Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Every Wednesday night since the beginning of the school year Nolan has attended Awana at church. He is a Cubbie! I was looking for a way to serve at church, and so since I would need to drive to drop off and pick up Nolan at Awana every week, I thought that volunteering with the 3 and 4 year olds would be a great way to serve the church AND do something special with JUST Nolan.

I really wanted Nolan to get involved in something at church since we decided to send him to a public preschool. He goes to Sunday School every Sunday morning, but I wanted something a little bit more. I had no idea really of what Awana was, but I knew that it involved kids memorizing scripture and doing some fun activities! And it is both of those things, but so much more!

I also had no idea that it is kind of like Boy & Girl Scouts. The kids all wear a vest and earn patches for the verses they memorize.

You can see on Nolan's vest in this picture that he has earned 5 patches already- that's about 18 verses that he knows by heart! In their first year, they will fill the A (Awana) and in their second year, they will fill the C (Club) with patches.

He has this book that we read throughout the week and learn stories from the Bible. We learn all about Jesus, His love for us, His miracles, His teachings, and most importantly about His grace. I love that this book helps us learn about God every day. We practice repeating the verse of the week every day and then also do some extra "Under the Apple Tree" activities to practice old verses and cement the meaning of the current week's verse.

Then on Wednesday night we head to Awana. There are about 40, 3 and 4 year olds. It's nuts! Some kids sit quietly and listen, some blurt out, some run around, some love the craft, others love the games. It's so interesting to see how diverse the strengths and interests and abilities of kids Nolan's age are. We have fun coloring, doing activities, listening to a Bible story, singing songs, watching a puppet show, saying the pledge, giving offering, playing games, and saying THE VERSE! Nolan has to clearly say his verse to his teacher and then he earns stickers in his book. When he says 3 verses then he earns a patch. At the end of the evening they award the patches to students and everyone claps and cheers for them. It is fun seeing Nolan get so proud of himself when he successfully says his verse and earns his patch. The smile on his face is like nothing else. He beams...I beam!

It's a late night as we head home at 8:45 p.m. We are both exhausted by the end.

But I just love knowing that Nolan is already growing a heart for the Lord! I pray that he will continue to love Him and pursue a relationship with Him!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Friday Play Day

Friday is the one day that Nolan doesn't have preschool. It's a day to sleep in, watch cartoons, and PLAY! With just over a week left of maternity leave, I decided that I needed to plan a few fun activities to do with the boys before I go back to school. So this past Friday morning, after a couple of lazy hours at home, we headed over to the Cherry Creek Mall to play at their Looney Tunes Playland. A free fun activity that we hadn't done in awhile. And the boys loved it!

It was very crowded but the boys still had a blast!

Nolan was petting Sylvester!

Heath's favorite character was Pepe Le Pew! Which is perfect for him! He's a stinky boy who loves to toot! Ha!

Nolan went head first down this slide about a 100 times in a row. He was a maniac!

It was kind of crazy attempting to keep an eye on my older two in the midst of kiddie chaos, while trying to snap photos, and hold and feed a 2 month old! Sometimes I wonder why I take on such things, it's hectic! But the boys love to get out of the house and be busy and so do I! I can't keep myself cooped up for too long without going a little coo-coo! Ask Mark. So, we may be quite the sight when I take the 3 out by myself, but it's so worth it!

This little guy pretty much just hung out!

He laid around for awhile, but I was so paranoid about him getting stepped on by one of the wild children, so I scooped him back up quickly!

Love that little tush up in the air!

Nolan shouting, "I'm the King of the mountain!"

He just looks so tall and skinny in this picture! What happened to my chubby little baby with rolls upon rolls?

He wanted me to take his picture up on this little mountain, but when I would say, "Say Cheese!" he would say, "onions!" and laugh and laugh! Silly boy! I love when he thinks he is being funny!

