April 27, 2011

How Great is This?

When we lived in MA, and I was working, I had a 45 minute, 1 way commute. To try to redeem that time, I would often use it as my prayer and praise time. I would pray for the people on my heart & then pop in a cd and sing my heart out. They day I found out about the twins - alone in my knowledge because Lucas still had about 5 1/2 hours before he arrived home from Haiti - I felt an overwhelming urge to praise, turned on my favorite cd, and How Great is Our God started playing. It was the first time I sang this song to the twins, and as I sang I prayed that someday they would experience first-hand the power of our God in such a way that their heart (like mine) would have no other response but to praise our great God. I have sang this song, and prayed this prayer to them pretty much every day since. The twins now call it the "mommy song," and start shouting "Mommy!!" every time they hear it.


I know I have mentioned this before. Told you how meaningful this song is to me. So why am I bringing it up again? Because yesterday Allie spent the afternoon doing this:



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I have thought for a while that there is nothing cuter than toddlers singing. Toddlers praising Jesus? Instant heart melt. A toddler praising Jesus by singing your special song? That is a heart-stopping, tear-jerking, joy-filling, can't-stop-smiling moment. I'm pretty sure this is my favorite song I will ever hear my children sing. Ever.


And if the first video wasn't cute enough for you - check out this one which we call the outtakes :) Be sure to at least watch it once where you look at Ry-guy. Some of his facial expressions as he watches his sister are priceless!



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And if you are wondering, yes, Ryan does sing this song as well. We sing it every night at bedtime and both twinners join right in. But he is more shy about singing for the camera than his sister, so I doubt I will ever get video of him singing our song.

April 25, 2011

Easter: Part 3 (Then & Now)

I've mentioned past Easter's. Technically, I blogged about last Easter (I'm so mean...I keep sending you to those horrible pictures of sick babies!). But their first Easter was during the early weeks of them being home. The "Lost" weeks when I didn't blog because I was immersed in baby land. So I thought I would include the first Easter here, as well as this year's.


To start, a few statistics: The twins were 5 weeks old for their first Easter...but it was 1 week before their due date, so technically they were -1 week old! Ryan had been home for a little over 2 weeks. Allie was just short of being home 2 full weeks. Their outfits (which are clearly too big) are size "newborn." Take a look in the baby section next time you go shopping to get an idea of how truly tiny they were!


Our first attempt at a "together" picture. They are both in 1 half of their side-by-side bassinet. It didn't go over very well...

In our family, this is considered THE Classic "together" picture from that first Easter...with my double chin in the background...
Nana & Great-Grandma (or Lil Grandma or Lil G - as we call her here) were visiting. Lil Grandma for the first time. She wanted to get a picture with the twins (featured here because I realized that I'm not sure I have any pictures on the blog with just Lil G & the twinners). Ry-guy didn't exactly cooperate...
Lucas was incredibly sick (you know the pastor is sick when he doesn't go to Easter service!), so Nana and I took the first family Easter picture with their baskets (we did not plan to have matching hair-do's, but it totally works!)

Our first family picture at church (in their Easter outfits even though it was about a month later - try to IMAGINE this was our Easter picture!).
Fast forward 2 years (and, I mean seriously, fast forward. Looking back I cannot figure out where the time has gone!), to today. Some statistics: Nana has been with the twins for every single Easter so far. The twins are now a little more than 5 times the weight they were for their first Easter. This is our FIRST Easter with everyone healthy (I wasn't ready to fully claim that until the day was over!)
Is it the Easter Bunny? No! It's the Easter BUDDY!!

Our church always has an Easter breakfast made and served by the men.

Due to allergies, we had to bring the twins' pancakes, but they didn't mind.


One of the most fun things about the morning was that they got to spend it with the triplets! Our 5 together (they are only a month younger than the twins) is truly a sight. Our 5 in their Easter finest running around church - one of the cutest things you will ever see!

After church they always have an Easter Egg Hunt. The twins had a blast running around to get eggs. I think the key is the wait. When they have to wait, we distract them too well. This time they just ran out the door and started finding eggs - and it was perfect!

Holding her daddy's hand. Awwww...



Getting some help.
Breaking into the eggs (without regard for the children swinging a mere 5 inches from her head!)

Our FIRST Easter Day family picture!!!!!

We really had a wonderful Easter weekend, and (I think) enjoyed each event so much more because of how different our past 2 Easters ended up being. And final, the lyrics (the last 3 verses) from one of our favorite songs to wrap up this post and remind us what Easter is all about:


In Chris alone, who took on flesh

Fullness of God in helpless babe.

This gift of love, and righteousness,

Scorned by the ones he came to save:

Till on that cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied -

For every sin on Him was laid;

Here in the death of Christ I live.


