crafties

ledger's new latest obsession is making crafts.  he wants to make a ton of different things out of paper and make 'crafties'.  now, this is all well and good, but the problem we are facing is that ledger is a bit of a perfectionist and doesn't think his drawings or work is as good as he wants it to be.  so that means that he demands that diana and i draw everything and cut out everything for him!  he just directs us as to what he would like us to make...  this is ok for a little while, but he wants to make crafties for hours every single day!  diana eventually decided to make a sign for when she was willing to help him make crafts- she wrote on one side 'open' and the other side 'closed'!  sorry buddy, the craft shop is closed, we ain't making you anything right now!
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decorating for christmas

as ledger gets a little older he has become more and more obsessed with the holidays.  i've always been a bit of a scrooge when it comes to christmas decorations (except for, as my mom tells me, one year when i was obsessed with wanting to put christmas lights all over my bedroom...), being the first one to complain when stores start putting up christmas stuff after labor day...
but that little guy has even melted my grinchy heart.  with being in our own place for the first christmas with an interested child, we decided to splurge a little bit on decorations.  we got a nice big christmas tree, decorations, and a bunch of lights to put out on our balcony.  when it was finally time to put up the tree (which was a reasonable time after thanksgiving), ledge was so thrilled about it!  we made a whole night of it and took our time setting everything up while we had christmas music playing in the background.  ledger loved every single minute of it- and so did diana and i!
i will admit, its starting to feel a lot like christmas!
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roku 3

as we've gotten settled into our new place we knew we weren't going to go the route of getting cable tv.  we did a little research as to what might be the best option for doing the internet and subscription only thing, and we decided on getting a roku.  we have netflix and recently got amazon prime, so we loaded it up and tried it out.
let me tell you, this thing is awesome!  its got little app icons for each of the subscription channels, and a whole bunch of other ones.  we've got one for each of the networks, history channel, syfy, youtube, cnn, pbs, and even a ton of kids ones for ledge.  this thing has been amazing and we don't miss cable at all!  the only thing that is a bother is trying to watch live events.  we don't watch any sports, so that's not an issue, but it may be a challenge trying to watch the oscars when they come on.  hopefully they will be streaming somewhere online by then, but i've got a digital antenna as well just in case!

a new bed


as our boy gets bigger and bigger, we decided it was time to get rid of his crib and finally get him a bed.  we ordered him one and when it arrived we tore it open and strapped on our tool belts!  i had my little helper right there to help me put it together- he sure felt like a big boy using daddy's tools and everything!  once we got it all put together and set up he hopped in and loved it.  its so much smaller than his old crib and gives him the chance to feel like a big boy with his big boy bed!
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ledger's first movie

so, i'm kind of obsessed with movies.  they are my passion and hobby.  i've never been interested in sports, instead i get that thrill from seeing a new movie or reading about movie related stuff.
so many guys are excited when they become a father to have a first catch with their sons, or teach them how to play different sports.  not me.  i have been excited to show my son movies!  well, i finally got the chance to take him to the movie theater for the first time!  he's been old enough to enjoy a movie and handle himself in the theater for a while now, but i wanted his first theater experience to be connected with a special movie.  one finally came out that i thought would be a great first one: the peanuts movie!  we've been talking it up for the past couple weeks, watching the preview a few times to get him excited about it.  he's been asking what's different about seeing a movie at the theater compared to on the tv.  i told him that the screen in the theater is as big as a house!  this totally blew his little mind and got him really eager to check it out.
the day finally came, so diana and i took him to the theater and he loved it!  he was really amazed at the size of the screen and he kept wanting to go up and touch it!  fortunately we went to an early show the second week it was out so the place was empty except another young family with kids who were just as chatty as ledge was.  at about the 45 minute mark he got a little antsy and was wondering if it was almost over, but once snoopy, woodstock and the other birdy friends were back on the screen he was into it again.  the movie was fun, but the experience of being able to share my love with my son was an amazing experience i'll never forget!
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halloween

ledger's favorite holiday is here: halloween!  due to my work schedule, i was not able to get the evening off, so ledger actually was down in south bend for the event.  he went trick or treating with his dear auntie barbara.  we had found him a fun skeleton costume and barbara did the cool face paint for him.  he went out with james' nieces and they had a great time!  it was his first real halloween going door to door, so he wasn't exactly sure how it all worked.  fortunately the other girls showed him the ropes and he had an a amazing time- and got tons of candy!

