Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Cookie Exchange with the Brawn girls

About every 3 months I get together with the girls that I used to work with at Brawn Mixer. We always have a fun time catching up with each other and getting filled on what is happening over there yet. Only 1 of the 5 (we were missing one of the girls) of us still works there!

Sally had her house beautifully decorated for Christmas and had her finest china out and even had her daughter serve was quite the treat!
Everyone brought a different kind of cookie for each of us to take home in a fun is a look at the goodies I came home with. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Memories

Saw this on someone's blog and thought it would be fun... join in and do your own!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I like both but supposedly you can't drink egg nog when you are pregnant. So I stick with hot chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa doesn't come to our house. At least not yet...maybe in a couple of years when there are some little ones running around!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up? The day after Thanksgiving after shopping is done.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My Aunt Betty's sweet potatoes.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Opening stocking gifts on Christmas morning.

8. How and when did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember...I just remember getting up one year and seeing my mom sneak presents into our stockings.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, we have in the past when we just can't wait til the next morning. I think that habit comes from my dad...he was always itching to open gifts.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With white lights and silver and red ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it as long as it isn't on the roads. See snow tubing pics below.

12. Can you ice skate? I used to be able to...not sure I can now. I remember my brother holding a stick for me to hang on to so I could learn.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? The first Christmas Brian and I were dating he gave me a sign that says, 'Prayer Changes Thing'. It is up in our living room and always reminds me of God bringing us together.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with family and friends. And eating lots of Christmas goodies. :o)

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Grandma's ice cream balls with lots of hot fudge.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Decorating the house with Christmas decor. Although we don't have many people come over to see our house I still love doing it.

17. What tops your tree? Nothing....the star I bought is too heavy for real trees I guess.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Honestly a little of both. I do love to see peoples expressions when you surprise them with something they weren't expecting.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night.

20. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Whatever the gift fits in best. I do LOVE to wrap presents.

21. Real tree or artificial? Definitely real.

22. When do you put up the tree? The weekend of Thanksgiving...usually Friday or Saturday.

23. When do you take the tree down? The week after New Years.

24. Do you have a nativity scene? No, my mom has this really cool one from Mexico that I always loved to put out.

25. Hardest person to buy for? Probably any guy (Brian, dad, Mike, etc.)....their gift ideas are always too expensive!

26. Easiest person to buy for? My mom.

27. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can't think of one of the top of my head....I am sure one of those $5 or $10 gifts that probably only cost $1.

28. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail...although this year I am being Scrooge and not sending any out. I figure this is our last year we can get away with it. I like to do a picture and last year we had a nice beach one....this year, nothing, so next year we will have a baby to show off!

29. Favorite Christmas movie? The Christmas that what it's called? The really old one where the kid gets his tongue stuck to the flag pole. It's on every year.

30. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The day after Thanksgiving.

31. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep! Doing it this year...just one of those $5 or $10 exchange gifts from last year that I came across. :o) Can you tell I don't like doing those? :o)

32. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Anything!

33. Travel for Christmas or stay home? Stay home...meaning Holland/Zeeland area. We are blessed to have all of our family in the area!

34. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Probably not...I could cheat and look online but that wouldn't be any fun.

35. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both!

36. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crazy mean shoppers.

37. What I love most about Christmas? Spending time with family.

38. Favorite Christmas Traditions? Having a candle light dinner with my family on Christmas Eve and then opening gifts.

39. Favorite Christmas Memory? Seeing who has the best Christmas socks at the De Jonge party.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Fun

Saturday morning I babysat our nieces Karinda and Kylie. To them it's a treat to come to Auntie Kelly's and Uncle Brian's to see the kitty and play barbies. We ventured outside and the girls played on the swing set and then we decided to get out the snow tubes and go to the OAC to sled down the big hill. The girls weren't too sure of Auntie Kelly's plan at first but by the end they loved it and were going down by themselves.
Saturday night we had the Meeuwsen Christmas party. Our families are getting bigger so this year we held the party at Vriesland Ref. Church. It worked out great. Santa Clause even showed up and surprised the kids and the guys were able to get a game of basketball in.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wintry Weekend in Chicago

