29 July 2008

August is Almost Here

I can't believe its been almost two weeks since I've written anything about family life. I'll try to do a quick recap:
  • Scott is potty training. Yes, he's wearing big boy underwear now and loves it. However, he hasn't figured out how to do #2 on the big boy potty yet. Last night was an adventure when he sat on the toilet a million times but wouldn't go (even when bribed). Yet, a few minutes later, while running around without underwear, he decided to poop. Yes, he was pooping while he was running. I'll spare you the rest of the details but let's just say that I wasn't thrilled about the situation.
  • Bethany is jabbering up a storm and repeats many words, although not clear yet.
  • Bethany has this wave she does when she says bye-bye that will steal your heart!
  • Scott loves his sister but also loves to keep her away from his toys. He's a pain about it for sure. Eventually she'll be bigger and tougher than him and he'll let her do what she wants.
  • Stayed home with the kids last Friday. They love their new pool which is more like a puddle than a pool but they seem happy.
  • Things are crazy busy at work. I could spend all my waking hours there and still not catch up. Lots of flood relief work out in the warm, humid weather. I love it, even if I sweat like crazy, but am worn out when I get home.
  • Ryan has been working solo for the past 9 days. Good thing they weren't swamped! Being on call every night wears on you even if you don't have to go out a ton. We're glad Steve is back.

Looking forward. August will be a busy month. We have lots of stuff going on in the next few weeks. September will follow suit I'm sure. I thought we'd picked a date to go home to CA only to find out that the class reunion is scheduled for the weekend before. So, I was tentatively thinking that weekend. Only to realize on Sunday that the reunion weekend is the same weekend I committed to an inner city missions trip. Arrg. Anyone wanna take my missions trip spot so I can go to my class reunion? And on top of that, I'm wishing I could make a trip home by myself to spend a few days with the girls.


Seine (noun) - 1. a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water, having floats at the upper edge and sinkers at the lower.
Some days, I do really interesting things and today was one of those days. A quick stop between appointments at the local trout hatchery and I caught a glimpse of an interesting project. When we had all the flooding, the hatchery flooded. Fish were out of their raceways and downstream. Fishing near a hatchery recently has proved to be quite a catch. Today, the guys were using a seine to gather some of the fish from the overflow pond and put them back into the raceways. The trout are raised at the hatchery and then put into nearby cold water streams. In previous seining events, they've gathered over 25,000 trout. Today was another venture to save some fish to be returned to the cold water streams. It was really cool to watch it all happen. Check out these pictures:
First you start with the seine which is weighted on the bottom and has the floaty things at the top. You line one edge of the pond with it.
The boys swam the end of the seine across the pond to create a huge net

Then you begin to pull your net in, hoping its full of fish

Once you have the fish in a confined area, you can begin to fish them out. In this case, they were removed with a net, put into the trucks that usually deliver them to the stream, taken to the raceways and put back into their homes.

How Busy Am I?

Each morning and evening I drive along a beautiful row of shrubs along our driveway. The shrub is called "Bridal Veil", I think. Recently Ryan mentioned to me that the shrub is dying. What? How did I not notice that? I drive along side of it twice a day. I'm outside playing with the kids in the yark every few days right up near the row. I love plants and kinda have a green thumb, how could I not notice? How busy am I that I wouldn't notice a 200' long shrub row that was 90% dead?

Saturday when I was out pulling weeds, I paid some attention to the shrub row. Sure enough, it looked like it was dying and moving right down the row. As I took a closer look, I saw that it wasn't really dead yet. And it wasn't a disease, rather it has provided a tasty snack for some bugs. So, yesterday I was telling my coworker about it and we decided that I needed to find the bug and kill it before it killed my shrub. My DNR forester buddy told me that if something was eating it, I should be able to find the pest. Oh, great, like I was going to find some tiny bug in the shrub... its kind of like finding a needle in a hay stack.

Last night was supper was in the oven and the kids were about ready to make me crazy (those are a whole seperate post), I went out to hunt the pest. And you know what? I found it and lots more like it. The shrub was covered in millions of little beetles. Dangit, how come I didn't see those on Saturday when I check out the shrub? I collected the pests and some of the shrub and brought the jar into the office. My forester buddy identified the pest (you would think he's an entomologist, not a tree guy) and told me of the chemical cure. Tonight, I'm off to find someone who carries the chemical cure so I can kill the Cottonwood Leaf Beetle before it kills my Bridal Veil.

22 July 2008


Thanks to Jody for her assistance in updating my blog. I hope it looks a little more like me now.

21 July 2008


I'm not one for contests online to earn a few bucks. But I received an email weeks ago about a poster contest through my agency. When I read the slogan for the poster, I immediately thought of the perfect picture to use. I just submitted the poster I designed (keep in mind, I'm not a graphic designer but I'd love to be) this morning. The deadline is fast approaching. I'm hoping to hear in the next month if I'm the lucky winner of a $300 cash award (granted it will be $150 by time they take out taxes). Whew, I'm nervous and super excited. I hope mine stands out amongst any others and gets chosen!!!!!!

