Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's our 5th Anniversary.

It's been 5 years since we've tied the knot. I can't decide if that's a long time or not.

We dated for six years before he knelt on his knee. I was so excited, I was Mrs. Marvelous-to-be. We've known eachother since we were little. Since then we've learned how to meet in the middle. It's almost as though I know his thoughts. He's definitely custom and not store bought.
A funloving daddy to four little ones. They think he's the best, he's the shine of their sun.
He's our foundation and rock, and I love him to bits. Happy Anniversary honey, you make me do flips.



Love, Your Babe

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chew on This--The Stuff We're Made Of

I picked this video up from Melissa and it truly blew me away. God's awesomeness never ceases to amaze me.


When I'm not with you all.

('Cuz I know you'll ask if I leave you with a WW photo until next Monday.)

Some things I might be doing if I'm NOT blogging.
1. Chasing after this little one...and her sister. I figure, if you can't beat 'em--join 'em. This is now Norah & Hazel's secret spot in the kitchen.

2. Sweeping and Mopping my entire main floor. I really should do that more often. Ahh, the power of Pine Sol.


3. Looking at the 4 loads of laundry sitting, unfolded, in baskets on my bedroom floor.


4. Watching these two sleep peacefully together. Last night during my nightly ritual, I decided to leave these little cuddle bugs alone in their cribs and instead watch quietly from above.
5. Playing Dora's CandyLand with Julia and Luke.

6. Planning Norah & Hazel's 1st Birthday Party--Carnival Style.

7. Moping around at the fact that next year we'll be buying 5T clothing for Julia. 4T I can handle, but NOT 5T. I thought I would maybe refuse when the time comes. That's realistic.

8. Doctoring my sick husband Diverting the children from my at-home-sick-and-sleeping husband. He's tip-tip now though.

9. Enjoying my SIL's wedding this weekend.

10. Chatting with people from our block. Sunday, our cul du sac is being blocked off for the 3 high school graduates that are having their Graduation parties.


Now let me do the asking...

Monday, May 26, 2008

from A to B in less than a year

Is it even legal to put a picture like this on here? I feel as though I might be breaking some rules with this bulging, bare belly. Oh man.

And to think, this picture of my whoppin' 43 belly at 35 weeks doesn't even seem to do justice to what I remember it as.

Here we are (all three of us) just 2 weeks before our induction date last June--enjoying ourselves at the lake.


And less than a year later, here we are again (all three of us) enjoying ourselves--at the lake.

Holiday Hoopla Presses On

I don't know about you, but we've had a fabulous Memorial Weekend thus far.

There's been lots of great time spent with daddy--and it's not just the children who love having him home for an extended amount of time, that's for sure. (More on that later.) There's been lots of pure hard work, and much relaxation as well. The holiday hoopla is not over for us yet, however. As soon as the little ones awake from their naps, we're loading everyone up and heading up to the lake for the rest of the day. We'll see what we can get ourselves into up there.

Allow me to leave you with a few pictures of the girls enjoying the day.
(Hazel is in the driver's seat.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thankful Thursday


1. Iced Water
2. The smell of Tea tree oil
3. Banana Pancakes
4. Sidewalk Chalk
5. Newly Tarred Roads
6. Dental Floss
7. Lukie's Thankful Heart
8. A really good House Ranch
9. Classical Music
10. Grilling with my Husband

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The result of being cameraless

Since today is Wednesday,


this:













is where my "Wordless Wednesday" photo should be. That is, if I had one. But you see, I've been slacking on my photo sessions with the children, so I really have no saved, up-to-date pictures of the little ones.

But, even if I wanted to snap a quick pic of Norah and Hazel splashing in the toilet while they waited their turn to be tucked in bed for naps moments ago, or the side view of all 4 children loving the swings at the park yesterday, or even random shots of my still, unknown plants* that I transplanted into their final containers today....ahh, I wouldn't be able to.

