Speedy Wins Again!

Rob has quite a roll going with the Pinewood Derby! He won first place his first year; second place his second year; and first both last year & this year! As you can imagine, he’s pretty stoked! It came to a race-off between him & his buddy Tucker, but he inched in for the win. What a fun time!

Tooth Fairy Time

Jaclyn has been talking about loose teeth since summer time, but they just never got loose enough to wiggle out. This weekend, she mentioned it again & I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked – her permanent teeth had grown in behind her baby teeth. Apparently this isn’t all that uncommon – who knew!?! A few yucky chemicals to numb things up & a couple of yanks – oops, “wiggles” – big enough to make mom’s stomach churn & those baby teeth were out! She was so very excited!!! Thomas said, “Mom, I don’t think I want my teeth pulled out.” I completely agree! He asked her to stop talking, it just sounds too funny…she does whistle a bit, but it clearly won’t slow her down any.

We’ve got WINNERS!

Of course, we’ve always told the kids they’re winners, but now they really feel like it.
The first semester awards assembly was last Friday & all three of our school-aged kids were recognized for something.
Robert, being the oldest & wisest (or so he’d tell you 😉 ) was recognized for earning all A’s & B’s during the first semester.
Thomas, Mr. Roll with the Flow, was presented a Personal Success Award for accepting the diversity of his friends (yea, there’s a reason for that) and he also earned a good citizen award in his class.
Not to be outdone, Jaclyn was awarded the sportsmanship award for her class and a Personal Success Award for learning all capital letter names, all letter sounds, recognizing numbers 1-20, and couting to 154! She, too, earned a good citizen award in her class.
What a great group of kids God has blessed us with!

Two months already!

That’s right – hard to believe our little guy is already two months old! I’ve been trying to take a picture every Friday & this is the most recent one. He’s 9 weeks old! The kids & I worked quite a while off & on to get this shot…lots of funny faces & two dozen shots later, we finally got one of him smiling! Gotta love digital cameras!

Ben seems to be doing well & going strong. I took him in for his two month check-up last week & believe it or not, he’s 10 lbs. 4 oz. and 23 3/4 inches. Doc was so pleased, he actually said we don’t have to go back until it’s time for his 4 month check…after having been every week since he was born, that’s quite a stretch! Hopefully everyone will remain relatively healthy so we can actually make it! We love the good doctor, but enough is enough already!
Now, on to the bathroom…the walls are done, electrical run, shower base & back walls in, flooring about 3/4 done & toilet about 1/2 done. Progress is so good!

Happy Birthday Mommy!

New Year’s Eve brought a great excitement for being able to stay up late and also to celebrate Mommy’s birthday. This year the plan was to go down to church for the year in review photo show that Jo had worked so hard on. We enjoyed the day of resting and giving gifts (and struggling with the decision if we were going to church that night or not with the blowing snow). After grilling steaks for supper and enjoying the meal, we decided to pack up and head to church for the gathering. When we showed up we almost doubled the crowd there (and as you can imagine we weren’t any too early in getting there) so the group decided to watch the overview while snacking and then head home. We returned home just in time to celebrate the New Year and head off to bed. It was another great day and evening filled with play, rest and enjoying family time.

Christmas with Papa

The holidays have taken us out of the loop of getting updates on regularly, so we’ll make an attempt to catch up and get back on track.

Christmas was a wonderful event this year for the Janssens. We simply enjoyed the day with new gifts and spending time together. Games and activities which involved many of the family were again a hit and continue to be. Accessories for the PlayStation were much appreciated, but the Pirate Dice and puzzles made an even bigger hit it appeared.

Last weekend Jody’s dad came to celebrate Christmas with us. It was a great weekend of visiting, watching movies and just plain having fun as usual.

The holidays in full swing!

Well, it’s past time for a family catch up on what’s been going on. The holiday season feels like it’s going so fast, but we’ve had so many wonderful experiences this year.

First of all Sunday evening I got a very unexpected treat. Due to some circumstances, I got to share the stage with ALL FOUR of my kids. That is right! And Jo directing as well! What a treat! It was the church Christmas program. Robert had the lead of Leon the child director, Jaclyn was a soloist not wanting her solo to be cut because her Grandma was coming all the way from Iowa to hear her sing and then Thomas was a fabulous looking wiseman. Ben found himself as the baby Jesus (and did a wonderful job I might add) while I played Grandpa (didn’t take as much theater magic as some might think). Overall just a wonderful experience.

