Sytsema Family Christmas 2009

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

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.

Tiger's Game

For fathers day this year the boys and I decided tickets for a Detroit Tiger's baseball game would be a perfect gift. So we picked a dated in July and bought 4 tickets (sorry Brady you had to stay home).

The day of the game was but great. The boys so enjoyed the experience and Don so enjoyed watching his favorite sport with his favorite boys. The boys enjoyed the game, but really liked the hot dogs, cotton candy, peanuts and what ever else they were able to get their hands on.

Camping Adventures

Don, Chris and Angi (said I blinded them with the flash...our camper in the background)

We have started a new activity in our family. Don and I both grew up camping but we have not done any camping with our kids. Last fall we decided we wanted to find a camper of some type so we could start camping with the kids. After much searching and debate, (I grew up camping in a nice travel trailer and Don grew up camping in a pop-up) we decided on a pop-up but with some added features. Most importantly a bathroom with toilet and shower. We finally found a used pop-up on Craig's List, about 2 hours from us, with all our requirements plus a few nice extras.

A few weeks ago we had our first camping adventure at School Section Lake, about 30 minutes from our house. Over all it went well and the kids did very well. Lets just say thank you for the new sound machine we bought that helped cover all the noises that are involved in sleeping all in one small space.

Kyle 6 1/2 was our master marshmallow roaster...made to order light golden brown, a darker crispy brown, burnt...he could do it all.

Though the camping trip went well, over the next few days Kyle, Ryan, Brady, and I all ended up with stomach issues. After plenty of puking and pooping over a week we found out many people camping at this campground were sick. Found out it was ecoli making people sick. So though the camping experience overall was great, the after effect was a bit hard to take.

Being mostly recovered from ecoli, we decided to try another camping experience. This time in Ludington. Our friends, the Beland's, joined us again and we had a great time. The campground we stayed at was nice and everyone had fun. Oh, but I forgot to mention, the HUGE thunderstorm that came through at 4am. The kids slept through it, but I have to say there were a few prayers said by the adults.

We have two more camping trips planned this summer and looking forward to campfires, swimming, riding bikes and getting really dirty :).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th Fun!!

I am a bit behind in my blog post, but today I am committed to catching up. We had such a great 4th of July weekend up north in Boyne City. Boyne City might be a small town, but they sure do a great job with the 4th. We headed up Friday night and arrived just in time to see the end of Friday night stroll the streets. Every Friday night in downtown Boyne City they have different musicians performing on different street corners or in front of certain shops/restaurants. Since we have a music lover (Ryan) stroll the streets is often a fun activity.

We spent a nice day at the beach with our friends the Belands. Their little boy Jace is 3 1/2 and played very well with Kyle and Ryan. Brady again enjoyed the water and the sand and really mastered the eating of the sand on this trip to the beach.

Brady 11 months

Kyle and Chris with some help from the other boys build a pretty impressive sand castle.

We also had fun at the parade. Don complains every year that it is the longest parade ever. It does get a bit much when the fire trucks from I swear from every county in Northern Michigan come through honking their horns, but really it is a great parade and the boys love it.

Kyle (61/2), Ryan (4), Jace Beland (31/2)
After the parade we headed to bounce house village where they have about 7 difference bounce house inflatables and one that is a water slide. It was a very hot day so Kyle loved that one. Ryan was not to fond of the COLD water so he enjoyed the other inflatables. One was a jousting competition. Kyle some how convinced Ryan to joust him. Though it was an uneven battle Ryan held his own and most importantly the brothers fought nice...I am sure someday soon that is going to change.
So you might be thinking well what about 4th of July fireworks? The 4th of July is not the 4th of July without fireworks, or at least that is the line Kyle kept repeating to us. Well for the past few years we have kept everyone up to watch the fireworks and lets say it is more work then it is worth. So this year we decided to skip them and put kids to bed closer to normal bed time. Well, lets just say Kyle was very sad. So Don and I decided when they started we would wake him up and drive if we had to to the end of the street to see them. Well, when the fireworks started we discovered there was perfect viewing right from my parents back yard. So Don went and scooped Kyle out of bed. I think it took Kyle 5 minutes into the fireworks show to fully wake up. It was a very special thing for just Kyle and he was a very happy boy and he did not rub it in to his brother the next morning so we were very proud of him.

Family Reunion

Well the Lopez/Diaz family does not get together very often but my cousin Glenn also turned 50 this year so he and his wife decided to host a birthday/family reunion party this summer. Well guess what I was the only one left in the state this summer to represent the Diaz part of the family. My brother lives in Grand he was not going to make it. My mom and dad were someplace on the east cost being sailing bums (yea for them). So Don and I packed up a crew and off to Detroit we headed.

The party was nice and it was good to see my aunts and uncle and many of my cousins and the kids had a BLAST!

Ryan had a love for music and I found him in the basement with all the girls playing the video game rock band. I asked the musicians, "Is your group called 3 ladies and a dude?" they thought that was a fitting name. The girls were much older than Ryan but they were so nice to him and let him sing (young teen girl songs), play the guitar and the drums. He spent most of the party rocking it out Ryan style.

Kyle on the other hand was scamming his way on the six person bike thing they had. The first person he scammed was his dad who he convinced to ride him and Ryan around the block. Lets just say I think Don was the only one who was peddling.

Over all we had a great day and it was fun to visit with everyone. Maybe next time we get together there will be a few more Diaz's.

Vacation Bible School

Some of you know we attend a fantastic church that really works hard to reach out to kids and show them God's love. Each year our entire church community pulls together and puts on the most amazing VBS. This year there were over 750 kids and more then 500 volunteers. Don and I have volunteered for VBS for the past 4 years and it has been such a joy for us to do. This year we worked with 1st graders again. We had a small group of about 12 kids and they were so great to work with.

Our boys also get to join in the fun and learning. Kyle this year was in the Kindergarten group (VBS is for K-6 graders). Ryan because we volunteer was with the pre-schoolers and Brady in the nursery. VBS is full of dramatic bible lessons, GREAT music, crafts and oh so much fun. The kids learn so much and have such a great time. This years theme was Kids of the Kingdom and the kids learned about the Armor of God (Shield of Faith, Sword of the Spirit, Breastplate of Righteousness, Helmet of Salvation, Belt of Truth). The set design and all the props throughout the church were amazing. It was so real looking you would have thought you had just stepped into a real castle.

This is the main stage set...amazing and so realistic! Was not just a backdrop doors worked and people stood on the upper balcony.

It is so great to be a part of a church that not only is committed to helping lead our kids to Christ but has hundreds of talented volunteers that truly making this a one-of-a-kind week.

Kyle and his friend Carly love VBS!!
Ryan loves the music...knows all the words and motions to all the songs.

Not a Baby Anymore :(

Well in a little less then a month Brady will be one. I can hardly believe he is almost a year old. His is such a nice baby and is very easy going I hate to see this stage end.

He is now very mobile on his feet. Walking is his main mode of transportation. He is managing to get into his brothers things much faster. He has had the stairs mastered (at least the up part) for about a month now and if you are not paying attention he can climb to the top before you know what is going on. He is eating "real" food now. It is such a nice thing when it comes to being out and about but it also leads to some messy situations.

Below is Brady loving his first taste of spaghetti. Don and I were talking and think Kyle did not get to get messy with spaghetti until he might have been 3 or more. Guess things really do change with each kid.

It will be bitter sweet to celebrate Brady's first birthday in a few weeks. Though we will be putting the baby days behind us it will also be so much fun to take our "big" boys on new adventures.