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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In The Kitchen



Taylor was cooking up some yummy meals today in her kitchen. After Gymboree, we stopped at Walmart searching for a plastic shopping cart for Taylor. She's played with them before and LOVES the kiddy shopping carts. So far, I'm not having any luck finding her the shopping cart. Target and Walmart don't have them. Oh well, we'll continue to look as I'm sure she has plenty of other toys to play with. So instead of leaving Walmart with nothing, I bought her pots and pans for her cute kitchen set that she got this past Christmas.

I have to say, I REALLY love being a mom. I would die for these little ones as I'm sure most moms would do the same. I just love them so much -- it's really an incredible feeling. Thank you God for allowing me to stay home with them because they really are growing up so fast!

Funny story for the day: Taylor has been testing us to see if we are going to be consistent with spanking her. So at dinner time as she is sitting in her highchair, she grabs a piece of food and drops it off the side always making a mess on the floor. She gets her hand spanked and then gives us a huge smile like "That's all you've got dad!" She kept on doing it with different food items -- first her pear, then the asparagus, and so on. Hank kept up with her and calmly explained that we don't throw our food. What did she do? She laughed in his face. Which made me chuckle, which made Hank chuckle, which made Taylor laugh even harder. Lesson for the day to a toddler: Drop food on the floor and make mommy and daddy laugh!
Monday, July 28, 2008

New Traditions





When we purchased our new house, we knew we wanted to use it to reach out and bless others. We knew that we wanted to be more hospitable and to have a house for family and friends to come and gather and create lifelong memories. We wanted to create an atmosphere of love and acceptance....

So our new tradition is to host and serve others whether it be a meal, game night, playdates for the kids, or just kicking back and enjoying a Corona in the new backyard. Hank and I have purposefully set aside Sunday nights to host different friends and neighbors for dinner and fun. So far we've had several couples over and are really enjoying our nights with old friends, new friends, and of course our extended family. On Saturday night, we had some neighbors come over to play a good old-fashioned game of Clue. Sunday night we had our neighbors from our old neighborhood over for dinner. And tonight we had Shane and Tish, friends from CCV, over with their adorable little girl, Payton. Taylor and Payton are only two months apart. It's fun to see other kids at the same stage of our daughter. They play well together side by side even though both of our little ones were a little cranky by the end of the night.

Of course I didn't have my camera handy for the really cute moments like when Taylor was bending down eye level with Payton's belly trying to check out her belly button or when the two girls were walking across the room and together they were pushing a stroller. But even though we didn't capture those great moments with a camera, we will always remember them.
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Uncle Josh and Aunt Kendrie Visit


It was great to see Josh and Kendrie this afternoon. We're so excited for them as they await their little Laila to come into the world in December. Little Taylor and Landon look forward to having their future cousin over for play time. As far as the afternoon went, all of us hung out for a couple hours while Taylor bounced her way around her Aunt and Uncle on the couch, and Landon spoke quite intelligently to Kendrie about the timing that milk should be administered to young children of about 3 months old. His diplomatic speach actually worked wonders as he soon found himself managing a bottle.
Friday, July 25, 2008

NAU Moms Club




Today we had a playdate with some of my girlfriends from NAU. Back in the good old days, we used to be young adults facing the brand new world on our own. Now we are all grown up and leading families of our own. Time passes by so quickly.... The first photo was priceless. While the moms were chit-chatting, I saw the kids jumping up and down on a couch from the corner of my eye. The next photo is of me, Lindsay (one of my college roommates), Mindy (we go all the way back to high school), and Carrie (who I also met in college). The four of us volunteered our time to the Young Life Ministry. That was probably the highlight of our college years together. Anyway, the photo of us moms was taken by Lindsay's 4-year-old daughter, Abigail. It was so good to see them all. We live so close we need to do this more often!
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Schepemaker Royalty






