Thursday, September 3, 2015

the black hills: day nine.

okay, last south dakota post, i promise.  not only because we left for our vacation exactly two months ago to the day and i should have wrapped this up long before now, but also because i only have one day left to blog about.  my computer keyboard is being a huge turd, and i'm tempted to put it off a bit longer, but it's time, don't you think?  so bear with me if i give up on using actual words to describe any of this.

we headed out first thing in the morning, after getting some great pictures with todd's parents.  now these are some great-looking van voorsts, amiright?!

our first stop was the famed Wall Drug, where we got the famed free water.  and did a bunch of other stuff, too.

... like find ourselves totally underwhelmed by an up-close experience with a buffalo carcass.

...and majestically ride a majestic jackelope.

and ingalls-it-up under a too-modern-to-be-authentic banner of freedom.

...and clearly love getting randomly sprayed with water.

wall drug is a legitimately weird place.  

on the next leg of the trip, the kids were getting really (really really) grouchy and sick of driving.  there was way too much whining and fighting going on, so i made everyone put on fake mustaches.  finneas and i thoroughly enjoyed the joke.  the other kids...did not.

finneas, in fact, loved his so much that he didn't want to take it off once we arrived at our next stop, the mitchell corn palace.

side note: what on earth does this say?  if you use a standard latin alphabet, it's a safe bet that your guess is as good as mine.  is that sixth letter a T?  an R?  a C?  i'm thinking it's like a magic eye puzzle, and you're supposed to stare at it for a really long time to figure it out?

anyway, back to photos from the corn palace.

finneas' mustache aged him enough to allow him to drive a tractor and stare confusedly around as he sat in a combine.

and more inexplicable hilarity ensued.

for dinner, we stopped again at the blue earth, minnesota rest stop, which has a playground.  this little one was adorbs.  as per usual.

and to quell the kids' (and my own) impatience on the very last stretch of our trip, i passed out glow bracelets.  i was the hero of the hour and we had a rave in my honor.

and that ends our fabulous vacation to south dakota!  thanks for bearing with my tardiness in posting!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

video vednesday: i told him number seven!

i realize this is totally dumb, i just love how hysterical this guy gets, and how his friend just BOLTS out of the house and down the street and doesn't come back.  good times.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

getting all gussied up.

i would like to submit that i have the world's cutest kids.  need proof?  here are some photos of them getting ready for church:

eating breakfast.  absolutely adorable.

assuming the 'protect yourself from the hairspray' position.  just darling.

getting her up-do up-did.  so sweet.

keeping up to date with the sunday news while he waits for everyone else to finish getting ready.  simply delightful.

see?  i have an airtight argument.  case closed.

Friday, August 28, 2015

'what's up' weekly.

here's what was up this week:

laur discovered funny faces.  it was glorious.

she got the rest of the fam in on it, and then reveled in her success.

penelope decided to try out some of her favorite pinterest makeup ideas.

we went to the state fair, which i will tell you more about next week, but i thought you should have this image burned into your brains over the weekend.

we all were in a photo together!  in front of a tractor!

finneas took five minutes to battle his current archnemesis, Booger Nose.

and i am now 31 weeks along.  the countdown has reached the single digits, people.  i'm not ready for this.  my basement is still a mess, for one thing, and for another thing, i'm not mentally prepared for any of it.  i'm still enjoying being in denial about the realities of labor and the newborn stage.  see that smile on my face?  that's the smile of someone who has been enjoying adequate amounts of sleep for the last year of her life and is pretending that will continue to be the case for a long, long time to come.  poor, ignorant soul.

and that was our week!

Thursday, August 27, 2015


we had one computer, and the keyboard started crapping out.  so we got ahold of another old laptop to use for typing.  now the screen is broken on that one.  so i'm typing on the first one, which doesn't have a working 'm' button (i cut and paste every time i need one), and the 'a' button on which is completely detached, so i have to reposition it into exactly the right spot every time i want to type an 'a.'  this paragraph has seriously taken me close to ten minutes to type.  so i'm going to call it quits for today.  this week has been less than stellar, blogging-wise.  sorry about that.  it's always something with the van voorsts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

video vednesday: ayy donna.

Monday, August 24, 2015

all's fair in love and...fair.

we spent yesterday at the state fair.  we headed out the door as soon as breakfast was over, drove down to des moines to meet up with my sister and her boyfriend, and spent the rest of the day at the fairgrounds, eating truly ridiculous fair food (what the heck is up with those turkey legs?! i always feel like a flintstone when i eat one) and spending sickening amounts of money on strawberry smoothies.  (or maybe i just felt sick from the giant turkey leg.)

anyway, we got home late last night, and are spending the day recovering from our crazy feasting and weird sleep schedule (the little kids didn't get afternoon naps, and obviously fell asleep much later than normal), so there's not really much more i'm able to report in my exhausted state.  we'll be attempting to still have school, which i realize is an effort in futility, but i am not about to allow myself to fail at prioritizing school this early in the year.  i'm saving that for christmas time when i'm too busy to do school, so i'll be well-practiced in 'failure to prioritize well' come january when i'm too depressed to care about anything, and again in april when i feel like being outside instead of being responsible.  losing motivation to keep to our school schedule in late august is pathetic - everyone has motivation for school right now, even drug dealers.  i'm certain of it.  so i'm going to power through today.  my kids will be thrilled and will definitely not cry.  i'm certain of that, too.

so anyway, i'm here to write a full-length blog post about why i will not be blogging today.  mission accomplished.