This picture makes me laugh! This is what Heath found most fun about the playland...running and running and running around in circles. See that little red head on the right- Heath was chasing him prior to this point. Then the red head pushed Heath. He fell down, cried, got a hug from me, and then went right back to chasing him! They had quite a lot of fun together.

After playing for over an hour, I let the boys each choose a snack. Nolan chose a pretzel from Wetzel's Pretzels and Heath chose popcorn from Doc Popcorn. I love this picture of Nolan eating that HUGE pretzel! He ate all but 2 bites. The boy can put it down! Ha!

Then it was time to head home for LONG naps! They had a fun night ahead of them as well. We made plans to have our own playtime with Ernie and Kim that evening so we hired babysitters for Nolan and Heath. They were so excited to have Anna and Brianne come over to play! They LOVE anyone who devotes 100% of their attention to them! So babysitters are just the best thing ever! They have no problem with us leaving them, which is so nice!

Mark, Brooks, and I met up with Ernie and Kim at Cheddar's for dinner. We had a fabulous time catching up, drinking some Blue Moon, and eating a yummy dinner! Then we headed over to the new Celebrity Lanes to do a little bowling! I hadn't bowled in forever! It was a ton of fun!

Here are our victory dances after having bowled a good frame...
Kim was a ringer! She won the first game with a 135!

Ernie did pretty well himself, scoring over 100 both games!

Mark lost the first game to Kim by 1 pin! He wasn't too happy! But he beat us all the 2nd game!

Despite taking bowling class in college, and bowling my best games ever under the alias of Marge with my partner Sophia, I was not on point this evening. I'm just not consistent. But I have fun doing it!

Brooks was a trooper and barely made a peep the whole night! It was so fun to be able to get out with friends and unwind. Thanks E & K for a great time! Let's hope it happens again soon!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

for a SUPER girl on her birthday

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear...
Happy Birthday to you!

In honor of my life long friend Kerri, on her birthday, I thought I'd share some pictures of Brooks wearing the SUPER SUIT! You see, four years ago, she bought it for Nolan. And then Heath got to take his turn wearing it. You can see pictures HERE! And now it's Brooks' turn to gain some SUPER POWERS! It is a silly little onesie that has so much meaning!

Only Kerri would pick out such a thing. And that's why I love it! She sees the fun in everything! And she, like this SUPER SUIT, brings a smile to your face instantly. I mean really, how can you resist a little baby with a cape?!

So enjoy these delectable pics. And Kerri, enjoy your special day! I hope you know just how SUPER you are to me! Love you girl!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thing 1 & Thing 2

Thing 1: Jack Dempsey Leensvaart
born 12/15/11

Thing 2: Brooks Wesley Jansen
born 12/17/11

They may not know it yet, but they are best friends.

Love these cute little guys!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Davis

If you are my age, then it's more than likely that you had about 4 Katies in your circle of friends growing up! I sure did! Herlihy, Smith, Jakubowski, and DAVIS were mine. Kati Davis and I met in highschool at our youth ministry, Student Impact, at Willow Creek Community Church. We instantly hit it off and hung out with all of the same people even though we went to different schools. When it was time to do our college searches, we ended up both choosing to go to Calvin. So we also decided to be roomies our freshman year rather than go pot luck!

And boy did we have fun!! We had a blast meeting new friends, breaking up with old boyfriends and making new ones, staying up late, and gaining the freshman 15 together! Ha! Later on in our college years we also lived in a house together off campus. Living together during this stage of life helped us create a life long friendship that marriage, moving, jobs, and kids can not change.

We usually see each other when I travel back to Illinois. But every once in awhile, during the 8 plus years I've lived in Colorado, Kati has come out here to visit, attend a conference, and/or go skiing! So we've had her stay with us in our first tiny apartment, and met up with her downtown, in Vail, and in Breckenridge. It's been so fun to be able to see her quick every now and then when she comes into town.