You see, I borrowed my camera to my FIL last week allowing him to photograph the fabulous, so I've heard, Naples, Fl for the next two weeks. It's funny. For a guy who has nearly everything, he sure doesn't have a camera. Mental note--FIL needs camera for Christmas Father's Day. Anyways, if he dares to bring that camera back to me with nothing but sun drenched palm trees, white capped waves, and warm looking sand again--there will be trouble. Mark.my.words! And really, my bark does tend to be louder than my bite, and honestly, I am quite curious to see if the Naples photographer that he picks out this time 'round is as good as last time 'round.

See! Sand! Do you see it? And a little--well, it looks like waves in the background, just to the right of Mr. Marvelous' elbow and then under my FIL's armpit. I mean, you would think that there are waves somewhere beyond sand, right?


And then there's this picture of them enjoying more sun:

Gross, right? ahh.

What? You see no problem with this shot? Well, let me zoom out a bit, and believe me I'm embarrased to do so.


Oh the humor. Isn't that. so. funny. (that said in the most monotonous way imagined)


Maybe I'll hope for sand, sun, and waves after all.

*please brush up on your plantology, pictures of unknown plants to follow soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Save the Swinging for the Small Ones

How were we ever able to do this as a child? Just sit on a swing and spin...and spin, and spin?
Or for that matter, just rock back...and forth and back and forth?
Just looking at these on my screen makes me light-headed, dizzy, and turns my stomach in knots. (Not the children in them--they're pretty cute. But the thought of what the children are doing.) But then again, sitting anywhere in the car besides the front seats, makes me nauseous, too. Oh yea, and the Ferris Wheel at the amusement park and the Merry-go-round...definitly count me out on those. Am I the only one that has this unfortunate disorder? But the waterslides and the tubeslides. Now we're talking. I'll just save the swings for the small ones.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bona-fide Farm Chick

Whether my husband admits it about me or not, deep down I'm a bona-fide farm chick.

My two younger brothers and I were raised on a farm that was fashioned 5 miles from the nearest town--population 600. You'd frequently see beef cattle, cats, and dogs on our farm...as well as my paternal grandparents' farm that is a short walk down our hill. One year my mom took on the Mother Hen role and raised baby chicks that eventually grew to be plump enough for the butcher. What she realized is that Mother Hens don't--and will never--enjoy sending off their babies to such a place. That was the first and last year of that. And, oh, they were cute!

There are many things from the farm that still linger in my mind. Like the 5-6 nights after my dad weaned the calves each year from their mamas at our farm, relocating them to their new home at my grandparents' farm. Neither party was happy with the moo00000oove, leaving loud cranky cows that missed their little ones, and me wide awake in my bed thinking how sad the whole situation was.

And, then there's harvest. Riding in the combine (For all you East coast readers--a combine is a corn and bean picker. I still can't believe some of my college friends had no idea of this.) with my dad, watching the corn get sucked up the auger, and sitting next to the warm corn dryer are just a few other farm memories that give me warm fuzzies. I still consider the smell of drying field corn one of the top smells of all times. It's right up there with fresh cut grass and sharpie markers.

These, and many more memories, were uncovered last weekend while the kids and I spent the night at our home-away-from-home--my friend Leah's house. We were able to meet two new members of their family, their little lambs Lolly and Louie (Hallelujah). And, boy were the children as happy as little clams lambs while they fed them their bottles.

What a fabulous place a farm is! A place where pedicures are unwarranted and drying your clothes on the line is the trend. So, for all you farm girls, with your glass of whole milk raised in the air, here's to the Sisterhood of Farm Girls. Yehaw!

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Question is...

Who wouldn't enjoy scrubbing tough, stuck-on food from a crockpot or lasagna pan when they can stare at these "little sprouts" while they're doing it?

(I'm not implying that I'd ever let a crockpot or pan sit long enough to become a dried, nasty mess.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pardon the Interruption

"Darn you Chocolate Cake!"

