Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

We had such a fun Christmas this year. Here a few pictures. Of course I have about a hundred more. Jake got too many presents, one of them being a kids digital camera. He walked around all day saying "cheese." On Christmas night Jake was so exhausted that he was begging to go home to sleep in his "own" bed. During all of the chaos, Caleb continues to smile and watch every move his big brother makes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elf Kate

Every year Aunt Kate makes an appearance in her elf suit. Jake was marching around in two year-old fashion chanting "present, present, present." I was so proud, ahem.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


With mixed emotions I headed back to work last Wednesday. We are still adjusting to our new schedule. Sure feels like we never slow down. I need wings on my mini van! I guess it's the new normal.

Jake continues to make us laugh. I think the second picture says it all. He has made tremendous strides in his language and is talking like crazy. He is still obsessed with the moon and stars. And we now go moon hunting. His latest is telling us that everything is "awesome." Waffles awesome, moon awesome, books awesome, door awesome, etc.

Caleb is adjusting well to being the little brother. He is still giving us sleepless nights but occasionally will give one of us a break and only get up once to eat. We celebrate those! He usually charms us with his smile and makes the middle of the night not so bad.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good Night Moon

Two things Jake has been extra attentive to lately, his Elmo pumpkin and the moon. He loves to look for the moon when we are driving at night. When we can't find it, I tell him that it's hiding behind the clouds or that it's sleeping. He isn't always satisfied with those answers but usually we can come to some type of agreement. He also has become interested in the stars. Maybe it's my diversion of not being able to always see the moon. Anyway, as most parents, we are also still adjusting to the time change. It was just after 5 a.m. this morning and we heard Jake through our baby monitor. Scott got up to see what was wrong. Perhaps he wet through his diaper, his paci was on the floor, etc. Nope, he wanted to share that the moon was awake and so was his elmo pumpkin. "Moon's awake Daddy!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

8 Weeks

Eight weeks ago today we welcomed this guy into our family. What an entrance he made, and what an emotional day it was. Caleb joined us at 2:09 a.m. and by 7 a.m. we were being told he was fighting an infection but uncertain of what it was. After some chest x-rays, a spinal tap, and lots of prayers - he was being treated for pneumonia.

At one point during the day one of our friends from church sent an email referencing Psalm 91. She encouraged us to put our own name in the verse. "He (Tara) who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty." Throughout the passage there are many places you could include your own name.

I'm so thankful that we have an awesome God who loves us and allows us to rest under His complete power.

As shown by the picture, he is very healthy! He is smiling more each day and giving Mommy and Daddy some more rest throughout the night. For the past 3 nights, he was only up once. Of course, declaring this will be sure to backfire on us tonight.

Monday, October 26, 2009


For as long as I can remember Aunt Kate has always loved Halloween. It's her holiday. This year was no different. Last year she came and delivered a pumpkin for Jake all carved up in Elmo fashion. This year Jake got to be more involved. And of all the choices she brought with her, guess who he chooses? Elmo. We cleared the kitchen table and they went to work. At first Jake wasn't to sure of the pumpkin "guts." By the end he kept wanting "more guts." And if you know Jake, he gets pretty adamant. So Kate kept scraping to appease his "gut" fix. As little as his 2 year old attention span is, he sat and helped for almost the entire process. Until Vitale's arrived!

Before Aunt Kate left tonight, Jake got out his halloween costumes. That's right, plural. We have several to choose from for him. We are borrowing these from a friend. The contenders are a monkey, elephant, and dog. I'm hoping the monkey wins. It fits the best of the 3. However, he is a bit concerned about the fir around the neck and surrounding the face.

Looking forward to getting together with some friends and their kids this weekend! Let the torture of picture taking begin!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today we ventured out to Post Family Farms in Hudsonville. What a difference a year makes! Jake was so into all of it. His favorite part were the goats. He is still talking about them and wants to look at the pictures we took. We took Grandpa (Bapa) and Grandma with. I think they liked the fresh donuts the best. My highlight was running into Liz Greeman and her girls. I'm still laughing at our brief time we had together, and looking forward to seeing them soon. Caleb was oblivious to it all, as he slept the entire time in his new stroller.

