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thwr: our take on gender roles

todd: i guess we know who wears the pajama shorts in this relationship.



and that's how we roll.

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time todd and i first spent a weekend together, and he took me to ledges state park...and then 'member how some jaded bird thought it would be fun to crap on my head and spoil the romance?  but then 'member how todd let me wipe it on his pants, and i knew he was good husband material?


screw you, bird.  van voorsts win.

the garden

we put in a garden last weekend.  check it out:


(sorry we don't have a before picture; just imagine a bunch of grass instead of a bunch of dirt.)

not much to look at now, but soon we'll (hopefully) be seeing cilantro, basil, chives, spinach, peas, carrots, cucumbers, pole beans, zucchini and three types of tomatoes.  i also need to lovingly bribe todd into tilling another section for peppers, onions and garlic, since i ran out of room here.

hopefully it all grows, otherwise i really did a disservice to the aesthetic of my yard for nothing.

kitchen progress

before:



after:




hopefully it's obvious this is the same side of the kitchen; we don't have a table in there yet, and it's taken from a different angle, but i think it's distinguishable.

still trying to decide whether or not to put curtains up on the screen door.  i love it without, but the privacy issue is a factor.

video vednesday: breaking the rules of the geneva convention? weak.



making progresa!

we still don't have internet at the house yet, so i'll make it short and sweet.  we've done a TON over the course of friday through monday with the help of my sister, parents and grandparents, including:

- stripping wallpaper (WAY easier than expected)
- painting the kitchen
- painting the 'pantry' cupboards
- fixing the deck
- tilling and planting our garden, and surrounding it with chicken wire
- installing both an indoor and outdoor clothesline
- fixing the washer and dryer
- installing new locks on some of the doors
- caulking the foundation
- doing some yard work
- meeting the neighbors and forcing them into helping us move a piano that weighs more than our whole house
- installing child locks

..and probably more that i'm just not thinking of.  whew.

some pictures to come later.

what's the story...? (how punny am i?!)

we've been settling into our new house this week, and there are some things i'm having to get used to:


having to babysit my stainless appliances (boohoo for me, right?  'my wallet is too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight.')

living with the fact that our house is F-F-F-FAH-REEZING.  59 degrees when we get up in the morning.  that's no lie.  but who runs the heat in the middle of may?

keeping track of small children.

no clean laundry...oh, and also, mopping up the floor from where the washer broke, but it's okay because the dryer is broken too, and my clothesline is falling down, so i'd have to dry any clean clothes off the side of the deck like a hillbilly.  so a broken washer is probably a blessing.  keeps me from turning into a hillbilly.

yard work. 

also, finding a rusty, broken off, serrated saw blade in my grass.  while walking barefoot.  with my barefoot child.

 and also, finding someone else's trash bag that blew into our yard that was full of prescription medications and cockroaches.  even though they're gross, at least those things have been living on a steady diet of leftover antidepressants, so they're not too upset about it.

getting chased down by the colony of wasps that have made their home in our screened in porch/gazebo/yard room-thing.

cooking again...i got off easy the last few weeks while packing and getting back into the habit of actually providing food for my kids (and husband) is lame.

the neighbor's dog finding its way into my kitchen somehow.

EVERYBODY waving at you when you're on a walk...which i'm having to get used to in a good way.


well, i should go.  i came into town to go tanning, and sitting in my threadbare apartment alone while surfing the web is not getting that accomplished.  although it is getting me closer to becoming an alcoholic.

video vednesday: get freaky like my lady pyramid

be still my beating heart

so get this: not only did harvest vineyard put on an awesome garage sale where everything was free, but god also used it to meet one very gaping hole in my life: my lack of an LFO cd. this problem has now been solved and i am complete.

what?! YOU DON'T REMEMBER LFO? they were only, like, the best band since 5ive. (anyone else besides me and sam gines remember 5ive?!!) my eighth grade experience would've looked much different without these self-proclaimed 'playas' in my life. sadly, until now, i have never actually owned their music. or a liner-notes fold-out poster of them. but all that changed on friday. and i am ECSTATIC.

