Friday, October 31, 2008


Here's our little munchkins; I adore the way the costumes turned out...

We barely trick-or-treated a few houses on our street. We're all pooped; way too much partying this month. Sunday will start our simplified lives again. 

Oh, and if you love the banner and want instructions, leave me a comment asking for detailed instructions. You can make one next year...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Big Little Boy Turns 3

What a day...
  • birthday cupcake & buzz light year pancake breakfast... success
  • spending time with his favorite neighbor... success
  • special time with mom hearing the story over & over again about the day he was born... success
  • happy party at the "bounce house" with lots of great cousins... success
  • rockin' party at home with more pizza, cake, and presents than anyone could really need... success
  • a trip to the Ward Halloween Carnival in full costume & tons of fun carnival games & more sugar... success
  • a  happy, happy birthday for our big little boy... success
Well, he's 3. Hard to believe, but he's sure happy that he's 3. He's already talking about when he turns 10. WHAT IS HE THINKING!? Birthdays have become more tender to me since I've had my own children. I love the time to reflect on how they entered this world and what they have blossomed into each year. Here's my top list for Sam...

7. You're practically a vegetarian; with candy out of the equation, you would choose a fruit or bowl of vegetables to snack on over anything else. We can hardly get you to eat to any meat unless it's a hot dog. Wait, is that really meat?
6. You tell me all the time that the only thing you like are tractors. Every time we see a piece of heavy machinery while driving you say "Tractor!" No one is allowed to say it before you do or you will quickly remind them that you are the only one who can say tractor first. You politely inform us that dad gets to point & say "motorcycle", mom says "house", and Will says "ducks".
5. I love your wondering mind and inquisitive nature. You've always been very verbal and curious about how the world works. You ask "why" or "how" about everything. In an attempt to teach you as much as possible I always answer the whys as thoroughly as possible, but after about about 10-15 whys asking what you think is the only way to make it stop. Surprisingly, you always have a well thought out and fairly accurate interpretation. Another thing I love about your mind is how you remember EVERYTHING. You've always been that way, and it is a little freaky at times the things you can recall. 
4. I love your concern for other kids. You are very social and always trying to make friends with every kid you ever see, especially older kids. You are so good at sharing with them, and it always makes me smile when you ask their moms 1st before you give them anything. You are even getting great at sharing with Will. 
3. You still love your "Api" (pacifier). Although you said you will throw it away for the garbage man in the morning since you are now 3. I will hold you to it. 
2. You have always loved twirling my hair when you are tired or sad. You do it every night. I hope you always do.
1. You are such a mama's boy, and I love it. From the very second you were laid on my stomach I felt like I had always known you and had a connection with you. The older you get the deeper that attachment and understanding gets. I hope you always love me this much.

For those of you wondering, the bed was a huge success. He was so happy to see it this morning. We made him get up at 6:30 to see it before he went to work. He crawled right in & went to sleep until after 9:00. Tonight he got right in, curled up, & told me he was going to stay in that bed all day. I guess he loves it. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A big boy already???

I didn't think Sam's ONLY birthday request would be so hard for me. All he has wanted for months was a big boy bed. I didn't think it would feel this sad...

We thought this was a big boy bed at 18 months

(he had to be moved from his crib b/c he 
was crawling out every night)

but this feels way too big for a 3 year old! 

(his new blanket is not finished yet and
his curtains aren't hung yet either)

I just don't want him growing up too fast, but I have a feeling he will always be older beyond his actual years. I think it's just in him. I know he will love the bed...we'll let you know. Oh, he told me last night he wants to saw up his old bed and throw it in the garbage but he wants to keep his blankets. He's ready, trust me. I'm just not quite there yet.

Someone's having a birthday tomorrow

Sam has been anticipating his 3rd birthday for quite some time now. It's 10:00 right now and
he is still laying in his bed wide awake giddy about his birthday. He can't wait.

