Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thing Thursday!

So I was wracking my brain for what I should do for today... and though there are many things that I think are important or necessary for toddler/baby life.. I think my item I use the absolute most is my iPhone!

Now don't write me off completely by saying she's just hopped on the bandwagon of Apple-mania... Let me explain to you why I think an iPhone is necessary :)

1. iPhones have great cameras! How many times do your children start to do a funny thing that you say, "Oh! I wish I had a camera to take a picture of this!"... O but wait, an iPhone does such things and very well I may add :)

2. iPhones have FaceTime! Now, I know that this seems a little ridiculous to recommend seeing a persons face to talk to them, but when it comes to toddlers mine can NOT figure out a phone.  Every time they get a phone to their ear to hear a grandparent, they immediately look at the receiver - thus not hearing what the grandparent said.... frustrating ....  FaceTime though fixes this problem because my girls know and can see who they are talking to! They will even kiss the screen as if they are kissing the person :)  On another note, FaceTime allows grandparents to see events they would most likely not get to see LIVE! Reference back to my Jump video and you will see my beautiful mother in the background on my iPad FaceTiming with us.  She got to see the girls try and jump for their first time and laugh with me!

3. iPhones can store TV shows or Movies.  When going out to eat, it is a very nice distraction for crabby or tired 1.5 year olds to watch a Dora the Explorer half way through dinner while the rest of the adults then get to enjoy conversation without juggling babies and food and drinks and waiters and oops there goes all the ice from my cup onto the baby who is now crying and people are looking and giving rude remarks as if they don't know what being a parent is like and O MY GOODNESS give me a second to catch my breath! .... you get my point :)

4. iPhones have Apps.  There are apps of all kinds, even for kids! My girls love to practice their animal noises with Peek a Boo Barn and tap on the colors of a picture they get to see change with the swipe of their finger.  Very fun for them and me as I see their little brains learn and try new things!

Have I helped explain the iPhone need for parents well enough? You can disagree with me, but I will simply say you need one and won't know the entirety of your need until you have one :)  The End :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pudding Faces

Really.. There's not much to say, just look!

The girls don't get a lot of sweets when they're at home (grandparents houses are their best chance) but every once in awhile I'll reward good eating with a small dessert. You think they liked their pudding pack?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Silly Girl

Sorry I have been absent.. Life has been very busy with ministry excitement.. So here's a fun picture to keep you intrigued in the interim :)

Norah Grace :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Loving it!

One of the best parts about being a mom is that you have little buddies to do everything with. Sometimes it seems to be less helpful- ie laundry: the girls love to take what I have just put in the machine out again - but then most of the time it's awesome and just plain nice to have someone with you - like grocery shopping :)
Yes... It takes longer because we get stopped a lot, but it's fun to see them interact with strangers :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Monday...

So I had a plan to share the CUTEST video with you today, but that will need to be post-poned at least another day because I have to just share with you all the fun we had today!

Normally (smormally), Calvin and I try and make our Monday's pretty relaxed.  Today though, we felt like going out big! So this morning we headed over to Chris and Lyni's house to play with our cousin Annie and have a big breakfast! Then, surprise! Emma and Aunt KK showed up too! Pretty much it was crazy fun. There were too many fun things to pick a favorite... the tea party was adorable!... and the swimming pool couldn't have been funnier!

Then it was home to nap... but that didn't end the day.

We got to go to the beach for the first time today! The girls loved the sand.  Cal and I met some friends down there, set the girls in the sand, and they wouldn't move... LOL! So they simply sat down and played with the sand for about an hour! After that hour we decided to try to bring them into the water.  I was a little hesitant because the waves were pretty big today and I thought they would get clingy and nervous... but oh no! They loved it! The only time they cried is when we tried to take them out! They loved the waves, and wanted to walk out as far as they could, holding mom and dad's hands of course, and jumping over the waves.  I'm purposely letting your imaginations go wild dreaming of this sight :) It was just as good as you're imagining... if not better!

Next we went into Grandma and Bumpa's house to get a bath, dinner, a little play with Grandma, Bumpa, and even Pop Pop! Then off to bed.

A very fun Monday :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thing Thursday

Per the request of my sweet friend and new mom, this Thing Thursday is focused on hand sanitizer. Specifically Gold Bond Ultimate. Why? Well let me give you the back story...

