Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brenna's Birthday Party

On Saturday, October 16th, Brenna turned 3 years old! I can't believe my baby is 3! We had a big celebration and had friends and family over for cake, ice cream and goodies.
Below is Dana and Brenna getting her party favor gift bags ready.

Brenna had a few requests for her birthday: a princess cake that was pink and purple, flowers, and balloons. I handled the flowers and balloons and Jared took care of the cake. He did an awesome job....with help from my sister-in-law, Dana. They baked a four layer strawberry filled cake and then Jared decorated it. Brenna loved her cake and it was mighty tasty too! What do you think? Jared is such a great dad!

After we ate cake and ice cream, Brenna opened all her gifts. Her friends and family were so generous and she got a lot of great gifts.

After gifts, we attempted a picture with all the kids in it. It turned out pretty good for how many kids there were.

Then the kids played while the adults talked and watched football. The kids were on a sugar high from all the cake and ice cream so it got pretty loud and crazy! Brenna even put on a concert with her new microphone....thanks Ryan & Dana! Below is a little video clip. :) Maybe she has a future in entertainment! (I've tried to download the video 3 times and it hasn't worked, so I will try something different later.)

Overall, the party went great and we had a fun time celebrating Brenna's birthday with our friends and family.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tricky Treat

Happy Halloween from our little lady bugs!!! We went trick-or-treating....or as Brenna would say, "tricky treat" on Friday night. Brenna enjoyed collecting candy and Lauren enjoyed a relaxing ride in the stroller! The older generation on our street loved seeing the girls in their outfits.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

August/September Review

I'm struggling with motivation to write this post because I don't have many pictures to use and I wonder if people are really interested in what we did a few months ago. But I'm going to post anyway because I like to complete things....I said I was going to write reviews for each month, so for me to move on to other posts I need to finish! :) I also want to post so I have record of the last two months. I see our blog as a family journal....the Van Cleave happenings....and I want to be able to go back and remember what our family did. So bear with me....or just ignore this post. :)

  • Jared's mom Patty stayed with us for a few days before she had to go back to school. She's works full time at an elementary school in Carlisle as a nurse and secretary. She loves to play with Brenna when she's here. She can sit for hours and play house, color, play with puzzles, etc.

  • We had a garage sale. I didn't think it would be worth the hassle, but I'm glad Jared encouraged me to follow through with it. We got rid of a lot of junk and it motivated us to organize our basement.

  • Ames flooded in August. Fortunately, we had no water in our basement, but a lot of families had to tear out all of their carpet in their basements because of it.

  • We attended the Iowa State Fair with our good friends, the Kruger family.

  • My aunt Debra visited my grandma in Burlington for a week, so the girls and I made a road trip down there to spend some with her....along with my parents. Jared stayed home and worked on our deck.

  • We went to the Amana's to celebrate Brenna's friend, Brady's, birthday. We stayed at a hotel that has a waterpark. We had so much fun....but we forgot our camera so there are no pics. :(

  • That same weekend we attended the first official service of Veritas Church, Cornerstone's new church plant in Iowa City. There were over 200 people there. If anyone lives near, or in, Iowa City you should check. God is already doing awesome things there and I think He will continue to. I'm excited to see the future of this church.
  • My mom and dad came to visit for several days because my mom had a one day conference for work in Des Moines. We had a great time together. They watched the girls on Saturday night so Jared and I could walk down and attend the Iowa State football game. It was a great game and the weather was perfect.

Yeah!!! I made it through the reviews!
Brenna's birthday was last Saturday so stay tuned for pics and details of her princess party!

Monday, October 18, 2010

June & July Review

June: We went to a lot of parks, went to the splash park a couple times, went to four birthday parties. I don't have many pictures from June so I honestly don't remember much more than that! :)

July: Jared's sister Lydia and her two kids, Micah and Bea came to visit. They stayed at Jared's parents the majority of the time, but one of the nights they stayed at our house. We had a great time with them. They were here during the fourth too, so we all went up to Jared's grandparents cabin in Spirit Lake. It was super windy up there, so we weren't able to get in the water, but we had a great time visiting with family and the kids were able to have fun in their make-shift pools. :) We love when Lydia comes to visit and had so much fun with them!

Lauren and her great grandma Muriel (Jared's grandma).

Lydia, Bea & Lauren.

Brenna & her two boy cousins, Micah & Easton.

Brenna stayed a long weekend with my parents in Burlington. They did A LOT together...went to the Farmers Market, took the dogs on several walks, went to a couple parks, went to the pool, etc. She loved her time there and didn't get home sick one bit....she didn't even want to talk to me when I called. She was too busy playing :)

Burlington has a farmers market along the Mississippi River on Thursday nights. They went to get some sweet corn.
This is a bike my parents found Brenna on a garage sale for $1!!! My dad is teaching her how to ride.