driving home with this puppy blaring in my stereo (it was rainy, otherwise i would have rolled my windows down and cranked it), i was rolllin'. have a little taste of their sweet songwriting skills:

"i'll steal yo' honey like i stole yo' bike,"

"hip hop marmalade spic 'n span, i met you one summer and it all began,"

"you love hip hop and rock and roll, dad took off when you were four years old, there was a good man named paul revere, i feel much better baby when you're near," and

"call you up but what's the use, i like kevin bacon but i hate footloose,"

it really is just one big pinata of words. you never know what kind of chaos is going to come down when you hit it, but whatever it is, it'll probably be the highlight of the party. and you know what? these are just lyrics from ONE SINGLE SONG. (also, he's right, there's no use calling me if you like kevin bacon.)

want more? how about, 'shooby doo wop and scooby snacks, i met a fly girl and i can't relax, the only problem is she's a movie star.'

and i can vouch that that really IS the only problem with LFO.

also, did you know LFO stands for "light funky ones"? and it is verifiably 100% accurate that these ones are both light AND funky.

i LOVE garage sale season.



(i lived with miranda robinson the summer she laid down this awesome tribute to LFO. check it out - i can't sing the real lyrics to LFO anymore because of LOL, and i mean that in a good way. 'when i met you i said my name is lisagrace, you look like a bro who has a butt for a face.'  tell me that's not better.)

on hiatus

'member that time will start back up again next week, although i better start living a more interesting life if i'm going to keep that going for much longer.

i'll keep it short and sweet: we moved yesterday and i am exhausted!  thanks to all of you who helped out - we COULD NOT have done it without you. 

our apartment is basically empty, and our house is basically one big pile of stuff.  a single big pile of stuff with a couple of chandeliers on top.

our internet isn't hooked up at the house yet, and i'm not sure when all we'll be back in ames, so my presence this week will probably be spotty.  it's about all i can do to to feed my kids and dig a path to their beds at naptime right now.

also, i'm hungry, so i'm in a pretty bad mood.  so good luck to todd today.

moving observation journal

what i've liked most about moving: PURGING!!! the whole back of my garage is filled with a bunch of stuff to sell...so the whole garage smells like sweet, sweet moolah. also, i'm really liking the bulging biceps i'm developing as a result of lifting boxes. because i'm considering entering some sort of lifting-stuff competition or check-out-my-oily-ripped-arms competition, those also smell like sweet, sweet moolah. and i like me some cash.


what i've liked least about moving: moving. and here's why:



1. i will miss this place, tiny and cramped though it is.
2. i hate change.
3. i hate packing boxes.
4. i hate unpacking boxes.
5. i don't have enough boxes, so i load some full ones up in the van, drive them to the new house, empty them, and bring them back. it's a messy, inefficient process at times.
6. the van died so i ran out of boxes.
7. moving interferes with garage sale-ing.

so, here's what i've learned:

1. i need to have a yearly purge, to reap the benefits of moving without having to pack boxes.

2. i should probably get on signing up for some kind of competition, before my ripped muscles return to their normal flaccid state and will no longer be able to earn me the cash for butcher block countertops.

3. i never want to move again, ever in my whole life.