This past weekend my cousin Justin married his beautiful fiance Emily in Tinley Park (Chicago area). The wedding and reception was a lot of fun and my Aunt and Uncle did a great job of taking care of us while we were there.
On Saturday my family went to the Museum of Science and Industry. It was a lot to take in and we were there over 3 hours. Apparently Brian doesn't get enough farming in so him and Mike had to sit in the combine to experience it. They had a new Farm Trend area.
After the Museum we headed to our hotel downtown, grabbed some snacks and headed out to go shopping. Well the weather wasn't exactly the greatest. It was sleeting sideways and was really cold so the 2 million shoppers were all in the stores. My mom, Brian, and Mike all had to buy hats because either their hair was wet and nasty or they were cold. We hit the Cheesecake Factory for dinner...YUMMY!

Sunday Mike and Kim went their own way to head to IKEA so Brian and I and my parents headed home but made the crucial stop at Cabela's on the way. We went to the new one in Hammond, IN and my parents were able to get some Christmas shopping done.

Brian found some friends to play poker with while we were there. :o)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our Christmas Tree

I thought I better post a picture of our tree in case you don't get over to see it. We picked it out on Saturday and finally got to decorating it Tuesday night. We were hoping to get a smaller one this come they always look smaller when they are outside? Nothing beats a real tree though!

Can you find the kitty? She feels one with nature. ha, ha. Either that or she is sick of us and wants to get wrapped up and given away this year! I hope not. I think she was actually trying to hide from me b/c I had to keep yelling at her b/c she likes to play with the bows on the presents.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday...don't worry dad I won't say how old you are! :o) We celebrated last night with none other than my dad's favorite...chocolate cake and ice cream! It was yummy and it was fun to get together for a late night snack! :o) One of my cravings (which I probably can't totally blame on pregnancy) has been chocolate so our baby will probably take after soon-to-be grandpa (and me)! My grandma brought some pictures of my dad when he was a just a little guy in case our baby looks like him. They were so cute.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our little miracle

Yesterday we had our 20 week ultrasound...what an amazing thing to witness! It was so neat to see the arms, legs, hands, face, etc., etc. We hear that little heartbeat every month which is awesome but to see our baby was truely amazing! It seemed as if the baby was sucking its thumb...that would be thanks to Brian! Hopefully the baby doesn't have the stubborn Meeuwsen blood too! :o) And we stayed strong and didn't find out what the baby was. The tech did a great job of not showing us those parts! She said we have a VERY wiggly baby that wouldn't quit moving around.

Driving home yesterday I read Borculo CRC's sign and it said, "Thank God today for the gift of life." It brought tears to my eyes. It really sunk in to think that I am carrying a human being inside of me...God is awesome!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Project # 1....complete!

One of the things I wanted to finish up while Brian is gone was to sand and paint the rocking chair that his parents gave us. Here is the before picture with Rylee modeling it. She even helped me sand it down! :o)

And the after picture. If I do say so myself I think it turned out great! I will probably have Jen make me a seat cushion to match the curtains she is making me. She is definitely a BEST friend!

Now on to the next project. I have a couple more things I want to get done this weekend so hopefully I do!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Backyard Wildlife

So this morning I am getting ready and this is what I see out in our backyard!!! I counted about 30 turkeys and there was a deer right in the middle of the mix. Brian is off to hunting camp today so maybe if he doesn't get a deer I just might have to do the deed myself and "provide for the family." Ha, ha...yeah right!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Must be a comfort thing...