Monday, September 28, 2009


We are still adjusting to getting 2 kids ready to go somewhere. Sunday morning was no different. We were unable to make the first service at church and since Scott had a tee time at noon, the second service was not an option.

Since we didn't go to church, why not let our 2 year old run through the sprinklers in his pajamas? After all, it was 65 degrees out! What? All I asked was for someone to walk out to the mailbox and get me my newspaper and it turned into a 9 a.m. pajama sprinkler party.

My husband never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for being a fun Daddy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome Home

Jake is lovin his little brother. I know it doesn't look like it, but I think Caleb secretly likes him also. Jake's favorite things are trying to play frisbee with him, feed him cheerios, and lay under the activity mat together.

Caleb received his last antibiotic treatment around 7 p.m. on Thursday night and they let us free! It is so wonderful to have our family finally all together. I'm still soaking in all that has happened in the last few weeks, starting with my Dad's heart attack. All I know is that God has been good to our family and I am so thankful to be surrounded by such awesome family and friends.

Today has been a fun Saturday at our house. We got to see MSU lose to Central and Michigan win over Notre Dame. Jake wore his Michigan apparel while Daddy taught him to say GO BLUE. And little Caleb...he slept through it all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Caleb Update

Today has been a great day for little Caleb. During the night, Caleb started eating much more consistently. That has allowed them to gradually reduce the amount of sugar water that they have been giving him through an IV. Also, now that he is eating better, his own blood sugar has started to rise and regulate itself with each feeding. Hopefully over the next day or so, they can completely remove the IV of sugar water. In addition, they did another chest x-ray this morning, and the results came back about 20 minutes ago--his chest is completely normal! No signs of the pneumonia. Praise God! Caleb will need to stay in the hospital throughout the next week as they continue to administer the remainder of the 10 day antibiotic cycle, but all signs are pointing in the right direction. Again, we greatly appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. Our family and friends have definitely helped us during these very stressful past couple of days.

Tara and Scott

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Caleb Thomas

This little guy was born yesterday at 2:09 a.m.! 8 lbs. 5 oz. and 21" long, exact same as Jake!

After a smooth delivery, he got off to a rough start. His blood sugar was low as well as some other blood counts. For some unexplained reason he has an unknown infection. After a clean spinal tap and some x-rays they are thinking he might have pneumonia. They are treating the infection with antibiotics, fluids, and sugar water (to raise his blood sugar count). We are waiting for a blood culture test that will be available tomorrow morning that should have some more definite results and identify if there are any other infections. Hopefully that will come back clean and the pneumonia is all we are worried about. We do expect Caleb to be in the hospital several more days, but are definitely encouraged by the progress he is making.

We are so thankful for the amount of prayers, calls, and visits from family and friends. God is certainly our anchor and keeping us ever mindful of his grace, mercy, and unfailing love.

We have learned how quickly word can spread through our tech world. Facebook wasn't the way we initially intended to share our exciting news of Caleb's arrival to close family and friends. I'm sure there was a lot of confusion as to what was happening. We are, however, SUPER grateful for all the words of encouragement and most of all, the prayers!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Unfortunately I haven't blogged much about this pregnancy. I'm not much of a journal person. I wish that I was. As with Jake, I wish that I would've taken more pictures, wrote down pregnancy milestones, etc. Here I am in the home stretch and once again I am already looking back and regretting the lack of updates.

Up until a couple weeks ago, I really haven't done much nesting. Then it was like all the lack of had caught up to me. At 35 weeks pregnant, I convinced Scott to purge the house with me and have a garage sale. My anti-garage sale husband agreed. He even allowed me to throw our (his) family room recliner in the drive-way. I was pleasantly surprised by our efforts and the money we "made."

Then my hormones kicked into super high gear. I was convinced that we could simply take our garage sale earnings and invest in something to replace said recliner. Nope. I first needed a new cable jack on the opposite wall so I could keep my options open for furniture layout. So, my sweet husband called our friend to come install the new jack. They even moved the couch for me. Of course, I didn't like it. I wanted to paint the kitchen, install new floors, replace pictures, and paint the entertainment center....aaahhhh, let's just sell this house!