I used this picture that I took back in January of 2003 when I was in Nicaragua on a missions trip. We were teaching the locals how to compost and garden so they could feed themselves rather than starve. It was a sad situation but encouraging to teach them to provide for their families. The little girl was a daughter of a couple that came from Oregon to help with the class. The man was a local leader (educated engineer) that was there to learn. Amazing experience.

16 July 2008

Help Wanted

A few things I need help doing:
1. If I create a fun picture for the top of my blog, how do I get it to replace what's already there?
2. How do I get the list of labels to show up in the margin?
3. I want to categorize my links. When I try this in the template, it doesn't work. In fact, if I change the text saying "links", it goofs it up.
My fellow blogger friends, please help

Funny Conversations with Scott recently:

Scott: Daddy, God made everything, right?
Ryan: yes, son
Scott: Then, can he make Grammy a new Zackery (Grammy's teacup poodle that died last year)

Scott holding a green bean in each hand:
left hand: Do you know you're going to get eaten?
right hand: yep, we're going to get eaten...
he proceeded to have a detailed conversation about being veggies and getting eaten.

me: Scott can you carry this into the other room?
Scott: yes, mommy. I'm strong like everybody.
He frequently talks about being strong like everybody because we ask him to eat his meals and drink his milk/juice so he can grow big and strong.

Scott: [takes something away from Bethany]
Bethany: [screams at him]
Scott: oh Bethany, you're being naughty. Go drink your nini bottle.

15 July 2008

4 Generation

I've been working on Bethany's scrap book lately. I had a picture of generations of Buitenwerf's. I asked Ryan if he wanted to write a little something for that page. He came back downstairs an hour later with a very cool page to put in her scrap book. Only it was 3/4 of a page long and I was thinking something that would be 2"x4". I saved what Ryan wrote to be used later in her book. Saturday was the perfect opportunity to capture a 4 generation picture to be used with the history. With one wiggly baby and lots of cameras taking pictures, this is what we came up with:
And since we were taking pictures, why not take a few more right? This picture is Ryan's paternal grandparents, Ryan's parents and us.

Update from the Office

I updated my "Another Day at the Office" post with pictures. Click here to check those out.

14 July 2008

Birthday Party for Two

We had a fun day. A few friends and family came to celebrate with my little pirates. I made each of them their own cakes to dig into. It was a long day with lots going on and not much for nap time. At the end of the day, we all felt like Bethany looks in this picture:

The Great North

We spent a long weekend up North over the Independence holiday weekend. Ryan's brother lives in the north woods and invaded his house for a few days. Because I'm so delayed in writing about our trip, I'll try to capture a few things with bullet points:
5 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog in one house. Thanks to Eric for opening his new home to us.

  • We were able to meet Eric's new "friend". She might have been a bit overwhelmed by all of us but she was wonderful to get to know and spend a little time with.
  • I don't eat organic. I did those few days. It was actually good.
  • I love salsa and chips, don't like goat cheese or tomatoes :p
  • I love to be outside and am a rockstar at horse shoes. Yes, us girls schooled the guys!
  • I don't like mosquito bites on my kids!
  • Scott loves parades but doesn't like the siren noises from the fire trucks.
  • Scott is a smart little boy and doesn't take him long to figure out that he doesn't want you to "share" with him if all you're going to do is ask for a piece of candy back.
  • My skin appreciated a little sunshine.
  • Bethany has no fear of large bodies of water.
  • Both kids learned that inhaling water isn't a good thing.
  • Scott has a new best friend, his Grandpa B. Sorry Ryan.
  • Driving in pounding rain makes me nervous.
  • Never follow a load of round hay bales too closesly. They do come off sometimes. (thankfully it wasn't our car that had to learn that lesson)
  • My father in law really likes to eat at Culvers.

Here are a few pictures:

Bethany and her Unky Eric

Kelly and Bethany cooking green beans in cocunut butter... umm, good

Scott with his new best friend, Grandpa B.

Thank you Eric for opening your home and letting us take over for a few days. I understand that it can be quite a lot to have a house full for a few days. Not only that, but I also understand what it costs to feed a family for a few days. I appreciate your willingness to provide for us while we were there. It was so good to be welcomed into your home, meet Kelly and spend a few days with you. Thanks for introducing us to your church family and friends too. It helps to put faces with names. We look forward to our next visit.

Happy Birthday Scott

08 July 2008

My Dutch Love

I have lots to post about from last weekend but this is a fun post that I wanted to write:

On a Sunday afternoon while getting ready to leave church, my friend Joe had a cow to check out at the dairy. She'd basically had a c-section and he was doing a post surgery check on her. I went with Joe to the dairy and to this day, I remember the conversation. He told me (and continued to tell me for months) about this Dutch dairy boy that would be perfect for me. He was a Christian, hard worker, good looking and seeking a relationship. Insecure about not being good enough, I grinned and let Joe tell me about this "perfect" guy. I wanted that guy that Joe described but never gave it serious thought. Little did I know that years before while I was in high school, I would see that very guy on occasion at the local restaraunt where I worked. He'd come in with his brother who happened to be dating another employee. I drooled over him and his brother from a distance.

