Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Through the years...

Our first visit trip with the twins in Guatemala, Christmas 2006

They were 8 months old (wearing size 3 months at 11lbs and 12 lbs)

One year later, Gary and I discovered the twins dressed almost the same as the previous year.

Christmas 2007, by my father's bedside during his final days.

I couldn't resist keeping the stripes alive!

Christmas 2008, giggles and rough housing, as always!

My, how they've grown!

Christmas 2009, 3 1/2 years old!  Most days they don't stand/sit long enough for me to "see" them.  So, a picture like this just warms my heart!  I love their little expessions!

And being the clothes whore that I am, I did indeed try for actual "stripes" this year, but the boys wouldn't forego their "Prep and Landing" (or as they refer to it, "Perfect Landing") gear for a decent picture:

They take their Elf duties VERY seriously!

I "made" them smile anyway!  hee hee hee!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009!

Wow - we had such a wonderful and "relaxed" Christmas!

Christmas Eve service, our two little shepherds (representing Guatemala) were in the Christmas Pageant!

Two little angels or two little wild ones?  You deide. 

If you guessed "wild" you'ld be correct!  Despite suggesting that the boys be separated on stage, they still stuck together an diperformed their usual slap fest on each other while giggling non-stop.  They almost toppled the entire nativity scene.  And Logan kept running up to peak in on Baby Jesus.  Mary was quite beside herself with fret over these two active little shepherds.  Howeverm since the majoirty of the cast members were between 2 and 8 - noone else really seem to notice my two wild ones!

Back at home, we fed the reindeer magic reindeer food.

Set Santa's cookies out - "Is Santa gonna eat these cookies, Mom?"

We sang Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and put him in his manger. 

Nonnie came to spend the night to add to the Christmas Eve excitement!   So she took the boys upstairs to bed.  As Austin was cuddling up to Nonnie, he declared this, "The best Chrsitmas Eve EVAH!"

The next morning, at the top of the stairs waiting for the "OK" to descend.

Santa DID deliver!  LOOK - a soccer ball, a soccer net AND a soccer field!!  We knew Santa has scored a great deal on the net, we just had no idea he was delivering a regulation size net!  lol

Mason and Lory made it over early to ccatch all the excitement!

Bwah hahahahahaha! Yes, Austin got his roller coaster, too!  Bless his little heart, he spent all Christmas morning waiting for it to be completed so he could see it in action.  He was a real trooper and waited as patiently as any 3 1/12 year old could! ;-) 

We got to spend the whole day at home.  Nice and easy.  We grazed all day long, too!  The kids got lots of wonderful toys and Mom and Dad got plenty of sleep by the end of the day - bed at 8:30pm for ALL!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tidbits and more snow!

Last Saturday, I was exhausted and overly-spent after taking care of my over active, wild -not-listening- more-than-usual children.  I prayed for patience.  The next day....I woke up with laryngitis. 

I spent the whole day walking around and "patiently" listening to the children as I couldn't do anything else - well except for a few hand gestures!  hee hee 

As one friend told me, "Don't you know when you pray for something, God just gives you more opportunity to practice!"  How true!!

As soon as the first snowflakes fell last week, Austin looked up at me, grabbed ahold of my face (for clearer and direct attention) and very, very excitedly asked:  "NOW Santa can come. Mommy??" 

;-(      "...awww.  No baby, not quite yet!"  

Over at our neighbors one night, Ryan (4 1/2 years old), stated, "Austin is my BEST friend."  Austin: "Yep!"

Ryan, "Best friends forever, right?"   Austin:  "No."

Ryan looked crestfallen!   Me: "Austin, why don't you want to be Ryan's best friend forever?"

Austin:  "Oh.  Well.  Because, I gotta home."  (I can't stay here forever!)   teeheehee!

One morning, Gary and I were talking and Logan suddenly asked, "Mom you got your talk back to Daddy?"  huh?  "Your talk, it's back?"  Oh, my talk?  Yes, baby Momma's finally got her talk back, a little.  "Mommy, your throat's not oweee anymore?"  No baby, Momma's all ok, you sweet little thing!

In the car the other day, I suddenly realized it was quiet,  Extremely quiet.  "You guys are awfully quiet.  You doing alright back there?"  Austin replies, "Well....we didn't want to make you mad, Mommy."

Hilarious!  Yeah, it's been that kind of week or two!  Poor little things, "I guess if we're quiet, maybe she won't yell at us."   

The morning after the big snowstorm, Logan woke up and say, "Mommy, is the snow still here?"  Yep, baby it's still here and lots more, too!     He wrapped his little arms around me, kissed me and said, "Oh thank you, Mommy!  Thank you, Mommy!"    hee hee - Me Snow Princess!  I make Snow! I make lot of good snow! 


Speaking of, here's more pictures of My snow! 

Austin and his "motorcycle."

Logan and his saucer!
Then, he ditched the saucer and went down solo:

Crazy boy!

Big Bro, Evan and Austin

Mommy and Austin

Daddy and Logan

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Daddy's snow....