Yes, I might possibly be crazy. Or just 37 weeks pregnant. We settled on taking the old furniture from downstairs (sofa and loveseat) upstairs, buying slipcovers and throw pillows from Target...and calling it an afternoon. Oh wait, I did re-frame our kitchen pics too. O.K., Scott did that too, I just bought the supplies.

At the end of the day today. I'm satisfied. The slip-covers make me feel a little college-ish but we have more seating, different color palette, and a change in scenery.

Let's see what tomorrow brings or see what switch flips when I go back downstairs and see the disarray. I might have to pop some meds.

Fasten your seat-belts!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

YFC Chicken BBQ

Community Chicken BBQ

Where: Downtown Zeeland
When: This Friday, August 7
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Cost: $8.50 includes 1/2 chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, watermelon, roll, beverage, and chocolate chip cookie.

This annual event is in conjunction with the 3-on-3 basketball tournament hosted by The Bridge Ministry.

Kate and I have worked really hard planning this event. Proceeds help our West Ottawa and Zeeland Middle school ministries.

I'm not gonna lie, this is some good eats. I would come even if I wasn't one of the coordinators! If you want tickets, leave me a comment and I'll set some aside for you. I might even give my blog readers an extra cookie. Don't tell.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Family Pictures

Here are a few of our family pictures we recently had taken. Jake is a typical 2 year old and rarely sits still. Thankfully we had a great photographer who is able to capture our family in some great pictures. Thanks Lynette! If your looking for a great photographer check her out and her reasonable rates.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Yauchstetter

Scott's best friend from growing up got married yesterday. Jeff had two best men stand up for him, his brother and Scott.

Scott gave a very entertaining speech and maybe even made the groom squirm a little for fear of what the potentials could be.

This out of town wedding reception took place in the town of Lawton, MI. Been there? Probably not. Small town but great venue.

I made my way to the dance floor twice. Pretty good for 32 weeks pregnant. One slow song and one Kid Rock. That was all for me! Stacey and my camera kept me entertained while we watched the night progress into lots of dance moves at their finest.

I truly do have the best man though.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Jake!

This boy officially turned 2 today. He celebrated last weekend with his cousin Olivia during the family reunion at Nana's house. Today he celebrated with a cake at daycare. Tonight we visited Grandma, Aunt Vicki, and Aunt Kate. Daddy is gone because he is in a wedding tomorrow out of town for rehearsal. All of that to say, we will be celebrating with this side of the family and friends on Sunday night!

I can't believe that two years have gone by already and there is a little brother on the way. As excited as I am, my heart breaks a little for Jake. Coming soon he has to share Mommy and Daddy's attention. I know there is plenty of love to go around but the pregnancy hormones tend to take over and I get weepy easily...just ask Daddy.

Happy Birthday buddy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Amost 2.

We took Jake to the zoo this morning. He loved it. It made me realize how he's growing into a little boy. He ran around and couldn't wait to point out the animals. As much as I like babies, I am savoring the age he is at. He keeps us on our toes but I would have it no other way. It's hard to believe that in a few short months, we will be making room in our heart and lives for his brother.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

This weekend we tackled the cabin. We stayed in the camper. On Friday night, Jake finally went to sleep at 11 p.m. He decided to get up at 4 a.m. That's enough sleep for a toddler, right? Allergies and/or cold set in for the both of us also. Thankfully Saturday night went better! Still not enough sleep for Jake but we made it. All of the packing, unpacking, laundry, and lack of sleep really is worth it though, I think.

One highlight was Jake watching us fish. He was very excited to see us catch some, even if they were little. For once, I think we were just as excited to catch the little ones. He liked to lift the live well and see us throw them in.

