Monday, December 1, 2008

Kyla Joy

I am so proud to announce the birth of my new little niece... Kyla Joy Schippers. She was born at 1:22am this morning, tipping the scales at 5 pounds 14oz and 19.5 inches long. She is perfect in every sense of the word. God NEVER ceases to amaze me with his glory and splendor.

I mean seriously... the face of an angel!

Abby is SOOO excited about her new cousin!

Eric being Eric....

Abby being Abby! Oh, Kyla, the things you will learn from your cousin!

Passage Psalm 139:13-16
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

Thank you Lord for this healthy child! She will be well taken care of here on earth!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Praying for my kids!

Over the past few months, I have felt the Lord giving me "God winks", well, in all honesty, more like "God knocks upside the head"... I do pray with my kids at night and before meals, but I feel like I should take much more time to pray for friends, family, Ryan, our country and integrate more meaning full prayers with the girls on a daily basis. And the Lord in his infinite wisdom, lead me to a blog that is on a crusade to do the same thing.... Please join me in praying with your kids 7 times a day for the next 7 days. Here are the events and verses suggested!

Here are the events and verses I chose:
1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)

2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

I printed mine off and posted them on card stock so I can keep them with me all week... hopefully longer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Family Pictures

A sinus infection and double ear infection last week has kept me from the computer, laundry, house work, and life in general. But I am just about caught up with the laundry so I thought I would take a few minutes to post some family pictures. We were so blessed to be out in the beautiful weather on Sunday so that my dear (and super talented) photographer friend Becky could take some pictures for us. It has been since Abby was a wee babe since we had a family picture done. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nothing Fancy!

I know it has been a while since I have checked in... but seriously, how can you top locking your kid in the car on an 85 degree day? Anyway, with that said we have been busy doing what we do. School, BSF, playing puzzles, folding laundry, riding Barbie cars, coloring in our coloring book... the daily activities are endless. Sometimes when I collapse on the couch at the end of the day I feel a sense of defeat! What did I actually do today? Well, below, you will see a video of my dear Abby and I think it answers my question!

Lily loving her cereal and squash!

This is how you will find Lily most days! Smiles Smiles!

Our new dog Dyson is setteling in well with our family!

Abby so excited to go to school!

Abby doing what she loves the most... swinging!

Abby in the Pumpkinfest Parade!

Lily sitting up... kinda!

Abby at the petting zoo... this guy really liked her!

What Abby does when I turn my back for 2 seconds! Yep a whole tube of toothpaste down the drain!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The makings of a LIFETIME network movie...

You know exactly what I am talking about... Let me cast the characters for you....
  • Innocent frazzled mother unjustly arrested for Child Endangerment (Me)
  • Young toddler sweating profusely from being locked in the car and her 5 point harness on an 83 degree day with all the windows up (Abby)
  • Frantic father using every item in his work shop to ALMOST reach the unlock button (Ryan)
  • Snoozing infant chilling in her car seat OUTSIDE the car, oblivious to what is going on. (Lily)
  • Calm, cool, collected, yet somewhat irritated 911 operator fielding the frazzled mother's call (nameless because it is not important to the plot)
  • Several other "stand in" characters trying to offer suggestions and advice

The story begins as if it was a normal Friday morning.... Hustle bustle of breakfast, dressing, hair combing, nursing, diaper changes, dog feedings, school drop off, errand running etc. Fridays are somewhat scripted week after week. I take Abby to school, run errands, pick her up from school, go visit Ryan at work so Abby can tell him all about her day (and because it's payday). Well this Friday was no different until this part of the story... Abby had brought her back pack in and was showing daddy and the other employees all the fun things she brought home from school... (a myriad of scribbled papers). So cute!

Then she decided that she wanted to run back out to the car to grab her "show and tell" item so she could show and tell Ryan and the other guys about her wedding bear from Aunt Tami. So cute. Anyway, the car was parked immediately in front of the entrance and she was in plain site at all times... and no more than 20 feet from me. Come on moms you know you have all done it! So I allowed for her independence because I was SO certain she was SO excited about her bear that she would rush right back in... well, because Abby is ADD (not dr. diagnosed... just mom diagnosed) she got distracted and got a piece of gum from the cup holder and proceeded to put herself in her car seat and buckle up (most of the way).

