A few pictures!

Gotta {Love} that SMILE!
(this is the smile of a girl who's going to be a big sister)

And she thinks there is something in there for her....

This is Annika and her friend "Nimmy" (aka Timmy)!


7th Annual Ladies Christmas Tea

Today was our 7th Annual Ladies Christmas Tea at our church. Everything turned out BEAUTIFUL! We had the largest number of ladies attend yet (around 182). Below is a slide show of the tables that some ladies in our church decorated (the way this work is certain ladies are asked to decorate a table with their own dishes (my table is the first one in the group with the red berries).

At the end are a few pictures of Annika in her Christmas dress (I'm hoping to get a few better ones a little later). We'll see! :)



Annika is learning to count here's a video, but you have to listen close because she counts VERY fast in it. :) Enjoy! Better get going and make some lunch than I have a little girl who is going to lay down for a nap. Have a great day!


Pretty in Pink



First Snow Fall of '08

Last week we had our first snow fall. I took Annika out in it and she had a blast!



A lady from our church gave us a Tickle-Me-Elmo for Annika. She did not like it the night they gave it to us but it was 10 p.m. and we figured she was just tired. The next day when she woke up we decided to give it a try again....

Well, we found out she still doesn't like it. She will carry it around everywhere, but if you ask her if she wants to turn in on she shakes her head no. She even starts to cry when she watches Elmo in this video.

Here's a picture I took of her yesterday while playing outside with some bubbles!



Halloween & New Sentance

Last night Annika got all dressed up and went trick or treating. We started the evening (or the afternoon) by taking her to the nursing home where she handed out candy to the older people there. She did a great job! Especially for a little girl who wanted to keep the candy, but did a good job having a good attitude. After the nursing home I took her to the local outlet mall where they hand out candy. We hit all the stores and she got a pretty good bag of candy! We then went to a bombfire people in our church were having. It was a good evening and a good time. Here's a few pictures of her in her Halloween Costume: A Lady Bug Fairy. I had such a great time making this outfit and it turned out pretty good and did not cost that much to make and now she has a new dress up costume!

She has also learned her first 4 word sentance! We were sitting in her room the other day when she found a moth on the floor. Zoey than came and joined us and proceeded to eat the moth.

Halloween & New Sentance


Pumpkin Patch Take II

Sorry, I know I said I would get these up and I was hoping to get them up sooner, but I didn't. Here are a few more pictures from the pumpkin patch.

Just an update: Life is definitely getting more and more busy (just when I thought it might slow down for a bit). I'm due to watch some boys tomorrow and a couple of kids on Saturday. David has class Friday. Annika in the midst of all this has not a care in the world. :) She is excited for the neighbor boys to come over especially her friend "Nimmy" (aka Timmy). They get a long pretty well (except when he's trying to take her hair pieces out). She says, "no Nimmy." They get excited when the other walks into the room...Timmy calls Annika "Nimmy" b/c that's what she says whenever she sees him. :) They are fun to watch play together.


20 Things I like about Fall

(in no particular order)!

  1. Fall leaves crunching under your feet
  2. Sitting by the fire (okay we have a wood burning stove, but still nice)
  3. Wearing Jeans
  4. Walks in the cooler weather
  5. Culver's Pumpkin Malts...MMmm
  6. The Pumpkin Patch
  7. Playing outside with Annika
  8. Hot chocolate and a good book
  9. Carving pumpkins
  10. Fall Colors
  11. Snuggling with David and Annika
  12. Movies
  13. My birthday :)
  14. Thanksgiving (being with family)
  15. Pumpkin guts between your fingers
  16. Wearing hats
  17. Listening to Annika sing (okay I get to do this no matter the season, but it is fun)
  18. The smell of baking cookies, pies, bread, ect
  19. Pumpkin pie & Apple pie
  20. Scented Candles


Pumpkin Patch Comparison


More Pumpkin Patch Pictures to come....


Computer Wizard?!?

I found a site online that Annika absolutely loves (Fisherprice.com) it has some online games for toddlers. She loves the Zoo Alphabet Game! All she does is click any button on the keyboard and it will advance her to the next letter (she can also learn where the letters are on the keyboard (when she hits a certain letter on the keyboard it will also go to that letter). She is really starting to pick up on a lot of the letters now. She loves the letters A,B,C, and I the most (at least those are the ones she can pick out and say on her own without any prompting from mom and dad).

I look at her and can't believe how big she is getting. She is learning something new every day. For the past week she has been telling me when she needs to go potty, the only problem is when I put her on it she never goes. Last night she told me she needed to go and I put her on it and she went. I'm not sure if that was a one time thing, but we'll find out! :)



She is starting to look a lot like a little girl now and not my baby anymore. But I love the age she is at. She loves to talk, read, and sing (as seen in previous posts).

