November 25, 2011

Filling the Void

Those who have been around for a while may have noticed an important seasonal post that was missing this year. The beginning of football season. Normally, I show a picture of the twins showing their team spirit the opening weekend of college football. Frequently, college football is a topic of posts throughout the fall. But this fall, I haven't been able to bring myself to write a single post. Because this football season has been a

Let's start at the beginning. Lucas and I always knew that our love and devotion for different college football teams (especially ones unfortunately linked by the sharing of a controversial national title) could be an obstacle in our marriage. But we were young, and naive, and figured it would be okay since they almost never play each other. Then came the Bowl Game of 2005. It was a trying time in our marriage, but we made it through and were thankful that it would be a long time before we had to experience that again. Then Nebraska decided to join the Big 10 Conference for the 2011 season (and every one after that). I know that I posted last year that everything would be okay, but its not. Because although our household is only divided once a season (and some seasons never, thank God!), so many of the other teams in the conference are connected to dear friends and family...and while I love them all dearly, I want my team to beat them mercilessly. It's really making things difficult...
Before the game...which is why we are all smiling!
A few months ago, my brother followed in my footsteps by similarly joining himself to another Wolverine. One with an even deeper love for the team and culture since she grew up (and her family still lives) just blocks from the Big House. So we decided - rather than allow cause a deeper divide - to celebrate together on the big game day. Her parents invited us to tailgate before and after the game, and we all attended to cheer on our respective teams.
Our seats were technically good...although the game rarely came to our end zone...and I'm pretty sure Nebraska turned over the ball just seconds after I took this picture...
If you watched the game, you know it was bad. We were destroyed. Michigan played one of their best games in recent history, and Nebraska played their worst. I discovered that the thrill of attending my first ever Nebraska game was quickly squashed by the humiliation of being surrounded by thousands of opposing fans. While being in the Big House was a fun experience (it is truly the only stadium, aside from Memorial, where I would ever really desire to attend a game), I think I would prefer to go when I can cheer with the crowd against the other team (Ohio State maybe?) What was more, we kept hearing things like, "is that really a mixed couple? Nebraska and Michigan together? How can you survive? You're just dating right? You're married?! It's gonna be rough when you have kids. You have kids?! You have 2?! What do you dress them in?!"
Judging by the smiles, you would think this was before the game got started, but we didn't take this picture until the last few minutes. I had clearly been resigned to our fate for a while...
The defeat was crushing. Of all the games we played this season, there were only 2 that I REALLY wanted to win. Michigan State (which we WON - haha, Logan!), and this one. If Nebraska had to join this Conference and selfishly jeopardize my marriage, couldn't they at least make it a game?). But, never a fair-weather fan, I am not crushed. We can't win every game (okay, we could, but not with this team...not yet...hopefully someday). There is always next year. At least one of our teams won. Our marriage survived another encounter...let's hope it's strong enough to survive the many seasons to come!
Note: My apologies for not including the twins. They spent the day at a friends (pictures of that day to come in another thankful post). To satiate curiosity, there had been some discussion about how to fairly divide the kids this particular game day. I decided the most fair way was to let them choose. Early in the week, Allie chose to wear "Go Big Blue" and Ryan chose "Go Big Red." I was relieved. The day of, Allie changed her mind. She was incredibly forceful, so I let her wear her Huskers outfit. Wanting to be fair, I talked Ryan into wearing Michigan clothing. So they were evenly divided in their clothing...although perhaps not in their hearts - Go Big Red!!!