So - my dad has been on my mind a LOT for like the last 10 days or so. I have felt his precense more and more. It was kind of a mixture of happiness and love and then sadness for missing him.  Two days ago, I all but felt him sitting in the car with me.  His presence was SO intense.  I started crying.  I just couldn't figure out why he was here.  Did he have a message for me or something?  Was something about to happen?

Then, WHAM! 

SNOW!  Snow, snow and more snow!  More snow than we've ever seen in December since 1908, I think!

To say my father loved snow is about as big of an under-statement as you can make.  It's like saying he "enjoyed breathing" - snow was essential to him!   In fact, when Global Warming hit and we stopped getting as much snow as we used to, we were all surprised that he didn't pickup and move north! 

Dad was the best meterologist (by hobby) there was. He was ususally darn right, too!   And as soon as the first flakes were on the way, he'ld be gone!  Out in his jeep "storm chasing" the snow! 

Since his passing (2 years ago), we have had three snow storms!  We all knew he was "working things on the other side!"  Then, BAM - this weeks snow hit with an awesome force! 

The snow started accumulating right away!

Impromptu snowball fight in the front yard.

Large snowball aiming for Austin's head!

Logan ridiculously under dressed!

The next morning!!!!!!

Family portrait of my olderst baby, Mason, his girlfriend Lory and their baby, Nic'ko's FIRST snow!!

Daddy and his boys!

Beautiful Logan!

LOVE this little face!

And I'm in heaven with all this snow!  Love it, love it, love it!

LOVE YOU, Daddy!  Thanks for riding in the storm with me....just like we used to!

Let the fun continue!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ice Skating!

Tracey and I took the boys for their first Ice Skating experience.  Of course on the way there, I found out Tracey's a professional ice skater.   Whatevah!  ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Preschool Party!

Yesterday was Austin and Logan's preschool Christmas party! 

I LOVE their preschool!  They learn so much about God and Jesus and all the stories in the bible.  I love it!!  I also love that out of the 12 little ones in their class, there is another set of twins, one little princess adopted from China, 5 children of Indian nationality, and one little boy who's mother is partially deaf - can you say DIVERSITY! 

And of course, no party iss complete with out Momma's Elf Nonnie helper!  Nonnie to the rescue! 

The piece 'de resistance!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seeing Red!

Austin, Logan and I had a nice, quiet Saturday morning. 

Snuggling to some "Dinosaur Train." 

Puppy schnoozing away. 

El Whimpy still around, partially lit, waiting for ornaments (not that it can withstand the weight!).  

Our peaceful morning didn't last too long.  Austin and Logan are still on some sort of a rampage against Mom.  Today, Logan found out what soap tasted like.  To be fair, the child did get several warnings.  For about a week.  The last time was just two days ago.  We were coming home from seeing Santa.  Our trip to the mall cut short - no noodles (their fav!), yanked from the play area for tackling (Logan) and running around like a banshee screaming (Austin).  They were out of control (the new norm).  Anyway, I got yelled at the whole way home, but about wrecked the car when Logan said, "You're stupid Mom."  Gary and I had just warned them that we never, ever wanted to here THAT again.  So, when I heard it, I immediately changed lanes, made (2) right turns into an apartment complex, hopped out of the car, opened the van door, had Logan out of the seat in 1.03 seconds after uttering those nasty words and attempted to put him in Time Out right there on the curb (in the parking lot).  I say attempted because Logan, sensing this was way beyond any reaction he had ever seen from me before, clung to me like velcro and was screaming at the top of his lungs - "DON'T LEAVE ME, MOM!!"  I put  him back in the car (rather quickly) and once I was calm enough to speak again, gave the ultimate warning - "If I ever, EVAH, here either one of you say that WORD!"

Austin (still crying with fear that I was going to leave his brother on the curb), let our a new burst of wails, "BUT I didn't SAY it, Mom!!!"

Doesn't matter - I'm telling both of you, right now.  I don't EVAH want to hear it AGAIN!

I hate these moments, 'cuz I want to comfort them so badly.  I mean, they are my babies.  And they're crying.  Actually, they are fearing for their lives and it's because of me.  Ya know what I mean.

So, imagine my GREAT surprise today when I hear those words come out of Logan's mouth again!  I hadn't actually thought this through.  I have no memory of having had my mouth washed out with soap.  Never seen it done, either. Always thought it would be with a bar of soap.  But,  that's not what we had in the kitchen - and actually the little squirt of liguid soap was just enough to get on his teeth and get the message across.  So, everyone, pray, please pray that's the last we hear of that nasty little word!   Thankfully, Nonnie was here to witness and to comfort. 

As I didn't have long to rest.  Or to get back to tree trimming.  Cuz about 15 minutes later, Austin pooped in his pants.  Again.  Usually he gets a shower.  It's not an easy clean up.  Austin is so laid back, we have a hard time finding his "button."  Time out doesn't bother him.  Rewards.  Punishments.  Taking away toys.  etc.  Nothing really upsets him.  So as he didn't mind having to leave his favorite tv show and go upstairs for a shower in the middle of the day (again), I might have forgotten to turn the warm water on.  I mean, this doesn't need to be an experience at the Ritz.  Anyway, he made sure he high-tailed it to the potty the rest of the day!  And again, Nonnie was there to comfort and soothe!  Thanks, Nonnie!