My girls were born 7 weeks early, not the intended plan, and thus spent 5 1/2 weeks in the NICU, again... Not the plan, but was sort of a blessing in itself (another blog for another day). As you can guess, cleanliness was a high priority! So we were constantly putting on sanitizer, for weeks! Our hands were quickly becoming destroyed... So coming home, not only was I obsessed with anyone and everyone making sure their hands were clean, I also was searching for solution to keeping my stress level about germs down  without my hands cracking off.  Here it is! Cleans the hands but keeps them alive. 
Only a slight down, it's a little greasy... Which isn't the worst, but plays mind tricks on you as you wish for cleanliness :) 
This sanitizer is a good solution. Try it :) let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lunch time!

Guess what we discovered today!

Dipping our food into barbecue sauce!


Needless to say, it was a very fun and messy lunch! Not the best day for white shorts :) so the rest of the afternoon Ash just didn't :)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meal planning... So far so... Not.

So I've been contemplating how to start a meal planning calendar. This seems like a good idea so that I have less nights that I am frantically looking in the fridge thinking, "what can I make with what's in here?"

So as a first means of research I've hit the blogging world! I've learned several things...

1. Make a family binder to help you be more organized!
CHECK! (more to come on this)

2. Form a list of meals that you can or enjoy making... Preferably ones your family like.......

This is where I would like your help! I have some recipes that I enjoy, but am looking for more and a variety! Willing to join in the fun? In the comments section leave your favorite recipe :) then we can all try it and maybe it'll make the list! I will let you know as I try some how they turned out... Sounds like fun right? So now it's up to you! The more recipes the more fun for all!

... P.S. these recipes can totally be only partially home made if its a favorite! For example: on my list of favorites I have tomato soup (campbells select tomato an basil) and grilled cheese! Simple, but so good!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thing Thursday

Squeaker shoes... Not only are these adorable shoes they fill whichever room you enter with smiles and giggles! Every step makes a little squeak that your kids will love and your audience will eat up! It's so fun! A must have for little walkers :)

Listen carefully :) Your heart will squeak along with every step :)

Enough said. Squeak Shoes are a must!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Plain Tuesday Fun

So I love it when you find the simplest - and cheapest - things to be SO fun for the girls!
Plastic Pool = $9.48
Seal Spray = $7.82
Hours of fun TWO days in a row = SO WORTH IT :)

Plus, it's so fun to have our cousin come over to play with us!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Zoo Day!

We got to go to the zoo today! A little warm, but so fun!! We pet goats, babies and adults, and a chicken and cow.  The girls were not so sure about touching the animals, but they would try with daddy close :)

The penguins are our favorite.  Why? Well for several reasons... First they are amazing and swim at our face as we say "Whoa!" Second, strollers are not allowed in the exhibit, so we get to walk all over and giggle :) So much fun!

We got to go with our friends Lily and Emma.  We love making friends now that we are old enough to recognize other people and play :) It's so fun to see the girls light up with different people that they have a fancy towards... Emma is one of them :)  Thanks so much Emma for playing with us today!

 My girls and Me!!

The girls had so much fun they cashed out in the car :) It was so fun today! I love being a mom, I love seeing their faces light up at new things, I love being able to show them all the creativity of their amazing God who created it all!  It was pretty hot today.... but worth the sweat and craziness for the smiles that I got to see all day long :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Long Lost Friend!

So I met a long lost friend at camp last week.  What I mean by long lost is not that we have known or established a friendship in the past, but instead that we should have been best friends all our lives but happened to just live too far away :) I met one at camp! My husband says that she's a soul mate friend even though we only had a few days together. 

Here's the funny story... As we arrived at camp, there were several other church plants there that had brought their youth groups. Kristin and I met eyes and got confused looks on our faces... We were sure in both of our heads that we knew each other but were too embarrassed to approach each other and not know how. Long story short.... We don't have any connections. We are pretty sure we've never even been in the same city before...till now! 

Anyways we had a lot of fun getting to know each other and wish we lived closer... But we are working on a visit already :) I'm not sure why God introduces people like this sometimes, but it was a huge encouragement in ministry life for maybe that's just it, the Lord just wants to remind me that we are one big family in Jesus- all over the world :) What an awesome God we serve!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh how God works :)

So.. As most of you have noticed, I have been out for about two weeks.  Vacation, and then camp.  I'm sure I will give you an update about our Chicago trip in the near future-- let me tell you, it was so fun!
But first I want to share a little about this most recent week.

Calvin and I and Chris took our high school students to Harvest Camp last week.  It was amazing! It is so well run and incredibly focused on Jesus! Really, completely life changing... in many ways... friends, our physical appearance (good and bad... I'll leave it vague :) ), our energy level, and most importantly our spiritual lives.  It as an incredible week of challenging each other in our faiths, being convicted of sin and selfishness, surrendering it all to Jesus our amazing Savior, and rejoicing in the salvation and life that we get to live in Him! Seriously incredible!
Going to camp as a leader makes you expect to be used to change your students lives, but the truth is... Jesus wants to focus on my life as well! What an awesome and holy savior we serve! Grace. Period! 

