Hoffman/Ladwig Family (Easter 2008)

Hoffman/Ladwig Family (Easter 2008)
Christopher (14), Jay, Hannah (2 1/2), Linda, Lily (1 1/2), Ian (16), Delaney (8), Renson (11)

Monday, March 17, 2008

AFLBS 20th Reunion

I can hardly believe that it's been 20 years since I left Bible School and headed into the big, real world. Over the last weekend I along with about 13 others from my class and the classes surrounding mine met in Plymouth, MN for our 20 (something) reunion. (It was exactly 20 years for our class) We had a great time visiting and catching up on old times. Sharon Gunderson and Cindy Lyon, 2 of the girls from my class, along with my sister Brenda and Jay and I met at the Bible School (http://www.aflbs.org/) to tour around and see all the things that had changed since we were students there. We got to see our old rooms and realized that although things change they very much remain the same. I am sure that all the beds and the desks in the rooms were the same as when we had attended. We developed such close relationships while living together those 2 years it was so easy to pick up where we left off. Friendships built on a foundation of christianity are strong and last forever! Below is a group photo from our weekend. This photo was provided by Brenda Erickson, another classmate of mine who was instrumental in helping me get this weekend organized. Thanks Brenda! :)

From Left to Right-Front Row: Janice (Westphal) Daniels, Brenda (Momerak) Erickson, Brenda (Kjos) Nikunen, Cindy (Nelson) Lyon, Sarah (Bergsted) Sannes, Sharon (Hinderaker) Gunderson. Back Row: Linda (Kjos) Hoffman, Jay Hoffman, Marcus Erickson, Steve Hanke, Paul Sparby.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"You might be a Mom if..."

This blog is written in honor of our churches Moms & Munchkins (M&M's) group. Our feerless leader and my good friend Korby has been starting our sessions with "You might be a Mom if..." statements. It really helps us feel humbled and puts us all on the same page as Moms. Of course it also brings laughter! Here is my list. I hate to admit it, but all of these are written from personal experience!
You might be a Mom if...
  1. You take your toddler with you to the ladies room at Target and while you are sitting on the "throne," she opens the stall door and runs out leaving you exposed to whoever is in the restroom.
  2. You take your 2 toddlers with you into the dressing room at "Sweet Repeat" (a 2nd hand store) to try on a pair of jeans and besides them crawling out from underneath the door (which is a shower curtain help up with a shower curtain rod), they pull the curtain down, this time exposing you to whole store!
  3. You are sitting quietly in church with your 4 year old son, trying to enjoy the service. After taking him to the bathroom twice already, he's asking to go again. You tell him that he can wait until church is over and continue to listen to the pastor's sermon. Just then your son finds his loudest voice and yells..."But I've gotta go poop!!!"
  4. You go down to the hotel lobby with your 8 year old son to by some popcorn from the vending machines for a late night snack when you see a Ms. PacMan machine. Feeling nostalgic, you tell your son that the Ms. PacMan game came out when you were in Jr. High and you remember playing it at the neighborhood video game hang-out. Out of the blue, a man (who was totally flirting) makes a comment to you that, there's no way that could be true because you don't look a day over 25. Just then your loving son pipes up and says..."Huh! She's way older than that! She's 33!"
  5. You're still wearing shoes you wore in college and your children all have a different pair of shoes for each outfit! (almost)
  6. You consider taking a shower everyday is a luxury!
  7. You can diaper and dress a baby, take your toddler potty, kiss a boo-boo, fix dinner, load the dishwasher, do the laundry...all while talking on the phone to your favorite friend without missing a beat!
  8. You hear a song over the loudspeaker in the store and start singing and dancing to it with your toddler, not realizing that people are watching you and laughing...once you do realize it, you don't really care and keep singing and dancing anyway!
  9. You finally make an appointment to have a massage with the gift certificate that your husband and children got for you for Mother's Day, 9 months ago. After the massage you are completely relaxed and satisfied, not to mention sleepy. As you're leaving the salon, you quickly glance in the mirror to see if you look o.k. You walk outside and decide that it would be a good idea not to drive the 20 minutes home until you've walked around a little bit to help yourself wake up before you get behind the wheel. So...you walk down the block to the 2nd hand store to do some shopping. After you're done shopping, chatting with the clerk and smiling at people walking by, you return to your vehicle to head home. Looking in the rear view mirror you spot someone looking at you with "raccoon eyes," tossled hair, and on the right side of their face there appears to be a "sleep line." All of a sudden you realize...it's you! Laughter fills the vehicle and you can hardly contain yourself as you realize that you just walked around town and did shopping looking like a drunk zombie...but at least you were relaxed because...who cares! You're a Mom and you deserve to have days like this!!! :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lauren's 2nd Birthday Party-A Princess Tea Party!

