Musings on Growing Physically…Emotionally…Spiritually

Author Archives: thegrowinggrimms

Though the weather outside was grey, hovering around thirty and a mixture of snowy ice rain was pelting down, the Grimmius household celebrated SPRING!

For the third year, we search for eggs and a basket on Spring instead of Easter. I could sing praises for this switch for days and I am always trying to convince mommas of making this switch.


The morning started off with cottage cheese pancakes in the shape of a flower or a bird or any spring like thing you see in it:) There was also a stack of Easter and Spring books that are put away until this time of year. We read every single one during and after breakfast and Anne declared it the BEST SPRING DAY EVER already. Clearly I should put my standards lower.


The first day of Spring happened to coincide with when we started resurrection eggs too (BONUS!), so they also got to find the first egg and read the story of Jesus that went with the little Donkey inside.


We then made salted dough ornaments in SPRING shapes and decorated them with beads. They are now hanging happily in our window in the dining room.


Thank you free ice cream cone at DQ for adding to our fun on the first day of spring…I love when little things like this collide with no planning.


Finally it was time for the egg hunt…we waited for daddy to come home and it was HARD to wait for some.


This year I took my sister’s brilliant egg hunt idea from last year and switched up what we did it. It was a LEGO build it as you go EASTER EGG hunt extravagnza and IT WAS AMAZING. It definitely took some prep the day before…numbering eggs and separating the legos up into bags but it was worth it and here is why:

  • The fun lasted so long…almost an hour because they only found one egg at a time and then had to build before they could find another egg.
  • The mad opening of the eggs at once was slowed out and focused..they still got one candy egg.
  • At the end of it, it wasn’t a bunch of extra little cheap toys or food but an actual quality toy that they both enjoyed. PEOPLE they played with it for over another HOUR. They completely forgot about an Easter basket and so I just waited to do that until after supper.

Seriously…I’m never going back.

Finally the family basket was found…after prodding from me to go find it…It contained dot markers, a book, and slinky(s) which have brought much joy this evening.


It was a FULL day celebrating the amazing season of new life coming out of the dead of winter. As my sister and I would say, “and now we are done” Boom. Love Spring Day.




Getting the best picture of my three kiddos EVER!


Hosting a Super Bowl party…they were pumped.


Celebrating  February Tea Time with heart pies and heart crowns.

Giving lots of Love on Valentine’s Day and having one of my favorite Valentine Meals ever. We shared what we loved about each person of the family and the kiddos would do Henry’s deep voice and say what he loved about us…we laughed a lot. We also sang several rounds of head, shoulders, knees, and toes so Henry could work on knowing his body parts. It was just such a classic meal of what our life looks like but with little crying at this meal.


Building their annual snowman…this is totally daddy’s department because he rocks at them.


Flying on a plane for the first time ever (kiddos that is) the actually flying part went SO WELL Henry THANKFULLY slept. The waiting for a long time at airports was hard…but we did it.


Parenting with this great sister of mine in Sunny California…yes we absolutely still had crying fits, melt downs, and normal parent stuff but one of my favorite things was going through it with others.


Experiencing Sea World as a family! My whole immediate family spent a week in California (24 of us!!) and it was beautiful. We did all the shows together and even had matching shirts. Dad would have loved this day a lot because we were there when gates opened until close and saw every show.


getting a little emotional over seeing a panda for the first time ever. I have loved panda’s since I can remember and finally saw one live..they were just how I imagined


playing so hard with the cousins!


having some AMAZING doughnuts at the doughnut bar…umm yea pretty much ruined now for others.


watching the kids experience the ocean for the first time and watching this little guy get better at walking everywhere we went.


These February days were pretty awesome and full of firsts for my family. There was also a lot of waiting for these exciting days. Vacation days are pretty epic, but I want to always remember that each day is a gift even the ones that are long and cold.


embracing the Minnesota climate by discovering ways to melt ice.


enjoying new Christmas gifts and practicing fine motor at the same time: win win!

celebrating my uncle’s 70th birthday party. Uncle Larry’s birthday parties were always a favorite growing up. It was literally a perfect party to bring three young kiddos. There were antique trains, antique toys, lots of food, a wide open space for littles to run around, and even a stage to climb up and explore. It was a perfect party to celebrate my eccentric Uncle Larry and get some energy out in the cold cold winter.


finding lots of cozy spaces to read on the super duper cold days of winter.


braving the elements on the not too frigid days…though I must say I have to coerce my kiddos into going outside. They are both not cold lovers and don’t last too long, but a little  time outside is better than none.IMG_0733

so much crazy play in the evenings…oh the stored up energy we are missing from the sunny days of summer.


my awesome husband making this beautiful and functional coat rack to help our entry way problem of so much winter crap.