There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain.

Then bursting forth in glorious day,

Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory

Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,

For I am His and He is mine -

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.


No guilt in life, no fear in death,

THIS is the power of Christ in me.

From life's first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home,

Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

April 24, 2011

Easter: Part 2

Yes, the insane documentation of their first "active" Easter continues. On Saturday we started with an Easter Egg hunt with the eggs that Nana brought and Gigi sent.

It took a minute to catch on, but then they were off yelling, "More! More!"


They had a hard time not opening each one as they found them...



Nana's eggs had money in them and they enjoyed putting all the coins in their piggy bank.

Then we got ready and all went to the nearby camp where the local fire department held a huge Easter Egg Hunt!

We started at the playground.



Then we moved to the egg field. Literally, a field filled with plastic, candy-filled eggs.

E was there and we tried to get a picture of the 3 together. This was one of the best. My personal favorite is Allie's "Zoolander" face!!

We did get a decent picture of the girls together though.

The twins, seeing a field full of eggs and having practiced that morning, were desperate to get out there and get eggs. But they had to wait about 10 minutes. We did our best to distract them, including letting them put handfuls of dirt in their Easter buckets. It proved to be TOO good of a distraction as they weren't interested in picking up any eggs when the hunt started. We got a grand total of 7 :)


And we ended at the playground.

Note: these pictures literally make me cry. They sat on "big kid" swings for one of the first times (the first time really swinging), and they look SO old :(



After naptime we had a birthday party and ANOTHER egg hunt (again, we distracted them until the start with the play equipment in their backyard, and when the hunt started Allie just wanted to drive the car, and Ryan just wanted to slide.). A busy, busy day to be sure!

April 22, 2011

Easter: Part 1

Ok, I'm going to go a little overboard as far as posts. But considering that out of the 3 Easter's for which the twins have been present, this is the first one I'm blogging, I feel that I have ground to make up :)


This afternoon (after the Good Friday service my twins interrupted with their screaming), our church did egg dying with the kids. I'm pretty sure, with 2 sets of twins and a set of triplets as well as 4 other families, that we at least came close to record numbers! Allie & Ryan have never dyed eggs before (the mess and allergies kept me away), so this was an exciting experience for them!
Dropping in the first egg!


They each had their own unique way of dying.

Ryan carefully dipped with his fingers...


Allie liked dropping hers in...repeatedly...and dying everything BUT the eggs with little splatters.


Peek-a-Boo!


See the Spots on Allie's face? They are still there.

And the promised picture of Lala (and her friend who is also pregnant). It only took me 3 posts to finally get one up!

Easter Egg Hunts and birthday parties tomorrow!

April 21, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Nana is here, and I was finally able (as in, I actually remembered), to get the pictures from her camera of Allie's day with me.

Allie & CC climbed into the toy chest (Allie was the instigator)

I remember something happened at this moment and I was thrilled that we got the picture...but now I cannot remember what...
Plotting future capers I'm sure.

Reading with Nana!

I somehow managed not to copy a single picture of Lala from the shower. My apologies to everyone who was hoping to see a picture of her...Maybe I'll remember next time...


Our Easter festivities start tomorrow and continue all weekend (for the grown-ups Maundy Thursday Service tonight...but there won't be any pictures of that).

April 20, 2011

Caught on Camera

Pre-apologies to Poppy, who, I know, cannot watch these videos on the boat. The twins were playing their new favorite game (Hide 'n' Seek) in the basement yesterday, and I realized I had my computer with me and could get it on video. They only hide in 2 spots. Allie will show you both!



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Then they realized they could see themselves on the computer and started showing off. This is a video of them counting to 10. I was trying to just get Ryan (because his sister frequently steals the stage, and he really can do so much, he just lets her take over...). But, true to form, Allie hopped in and took over. Notice at the end her attempt to count to 20 (which we've been working on recently). She loves the number 18 as much as she loves the number 8!



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In this final video, they are singing their ABC's. Normally they sing much louder and more clear, but they were so distracted by their own cuteness on the screen that they could barely get through! My favorite part of this clip? At the end when I tell them to say goodbye and "I love you." Ryan says, "Elmo!" Why? Because we borrowed the movie "Elmo Loves You" from the library, and now instead of saying "I love you," he just says "Elmo" because Elmo loves you! I was so thrilled to catch it on video because I think it is so cute, but know it won't last forever.



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April 18, 2011

Catching Up

Due to my lack of pictures lately, and my lack of pictures taken, I'm going to do one big catchup post. The biggest bummer: for some reason I can't get my pictures off of my phone...and I actually had some cute ones...