As best I can remember, a few months later I met this "perfect" guy, Mike. He was a good looking Dutch dairy boy. I think we met at an ag ambassador conference where he was presenting on listening skills. I definitely listened in that session and gave him my full attention. Throughout the weekend, we chatted a bit and found out that we lived a few miles from each other and were attending the same university. He asked me if I would ride share and I think I about fainted at the opportunity. [cori, do you remember this story, am I getting the details right?] Throughout the next semester I took advantage of his offers to help me with my dairy science classes (even though I don't think I really needed the help), make small talk and day dream. I even wrote a paper about how to marry him.
[okay, let me clarify that I wasn't stalking him... I had to write a paper on a goal in my life and how to accomplish it. I didn't feel like sharing my dreams and goals with a TA, so I got a little creative and wrote something fun. I love to write. Apparently, it was so well written that the TA decided to read it in front of the entire class. People seriously thought I was in love with this guy when in fact I just had a little crush on him. What 18 year old doesn't have a crush on some boy?]
... Throughout college we crossed paths several times at agricultural functions, Bulldog athletic events, etc. I remember seeing him with his girlfriend, now wife, and thinking that Joe was totally wrong about this "perfect" Dutch guy. And not in a sad or envious way but in a fun and humorous way. Joe was father-like friend and wanted me happy. He also knew Mike and wanted him happy and thought we'd be good together I guess.

Fast forward a few years and I did find my Dutch Love. Only he wasn't the one Joe pictured when he talked about hard working Christian Dutch dairy guy. It was Ryan, my wonderful husband who happens to be all of the above: Dutch, follower of Christ, hard working, handsome and even a dairy guy (dairy in the sense that he's a vet and works on dairy cattle). Oh Joe, if you only knew back then that you were talking about my future in a prophetic kind of way. Not that I would have believed you anyway. But I do get a kick of how God works out the details in our life. I do firmly believe that the God who created the world and everything in it, also has a sense of humor. I bet he laughs at this story too.

To my Dutch Love, I'm so thankful that you are the one I married. That those days of day dreaming and drooling are over. That you love me for who I am, regardless of my insecurities! That you are the father to our little Dutch Burritos! I love you honey!

02 July 2008

Another Day at the Office

Just another day at the office, only I got to go outside. I had a 930am appointment but the sky was dark and full of clouds. I decided that walking a mile of stream in the rain wouldn't be fun so I opted to cancel the appointment. As the day continued though, I wanted more and more to go outside. Okay, I have tons to do in the office and I'm so behind on things but I really needed to do my stream stuff for Kristy. As I was stuffing my face with a late lunch today, I decided to head out. It was awesome. These are the moments when I love my job. I took my wildlife coworker out with me and we saw some really cool stuff.

As we got down to the creek, an owl came flying out and scared the tar out of me. As we were standing there talking about the owl, I noticed a bat hanging from a tree branch in broad day light. We stopped and snapped a few pictures. We saw frogs, tad poles, racoon waste, and lots of dragon flies. We saw blue clay and lots of springs coming into the stream. The erosion along the stream bank was sad to see but amazing to think what the power of water can do. It was a mile walk in hot and humid air. While we walked, we heard the thunder in the distance.

While heading back to the truck, the thunder roared in the distance. Up over the hill, we could see the storm coming. It wasn't a moment too soon that we finished up. Within minutes, it was pouring down rain and I couldn't really see the road to drive. As I traveled down the highway slowly with the radio turned on, we heard the weather service mention the two storms in the area and that we should seek shelter. Well, too late now. We had shelter from the stream, and although the truck kept us dry, didn't provide much protection from other storm issues.

Back in town where the storm had already passed, we could see that plenty of water dumped on us (as if we need any more storm damage and flooding). The ditches looked like mini streams running and everything was soaked. Fortunately we were fine and the hail was tiny enough to not cause damage!

01 July 2008


I got to my desk this morning and there was a small bouquet of flowers on it. It was awesome. My coworker has amazing flower gardens that she's growing to make her wedding bouquets. She decided to share some with me and I'm so excited to see the color on my desk. How fun!

oh... that must have been a dream

A conversation last night with Ryan:
me: Can you go put sheets on Bethany's bed?
Ryan: [gives me a weird look]
me: Did you already put sheets on there?
Ryan: yes, I did that last night before I put her to bed.
me: oh, that must have been a dream.

I promise, I remember picking her up out of her crib and there not being a sheet on her bed. It had to have been a dream because the all-star dad in my house had put a sheet on her bed the night before.