COUSINS!!! We took a whirlwind trip to Sioux Falls to spend time with cousins. Oh the playing that was had and the good talks the mammas got to have together.

January was also filled with SO MUCH sickness…mainly me. I got hit twice with two terrible colds with the kids and Ryan getting them in the middle. January was also filled with JOY IN JANUARY…a daily prompt/connection text that I did with my sisters and mom and niece. January has always been a tough month but even though I was sick for a lot of it, I can still remember so many days that were filled with joy and for that I’m grateful.



Anne and Henry meeting the nicest Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at our historic museum…Peter watched from the sidelines.


making oh so many cookies and crafts with these fantastic helpers as Henry either destroys or eats all the frosting.

IMG_0614enjoying awesome surprise Christmas goodies from Aunt Marisa. The kiddos kept it under the tree and did one project a day because it was like opening a present.


practicing our ballet moves on Anne’s early birthday surprise day where we went to watch the nutcracker…so fun!


snagging a picture of these lovely ladies that I get to plan MOPS with but also count on, mother with, cry with, pray with and feel so blessed to have in my life.


making oh so many snow angels.

celebrating a full day of Christmas Eve activities with Anne’s Birthday, a nativity program at church, special dinner with Grandma Sue and a lot of JOY and EXCITEMENT.


making Christmas morning magic but always always first putting our minds and hearts set on Christ.


spending some time at Grandpa and Grandma Grimmius.

giving a lot of love to this little cutie, Amelia. Henry loves her ever so much. He positioned himself in the above picture…this is right before hugs and kisses took place.


loving every moment of our extra long weekend together as a WILKEN FAMILY–playing so many games, laughing at lip syncs, watching slide shows, eating AMAZING food-thank you mom and Chris–talking, crying, and just feeling the love of family!


These December days were also full of sickness…so much sickness of every kind that hit every person in our house. These days are full of sick, health, joy, melancholy but there is a whole lot of love in each day that comes from our Savior and for that I’m ever so grateful for each day.

I’m a reader. There have of course been ebbs and flows to my reading, but it is something I make as a priority in my life because I love it.  I heard this quote from Katherine Patterson this year about how fiction is like getting to eavesdrop on the soul. What an accurate statement to describe one facet of why I enjoy reading.


I also love recommending books to people as in finding the absolute perfect book for you to read…and I’m pretty good at it as it was my job for awhile. It is my unofficial job these days.

This year I read 43 books, which I am pretty darn proud of considering I’ve got 3 little ones running around. I don’t have this magical time that people think is necessary for reading, I literally use the time I have and put reading high up on my list. If you want more tips on how to do this, I’m also totally open to chatting about that too.

Best Books I Read This Year:

 Realistic Fiction: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce– If you liked A Man Called Ove…which I totally did, then you like this one. Harold is an extremely likable character to root for as he goes on this pilgrimage that really is about reexamining his life specifically with his son.

Non-Fiction: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore(Another tippy-top favorite…I read so many passages out loud to Ryan) This was an unbelievable true story of girls in the early 1900s that painted dials on clocks so they would glow. However, they dipping their paint brushes in their mouth covered with radium and unknowingly putting a death sentence on themselves. It was unbelievable in the way that corruptions lied and eluded due payment to these poor girls. 

AutoBiography: You Don’t Have to Say you Love Me by Sherman Alexie (Top 3 as well as favorite for the year!) It specifically focuses on the relationship with his mother and his journey through grief both present and past…and working through forgiveness. Told through poetry and prose. It is a hard read with lots of pain in it, but for this white female reader…it offers a little insight and a little understanding to a culture and people group that I know little bit about. 

Classic: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott (FAVORITE READ AND FIND OF THE YEARIt is full of fun adventures of the boys and few girls that Jo and her husband teach at their school. However, I enjoyed so much I believe as a mother and teacher because it speaks to the heart of raising and teaching kiddos.

Historical Fiction: The Librarian of Auschiwitz by Antonio Iturbe This story is about a section of Auschwitz that was a family camp, which I never knew they had, and a school that was established there for a time. You eventually find out this was all a ruse to show the world that the Germans were treating the Jews very well. In that family camp, they established a school, Dita Kraus was the librarian of 8 confiscated books. This is her story. As the author says, the bricks of this novel are true but are held together with well-researched fiction.

Best Young Adult Realistic FictionA List of Cages by Robin RoeBeautiful characters in this YA novel that follows Adam (outgoing, everyone loves, people drawn to him) and Julian (lost, broken, in an abusive home after his parents die). The power of friendship is shown strongly through this novel…that and the characters sold me on it. Beautifully written about 

Best Young Adult Historical FictionOkay for Now by Gary SchmidtSet in 1969-Doug has a lot of negatives against him but then he discovers John James Audobons’s Birds of America and everything cha0nges.