Btw, it is perfectly exceptable to have a little wine at 3:30ish when you have days (or a whole week) like this!

Earlier in the day, I caught a little glimpse of this running by me:

I already had the camera out so I followed Austin back to the playroom and saw a little of this (on Logan):

And a lot more of this:

Wait - did you see it??

The letter A.  Lots and lots of A's!  REALLY good ones, too!  I didn't even scold, I just documented!  After all, it's not like we can put his legs in a scrapbook.  I had NO idea my baby could write an "A."  And might I just say again, really, really good ones!

Go, Austin!

Dear Lord - thank you for blessing my life with these sweet little high spirited boys!  I have always been told what a patient person I was.  Yet, You found a way to stretch my limits beyond anything I would have thought capable!  For I can assure You, patient is not what I feel 99% of the time!  ;-)  Please continue to be with me as I raise these precious little souls.  Let's focus on getting them to 4 yrs. old with as little (additional) mental scarring as possible.  Send MORE patience, if You could. 

And we'll keep the jar of laughter and happiness running as high as always.  To look for the bright spots. The moments.  Like when Logan was trying to get comfortable on my lap the other night during an all to often-rare rocking chair moment.  I asked him what he needed from me (to make him comfortable) his sweet little whisper, "Just sit here, Mom." brought quite the mist to my eye.  Just sit, Mom.  Just be here.  Just be the arms that swoop me up when I cry - for no other arms will do.  Just sit next to me even if I'm just watching tv. 
Just you, Mom.  That's all I really ever need.   

I remember waiting a whole year for that role.  For the stars to align and for the Heavens to open up so that I could do. just. that. 
To be there.   Be there for my babies. And to be their Mommy.     

Thanks, God.

Friday, December 11, 2009


This is the Polar Express Santa - cool, huh!?!  Actually his entire set up is based on the movie and its extremly cool.  If they ever change the theme on us, we might have to cancel Christmas! lol

Alrighty, on the list this year for Santa -

 Austin:  A roller coaster. (we have no idea if that's a life size one or not and we're not asking!)  And a Super Why action toy.  Our buddy Van introduced us to Super Why (on PBS) and we LOVE it!  While shopping one night Austin shrieked when he saw Super Why on the shelf.  I had never seen a Super Why toy and there were only (5) of them on the shelf.  So, I helped Santa out by snagging (3) of them.  In the parkng lot, while Austin was getting in the car, I shipped the (3) Super Why's off on the Express Train to Santa where hopefully he would decide to send them back to (3) special little boys.  Austin is very angry about this system and got a little in Santa's face abut making sure he brings him "back" his Super Why toy!  ;-)

Logan:  A soccer ball.  A soccer net/goal.  A soccer field.   Gary and I mentioned that a soccer field might be a little difficult for Santa to bring.  Austin chimed in with "Hey, wait, I got an idea!  Santa can make it really small, like this (he makes a rectangle with his hands) so that he can fit it into his bag and then, when he gets here, he can make it REALLY BIG!"  Logan nods and says, "Good thinking, Austin!" 

um, yeah.  Stay tuned on that one folks!     

The boys were telling us all about the story of Mary and Joseph and the manger and the donkey and how they had no room to sleep.  And how baby Jesus was born.  So, we asked them what was special about Christmas Day and Austin said, "That's the day Jesus comes over and opens up all his presents!"   (awww!)

So, in case you lost track....Roller coaster.  Soccer field.   Jesus.  Got it! 

It is gonna be one heckuva wild Christmas morning 'round here!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

O' Christmas Tree....

We were hoping to start a new tradition this year, by heading off to a local tree farm.  Ya know - and chop down our very own perfect Christmas tree.  Fill the house with the fresh scent of newborn pine. 

Alas, in this town now officially known as The Wetlands - it rained that day.  On the one day Gary had off.  On the one day we had designated as Christmas Tree Day. 

So, off Daddy went to Lowes.  Still in the rain.  He searched high and low and after 2.5 hours came home with a magnificient tree;  Behold...

But try as we might, there was no denying it;  On day three of living with this evergreen, we realized it had already reached it's prime and was well over the other side of the hill and spiralling quickly onto the downside of twig'dom.  Needles were falling off faster than Tiger Wood's mistresses were coming forward.  A mere opening of the door or a twice daily drive-by from our 100 year old dog sent 1,000's of more needles plummeting to the carpet.  A painful, but necessary decision was made.

R.I.P.  O' Magnificent Christmas Tree,  
unk - Dec 7, 2009

The remains.

Many more failed attempts to replace.  More rain.  A closed tree farm.  $89 corner lots.  Tonight, alas a lone single replacement tree was found.  Back to square one.  At Lowes again.  Same size range. Same $.

Friends.  Family.  I give you: 

"El Whimpy"
Oh. Christmas. Tree.