In this picture she looks more like a little girl and less like a baby.



Curiosity Killed the Cat...

Or not....but it did kill her spirit! :)

I was talking to my mom on the phone and heard a tinking noise....I went to see what it was and this is what I found!

Somehow our dumb cat got that doll stand around her neck!

I'm not quite sure how she did, but I HAD to take pictures! She sure didn't like it around her neck and just laid there with a broken spirit! :) Oh the joys of animals...they sure are entertaining!


Blessed Sunday

Today was a great day at church. We had our 3rd Annual Harvest Homecoming! This is when we invited people from years past back to our church. What a blessing it is to meet and get to know so many people who have attended our church at one point. The offering that is taken during the morning service goes to the building fund (we are in desperate need of more room in our church and a larger fellowship hall). The teen currently meet in our home on Wednesday evenings b/c there is not room in the church with the prayer meeting and Bible Study for the adults and the Kids4Truth program in the small fellowship hall. What a blessing to say that God saw fit to provide $3,000 today for the building fund!! Isn't God GREAT!!

Here is a short slide show of what Annika's been up to lately. She loves playing with her doll and feeding her. The last three photos are from this morning. I love this outfit I picked it up at a garage sale for $1 (one of the reasons why I like it soo much)! :) I took her picture before church because I thought by the time we were done with the Morning Service, the Fellowship dinner, and the afternoon service, I thought she'd be tired...I put her down for a nap at 3:00 with a book and she was singing until she finally fell asleep 30 minutes later! :)

Now off to watch the Packers!! One of the few times we actually get to watch!


Pumpking Carving

I went to a ladies retreat at Camp Chetek last weekend and got to bring home a free pumpkin. Annika "helped" me carve it the other day. She was not a big fan of touching the insides. She does not like to get her hands dirty unless it has something to do with food and since the pumpkin didn't taste good she did not want to touch it.

Here's a short slide show of her:


Fall Photo Shoot

Last week I took Annika outside to get some new photos for a photo frame in my house. It holds five photos and I would like to change it according to season (well it has not changed since last fall). :) Here are some of the new ones I took.



Annika LOVES to sing...I'm not exaggerating when I say she sings anywhere. She will sing before she goes to bed, when we are reading to her, when she is in the bathtub, when she's in the shopping cart at a store, in her car seat, or even at 3:30 in the morning when she's suppose to be sleeping (yes we've heard her do this). I was able to get a few minutes of her on video!

Here are a few pictures of her from last Sunday on our way out the door to church!





A new dress **UPDATED**

I finally finished a dress I started making for Annika a few weeks ago. It turned out pretty good. It was my first dress from a pattern that I made. It included a zipper, pleats, bias tape and lots of taking apart and re-sewing! :) But it's finished and pretty cute. It will probably fit her next fall also! A few pics....

After all was said and done I really did like the jumper I was just a bit discouraged about the back seam not matching up (where the pleats are) so I sat down tonight and figured out a way to fix it (taking it apart was not an option since I had already re-did the zipper twice) so I added some accents on. Here's what I came up with:

The back:The front:
Close-up of the flower:

"I Do"

Well they are married and off!

My sister and my new brother-in-law got married last weekend! The wedding went well and was beautiful! My nieces made an adorable flower girl and junior brides made and my sister made a beautiful bride!


Sandwich Bags: $1.79

Safety Pins $1.49

30 Minutes of Entertainment............PRICELESS!!!


For the love of Hats

A lady in my church mentioned that I should make a scrapbook with all of the pictures I have of Annika in hats. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE HATS!! So I put together a slide show of Annika with all her hats.

Note: she owns more hats then this!


Good Morning and Outside Fun

Every morning I go into Annika's room to get her this is the sight I see:

And here is the video you've been asking about mom (Annika on her power wheel):


Annika and the ABC's

We have been working with Annika for a while now on her ABC's. I have also been trying for awhile to get this on video to show you all what she is learning (the problem is every time I get the camera out she doesn't want to do it).

We have worked on the letters A-D and just started E yesterday. We started by just asking her the letters in order A...B...C... but we decided to try mixing them up and also tried a different font since she learns them from this book and she was able to point the letters out that way also.

Sorry that it is so dark (I took it in the evening)


Big Girl Bed

We moved Annika into her big girl bed on Sunday. She has done really well with no problems (as of yet). :) She just looks so small in it.

She has really had fun playing with Lincoln and his kennel lately. Earlier last week when David and I were both sititng in the living room reading. Annika was on the ground playing with her stuffed puppy. I quick got out the camera because it was too cute. She was telling her puppy "mo" (In Annika language that means 'no'). Here's a video of it (sorry it's so dark I was taking it at night and we only had a few lights on in the house.


