More cousins... And Michigan!

Chad's brother Matt and his family came for a visit a couple weeks ago. I unfortunately was not using the camera nearly enough and only have a couple pictures of their time here...

They delivered the barn that Gpa and Gma DJ had made for Cameron for his birthday. Aidan helped Cameron set it up as soon as they arrived!

We have a family from church who live in our neighborhood and graciously allow us to use their pool any time we want! We took advantage on a hot afternoon and took the crew over there to go swimming.

Cameron has hilarious! He had NO FEAR on the diving board and got a running start, spinning around and splashing into the water.

Though I don't have pictures to prove it, we had a wonderful time seeing family! Thanks Matt & Joy for coming to see us! 

Last weekend I (Kim) had a gathering with my college friends on Sunday afternoon in Michigan. Chad had a busy weekend with a variety of commitments, so I headed up to Michigan on Friday with the kids in order to enjoy a beautiful summer weekend! On Saturday we drove up to Grand Haven to spend the day by the water. Though we drove up in a thunderstorm, the skies cleared and the sun came out as soon as we got to the beach. Though the water was chilly, we had a wonderful time! The kids even had their first "pronto pups"... a local Grand Haven delicacy! 

Sunday afternoon was time with my college girls! I can hardly believe we met each other 16 years ago... CRAZY! Our dear Meredith is expecting her first child, so we threw her a baby shower while we were together. It was such a gift to see these sweet girls and catch up on life!

In order for me to enjoy time with my friends, my parents took the kids to John Ball Zoo for the afternoon. They had a great time! Thanks Dad and Mom!



We have been thoroughly enjoying summer around here! Though it's been cooler/wetter than is typical, we've had plenty of warm weather to get out and enjoy life.

In June we stopped at Indiana Dunes State Park for some beach time and a picnic lunch on our way up to Michigan. The kids had a blast!

The inflatable pools have been well used and loved this summer!

The kids are at such a fun stage and just adore each other (most of the time!).

Happy Father's Day!

Last summer was largely devoted to re-doing the landscape in the front yard. Kim pulled out all the rock, and Chad replaced it with wood chips. Chad ripped out all the old, overgrown plants as well as moved a couple around that were still salvageable. We planted several new things last fall and added window boxes, big planters, and some annuals this year. Here is a before/after, just for fun!



I also added this cute bench with a re-purposed window. My mom helped me with the colored planters (as well as planting all the other annuals)!

My parents and sister came for a quick visit 4th of July weekend. The kids LOVE having them around!

Kassidy took two weeks of Red Cross swimming lessons. She is doing SO well!

She is now taking ballet at a local park district. She was so excited that her friend Karis could join her!


Fun with the Roetmans

There was a time when blogging was a regular occurrence. Apparently, that is no longer the case. :) 

The last weekend in June, Chad's sister Anne and her family came for a visit. They arrived Thursday afternoon. On Friday we decided it would be fun to head to Brookfield Zoo. It was a rainy day, but according to weather.com, the rain was supposed to taper off about a half hour after we arrived. Apparently I need a new weather app... It POURED the entire time we were there!

Thankfully, there are animal houses that are indoors. We tried to take advantage of these. The kids enjoyed seeing the monkeys and penguins.

We took in the dolphin show.

Jumping in the puddles was a highlight. More on that to come...

The lions were RIGHT by the window. The male lion had his eye on Cameron and was licking his chops. Apparently, 2-year-old boys are the perfect size for a lion. Thankfully, the glass held!

As we were about to head out, Kassidy's boot came off while jumping in the puddle. As I was taking her wet sock off...

Cameron butt-dropped right into the middle of the puddle. So much for staying even a small amount dry! But he loved it! And we all had a good laugh.

At least one of us stayed dry! Brooke did great in the stroller!

Even soaked to the bone, Kassidy and Ben enjoyed a ride on the carousel! It as a wet day at the zoo, but we still had a good time. :)

Saturday proved to be a much better weather day. So we headed to Chicago with the crew. We first checked out the new Maggie Daley Park!

We walked through Millenium Park with a stop at the bean.

We ate lunch, walked up Michigan Ave, and out to Navy Pier. It was the first beautiful day all summer, and it was CROWDED but so much fun!

We LOVE seeing family and having fun cousin-time for the kids! Aren't they the cutest?!

Thanks, Roetmans, for making the journey to Illinois to see us! We had such a fun time with your family and hope to do it again some time!


Park, Foster Care, & Birthday

We've been thoroughly enjoying the warm weather and being outside! This past weekend we went to check out the new Maggie Daley Park downtown Chicago. It is AWESOME!  If you plan to go to Chicago this summer and have kids, it's definitely worth checking out! It's right by Millenium Park.

We have had a little foster love with us for a couple weeks as her foster family needed respite care. She's 15 months old and has kept us on our toes! We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with her and even got to watch her learn to walk.  :) She goes back to her foster family tomorrow.

Today is our sweet Lucy dog's 12th birthday! She is such a loving dog and the kids adore her. :)  She got some extra love with special treats the kids picked out at Meijer this morning.


Spring is in the Air!

Here's what's been happening in the De Jager household lately!

We took the kids to JCPenney to get their 4.5 year and 2 year pictures taken.  I just love that they run super cheap specials on Groupon to make regular pictures a possibility.  And I thought they did a great job!  We'll definitely be back.  :)

Now that the weather is warming up, we have been doing a bit of exploring around the area.  A couple weeks ago we went to Lake Katherine.  It has a 1-mile walking trail and nature center.  The kids had a great time!  We took Kassidy's friend Asher along for the morning of fun.

A popular thing in our area is for local towns to host a "Touch-A-Truck" event where they have fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks, snow plows, cement trucks, tractors, etc. come to a parking lot and allow the kids to climb in and check them out.  This was our first time attending one of these events, and the kids thought it was pretty cool!

Since last summer we've had a spot designated for a sand box.  I (Kim) happened to see a cool design on Pinterest that I thought would be perfect.  This spring Chad took a weekend and made it happen.  The kids LOVE it and play in it pretty much every day!

Friday mornings are pancake mornings around our house.  Both kids eagerly pull up stools to help Daddy make them.  This has become a favorite weekly tradition!

Kyle and Haley (Kim's brother and SIL) had a wedding in Chicago a couple weeks ago.  They came for a couple nights and allowed us the privilege of babysitting Madison.  We had a great time with them!

Last year we were gifted Brookfield Zoo passes when we arrived in Illinois.  It has been such a blessing!  We have gone a few times this spring with various friends.  I think Cameron asks to see the hippos at the zoo EVERY SINGLE DAY!  They love it!

My parents were in town last weekend.  My mom and I used to plant flowers every Memorial Day weekend when we lived in Holland.  It's been a few years, but I asked if she'd be willing to come down this year to help.  Chad and my Dad were in charge of the kids (and powerwashing) while my mom and I headed to the greenhouse and spent the rest of the day planting.  I LOVE having flowers in my landscape, the garden started and am so thankful they came to help!  The weather was summer-like, so we enjoyed a lot of time outdoors.

This past week I found a "co-pilot" attachment for our bike so that Kassidy can now ride behind one of us and pedal along instead of riding in the bike trailer.  Pulling 75 pounds plus a trailer was just becoming too much and Kassidy isn't able to ride long distances with us yet on her own.  This morning we decided to try it out with a 10+ mile bike ride.  Cameron slept for a good hour in the trailer and Kassidy had a blast being on the back!  This is a game-changer for our summer, and I'm sure we'll be biking much more regularly this year.  :)