Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Van Dyke's est. 1997

I Love This Man!!!
I feel so lucky and blessed to be married to my
best friend- Today is our 13th Anniversary,
and even though we have had a lot of ups and downs-
I wouldn't change a thing!!
And here's where we are 13 years later....
3 of the greatest kids ever, some amazing memories
and a home filled with more love than
could ever be imagined!!
Happy Anniversary Boo!!
I love you more than the mostest!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ireland's 5th Grade Graduation!!

Ireland graduated from elementary on June 2nd-
she is now a big time middle schooler-
she is very ready for the change,
I, on the other hand, am not sure that I'm ready ;)
It was a really nice ceremony- each student
did a power point page for themselves that
listed what their favorite memory of school was,
who inspired them, what college they want to go to
and what they want to be when they grow up-
Ireland's favorite memory was Sky Ranch Camp,
she said her parents are her inspiration (so sweet),
she wants to attend the University of Texas...
(sorry to all of my Utah and BYU fans)-
and she wants to be an architect.
All of her teachers, principals and counselor
told me that Ireland will succeed at
whatever she does in life.
We are so proud of her!!

In celebration for her graduation,
we let her pick where to go for dinner-
she chose Kobe, a Japanese restaurant.
It was a great way to end a great night.
Congratulations Ireland!!
We love you!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

SNOW??? IN TEXAS??? You betcha!!!

A week ago we had a record breaking snow storm
and the kids loved every second of it! On Thursday
morning we woke up to a beautiful, white
neighborhood. It continued to snow all day but
the kids went to school anyways-which, to me,
seemed like a totally normal thing to do,
but some of the native Texans were
a little freaked out about sending their
kids to school with this scary
white stuff taking over the city.
Just before it was time for the kids to come home
from school, the principal announced that
school was cancelled on Friday...
SNOW DAY!!! WOO HOO!! the kids were stoked!!
We ended up getting 10 to 12 inches through out the metroplex.
It was a fantastic snow storm, I would be happy if that
happened at least a couple of times each winter.
Kaston was having some fun making a snow angel

When it was time to come in, Ireland's clothes
were as wet as if she jumped in a pool-
She was so happy about being able to play in the snow
that she didn't even care about how cold she was.

Most of the neighbor kids came to our house to play
in the snow- they had snow ball fights, built snow men,
and made snow angels.
When it was time to come in, I was a little sad
that the picture perfect blanket of snow that was
once in our yard had been turned
into what looked like a war zone,
but the kids had a blast so it was worth it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Funny Christmas Story

So leading up to Christmas I kept telling my kids what Christmas is really all about- not just presents, so don't expect very many- let's enjoy our family and remember that the true meaning of Christmas is about Jesus and what he did for us.....2 days before Christmas I finished wrapping presents in my room when I asked Spencer to come and help me carry them to the tree- she walks in and says...."What are you talkin' about Mama, this is going to be a great Christmas, look at all these presents!".....

Teaching them the true meaning......obviously a work in progress =o)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Today the kids and I went over to the Fortenberry's house
to make Christmas cookies with their "cousins"
(these are their best friends here in Texas that have become like family)
All of the kids had a blast cutting, decorating and then eating their cookies.
They made gingerbread and sugar cookies- It was interesting to see
their different styles, some took their time and got the perfect amount
of frosting and sprinkles while others just slapped whatever on
and then shoved it in their mouth.
Spencer and Ireland were by far the professionals-
they each did a great job and their cookies turned out awesome!!

We are trying to do fun things together as much as possible this Christmas
rather than just run around like crazy and forgetting what this time of year
is really all about-
We are so thankful for all that we are blessed with,
including our wonderful family and friends....
Thank you for a wonderful day Fortenberry's, Amaya's and Thompson's-
We had a blast!!!

Here are a few of the cookies that Spencer decorated-
She made some pretty awesome cookies!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Every year the kids get a ticket to the State Fair of Texas-
so we went on October 11th.
The last time we went was when we first moved here and
we were shocked then how much it costs, I don't know
why we thought it would be any different this time-
You basically need to take out a loan to be able to do all
that there is at this fair- it is the largest state fair in
all of America- and if you love fried food this is the
place for you- fried PB&J's, fried twinkies,
fried coke (??), and this years big hit....
fried butter- weird stuff.
We stuck with the world famous corny dogs.
Since it was all so much $ we just walked around
and looked at all the animals and auto shows-
it rained a lot but we all still had a good time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