Well, I decided since she was not as eager to come back, I grabbed Lily and headed for the car... yep doors locked.... keys in the ignition... Abby strapped into her car seat enough that she cannot get closed. Panic sets in... she is already sweating. She is crying and now I am afraid that she is going to choke on her gum. Ryan and some employees worked on getting the lock open while I talked to Abby and tried to calm her down. When I shut my door it did not close all the way so the guys had some room to work. But after about 10 minutes I decided enough was enough... so I called 911. Just as the operator obtained all the info (my name, address, phone number, where I was parked, the description of my van, shoe size, bra size, height and weight) Ryan reached the lock and got the doors open. YEAH!

I had a dream last night that the police came to arrest me and charge me with child endangerment. So I am on edge.

Moral of the story. Get Abby a booster seat. ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Toilet Fishing

A few weeks ago while at a home show I lost a crown while bitting into a yummy rice crispy treat. I promptly secured it back into place and went on my way. Until Sunday the thing stayed firmly in place prompting me to even forget it was a problem. While I was eating lunch on Sunday apparently the thing fell out again and YEP... I swallowed it. I called the dentist to see how much it was going to be to get it fixed and it sounds like $800 is the magic number. Which prompted Ryan to say.... "Sounds like you are going toilet fishing to retrieve that thing! That should save us a few hundred dollars!" But for the past few days I have not heard any porcelain crown ping off a porcelain toilet so I think we are safe to say the tooth has taken up permanent residency in my gut or it safely made it's way out already.... either way Abby is for sale for $800 if anyone is interested. Just kidding!

PS. On a lighter note, the doctor called with Ryan's test results and it appears there was nothing on the upper GI test. He is going to be taking some acid reducer to see if that helps any. Thank you for your prayers!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hon... duh!

On Friday Abby had her first dentist appt! While we were waiting in the waiting room I had to fill out some pertinent information.... Abby was getting a bit restless and trying to escape the office so I asked her to help me fill out the info. I told her that the paper work was asking for information about her parents. I said, "Abby, the doctor is asking for your daddy's name... do you know what your daddy's name is?" She pondered the thought for a moment and said, "Umm, yes I know... daddy's name is HON!" Priceless.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prayers Please...

I usually write about our kids but this is a request for Ryan... he has been having "issues" with his stomach, chest, espophagas, or something in that general area since May. He finally went to the doctor this week and then had to have an upper GI done this morning. We are prayerful that they will find something that is causing him to be uncomfortable, but yet we pray it is something minor that can be fixed quickly. Please keep him in your prayers this weekend! Thank you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abby starts school and other equally exciting news!

Well where to begin... so much has happened since I last blogged I can't even begin to explain it all. On Labor Day our washing machine took a poop and I have been on the hunt for a new one...(well, new to us) and my dear sister in law found us a gem from someone at her work! It was FREE! That has to tell you all something... Ryan and Eric picked it up last night and brought it home. When the boys came in the door I asked Ryan what he thought of it and he was so excited because he thought we might actually have a possibility of being selected to be on the Antique Road Show with it... Yikes! But we hooked that serious hunk of machinery up and it cleans clothes better than our old one and certainly better than the washboard and bucket method I had been using! Just kidding, but it is nice to have the capabilities here at home now!

Abby started 3 school on Tuesday! It is so great for her to have ownership of something all her own... something that Lily and mommy don't do with her! She is getting so big and so independent, we thought this would be great for her. We were told that she should have a LARGE back pack to house her Lion folder, and snow pants and boots for the winter. We headed to KMart to check out the selection. While we were there Abby decided that she was a big enough girl to run amok in the store... so after several minutes of chasing her down almost each and every aisle, we left with NO BACKPACK. Ok, so I am trying to teach her there are consequences for her bad actions. Disobey in Kmart= no backpack. After her 2.5 hours at school the kids were paraded out the back door and one by one each of them were brought to their parents standing by. Officially Abby was the ONLY one in her class to not have a back pack! So when the teacher brought her to me, she said, "Abby said that she does not have a back pack, is this true!?" Great, already on the first day I am the worst parent in there! So, for those kids who forget their back pack or in our case have a heartless, spineless, parent that won't get them one they were provided a large paper bag to house all their "goods"! I have attached some pictures from the first day.... Abby in her new outfit, and her large paper bag! Thanks Kim for the pictures, at least someone has it together for their kids sake! :)
Abby proudly displaying her make shift back pack!

