Monday, January 25, 2010

Pancakes for Ruby

Last year, I wrote this post about the Ten Haken family and their daughter, Ruby. Well, Ruby has been home for over a year, and although she has gone through MANY different treatments, she continues to have seizures. Mark and Kelli are hoping to start a new treatment soon, but it is not covered by insurance. Some of their friends are hosting a pancake breakfast on February 20 to help cover some of the costs of these new treatments. Please click here to read more details about this event and if you are in the area, COME! They are also planning to have a similar event in the Worthington, MN area in the next few months.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Do you remember that commercial? No, I am not having a baby, but my best friend Rachel just had the sweetest little boy on Friday. Reid Alan. Auntie Jonna (that's me) guessed the gender and date of birth and was only off by 9 oz on the weight. I am STILL waiting for my prize...

Anyways, Tyson and Jori were both SO excited to meet baby Reid on Saturday afternoon. Seriously, they just gazed on him with love. It was very sweet. Then when we got in the car Jori said "When we have OUR baby Reid, I am going to carry him around BY MYSELF". Um, no and no. So, in light of not having a real baby to play with they did the next best thing. And here is the photographic evidence.

Dr. Fey at your service. Jori looks a little scared. If only she knew what childbirth REALLY entailed...

Tyson/new dad kept saying "Check her ears". Doesn't she look thrilled with the care she's receiving?
The proud new father. He was SO encouraging and kept telling us "She's just doing great".
The hospital set up. Lots of pillows and blankets. Tyson wanted Jori to "criss cross applesauce", but Jori said "No, Auntie was sitting like THIS" and stuck her legs out straight. Glad they were paying attention.
The new mother resting with her babies, Hyla and Helen. "Can moms have 2 babies at the same time?" Yes children, they can.
They played for a good hour and were just so cute. They wanted to do everything just right. Tyson kept telling Jori to rest and she would squeeze her eyes shut. She was acting like the queen of the castle, which is how it should be for a woman who's just given birth!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bible ABC's- Tyson

Presenting Tyson Alan. Right before I started taping him, he put on his "prince" jacket so that he would look more handsome. Please, don't let the dust on the fireplace or the bowl on his head distract you from the words coming out of his mouth : )

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We're learning our Bible ABC's

Since about October, Tyson and Jori have been memorizing some Bible verses. We have made it all the way up to the letter "L"! I am amazed at how much they have been able to retain. Today I was able to get Jori to recite the verses she has learned. As an added bonus, you get to see some of her sweet moves : ) (and yes, she is checking herself out in the fireplace glass).

A: "A friend loves at all times" Proverbs 17:17

B: "Be kind and compassionate to one another" Ephesians 4:32

C: "Create in my a clean heart O God" Psalm 51:10
D: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth" Ephesians 4:29

E: "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise" Psalm 100:4
F: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" John 3:16

G: "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation" Mark 16:15
H: "Honor your father and your mother" Exodus 20:12 (This is their favorite. They say it like the kid on Psalty's Kids Praise 5)

I: "I am the bread of life" John 6:48
J: "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching" John 14:23
K: "Keep falsehood and lies far from me" Proverbs 30:8
L: "Let the little children come and do not hinder them" Mark 10:14 (or "and do not forbid them for such is the kingdom of heaven" depending on their mood)

Sledding down a hill...

Darin and the kids had a great time playing in the snow on Sunday. I am so thankful that Darin is such a hands on dad who truly enjoys being with his kids, especially on cold days!!

I love how Jori just keeps plugging away to get up the hill. Tyson makes it up, down and over halfway back up the hill before she gets to the top.

They have so much fun together. I don't know if you can hear it on the video, but one of them says "Let's carry it like a canoe". Then up on their heads it goes.

Fun with daddy.

It was fun to just sit back and watch the three of them play. Thank you God for my family!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Tomato Pasta

This is a re-post of a recipe that I first wrote about here. We just had it again a couple nights ago and it was SO good. I picked out the tomatoes for the kids and they chowed down on the rest. I had used pre-cooked bacon last time, but the real was so much better. The mini bow tie pasta was a big hit with the kids. I misread the recipe AGAIN and cooked the whole box of pasta-way too much. On the positive side, Tyson ate the plain cooked pasta with Parmesan cheese and butter for lunch and dinner the next day. The leftovers were a little on the dry side, so after reheating them, I poured a little Italian dressing on top. YUM!

You will need:
3 cups pasta (bow tie, shells, or mini bow tie are all good choices)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut in chunks (season with SOMETHING-the pepper or another spice)
3 slices bacon cut up/crumbled
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes (not drained. I used plain tomatoes.)
4 oz cream cheese (we use the 1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup water (maybe more, maybe less)
1/4 tsp pepper
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top if desired

Cook Pasta as directed. Meanwhile, cook chicken in large skillet over medium high heat until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. When chicken is cooked, add everything else except the Parmesan. Mix well (you don't want cream cheese chunks). Drain pasta, add sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan. We are not so fancy and I just throw the pasta in with the other stuff once it's drained. I also hold back some of the crumbled/cut up bacon and toss it on top before serving.

