January 28, 2011

Moms Say the Darndest Things...

Every now and then, I say something to the twins that makes me pause and think, "I never in my life would have imagined THAT sentence would come out of my mouth!" Nothing bad. Not even the dreaded "I'm becoming my mother" phrases that everyone finds themselves saying (note: I confess I LOVE the phrases my parents use to say and am happy to use them again!). Just strange combinations of words...
We loaned our sled to a friend, but never fear, the twinners discovered they could sled without one!

Some of the phrases that stick out in my mind:
  • "Don't touch your sister with the shovel."
  • "If you didn't like the shovel touching you, why would your brother? Don't touch your brother with the shovel!"
  • "Yes, the daddy makes a nice hat!"
  • "You cannot take the penguin in the trampoline." (note: I have also had to tell them they cannot take the tiger, bus, chalk, and numerous books in the trampoline)
  • "Why don't you fill the bus with the people first?" Note - they are filling the bus with people before sending it careening down the slide. Why did I encourage the carnage? I have no clue.
  • And my personal favorite: "Stop fighting over the Bible! If you cannot share it nicely, I will take it away from both of you!"
    They would also run all the way around our sledding loop (you can kind of see it here - it goes around and behind the little tree) each time before going down the slope!
Now that the twins are getting older, my days are becoming more...entertaining. Often in ways I didn't expect.
For example, the older he gets, the more Ryan shows a love for cleaning! I am more than willing to encourage this in any way :) He will but all of the toys away in a bin (wen asked), put all of the books back on the shelf (doesn't need to be asked, but all the books usually have to be off the shelf for him to do it unprompted), and line up toys that are too big for a bin or shelf. My personal favorite is when he gets in the broom closet to get out the very prized broom. He will (for as long as I will let him) walk up and down each room pushing the broom! My little janitor.

Sometimes running down the slope seems like a better idea...
Each day I understand the things they say more clearly. I realized the other day that whenever she falls, Allie says "you okay?" Which is what I usually say to her. But that, of course morphed. Then she started lying on the ground repeating, "you okay?" until I ask her if she's okay. Then, the other evening, I heard her in the playroom saying something "okay." Pretty soon she came running out of the playroom, laid down on the floor in front of my chair, and loudly said, "you okay?" She had fallen in the other room, and really wanted me to make sure she was okay!

So much fun!
There are two things Ryan really loves: technology and food. Nothing motivates him more than the promise of a meal/snack or watching a movie. In fact, he's watched very carefully to learn how to do both on his own. He can turn on the DVD player, the TV, the cable box, change the volume and (on occasion) the channels. He also enjoys turning the TV off when I tell him it is enough (A trick that I love and use often!). The other day, I announced snack time and he went running out of the room. I walked slowly, not worried about what he could get into. When I got in the kitchen, my speedy man had already pulled a bowl out of the cabinet, somehow got a box of small crackers out of the pantry, and was shaking the box upside-down over the bowl! Thank goodness that little cardboard flap held the box shut, or I would have had a big mess on my hands!

I took them on an adventure, and hid behind bushes for them to find me :)

I noticed early on that my little girl was a fan of practical jokes. I shouldn't be surprised - not only was her dad a hug fan of practical jokes, but we met through one (that I played on him, for the record). I figured she would probably get me good in the future, but that I had some time before she got too sophisticated. Then, the other day she disappeared while I was changing Ryan's diaper. "Where's Allie?" I called (that usually brings them out of hiding). No answer. Ryan and I went into the bedroom (where we had last seen her heading). No one there. Ryan ran to the closet and started pointing inside. There was Allie lying face down. "Allie, we see you!" I called. No response. Slightly alarmed, I went over and touched her shoulder. "Allie, I got you!" Nothing. No movement. No noise. On the verge of panic, I picked her up. She was completely limp. Completely beside myself, I turned her over to see if she was breathing. There lay my little girl, looking up at me with sparkling eyes, and smiling. She began to giggle, obviously thrilled with the success of her joke. I tried not to cry as relief replaced my complete panic. "You can never do that again to mommy. It is too scary. Will you promise never to do that again?" My little joker turned very serious. "Okay, mommy." And all I could think was, "Sure. She won't do that. She'll probably think of something better!"

Thank God for my entertaining days. Life would be so boring without them!

January 24, 2011

'Til We Meet Again

I mentioned in our Top 10 post that my maternal grandfather was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and will not be with us much longer. While the diagnosis was a blow, one of the blessings has been the opportunity for many in the family to be able to visit him to say goodbye. Not everyone gets that opportunity before losing a loved one. We traveled this past week to Iowa to have that visit.
We stayed with my cousin and the Little Saflings. Shockingly, I didn't get a single picture of the kids playing together (I've been so off my game lately!), but I did get some pictures of the twins playing the piano...
Ry-guy LOVES to play the piano. I think it might have been his favorite thing there. How old do kids have to be before starting lessons?
They even played duets and this thrilled my little SAI heart!
The twins didn't spend a lot of time with Grandpa & Grandma, as that much activity is just too exhausting for him (most days it's too exhausting for me...), but they spent a little time for them to entertain him!
Allie played dress up - bracelets, shoes, and the be-yoo-tee-ful hat!
Grandpa reading with the kids. I love the look on Ryan's face!
I stayed and spent the day with my Grandpa and Grandma. The greatest blessing was the opportunities I had to use my 5 years of experience working in various capacities in nursing homes to serve my grandparents. I always considered it a privilege and joy to be able to serve the residents I cared for, and it was even more so to be able to do the little I was able for my grandparents. I very much treasure not only the time I was able to spend with my Grandpa, but also the time talking with my Grandma.
Since our visit, Grandpa has continued to quickly go downhill. We are thankful that he has remained relatively pain-free (not one pain pill!), and although we are sad to lose his presence here, we rest in the promise that we will see him again in Heaven. What peace it is to know that we mourn with the hope of salvation!
If any of you (who may have met Grandpa) would be interested in following his progress you can by clicking this link to see his website. We so appreciate the thoughts and prayers many of you have sent our way. They are such a comfort.
Below is a song that I remember singing before leaving a few family gatherings. Grandpa always liked us to sing when we were together, and he especially liked when we circled up, held hands, and sang this song. The words aren't much alone, but when you hear them in traditional 4-part harmony with a swinging refrain, it's gorgeous! I will forever remember his voice singing loudly!
God be with you till we meet again;
By His counsels guide, uphold you;
With His sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again

