Saturday, September 29, 2012

Family Fun Day: Blakes Apple Orchard and Cider Mill

We LOVE fall around here.
Actually, if you live in Michigan, fall is probably your favorite time of year.
Last night we had a rare Friday night free, so we headed up to the cider mill.
It couldn't have been more perfect!

Star of the Week

It's Isaac's turn to be STAR OF THE WEEK at school. He needed to pick out his favorite book, his favorite pictures and 3 things that represented him the most. This little exercise warmed my heart. 1st of all, he choose his Bible as one of the things that represented him.... without being prompted do so in the slightest. Secondly, when I choose a handful of pictures for him to bring, he wanted to make sure that the ones of his brothers and sisters got in there 1st... even before his hockey and swimming pics. Thirdly, his favorite thing to do after school is "wrestle with his brothers." I can't tell you how much I love that! I wish I could be a fly on the wall when he explains everything to his class. He went through it all with us last night and I tried to calm my ridiculous smile so he didn't roll his eyes at me.

11 is the new 10

11 years married.
I take a little pride in that.... a lot, actually.
This was the year we were going to do it up BIG.... a scenic cruise in Nova Scotia, a relaxing road-trip to New York, or a romantic weekend in Seattle. At least that's what I thought last year.... and the year before that. You know what I've learned? STOP PLANNING! I am a planner by nature, it's my favorite thing to do, so I think about our anniversary all year long. I love it. The problem is that our life hardly ever goes according to plan. Right as we started to think about our big plans for this year, an opportunity opened up for me to accompany the youth ministry on a mission trip. PLANS CHANGED.

Honestly, it was the best anniversary ever. We had a romantic weekend alone, I had fresh flowers in my kitchen for weeks and I'm obsessed with my new tablet! (He said he wanted to get me something to make my life easier.... most romantic thing I've ever heard!) This man never stops spoiling me!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the only man I have ever loved. When you asked me to marry you, you could foresee the future, I never could. You made all your promises come true and exceeded all my expectations. You make every day exciting... and that's hard to do with 4 little spy eyes always around the corner. I've had so much fun traveling with you, exploring with you and embarking on new adventures with you.... but I still love sipping coffee and holding your hand on the couch the most.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

fall well-child visits.... zoey and jake.

Zoey Loren Bunk
4-years-old (going on 14)
 The doctor said that although you are "super small" you are growing to be a beautiful, young lady. You are obsessed with anything LaLaLoopsy and your favorite thing to buy is nail polish. You make sure all your babydolls are always warm and covered and if you could keep Jacob still, you would do the same for him. In the last few months you have gone back and forth about what you would like to be when you grow up...a  doctor or a school-teacher.... your daddy and I would be so proud of either one, and b/c you are such a people person, we can see you doing something very much along those lines. You love every color except army green and you never like to wear dresses (to the dismay of your mother with 3 boys). You are so much fun to watch in gymnastics and you love to keep up with your brothers out in the backyard.... soccer, hockey, star war battles, etc. We love you girl and are having a blast watching you blossom!

Jacob Christopher Bunk
10 months
Surprise, surprise, but you, my son, are a peanut as well. Sorry... it just comes with the territory.  You have just pushed through your 4th tooth and the 5th is not far behind. You love to be in the middle of everything and are not afraid to wrestle your brothers who are not afraid to go all out. You are standing on your own and transferring from one thing to another... I'm concerned that walking is not too far off. You will climb ANYTHING, and I've been told more than once to put you into training for the Cirque de Solei (you are a nightmare to diaper change!) Your laugh is hilarious and you just figured out how to vibrate your lips together. You always have a smile on your face, even when tears are rolling down your cheeks b/c of your allergies. You love to give open-mouthed kisses, cuddle cheek-to-cheek and climb all over daddy. Your are a mover and a shaker, and we are along for the ride!

Monday, September 24, 2012

ramblings: monday.

Today was pretty rough.
In the 16 hours I've been awake (well, 22 if you count my almost-sleepless night comforting a 2-yr-old) I have felt betrayed, manipulated, abandoned, left-out, misunderstood, overwhelmed, disappointed, cheated, copied, confused, rushed and hopeless.... or as I like to call it...

It's not that anything that significant happened, I just had a bad day.
Then I read this....
In fact, it hit me so hard where it hurt, that I immediately opened my Bible and read the entire chapter. Here is a portion....
Psalm 46:1-5
God is our refuge and strength,  a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

So.... I would like to change that feeling to one of truth: Today I have been blessed, loved, cherished, praised, uplifted, protected, guided, befriended, encouraged, supported, served, defended and sustained
... and it's only Monday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Elijah entering the Terrific Twos!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little man Elijah Christopher!
We already celebrated your birthday a few weeks ago b/c we knew daddy would be gone this weekend, so the kids all choose what they thought you would love to do tonight. The consensus: play outside, have races, happy meal picnic on the floor, chocolate cupcakes and The Pirate movie. They were right.. you are grinning ear to ear tucked under the comfies with your bros and sis!