That's what I kept saying during each of my encounters with my Mother-in-law's Chocolate Layered Masterpiece these past two days. She iced it with a bubblegum shade of pink cream frosting and sprinkled it with light coconut flakes, then brought it over here for our niece's 4th Birthday Bash that we hosted yesterday.
The problem--it was much more than we needed, and then it was left on our counter after the party ended and people cleared out. Gaaa! So not only did I invite myself into its presence unannounced just before bed last night, I did so this morning, minutes after I lifted my head from my pillow (what?), then quickly before our families filed into our house for the twins' Dedication Party after church let out. Wait! Not to forget the piece I snuck in place of the Carrot Cake served to our 26 guests for dessert today, AND the piece I shared with the friends who happened to stop by this evening for a quick chat. No lie people, I have a serious problem!

I don't even like Chocolate Cake.
Or so, that's what I thought. Honestly, I thought I preferred more of the Plain White Cake with, possibly, a raspberry curd filling. Or maybe, a mouthwatering, feather-light Sweet Lemon Mousse. My head usually never turns when chocolate and cake are mentioned in the same sentence. But, obviously Norah and Hazel tweaked a little something during the 37 weeks they were bakin' in there causing my baked good preference to go haywire for the Dark Beauty of cakes.

And to think there's no point to this post. I don't really have much to say, or more appropriately the energy to say it . Because I'll be honest..and you know I will be, we've been going in 4-wheel-drive since Saturday morning. We enjoyed a visit yesterday morning from a friend from the city, followed by the Birthday party in the afternoon, followed by overnight guests, followed by the dedication of Norah and Hazel, followed by an even bigger bash back at our house again, followed by a quick play at the park to distract the big kids from realizing how tired they truly were due to no afternoon naps, and finally followed by a surprise visit from friends and their 2 young children this evening. (Thankfully we put the children to bed at 6:30 and they are nonethewiser of our vistors.)

So, pardon this interruption. Go on with your activities, as I will too.

...Eating Chocolate Cake that is.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Today I:

Didn't make my bed. Ahh, Yuck!

Went to 3 garage sales. One of which I found Dumb & Dumber on DVD for 50 cents. Bonus!!

Opened the bag of Peanut Butter M&M's that's supposed to be for the girls' dedication party on Sunday...and I ate way to many.

Found myself wondering what percentage of organic eaters are smokers. Hmmm..that'd be interesting.

Sent 2 pieces of fun mail. (Well, Luke opened the mailbox, Julia put them in, and Luke closed it. So, I didn't really do anything--except chaperone.)

Maaaaajorly overcooked the kids' Mac-n-Cheese noodles for lunch. They didn't seem to care one bit.

Ate my leftover Chickpea Curry for lunch.

Realized that Luke's never had a Canker sore before today. I hope he never gets one again.

Laughed myself to tears while watching Norah and Hazel giggle uncontrollably in their park swings.

Folded a load of clothes in the kids' bathroom while the little girls splashed around in the tub.

Examined my husband's hard work ethics as he wheelbarrowed 56,000 trips of river rock to the space below our deck.

Tried hard not to show that I really did feel bad about filling up a box of the toys from Julia bedroom floor, stowing them in the front closet on the top shelf, and reminding her that what she plays with isn't my responsibility to clean up before bed.

And, loved standing back and watching how much fun Luke has when he is granted the ok to climb the stepstool to the kitchen sink, turn the water on, suds his hands, scrub his fingers and face, rinse and dry himself ALL BY HIMSELF. "I do it! I do it!" he says.

What'd you do today?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Grocery Gala Girls

Let me tell you about this picture: This was taken today while my girls and I were kicking off our first monthly Girls Grocery Gala. Usually the big kids are dropped at the grocer's daycare and the little ones and I gather meal items for the next week or so frolic around talking with the friendly staff as they fuss over the precious cargo in my cart. But today was different, Luke was up for playing with the "big trucks" in the daycare without his big sister, so Julia grabbed her own cart and off we went.