Did you know that we have a prince and princess in our family? Sure do! We might only be Burger King royalty but that's something to be proud of. I feel like I've been trapped at home all week because the kids have had crazy sleep schedules this week and Hank and I went for two nights with limited sleep. We don't really know why both kids took their turns at keeping us up, but we are glad it's over. So today was somewhat of a normal day. We stopped by CCV to say hi to my old team members who I worked with for almost 4 years. Then we met up with Hanky at Burger King for a quick dinner before we took Taylor to Gymboree. Like the Shakira song, my hips don't lie, and therefore I probably should not eat from BK more than once a year. It was good though I must admit. Enjoy the photos of our prince and princess. We think they are quite cute!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just Another Day

Monday, July 21, 2008

First Dip

Last night we took the kids to the brand new pool right by our house. We packed up our dinner and ate poolside. Taylor was able to practice all that she learned from swim lessons and loved walking up and down the steps into the pool. We took Landon in the pool for the first time as well and he really loved it. Hank had the little guy floating and just chillin' out in the warm water. It was a great way to end the weekend.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Milestones




It's been a HUGE week at the Schepemaker home. The first milestone we accomplished this week was when Landon starting sleeping through the night. We put him to sleep Wednesday night like normal. I woke up at 6:00 AM and was asking Hank what time he last fed the baby. He said he didn't and that I should check on Landon to see if he was still alive. I bolted in his room to see him sleeping peacefully and then did my little "thank you God" dance in the hallway. Our little guy has slept four nights in a row without interruption. This is huge for us since we can now get more sleep every night. All of those who know me well know that I need a solid 8-10 hours of sleep at night.

Taylor's BIG milestone is that her hair is somewhat long enough to put in a ponytail. She looks so cute with it and didn't even pull it out. She doesn't let me put cute little clips in her hair anymore so the ponytail will take its place.

Funny story for the day: We dropped off both kids at the church nursery this morning in cute little outfits. Well on the way to church, Taylor decided it would be fun to drain an entire bottle of water on her lap. So she was soaking wet when she got out of the car. We thought it would be OK since it was warm out. When Hank picked up Taylor from her class after church let out, she was in a different outfit. The teachers told Hank they didn't know how she got wet, but they didn't want to keep the child in a soaking wet outfit. Hank didn't say a word and thanked them for their helpfulness. At the same time, I was picking up Landon and he was wearing a different outfit that I had fortunately packed in the diaper bag. Landon had a MAJOR explosion and his outfit had to be changed. So we left church with two kids in two differnt outfits than we arrived in. That must be why I do like 10 loads of laundry a week!

Yesterday I left Taylor at home with daddy. Landon and I went to Joann's baby shower for cousin Christopher. All of the ladies loved the babies and wanted to hold the kiddos. Landon was enjoying every moment. It was good to see everyone and introduce Landon to most of my mom's friends who had not yet seen him. The weekend has flown by but don't they all!
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Playdates Galore





So far this week we've had several playdates.... On Wednesday morning, my friends Stephanie and Robin came over with their kiddos. This morning, my neighbor Grace came over with her 4-month-old son Vincent. And this afternoon, my college friend Brandi came over with her one-year-old daughter Lauren. Tomorrow morning we are hosting the neighborhood infants and their moms. Playdates make the week go by so much faster.

Oh yeah, the Naimos and the Schepemakers are reinstating arranged marriages. Little Bennett and Taylor have been promised to eachother by their loving moms. Just a quick funny story: Every time I change Landon's diaper, Taylor is extremely interested and wants to pinch Landon you know where. At first I let her do it because I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but then daddy said I needed to put a stop to it. So now I just try to change him at warp speed if she is around and inquisitive. Well, when Bennett was over the other day and needed a diaper change, Taylor was quick to watch the whole process and offer her assistance. I told Taylor she needed to wait about 30 years and when she is married she could resume her inquisitive nature.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gymboree

Today we were back at Gymboree for more fun. I might transfer Taylor to a different class because right now she is the only kid in the class. It's a good thing because she gets a lot of attention and direction from the teachers, but she is such a social butterfly that she is missing out on the interaction with other kids. What's a mom to do! Taylor is continuing to talk more and more. I love to hear her sweet little voice. Her favorite words are kitty cat, dadda and baby. Landon came with us to Gymboree. Normally he stays home with Hank. I am posting two videos from class today. At the end of each class, the teacher blows recognition bubbles on all of the kids and parents. Landon even received bubbles for his involvement!
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Monday, July 14, 2008