November 14, 2011

Thankfuls 2

November 13, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan & Allie: I'm such a loser. I forgot to ask again!
Lucas: Sunday School Class
Kim: A nap. Lucas took the kids downstairs so I could get a nap. It was so needed. I was so thankful
November 14, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Penguin.
You've met him. Their giant penguin. Once upon a time he stood watch over me in the hospital, now he stands guard at the twins' door. And wrestles with him. They love this penguin.
Ryan: Bumble
His nearest and dearest stuffed friend. Our favorite thing? After seeing Lucas and I play with bumble like a puppet, Ryan has mastered helping Bumble turn his head to look at someone (usually himself) with the perfect comedic timing.
Lucas: Lunch with a local pastor (who, I happen to know from my college days!)
Kim: A clean bill of health for the twins - at their follow-up appointment for their ear infections.
Dinner - Lucas made dinner tonight. Is there anything better? Yes. He did the dishes too!
November 15, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan: Nana
Allie: Princess Underwear
Basically, diapers stopped working at night time. We tried the special (more expensive) nighttime diapers. We tried doubling diapers. We tried double, and then triple-stuffed cloth diapers. All worked for a little while, but eventually my super-pee-ers soaked through at night. After a week of changing, and washing, their bedding every morning, I turned to nighttime pull ups. So far, so good. And we call them "big kid bedtime underwear." The kids are through the moon that they get to wear big kid underwear!
Lucas: Getting on a roll (He has a big work week. He needs to be "in the zone.")
Kim: Our costume bin.
My friends 2 children joined us after moms' group. One is a little older than the twins, the other a little younger. I was a little worried about my ability to entertain all of them. Enter the costume bin. The kids had such a blast trying on costume, after costume. They switched costumes, and ran around in the costumes. It was great! Unfortunately, not great enough to get them all to take great naps, but I was thrilled nonetheless.
November 16, We Are Thankful For:
Allie & Ryan: I'm a bum. I meant to ask half a dozen times, and somehow forgot.
Lucas: The twins' basketball hoop (his favorite toy).
Kim: Potty Training Pre-requisites. Potty training is in our near future. I have been reading this book to get ready. Seriously, if there was one potty training "manual" written just for me, this is it! I'm having so much fun planning the potty parties! There are some things they suggest you do in the meantime to help them gain skills that will make potty training day easier - like un-dressing and dressing themselves. I've worked with the twins on the basics - like pulling down their pants - but I thought it would be fun to try more. I've also been letting them make decisions about their wardrobe in the morning. Today, they were both very clear about what they wanted to wear - Ryan wanted his monster truck shirt and his gecko pants. Allie wanted Ryan's "construction" shirt with her red dress and her blue leggings. Sometimes it isn't worth arguing crazy wardrobe choices... Them they undressed and dressed themselves. I stepped in to help, although rarely, and usually just to offer tips or suggestions. The result? Allie's leggings
ended up on backwards. But leggings are enough the same front and back that I decided it didn't matter. All day long, the very vivid visual picture of their growing independence made me smile!

