New Direction

by Kristi Van Dyk in

In the last 6 months, my life has taken so many new directions. I thought it only fitting to sort of re-design my blog before re-starting. I used it first as an accountability piece to developing a consistent prayer/devotional time. I feel disciplined enough in that endeavor, that I want to move on and share something new with the people who find me :). I began a work at home job that fills any free time I have. It's incredible, and I feel God really placed it into my lap for an important reason. BUT, nevertheless it keeps me moving ... One thing I do notice in my chasing of a toddler, growing her little brother (for 9 more weeks), working at home, and assisting with tennis is that my time treasure the memories I make with my child is minimal. Scrapbooking is sort of OUT of the question at this juncture, but I take photos all the time and facebook a lot of her stories. This blog offers a better way to elaborate on all of the learners of my children, my learnings as a mother, and how all three of us are melding into the family that God wants us to be. So I don't expect to enlighten anyone with marvelous insights, or to impress you with expressive writings, but if you love our family, our kids and want to hear the latest ... That's what I can give you.

Here's a quick recap of the past 6 months at the Van Dyk house: ~ We said goodbye to our much loved Grandma, Elaine Van Dyk. We will always remember her in our hearts and look forward to seeing her in heaven. I know she'd proud so far of her little great granddaughter who carries her name. ~ We had a fun baby shower for my sister-in-law, Alaina and the son they were expecting ~ Watched Kayleigh learn to crawl inspired by a photo of Matthew McConnaughey on The Wedding Planner DVD ... Boy crazy, already :) ~ Sat home on the first day of school for the first time since I was in Kindergarten ~ Coached two 8th grade volleyball teams (and had her White tournament cancelled to the insane epidemic of Swine Flu in Southwest Michigan) ~  Helped Kayleigh transition to all table foods. Her favorites at the beginning: Mac n Cheese, cut up string cheese and ALL fruits ~ Helped with auditions for the 8th grade play ~ Enjoyed her little girl's help while folding laundry. It was the beginning of the phase she NOW embodies (at 16 months) all day long: I must be Mommy's helper. My playtime always has a purpose! Put me to work :) (even if it takes you 10 times as long) ~ Watched Kayleigh discover how to "chase" Andre around the house ... everywhere, all the time as fast as her four limbs can move her. ~ All came down with "Swine Flu" Steve got hit the worst, Kayleigh had the second longest recovery time and Mommy had JUST gotten her vaccination because of the pregnancy (which had not yet been announced) so hers was mild ~  Had a great time with Steve at her 5 year reunion at Hope ~ Survived the phase of Kayleigh tearing apart everything in the house (well, I'm still surviving it ...) ~ Celebrated the birth of little miracle: Ryan Walker Creswell ~ Presented twice at educators conventions: CEA and MANS ~ Started a new job working for add.a.lingua writing curriculum from home :) (And bi-monthly trips to Zeeland) ~ Watched my daughter learn how to "bat her eyes" and receive a free sub from a young man at Jimmy John's (October, 11 months) and two cookies in consecutive weeks at Subway (14 months) ~ Enjoyed the phase when Kayleigh would NOT mix foods. She'd come her mouth empty of its contents to make room for whatever spoonful she saw coming (even if it was the same goody she had in her mouth) ~ Announced that we were expecting a baby in May (announcement in November just before Kayleigh's first birthday) ~ Kayleigh's first birthday - spent at Grammy's house with a fever of 105! ~Had my lunch stolen because Kayleigh decided she'd rather eat whatever her parents eat than what is on her tray (November, just after her 1st birthday) ~ Spent a few days watching the Ipema kids and Kayleigh's best night sleep came in Auntie Robin's walk in closet ~ Felt the new baby move for the first time (December 4) ~ Enjoyed playing outside for Kayleigh's first snowfall (December 12) ~ Pet sat for Ipema's over Christmas Break ... Kayleigh learned to love the dog (the puppy was gone, just Star was around) :) ~ Enjoyed an amazing Christmas morning with 6 little kids under 6. Knowing that next year, Lord willing it will be 8 under 7!!! ~ Learned we are expecting at little boy on May 23rd (u/s date was December 29) ~ In early January started play dates with Auntie Alaina and Ryan every Thursday :) ~ Learned there is a little OC in my daughter as she sorted her Fruit Loops and at them by color (Orange ones were rejected, btw) ~ Watched Kayleigh copy EVERY move Mommy made, starting with the morning bathroom routine: brushing teeth and hair and applying makeup. Kayleigh tried to do it all at once (mid- January) ~ Finished Kayleigh's new "Big girl room" in late January, freeing up the nursery for her brother ~ Kayleigh learned to play and entertain herself! (Well for brief periods of time anyway) ~ End of January, Kayleigh is introduced to Lucky Charms by Grandpa C. She quickly discovered that she wanted the "pretty" ones and picked out all of the marshmallows ... then looked at Grandpa and said MOOORRE in her deep husky little voice. She's no dumby ~ Early February switched Kayleigh to cloth diapers! LOVED them and will use ONLY cloth for little son ~ Kayleigh's inspiration to walk (at 14 months) was the Penguin that sings Ice Ice Baby given to me by a former student :) ~ Laughing as Kayleigh taught us that she knew what she wanted by patiently reaching for our hands to lead us to whatever it was she was communicating ~ Had help from family finishing the basement into a playroom for the kids! What a blessing! ~ Enjoyed Kayleigh's obsession with music and "dancing" to just about every song on her iPod ~ Kayleigh loving to read sitting on the couch, not on your lap, next to you like a "big girl" for about 2 pages of a book at a time. ~ Progressing to "reading" books with Mommy because she knows all of the words in each book by picture :) ~ Tearing up as my big girl, kissed her baby brother (through Mommy's belly) and got kicked in the face. She gave me a "surprised" face ... which I think I'll see lots in the next few months ~ Laughing as Kayleigh comprehends where things are around the house and what is necessary to get what she desires (i.e. pulling out all supplies necessary for bath time right after lunch even though she has had day time baths less than 5 times in her little life OR when she's hungry, running to her high chair, grabbing her "bub" and her "tay" and asking to be put "out" to eat). ~ Realizing that each day is a special little treasure from the Lord ... and that regardless of the temper tantrums and difficulty sleeping and amount of time it takes to get EVERYWHERE that I am living in some of the best moments of my life ... thanks for helping me treasure them :)

Now off to GR for playdate with Auntie Alaina and Ryan beginning at Yesterdog!