. While getting cleaned up with daddy, Will told Ryan that "this is the best Christmas ever!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cousins in the kitchen!

Today the kids and I went to my mom's to make Christmas cookies!!! The girls really got into helping grandma, while Will was way more into playing with all the new John Deere toys grandma and grandpa had gotten or hanging with Uncle Josh:) Thanks mom for such a fun morning.....and the cookies are delicious!Let the frosting begin!My aunt always comes up with some unique and fun gifts for the kids.....this year the girls got stick-on toenails and they were so excited to try them out!!! So silly!

Pj's and Popcorn :)

Last night's family advent activity had us showered and in pj's to watch a Christmas movie!!! The kids were excited for a family movie night.....but when they found there new pj's hanging out under the tree I dare say they were ecstatic!!!! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today's family advent activity was sledding, so we put on the winter gear and headed to Van Raalte Farm!!! We've had to move this one around due to the weather, but tried it today even though we figured the hill would be pretty icy. Well....that was an understatement, but the kids had a great time going down the big hill....they didn't seem to mind the bumpy, jarring ride as much as us old folks:) Will did however dislike the cold breeze in his cute little face, so I took my scarf off and tied it around his mouth and tried to cover as much of his face as I could. Well....he ended up completely covering his face with the scarf, especially when going down the hill. About the second or third time down we were also down one sled because Kailyn and Ryan hit a bump particularly hard and apparently at the perfect angle to completely crack open the sled!!!Don't know if you can tell in this picture or not how icy the hill was.....the climb back up was particulary challenging:)My precious princess....she really would have liked to go down the hill by herself, but due to the icy conditions we didn't allow it this time.....but we will be doing this again sometime soon, we all had a great time!
This is how he would put the scarf before we headed down the hill....silly boy!
Sitting in the truck enjoying some nice warm caramel steamers!!!!Our one sled down....Ryan highly recommends not using a sled coated with non-nuclear cereal varnish:)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This week's theme for preschool is animals in the winter and to finish out the week we had a hibernation party today! The kids and I got to wear pj's to school (which we seriously NEVER do) and they got to bring a favorite bear and blanket! When we were reading our story "Time to Sleep" we even built a "cave" to hibernate in. The kids also enjoyed reading the story again with puppets, repeating the words and acting it out!


Last night's family advent activity was to dress fancy for dinner! The kids had a great time picking out "fancy" clothes....we had a fancy nancy and a rock star at our dinner table last night! Kailyn had a blast taking it even further and gathering "menus" (aka books) for us to order from. We had some piano Christmas tunes and candles lit while we indulged in our yummy baked potato soup and biscuits! Kailyn even brought up the register to check us out when we were done:) We all had a great time with this and can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gumdrop Guesthouse

Tonight's family advent activity was to make and decorate a gingerbread house!!! The kids were so excited! Luckily I had purchased one that was already assembled and we only needed to ice and decorate it, so the kids could get busy right away. This is the first ever gingerbread house Ryan and I have ever made.....I think it turned out pretty well:) They both didn't quite understand the concept that we didn't get to eat the house when we had finished!!!Pretty nice little gumdrop guesthouse:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mixed Up Family Reindeer!

As one of our countdown to Christmas family activities, I stole this mixed up reindeer idea from my friend Katie. Each family member traces one foot and also makes a print of both hands (we used brown paint). Then we drew names to see whose hands would be our antlers. We also added google eyes and a red or green pom-pom nose....they turned out adorable! Thanks Katie for your inspiration:)We also used our name and that of the person whose name we drew to come up with a unique name for each reindeer. This year our family reindeer are: Kaian (Kailyn and Ryan), Rylyn (Ryan and Kailyn), Kelliam (Kelly and William) and Wilky (Will and Kelly)!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stehouwer Christmas Countdown!

This time of year represents one of parenting's biggest challenges: teaching our children about the true meaning of Christmas! In an attempt to help our children grasp that this season is about giving to others and a little baby in a manger, we have found a few special activities. The first one is the Christmas countdown chain....but this year we added a twist. Instead of just using it to count down to Christmas, I found this awesome site that had printables to attach to each link. It includes a Bible verse, craft or activity and part of the Christmas Bible story or book to read. I've incorporated this into our homeschool day and so far am loving it. Another fun advent activity we're doing this year is this cone-iferous forest idea out of the November Family Fun magazine. Under each tree is an activity for our family such as Wii games, smoothie night, sledding, making a gingerbread house or a small candy treat for the kids! The kids love finding out what our family will be doing each evening when we check the trees:)
The last thing we're doing is putting a star on the baby Jesus chart. It has a cute little poem that we've read each night when we put on the star. It says "Each night before prayers are said, add one star and hop into bed. When all the stars are shining bright, Christmas will come with the morning light!" I know the kids will love watching the sky over Jesus fill with stars!
This is one of the things I looked forward to the most about having my own children, I didn't know it would be so challenging to overcome what the world has made Christmas to be and teach my little ones that it's not about them or the presents. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!!!
The Christmas advent activities for the chain and the baby Jesus star chart were found at


December 1st, 2010 we saw the first of the white stuff to stay on the ground.....enough to play in and make a few snowballs to throw at the tree! If you can't tell by the pictures, the kids are ecstatic about the snow:)Kailyn and Will LOVE to make snow angels!