October 25, 2010

Meet My Family Monday.....and my first guest blogger

Since I am bringing back Meet My Family Monday, I decided to spice things up a bit. Annette is a blogger herself, so I decided to ask her to do a guest post for the blog. I did do an interview with Derek and Annette, but decided to scrap it and have a post straight from them instead. This is much more interesting and fun.
So, without any further ado, meet:

Derek and Annette
Meghan and Evan
Hi everyone, I'm Annette...the wife of Mindy's cousin, Derek.  Mindy asked me to share a little bit about us and my blogs.  First, I thought I'd share about the Swensons because I know that's why you're really here reading.

Before Derek and I were even dating I had heard about his cousins from California that visited each year.  Four sisters that could talk Derek and his brothers into just about anything.  Sounds pretty scary, huh?  Somehow I also had the impression that these Swenson girls were girly girls...something I am not.  Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive about meeting them.  As it turns out, they were really sweet and have become even sweeter with time!  I was invited by Mark and Shirley to go to Niagra Falls and Darien Lake amusement park with all of them, too.  Even though they probably asked a ton of questions, they made me feel welcome and comfortable though I definitely felt old (maybe because I AM older!).
This past visit in October is when we really got to spend a lot of time with these now grown-up cousins.  It was an awesome, fun visit and has made us want to visit California soon, but after our children are a bit older and can fly without making a plane full of people unhappy.  Even they can't persuade us!  Blogging has helped them to stay in touch with us, and thanks to Mindy, we know a bit of what's happening with the Swensons and Carmacks, too.

The interview with Mindy probably represents us well.  Derek and I tried to answer the questions but there were plenty of interruptions and even laughs.  Meghan and Evan keep us on our toes in many ways.  We like to spend time outside when the weather is nice, but we stay busy inside too, playing, reading, and making little crafts.  We're greatly blessed, and are grateful for all that God does in our lives.
I actually started blogging in February of 2009.  Meghan had just been diagnosed with a speech disorder called apraxia, but suddenly she was making progress in her speech.  At 27 months she said "mama" and "dada" for the first time.  I wanted to share these and many other developments with family and friends, but I didn't want to overload email inboxes with unwanted pictures and updates.  (She now speaks well for her age, though at times she is still difficult to understand.)  So I entered the blog world with our family blog, now called Net's Notes.  Eventually, I realized that I wanted a separate place to share about my love of books, the preschool crafts and activities we were completing, as well as my own crafts.  That's how our "other blog" Live, Learn, Love came about.  Our family blog now focuses just on our day to day lives with some pictures of some adorable kids and life's craziness thrown in to the mix and the crafts, books, and recipes are at Live, Learn, Love.
Since I'm a stay at home mom, I find myself in the kitchen most afternoons during nap time.  I've posted some of my favorite recipes like a delicious and easy chocolate chip cookie pie, grilled pizza, chicken spiedies (a local food to where we grew up...so good!), French dipcinnamon rolls, and others.
I pretend to be crafty, but really...not so much.  Really, I am just better at procrastinating.   I've made some Three Little Pig finger puppets, personalized wall hanging, and a family tree.  More often, I am crafting with Meghan, and recently Evan, too.   Some of my favorites are foot print and handprint trees, a shape owl, button snowflakes, and a button game.  I used to be an elementary teacher, and it is fairly natural for me to teach my little ones at home though Meghan does attend preschool now.
Meghan and Evan just had birthdays!  Meghan turned four and Evan turned two.  Yep, they are exactly two years and one week apart.  They are finally to the point where they play together, and Meghan even shares a bit!  They rough-house with Derek and me a lot.  Of course, games of chase and hide-and-seek are pretty popular, too.  Evan is passionate about tractors, trucks, and trains.  Meghan loves to play dress up.  They both love to get physical in all their play.  Evan imitates everything she does-or at least he tries to.  It's a lot of fun to watch!
Thanks for letting me share, Mindy!  I bet you weren't expecting all of that!

So, I know you are all wondering what it is we convinced Derek and Annette to do on their wedding night.  This is it:
  They actually went on a hayride with all of us that night before heading off to their romantic getaway.  And actually, it really didn't take much convincing at all.  This was an annual event.  How could they miss out on that?

Thanks for taking the time to write this post Annette!  You're the best!


  1. Wonderful guest blog, Annette, but I think there are some stories from the past that maybe you haven't heard. Those Swenson girls can be such a bad influence!

  2. Maybe I need to sit down with Betty and have a good talk since Derek has blocked all bad memories from his mind!

  3. no way derek has any bad memories that are associated with us!

  4. Can I just say that after looking at this again, I wanted to point out that my children really have more than one shirt!