We are so proud of you, buddy! You always have to be in the middle of the action.. whatever that action might be. You love to climb, jump, dive, run and scream. When we get pizza you eat more than your older bro and sis combined! You love to get messy and are not afraid of a challenge. Tonight you figured out how to maneuver the plastic playground so that you could climb it to get on the trampoline yourself. You LOVE anything that plugs in and are fascinated when daddy is working with wires. Your favorite past time is helping daddy and if you can get your hands on the leaf blower, it will entertain you for hours. You will wrestle anyone... which can sometimes get you in trouble when friends are over... but you are the first one to make sure that mommy is safe from harm. We love you Lijee and can't believe you are 2 already!

Monday, September 17, 2012

latest updates.

It has been a wonderful week.
Thanks to everyone who helped Chris and I have an incredible Anniversary Weekend by taking our kids (which also means school, hockey, soccer, church, prayer, etc). Words can't express our appreciation. All the kids had a blast and were loved and cared for by the best of them!

Couple of family updates... 

Isaac learned how to tie his shoes. (thanks grandma!) He also scored 6 goals in his last hockey game. He also lost his 4th tooth. (and by "lost" I mean Chris yanked it out)

Zoey scored the 1st goal in a soccer game on Saturday. She also did a flip on the rings in gymnastics. She also gave herself and one of her close friends a haircut.

Elijah is now making short sentences. He also figured out how to climb the back of his bed to see up into Isaac's bed. He also likes to constantly wear his Michigan hat backwards.

Jacob can stand by himself. He can also pull everything off the table in .27 seconds. He can also climb the inside of his play-yard gate by putting his toes thru the little holes.

Life is insanely busy over here... but that's just how we like it.
This weekend Chris and I had time to sit, talk and reflect on all the many blessings God has given to us, and are so amazed at the journey we've walked together this far.We are refreshed and ready to tackle the fall... which has us busy almost every weekend until Christmas!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

and in all things... session 39

I woke up a little overwhelmed this morning... in a good way. Right now I am sitting quietly at my computer with a hot cup of coffee and I can hear the birds chirping outside the window. In a minute that will change. I will hear coos from my baby for his morning bottle, loud "mama"s from my toddler who desperately needs a diaper change and the older ones will be starving for breakfast. God has been so faithful. He has given me EVERYTHING I have asked for.... everything that was part of His plan, anyway.... Thank God!

Things I am thankful for on September 12, 2012...
  1. Romans 8:35
  2. A husband who pushes me to Jesus and is constantly building me up to do what God has called me to do... in each aspect of my life. (Not to mention that he takes on a lot of extra responsibility so that I can pour time and effort into the other areas of ministry I am involved in)
  3. A God who answers the prayers of my heart. He has blessed my family. He has protected my children. He has opened opportunities for our family to minister to others. He has developed relationships for all of us that cause us to me more like Christ.... and with all of these He continues to do so.
  4. Eczema lotion, Neosporin and Phineas and Ferb band-aids
  5. Facial cleansing wipes and anti-wrinkle face cream
  6. A church family that is mission-minded... and a close network of friends that are constantly challenging my devotion to Christ by their lifestyle to honor Him in everything they do. (I'm talking about you, Jaimie- our talk on Monday wrecked my whole thinking about "eternal living")
  7. Drive-thru ATMs with the new "scan a check" feature... brilliant!
  8. Yarn.... I have been using it for everything!
  9. Isaac's 1st grade teacher. Beyond a million things she does with these kids that I LOVE, this amazing woman feels that teaching character and responsibility is just as important as academics... warms my heart.
  10. The bus.... although it was painful letting my eldest child drive away from me in a large, yellow concoction, I am now so grateful that this small aspect of his school experience has saved me almost 2 hours of travel time a day with the other children! (Although I do have to say that I miss our scripture verse memorization time we used those travel times for last year)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Elijah Day!

Tonight we celebrated our little man Elijah's 2nd birthday.
It was such a fun and relaxing night, and Elijah loved his gifts!
A drum set, a nerf gun, a nerf sword, Play-Doh Diggin' Rigs, and a Red-Wing hockey jersey. That pretty much sums this boy up!
I had a moment tonight were I looked over and saw my baby growing up.
I love this little boy more than he will ever know!
Happy Birthday Elijah!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ready for gymnastics!

Today Zoey was so excited to start her gymnastics class and Miss Dawn was so excited for her to join! She had a blast and is already counting down the days till her next class next week. I have to say that I would have gotten less of a workout in a gymnastics class then trying to keep my 2 baby boys occupied for an hour in the parent waiting room!

We are so proud of you Zo!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer REACH 1...3...11

At the beginning of the summer we made a list of things we wanted to do to REACH out to the people around us. We weren't able to complete our list entirely, but I am so proud of the effort we made to put others before ourselves. Here is our 4th round of adventures:

Number 1:  Donate To A Food Bank.
We cleaned out our pantry and also went shopping for some additional items. The kids were very interested in where these items would go and wanted to make sure there were some good canned goods and boxed items for them to enjoy.

 Number 3:  Clean Up Litter In A Park.
For as long as I can remember I have been bothered by litter. I just don't understand why people feel it is OK to throw their trash on the ground. The kids and I went to a local park and spent an hour filling up our garbage bag. This REACH was more about teaching them the importance of being responsible.

Number 11: Make Gifts For Church Teachers.
Our family has been so blessed by the teachers God has sent us in Family Ministries at our church. For the last year we have had a child in every classroom! The kids and I spent some time writing thanks yous to some of the teachers that have poured into them the past few years.
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