January 17, 2011

Family Christmas!

The second weekend in January we had Lucas' mom's family (name withheld to protect privacy) at our house for their annual Christmas party. Usually held the day after Christmas, this year they decided to schedule it in January to make it easier to attend (without all of the other Christmas committments to get in the way). Lucas' parents were hosting, but we offered our house for location since it is more central. It worked out great (for us at least!).
Allie playing with O...who I played with when she was only a little older than Allie!

Ry guy with R & M. R is, currently, the only other boy!

Cousin M - who loved the chalkboard!
Family hanging out at the party.

The main events of the party were the food (everyone brings their classic best dishes - yum!), the games (Lucas' parents always plan games. This year I was playing with the kids and didn't remember that I was on a team until the very end...and I knew the answer to every Christmas Carol question up until that point!), the gift exchange (they do a name drawing), and (this year) Santa - who not only gave presents to the kids, but also announced the gender of the twins' newest cousin-to-be...A BOY!!!!!
Ry-guy loved this snowman. He gave him many hugs and kisses throughout the night.
Allie opening her gift (for some reason, she is the only one we caught on camera...)
One of the best things about the evening was that this was one of the few occassions with all of the great-grandkids together with great-grandma! I know this will be a treasured picture.
Great Grandma with all of the great-grandkids (and Lucas and me...)

January 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

Due to a nasty stomach bug, I wasn't able to finish the last 2 posts of December. We made it so far into January, that I wasn't going to go back and do these posts. But then I found these pictures on my camera, and I liked them (and the night), so I decided to post just 1...

My parents got married 3 days after Christmas. So, when we are together for the holidays, we always try to make sure our time includes their anniversary to celebrate together. This year, Lucas and I decided they needed to go to a restaurant that used to be one of our favorite places to celebrate an anniversary. The Melting Pot.
Dad & Mom enjoying yummy things dipped in chocolate!
I have to say that this meal goes into my top 5 meals of all time. I have enjoyed every meal I've had at the Melting Pot (all 3...), but this one was especially delicious. I have never heard so many yummy noises during a meal! Every bite was scrumptious. I was sad (albeit VERY full) when it was over.

Lucas and I check to see if our yummy treats are ready.
I'm pretty sure that this was 31 years for my parents. I'm so lucky (really, Lucas and I are both so lucky) to have parents with long-lasting marriages whom we can model. When asked by the waitress the secret to so many years of marriage, my parents had a hard time coming up with an answer. They made a few jokes about being too afraid of life alone, but I know their secret - always having each other's backs, always communicating and working things out, remembering (even when fighting) that they love each other, and having God as their center.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Note: This was the only picture I got with both of their eyes opened, and they were laughing so hard they could barely control it :)

January 04, 2011

Top 10 of 2010!

Those who have followed the blog for a long time (read: at least a year) may remember that, being fans of Top 10 Lists, we like start the New Year with our list of Top 10 posts from the last (or wait a week...and then post them!).

This was hard. REALLY hard. As I started looking back through the year I realized this was a BIG year for us! A big move, the twins turning 1, first trip by plane, and LOTS of visits with family & friends we love so much. I wanted to include SO many of the old posts because they show my babies as...well...babies, and so many of the posts with our family & friends because you are the ones who actually read the blog and I wanted you in the Top 10 so you would know how important you are to us. But I just couldn't fit all of them in. Some Top10s are because of pictures I love, some are big moments, some are just because something about that post struck me just right :) So here they are (more than 10, but I make the list so I can do what I want to squeeze more in!):

note: click on the highlighted, underlined titles to go to that post.

10. Triathlon (my personal triumph)
9. Jordan's (I love these videos...even if they are sideways!)
8. Our Day Without Daddy
7. There is No Place Like Nebraska Part 1 (I'm a sucker for pictures of multiple multiples...)
6. Naptime at the Zoo and If at First You Don't Succeed
5. First Day & First Snow (one of my favorite pictures ever!)
4. Moving Day (Pictures of the beloved apartment that was our babies first home, and of some of the people we love in MA)
3. The Wedding - This one is so special to me 1) because it has a multiple multiples picture! 2) My grandpa - seen in this post - was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This post shows a small (even though it looks large) portion of his legacy. I'm so grateful to have had 27 wonderful years with my Grandpa Garber, and I will forever treasure the pictures in this post.
2. She's Here! (Our newest addition)
1. Allie & Ryan Turn 1! and Under the Sea