4. blogging is hard when you're watching saturday night live on syndication.

thwr: atticus is finally conversational!

atticus: (laughing hysterically)

mommy: what's so funny?!

atticus: tooting!!

mommy: haha, what do you say?

atticus: 'NOTHER ONE! 'NOTHER ONE!



and that's how we roll.

bye bye, nuk.

so i got a quick question regarding weaning atticus off his pacifier (or nuk, as we call it around here), and i have to say i was basically forced into it out of necessity and if it were up to me, he'd probably still be sucking on that thing at after-prom.  but apparently these things are not up to me, and i made him give it up as a toddler rather than a college freshman.

so, i guess i also forgot to mention in my post on tuesday that atticus and i both had dentist appointments in the 'week and a half from hell-but-in-a-nice-way' and it turns out atticus has been teething some new molars.  which means screaming all night long and chewing his nuk to shreds.  i never would have expected that nuks could peel apart in sheets, but his did, until it was so thin he was literally chewing chunks out of it. 

one afternoon during nap, he started crying, 'mommy! nuk! mommy! nuk!' and i went in, and it was mutilated beyond what would even be considered a moderate health and safety violation.  so i made him get up and put it in the trash (to give him some closure) then i put him back to bed.  he SCREAMED for the next hour and a half.

that night i put him to bed and reminded him that we threw the nuk away, but it's okay because he's a BIG BOY and he doesn't need it anymore!!! awesome! bye bye nuk!  (he sadly repeated this after me. it was so pathetic.)  i left the room with fingers crossed and basically feeling nauseous about what was certain to turn into a two-and-half-hour hysteria.  (his, not mine.  but also, mine too.)

there was a little whimpering, and then he went to sleep!!  we've had a few nap times that have been harder than others, but i just remind him before he lays down that he won't be getting his nuk and that he can say 'bye bye, nuk.'  it's worked out much better than i had expected because he was IN LOVE with that thing.  (i failed to mention that, in the scenario painted above, he was sucking on it at after-prom after having taken it to prom as his date.)

in all seriousness, i had planned to copy my friend laura and wait until he's like three or so and have him dig a hole in the yard and plant it as a nuk tree.  maybe stick a real seed in there so that something grows.  you know, something memorable and good-mommy-like.  instead, i dragged my half-asleep and mostly-hysterical kid across the apartment, made him throw it in the trash, and let him deal with the aftermath alone in his bed.

that's apparently how we wean our kids off nuks in the van voorst household.  in all honesty, not even sure i recommend this as an option.  but it worked for us and i'm relatively confident atticus will find another prom date in time.  so take it for what you will. 



***i should probably mention that, even though our kids typically share a room, and even though she'd sleep through a live performance of STOMP! if given the opportunity, i moved penelope into our room to sleep for a couple of nights until i felt sure atticus wouldn't scream all night.

video vednesday: i can totally see you.

i currently am in love with the following commercials (ironically, both for products i can't eat).  i think it's the killer jams and sweet moves.





five days until we move...!

in the last week and a half, all of the following have taken place in our home:

- penelope turned one,
- we closed on our house,
- we found out we needed to move this month,
- we've packed and hauled countless vanloads of crap,
- we've weaned atticus off his pacifier,
- we've weaned penelope off her bottle,
- we've had both sets of parents come to town,
- we threw penelope a birthday party,
- penelope was dedicated at church,
- we celebrated my sister's graduation, and
- our van died.

i am TIRED.  most of this stuff is good stuff (with the single exception of the vidivan biting the dust), but it's just been a lot. 

i think if i can just make it through alive until june, stuff will start to settle in.  we're officially moving into the house on sunday, and there's still a lot to do before then.  then the thursdsay after that, my grandparents from south carolina, and my parents, are coming to help with some repairs and stuff around the house.  then the last weekend in may i'll be cleaning up the apartment and touching up the paint... and in the meantime i'll be unpacking, putting in a garden, and trying to gather up all the stuff necessary to move to a new place (rugs, blinds, etc.)

whew.  three more weeks.  three more weeks.  three more weeks.