This is where the teacher said, "Abby doesn't have a back pack... Is this true????!?! You horrible rotten parent!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Help us name our new D-O-G!

As if we do not have enough chaos in our house we decided to add a new 4 legged creature to the mix... and who wouldn't? Look at this face! We are picking him up tomorrow and have no idea what to call him! Here are some names we have discussed:

1. Montana

2. Harley

3. Dyson

4. Milo

5. Apollo

6. Kevin (Ryan's idea)

7. Pee Pee (Abby's idea, She thought since we had a dog named Butt (how Abby says Buck), a bunny named Buns, it would only be appropriate to continue on with the human anatomy names!)
Please let us know what name you like... or suggest others you think would fit his cute little face! We are seriously STUMPED!

Weekend FULL of activity!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend and was able to be outside to bask in the beautiful weather the Lord delivered. We had so much fun up at the cottage. We were able to soak up the sun, fill our bellies with yummy food, laugh by the fire, sleep in our comfy beds (yeah right), celebrate Abby's birthday, celebrate Lily's first tooth! (I know, I am as shocked as you are) and even visit the ER for stitches!

Grandma and Abby testing out their comfy pull out bed...

Abby gathering rocks along the shore...
Abby and Aunt Tami headed down to the lake for a redneck shower...

Abby cashed out after a long day playing...

Since Abby turns 3 years old on Sunday the 7th we decided to celebrate while the whole family was together...

Here is a picture Abby took of herself this morning... she is obsessed with her new boo boo. Yesterday after returning from a store run with Ryan Abby came running in the door, tripped over a pair of shoes and fell head (well, forehead) first into a metal bar stool. After a few panicky moment and fearful thoughts we talked to Abby's doctor who was on call this weekend and he suggested we take her to the ER in Holland when we got home... so Tami and I headed their with her last night and she was such a trooper. She NEVER cried... the doctor gave me a cotton ball with some numbing cream on it that I had to hold in place for 30 minutes, then he came in and stitched her right up. She never moved a muscle.... The nurse said they have 10 year olds that don't do as well as she did. Even though sitting through stitches maybe a talent for Abby, we are praying we can steer clear of the ER for a while!

Here is a picture of Lily with Auntie Jan (who by the way has a broken elbow and is in a sling). Lily was able to take a break from gnawing on Jan's hand for a deer in the headlight type picture. Lily was 5 months yesterday and she has cut her first tooth! That was not even on my radar... Abby didn't get teeth until 7 months....

Even after all this excitement... Ryan and I still took time out to commemorate this weekend with a picture by the lake. I am truly shocked that either on of us can muster the energy to even smile! :) But the Lord is good and we are thankful for our family and the time we could spend together.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Camping fun!

Last week our family headed all the way to Zeeland for our first camping expedition! We had so much fun with our friends and there are many pictures to prove it! Our girls were fantastic and I think Abby is hooked (as are we)! We are so blessed to have such an awesome group of friends! Thanks for the laughs and the memories! Enjoy the pictures!

Abby and Ellie hanging out before bed!

Ryan and Abby fishing! They actually caught quite a bit! Hot dogs and corn were on the menu for the little blue gill.

Dan kayaking...

Dan and Ellie showing off their prize catch!

Mark, seriously? You fell in the pond!?!

Abby in her "get up"... we weren't taking any chances!

Crashed on her bed after a long hard day of swimming, riding bikes, and sidewalk chalk!

This face tells me that Lily likes camping too!

Joley and her GOGGLES!

This is how I found the girls the first morning... Abby decided she needed to snuggle with Lily in the pack n play.

Lyndsey and Max snuggling by the fire!

Friday, August 15, 2008


After hitting the dusty trail for the afternoon, I guess Buns realized he had the cats ass here at the Haber's house afterall. The girls and I went out in the afternoon to "canvas" the neighborhood, we knocked on doors, handed out flyers, put up signs, talked to neighbors we had never met, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. In my heart of hearts I thought for sure I would see Buns dead on the side of the road someday. But while the girls and I were gone last night, Ryan discovered him "just chilling" on the back patio.... Happy to be home!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stephanie's Thursday TO DO LIST

1) Find Abby's missing bunny, named Buns! We let her/him out this morning to "hop" around and he/she made a criminal like escape from the yard. Abby is taking a nap and I better find this thing FAST or I am dead meat! Prayers for a Bun's speedy return!