Christmas in Edgerton 2009-Part 2

Thursday morning we were supposed to head back to Sioux Center to have pictures of all the grandkids taken. However due to weather concerns and fears that our kids (especially Tyson) would go insane if they had to be in the car again, we decided it was best to stay in Edgerton for the day (sorry LaShawn!). Daci and her kids came over for part of the day, but left before the weather got too bad. Some churches were already canceling their Christmas Day services because of concerns for the snow and ice that were predicted to hit the area. We found out Darin's parents church was cancelled later that night.

Christmas morning we all got up and after a few calls were glad to find out that Grandpa Van was already out clearing their driveway and Uncle Randy, Aunt Jan and Orey would be free to join us since the rest of their kids were stuck in Iowa and Nebraska where the weather was much worse. We had a wonderful meal and found out that Tyson and Jori both LOVE ham. It was a pretty quiet Christmas Day with no church and not too many people out on the roads. That night the kids were thrilled to open some presents from Grandpa Rick and Grandma Karen.

Here's Grandma opening Rosa's new camera.
Jori hugging her new Little Mermaid towel and Tyson opening some Spiderman placematsHugs for GrandmaNew jammies for JoriTyson's new "doctor" shirt, complete with bloodstains!
Saturday morning came and we found out that the roads to Sioux Falls were closed. This was bad news for us because we had plans to go to a hotel with an indoor water park. We waited around for a few hours and then decided to take our chances and we left. LaShawn was held up for a bit because the weather by her was much worse than what we were dealing with. Thankfully we were all together by dinner time. Sadly, I have no pictures of our time at the hotel because our camera has been taking so many fuzzy pics that I didn't bother bringing it out to the pool. I will post some pictures once one of my dear in-laws passes them on to me : )

The time at the hotel was a lot of fun for all of us (ok, maybe not as much for those chasing children under age 2) and it was the perfect Christmas gift. Thanks mom and dad! We had been at this same hotel when Jori was 18 months. At that time, she kept falling in the kiddie pool and couldn't get herself back up. This time she was going down the water slide BY HERSELF! She did have on a life jacket and her cousins were there to pull her to the stairs, but still, what a difference 2 years make! Tyson loved being on his own and being one of the "big" kids. It is always fun seeing the kids play with their Uncle Israel and cousins and we are thankful for opportunities when our families can all be together.

Monday morning we headed back to Edgerton. We might have headed home that day, but the Vikings were playing that night and Darin COULD NOT miss the game. This was one time I was thankful for the Vikings because I wasn't ready to head home yet! Other than some throwing up (which later became a mini-epidemic) by Zachary we all spent a fun evening together. We left on Tuesday morning and I held a bucket on my lap the first 1/2 hour of the ride. At least 2 other family members (Brooklynn and Jordan) had gotten sick that night and I really had to practice mind over matter and tell myself that I was NOT sick.

Thankfully we made it home safely and without anyone tossing their cookies!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas in Edgerton, December 2009 (Part 1)

Once again we headed to Minnesota for Christmas with the Feys. We drove down on Tuesday and I am so glad we went when we did. We know of quite a few people from Michigan that were going to leave on Wednesday or Thursday and never made it out of the state because of the weather in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. For the first time, we didn't head straight to MN, but stayed with Darin's sister in Sioux Center, Iowa. It was fun getting to spend some one on one time with the VanDeBerg's!

On Wednesday morning, we met our good friends, the Schemper's, at Casey's Bakery. Darin and Tyler were in the Engineering program together at Dordt,and Tami and I went to middle and high school together, and then she went to Dordt, while I made the wise choice to go to Calvin (just kidding. I love Dordt College!) I am so thankful it worked out for us to spend some time together. Tyson really wanted to stay and play with his cousin Kaden, so we only had Jori with us. She and Mollie had a lot of fun playing together, throwing their "guys" at old people, jumping off stairs (and scaring their parents in the process) and just being silly girls.

Cody got to join the fun for a while too, but was stuck in a high chair most of the time so the adults could actually visit! (Yes, I know the pic is fuzzy. It's all I have!)
After saying good-bye to the Schemper's, we picked Tyson up, said good-bye to LaShawn and the kids, and headed to Edgerton. The weather reports were not looking good and we did NOT want to get stuck in any snow!

On Wednesday night, we had the Fey/Vanden Berg Christmas party. We had a fun time playing Bingo and catching up with relatives that we don't see very often. A special part of the night is when the kids get their Christmas presents from Grandpa and Grandma Van!

Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Finally, a meal the whole family ate with NO complaints. Even Jori asked for seconds. That makes this meal a winner in my book. It is also a crock pot recipe, which makes it even more of a winner.

You will need:
Boneless chicken breasts (I made three, but will make at least 4-5 next time)
2 apples
Lemon juice (to keep the apple from browning)
BBQ sauce

Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each boneless uncooked chicken breast and place in crock pot. Peel 2 apples and grate them, and then spread over top of chicken. Mix together 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and 3 tsp of lemon juice and pour over top of apples and chicken and cook for 8 hours on low.

I cooked mine on high for an hour and on low for 5 hours, put the lemon juice right on the grated apple to make sure I covered it all, used frozen chicken breasts and used one piece of bacon on one breast and didn't hear any complaints. I found this recipe on someone else's blog, and she had found it from somewhere else.

I will get around to writing about our wonderful Christmas in Minnesota once I upload our pictures, so stay tuned...