November 12, 2011

Snow, Family, and Toasted Mud

I'm such a liar. I said that I would be using the leaf pictures for a whole bunch of future posts. And then, once again, I'm not using a single one. I just didn't think through the upcoming days & the photo opportunities we would have. Now I'm wondering if I will ever get back to the leaf pictures! I probably will. There are some that are so cute!
We had our first snow! I rushed the twins out for these pictures. I love the faces we happened to capture :)
Oh, yeah...and the yellow and red you see hanging out the back of their coats...those are their Wonder Pets capes. Because you have to wear your capes when it's snowing!
November 10th, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Seahorse
Seahorse was actually nowhere near her when I asked. In fact, we were heading downstairs wearing Wonder Pets capes getting ready to play, and I totally thought she would say something along those lines. But that, my friends, is how much she really loves her seahorse.
Ryan: The dump truck
Does anyone on Lucas' side remember who gave him the dump truck? I was so distracted during present time that I can't remember. But it has been THE favorite toy in our house ever since. Constantly fought over. Dearly loved.
Lucas: Small Groups.
Kim: A long nap time.
I hurt my back somehow. I don't remember the moment I hurt it, I just know that the night before, by bedtime, I could barely stand anymore. While I spent much of the day trying to come up with fun activities the twins could do while I sat in a chair that didn't involve them just sitting and watching tv all day (so I made a game out of a favorite tv show instead...). I was in so much pain by nap time that I was dreading the afternoon. The previous days this week had been full of difficult, short nap times. I just didn't have the energy. But my children slept quietly and soundly for 3 hours! It gave me enough energy to sort of recuperate...sort of...
November 12th, We Are Thankful For:
Allie & Ryan: Once again, I forgot. We had such a busy day, and a couple times I thought about asking, but I kept thinking, "I want them to have their whole day to reflect on." Dumb. Just ask in the moment. Otherwise I will forget!
Lucas: Game Night
Kim: Family visiting - we enjoyed a short, but fun visit from Lucas' cousin and his family. Love hanging out with them. Love them.
The kiddos playing Hungry Hippos.
The girls split off to play Candyland.
While the guys played Lucky Ducks.
Long Nap Time - always grateful when the twins decide to take a significant nap.
Game Night - Every game night leaves me so thankful for the friends we have here. We've been blessed to have such wonderful friends everywhere we have lived. When we moved here I thought there was no way we could ever have friends as wonderful as our friends in MA. I'm thankful to have been proven wrong.
November 12th, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Cookies. There were no cookies anywhere nearby, so I don't know where this came from. But she was very clear about being thankful for cookies.
Ryan: Nana. It makes me so happy to see how Ryan is slowly working through the people in his life that he loves.
Lucas: Ordination - Lucas had the opportunity to go and be part of the ordination of another pastor who has played a significant role in our church in the past, and who was part of his ordination in January!
Kim: Toasted Mud - I discovered this place (via facebook) a few months ago, and have been itching to go to one of their story times. It's such a fabulous combination - great children's literature and art! We finally had an open Saturday morning that corresponded with a story time, and it lived up to all my expectations. The twins were thrilled, and I can't wait to go back!
Sitting on the stairs and listening to the story
With the pinch pots they made!

Painting their pinch pots.
Ryan said, "I LOVE painting," and painted slowly, carefully, and thoughtfully.
Allie said, "More paint! More! More!" and made sure hers had lots of paint.

November 10, 2011

Wonder Pets

I know that I said that the leaves pictures were going to fill the next few posts...but then I took these pictures of us having SO much fun, and I decided to squeeze them in. Shake it up, and all that.

The twins recently were introduced and fell in love with Wonder Pets. Not familiar with Wonder Pets? See their page HERE and listen to the theme song HERE (the picture captions will make a lot more sense if you listen to the theme song...). I will confess that I sort of love this show too. The songs are super catchy (Lucas and I find ourselves singing them all the time), plus the twins have started singing their conversations which is adorable! Yesterday, I was emptying a can of diced tomatoes and it made me think about how the Wonder Pets use a tin can & string phone. I decided to save the cans to make a phone with the twins. It was a hit!
"The phone, the phone is ringing!"
They spent about 20 minutes talking & singing into the "phone." It was a blast!
"This is sewious!"
Suddenly it struck me that capes would make it even more fun! So I grabbed some knit tank tops from my up-cycle basket and cut them into capes. The twins were even more thrilled with this addition!
"Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets! We're on our way! To help a tiny animal and save the day!"
Part of the show is that they see the animal in trouble in their tin can phone. I have a gigantic stash of magazines in the craft room, so I went through and cut out some pictures of animals to put in the phone (can you tell I was totally getting into the game?). I was so excited about this idea because I can keep putting new animals and adventures in the phone for endless options of creative play! I felt like a genius. I probably saw it somewhere else and forgot and am now attributing it to myself...
"There's an animal in trouble! There's an animal in trouble! There's an animal in trouble somewhere"
(note: this is a dog tangled in Christmas lights if you can't tell)
We spent the rest of the morning putting in new animals to save, singing the songs, and running around in capes. So. Much. Fun!
"What's gonna work? Teamwork!"
November 9th, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: my comb (I was combing her hair when I asked...I should have known)
Ryan: cars jammies
Let me tell you about Ryan's Car pajamas. My mom sent them in the mail. While the twins have never seen the movie, they are obsessed with all things transportation related, so mom was pretty sure they would be a hit. They are. Too big maybe. He doesn't want to wear anything else. He has to because I cannot get them washed every day, but he wears them about every other night. And when he wears them he doesn't want to get dressed the next day. "I don't need to get dressed. I just wear my cars jammies," he tells me. They are apparently appropriate for all occasions. The only thing that will coax him out of the cars jammies that Gigi bought? The rocket shirt that Nana bought. If Ryan only had these items in his wardrobe, he would be a happy guy!
Kim: My husband helping out.
It was a long day. The kids were extra whiny. I had to kill a spider. Somehow poop got on the carpet and I had to clean it. It was one of those days. And Lucas was going to be gone in the evening, so I was on my own for bedtime and the hour leading up to it. But Lucas came home a little early, and took the kids the whole time he was home so I could relax. I'm a lucky girl :)
Lucas: Deacons Meeting.
If it kept him away in the evening so that I had to do bedtime by myself, I'm thankful that it was so great that it was his big thankful for the day!
"We're not too big, and we're not too tough, but when we work together we've got the right stuff! Go, Wonder Pets! Yay!!!!"