Fiber 1...

I am a BIG fan of the Fiber 1 granola bars that are on the market. Not only are they good for you, but they are recommended by Oprah's dietitian/trainer Bob Green... yeah like that means anything. Anywho, they taste delicious and are an easy snack while I am nursing, cleaning, or sitting on the John. Oh give me a break.. you all have done it! I was elated to find that Fiber 1 has a new cereal out now! I clipped my little coupon and got the $4 box for less than $2 and filled my bowl... It was so yummy I decided to have another helping. Yeah I know, Bob Green would say it is all about portion control, but look people I am nursing and that girl literally sucks the life out of me! While I was finishing up my second bowl I took notice of the Fiber content... 8 grams per 1 cup serving (double that of a bar)! I am sure I ate at least 2 cups! Yikes! If you know fiber like I know fiber, it is its job to "clean you out"... well, later that day while driving around like a maniac to get my errands done before I was out of fruit snacks for Abby the FIBER kicked in. Flatulence zone... BEWARE! Abby, not holding anything back started gagging and said "Mom, did you toot or did Lily have a blow out?" Poor girl! I assured her it MUST have been Lily. And she responded with her hand over her nose, "Mommy you tooted a big one like daddy!" BUSTED big time.
While I was excited about my stellar deal, this cereal has permanently been eliminated from my grocery list!
How sad that my life has been reduced to blogging about my gas! Toot toot!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stephanie's Wednesday TO DO LIST

1.) Locate and eliminate whatever item is causing Abby's room to smell like a high school boys locker room!
2.) Fish blueberries out from under the couch.
3.) Bathe Lily so she will not smell like a dairy farmer.
4.) Comb through Abby's hair.... EEEK! (This could take ALL day)
5.) Finish shaving my other leg. (I was in process this morning when I was summons by the toddler)
6.) Do dinner dishes from 2 nights ago.
7.) Wash, dry, AND put away laundry.
8.) Clean out long lost sippy cup with milk chunks in it.... check that is done. I just threw it in the trash!
9.) Clean dog poop off of Abby's barbie car wheel...
10.) Clean out the bunny cage...
11.) Wash Abby's car seat cover to remove the smell of pee! (did I mention I LOVE potty training!)
12.) Make sure Ryan's softball gear is clean and accessible...
13.) Find something to make for dinner, and actually make it!
14.) Get myself dressed.... if time allows I may actually brush my teeth and hair, and possibly apply some make-up!

Hope your day is productive!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hugging my girls extra tight today!

I didn't get much sleep last night... there were an array of reasons why... too hot in our bedroom, Ryan snoring, Lily waking only to babble, coo, and giggle, but mostly the heart ache for the family that just lost their little girl when she drowned in Hutchins lake. It was almost as if Lily woke up because she knew that I needed to hold her, kiss her, and be with her. It has always been taught to me (and for good reason) that when you cannot sleep, it is the Lords way of telling you that you need to pray for something.... I did that. I prayed for the Busschers, for the pain that they must be feeling. I am not sure if this is hitting me extra hard because I am a mom or because I had the realization that just weeks ago this could have so easily been a scenario that played out in our family. I am sure it is both. I try to remember that my children are on loan from the Lord. He has entrusted them to Ryan and I only for a short time. The moment can come in an instant.... So I am going to cherish the 2am feedings that have just returned, the cranky toddler that pushes me to the limit most days, the mass chaos that unfolds when I have to brush her hair, the piles of dirty clothes that accumulate because "I peed in my pants mom!" And hug my girls extra tight today! Please pray for the Busscher family.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You just wont believe it!

Ryan did it! He had a successful night with the girls... He took my advice and tried to just focus on them instead of working on his to do list.... Abby and Ryan played baseball in the yard, he gave her a bath, and put both the kids to bed before I even got home! AND the dinner dishes were even kinda picked up! Cheers to Ryan's big success!

This kind of action (or lack of it) makes blogging boring.... but it's a welcomed reprieve after the last week! Stay tuned!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I just left for a few hours... seriously!