Friday, August 21, 2015

'what's up' weekly.

this week had a lot going on, so let's jump in, shall we?  i'm just going to toss some random photos from the week next to likely-unrelated words, just because i can.

on saturday, i got up early to pick up my first bountiful baskets order.  i'd heard of it before from my ames friends, but i didn't realize we had one here, too.  basically, you're able to order every two weeks, and $15 will get you two laundry baskets full of produce delivered to a nearby drop site.  this is what i ended up with:

not too shabby, right?  that mango in the back weighed OVER THREE POUNDS and was bigger than the watermelon i got in the same basket.  that single mango has graced three batches of smoothies so far and there is still plenty left.  it's basically a mutant, but i don't hate it.

on monday, it was our anniversary and we partied the night away at the movies.

finneas and laurelai are hell-bent on breaking the couch someday.  they've been in intensive training for that glorious day for a while now.

on wednesday, atticus had an eye doctor appointment to see if the eye patching we've been working on with him over the last few months has had any effect.  it has, but we have at least six months more to go.  wamp wamp.  frustrating for all involved - atticus hates wearing the eye patch (in spite of the fact that i tried to sell it to him by telling him he looked like a pirate), and i hate having to remember to make him wear it.  it's been especially hard since we started school and i can't just have him put it on right after breakfast, since we do school right after breakfast and he can't see his work with his eye patched.  i need to find another time of day that consistently works for me to remember, and for him to be able to still function well with it on.

after his appointment, i took him to a local coffee place and we got hot drinks (it was weirdly freezing out) and snacks.  he felt so grown up sipping his hot chocolate out of a to-go coffee cup, it was adorable.  he's growing up so fast, and he's naturally so responsible that it's sometimes hard to remember he's still little.  i loved getting the chance to talk to him, just one-on-one.  kids are so different when they're isolated from the herd.

how cute are these two?!

on thursday, todd and i schlepped the kids to the dentist for their six-month check ups.  it seems atticus is staring down the barrel of early-intervention orthodontia.  he's going to need to have some teeth pulled at his next visit.  ugh.  breaks my heart.  it's not shocking - i started with my orthodontia in second grade and was not finished with it until eighth grade, and i still have two permanent bars and a removable retainer that i attempt to wear nightly (although, as you can see with my record with atticus' eye patch, i have a hard time remembering simple daily tasks, so it doesn't always happen).  so i'm not at all surprised, but i am bummed.  poor kid.  the dentist also said penelope and finneas appear to both be on similar trajectories.  great.

and how cute are these two?!

i also spent tons and tons of time this week cleaning out the basement.  why?  because for some reason i think that it will matter once the baby comes.  has anyone else had nesting start this early?  i can't figure out if it's nesting or just being practical, but i'm starting to get a little crazy about it (i spent over an hour just vacuuming the ceiling down there) so i'm thinking it's nesting?  who knows.

and that was our week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

video vednesday: [...]

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

hu hot? we hot.

yesterday was our eighth anniversary!  it was super fun - todd got off work early, we got a babysitter for the whole evening, and we went out for dinner and a movie.  i even did my hair!  big stuff.

the first event of the evening was going to pick up our movie tickets in advance.  the theater is doing a special thing this month where they're showing retro football movies, which i weirdly really like (i could care less about football itself, but i love sports movies for some reason).  this week, they were showing 'Rudy.'  they offer special team discounts, so we wanted to go early to make sure that we could actually get tickets.

then we headed to the jewelry store to get my wedding ring re-dipped and cleaned.  i haven't been able to wear it consistently for the last few months, since something about it has really irritated the skin on my hand.  not sure if it's exposed alloy, or the fact that there is a large channel on the inside that can get soap and dirt stuck in it, but it was at a point where i couldn't even wear it for a full day without getting a massive scaly, itchy rash (yum!) on the back of my hand that would take over a week to heal.  so hopefully having it re-coated in white gold and having that inner channel cleaned out will allow me to start wearing it again.

while we waited for the jewelry store to finish with it, we headed to hu hot.  man, i love that place, i'm not going to lie.  plus, they're incredibly accommodating of food sensitivities/allergies.  they had gf soy sauce on hand, their sauces and some of their noodles are gluten free, and they cleaned their cooking surface specially for me and kept a barrier between my food and others' while it was cooking.  it was really great.  it seems like a small deal, but going out to eat is often difficult for us because of my dietary restrictions, so it just meant a lot to me that everyone there was friendly and accommodating about it without making an overly huge deal and making me feel like a prima donna.  A+, hu hot.

once we finished our dinner, we picked up my ring and headed over to the movie theater.  it's a good thing we bought our tickets in advance, since we ended up being the only people in the theater.  turns out, showings of a 1993 movie on a monday night are not really the most heavily trafficked.  it was really fun - i took off my shoes, todd and i got to talk and joke through the movie, and once, when i got restless legs from sitting too long in skinny jeans, i got to stand up and stretch.  in the middle of the theater, in the middle of the movie.  that's some high-style living.

again, going to a rando movie for our anniversary might not seem like a huge deal to some people, but i can tell you that the last time i was in a movie theater was 2011, so it was a big deal to me.  i felt like a grown up, and sometimes that's all it takes for me to give an experience two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

when we got home, the kids had been fed dinner and put in bed already, so we were free to just relax after i drove the babysitter home.  in all, it was a great night.  so glad i've gotten to spend a third of my life with this guy!