In the last couple of weeks we noticed that Lucky likes to lay by our clothes. Not sure if it is our scent that she enjoys or if she feels protected laying next to something. Last night I was folding laundry and she fell asleep right next to the piles. Then Brian came home from basketball so she came in the bedroom and laid on his pants. I know, cats ARE strange creatures but she is so darn cute, how can you resist her?
Little background on our cat--Lucky is probably about a year old. The day after Thanksgiving last year my mom "rescued" her so she thought we should have her. She was probably only about 5-6 weeks old. I was game for having her; on the other hand Brian came home and was NOT happy with me. We always thought we would be the couple that had deprived kids b/c we wouldn't have any animals. For one, I am very allergic to dogs and cats don't bother me near as much so I have always liked them. If you saw how Brian acted with Lucky today you would die of laughter. It's pretty pathetic but he looks for her when he comes home before me! She is very low maintenance. She goes in and out as she wants so no litter box to deal with and she is very good with our neighbor kids. She's not one of those typical cats that you never see around the house. Okay, enough on our cat! Next spring the cat will probably be obsolete and all you will hear about is the baby! :o)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baby Update

I forgot to post about the most important thing! Yesterday I had my 18 week appt. and all looked good. The heartbeat was 150 (no guessing what this baby is) and all else looked good. I gained back the 2 lbs. I lost so I am still at a net gain of zero which was fine by me and was fine with the Dr. as well. On the 19th I get to go in for my 20 week ultrasound so we are really excited for that!

Oh and congrats to Mark and Vicki on the birth of their new baby girl, Alyssa Joy! Hopefully there are some pics up on their blog soon. We are excited to see her!

Busy few days

This weekend we did a lot of birthday celebrating. Friday night we went to Chuck E. Cheese since Kylie will turn 3 this Friday. The girls had a lot of fun playing the games and watching Chuck E.

As you can see Karinda is the photogenic one....Kylie, not so much. :o)

Saturday night we stuck with tradition and took just Kylie out for her b-day for a special night with Uncle Brian and Auntie Kelly. We first went to Red Robin for dinner and of course Brian had to play a 50 cent game and he won a stuffed animal on his first try! It was the monkey from Aladdin. He tried to convince Kylie that was good enough and we didn't need to go to Build a fooling her! So off we went to the mall and first road the Carousel and then went to Build a Bear.
Sunday we had a nice relaxing day and then we decided to go check out the Todd Farms in Fennville to look for deer. There was still quite a bit of corn up but we are able to see some nice bucks. Then it was off to Crane's for dinner! Our desserts were to die for!
Last night we had the privilege of going to the Young Life dinner with Jason and Martha. It was a fun night out with friends and they had a great program as well. Thanks guys for inviting us!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat

Last night I met Brian at ZFS after work to see Karinda and Kylie in their costumes...they were so cute as usual!
Then our only two trick or treaters for the evening were these crazy kids! (or should I say adults!) Thanks Tim and Jen for coming over so I could at least say I had trick or treaters!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our furry friends

Last night our cat Lucky was sitting on the ledge going downstairs and I thought it was funny b/c she was almost posing like a statue with our lovely deer. So I guess we have two animals, not one. Ladies...don't worry....if you are in the living room or kitchen you can't see the deer. See how nice he fits in that little cubby hole going downstairs? :o)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday Showers

On Saturday we had two showers. In the morning my mom, my sister-in-law and I threw a bridal shower for my cousin Justin's fiance, Emily. We had a lot of fun and we really enjoyed Emily's stories....Map Quest sent them down a gravel road to my parents house and they came across a flock (its probably called something else) of turkeys and they flipped out. She is from Chicago so this was something she definitely wasn't used to so it was funny to listen to her tell the story. And the stories about Justin adjusting to Chicago.....he definitely takes after his dad and will talk to anyone! Anways....sorry, I guess you had to be there!

Here is a pic of Emily (left) and her sister Samantha. camera doesn't take good indoor pics.

Then at night we had a couples baby shower for our friends Brent and Candace. I went to grade school with Candace and grew up with Brent so they have me to thank for setting them up! :o)Now they have a little one on the way in December. It was a lot of fun to catch up with the old South Olive group. Brian was quite the trooper playing the games...he had never been to a couples shower before so now he finally got to experience what us woman do! :o)

Here are the guys trying to figure out what kind of baby food they are looking at.

Candace and Brent checking out a blanket that Jen made for them (yes, we her nickname is Martha). :o) She is making curtains for my living room and nursery right now...I can't wait to get them!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Washington Briefing cont...

I was able to help out with book signings for some of our speakers so I was able to get some pictures taken with them which was cool. All of the Republican presidential candidates were there but b/c we were so busy I watched most of them on the TV screen in the registation area. Supposedly the Clintons and Mrs. Bush were there the night before our event for some big dinner. are some pics with some neat people.