February 2nd, Kim & Lauren Pospisil invited Hannah, Lily and I to join them and some other friends to a tea party in honor of Lauren's 2nd birthday. The girls got dressed up in their pary dresses and away we went! Kim had the whole house decorated so cute for the party and served finger sandwiches and other danties you would find at a tea party. Then, Kim read a story about a spider's tea party and Lauren opened her presents. Here are some pictures from the party.

Photos from top to bottom, left to right: 1)Tea Pot Birthday Cake (2 cute!) 2)Lauren is supposed to blow out her candle now...Hannah think she can help because she's been 2 for four whole months now! 3)Lily likes the ice cream and cake! 4)Lauren & Kim looking at the gift we brought her. (We also brought her some training pants to go along with the gift Mommy & Daddy gave her.) 5)Potty Time!! Yeah! 6)Party Guests...Hannah was not happy, she was playing and didn't want to be interrupted for the photo op. 7)Lily, Sienna Hamland, Lauren & "Happy Hannah."(what a face!) 8)Watcha Get?? Hannah & Sienna watch Lauren open her presents.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Potty Training & Counting

I have to share a funny with you. I have been working on potty training Hannah since before Christmas and she has been doing very well (at least with #1) so far. The only problem has been that as soon as she starts going pee-pee, she thinks she is done so she starts to hop off the potty, resulting in dribble all over the seat, her pants and the floor! I kept explaining to her that she needed to wait until she was really done before she hopped off. Reasoning with a toddler is pretty much a waste of time! So, Jay came up with having her count to 10 beginning when we hear the last trickle before she can hop off the potty. Great idea, I thought and it it's been working out very well and in the process she has learned to count to 10! One night Jay and I were talking about how well she is learning to count to 10. Suddenly Jay started laughing and when I asked him why, he said, "I am just thinking of someone asking Hannah to count to 10 and she stops and says, 'I have to go potty first!'" We got a good laugh over it and now every time I take her potty, I can't help but giggle to myself about it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Christopher's 14th birthday

It's hard for me to believe that my "shortstack" (as I used to call him) is now 14 yrs. old and taller than me! How did that happen? This year I am going to recap the past years to show how much each child has changed from the time Jay and I got married til now. This should be fun...at least for me. I hope you enjoy it.

Photos top to bottom, left to right: 1)Click on this picture to see the framed birthday banner I made for Christopher's b-day. 2)Christopher on his 11th birthday, his 1st birthday celebrated in Wisconsin. The cake was a leftover from our wedding that I decorated to look like a soccer ball. Christopher was big into soccer at the time. 3)Christopher with his prized Terrain Twister. 4)Jay lighting Christopher's candle with the fireplace matches. 5)Christopher pretending to blow out his candle..."Oh well, I guess I'll have to have a girlfriend all year long! Too bad." 6)Christopher checking out his new ipod dock. "Awesome!"

Each birthday I ask the kids what kind of cake they want, and Christopher has been asking for an ice cream cake. This year I found a recipe for an oreo cookie one and made it for him...easy and delicious!

Kjos Family Christmas Gathering

The weekend of January 4-6, my family gathered together at my sister Brenda's home in Watertown, MN to celebrate Christmas together. Although we didn't have a great turnout, those of us who were able to make it had a wonderful time.
On the 4th, Mom and I took the little girls with us and headed to Brenda's. We arrived shortly after 4 p.m. just before Brenda arrived home from work. That evening we met Brenda's and my good friend Liz Theisen and her 3 girls in Waconia, MN for supper at the neighborhood McDonald's. Shortly after we arrived there, Jay and the 4 older kids (who all left after they got out of school) joined us for supper. We had a wonderful time visiting. It's a shame we don't get to see each other more often.
After sending all the children (9 in all) to bed, Mom, Brenda, Jay and I sat around and visited until late, catching up on everyone's news. What fun we had spending much needed time together before the big dinner party the next day.
On Saturday, we while Brenda and I worked to get things organized for that afternoons gathering, Ian, Christopher, Jeremy, Jessica, Renson, Delaney, Rose, Jay & Hannah went outside to do some sledding. The weather was just perfect for the weekend and kept the kids busy most of the day.
Just as dinner was ready, my sister Karen and her daughter Eda showed up to join the celebrating. It was great to see them since it had been quite awhile since we had been together. Below are some pictures from our party.

Photos from top to bottom, left to right: 1)Brenda, Karen, Linda & Mom. 2)Grandma Kjos with her grandkids in attendance: Back row-Hannah (sitting in Grandma's lap), Ian holding Lily, Jeremy, Christopher. Middle Row-Jessica, Rose, Delaney, Renson. On the floor-Eda holding Samuel & Caleb. 3)Goofing around. 4)Grandma opening her DVD/VHS combo that the siblings went together on for her for Christmas...Hannah has to help her of course! 5)Christopher and Jeremy lounging. 6)Jay and Renson playing Renson's new Battleship game he got from his cousin gift swap while Ian looks on.