So I know that that was a little vague, but let's be honest... 1. You get my point. 2. I am so physically and mentally exhausted that I barely can function in normality, thus making blog world nearly impossible :) So bear with me :)

On a overall note... I am finally back to a place of Internet, so my blogging should return to normal soon! Thanks for the slight vacation...back to the keyboard!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guess who's liking the water?!

Oh dear blog readers... how I have missed you! I am in week two of my crazy 3 week stretch, so hopefully I will be able to blog at least 3 times this week :)

To bring you all back in to our joyful life of twins, here are the cutest pictures of the girls at the beach of Grandma and Pop Pop!

Oh how I love the excitement and smirks they both have because they get to play together in the water! Love it!

So here's the longer story... The girls have only begun to start liking the water.  Cal and I tried to bring them in the water last fall in a indoor pool, then on vacation, and then in Florida... only to be greeted with whines and grumpiness.  But now, the girls faces really speak for themselves :) I think they like it! So far, they enjoy ridiculously warm water... and since Michigan has been SO WARM, the water that they have learned to now love has been roughly around 90 :) I'll be curious to see the faces of the girls as the water returns to a normal degree :) I love Michigan Summers!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ut Oh...

So the first ut oh is an apology to my wonderful followers... The next few weeks are CRAZY busy for my family thus making my blogging more sparse.  I will try and make your viewing worth it though... So that brings me to this funny blog:

I love that the girls are starting to have imaginations and curiosity... but then this happens :)

I love you girls!! But please learn to clean soon too :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Framed Friday

Gnama we love the pool!

Uncle Drew... you're dreamy!! Thanks for teaching me the word Mammal... or MammO like I told Mom this morning :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thing Thursday

So today's thing that I love is going to be a little different... not focused on kids, but instead home management! This little helpful dude is cheap (about 3 dollars at TJMax) , simple, quick, and very productive! This simple duster is easy to fly over the tops of your tables, lamps, and TV. Use this once a day (or every other) and it will change the look of your home! The whole house sparkle comes in about 2 min of work.  Worth it when you get in the habit :)  

Let me know what you think!

Chalked Full of Fun (Belated Wednesday)

My girls new toy of choice outside is sidewalk chalk :) A lot of fun, a little messy, sometimes distracted by their all time favorite outside toy (wood chips), but always a special time with the sister! Twins are too fun ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Descriptions

One of the things I love about being a mom is the development of language! How fun is it to see their little minds wrap around concepts, listen intently to your description, and then try and blurt out their name for the item.  TOO CUTE!

So here's my quick little snippet of the newest words my girls have started.  You all heard their animal noises from the video several blogs ago (Talent Show on Tuesday) that has been most of the new words for them both.  Ashley started try to repeat things I tell her, like fish, we tried Norah.. kinda came out as Nene, but hasn't stuck yet... but mostly just little one syllable words.  Norah on the other had refuses to say one syllable words, but if I give her a two syllable word she goes for it! It's been pretty fun, and the one that has stuck so far is of our special gift from Uncle Randy - the Bobble head.  You can say, "Where's your Bobble Head?" and she responds, "Bob-bo!" and then runs/toddles to her toy and whacks his head and again says "Bob-Bo!" Too fun right?!

Long story short, I love my girls and all their little adventures and descriptions!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cousinly Love

So something that is great about coming from a big family is all the cousins! But I'm getting ahead of myself... rewind! 
As a mom, I have been having crazy flashbacks on my own childhood as I watch my girls grow, giggle, imagine, and play.  Does this happen to you? Does it make you feel crazy?... or old? haha :)  I have loved thinking back on the times that I remember my mom or dad rocking me to sleep.  I vividly remember falling asleep on my dad's shoulder as he carried me out of church, and the times that I giggled uncontrollably snuggled up on my parents bed as they pretended to "eat" my fingers! As creepy as it is... it is really fun too! 
Many of my memories at the moment are all about cousins! I remember the relationships being so fun... like best friends but closer because there was some unexplainable connection! Now, I get to see that with my girls! It almost brings me to tears; the excitement of the potential friends and memories that they will make together! I can't wait to see it all develop! I thank the Lord for the wonderful family that I was born into, and married into, and now the wonderful nieces and nephews that not only I get to enjoy as an aunt, but my girls grow up with! This is too fun!!