So as most of you know, I am a mom by day and a jewelry lady by night. Last night I was headed off to the north side of Holland for a spectacular night of fun, fellowship, and jewels! I am very conscious that my dear husband sometimes has difficulty watching the girls. Mainly because he is a guy and cannot multitask like a mom can... so I had the "boobie bomb" defrosted, the pjs laid out, dinner on the table, and I had even made sure that Uncle Eric would be over to help if need be. I finished up my show, stopped at Speedway for my new addiction (Orange Cream slushy) and headed home with a few hundred bucks after a successful night. When I pulled down my street, (jamming to some Barenaked Ladies) I noticed that my mother-in-laws car was in the drive. Normally not an unusual occurrence, however, Ryan was ALONE with the girls for 3 hours.... When I walked in the door, Ryan about fell to his knees worshipping me for being home. He then explained the series of events that took place while the kids were in his command. He started by saying that dinner was a success and he even felt confident enough to bake some cookies! Impressive! Then he said, that is when all hell broke loose... he had given Lily her bottle and then placed her on our bed while he was contending with Abby. Then he heard Lily screaming and went into check on her... low and behold our dear 4 month old was laying on the floor.
NOTE TO RYAN: Dear honey, DO NOT put Lily on the bed... she can roll over and scoot her way off the bed and onto the floor. Sigh. Then Eric who was playing outside with Abby brought her in to go to the potty and then used the facilities himself. Abby apparently did not want to wait for Uncle Eric to finish his business and fled the house in criminal like quickness and let all 3 dogs out of the yard.... (Eric and Tami had their 2 dogs over to play).
Sometime during all of this Ryan's uncle Mike came by to visit.... So let's recap... Ryan, Eric, Mike. 3 men are here to contend with 2 kids... hmmm.
Ryan, completely exhausted put the kids to bed and headed down the stair to just veg out on the couch until my return...But while he was walking down the stairs he fell and tumbled to the bottom landing promptly at the end of the stairs against the bookcase.
Eric worrying about what might happen next, quickly made an exit and headed home to his wife and QUITE house.
NOTE TO ERIC AND TAMI: Enjoy this time while you still can....
Generally speaking everyone came out relatively unscathed. I called the Pediatrician this morning and Lily seems to be fine. I am CERTAIN we have not seen the last of Abby doing something "naughty". Ryan is feeling a bit sore....
NOTE TO ALL BLOG READERS: I have a show again on Monday... please stand by for more stories!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Star Family Vacation 2008

Finally back on line after a week at the cottage and 2 full days of getting "back into the swing of things". The week was fantastic and we couldn't have asked for better weather or better company. The Big Star family vacation continues for yet another year and added to the mix is little miss Lily Grace.... Lily was conceived on this very vacation last year (like any of you care)... But notable on how we as a family truly treasure this vacation! We sat on the beach, talked, ate, sat by the fire, went for evening boat cruises around the lake, ate ice cream and smores, laughed until our stomachs hurt (mostly because my husband was doing or saying something mildly to severely inappropriate!)

As always, Abby was the star of the week and was brave in everything she did... jumping from the boat to go swimming, riding the Seado with Daddy, hitting the waves in her tube, and fishing for her "big old bass". But for those of you who think I am over reacting for locking my daughter in her room at night here is a story that will confirm I know my daughter better than anyone... On Friday morning I woke up to a quiet cottage and went upstairs to check on my little monkey who I thought I would find fast asleep in her bed near the other kids... upon further inspection she was not there... Not really a big deal, because mom and dad take 3rd place when Aunt Tami, and JaJa are around, so I just assumed she was in their room bugging them. When I realized that she was not in either of their rooms I began to panic. I saw Abbys snuggle blanket laying on the floor next to the slider door, when I opened the door I saw Abby standing on the end of the dock!!!! In order to get to her I had to run down about 50 steps, and another 50 yards down the beach to get to her... I made it their in record time and feel to my knees to grab her. I am told that I was shooting sand "rooster tails" all along the way. Looking back, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about the what could have beens, or what ifs, but I am thankful the Lord gave me the nudge to go and check on her... after all, the cottage was quiet, what would make me think she just wasn't sleeping, why not just roll over and go back to sleep?I am truly thankful for my children and I am acutely aware of my abundant blessings! As Tami put it... the cottage will now be on LOCK DOWN!