Cute birthday invitation:

I always like making invitations; it somehow makes me feel like a better mother. However, I don't always have cute ideas, and I can never seem to find what I'm looking for online. This time I decided to go completely with my own idea. I'm very happy with how it turned out. I'm not sure why the last 2 pics are so blurry, so sorry. Here's the basic idea if you are interested...
It says:
"The time is here, it's hard to believe. Turn the circles to see who's three!"
On the front of each circle is a stamped letter, and when they are all turned right it says Sam. When you turn the circles over it has a pic of him at 1, 2, and 3. The circles are attached with fishing line and strung through an eyelet and taped on the back side and then backed with a coordinating piece of paper. A little time consuming but worth it. Feel free to use this idea, and let me know if you need more instructions!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I know happiness is not in things, but....

I sure was happy to bring home this beauty today...

I Like Myself

This is by far one of the best children's books I've found. Definitely a message I want to instill in my children. The words are so perfect I wanted you all to know them before you buy the book...
I like myself! I'm glad I'm me.
There's no one else I'd rather be.
I like my eyes, my ears, my  nose.
I like my fingers and my toes.
I like me wild. I like me tame. 
I like me different and the same.
I like me fast. I like me slow.
I like me everywhere I go.
I like me on the inside, too, for all I think and say and do.
Inside, outside, upside down,
from head to toe and all around, 
I like it all! It all is me! And me is all I want to be.
And I don't care in any way what someone else may think or say.
I may be called a silly nut or crazy cuckoo bird- so what?
I'm having too much fun you see, for anything to bother me.
Even when I look like a mess, I still don't like me any less,
cause nothing in this world you know can change what's deep inside, and so...
No matter if they stop and stare, no person ever anywhere can make me feel that what they see
is all there really is to me.
I'd still like me with fleas or warts, or with a silly snout that snorts,
or knobby knees or hippo hips or purple polka-dotted lips,
or beaver breath or stinky toes or horns protruding form my nose,
or-yikes-with spikes all down my spine, or hair that's like a porcupine. 
I still would be the same, you see.... I like myself because I'm ME!

Wow! I wish I could say I like myself that much! I don't know why liking myself has always been such a struggle for me. Maybe it is for all of us. I know I want my kids to like themselves and like me. I've realized I need to start liking myself more to teach them both of those lessons. Any suggestions on how to better see the things you are instead or things you aren't? Or how to not measure yourself against your own unattainable expectations? That's my biggest struggle. I haven't figured out how to switch that switch. I think I'll start with memorizing this book.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Shoes & call the police take 2

For those of you who know about my special foot problem know how difficult it is for me to buy shoes. It's been this way my whole life. What normally happens is I found a pair of shoes that I love and that will work with my orthotic, but they won't have both of the sizes that I need. I always try to buy inexpensive shoes because it really adds up when you have to buy 2 pairs just to equal one. Anyways, I'm done messing around with it. I'm going to buy shoes that work no matter what the cost. That's just what I did last night. I bought these boots. Of course I had to take out a second mortgage to afford them. Well, not really, but I have never owned a pair boots that were this expensive. Why did it I do it one might ask. I did it because they work, and they have been the only ones that I have been able to find that match all of my criteria. And I'm finished messing around. I rarely have had this luxury. I LOVE them.

Now for the experience buying them. Pete & I went to our outdoor mall last night. He needed to get a computer part, and I was going to get the boots. Pete kindly offered to take the boys with him to the computer store to keep the shoe buying process as least stressful for me as possible. That ended up creating far more stress than if the boys would've come with me.  Sam left Pete in the store. He thought he was just on the aisle over, but after 30 seconds of not hearing him Pete checked on him, and he was gone. He thought he couldn't have gotten far, but after checking the whole back of the store he realized he was not back there. He went to the front of the store and asked the clerk if she had seen a little boy. She said yes. Pete started getting excited demanding that employees start looking for him. They were all running through the store searching for him. They quickly learned he wasn't there, and Pete started getting excited again demanding that they call security. At that point Pete took off outside trying to find him. What was Sam doing during this time? He was on his way to the shoe to find me of course. He did find a shoe store and went in; it just wasn't the store that I was in. The clerk asked if he was lost. He was as calm as a cat and told them his dad was named Pete and he was just in the computer store with his brother Scooter. He also informed her that he was about to have a birthday. Thankfully the woman knew to call security which in turn security was able to find Pete.  Pete was never so relieved to see him sitting in a cushy chair in a woman's shoe store! For those of you who may not know, Sam always has an agenda and his mind works remarkably to figure out how to execute that agenda. THANK GOODNESS he's also smart enough to know contact info when he needs it! Hopefully these incidents will not continue to happen. We don't ever want to lose him, and we also don't want the police force in our community to know him at such a young age!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not for a long time...

