A Michigan Weekend

This past weekend we were up in Michigan to celebrate our niece Madison's baptism.  We spent a few extra days there to enjoy some time with friends and family!

What's fall without a stop at Crane Orchards?  The kids had a blast and we picked LOTS of apples!

 Of course, we had to have lunch at the restaurant and enjoy hot cider and cider donuts when we were done!

And then the hard work began!  "Aunt Haley" joined us for the applesauce-making extravaganza!  I don't think she quite knew what she was getting herself into.  We canned 35+ quarts and a handful of pints.  We should be set for the year!

On Saturday morning, downtown Holland was having a trick or treating event with their stores.  Anna and Elsa were going to be at one of the stores, so Kassidy was so excited to see them.  In normal Kassidy fashion, she completely froze and refused to go close to them on her own.  But she still talks about how fun it was to see them!  :)
 Getting candy from Olaf!
 My mom happened to have Kassidy's Cinderella dress at her house to fix it and found an old pumpkin costume in the attic, so both kids were dressed for the occasion! 

One of my dad's co-workers has started raising alpaca.  He offered to meet us out at the farm in order to see the alpacas up close.  Cameron LOVED them and tried to run at them the whole time.  We spent most of our time chasing him around, trying to prevent him from being kicked.  He couldn't get enough!  Though Kassidy thought the alpaca were cool, she fell in love with George, the cat!  I am not a cat lover, but this cat was the sweetest cat I've ever seen!

We spent Saturday night at Tri-Ponds Campground visiting our dear friends, the Rietemas!  Cameron stayed home, but Kassidy had a blast with their girls.  Tony and Chad made a huge leaf pile for the girls to play in!  Today Kassidy told me that Sierra and Ellery are like her cousins.  We sure love the time we have to spend with them!

And of course I don't have any pictures of the baptism, which is the whole reason we were there in the first place!  But it was a ton of fun and Madison was cute as can be, even though she cried through most of it.  :)


Hat Boy

Cameron LOVES hats!  He is always grabbing Chad's hats or his own and running around the house with them, squealing in delight.  



We've been staying busy at the De Jager house!

See that enormous pile of wood chips in the background?  One way to find motivation is to have the township dump wood chips on your driveway covering over half of it!  Chad worked hard in most of his spare time spreading wood chips.  The kids enjoyed the rides in the wheelbarrow.  We filled in the swing set area and still had way too many!  So then we decided to remove all the rock from the front landscape, rip out old shrubs, and put wood chips in instead.  It was sure a lot of work, but man does it look nice!  Before/after pics to come.  :)

This summer, Chad built a fire pit and his dad built the patio around the pit.  We have enjoyed a few fires, and Kassidy is a huge fan of s'mores!  I'm sure we'll have many, many fires in the backyard.

I took the kids to a local pumpkin farm.  We joined another family from church, and the kids had a blast!  Kassidy LOVED the jumping pillow!
 Cameron enjoyed the sand box.
 And the kids couldn't get enough of the giant corn bin.

 We took a fun hayride around the farm.

Fall is hands-down my favorite season.  The weather is beautiful, the air is crisp, the colors of trees are gorgeous, and being outside is a treat.  The outdoors just calls your name in the fall, and we've been soaking up as much as we can of this weather!  :)


Chad's Installation

A couple weeks ago, Chad was officially "installed" as Pastor of Christ Community Church.

The official service was at 3pm on Sunday, September 14.
Paul and Julie Wesselink came down from Holland to sing.
Kassidy LOVED having BOTH Grandpa's around!

 After the service, we had a "Bears Tailgate" to celebrate the day.  They did a great job with all the decorations, the weather was picture-perfect, and the day was a huge success!

Chad has to try out the hamster balls.
Kassidy and Grampa also took a turn!

Both of our parents came for the service as well as Chad's cousin Tanya and her family, who live in the Chicagoland area.

We feel so incredibly blessed as we begin this new chapter in our journey.  We cannot wait to see all that God has in store for us here in Illinois!


For the love of Michigan

One of the perks of living in Illinois is that my family is now only 2 1/2 hours away.  One of the other perks is that Lake Michigan, a boat, and a beach is also only 2 1/2 hours away.  Having grown up in Michigan, summers will never be complete without a good amount of the Big Lake!  Though we couldn't truly vacation there this summer with Chad starting a new job, we were able to make several short trips throughout the summer.  Here are some highlights!

Kassidy LOVES the sea doo!

Chad waterskis at every opportunity he gets.  (I got one run in this year, so we're hoping for more next year!)

We got to spend time with my cousin Jason, his beautiful wife Jen, and their 4 boys.  Kassidy and Carter love playing together!

My sister Jenn was in Michigan for a couple weeks.  We enjoyed spending time with her, though it was much too short!

 Cameron LOVES the beach!

 The kids both had fun playing in the sand and water.

Once Cameron warmed up to the water, we couldn't keep him out!

 Quality time with Aunt Jenn!

No matter what water toy, Cameron feels a need to drink the water he is playing with.  I suppose his immune system is going to be pretty strong!

Big Lake Perfection!

All 4 of us went on the tube together!  It was Kassidy's 4th summer tubing and Cameron's 1st.  Though we weren't moving in this picture, I assure you we did get pulled around the lake.  Kassidy LOVED it this summer... Cameron was neutral on the experience.  :)

My parents with their 3 grandkids.  We loved being able to see Madison several times throughout the summer!

 Lots of time was spent around this table, enjoying summer and family.