A couple weekends ago, Lucas and I split up the twins for a mother/daughter & father/son morning. Allie & I went to a baby shower for Lala (I, clearly, forgot the camera and forgot to get pictures from Nana, so you only get to see the boys' day), where she was literally a perfect angel. The guys:

Went to the park,


and had a jam session!
When we got back the twinners spent some time with daddy. He hit the ball and they chased it down and brought it back.
Allie is obsessed with shoes lately, but this was her first time in heels. She did surprisingly well!
Lala brought the twins a belated birthday present. A water table! Since I had been using a bucket and some measuring cups to get the same effect, this was a HUGE hit! They not only played all afternoon, but went back to it as soon as they finished eating and had to be forced to stop to go to bed. Thanks, Lala!!
Last week, tired of the never-ending pressure of overwhelming mounds of laundry, I decided to tackle it with unprecedented voracity - refusing to stop until ALL of the laundry was done. I am embarrassed to report that I found, at the bottom of hampers that clearly had not been emptied for a while, clothing that the twins could no longer wear because of size. The good news is that the laundry now only requires minimal maintenance to keep at a manageable level. Best housecleaning move I have made in a while!

EMPTY HAMPERS!!!
This terrible picture is from our recent excursion to Dora Live! Only included because it was a "big event" that happened recently and this is the ONLY picture we were able to capture before the battery died :( While our children had no clue who Dora was (apologies to all who love her, but I find her mind-numbing and refuse to waste the twin's tv time on her show), we thought it would be fun for them to have a "live" experience - especially since we were able to get a great discount. I grew up going to Sesame Street Live, and the magic of those performances still lives in infamy in my memories. It ended up being a great disappointment. It appeared to be a local college (or high school? They looked so young, but that could be a sign of us getting old...) production of a Dora movie. We were clearly a test-run before the main performance (which we heard wasn't any better). All adults in attendance felt it was a bit of a disappointment, but all of the children thought it was the best thing ever! Ryan didn't move for a full hour - completely captivated by the characters dancing and singing right in front of him! Their excitement made it worth it.

Waiting for Dora!
And, due to my lack of picture taking, that is the meagre extent of my catchup post. But never fear! This week is Holy Week, full of Easter happenings. Provided that our entire family stays healthy for the FIRST time since the twins were born (remember last year?), I will have many cute and exciting happenings to post :)

April 16, 2011

Future Site of a New Blog Post

I have had many, MANY requests for a new post. My apologies. I didn't have a computer for almost 2 weeks, and in all honestly, I still tend to forget that I have it back (a good thing in some respects...). Also, we've been exceptionally busy, especially this past week, and I keep waiting for a chance to blog. I think I might just have to make the time. And my final excuse - I keep forgetting to download the few pictures I have taken the past few weeks so that I can blog. And I was going to do it tonight, but my camera battery is dead (has been for a few days, every time I go to take a picture I remember that I forgot to charge it), and you have to be able to turn the camera ON to get the pictures OFF!! So I'm off to charge the battery, but not without first promising that there will be a new post soon!


And thanks for all the requests for a new post. It makes me feel loved when people actually ask to read about our lives...well the twins' lives...but it still makes me feel loved :)

April 01, 2011

Mooooooo!

For a while I have been sporadically getting ideas for activities to do with the twins from Brightly Beaming Resources. I have been excitedly waiting, however, for them to turn 2 so we could move on the the preschool prep curriculum because it has theme weeks!!! Being an activity director, theme weeks are my specialty :) This week was the first week and our theme was cows! We colored pictures of cows, learned that a baby cow is called a calf, practiced being cows, and even pretended to milk a cow with a latex glove full of water (during which I said some of the strangest phrases I've ever said to my children like "We don't fight over the udder! It will hurt the cow and she will kick you!") The highlight of the week was our trip today to the farm of some members of our church to see REAL cows!

No fear, just love. She kept leaning forward to try to get the cow to give her a kiss!

It is hard to see, but this is Ryan letting a calf suck on his finger! Ryan was so enthusiastic that the baby calves had a tendency to hide when he came running up, but Allie was quiet and gentle and they came out to her. The twins with a set of twin calves!
Allie desperately trying to get the young cows in the back to come and see her.
Our friends E, B, & M came with us. This was the only picture I was able to catch up the 4 walking kids together :)
Ryan kept holding up handfuls of hay to try to feed a cow. After a while this young cow got friendly.
Success! This cow happily ate out of his hand!
It was so much fun to see my kids running around on a farm and enjoying the cows. They had a deep and immediate love for them (and the tractors that we saw as we visited the different areas). Granted, I spent a lot of time suppressing my germophobic tendencies, and we had to put our shoes outside and wash our clothes when we got home because we sort of stunk. But it was SO worth it. They told us we could come back to visit the cows anytime. I know we will definitely take them up on that offer!