Another week of two under 2

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

If I could change just one thing right now, I would love love love it if Izzy could sleep until at least 5:30am every morning. She gets up every morning between 3:30 and 4:30. In this instance and I try not to say this too often, but why can’t she be like her sister?! That way Gary and I could get some decent sleep to function throughout our next busy day. I’ll take the spit up, the teething, hissy fits being thrown b/c she doesn’t want to come inside, Cheerios all over the floor for just 1-2 more hours of sleep.

Ok. I’m done whining.

On a happier note, the girls keep growing! Izzy is getting heavier (I know this b/c of the weight of her in the car seat seems to surprise me now and again). She’s up to 6 ounces every 4 hours or so. She talks to us a lot – maybe more than Anna did and gives us cute smiles. She still has maintained her curly hair with a tinge of red color. So cute. She’s doing really well on her tummy, lifting her head for more than a couple seconds now (she’d rather suck on her hand or arm) and almost ready to roll over from her tummy to her back and her back to her tummy. Genius I tell you! She’s still battling a cough, that we treated for 10 days with antibotics but hasn’t gone away completely yet, that sometimes she coughs so hard to throws up. Kind of scary but she just doesn’t know how to clear her throat or stop coughing without calming her down again. We may visit the ole doctor’s office again.

Ms. Anna is extending her vocabulary and motor skills daily. “No” is quite popular but she says “love you” and even tried “love you, too”, “ready to go”, “bear”, “ball”, “eye” and a lot more that I can only remember when I run through all that she knows. She knows what a birdy says “tweet tweet”, car goes “vroom vroom” and about a quarter of the alphabet in Zoo Phonics (sounds and motions). Some things we don’t need to prompt her to do like doggy, cow and ball. She got some small puzzles for Easter and mastered those that day – who knew! So we busted out the puzzles Aunt Sheila got her for Christmas and did really well with those too. She is loving being able to go outside and play on her “side” (slide), collect rocks and rake in the dirt. We got her a scoot around bike (no pedals) and she likes it, but doesn’t always get it. Don’t think Izzy’s the only one reaking havoc – Anna is starting to only eat certain things and will learn that she’ll get what we put in front of her or she doesn’t eat. Tough love, I know. She drops when she doesn’t like something or hits. She’s hitting the terrible 2’s, still teething and learning how to express herself to us. I know it’s all typical and we handle it fairly well.

The ‘rents are holding their own. Work is busy for me, show time! Gary’s job is going well, too. So for that, we are thankful! We have a nice stream of side business, trying to kick start Blossom Studios and revamp Paper and Ink. Hopefully it’ll be a means to an end – for me to stay home! We’ve (meaning me) started seeds inside and some already had to go back into the earth (peas and beans) as they got too big for their britches and my lack of watering didn’t help. But the others are all manageable and eagerly awaiting the outside. I have all the plans in my head ready for the girls bathroom – something a little more girly b/c I know we have girls! Hehe. I’ll post pictures of the projects and the room itself once I find the time. With my cronic blog reading, I have many DIY projects I’d love to do, but again, time is the enemy and I have none. So once the girls get on the same schedule, I’ll have some more time to work on these things.

Thank you for all your prayers and cards in the passing of Gary’s grandpa. It means a lot to us and the family. We’re starting a new tradition by having Grandma Tuesday’s. On Tuesdays, Gary’s picking her up and having dinner at our house, then bring her to the store for groceries and back home again. She enjoys being with family and seeing the girls, so it’s a pleasure to do it!

We’re also keeping busy with doing fun stuff outside, like taking walks, bike rides, trips to the park, trips to Frederick Meijer Gardens and in the next couple months, the beach! Anna loves being outside and the fresh air doesn’t hurt either!

Well, that’s us at the moment. :)

Love to all!
Gary, Christie, Boog and Izmeister

Izzy’s Videos

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

Anna’s videos!

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

Anna loved to put on Gary’s gloves and with a smooch to boot!

Never a dull moment with Uncle Alex – crusin’ in the container!

Now it’s Anna’s turn to pull Uncle Alex!

Our first Easter morning egg hunt!

Stay tuned for Izzy vids soon!


