Saturday, December 24, 2011


We had Christmas with my family a couple weeks ago already,but better late than never to post pictures!
"Who ever smiles the nicest gets to open their present first!"
Our attempt at a family picture.
Elijah loving his new hot wheels track.
Our crew!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


My blog isn't working right but I did my best to add a few random pictures. I have a couple more posts of Christmas things I'd like to get done soon if my computer will let me!

AH, sweet revenge! Elijah and Anton fight quite a bit, here Elijah was playing in a laundry basket when Anton decided to hop on top so he couldn't get out.

Mark and I took third place in the Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Contest (a farm management contest)

The kids dressed up for their Christmas program this morning. This was Elijah's first year in the program. I was thankful he at least stood up there, even if he had to be bribed by his teacher with a toy. :)

Mark got Ethan some screws for his motorcycle tires so he could ride on the ice this winter. The boys had fun helping and were excited about the free hats they got!

Elijah has learned how to ride a bike without training wheels! He's so proud of himself! For some reason he likes riding Amelia's bike better than his own though.

The extra cement around the shop was supposed to help with my "kid in the mud" problems, but it's looking like I still have to deal with the muddy kid! Mark better get his drain cleaned out!

The boys take the easy ride on the motorcycle, but Amelia would rather chase them. She loves to run!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Fun

This Thanksgiving weekend was another busy one for our family. It was wonderful to see family that we don't get to see often and reflect on how much the Lord has done for us! We truly have much to be thankful for!

We spent Thanksgiving Day in Pella with my moms side. We rented a hotel meeting room for lunch and the kids got to use the pool/hot tub for the afternoon. This was so fun for them!

Anton I don't think Grandma is dressed appropriately for the hot tub. :)

Amelia quickly found Sienna, and didn't let her out of her sight the entire afternoon! I was so thankful for the teenage cousins who so kindly swam with our kids so I didn't have to!

Friday was spent playing with cousins at our house (sorry no pictures) and setting up the tree.

Friday night was Van Den Broek bowling! Aunt Ang helped Elijah and he had a blast, he was so proud of himself for knocking over the pins! Yea for the little ball ramp!

He's already looking forward to bowling again!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tiling Project

I'm way overdue in posting and this is project is already a couple weeks old but it's at least it's an update. Mark has enjoyed fixing up the farm we bought last spring and was able to put in some of the tile a couple weeks ago with the help of his brothers. He also cleared brush and trees, fixed up waterways and the kids and I had the fun job of picking up sticks and a few rocks. We're very excited about how much better it's looking!

Anton very excited to join the guys working!

Ethan and Elijah spent all day helping.

Looks like a heavy load Amelia!

The kids enjoyed being outside and watching their dad and uncles for the afternoon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Happenings

We've had another busy month! I didn't do the best job taking pictures, but here's a few to keep you up to date.

Not the best thing to start off with, but this is a picture of Elijah at his first dentist appointment. Yep, hiding in the corner, clinging to a chair. (sigh) Happily in the end he did sit on my lap and open his mouth for the dentist, thankfully he didn't have any problems so we won't have to go back for while!
On a happier note I took Anton and Elijah to Autumn Acres with our Momshine Group. We had nice weather and lots of friends to go on a hay-rack ride with!

Elijah's favorite activity was shooting the slingshot!

Gotta love cats. :) I guess watching Strawberry Shortcake with Amelia was a little boring.

This picture was taken while harvesting beans at the farm Mark and I bought this spring. Mark has been busy clearing trees here and the kids and I filled five skid loader buckets full of sticks left from last springs fence row clearing. Not a super fun job, but improving your own ground makes it a lot better!

We were thankful for nice weather most of the month, the kids love playing in the yard!

What's all the commotion?
We had a stray snapping turtle passing through the other day that got lots of attention.
We took the kids to the Fall Family Festival in Pella the other day. The kids love to paint pumpkins and play the yard games. The event has grown so much over the years, last year they had 1,200 kids! My kids aren't much for crowds and there was already a big one when it first opened so I'm thinking this may be our last year doing this activity.

They also had a sling shot, which was the only thing Elijah wanted to do. :)

We've made homemade apple cider for the last few years and couldn't go without this fall! Once you try this delicious, fresh cider you'll never buy it from the store again! We borrowed a friends cider press and made 6 gallons of cider to enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ethan and Amelia

The other day my sister-in-law Becky took pictures of the other two kids. I wasn't thrilled with their school pictures and this way I'll have coordinating pictures on the wall. Mark thinks I'm to picky, but they turned out great and I'll be happy when I look at my wall for the next year. :) Since it takes so long to load these I'm only putting a couple of each kid, if you'd like to see more check out Facebook.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wheelin for Warriors

Last weekend a local Jeep Club held a fundraising event to help disabled veterans. They camped, went off-roading and had show at Pella Christian Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon was spent at our place wheelin and taking vets for rides through our coalmine. We're very thankful for the brave men and women that serve in our military and were happy to be part of this special event!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Anton & Elijah

My sister-in-law Becky came over the other day to take pictures of Anton for his 1 1/2 year and Elijah for his 3 year. She did a great job! After getting Ethan and Amelia's school pictures back this week she'll be getting another call for the older two! Seriously disappointing school pictures this year!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Visiting Ang & Dan

The kids had a short week of school last week so we decided to go visit Dan and Ang for the weekend. Grandpa & Grandma VDB joined us and Mark stayed behind with the two little boys to combine beans. We had a busy, fun couple days and look forward to going back!

First on the agenda was Geo Cacheing, Ang has GPS on her phone and we used it to find a few Caches in Bunceton.

Our second cache had little trinkets in it, which the kids loved.

We couldn't find the cache at this site, but the view of the river was worth the drive!

Saturday we went to an Apple Festival in a near-bye town. Amelia got a pretty pink feather in her hair.
Next was a trip to Jacobs Cave. The kids hadn't visited a cave before and really enjoyed it.
We enjoyed the view of the ceiling full of soda straws!

Ethan found this little guy running around the gift shop after the tour.

The cave was hosting an Animal Swap meet so we thought we would check that out too. It was quite the experience! Lots of people riding around on lawnmowers and 4-wheelers selling and trading all sorts of "treasures".

Ethan is checking out this guys turkey's.

These people hauled their chickens around in a wagon. The sign say "Sell or Trade".