Best Young Adult Dystopia/Sci Fi: Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Okay also like top three for favorite book of this year)Once again Shusterman sets us in the future a perfect would once again ruled by the thunderhead (a computer)…but alas this isn’t people versus computer it is people versus people…and how corruption always sneaks in no matter the foundation you set…(yes thought of our current country a many of times). There is a population problem so there is the role of Scythes to kill (or glean) people. However your chance of getting gleaned is like 1% from living 1 to 100. However…things are changing in the scythedom and two pivitol roles fall to Citra and Rowan who have been asked to apprentice a scythe. 

Just Because It Was So Good: Some Writer! The Story of E.B White by Melissa Sweet-If you have read anything by E.B White…Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, Trumpter’s Swan…then you need to read this Y.A biography on him. It is beautiful and a feast for the eyes. Melissa Sweet is amazing in her illustrations and picture collages and thought process of ever visual detail…it all connects! She uses a type writer for quotes directly from E.B White…which is awesome. This is great to read by yourself or to your kids who love E.B White. Just Beautiful.


Today, after much waiting, you are FIVE! Five! Oh my, your momma is having a hard time saying that because it just seems so very big and well it is very big my sweet girl.

Some Very Exciting Achievements This Past Year Include:

*Clearing Dishes/Making Bed and other Acts of Service for our family

*Pumping on the Swing

*Getting the Hang of the Balance Bike

*Mastery of the alphabet uppercase and lowercase and knowing the majority of the sounds

*People and Animal and scene drawings

*Writing and Illustrating your Very FIRST Books that you thought up completely on your own

*Helping make lunches

*Creative play that you come up with and tell your brothers how to play


Some Lovely Things I want to Remember about you Right Now:

*Your ever so helpful nature with the little brothers. I would be at a lost without my second in command.

*Your absolute love of reading. Often sitting on the little Mickey Couch and reading all the books to either yourself, Henry, Peter, or a doll.

*Your Silliness and the jokes you make

*Your curiosity about everything around you.


Oh we love you ever so much sweet Anne Girl and our so grateful for each year of life we have had the opportunity to be your parents. Praying for the year ahead for more growth in all areas of life!


watching an ever so awesome production of Little Mermaid. This was Peter’s first musical: he did awesome!


hosting the Maloney family (minus Chris) at our house for about 32 hours. We had seven cousins  dressing up, reading, acting, dancing, tumbling, racing cars, eating, crying, sleeping, and hard core playing. We even got our November tea party in there too. We barely saw Leeland and Peter and they only surfaced to just quickly wolf something down so they could go back to playing. Oh love cousin time…it was crazy but the best kind of crazy!

disguising our turkeys so they don’t get eaten for Thanksgiving! Both Anne and Peter come up with their own ideas and I help execute. Aunt Marisa started us on this very fun tradition.



Embracing these warmer end of November days…even got a Thanksgiving walk and formerly Grandma’s Vogel land where I remember many a Thanksgiving walks there.


celebrating Thanksgiving at Grandma Sue’s house with these little turkeys.

decorating for CHRISTMAS!!! This mama decided to change a few things up to our normal decorating traditions…mainly for sanity reasons. First, Ryan and I got the tree up and lights on while the kids were napping…HUGE HELP to the stress and craziness of decorating since they can’t help with this part. Second, I got rid of doing appetizers and frappe(even though I love this drink…not many of the others do) and we did pizza and another special Christmas dessert I remember from my childhood that I could make and put in the freezer several days ahead…so much better. This was a solid lesson in saying, “It is okay to change up traditions!”

The kiddos were so good and decorating this year. Ryan and I barely put any on. The picture of Peter is a great example of how he likes to hang ornaments: all on one branch. Henry is oh Henry. He actually was super good during the actual process and then of course attacked and threw ornaments the days after. He has since slowed down on this as mom is slowing moving all ornaments upwards 🙂

It is A LOT of work to be the magic maker…aka a mom at Christmas…but it is worth it and that is also why you throw in there desserts that you especially enjoy eating!IMG_0588

“Mom show me how to take a selfie with your phone” …things you thought you would never hear from your lips as a child 🙂

November slowed down a lot, and it was great to have less commitments. We are full and ready to take on December this household! There is much joy as we celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus…plus the added excitement of a certain girl is turning five. Ready for the Joy of this season!


Cat Pfenning

a new song

From The Notes of Laura

Musings on Growing Physically...Emotionally...Spiritually

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