moving again

so... we're moving again.  ugh.  we just moved to allegan two months ago but now we are packing up and starting over again.  this time its not because we want to, its because we have to.  we were no longer able to live in the house we were in, it was very old and beautiful, but unfortunately we discovered that the basement furnace area was just caked in black mold and the paint in the kitchen, which was peeling off, was lead based pain.  yikes!  we contacted the landlord and informed him that we were moving immediately.  he understood, us having a 3 year old and all, and even gave back our deposit.  we moved about a mile away and are now renting an apartment.  its a pretty great place, its got two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a great living room, kitchen, and even an awesome loft!  we've called in some more favors with friends to make the move and have been really happy with where we are now- no mold or anything!
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regent theatre

ever since we first moved to allegan i've been excited about the regent theatre.  its a really old single screen movie theater that looks like it came straight out of the thirties.  i have been drawn to it ever since i first spotted it when we drove around town on our first visit.  i've been telling my wife for weeks now how i want to go and see whatever is there- it doesn't matter what movie- i just want to go there!  the place is so beautifully charming that i just wanted to go and check it out.  well, i finally found an evening free where i could go and watch a film there and it was just as awesome as i hoped it would be!  they have some of the original features in the place, including a balcony and ticket booth.  the place was just amazing!  i've now realized that the reason we live in allegan is because of this theater, i must live near it- i am in love!  i must do whatever it takes to have this place be a part of my life...
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fish feeding!

one of our favorite activities on my days off is to go down to plainwell and wander around m store (that's what my family calls meijers).  ledger is especially fond of checking out the aquariums and seeing all the different fish.  last time we were there ledger got to do something pretty special:  the man who works that section of the store was there feeding the fish.  ledge walked up to him and just started chatting it up and asked him what he was up to.  the man told him and asked ledge if he wanted give it a try.  ledger erupted with excitement and was beaming for the rest of the day!  i tell ya what, its little stuff like this that makes us love to go to the m store!

table time

since we moved in to the new place we've got enough room for just about everything!  we have out table out and have been using it regularly for meals and fun time.  diana and i have been trying to get our little guy more familiar with writing, letters, and numbers.  so, he and i tried to do a little 'table time', we spent about a half hour trying to write with crayons and trying to recognize letters and their sounds.  he's starting to pick it up and having so much fun doing it!  i even went and got a couple preschool training books with coloring and games for him to try.  he does pretty well but has a still has a hard time following the dotted lines.  oh well, he's only 3, so i guess i won't throw in the towel just yet...
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burgers with brains

living in allegan has been great so far!  its a bit far from everyone, but thats also what makes it nice..  one person who i get a chance to see regularly is my good friend jon.  he works here in town, so i've been meeting up with him almost every week for lunch.  we usually head to bk because its my favorite.  ledger comes with and we get to have a bit of a boy's time out, just the three of us.  granted, we mostly talk about what kids shows ledge is watching, but it still feels like real live adult interactions!

bouncing birthday boys

jeffry lee's nephews were in town and had a special birthday party.  they do not live around here, so they didn't really know any other kids, but jeffry lee thought ledger might like to join them on the fun day they had planned.  so the three of us met up with them and had a great time together!  we went to skyzone, where they boys got to have a blast on their bouncy trampolines, then had cake and pizza at the hotel party room with the boys and jeffry lee's family.  there was cake, there were gifts- needless to say the boys had a blast together!
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back to the drawing board

when ledge first got this drawing easel from sarah and vince for his birthday, he wasn't all that interested in it, but ever since we moved to the new house he has been having a blast with it!  he has been drawing all week on it- always the same things:  different ghosties and aliens.  he loves to draw faces!  i think we may have another artist in the family...
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tractor rides

now that levi and miranda live further out in the country, levi is able to fulfill all his farmin' dreams!  he recently talked miranda into letting him get a tractor, so of course he needed to show it off while we were staying there for the weekend!  he started it up and gave all of us a chance to take a turn driving it around their back yard- even ledger got a turn riding on it with uncle levi!  i had never been on a tractor before, so now i can tick that off the ol' bucket list...
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sis' reception