Christmas 2007

This years Christmas marks the 4th year we have spent Christmas together as a family. The first year we celebrated it a week late since we were taking care of wedding details. I am in amazement more and more as I work to put together this blog that time has gone by so quickly. God has been so good to us and provides for all our needs. Here are some pictures from our Christmas this year...proof of God's provision!

Photos from top to bottom, left to right: 1)The Hoffman/Ladwig children in front of the tree, 2)Lily & Hannah in their Christmas dresses, 3)Hannah & Lily nose to nose under the tree! 4)Ian with his Nascar throw, 5)Christopher with his ipod touch, 6)Renson with his gifts, 7)Delaney with her gifts, 8)Lily(holding her "Learn along Lily") & Hannah(holding her new books) "resting" in their new nap mats.

Cross Country

Both Ian and Christopher ran cross country this fall...Ian for the high school and Christopher for the middle school. Abbotsford combines cross country with Colby. The picture I have shown here is one that Ian took for the yearbook while he was in Publishing. It's a great picture of Christopher running like the wind! :)

2007-2008 School Pictures

Ian - 10th grade, age 15
Christopher - 8th grade, age 13
Renson - 5th grade, age 10
Delaney - 2nd grade, age 7

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Delaney's 8th birthday

December 9th we celebrated Delaney's 8th birthday with a party at McDonalds in Medford with 2 girlfriends from church...Megan Nowak and Calley Neuman. After a delicious meal of chicken nuggets, french fries and ice cream sundaes (and of course playing in the tunnels), Carla Nowak (Megan's mom) and I took the girls to see the movie Enchanted. What a perfectly wonderful princess, fairy tale movie to see with the girls. Carla and I enjoyed it as much as the girls did!
(Photos from scenes in the movie)

Ian's 16th birthday surprise party

November 14th Ian turned 16 years old! I had a hard time believing that I was about to have a 16 yr. old son. Time goes by too quickly! As the date approached, I couldn't decide what we should get him for his birthday. The only thing I could think of is how much he likes having family and friends gather together for parties and of course, to eat (what 16 yr. old boy doesn't think about food!). So we decided to have a surprise birthday party for him the Sunday before his birthday. We new he wouldn't be expecting it since we typically celebrate his birthday with family on Thanksgiving. So, I put together a party invitiation and mailed it out to family and friends near and far. We planned to have the party at the Cutting Edge Youth Center (http://www.fbcmedford.com/cuttingedge.htm) where Ian spends a lot of time. The day turned out great and we had a wonderful turnout of both friends and family. Ian's Aunt Teresa and Uncle Dan came all the way from Eagan, MN just for the occasion. They were also kind enough to take some pictures of the party and send them to me! (very nice since I totally forgot about the camera...at least I remembered the food!) Speaking of food...we had a wonderful spread! Jay made pizzas and we had a fruit and veggie tray, taco salad, chips, pop, cookies and of course cake and ice cream. Thanks to those that helped out and brought some of the food!

Photos from top to bottom, left to right: 1)Ian's birthday banner and buffet spread, 2)Ian's birthday cake made by MeMe, 3)Ian with cell phone & Girl Scout cookies (our gift to him), 4)Ian programming his phone (this phone was Jay's idea...Ian's Aunt Teresa calls it his electonic umbilical cord!) 5)Jay the pizza chef, 6)Some of the party guests (Aunt Lynn, Cousin Bri, Uncle Richard, MeMe & PaPa, and Dan Nowak in the far back), 7)Ian, Christopher and their Uncle Dan.

Hannah's 2nd birthday

Once again, Hannah had 2 birthday parties. One with family and one with her friends. This year she had a "Wiggly, Wiggly Birthday!" Hannah just loves The Wiggles (http://www.thewiggles.com/) so we had to have a wiggly party. Not hard for a bunch of toddlers to accomplish. Here are some pictures from her parties.

Photos from top to bottom, left to right: 1)Hannah's birthday banner, 2)Hannah's party guest list, 3)Singing Happy Birthday to Hannah...waiting to blow out her candles, 4)"WOW! I blew them out all by myself!" 5)Lauren eating cake, 6)Carla & Faith Nowak, 7)See that blue blur? That's Hannah in a wiggly mode! We were watching The Wiggles video Yummy, Yummy. I was leading the Wiggling in my shaking clothes (you have to watch the video to understand that) while the rest of the kids wiggled along. We all had a great time!

Hannah's party later that night with our family was fun too. Besides our family at the party, we invited MeMe and PaPa and Grandma Kjos. Here are some pictures from that.

Photo 1)Hannah & her cake. You will notice that there is an extra candle on the bottom left of the cake. That candle was for MeMe to blow out since her birthday is just 2 days after Hannah's.
Photo 2) Hannah is excited about her new selection of Wiggles DVD's.