November 03, 2011


Note: I have been basically recording our thankfuls, day-by-day, for almost a week now. Why hasn't there been a blog? Because I had no pictures, and the grandparents like pictures. Today I went out and took tons. In fact, this bunch will probably provide pictures for the next few blogs. Please, don't think my children only have 1 outfit... The pictures for today are part of a sequence of the twins playing in a pile of leaves. Enjoy!
November 3rd, We are Thankful For:
Allie: Big Kid Beds & Daddy
Ryan: Big Kid Beds & Daddy
So the twins are playing their new favorite game..."naptime"...they sit in their beds and make me turn out the lights and shut the door (while I'm in the room), and they pretend to nap. They start talking about their beds, and Allie says, "Daddy made this for me." Ryan says, "Yes. He is a good Daddy." and then they start saying, "Thank you, daddy! Thank you for my bed! Thank you for your are a good daddy!" I start to tell them that Daddy is at work, and can't hear them when we hear the door open! He surprised us by coming home early, and got to hear their thanks & praise in person!
Lucas: Good conversations.
Kim: Story time with the twins. We snuggled on the couch, under a homemade quilt, on a cloudy, gloomy day, and read book after book. Could life get any better?
November 4th, We are Thankful For:
Allie: Daddy's Races
Ryan: Chuggington Book (a $1 activity book from the Dollar Store that has been his constant companion since)
Lucas: A game we can play together. He bought us some new games. 1 of them being a cooperative game (Forbidden Island) that he found. If you don't know us well, there are 2 things that you need to know. 1) We LOVE to play games. Board games. Card Games. Word Games. Any game. 2) As my younger brother once said after spending an afternoon playing Settlers with us, "They need marriage counseling to play games together." We are both super competitive, and this makes for intense game playing...and intense winning and losing reactions. Basically, we haven't had a game yet where we didn't eventually need others for a buffer (thus our monthly game nights with friends). Lucas was convinced a cooperative game would solve this problem. I was convinced that we would hate a cooperative game (A game where everyone wins and no one loses? Is there a sense of victory without a loser?). We played. We had a lot of fun and didn't fight at all. We won, and it was a blast!
Kim: Time to read. The other day, Lucas asked me if I read anymore. "Yes," I replied. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if blogs and magazine articles could really be
considered "reading." Sure, they contain great information, and they are short enough to be easily read in whatever time I have during the day. But I was an English major. My heart is in great literary works. I decided to pick up one of the many books on our shelf that I wanted to read, but never have. I selected Dickens' David Copperfield. I love it. I'm in heaven. Now I need to work on not being a book glutton and actually getting some sleep. Because this book is 806
pages long. No matter how late I stay up, I'm not going to finish it in a day...(editors note: 15 minutes before finishing & publishing this post, I finished the book!!)
November 5th, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan & Allie: Truth be told, it was a busy day & I forgot to ask them. I tried asking the next day, but they couldn't remember the day before, and I didn't want to feed them answers & pick their thankfuls for I got nothin'.
Kim: Good friends. Good food. Good conversation. A Good babysitter to make it all happen :)
Lucas: So...yeah...I forgot to ask him to...
November 6th, We Are Thankful For:
Allie & Ryan: Seahorse.