what an amazing wedding reception!  barbara and james had their reception at james' sister's house.  they live out in the country a bit and have a beautiful barn and large yard where they set up tents for the big event.  the barn had an open bar in it as well as a dance floor and even a side room for the kids that had a tv playing kids movies and coloring books to keep them busy!  what a great idea.
we had a really fun time and the food was amazing!  diana and barbara's grandma was able to be there for a while and celebrate with them, but as she got tired, levi and i drove her home.  we headed back and when we got there it had gotten darker, so all the stringed lights and candles had been lit- and it was so beautiful, it looked like a magical storybook party!  eventually we called it a night, but barbara, james, and all their friends kept rocking it well into the night!
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sis' wedding

it's barbara's wedding day!  it was awesome to be a part of her special day and it was fantastic!  the whole ceremony was beautiful and i even got to go up and do some scripture reading for it.  diana was the maid of honor, so ledger and i sat with miranda and levi during the ceremony.
the whole thing was great, but what i loved the most was seeing how different barbara is from her sister...  it was really funny to see just how laid back and nonchalant she was about the whole thing.  she was totally like 'whatever'!  she was the last one to arrive at the church, we hadn't really gone over anything as far as how it was going to go.  they asked me to read scripture during the ceremony, but didn't actually let me know what passage or what order i would be going up to read until about 3 minutes before the wedding started!  yikes!  they invited a bunch of people to the wedding ceremony, but didn't seem to realize that there weren't anywhere near enough seats in the small church.  it kind of resulted in a 'standing room only' thing where there were about 30 people who had to stand in the back lobby peering into the sanctuary through the doorways!  and do you think this bothered the bride even one bit?  nope!  that's barbara for you- totally carefree, just enjoying the chaotic fun!  and it certainly was that: fun!  it was a great laid back celebration, which is exactly what it these two wanted!  congrats sis, and welcome to the family, james!
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let's rehearse

with barbara's wedding this week, we headed down to south bend a little early for the rehearsal dinner.  its always a great time to see diana's family, and alanna and tavish were there too- ledger was so thrilled to be able to play with his cousin!  it was really nice to meet james' family and friends and get to spend some time with all of them.  the rehearsal dinner was at a really delicious italian place in granger.  we were only able to wrangle ledge and tavish to sit with us for a few minutes, but as soon as their food was gone- off they went!  they wandered around a bit pestering as many people as they could.  eventually all the kids were sent outside; right across from the restaurant was a big field for them to run around in, which helped a ton with getting their energy out!
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pack and move

ever since we moved up to michigan for my job we had been living with my parents where space is at a premium- especially with all five of us living there!  diana's mom and david have been gracious enough to allow us to keep our stuff in the attic of their garage this whole time.  but, now that we have our own place, its time to pull it out of storage and start using it again!
as soon as we signed the lease for the new place we made plans to go down and get all our stuff.  we rented a u-haul, got barbara to help us out, and started picking though our stuff decided what we needed and what we didnt.  diana, of course, wanted to throw everything out and start fresh- or at least with the bare minimum, but i wanted to keep and take it all!  i am definitely a pack rat by nature and diana is the opposite, so we have a hard time seeing eye to eye with this kind of thing!  we settled somewhere in the middle and packed it all up for the move.  we drove up to allegan and started filling our house up and began to turn it into a home.

kids kingdom

we moved to allegan without much knowledge of the place, so we have recently been exploring the town and getting a good look around.  one of the places that we found that is really cool is a place called kid kingdom, its an awesome park that has a huge area just for kids!  the name fits because its not just a slide or wooden structure, its a whole fenced in kingdom filled with different fun things for kids to play on!  ledger was blown away by how amazing it is.  and to top it off, its actually within walking distance of the house!  i know where we're spending a lot of time this summer...
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time to move

the time has come.  we had been living with my parents for the past 8 months and though it has been great, its time for us to get our own place.  when we first moved up to michigan for my job, my parents offered to let us live with them until we could find a place of our own.  its been awesome to be able to tuck away a few extra dollars to prepare for the move, but now its time to strike out on our own again!  for reasons we aren't quite sure of, we decided to move out to allegan michigan and start the next chapter of our lives there.  jon hooked us up with someone who owned a few places he rents out.  we stopped and checked one of them out.  its is a beautiful old house that diana immediately fell in love with.  the place is huge!  we took a tour of it and thought it was great.  we signed a lease- and now we live in allegan!