MN State Fair

Some Recent pictures and....

On Thursday we went to the Minnesota Great-Get-Together (a.k.a. the state fair). Last year was the first time we have gone and we had a lot of fun. This year was even more fun since Annika was old enough to enjoy it more.

The trip was a family trip but also a working trip. We went and found free stuff and took pictures. David is in the process of putting together a scavenger hunt for the teens for Monday. Yep, we even get to go back on Monday!!

Here are a few pictures:


Found: Camera: Prepare for Overload!

Well I found the camera YAY!!! It was on the desk in the office (not that the desk was so cluttered that the camera could hide itself under there)! ;)

Here is the kitchen set and table and chair set that Annika recived from two different families in our church. Pardon the "clutter" on the shelf these are in the office/craft room in our house (the same place the camera lost itself).

Annika has also found the love for the telephone! Doesn't this face say it all?!?

And for your viewing pleasure a few videos....

Annika talks all the time!! We are really starting to understand her now. She is also saying two word sentences.

And a last one to show you how much she is like her mom....when I'm on the phone.
A) I don't stand still or sit I am always walking when I'm on the phone

B) I leave the room when I am on the phone and Annika is in the same room because she talks all the time or ends up getting hurt and cries.


Riding along...

I still cannot find our camera (I really haven't had tons of time to look). I do however have another picture (again with a neighbor boy). This is Timmy (aka Tim-a-roni). He is Joshua's little brother (just 2 months and 1 day younger than Annika). If you haven't noticed...our neighborhood is made up of mostly boys (we have a total of 7 boys on our road and 4 more that live not to far away the total of girls 3 Annika, Elizabeth who is eight, and Stephanie who is 12).
We found this power wheel at the Almelund Threshing Show. It originally sells for $62.99 brand new. Well this Lil Quad was in excellent condition and we only paid $8.00 (the only thing is it didn't come with a battery, but we can buy one for about $8.00...not bad?!?) :)


No New Pictures?!?!

Are you wondering why I don't have any recent pictures of Annika up?? Lately I have found a lot of pictures of her I would love to take...yes I use the word love because.....our camera has misplaced itself! So here a few of her that our neighbor lady took. This is Annika's friend Joshua. Joshua has 3 brothers (David, Matthew, and Timmy) Joshua is the 2nd youngest. Timmy was napping and the older two boys were visiting their grandparents for week. We went to Joshua's house to have some root beer floats after church on Wednesday Evening. His bed was in the living room at the time b/c his parents were painting and putting new bunkbeds in the boys room (yes all 4 boys share a room)! :)

Well here are some pictures of Annika and Joshua playing on his bed:


Photo Shoot (Outside)

2 posts in one day....that's pretty good! I took some pictures of Annika outside today (kind of a mini photo shoot since we have yet to have professional pictures), but I may not need them there are some really cute ones here! My only disappointment is that she won't look at the camera and smile (not sure that a photographer could get her to do it either). Enjoy the pictures!

Annika's New Table and Chairs

Annika got a new table and chair set from some people from our church. Here are a few pictures!

Here is a picture of her after church yesterday when the people gave it to us.

And here is a picture of her playing with it today (she sat there for probably a half hour while I was blogging). :)


Busy at the Stertz Household

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. I expected it to somewhat slow down since VBS but that has not happened. I have been watching kids galore! This week on Monday Annika and I rode with David to drop the teens off at Camp Chetek. On Tuesday Annika had some friends come over (David, Matthew, Joshua, and Timothy) there mom had to run someplace so they came to play for a bit with her. On Wednesday some more friends came over (Elizabeth, Avery, and Alexander). On Thursday we went to see Mrs. Christine (or has Annika affectionately calls her "Teen"). :) All of her daycare kids were there plus another family from our church. They loves to play with other kids and got her fair share this week! When we were at Camp on Monday Pastor Randy invited us to come back a day early and just hang out. Today we are headed to Camp and we will bring the teens home tomorrow for their week at Camp.

I also hit a few garage sales on Thursday and did pretty good. My Garage Sale Buys:

4 yards of a lightweight cotton fabric for $1 (I'm hoping to make Annika a dress with this as I love her in yellow).

I got another 2 yards of white fabric with large pink polka dots also 69 cents (this will also be turned into a dress for Annika).

A bicycle (you know those cute tiny ones that have training wheels, not a trike). I figured by the end of next summer she will be riding this. It's in pretty good shape (could use a seat although the one on it is fine it just doesn't look all that grand) and the rubber handle bar grippies at the end of the handle bars. I paid a whopping $1 for the bike....Not to bad!