You see that "big girl" in the red? Oh, I could eat her up! (Except when she's jumping up and down in the kitchen, whining that she wants a treat from the treat bucket after I told her that she doesn't need a treat every day because they're bad when overconsumed.) She was the best...without even being told. But if I would have reminded her to "remember [her] manners" I'm sure she would have replied with her often heard phrase, "Mama, I'm always good. You don't have to tell me that." During our 1 hour Gala she informed me: that she has "always loved" the premixed blueberry drink that comes in the gallon container--which I'm sure had a lot to do with how cool it looked in all its bright-sugary-blueness, her "very, very favorite thing" is 99 cent, mini bubble blowing kits--that I'm positive she's never owned, and she thinks she "would like to eat the purple M&M's the best,"--which are the dark chocolate, and I highly doubt that. The things that girl comes up with crack me up.

Now on to Norah and Hazel. Do you see them? Ohhh...aren't they cute! Well, besides that, do you see how Hazel is missing a bow? Yea, I'm sure you can figure out who the guilty party is. And there is really no sneaking it back in. Hazel's head is under high surveillance when her sister is around.

How about my goes-with-me-everywhere clipboard. Do you see that sticking out of my braided yellow bag? That's holding some recipe print-outs from Brittany's blog. I am taking the next step in healthiful eating..and I'm so excited. Some out of the ordinary items we bought today were: Leeks, Grapeseed oil, Salmon packets, ground ginger, and organic black beans. We LOVE black beans but have officially moved on to the organic, pesticide-free ones.

Oh, one more thing. That jean skirt I'm wearing. I'd wear it every day if I wanted to do laundry more than once a week. So when I'm not wearing it, I wear my blue or khaki Gap cotton stretch skirt. Why? Because I LOVE skirts in the summer--for me and my girls. As soon as it gets warm enough to wear sandals, I'm wearing a skirt. And, what would I do without my friend Kristi who informed me that Oprah says it's ok to wear jean skirts until you are 35. I have a good 7 years to go. But to be honest, I don't give a lick what Oprah says anymore.

That's it for now folks. I have roughly 22 more stories about this picture. But, the little girls are up from their naps and...."babies gotta eat."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Easy

Ohhh. See! The weather warms up and we're back into last year's routine of packing a lunch, running a few errands, and stopping at the park to play the morning away. And although we have 43 lbs of extra baby and a few more diapers joining us, look how easy it is!








See, easy, easy, easy. Each specially wrapped PB&J was gobbled down along side a single baby carrot, pickle, some apple slices, and Monterey Cheese. Minus a few jelly handprints atop my shoulder from the unrestrained 2yearold, such a snap of easyful easyness.
















Both children forgot about how easy it is to want what the other has--just because... and they played together pleasantly. How easy! Let me just lay* back on my fuzzy blanket, start brainstorming my 'to do list, and bask in the easyness of it all.






That is...until I realized how uneasy it makes me feel when my explorative 10montholds shove chunks of wood chips in their mouths.





..and how uneasy it is to keep two busy bodies from shoving everything they touch--in their mouths. But really. How can anything be anything but easy when you're enjoying sunshine and 65 degree weather at the park?




*kidding. Do you actually think I'm able to take my eyes off of our 4under3 for more than 2 seconds at a time?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I always knew they'd be famous.

Julia and Luke are sportin' their hip Resadesign product in this photo. Every mother has a favorite item to dress their child in, right? Don't you? These two shirts are my favorite. And believe me, they wear them often.

And what's almost as fun as dressing my scrumptious sweeties in these shirts---it's winning contests because of them.

We sent a picture of our little models over to RD's April Giveaway Contest, and we won!!! (But really, how could we not?!)

...Now to go shopping with our prize money.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Regardless..it's a wonderful day.