Frank H Hall – June 23 1929 – April 19 2009

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010


Click here to
view pics of Grandpa


Click here to view the obituary

A Lasting Impression:

Well here I am again, one of my rare appearances on our blog. Well I say our blog but let’s be honest, it is Christie’s blog chronicling our lives. The reason for this posting is both sad and joyful, sad because I have temporarily lost a very important person in my life, joyful because he is now in the presence of the Lord and he feels no more pain. In the coming paragraphs I hope to be able to paint a picture of my grandfather for those of you who did not know him. For those of you who did know him, I hope this will bring back memories that will not only bring a tear to your eye but a smile to your face.

My grandfather, Frank H Hall began life in Southern Illinois in a small cabin with a dirt floor. There is some debate as to how many brothers and sisters he had but we know for sure that he was at least 1 of 15 siblings born to at least 3 different wives of his father. Both of his parents were of significant Cherokee Indian heritage which could be seen in his features. Grandpa eventually made his way to Grand Rapids when his older brother, the man I knew as Uncle Earl came to town.

Once in Grand Rapids Grandpa attended and finished High School at Union High, joined the Army Air Corps and in 1949 married my Grandmother. After earning several medals during the Korean War he came home to be with his family. I remember grandma saying that my uncle Frank was something like 18 months old by the time they made it home. They lived for a time in Waco Texas but made it back to Grand Rapids which is where they would remain.

They had 4 children, Frank, Dan Ardis (my mother) and Steve. From there they ended up with 8 Grandchildren, Andrea and David born to Frank and his wife Berta, Daniel and Derek born to Dan and his wife Trema, Gary & Sheila born to Ardis and her husband Gary (my parents) and last but not least, Anthony and Jeremy born to Steve and his wife Kris. The family grew even more when they began to have great grandchildren. Connor and Ethan, born to Andrea and her husband Jacob, Ryan and Kylie born to David and his wife Liz, Alex born to Daniel and Anna and Isabella born to Christie and I.

Grandpa was a man of quiet confidence. He was one of those men that led by example and who commanded respect just by his presence. Grandpa never had to say much to get his point across. You knew with just a look whether he was proud of you, disappointed in your actions, happy, sad or mad. Grandpa had the patience of an angel. My mother fondly remembers playing cowboys & Indians in the living room, running and screaming around Grandpa’s chair while he read the paper as if it were dead silent in that room.

Grandpa was a teacher who taught in the same way that he lead, by example. Many of life’s lessons were learned without him uttering a word. Others needed some words applied to them but they were always spoken with a quiet confidence that served to say, “Trust me I know what I am doing”.

Grandpa was known for his ability to fix anything. It did not seem to matter what you brought him he would find a way to fix it. From bracelets to toys, to washing machines, pools or even mopeds, Grandpa could fix them all. Grandpa no doubt honed these skills during his tenure as a member, and eventually Foreman of the maintenance department at Country Fresh Dairy in Grand Rapids.

Grandpa worked for Country Fresh for 39 years and retired when I was 14 years old. I have vivid memories of class trips to the dairy where Grandpa would walk us all around and show us how things worked. The tour would conclude with a free ice cream treat. I would always choose a Nestle’s Crunch Bar.

Retirement was good to Granma & Grandpa. They were able to spend their time doing the things that mattered most to them. These included their church family as well as the family that they had built. Grandma and Grandpa attended what is now known as Grand Rapids First. I always knew it as First Assembly of God. Grandma & Grandpa were saved and born again in the early 80’s. I remember there being a significant change in them at this point in their life. From this point on they became wholly devoted to the Lord and they grew in that faith and devotion every day.

During Grandpa’s final days on this earth we all gathered around his bedside daily. His last words to me were, “I thank the Lord for you and those kids”, referring to my 2 daughters, Anna & Isabella. Christie reflected on the vision of all of my uncles and one of their cousins gathered around Grandpa’s bedside in the living room of their condo in Georgetown. She marveled at 4 big burly men standing around a once large and burly man who has now become frail, weak and small. She commented on how it felt like a torch was being passed on. On further reflection, I had to agree. So my final words to my Grandpa on Sunday were, “It is OK to go Grandpa. You have taught us well, we will take what you have taught us and pass it on. We will Take care of Grandma; there is no need to worry.”