Last weekend, she and her hubby, Bill (Yes, she's married now, and her official last name is HART, but she will forever be "Davis" in my HEART!) were staying up in Breckenridge in an awesome house they rented for a ski weekend with some friends.

So on Sunday, we loaded up the boys and drove up to have lunch and spend a couple of hours chatting and catching up with them.
Their porch looked out right over the slopes.

Heath was being bashful when I was trying to take his photo with Kati.

I like this one! They both look so cute!

Nolan cozied up for a pic as well.

Kati and I with my three boys! How our lives have changed! Kati has two girls...dogs that is! Sierra and Ryka are Silver Labs. We're hoping the boys can meet them when we go home in May.

It was so nice to be able to spend some time with my Davis and for her to be able to meet and snuggle Mr. Brooks! We can't wait to see her again in May! Love you girl!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

little man

Last weekend I had the pleasure of helping host a shower for my dear friend Lindsay Cottier. She is expecting her baby boy any day now.
The shower was a "little man" theme. I found this invitation design from dimple PRINTS again. And I had her change the colors to lime green, navy blue, white, and grey. She sent me the final image and we had them printed at Costco...super cheap prints!

Then I did all the design work for signs, favor tags, cupcake toppers etc. It was such a fun theme with great colors to design for!

We hosted the shower at Mandy's house again. She has a great house for a party! The boys and I went over to her house the day before to get crafty and prepare for the shower. It took us pretty much all day to get things done in between feedings, diaper changes, lunch, snacks, toys, movies, dogs, and more! With the four boys around, we sure were busy! Mandy designed this banner to hang above the gifts. Pretty cute!

I'm a detail girl for sure and so is Mandy so we work well together and love to plan parties!

It took Mandy a long time to cut out all these funny little mustaches! But they turned out so cute and were another fun touch!

We tied the napkins and forks to look like little bow ties!

We had a yummy brunch!
fruit kabobs

baked french toast and egg dishes

Lindsay enjoys chocolate frosting so we had cupcakes for dessert!

My circle punch is my best friend!

We also had a little "photo booth" to take fun pictures of all the guests! Get the sign? "We mustache (must ask) you to take your photo!" Ha!

Mandy and Jack

Barb and Shirley, Rick's Mom

Kim, Ella, Susie, Lindsay, and Jenn

After we ate, it was time for gifts.

I had this adorable little onesie made for baby Cottier to match our shower theme! Gotta love Etsy!

And Jack gave his soon to be best bud a "Thing 3" onesie, just like the ones he and Brooks have! We can't wait for these 3 boys to grow up together like their Dads did.

Mandy also made Lindsay this awesome diaper cake.

We also played a few games. The first game was a toughie! You had to guess what baby items were in each of these bags. Each item started with the letter on the bag. The winner only got 3 out of the 9 items correct, but won a Starbucks gift card or a Bath and Body works hand soap for her hard work! And Lindsay got to keep all the items inside, which was cool. We also played Baby Item Bingo while Lindsay opened gifts. And we finished off with Ooh Baby Baby, a game where you listen to a minute or so of a song that has the word baby in it. Then you have to name the Title and Artist of the song. They were fun and simple games!

Here are the hostesses with Lindsay! Kim really worked hard and helped Mandy and I out with setting up the shower and baking too! Thanks Kim! (me, Lindsay, Kim, and Mandy)

Mandy and I thought it would be fun to wear ties to host the event! I raided Mark's closet and actually found a couple that matched the color scheme!

Every guest got a little chocolate mustache sucker as a favor! Didn't they turn out so cute?!

Now Lindsay is pretty set for this baby to arrive! It was fun to plan and host the shower but it will be even more fun to hold that little man in our arms so soon!

Love ya Linds, James, and "little baby Ben in Auntie Lindsay's tummy"! (That's what Nolan prays for every night. No, Ben is not the baby's name, but Nolan thinks it is! Ha!)