So, today we're trying to catch up on sleep and I'm trying to fight this cold. I'm always skeptical of taking meds while being pregnant but last night I gave in and took 2 Tylenol Cold P.M. It was awesome, I slept until 9 a.m. Thanks to my husband!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Aunt Kate

On Saturday we celebrated Aunt Kate's 30th birthday at New Holland. Fun times! I especially enjoyed the birthday cake from Marcia's Bakery. Scott still swears it was like the best twinkie he's ever eaten, and he loves twinkies. I personally don't love twinkies but this cake was delish! Another highlight was the fun cards Kate received. Most of them played humorous songs. Ryan especially enjoyed them.

We hope your 30th was a memoroble one Kate. We love you and appreciate you in our lives. Jake wishes he could've celebrated but he chose to have a babysitter instead - ahem.

Monday, May 11, 2009

River Bank 2009

This is part of our group that represented YFC on Saturday at the annual River Bank Run in downtown Grand Rapids. This event hosted over 17,500 participants. It's so much fun to be a part of such a huge event. I'm especially proud of Scott who ran the 10K. His time was 54 minutes. Way to go!

Another highlight was the mother/daughter team...Kate and Carol! Mom, wanna do the 25K next year?

Our group may not have been huge but in the end we hope to have raised about $3000 in pledge money for the ministries of Youth for Christ.

Thanks everyone who participated and supported this event. There are 4 people missing from the picture. We are proud of you too (Sharon, Kelly, Joan, and Dann)!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tulip Time 2009

Jake only picked one tulip, but not the one in the picture. So this really isn't evidence! He loved running around with only his socks on. I showed him how to smell tulips and he kept doing it over and over. My favorite was this lady who was trying to get a picture of him doing it with her disposable camera. Not sure how many she wasted because he was on the move. Scott and I took tons of pictures tonight also.

Looking forward to possibly going taking him to the parade tomorrow. I promised some of my middle school girls that I'd come watch them, hopefully Jake wants to watch also.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Celebrated the big day by heading downtown with Scott and Jake. Very relaxing. Scott took me to The Piper on Friday night followed by Coldstone ice cream. My favorite part of my birthday was my gifts from Scott. Along with a book and gift card (only to be used on a girl's night) he made me coupons good for "one day of guilt free shopping with the girls" and "one morning of sleeping in uninterrupted" - good for anytime! I love creative gifts.

Thank you Kate for bringing in treats for the staff today in honor of my day! Love the flowers too. They are on my deck looking perfect.

My phone was on meltdown today with calls, texts, and emails. Aunt Vicki was the first to call with her traditional happy birthday singing serenade.

Thanks everyone for making my day special!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Image #2 reveals all! I think Jake is going to love having a little bro to play golf with. One more boy to the mix sounds good to us! Due date is still Sept. 6. Of course this little guy's head is already measuring big. That sounds familiar. We got used to our Doctor reading Jake's stats and when it came to head size she said "off the charts as usual!"

We celebrated the news last night by cooking brats on the grill. If it was a girl we were going to have chicken breasts. Hopefully I don't have to explain that one like we had to for Aunt Vicki.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nikon D60

It's kind of a long story but recently we were gifted with this special surprise. For a long time I've wanted a really nice camera. Not that I don't like my little pocket size point and shoot, this will be really handy capturing Jake while he's on the move. I finally have it out out of the box and am unveiling the manuals, lenses, straps, and dvds. I can't wait to learn what all this camera is capable of. It all seems a little overwhelming right now.
I also can't wait to take lots of pictures of the new baby. I guess this was an early baby gift. Speaking of baby...we find out today if Jake will be having a little bro or sister!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Jake had his first Easter egg hunt on Sunday. I was trying to get a good picture of him and his second cousins. As you can see, Jake was more interested in filling his own basket. He grew up 3 years with his "little man" outfit on.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Grand Rapids Children's Museum

Yesterday we spent the morning at the GRCM with the Henevelds. It was so much fun! A kid's dream, to be able to run and touch everything without getting in trouble. He and Daddy especially enjoyed the bubble exhibit. However, he also enjoys making music. We took a picture of him playing the piano for Nana, his great-grandma who teaches lessons.

Monday we went to Crazy bounce. The pictures didn't turn out as great. Jake had a great time sliding down the giant inflatable slides with Daddy.

We're sad that it's already Friday of Spring Break! It's been a great week at home.