 Meet Mike, Matt, and Annie! These are my wonderful nephews and niece that are just older and just younger... and then a little more younger :) They are amazing friends and personalities! My girls already love them and light up when they get to play together! I can't even imagine all the fun stories that we will tell someday about their adventures.

These are pictures of story time together at the library (they were intently listening to the story)... and then also a picture of the girls buying their NEW little cousin (pictures still to come) Emma a present at Target.  WE LOVE FAMILY!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Framed Friday

Girls finally playing in the water at the cottage... How cute are those dresses! But they refused to look at me at the same time that day... and this last picture is our walks that we have been taking in our neighborhood :)

The girls love Pop Pop reading them stories :)... and Norah loves her daddy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thing Thursday!

So today's absolutely needed thing is white socks.  Yes, seems silly, but it is not. Let me explain...

How many times do I get the most adorable outfits, with detailing, and colors, and patterns... and then realize that there is not a possible "cute" sock that could match this in a million years! What's a mom to do? Am I really suppose to put faux ballerina shoe socks on an outfit that is a trendy stripes and polka dot outfit? The purples don't match, and the pattern is just too much! So... what do you need?

White Socks.  Yes a good pair (lets me realistic, you need like 12 pairs) of white socks gives you a simple solution to little toes that need covered that don't distract from the cuteness all over.
 Am I crazy? Maybe... but my girls socks match their outfit!

Oh dear discipline...

For real?! Look at these sweeties! (Just by the way... it's Norah on the left, Ash on the right) :)  I look back at some of these pictures when they were still in the hospital (this was Valentines Day) and remember how I thought they could never do anything wrong!
Who would have thought just over a short year later I'd be dumbfounded as I watch Nor slap Ashley, and Ashley whack her back, all the while looking at me as if to say, "Mom I'm doing this right now, k?" No! It's not okay darling!
So then it comes down to me... I now have to break my heart by going over and disciplining.  That's the worst! I hate that! I mean... I know I do NOT want to see the outcome of choosing to laugh at it and see how they turn out, but seriously?! I have to let them know its wrong?! Lets just say... I hate that.
 Our biggest "fight" right now is throwing food off the tray.  I am so frustrated with it because I feel like I'm not being consistent.  Honestly, with two little ones learning to feed themselves and a dog anxiously awaiting to immediately eat any food that drops, I can't even tell sometimes that it's happening! Then I see it later, and keep a sharp eye thinking "did that just happen?".  The answer normally is Yes.
Well I guess I'm just gonna have to keep praying for help! I can't be perfect... I can't catch all the food... but I can keep praying! I'll catch the times I can, and work with the girls as much as I can, but I guess I'm just gonna have to pray that I won't have 14 year olds that look at me out the side of their eye, while dropping their food with the other hand :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Talent Show on Tuesday!

Here's me... a proud mama showing off the tricks of my girls :)  It is such a joy to see them grow and become actual little people! It's amazing how God lets us see him grow our little ones isn't it?! I feel very blessed :)

Belated Monday

Well this is going to be my belated Monday post. I wanted to get to it, but just couldn't. We were having a fabulous time with family and friends, got some good photos from the --vyffuxsw.4.45()(5775080 ... Oops, Ash and Nor started typing... Continue :) -- aunts that I will hopefully post later. Today/yesterday I wanted to share a song that I recently came across again that I was so encouraged by! It's called "all to us", here's the lyrics:

 Precious cornerstone, sure foundation
 You are faithful to the end
We are waiting, on You, Jesus
We believe You're all to us
Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church 
Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns 
Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives 
We believe You're all to us 
Only Son of God sent from Heaven
Hope and mercy at the cross
You are everything, You're the Promise
Jesus, You are all to us
...When this passing world is over
We will see You face to face
And forever we will worship
Jesus, You are all to us

 I love this because it is such a solid declaration of what life should really be about. My focus sometimes is so on my girls or work that I forget that I can and should fully enjoy and relish in those things, but under the greater canopy of loving and worshiping my Savior. Everyday is a ministry, no matter where I am, and I want to dedicate everyday to making Jesus all, my true passion that everything else flows out of! I can't do anything to save me, or be impressive to God, but it's the righteousness if Christ that does that... I just get to glorify that! How awesome right?! Anyways go find it and listen to it :) it was so encouraging to me and I hope to you as well!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Framed Fridays!

Hope you enjoy this little walk around the neighbor hood in the wagon just as much as we did :)
This last picture isn't the greatest... but Ashley was screaming "Kack! Kack!" at the ducks in the pond :) I had to share the hilarity!

Happy Weekend!