Monday evening the kids had their school concert. All the groups did wonderful, especially Robert’s class with their version of Feliz Navidad. (You know…learning Spanish for fourth graders on a tight time schedule is tough so their version included went something like…Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Faliz Navidad, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah). It was simply too funny!

Tuesday was carolling at the nursing home with the Cub Scouts and the boys made it a joy this year. Wednesday night was the annual Jesus Birthday Party celebration at AWANA at church.

The rest of the week found us finishing up school and getting ready for the holiday break. Today we had the great annual event of the Janssen Christmas gathering. It’s always great to see the kids playing and having fun.

I guess before I go I should give a quick bathroom update…the drywall is ALMOST all up (should get finished tomorrow) and the drywall should get seams mudded tomorrow as well. It appears I’ll miss the Christmas goal, but shouldn’t be long after that!

Here come the holidays

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve taken a few minutes to post to the blog here. We’ve been busy with holiday preparations, shopping, fighting minor sickness and trying to stay ahead of things. Quick update…

Ben’s billiruben level is on the way down. We did what we hope was our last billi check this past Monday. Things are headed in the right direction and everyone is happy about that. Right now we are monitoring weight gain and hoping for a more rapid weight gain.
Outside of that he is doing very well and growing more entertaining each day. Watch here for updates after tomorrow night as Ben will follow in his siblings footsteps and make his on-stage debut tomorrow night in the church program.

The rest of the kids have been busy preparing (they have a few more lines than Ben does in fact Robert has the lead this year) for the program. They are also busily keeping everyone they see updated on how many days until the much anticipated Christmas. (A few more weeks added to that would be fine with us so we could be ready!) Thomas missed a day of school yesterday with some sort of illness so he’s back on antibiotic (again). It’s been a pretty rough winter on the Janssen’s health-wise already.

Mixed in with that we’ve been enjoying time with extended family to celebrate the season. A few weekends ago Jody’s mom and step-dad came up to celebrate the season. Everyone was excited to spend the time together and the kids always enjoy the gifts of course. Spreading the season through contact with distance family is always great.

Last weekend we attended the annual Baumgartner Christmas in northern Illinois and as usual it was a great event to see family again. There were many that had other obligations and couldn’t make it, but those that did attend really enjoyed the time catching up (and of course passing Ben around as much as possible!). It was a quick one day trip for us with bad weather moving in, but coming home turned out to be a great decision as the ice did come (after we got back home thankfully).

Before I close I guess I better add an update on the bathroom situation. The drywall is almost completely up. Once that is complete, the hope is the rest will go rather quickly. Those of you waiting for the “guest” bathroom to be complete before visiting, get ready because we are planning at least a functional room by Christmas!

Our Little Glowworm

We’ve had to step up the battle against the jaundice here today. His biliruben count went up again yesterday so after some checking with the doctor and following up, he decided to send out a light treatment. We’re very thankful for the medical staff that has been helping us through this ordeal and very thankful for the home health care worker that braved the weather (not sure what it is like where you are today, but here we are iced in with a sheet of ice) to get the light treatment machine out here. As you can see by the photo, he is simply glowing (literally). The other issue we’re still dealing with is Jo is still not cleared to drive. We went over yesterday for the blood test that was going to clear her to drive and when calling for results found that the lab ran the wrong test, so we need to return next week for another blood draw (and Ben will need checked again as well).

As a side note…many of you have asked about the bathroom progress, well, we were progressing nicely, but over the last few weeks the taxi service has brought an abrupt end to any progress. Stay tuned for details as we try and squeeze that in as the holiday festivities and parties begin to fill up our schedule.

Catching up

Well, it’s been a few days since an update. Things have been pretty busy around here this week actually. Last Saturday we took Ben in to the doctor as he was looking a bit jaundiced. His levels were a bit high, so they thought a recheck the next day would be a good idea. Before it was over, we made daily trips to Canton for blood checks Saturday through Tuesday. Finally on Tuesday, his levels had dropped and since they were headed in the right direction, the doctor said we could wait until Ben’s scheduled appointment on Friday to check again. (Part of the issue here was the fact that Jo is still restricted from driving, so trips to Canton were family trips.) He appears to be headed in the right direction now. His weight is going up and bilirubin is going down. He’s sleeping fairly well already and we’re all adjusting to life with this wonderful addition. It’s ahrd to believe that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner now.

Many have been inquiring about the bathroom project. Well, we’ve been a bit distracted here lately. The plumbing and electrical work is finished ready for the next step of drywall. That will finally happen when we get a little bit of time and then thing should move fairly quickly at that point. So, funcational before Christmas and finishing touches finished up over Christmas hopefully.

Just a glimpse into our little corner of the world…