***SUMMER 2009 ***

We had an awesome summer- we spent June in Texas
and thenheaded up to Utah to stay at my Mom's.
While we were in Utah we spent time with
friends and family-
My sister-in-law got married-
we celebrated my moms birthday,
hung out at the Evans, went to a family reunion
in Cascade, Idaho-
It was the first time in a really long time that my
whole family was together,
all of my Grams kids, grandkids and great-grandkids were there-
14 in all-
(my extended family is smaller than Rich's immediate family...crazy).
We had a great time and surprisingly we all got along-
we floated the river,did a zip line that was awesome
and hung out with distant relatives
that we hadn't seen since the 2007 reunion-
We all had a great time!!!
From there we went to our great-Aunt Glenis' and
Uncle Garths in Challis, Idaho-
We went site seeing with my Grandma Audrey all around that area,
went "back to my roots" as they say-
After that ,me, the kids and Jensen met up with the
in-laws at Bear Lake for some camping
and some fun in the sun (until Jensen got so sun
burned that she had golf ball sized blisters on her back, not so much fun).
The kids and I had a blast at Bear Lake- it was nice to hang out
with family that we don't get to see as much as we would like-
we went to an awesome cave, the kids went snipe hunting,
got super dirty and we sat around a campfire every night-
It was fabulous!
Our travels then took us to Pineview Lake to meet
up with the Evans/Hagman's
for some more camping and fun at the lake- it was pretty cold but
it cleared up for a little while so the kids could play
for a bit at the beach-
I had a great time hanging with my BFF and my second family
and it's fun to watch the next generation
of friends hang out with each other
(Meag's kids and my kids).
I was super happy that we got to make smores-
I hadn't done that in a long time and it's one of
my favorite things to do.
Once we got back to my mom's house
we stayed there for a couple days
and then we had to leave for home
so we could get the kids ready for school-
it was very bittersweet to leave- We love Texas but we miss
our loved ones up north.
When we finally got home, we had driven 6,387 miles-
what a fantastic summer- it will be one that we will never forget!!
(there will be more pics to come in a later post)

Meag and me at a get-together at her house

The kids roasting marshmallows- oh how I want a
smore right now!!!

I made Meag a perfect smore....I'm drooling just looking at it!!

The sun wasn't out for too long but they had fun swimming and
building sand castles while it was.
My Kids and Meagan's Kids
Kaston, Spencer, Hudson, Ireland & Grady
(and their cousin Marshall in the back)

Monday, July 27, 2009

WOW!! 12 years....Really???

Well we've made it a dozen years!!
July 25th was our 12th anniversary- and let me tell you
how romantic it was.......NOT!!
The kids and I are in Utah and
Rich is unfortunately still in Texas.
So, our day consisted of me doing laundry and
organizing our destroyed suitcases-
while Rich hung out at home, alone! (so sad)
The only good thing about that day was that Meagan & Jon
had a get together at their house.
So, it was nice to hang out with my wonderful friends, but
I did miss my Boo- (yes, that is what I call him).

I can't believe that it has already been 12 years-
it's funny how it seems
like it flew by so fast and yet I feel like
I have been married to Rich forever-
In a good way, of course ;o)

It would have been super great to have been
together on our anniversary-
but I know that there will be plenty more to celebrate.

And, on a side note- thanks to my lil' sis, Jensen,
for watching the kids for us on the weekend
before we came to Utah- Rich and I were able
to have a much needed date night in honor of our 12 years.

Happy Anniversary Boo-
I Love You More Than the Mostestest!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

*** Our Soccer Nut ***

Ireland #27 Blue Lightening Spring Season 2009

Ireland started playing soccer about a year and a half ago,
and it seems that she has found her thang....
For two seasons she played on the Blue Dolphins but
her coach didn't continue so the team kind of fell apart until
the coach of the Blue Lightening called and asked
if we wanted
to combine teams-
It turned out to be a great thing- the girls all learned
to play
very well with each other.

During the very first practice Ireland raised her hand when
Coach Jason
asked who wanted to try to be goalie....
crazy girl.

I was freaking out because I thought she would be under a
ton of pressure
being the goalie but, it turned out
that she rocked at it!!!

She would usually play as a forward or on
defense during the first half

and then she would be goalie for the second half-
and let me just tell you, she was AWESOME!!!!

She was actually scouted by a select team coach after
one of the games.
He came up to Rich and I and told us that
he was very impressed by her
he would love for her to come to a practice and see if she
would like to play for his team-
It was a very proud moment for Rich and myself! =o)

At the end of the season the team had a swim party at
Beth's, the team manager,
We had a BBQ, the coaches handed out awards

and then all of the kids had a blast swimming.

In the end the team took 3rd place in there division-
they missed taking
2nd by one goal- they all did very well-
it was a great soccer season and
we're looking forward to the fall season.

Accepting her awards from the coaches

Ireland as a kick butt goalie!!

All the girlies being silly- it's fun to watch how
they all interact on the field and off- they are growing into to such awesome young ladies.

Way to go Ireland!!! We are way proud of you
and all of your hard work!!!