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time i went to a russian ballet performance of cinderella, and there were all these little girls there in princess dresses and i thought it was super cute? but then 'member how one of these said little girls sat behind me and was all like, mommy i'm hungry, mommy i'm bored, mommy i'm sweaty, and how her mommy was all like, if you're so sweaty, take your tights off?  then 'member how that sweaty, tights-less little girl spent the rest of the night sitting on her mommy's lap and playing with my hair with her toes?


i have no punchline for this.  it was disgusting.





i'm such an israelite.

today i decided to read my bible for the first time in a loooong time... and i realized i haven't gotten to it as much recently because i'm working on a bible-in-a-year dealie, and i'm currently in...leviticus. wap wap.  so i find plenty of excuses to not get around to it during the day, but i'm aware of the fact that it's because i don't have a particular love for leviticus rather than because i have some kind of bloody and time-consuming emergency each and every day. 

and i realize this is how i am in my bible reading.  sometimes i'm all, woohoo! reading three months' worth of chapters in a week! i'm awesome and godly and also a fast reader! and other times i'm like, cool.  can't touch a pig carcass, but eating a cricket is fair game.  good to know.  and yet other times, i actually get kind of annoyed: are you kidding me, israelites? just get to the stupid promised land...it's taking me forty years just to read this.  and also, please god don't strike me with boils or something for being a jerk to the hebrews. 

but the thing i realized today is that this is how i get in my spiritual life - how i act toward god.  i'm all excited and on-track when i like it, apathetic when it's only so-so, and actually kind of bitter about it when stuff isn't going my way.

but, like in my bible reading, if i allow my annoyance or bitterness to keep me from continuing to move forward in my relationship with god, it only means i'll be stuck in that place longer, not that i'll eventually get to avoid it.  because those lessons aren't going to learn themselves, and it's important to god that i learn them, regardless of how long it takes.

so, i should probably be better about powering through, rather than acting like a baby all the time.

problem: i'm a baby.
solution: power through.

easy-peasy.  so now that i figured that out, i guess i'm about perfect.  got this christian thing down.  next challenge.

miss hawaiian tropic

in preparation of moving into the new house, i have started tanning.

what does that have to do with anything? nothing, other than i have tanning sessions that i have to use before my gym membership runs out june 1.  but the funny thing is that i purchased my sessions before we went on our honeymoon...three and a half years ago.  so, while i haven't had time or motivation to use them before now, i now must muster both of these and use up ten sessions in the next four weeks.

so our new town better prepare themselves for their newest carribean princess resident.  (maybe i should change my name to something less dutch-and-pale-sounding?  like...brown.  or kipoor.  lemme know what you think.)

video vednesday: some people - and girls - do not understand the meaning of competition.

i am not sorry.


life is about to get cah-razy.

we closed on our house yesterday!!! we are now the proud owners of chez v.v.  (we sound fancy.)  we are no longer hindered by our lack of keys and by trespassing laws - we can wander around that house now like, well...like we own the place.  so we are mere hours and hours of backbreaking labor away from a garden, a freshly painted kitchen, and a floor that is not a portal to the underworld.  (did i not mention our kitchen floor has this ridiculous hole in it that drops down into our basement?)

even though we've known that may 2 would be our close date since we signed the papers in february, i have not done much packing yet because we weren't sure when exactly we'd move.  our apartment lease was signed through the end of july and since it's cheaper to live in our apartment than in our house (utilities, a shorter commute), we figured we'd just live here while we were having to pay both our rent and our house payment.

but lo and behold, our god is amazing, and we just found out saturday that there are some superstars moving into our apartment (therefore voiding our lease) june 1.  which means...we're moving! SOON! in the next couple of weeks (the exact date is up in the air still).

so all that to say, i might be a bit scarce around here for the next few weeks since i'll be spending my time packing, unpacking, and doing happy dances.  if you really miss my piercing insight and razor-sharp wit, you can always help us move and get your fix that way.  or, if you've been considering dropping this blog from your reader but haven't out of guilt, you can help us move to assauge your conscience, then drop the blog, and consider us even.  i'm cool with that too.

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time when i was six that i put together a time capsule, only it was really just a backpack with a piece of paper inside that said, 'i want to be a cheerleader when i grow up'?


too bad i lost that backpack; my life could be looking very different right now.