I also got baby monitors (this was my original reason for going to garage sales) and long and behold I found some that have only been used twice for $5 (now if I could figure out how to use them). :)

I also stopped at the thrift store in my town (it's not been open for to long, but it's pretty nice). While I was there I found a very pretty red velvet dress in a size 24 month. That is what Annika will be in at Christmas time so I figured I'd buy it for $3 (not bad) so I took it up to the counter and noticed when I got up there that there were some faint white marks on it (maybe paint) not completely sure. I was still going to buy it b/c it looks like I could get it off and the lady said, "Oh why don't I sell it to you for 50 cents) well that was a done deal! I'll have to post some pictures later of all the things I got.



Annika seems to love her swimming pool lately! She went in it today and I took a short video of her, she loved it even more because the puppy was in it with her (much to Lincoln's dismay...he doesn't care for water much). :)

Next up is a video of Annika in her highchair she was actually falling asleep and I wanted to get a video but she decided to wake up and talk. We have been working on the alphabet so far we gotten to the letter "h" but she won't go that far on the video. She can also point out the letters, "a,b, and c".


Don't feed the Baby!

So as I mentioned it was VBS this past week and with VBS comes LOTS of cookies! I made over 12 dozen cookies for VBS. To say Annika loves cookies is a gross understatement! She was able to con cookies off of just about anybody. She would go look at the person and in her very cute way say "more."Here she is both saying and signing "moooore"

Well with her cuteness and little voice many people have a hard time telling the baby "no" so a cookie she gets...and another...and another...

By this time baby has had enough (look at that belly)

And yet she still thinks she needs more....so after 7 cookies on Tuesday evening (3 before VBS even started). Much to Annika's dismay she wore a sign that said this on Wednesday Evening!

She did get some cookies that night, just not 7 of them. And all in all it ended up being a good night! She went home with no problems (no fits for more cookies)...

... and was perfectly satisfied! :)

(notice the goldfish in the pictures....I gave permission for her to have those since she had only 1 and 1/2 cookies that night).


VBS Week (finally over)

Well, I mentioned earlier that we had our Vacation Bible School this week. The theme was DINO DETECTIVE: DIGGING FOR GOD'S TRUTH. Our VBS is quite unique as we run an All Family VBS. There is an opening with everyone together, then when the kids split up for their classes (by school grade) the adults stay in with our senior pastor, and then everyone meets again for the closing (David does a magic trick and shares the Gospel) and sing some silly songs, adds up the points and then we all go and eat cookies and everyone leaves when they want. It has been a tremendous outreach for our church as we have seen many families come to know the Lord (last year a husband was saved and throughout the year his son also. David was able to baptize the couple this past spring. What a blessing that was)!

I had a lot of help from the teen girls with painting and tracing the posters (people and dinosaurs). Here are some pictures of what the church looked like during this week of Bible Study.

All in all it was a GREAT week. Our highest total number of kids in attendance was 67 on Tuesday Evening. We were able to raise over $1,560 for our missionaries (this was done with pennies). We have what is called a penny offering. Kids bring in their dollar bills and they can exchange them for penny rolls then they have a race to see who can collect the offering the fastest (girls against boys) we use 5 gal buckets for this since the buckets can weigh up to 100-120 lbs each (not a joke)!

We are both exhausted but it was a good week! I wish I had the chance to take a few more pictures, but I just didn't have the time.

I also have to say what a blessing it is to go to a church that the people are sooo willing and able to help with things. We can't thank many of the people in our church enough for the help that they gave us this week for VBS.

*note: I apologize for any gramatical and spelling errors as it is 11:40 at night and my brain is fried from the VBS carnival and everything we had to do to get it ready for tonight.*


A Few Random

Last week and this week have been very busy so far (and it's only Monday)! :) We have Vacation Bible School this week and most of last week was taken up by decorating for VBS (I'll share pictures at the end of th week). But here are a few random pictures of Annika from the last couple of days.

And for those Grandma's!!

...and just in case a close up...


4th of July

WOW....I just wanted to share a comparison picture.....

Annika last year on the 4th...


... and Annika this year on the 4th!


And two more photos....


Strawberry Picking

We have been very busy here at the Stertz household! As you can tell by all the posts. Today Annika and I went to pick strawberries (as you can tell she had a good time)...okay so she sat in her stroller until I picked all I wanted and then I took her out to take pictures. Don't worry Timmy was in the stroller next to her so she had someone to play with while we picked. :)


Potty Learning Annika and Talking Annika

First the potty learning pictures: (we have been working on this since we got back from vacation). I'm sure she will be thrilled when she gets older that I took these pictures, but she looks so stinking (no pun intended) cute! She just woke up from a good nights sleep (as seen by the wild hair). :)

Up Next is the talking Annika: