Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

We celebrated Christmas as our little family of four on Christmas Eve morning. After our traditional homemade hot chocolate, popcorn, and Christmas Vacation the night prior that is.

This year my baby sister joined us, which made all of us super happy =). Abbey and Luke slept until about 7:30am - a vast improvement over last year, to be sure. We started with stocking stuffers; new Elmo pop-up books, new racecars, dumptrucks, teddy bears, sippy cups with straws, and harmonicas... because David and I momentarily lost our minds while in ToysRus.

Then we moved on to opening under the tree presents. The twins really seemed to have the hang of opening gifts this year...I get to tear at this paper? And there is something fun inside? Awesome!!

My Mom and StepDad gave them baskets of pretend healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner foods, which they seemed to love playing with. But they loved it even more when we pulled out the Big Guns from the laundry room...

A new play kitchen!

To say this gift was a hit is a giant understatement. Our kids have played with it practically non-stop since that morning. They love putting things in the microwave and pressing the buttons (that make noise!). They put food in the fridge and pretend to wash their hands in the sink. My favorite thing they do is ask us to move way back when they open the oven - something they know is expected of them when we open up the oven. "HOT!" they say. Too cute.

After lots of play time and a good nap, we headed to our Church's Christmas Eve Service, which was wonderful.

Christmas morning we got up and enjoyed a quick breakfast before packing up the van and heading down to celebrate Jesus' birth with David's family. We were so happy to see everyone and enjoyed watching our kids' faces light up anew.

We don't have stairs in our home, so it's always a favorite at Grandma and Poppa's house!

Abigail hardly let this Elmo out of her sight all day.

We're so lucky to have such sweet cousins!!

Luke checking out his new "laptop".

Ab's showing off her piano skills.

Daddy set right to work on putting together all the new toys...

A new play tent and tunnel from Grandma and Poppa!

A fuzzy picture of our family (the only one I managed to have captured)

After seeing Luke enjoy playing with these cars and ramps so much, it made me wish we hadn't talked ourselves out of getting him this for Christmas. On the birthday Wishlist for sure!

David enjoyed re-discovering some of his old toys, and sharing them with his babies...

After a day of fun, before we knew it it was time to settle in for bed...

The next day we enjoyed some more playtime...

...before we were off to visit some of our favorite friends on their farm!

Lo and behold, we were having so much fun I hardly took any pictures.

An indoor slide might have to go on the Birthday Wishlist as well...

Luke was fascinated by their chickens...

2011 has been a wonderful year, full of blessings. Our Christmas this year was another thing added to our long, long list of things to be thankful for.
I hope yours was too.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tonight I un-decked our halls. And for probably the first time ever, I'm not totally sad about it. Normally, Christmas being over makes me But for many reasons, this year I'm fine with it.

It's not that we didn't have a great Christmas, because we totally did (pictures to come). It's just that I'm ready to move on. Start the New Year. This month has been a fantastic one in many ways, but it's also been a strange one.

I haven't worked for the last 6 weeks, and as of yesterday am starting a new job in January. I'm both excited and nervous for this. Excited because it's a great opportunity and seems like a wonderful work environment. Nervous because it'll be all NEW, and I haven't started a new job in 6 years. And my memory/brain function isn't what it used to be pre-twins...=).

Having so much time off has been fantastic. Dave has been off for Christmas break, which has meant many full days of our little family of 4 being together. Such a gift. We've done a lot of fun things, and a lot of nothing - both of which have been glorious.

We've had some major changes within our Church in the past 2 weeks, including our pastor (whom we adore) resigning. We so love our Church, and didn't realize what a huge part of our lives it was (is) until it's structure was uprooted recently.

We've watched a family we love unexpectedly find themselves in a tumultuous season, and we've ached for them.

When you watch someone you admire -someone you think has the answers- fall, it's unsettling. If it could happen to them, what chance do I have? Luckily, in the past few years I've been bombarded with the message of Grace, and what God expects -requires- of us. To love Mercy.

I guess all this adds up to why I'm ready to usher in the New Year. Ready for some structure and order, our new routine.

But not without first documenting my babies 2nd Christmas...=). Hopefully I'll get to that tomorrow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Greetings from Luke & Abbey

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

...and a happy New Year!

Good tidings we bring... you and your kin...

Good tidings for Christmas...

...and a Happy New Year!!

(what a difference a year makes, huh?)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Because I want to remember...

Luke has been so into cars and trucks lately. He takes his little vehicles, and drives them all around every surface of our house. The other week, we noticed he was making "vroom vroom" noises as he drove cars around the house. So cute.
Then, today at lunch he was eating some saltine crackers. Dave and I were talking to each other when he suddenly stopped and quietly said "look..."
Our sweet boy had chewed his saltine into a odd looking shape, and was driving it around the table, muttering "vroom vrooooooommmm!"
It's so fun having a boy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The other morning I was up with the kids playing, drinking milk (for them, coffee for me) and watching Elmo...just like most mornings. Abbey and I settled into reading a book, while Luke was playing with some cars. He disappeared into the kitchen, but I didn't think much of it...they have a drawer in there that is full of tupperware and play dishes, and it's one of his favorite spots.

After a few minutes though I began to wonder what he was up to...he was being awfully quiet in there...

Yup. That's my baby boy, doubling fisting the sugar cookies.
Before breakfast.

What's a Momma to do? Grab her camera, and document the time she caught her son, green handed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

JJ Jump!

Today we had a playdate with another twin family from our Church. Their b/g twins are 3 months older than Abbey and Luke, and we always have so much fun when we get together!

We went to JJ Jump and had an absolute blast. We had set up this play date forever ago and made sure we did it during a time when only 5 years and younger were allowed in, that way we didn't have to worry about the really big kids accidentally trampling our little ones.

Not only was this place an entire building of inflatables, but it also had a really large playroom.

Abbeygirl making some "eggies"...

Luke appreciating his sister's culinary skills...

We were enjoying the fact that Luke and Levi spent most their time in the kitchen...

While Abbey and Annabelle much preferred playing with the construction set...

They were all about this play tent -which is great, cauz we happen to know Grandma and Poppa got them one for Christmas!

Dave carrying Abbey and Levi up the inflatable ladder to go down the inflatable slide...

Ryan and Annabelle...

Twin Daddies are so talented =).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ramblings of a woman up way (WAY!!) past her bedtime...

- Did you all hear that Michelle Duggar had a late term miscarriage? So sad. My heart just broke when I saw that today. They were going in for a routine appointment to find out if they were having a boy or a girl. Regardless of the thoughts or feelings of her perhaps being "too old" or their having too many children already - this woman needs prayer. I've been where she is at...back home after a tragic doctors appointment... still in your maternity pants...knowing that the baby inside of you is no longer alive...wondering how long it will be before your body realizes it... I spent a week that way. Worst week of my life.

On to lighter things.

- I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and decided to try them.
Big. Mistake.
They are probably the best cookie I've ever tasted. I've made them 4 times since. (the diet is going well, thank you for asking)

- Remember how I claimed to be oh-so-on-top-of-things this year in the Christmas card department? Yeah. Well. We had a family picture taken before Thanksgiving, (see! I was planning ahead!!) but the photographer took forever and two days to get us the image. It just came in the mail yesterday. I'll order them this weekend, they'll get shipped here, I'll address and stuff them...and they'll arrive in our friend's and families mail boxes like Dec 24th. Oh well, still before Christmas.

- Hanging in our master bedroom are my maternity photo and a newborn shot of Lucas and one of Abigail. I was staring at them the other night, as I often do, and found myself focusing on this picture...

...and remembering that moment. And then laughing out loud.
That is Abbeygirl curled up in my arms. I remember my emotions as this moment was captured...she had FINALLY settled down after a mammoth freak out. I remember feeling so distressed because I couldn't calm her down. They were barely 3 weeks old, and I felt like the worst mother ever because I didn't have that Snow White effect on my babies (ya know, where she's so calming that wild birds land on her shoulder?). I remember in that moment staring down at my daughter and fearing she might never properly attach to me.
If you know us at all, you know why this memory is now amusing to me.
Baby Girl LOVES her Momma. Thanks be to God.

- I'm so happy it's Christmas time. I just LOVE this time of year. We've been playing Christmas music nearly non stop around here, and I just don't seem to tire of it!

- Luke has been super into dramatic play lately. We love it. It's pretty dang adorable to watch. He'll take an empty cup, go over to the fridge, hold it up to where the water dispenser is (which he can reach, but thankfully it has a "lock" feature), hold his cup there for a minute, and then take a "sip" of his pretend drink. Sometimes he'll bring it around and offer sips to the rest of us. This morning he "spilled it" and went to get a dish towel to wipe it up with. So cute.

- Speaking of dish towels, I was in the kitchen making lunch the other day when one of my sweet cherubs came over to the oven, grabbed the (clean) dish towel hanging from the handle, wiped their runny nose on it, hung it back up, and ran back into the living room.
I had no idea they used that towel as a kleenex. We use it to dry our clean hands.

- Okay SERIOUSLY I've got to go to bed now. It's tomorrow already. Night All.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

To Santa or Not To Santa

That is the question.

Realistically, I know he is unavoidable. He's everywhere this time of year.

But what do we tell our kids about him?

David and I believe in Jesus. We believe that the Christmas season is a time to try and focus on the Miracle of His birth.


I also LOVE giving gifts. And (shhh... confession time here)... I kinda like receiving them too.

And I love so many other things about this time of year. The lights...the ornaments...the holiday music...the cheesy Christmas movies on ABC Family...the sugar cookies...the gingerbread lattes...the monogrammed stockings...and on and on...

So my question remains. What do we tell our kids about Santa Claus? How do we teach them the true meaning of Christmas and try and keep the focus on Him?

Dave and I go back and forth on this. While neither of us think the story of Santa Claus is particularly harmful, Dave has some reservations about misguiding the kids.

What do you all do? Even those of you out there who aren't Christians, how do you keep Christmas from becoming all about self indulgent materialism?

One idea I'm stealing from a student in my preschool teaching days is to make Jesus a birthday cake on Christmas Eve day. Love that idea. As Luke and Abbey get older I also want to encourage them to participate actively in their gifts for others, whether it be giving it a few days to think about what they want to get each person...something they would really like. Or spend some quality time and talent creating thoughtful gifts.

So this is where I want to hear from you all. It's late, and this post isn't nearly as eloquent as it was in my head when I was driving home from Playgroup this morning, but it's up nevertheless. (I did take the time to at least spell check it, I'm not a total savage) So tell me your thoughts. Friends, family, blog hoppers, lurkers...what say you?

Friday, December 2, 2011


David came down with a cold last weekend that lasted a few days. It looked like the kids and I were going to avoid it -which would have been miraculous- until about mid week. Runny noses, low grade fevers, and ohhhhhhhh the whining.

But, despite all that, we've managed to squeeze in some adorableness too.

My babies giving their babies saline nose spray...

And, a little less adorable, but equally entertaining...the other night, after chugging a bunch of this stuff, I crawled into bed and fell into a deep sleep...

...until a few hours later when David came to bed, and I (apparently) sat up, looked him square in the eyes and asked him "did you get the lights fixed on the canoe?"



At which point I (apparently) laid back down, thoroughly annoyed, and fell back asleep.

I don't recall any of the conversation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did.

Thursday morning we headed South to enjoy a feast at my Mom
and StepDad's house. It was so fun to get to see 3 out of 4 of my sisters (we missed you Amanda!) and many other great family members. We enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal, started off by tasty appetizers. Luke and Abbey were delighted they could partake in their favorite eating ritual..."dip, dip, dipping!"

Both Abigail and Lucas loved playing on this rocking horse...

(I love this last picture...something about the angle...those cheeks...she still looks like my Baby here...)

That is until Abbey fell off of it, simultaneously giving herself a black eye and the nickname "Rocky" for the rest of the weekend.

The Men in my life...

After we stuffed ourselves silly, we headed over to my Dad and StepMom's house to settle in for the weekend. Auntie Em stayed there too, much to the twins' delight. We hadn't been there 20 minutes before they set right to work, sweeping her...

There is a beautiful park right around the corner from GrandDad and Grannie Annie's house. It was so fun, we visited it twice during our short stay!

Abbeygirl LOVES to slide!

My Daddy and my son...

Another winner this weekend was the big picture window in the kitchen. Luke and Abbey spent tons of time, standing on the window seat, looking out at "trucks!" and "birds!" and "qurls!" (squirrels =) )

And before we knew it, it was time to come back home. Lucky for us, Auntie Em came home with us for an extra day of fun...

Monday, November 28, 2011


The three winners for the Shutterfly giveaway are...

"Three Boys and an Old Lady"




Please leave me a comment with your email address and I'll get you your codes for 25 FREE Christmas cards!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Then & Now

Lately Luke and Abbey are totally into being wrapped up like babies. They will pull blankies through their crib slats and bring them out to us demanding "baby! baby!" nonstop until we wrap them up like little burritos and hold them. It's not only the most still they will be during any given day, but it's also pretty darn sweet.

It's also what prompted this edition of Then & Now...

April 2010

Nov 2011