Sytsema Family Christmas 2009

Sytsema Family Christmas 2009
Don, Brady, Kyle, Lisa and Ryan

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

I have to say I make sure we do it every year, but it is not one of my most favorite activities...Pumpkin Carving! This year we went to Papa's Pumpkin Patch and the boys got to pick out their favorite pumpkin. I was prepared to help them carve the pumpkins when Stephanie (a previous babysitter who is living with us temporarily) said her sister was coming and they would like to carve pumpkins with the boys. I very happily said yes!!

It was so neat to see this year the boys really get into it. Ryan even dug out the insides.( in years past he would not even reach his hand inside.) Kyle also did a great job and was excited when his was done and looked great.

Stephanie even baked the seeds and they actually tasted great. Then they did some pumpkin painting and the boys loved that as well. Stephanie has a very special relationship with the boys and it is great that both Stephanie and the boys love doing things together.

We went trick-or-treating with our good friends the Murch's again this year. The boys... I mean the Mummy, cowboy on his horse and Nemo the fish had a great time!!

Kyle the Birthday Boy!!

I can't believe it he is 7!! Kyle turned 7 on October 13th and it is still hard to believe. It is so great to see Kyle mature and really become such a nice young man. His is a great student (loved by his teacher) and a really nice friend.

For his birthday this year I had to be out of state on business, but we did a little pre-celebration the night before and the morning of his birthday. He was so surprised to find birthday balloons and a birthday banner all for him. I had Mother's guilt for having to leave before anyone was up to catch a flight, so I did a little extra. Kyle told me on the phone that night that he loved the balloons but he thought Brady liked them the most.

We celebrated his birthday on Sunday with his Papa and Dee Dee and our friends the Dole's. This years cake request was Yoda with his light saber. Though I am no Cake Boss, from the TLC show Kyle loves to watch, I think I did a pretty good job. Kyle loved it and that is the only one I was trying to please.

Kyle got some really nice things for his birthday and was very excited to be seven, even though I keep telling him he is not allowed to be seven :). We are so blessed we have a healthy, happy and kindhearted seven year old.

Ryan Gymnastics

We have been looking for an activity for Ryan and finally found something he is so excited about. A few weeks ago he started gymnastics and thinks it is the best thing ever. The class looks like fun and he gets to jump around and do what he calls "special moves", but his excitement could also have to do with his "girlfriend" Macie's parents owning the business and she there for his class. I said it before, the boy is going to like the ladies, and guess what, the ladies love him :).

Anyways, it's been very nice to see Ryan shine with is own thing. And he is so excited to show anyone that comes over all his gymnastics skills.

Soccer Star

Kyle once again this year decided to play soccer. I remember his first year of soccer when we thought, "oh man he is not going to get this." Well, this year we have seen Kyle really get it. He understands the strategy of the game, how to dribble around people, and even pass the ball to his teammates. The first game of the season I think he scored 4 goals and has at least averaged 2 goals a game since.

It is so great to see him be such a good teammate and have great sportsmanship. He cheers for his teammates and after he scores a goal he just hustles back to the center to be ready for the game to start again. Though it is fun to watch him have success at soccer this year it is even better to see him be such a great team member. Oh, but lets be real, the snack at the end is still a huge hit!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brady Boy!!

One thing you can say about our house is, it is never quiet. Well, at least not before 8pm. Brady is one factor in the volume level. The funny thing is he is not even talking yet. Well, that is not true, he has a few words- Uh Oh, Hot (which is said using just the HHHH sound). Though he has few words, he definitely makes himself known.

Brady's 15 months and oh so sweet. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He now blows kisses and waves when people leave. He is learning to come down the stairs pretty well so maybe we will be free of gates soon. The brothers like that Brady can't get out of the family room so they can have their toys on the other side of the gates.

Brady loves being outside. He also loves putting everything in his mouth. He really loves the hard cherries from a tree in our front yard, but he also like acorn and sticks. What? a little fiber will do him good, right?
And sand too!!

Brady sure does keep us hopping (because he is into everything) but we all sure do love him. I have to say I even love some of the special quiet time we get EARLY in the am when he is up before everyone else. Though, I will be the first to say when he outgrows that I will not be too disappointed :).
He loves his brothers!!!

First Day Of School

Kyle's first day of 1st grade was great. He was so excited to go and it was a totally different start then Kindergarten. Last year he was so anxious and worried. This year he was so excited to see his friends and get started learning. He is doing so well in school his teacher Mrs. Todd is the daughter of his Kindergarten teacher Mrs. B. So the transition has been seamless. He is reading everything and his math skills wow me (lets be honest I was never that great in math). It is just so fun to see him excited to learn. But lets also be honest when asked about his favorite parts of school it normally involves gym or recess.

Though Kyle was excited his brothers, especially Ryan, could not wait for the school day to end and have Kyle back home to play. Brotherly love how sweet.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Amazing Vacation in Maine

I don't even know where to start, we had such a great vacation in Maine. It started with at 17 hour drive with three little boys which I must admit I was dreading. We took two and a half days to get out there and the trip was so easy. The boys all did great. Even Brady, our sweet boy who now screams to get our attention :).