We went to visit my brother in Minniapolis in July too, but we forgot our camera. It was really hot that weekend, so we couldn't do much outside, but we still had a great time....grilled out, went to the Mall of America, watched a movie, went to our favorite ice cream shop, etc. On our way out of town my friend Nealy took family pictures of us. I will post some pics later this week. She did an awesome job!
At the end of July the girls and I took a road trip to Madison, WI. All my girl cousins on the Bohlen side got together with all our kids (which are all girls) for the weekend. We had a great time together. It was so fun to catch up and to watch all our kids interact.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm Back! :)

I know, I's been a while since we've posted anything. Ok....a LONG while! I thought I'd get everyone up to speed on what we've been up to the past few months, so I'm going to do four or five different posts in the next week (or two...or three) highlighting the last several months of our lives. Then hopefully after that I will be better at posting more consistently.

I will start with May & June.

We went to a couple of weddings in May. One of those was our college babysitter, Ashley. She's watched Brenna during our weekly connection group (couples Bible study) for two and half years....basically since Brenna was a newborn. She is an awesome babysitter and has become a great friend to Brenna and the rest of our family. Brenna was so excited to go to her wedding and she even got to dance with her!

Lauren was dedicated at our church in May. As Lauren's parents we dedicated her to the Lord and promised to teach her the truths of Scripture and raise her in godly home. Below is a picture of the group of parents and their kids....if you look close you can see Lauren's picture on the screen.

The girls and I took a road trip to Burlington to visit my parents

and also attend a bachelorette party for my friend Mindy...we've been friends ever since we met in kindergarten! It was fun to see some friends from high school and to catch up with Mindy. I am so happy for her and her new husband Matt!
While we were gone, Jared had spent a lot of time doing landscaping in our yard and also building a trellis. Didn't he do an awesome job? He is so handy!

At the end of May we went to Bree's birthday party. This is Brenna's best friend. They are only four months a part and love to spend time together. It will be fun to watch them grow up together.

Below are a couple of random pics.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lydia!

We love you and can't wait to see you in a few weeks!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet Lauren is Six Months

Our sweet Lauren turned six months today! I can't believe it. She has been such a good baby and we love her to pieces!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Mommy, you are awesome. Thanks so much for all you do for me and our family. Thanks for playing with me, reading books to me, taking me to the park, taking me to mommy and me music, making me meals every day, washing my clothes, changing my diapers, teaching me God's truths and being my best friend. You are the best mom I could ever have!

I love you this much....BrennaMommy, I think you are the best too! Thank you so much for the last 5 months of meeting my every need. Thank you for all the time you've spent nursing me, even when I am difficult. You are so good to me and I appreciate all your hard work. Thank you for changing my diapers, for feeding me, for clipping my toe nails and finger nails, thanks for washing my clothes and my burp cloths :), thanks for being willing to get up in the wee hours of the night to care for me. You are an awesome mom and I am so grateful for you.

I love you....LaurenSteph, thanks for being an outstanding mom to our daugthers. You are so good at your job and I appreciate you every day. Thanks for the love and support you give our daughters and for all the patience and kindness you show them. You are a Proverbs 31 wife and mom and I thank God for your gifts and abilities to raise our family to know, love, and obey God. Keep up the great work and thank you again for all you do.

I love you....Jared

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bohlen Family Weekend

My parents, brother, and sister-in-law came to visit us last weekend. We had a great time together as usual. Our weekend included garage sales, taking walks, celebrating my mom's birthday, church, DQ (a family tradition), and jumping on our neighbors trampoline.

I LOVE this picture of Brenna that Dana took.

Our neighbors are building a deck and Brenna is pretending that the pile of wood is a stage. She was showing off her moves and her pipes...and practicing her D6 songs. She had a pretty captive audience too.

Trampoline fun!
Fun is always had when Uncle Ryan is around!

Dana cuddling with sweet Lauren.

Lauren is getting so big! She's already 4 1/2 months old.

Can you say static!?!

Brenna helping Aunt Dana make cupcakes for Grandma Bohlen's birthday. They were delicious!

Brenna had a lot of good quality time with her grandma. They took my mom's dogs on a lot of walks. During one of their walks, my mom taught her what a fire hydrant was and how to say it. So now she looks for them whenever we are on a walk or driving around town. It's so cute to hear a 2 year old say "fire hydrant". :)

Thanks for coming to visit Bohlen's! Come back soon!