From there Christie, the girls and I went to Church. The entire time during our worship I kept praying that the Lord would take him. Just as the pastor began his sermon, my phone rang and I just knew what it was. Upon exiting the Sanctuary I got the news that I had been preparing myself for, Grandpa was gone. When we got back to his condo, I went to his bedside and thanked him for letting go and thanked the Lord for taking him to a better place.

As a tribute to our Indian heritage, my mother’s Cousin Larry, the son of Grandpa’s brother Earl, posted the following poem to Grandpa’s online guest book.

An Indian Prayer

I give you this one thought to keep,
I’m with you still I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone,
I am with you still,
in each new dawn.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand there at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Author Unknown
Earl Hall’s Tribe
Apr 20, 2009 Wayland, MI

Grandpa did not die; he is alive in Christ, watching over us as we continue our Earthly journey. He is now in the place that we all strive to be. Grandpa is alive in us as well, through our memories and our habits and idiosyncrasies’ learned from him. Grandpa has passed the torch to all of us who knew him, it is our turn to teach, lead, guide and love.

Thank you all for your words of prayer and support on Facebook, they are truly appreciated.


Gary, Christie, Anna & Izzy

Ebay Auction

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

Our church is doing an Ebay auction to raise money for 3 local charities. There are some really cool items on there like trips, hunting equipment and other items. Gary and I donated a computer package and a graphic design package along with Blossom Studios having a package on there. Check it out and see if there’s anything your interested in!

Fairhaven Ministries Ebay Auction

Thanks for looking!


Week 12-13: Two under 2

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

Spring is here! (Can I say that so soon?) We’re hitting the 50’s and 60’s this week, so we’re well on our way to warmer days. This year wasn’t too bad for me anyway, I was in the house most of the winter on maternity leave with the girls. I recommend having babies in winter – good excuse to stay in. :)

For all of you who just like to look at pictures, here’s the latest. :)

Let’s see, what have we been up to… Last Saturday we had a busy day of a baby shower for our friends, Steve and Rebecca. She’s having a little girl, Olivia, next month! In our neighborhood, we’ve set a requirement that all girls should begin and end in vowels (Olivia, Anna, Isabella, Alyssa and Asha) and boys (Ethan) start with a vowel. Too funny! I made my first diaper cake as a gift, which I think turned out pretty darn good.
We rounded out the weekend with church and dinner with Gary’s grandparents and parents. His grandpa is doing ok. He’s quite weak and tired these days. If you could pray for him and grandma, they’d really appreciate it.
Gary flew out Sunday afternoon for a conference in DC for a few days. He went with a few co-workers and his boss. He went to a bunch of seminars and participated in a panel discussion about making academic offices paperless, making them rely more on technology than paper. He got us all a souvenier and took some camera phone pictures. Alex and Sheila took turns staying with me to help me get out the door on time each morning – thank you! We gladly welcomed him back home Wednesday night.
Friday afternoon we headed to Chicago for an overnight trip. We hadn’t seen Ryan and Angela since Christmas and they had yet to meet Izzy, so it was nice to get out there a little earlier. Saturday morning was a shower for my cousin Katie who’s getting married in June. I’m glad we were able to make it! I was able to help Katie with her invites (which turned out beautifully!) and have loved watching her bring her dreams to life. Makes me want to redo my wedding day stuff (not the day!). Saturday night we were back in MI to get ready for Easter Sunday.
Sunday started out good with Anna finding her eggs from her bedroom door to her Easter basket in her seat for breakfast. She did good for awhile but got bored after a bit. Soon after breakfast started, Izzy was coughing so hard, she threw up. She’s been sick with a cold for awhile but she started not eating well the last few days and coughing. So we called the on-call service and said we were doing all the right things. Monday (this morning) we wanted the doctor to look at her and he gave her the all clear, she just has a cold in her head and her way of clearing her throat is coughing. So hopefully the next few days bring us a more restful Izzy. Poor girl. We did nursery Sunday morning and had lots of beautiful kids with pastely clothes on. Too cute. Dinner was at Grandma and Grandpa’s again. We had a nice time where the girls got baskets from G&G Tidd and we were able to help Grandma clean out her fridge and help Grandpa to bed. So needless to say, it was a draining day!
Hopefully the next week will bring us good health, sunny days and new experiences. We’re doing well despite minor set backs. We’re thankful for our jobs, our little girls, our marriage, our families and for the death and resurrection our Savior!
Hope this find everyone well, getting their gardens ready and planning summer vacations!
Love to you all,

Weeks 9-11: Two under 2

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010

Sorry about the delay! Man, these girls sure keep us on our toes. I’ll try not to start out each post with saying how busy we are, but time does fly by! It might be kind of hard to remember all that’s gone on in the past few weeks, but I’ll see what I can dig up.