A Good Start






Normally I dread Mondays because that means the weekend has quickly passed by yet again, and it's another 5 days until the next weekend. But today was a great way to jump start our week. We went back to Tot Town and saw our good friends the Pollings, the Naimos, and the Jensens. Taylor played for 2 hours straight and is developing a bad habit of running away from me when I call her name instead of coming to me. After she played, we had lunch in the cafe. We had a mommy table and a kids table. Of course one of us moms was always running to the kid table to help out. It is always a treat though to have some adult conversation in my daily activities. You know I've lost it if I ask you what does a cat say. Taylor's vocabulary is starting to take off. She has about 20 words that she knows, half of which sound like Gibberish.
Sunday, July 13, 2008

Playing in the Rain

Landon (3 Months Old)

I Survived

I had to single mom it for two days and I did it...I survived. Hank had a great time with the guys and he has helped two different friends move this weekend. So finally this afternoon, we were able to hang out as a family. I thought Taylor would be saying "dadda" every 5 minutes because Hank was gone but she didn't. I can tell that she is wanting mommy more and more which of course makes my mommy emotions explode with happiness. As I write this posting, Hank is passed out on the couch snoring away and it's only 8:30 pm. To recap our weekend, I took the kids to Gymboree Friday afternoon and then we had dinner with our neighbors at a local pizza joint. Saturday morning Auntie Kendrie and Grandma Schepemaker came over for a visit. Saturday afternoon we headed over to the Browns to pick up daddy and watch them move in...well Hank helped but the kids and I watched. Today we went to church and spent the afternoon playing in the backyard. Taylor even played in the rain and enjoyed it. It was good for Hank to get away, but I don't think I can give him up again until the kids are a little older.
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spoons & "Wheel of Fortune"

Highlights from today: We had a playdate over at Bonnie & Katie's house, Daddy came home early from work to spend time with us before his "guys" trip, Taylor took a 3-hour nap, Mommy received a bouquet of flowers from Daddy, Taylor ate with a SPOON for the first time, and the family camped out and watched "Wheel of Fortune" together before bedtime. A little background on "Wheel of Fortune" since you are dying to know, Hank and I watch it faithfully almost every night. Taylor listened to "Wheel of Fortune" almost every night while in the womb. Taylor now is a "Wheel of Fortune" fan herself. I would say she almost prefers this game show compared to even the best that Baby Einstein has to offer. It was so cute tonight, she grabbed one of her favorite blankies and sat in Landon's bouncy chair which we parked right in front of the TV for her. Her eyes were glued to the TV set for almost 30 minutes. I guess that is just one of the many traits she has inherited from her "cool" folks. The "Wheel of Fortune" video was a little too dark to post so instead you get the privilege of watching Taylor eat with a spoon for the first time. Enjoy! P.S. Why has no one commented on the lovely Korean mariachi band video that I posted last week? That clip was AWESOME!
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Love, Peace, Laughter, Joy & Light Heartedness


To my dearest Taylor and Landon. I will miss you two these next couple days. The two sun flowers symbolize the two special people that you are and the special gifts that you are to me. The third sunflower represents your mommy and the beautiful woman, loving mother, and priceless gift that she is to me. Whenever your mom and I see sunflowers we have wonderful memories and think of the many reasons why God meant for us to be together. Now we know more of the reasons why: He also had the two of you in His mind. The three of you are such bright lights in my life and without you I would know what it means to not have COMPLETE JOY in my heart. The pink roses remind me of all the light-hearted fun we have as a family and all of the opportunities we are going to have together to make fun and laughter. When I saw these pink roses I felt what we have in our hearts together: Love, Peace, Laughter Joy and Light Heartedness. I pray that the Lord Jesus will always shower you with these blessings of His.