We arrived in Northeast Harbor Maine (right by the Acadia National Park) Saturday afternoon and were joined very quickly by my parents, who had arrived on their sail boat the day before. Very soon after, Don's sister Sharon, her husband Jon, and kids Kate and Jon Boy arrived. We had rented a house about 1 block from the town of Northeast Harbor which was so cute.

Right away Ryan and Kate were paired up as roommates, and Ryan was quick to begin to tell Kate how she does not need to be afraid of the dark. Kate was so good with Ryan and even let him cuddle with her in the morning when he would wake up before everyone else.

Ryan and Kate
The first thing we decided to do was go sailing to see the island that surround Mount Desert Island. We took a trip up the only Fjord in North America. On the trip we saw a seal and many lobster pots. I am not kidding, many!! I normally find helming (driving) kind of boring, but have to say with the challenge of dodging lobster pots it is kind of entertaining.

Kyle, Jon Boy, and Kate decided to take a swim off the boat. Oh yes, it was COLD! Lets say they might have needed a little help to get into the water and for sure they were not in long. The water temp where we were was about 60 degrees.

Uncle Jon helping Kyle into the COLD water.

And Kate too!
We all decided a whale watching adventure was something we had to do. It was truly an amazing day. Maine can be very cold, windy, and foggy all of which make whale watching questionable. Well, we picked a day that was sunny, warm, and the water completely calm. We got to see whales so close up and one even breached (jumped out of the water). None of us had been whale watching so it was amazing and wow they really are huge!!

My mom (Dee Dee) organized a treasure hunt. Everyone had a pirate name: Kyle (Toothless Nick), Jon Boy (Peg Leg Pete), Ryan (Little hook)...I can't remember the rest of our names but Dee Dee gave us all clues, we had to drink swill, and we had promise of a treasure if we could complete the map. The kids loved it as much as Dee Dee loved it. It was pretty funny on the walk around town to complete the treasure hunt. Ryan decided he did not want to be Little Hook, but Big Hook, so we all had to vote with an "Arhhh Matie" and then he changed his mind, and wanted to be Little Hook again, "Arhh Matie" and then again back to Big Hook...I can't remember who he ended up being.

One day we spent biking and stopped for a picnic at a really pretty "creek". The boys loved the idea of jumping in. but we made sure they stayed on the dry rocks. After biking through parts of Acadia, we headed to Sand Beach. We quickly realized keeping them out of the water would not be possible, we also realized we adults wanted nothing to do with the COLD water. Later we found out the water temp at Sand Beach rarely gets above 55 degrees. Despite the COLD water the boys had a great time.

One of the highlights of the trip for the boys, Jon Boy especially, was the tide pool hunting. We spent hours looking and hunting for sea creatures. They actually caught a number of crabs but not King Crabs like Jon was hoping for. It was more about the hunt then the catch.

Aunt Sharon giving a science lesson by dissecting a crab...Stinky!!

Maine is beautiful and we were able to enjoy many of the sights by boat, bike, and foot. We even sailed to an island and took the dingy ashore exploring. We learned that a family had lived on the deserted island and had raised 12 kids there with no electricity or running water. Oh my that might have killed me :). I won't even camp without running water and electricity.

We found a lobster Pot on the beach

You can't go to Maine and not cook lobster. We did exactly that. I have to say it might have been one of the funniest parts of the trip. Sharon and I were committed to cooking the Lobster. One had to hold them and the other had to cut the rubber bands off. I was quick to grab the scissors out of Sharon's hand :). Lets just say it was good that we had not taken the lobster boating museum tour before we cooked our lobsters. If I would have known that if the one claws latches on, you have to have a screwdriver to get it off...I am pretty sure I would have not gotten close to those things.

On our way back we decided to stop in Niagra Falls to show the kids this amazing sight as well. They thought it was pretty cool that you could get wet by the falls even when you were so far away.

Over all we had a wonderful trip. The big boys had so much fun!! Brady was such a trooper and went on every adventure with us without much protest. We were so blessed to have such a wonderful time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Brady the Birthday Boy

I can't hardly believe it but our baby turned one. On July 20th Brady turned one and we had a small celebration for him. Our friends the Dole family came over to celebrate.

We have had much discussion over the past few weeks about what would be Brady's birthday cake. The boys had lots of ideas but we ended up settling on a train cake. My thought was to just do the engine making it a pretty quick and easy cake.

Well, we had been out of town and did not start the cake until Monday night and could not find a good picture on line that was not Thomas the train. Finally, Ryan and I found a picture we liked but it had train cars as well. Oh well he only turns one once.

Lets just say it did become a bit of an extreme cake and we had plenty for all. Brady was given an entire train car to eat but guess what...he would not eat any of it. He did not even want any ice cream which he normally likes. We all wondered who's child he was :). We actually think his belly was not feeling well from our ecoli exposure so we may try another cake eating when we celebrate with my mom and dad on our vacation to Maine in a week.

At one Brady weighs 23 pounds. He is very close to running. He loves to climb the stairs and is figuring out how to come down backwards. He has started screaming to communicate (it is making me crazy). He loves his brothers and is a sweet boy.