Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. The Olsons did. Long days, but great days. Ethan is at a fun age where he gets super excited about Christmas. He opened gifts with great gusto and promptly tossed them aside to tackle the next gift. He also liked to help others tackle their gifts and spent most of his time running from one person to the next. Pibs was Pibs, didn't really seem too interested in the gifts but the ribbons and bows were fascinating to her. She actually wore a Santa hat most of the morning at Gramps and Gummies house!

The Louwsma side ended up having an impromptu Christmas last night as a preemptive strike in case Jake had to go plow today, which was supposed to be our Christmas Day. Wasn't needed, as you can see by looking outside, but a good idea nonetheless. We went back to the Louwsma's (aka The Black Hole, aka Bravo Hotel) this morning for the rest of the Christmas festivities. It is chaos with these three little kids running around. Only going to get crazier!

We got backed into by a semi today. It was weird. We were waiting to turn left off an exit ramp on 169. The (huge) semi decided it needed to turn right and proceeded to back up--right into us. We were (we thought) a safe distance and watched it all happening. I panicked and threw the car into park instead of reverse. Awesome. He hit us decently hard--it was a semi, after all. The kids started freaking out and I was pretty freaked out too. Thankfully there isn't much damage to the car (the Element is bullet proof, I swear). The trooper showed up to file a report--since it looked like we hit him we wanted to make sure there was proof that we didn't. Jay and I are both feeling pretty sore in our necks but hopefully that will get better tomorrow. When the truck driver got out, he asked us how far back we were. Yeah, that matters why? You don't back up on the road! Especially not in a semi, on an exit ramp where people are coming about 50 mph. It's probably best I didn't try to back up. It could've been much worse. So this is the third car accident Ethan has been involved in. The other two were us getting rear ended. This is a first for both of us. My Element has now been in three accidents, none of which were my fault thankfully. I'm glad it doesn't crumple (it's like a tank) but I think that might actually cause more bodily pain than cars that do crumple.

Anyway, I hope you all had great days. I've got my husband home now for 9 more days and am very much looking forward to hanging out with him, getting things done around the house and doing some fun stuff with the kids. On that subject, anyone have ideas of fun things to do with kids that don't cost too much? Peace out!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

it just isn't the same

Cookie Monster of Sesame Street residence no longer eats cookies with reckless abandon. He often eats oatmeal raisin cookies and only in moderation (his words). Okay. I get that childhood obesity (and adult obesity, for that matter) is a problem. However, I don't think that Cookie Monster eating chocolate chip cookies like, well, a cookie monster is what is making kids fat. We all watched Cookie Monster in his glory days and I don't think any of us felt compelled to stuff our faces with cookies simply because he did it. Adults struggle with obesity for a miriad of reasons--none of which I feel can be linked back to Sesame Street. It makes me sad that our kids aren't able to have the freedom to just be kids like we did!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

we're number one!

Folks, this is awesome. This photo is from 1992 after this group of gals (I am on the far left) won the Stock Market Game. The funniest part is that we played this statewide game in our REMEDIAL math class. We bought stocks based on the products that we thought were cool (I think that ended up being Harley Davidson and Coke) and sold it all right before Spring Break just in case. The market ended up taking a dive during that time and we came out on top. Our prize was a day downtown at Dain Rauscher--I don't think they expected that a group of girls in stupid studies would win this. We had no clue what was going on. It was fantastically funny in retrospect!

wave your hands in the air, shake your derrière

I was on the treadmill at the gym the other night when Whoomp (There it is) came on my ipod. I nearly started busting out some of my awesome wedding dance floor moves right then and there--I had to remind myself that no one else could hear what I was listening to nor understand how many memories are wrapped up in that song.

Do you ever wish people could hear what you are listening to? I often wish that I had a musical soundtrack to follow me during the day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Last night Jay and I used the new movie maker tool on Picassa--totally cool! We made slideshows for each of the kids--our favorite pictures of each of them since they were born. Music is courtesy of DownDownDown. Ethan's song has some profanity--you've been warned.

Ethan's slideshow:

Olivia's slideshow:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

redefine christmas

Check out this website:

I heard about it on NPR the other day. The idea is that during the holidays we are so intent on giving gifts to everyone on our list that we sometimes forget to give meaningful gifts. Our family has struggled with this for some time now. We live in a time where we can go out and buy whatever it is that we need/want at that particular moment. When the holidays come around, it gets difficult to come up with ideas of what to give and what to put on my wish list. I am blessed to have that problem, I know.

But have you thought about donating the money you would spend on gifts for your family to a charity of your choice? What would that be like in your family? I suppose if you have a family whose love language is gift giving/receiving, it could be a problem. My family (Louwsma's) has been doing this for a few years. While we still give each other a few gifts we also give chickens and cows via Samaritan's Purse and we donate to AfricaWorks, a non-profit Jimbo is involved with. We all pitch in money for shoeboxes filled with little trinkets for Operation Christmas Child. This year we will be making midwife kits for Global Health Ministries ( supplies to send to impoverished areas of the world that don't even have a clean environment for their babies to be born into.

I know money is tight all over the place right now but think about this:
-for $7 you can give hot meals to a child for one week
-for $4 you can provide milk to a child for one week
-for $6 you can provide a thick blanket to a child
-for $15 you can provide a month's tuition and school supplies so a child can get an education

The list goes on and on. And this is only one organization! I encourage you to check it out this holiday season. And when it isn't the holiday season as well. Put one less gift under the tree and donate that money to someone in desperate need. Just something to think about.