Love your Dorky Daddy
I miss you guys already and can't wait to see you! xxooxxoo
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Daddy Is Home

The kids, especially Taylor, love it when Hank comes home from work. As soon I hear him pulling up in the driveway, I say to Taylor: "Daddy is home." She runs to the door in anticipation for him and greets him with the biggest smile ever and immediately gives him a hug. I know Hank loves those moments and looks forward to coming home to the family. Here are a couple video clips of him playing with the kiddos.
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Baby Einstein Saves the Day

Landon is definitely more laid back then Taylor ever was. Landon, now 3 months old, peacefully watched Baby Einstein today with his older sister Taylor, almost 18 months old. Until recently, Taylor would not sit still for more than 2 minutes. Today though, she enjoyed most the show just chillin' out. I caught a cute picture of them together and thought I would post it.
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Tot Town




On Monday I took the kids to Tot Town at a local church. It's a really cool set-up for the kids with a gymnasium full of toys for toddlers. Landon crashed out in the stroller, and Taylor ran around the entire time playing with all the cool toys. She ran herself so ragged that she took a 3 hour nap when we got home! The only bad part was that she had her first tantrum when we left. Not a pretty site. I was telling Hank that I hope she remembers her mom as the person who took her to all of the fun places instead of the person who ended her fun.
Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Night with Friends


Tonight we headed over to Steve & Angie's house to hang out. It seems like we rarely get to see our good friends anymore. LeeAnne and Eric were also there so it was 6 adults, 9 kids, and one "bun" in the oven. Angie goes in the hospital on Tuesday to have baby Tanner. Anyway, we had to try to get one photo of all the kids which wasn't so easy. Taylor and Landon had a good time getting out for a little bit and playing with friends.
Friday, July 4, 2008

The Best Drummer Around...He's Totally Serious

OK, this has nothing to do with Taylor or Landon. I just came across this video and almost pee'd my pants. I'm still laughing. I have no idea how this ties into 4th of July.... The video is 3 minutes long but worth every second. Enjoy!

Independence Day










Today Hank and I talked about all the reasons why we are thankful to live in America. I can't wait to have these conversations in a couple years and be able to include Taylor and Landon on the discussions. Anyway, we deeply love our country and are so thankful to the soldiers who daily protect us from harm. We will never be able to personally thank all of the men and women who serve our country, but in our hearts we are thankful and lift them up in prayer.

So on to the 4th of July celebrations.... We tried taking Taylor to the mall so she could play in kiddie land, but the stench of stinky feet and the hundreds of kids and parents crammed in this small playzone literally made us keep on walking. So we walked the mall for an hour while Taylor flirted with anyone who would look her way. Landon just chilled out in the stroller and seemed to enjoy the field trip.

After the mall, we headed over to Grandpa and Grandma Schepemaker's house, where we ate a yummy meal, watched "The Bucket List", chilled out with family, watch Taylor perform on the piano, and played several rounds of Mexican Train (a domino game). Tomorrow Hank and I are dropping the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa's house so we can go with some friends to the Diamondbacks game.



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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mini Me




I was waiting for this moment.... Taylor found my breast pump. Not only did she find it, she has tried several times today to use it. She is very intrigued to say the least. I know you are thinking I must have encouraged her to do this, but I really didn't. My little genius did it on her own. What a proud mom I am! I hope this gives you a laugh for the day. I sure needed one.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Windy Afternoon

The Kiddos Playground


CUDDLE CREW!




Hangin Out in Back Yard

Great Oma Pays a Visit

Great Oma came over and spent some quality time with Taylor and Landon. Her great grandkids smothered her on the couch during a priceless photo session. Taylor still loves the elephant rocker and Noah's Ark toys that Great Oma gave her. A lot of the kiddos in the neighborhood love those animals too. We've also been working on 0ur back yard and it's pretty much done. Taylor loves to take little strolls around the walk path like her dad and in a couple weeks the grass will be able to handle the good ol' Slip and Slide. Can't wait to see Taylor and Landon break that back yard in. Thank you Lord for the blessing of a back yard! Hopefully their neighbor friends will want to join them in cooling off in the sprinklers too. It's no doubt HOT ENOUGH! And I know you can tell which way the wind is blowing in the American Flag Picture with Taylor but can you find the second American Flag?