Newt Gingrich

Jenna and I with Ben Stein.

Bill Bennett

And of course my cat, Lucky. As you can see she wanted to make sure yesterday that I didn't leave her again. She some how slide under my carry on bag strap. Too funny.

FRC Action Washington Briefing 2007

WOW! What a weekend! We had over 2,600 attendees at our annual Washington Briefing event in DC. It was a busy weekend but a lot of fun! I think I slept most of the day away yesterday to catch up on sleep. Here are just a few pictures of the weekend.

Here is our registration/check-in area. I helped out here most of the time. Don't we look professional?? :o)

Here is a picture of the massive ballroom. It holds 4,000 people and it was really cool. Sorry the pic didn't turn out the greatest. The event was held at the Hilton Washington---it was the hotel where President Reagan was shot at.

On Sunday we went to the roof top restaurant at the Hotel Washington. It was really neat over looking the city. Here is Sara and I enjoying our Chocolate Monument dessert. It was HUGE and we shared it with about 6 other people!

Here is a view from the restaurant. This one is a picture of the top of the White House. President Bush must have been there b/c there were two snipers on top. It was fun to watch them.

And of course we had to take a stroll past the white house.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Babies, babies, babies....

...that is what it seems like our life is turning into. But we are excited about that! And it sure is fun! Friday night we went to dinner with Caden and his mommy and daddy; Saturday we had a baby shower for Vicki Lucas with the girls and Sunday morning we welcomed another addition to the Amber Rose crew! Sydney Elizabeth was born Sunday morning to Heathe and Briana weighing in at 10 lbs! She is adorable and looks just like her sister Rylee. So it must be live on Amber Rose you have baby far 6 little girls, 0 little boys! Wonder what we will have? :o) Here are some pics from the weekend.This week I am off to Washington DC to help out at our annual Washington Briefing. It will be a busy few days but hopefully I can get some pics of the presidential hopefuls! About half of our office is headed that way. It is always a fun time but we are all ready to come back to West MI when its done.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pumpkin Parade

Saturday I rode the ZFS float in Zeeland's pumpkin parade. It was HOT to say the least. Karinda rode her preschool float with mom so Kylie rode the ZFS float with me. There was quite a big turn out so we had fun waving to everyone but were ready to find some shade!
Other weekend events....Friday night we got to hang out with our buddy Jacob and his mommy and daddy to hear all of his daddies hunting stories. Saturday night we went out with friends Mark and Vicki before their baby arrives. Sunday we just chilled out and went to Captain Sundae for their last open night! Yesterday I got to hang out for a little bit with my other buddy Grace. Lots of babies all of a sudden! Just got word that one of my friends growing up just had a baby boy! Congrats to Beth and Jon!

Our baby update....went to the doctor yesterday. I actually lost 2 pounds (if you know me I am not complaining about that!), heartbeat was 155 and all my blood work came back great so everything is going good! Feeling great! Just having a lot of dreams lately!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fall Softball Season

Monday night the guys had their last softball game for the fall season. Jason took some great action pics on his high tech camera. Here are a couple good shots he got of Brian. Check out that form (and facial expression!)! :o)
Now its bowling on Wednesday nights and soon enough basketball season will begin....just ask Brian...he's an athlete! ha,ha....

Monday, October 1, 2007

Corn Maze

Yesterday we went to the Corn Maze at Crane's Orchards. Boy, did we get lost! But we finally found our way out. It was HOT so we were ready to find the end!

Enduro race

Saturday we headed down to Hartford, MI to watch my brother race in the 200 lap enduro race at Hartford Speedway. It was nice b/c it was an afternoon race...otherwise we are there til wee hours of the night. Dad and Brian were the pit crew while Kim, mom and I sit in the stands to count the laps...I know....does it sound like a bunch of red necks? It is! This was the first race that Mike finished! He finished 4th. (he was car #70 as you can see on the scoreboard). About 23 cars started the race and only 8 finished. I guess that's why they call it an enduro race!