Sam's dragon costume is about to make it's big debut. He should enjoy it because I will not be making a costume again anytime soon that has so many fiber-filled attachments. At least until next year. :)

Throwing it all to the wind...

I've stopped doing all the normal life maintenance tasks the last 2 weeks. I've had some sewing commitments that have filled a lot, or all, of my spare time. I have had birthday invitations to make. I have been enjoying picnics with my kids, lots of trampoline time, soccer, cooking cupcakes, "laser fighting", library visits, bike rides, and all sorts of little kid games.  And best of all, we needed a vacation. 
I don't think I've put on makeup in 2 weeks or maybe even blow-dried my hair. My house could really use a good scrubbing. I've still got laundry to fold. Our meals have been far from gourmet. You know what though? It has all been a little liberating. It has been a newfound sense of freedom, and I have felt like a lived a lot more happy living in these 2 weeks than I have lately. I love that I have thrown all these tasks that I find so important every day completely out the window. I have done whatever I have wanted and whatever my kids have wanted. I think I will try doing that more often. I'll get back to maintenance, too, but I want to live more than just maintain more. 

just in case you're wondering

I really want this house...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rainbow Brite Costume: SOLD

Thanks for everyone's interest in the Rainbow Brite Costume. It sold on ebay today (YEAH!!), so it is no longer available. My blog generated so much interest I will definitely have many more costumes listed here next year, so check back then. I wish I had time to do more costumes to sell, but I'm up to my eyeballs in costumes for my family. If only there were more time.... but thanks for all the interest. It means the world to me!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our Fall Harvest

Thankfully this fall we have been blessed with an abundance of delicious apples from our very own trees...
And blessed with lots of best friend cousin time...

Just a side note of something I would like to remember about this cousin day. Emily and Sam got all of Sam's blankets, library books, marshmellows, and crackers and took them to the trampoline to have a "camp out".  They were out there for like 2 hours "reading" and playing. Is anything better than having a best friend like this? What a great blessing for all of us! Don't worry, Will & Mack also had a great time just hanging out and eating apples. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall Utah


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rainbow Brite Costume


My whole life I never had a store bought Halloween costume. My mom made one for us every year. It was one way I always felt love from my mom; it was something that she did that always made me feel like I had a really cool mom. Now that I'm a mom I plan on carrying on the same tradition. To gear me up for making the boys' costumes I took a walk down memory lane with my favorite costume. I made this costume from the original pattern my mom used for me. I am selling this costume, hopefully to a little girl who loved Rainbow Brite as much as I did or to a mom who would love to be able to provide their kids with a homemade costume. If you are interested in purchasing this costume, please email me at jenvanderlinden@gmail to make arrangements. If you believe that someone who reads your blog might be interested in this costume, then please direct them to my blog. It will also be listed on ebay. Here are the details: it's a size 5 and includes the jumper, blouse, and shoe covers. It is new and never worn except by my "models". The price is $60, and if you are local then we can save on shipping. It's adorable and waiting for a cute little girl to sport it around this Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A preview of tomorrow's post

This picture is too cute to not post right away! This is just a preview of the in depth post that will happen tomorrow explaining the Rainbow Brite costume and information that could allow this costume to be yours! Until then, just enjoy how cute Sam would be if he was a little girl!
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