Pictures of the girls (I’ll get more posted this weekend I hope and send out a new link of pictures):

Anna (17 mo) and Izzy (2 mo)
Month by Month

Izzy: We had her 2 month appointment a couple weeks ago. She was still 10 pounds 2 ounces seeing as we were in just a week prior. She had her first rounds of immunizations and did really well! No fever or sleepless night and didn’t cry more than 30 seconds. She’s just as much of a trooper as her big sister. She’s 22 1/4 inches long, so at the same timeframe her and Anna were about the same length but Izzy’s almost 2 pounds heavier at this age than Anna. Izzy’s been smiling a lot more when we talk to her, especially when Anna is near her. We try to tell Anna that she loves it when you’re around her, that she loves you, making it a positive thing. She does pretty good. She’s also become quite a chatty little girl too – especially after her baths. Cooing, trying to find her voice and seems so proud when she does. She’s still our little cuddle bug, sleeping the best when being held or at least near someone. I can’t wait for the day when she grabs her blankie and just wants to sit on your lap for an hour. She sleeps till 5am most nights, sometimes a little longer. With our doctor’s suggestion, we’re trying her nighttime bottle with some rice cereal, but she doesn’t seem to sleep any longer. Who knows. :) It’s so fun to see her develop who she is and to sit back and think of what these 2 are going to be like as sisters. Izzy also had her baptism on March 15. We had a wonderful time with family and fawning over Izzy. :)

Anna: I swear she’ll be talking in full sentences in weeks. She tries to say the last word or 2 of everything we say. She repeats “sentences” like she knows what she wants to say, but can’t say it yet. It’s amazing. On the way home from daycare each day, we practice saying and doing everything she knows and then add in a few extra things. We know what a lot animals say, kitty is our new one, with her cute little “meow”. She knows where most of her body parts are from her pigtails and eyes to her knees and “belbows”. We practice saying all of her aunts and uncles names (Sheila is “ee-ya”, Alex is “ee-esch”, Ryan is “ee-yan” and Angela and Libby are difficult yet), grandpa is “papa”, grandma is some babble, mommy and daddy said loud and clear, and Izzy is “baby”. :) She’s said Izzy a couple times, but when we say, say Izzy, she says baby. Too funny. She is learning the joy of a bubble bath, she collects rocks with her neighborhood friends and is a bit on the crabby side yet b/c of teeth and being almost 2 I’d guess. She’s certainly growing up and we’re just amazed at all she does already. I know she loves her little sister, it’s just hard to share the attention sometimes.

Mom and Dad: Gary had a oral surgery last week. He had an infection at the tip of the root where a root canal wouldn’t get to it. They had to cut his gum and drill through the bone to get to it. Talk about goosebumps. He’s healing up nicely and pain free. Work is going well for him and keeping busy for sure. I’m doing well, working on getting our new business venture, Blossom Studios, up and running. We had a successful craft expo a few weeks ago and have been spreading the word and people are excited! Our prelim website is and I’m working on an actual site design. So anyone in West Michigan, NW Indiana and south side of Chicago, let us know if your intersted! Work is going well for me – I think we’ll make it through the downtimes alright. It seems as we won’t struggle for business, just making a profit this year. Which is better than most can say. The basement is on hold I suppose, until we have a free weekend or motivation to move on to the next phase (mudding and taping). We have a room where people can sleep, so that’s the main thing we needed for right now. We’re ready for spring, to get out for walks, bike rides, trips to the park, gardening and soon after that, the beach! I’m also taking on the venture of starting my own seeds for a garden. Three days in and we already have sprouts!

All in all, we’re doing well. We’re all happy, healthy and thankful. Please keep Gary’s Grandpa Hall in your prayers as he’s been in and out of the hospital for dehydration and possible pneumonia. He’ll be getting in home care now. Keep Grandma in your prayers as well as she cares for him.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Gary, Christie, Anna and Isabella