Yeah! I'd say each day gets easier and easier for our family of 6. Like today. It ran much smoother than, say, a day 2 weeks after the twins were born. But occasionally, we have our bumps in the road. Like yesterday!

Now that I'm trying to think back at what exactly made the bumps in the road, I can't remember, but I do know that come 7 o'clock, I was ready to tuck everyone in tightly and throw myself on the couch, or better yet in bed.

Oh yes!
Now I remember one bump. The little girls have colds. The kind where if you miss a wipe for 10 little minutes, the unwiped has made its way to their chin. This didn't seem to bother Hazel, but Norah verymuchso. This little cold kept my fabulous sleeper from her first love---sleep. I knew right away when she woke half way through her 2 hour afternoon nap that something was very wrong. And since she had been pulling on her ear all day, I was sure what it was. Seven o'clock came along and I figured she would be reaching for her crib. And she did, until she was laid down in it. While Hazel drifted off quickly and quietly, Norah did the opposite.

Now you have to understand the twins. In the arena of sleeping, they've followed in their siblings footsteps. When they turned 2 months old, they were taught that their crib was their friend and they'd be seeing it on a regularly scheduled basis. It took almost a month, but since then they go down willingly and wantingly. (I love making up my own words on my blog.) So when Norah put up a fight against this cozy favorite of hers, I figured she was in pain. Ahhhh. Not the Urgent Care!

To make a long story...shorter, I took little "Norie" across town, waited for an hour in the waiting room, got skipped over accidentally, waited another 15 minutes, was called back to a tiny, uninteresting, quiet, boring room, and waited another 45 minutes to actually see the doctor.
All the while I was praying God would sugarcoat my facial expressions, and blow sweet, understanding phrases out of my mouth when conversing with the staff there. A double dose of patience would have been nice, too, since I unfortunately don't have much of it when it comes to messing with my 7 o'clock-10 o'clock unwind/rejuvinate/refresh/pump me up for the next day/do what I want to do...block of time.

Then, a wonderfully compassion doctor opened our door to see us. What a honey he was. So gentle with Norah. So calm and collected. He checked her over and said what I thought only was said in dreams. Bad dreams. "Her ears are fine. She just has a cold. This is the worst of it, so expect it to be better soon." Ahhh. Ahhhh. It's 10 o'clock and we waited over 2 hours for a 2 minute visit with the doctor???

We packed up and headed home. Norah was such a little trooper. She did a great job putting on her happy face 3 hours past her bedtime. I on the other hand needed a little pursuading. Which is just what I got when we walked in and I found this waiting for me on the kitchen table.



Almost instantly, my impatience vanished, my irritability departed, and I was thinking, "What a great day!"

Neck and Neck

When the girls first learned of their ability to mobulate in the crawling position, they both went their separate ways. The reason being is that the minute you put Hazel* down she was off beelining it to the farthest corner she could find, while Norah* normally ventured only a few short feet from us. That's where she would decide to sit back up and just enjoy the show. But how could you blame the girl? Carrying 2 whole, extra, pounds is a lot of work.

However, now we're finding that wherever one is, the other is also. Norah has moved her speed up a few notches allowing her to, literally, hold her own weight a little better. Here...some examples. If we're playing in the loft (which is where the above picture was taken) and the kids' bathroom door is open, the little girls' faces light up with glee as they kick it into high gear in hopes of reaching the toilet before I notice. If they're not playing in the bathroom, they're following eachother around from room to room. If we're in the kitchen, they follow eachother around the island like a little mini, 2-person marching band. Their favorite spot to stand is at the windows while staring out at the flapping umbrella on our deck. And, if we're in our bedroom, they're both shoulder-to-shoulder pulling toiletry items out of daddy's bathroom drawers. I do love watching them interact, which is becoming more and more often. Lately they have been squaking at eachother when they are face to face.
To have a built in highchairmate, tubmate, cribmate, strollermate, not to mention a playmate from day one....what in the world would that feel like?
*Hazel on left, Norah on right. How many of you knew that?