They have these seahorses. I'm sure you've seen them, we see them at almost every house with kids we go to! They love them. Allie's is her baby. She has plenty of actual baby dolls, but she gives them very little attention. But seahorse is fed, read to, cuddled, tucked in, carried around, cared for better than any baby ever. We went to a friend's house this afternoon, and Allie discovered that her friend had a seahorse just like hers! Her friend wasn't as attached, so Allie spent the whole time caring for her friend's seahorse. On the way home, I asked what they were thankful for and Allie said, "My seahorse. Not E's. Hers is not mise (mine). I thankful for mise." Ryan chimed in that he was thankful for his as well :)
Lucas: Spontaneous Adventures.
Kim: The aforementioned friends. Dear friends who, when I stand knock on their door and ask to join us on an adventure (completely spur of the moment & unplanned), invite us in and offer their house as the adventure. We had great conversation, enjoyed watching our kids play together, and thoroughly enjoyed our adventure. Can someone please help me convince these friends not to move?
November 7th, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan: Daddy
Allie: Gigi (with whom we were skyping when I asked. Allie is very "in-the-moment" with her thankfuls.)
Lucas: Study Time
Kim: My computer!!! $30, a new keyboard, and some help from our computer guru friend (mentioned in the previous day's thankfuls...yet another reason they cannot move!), and I have a working computer again. This blog post is the first thing which I am completing on my newly working computer!
November 8th, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Leaves. We were playing outside in the leaves at the time. Like I the moment!
Ryan: Little Grandma.
Little Grandma had to go to the hospital yesterday. She has been on our conversations and our prayers. Even though she hadn't been mentioned since before naptime, she was clearly in his thoughts.
Lucas: My Friend Josh
Kim: My friend Kim...who is married to Josh. Some of our dearest friends. We separately and unknowingly scheduled conversations with them on the same day! Always good to talk to dear friends.
Funniest Moment of the Last Week-ish:
I will start by saying that we are not potty training. For the first time, I actually think the twins might be ready. But we are going on a 12 hour road trip in a little less than 2 weeks, and I think I would prefer not to have newly potty-trained toddlers on that trip! But Allie has been occasionally having troubles doing the #2 standing up (oh, some day she will kill me for forever immortalizing those words on this blog!). So, after watching her grunt and push for a while to no avail, I suggested she try sitting on the potty. It worked! She sat & read her favorite book & it practically fell out of her! She was thrilled! I was thrilled! Ry-guy was thrilled. Seeing how thrilled everyone was for his sister, Ryan immediately wanted to see what he could produce on the potty. Sadly, he had already done his #2 for the morning, and had nothing left for the potty. But he got his shining moment. We called daddy to tell him Allie's exciting news, and Ryan asked to talk to him too. Keep in mind that my children, having grown up with Skype as a regular form of communication, assume that if it has any sort of a screen the other person can see them. Ryan grabbed the phone and said, "I pooping on the potty too, Daddy, see!" and he proceeded to hold the phone down so Daddy could see...if there had been a camera...which there wasn' I alone got the opportunity to enjoy that hilarious moment. Never a dull moment :)

November 02, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ever the activity director, I planned a day full of celebrations for the twinners. We started the morning with pumpkin oatmeal that had Halloween sprinkles on top (Note: Lucas wanted money bread, but I said that monkey bread was only for birthdays - Christmas counts since it is technically Jesus' birthday. Later, I remembered that it actually IS my cousin's birthday. I would have totally made monkey bread in her honor. Sorry, Mel. I'll remember next year!). The twins really loved the sprinkles...and have asked for them every morning since...
Before we headed out. Who taught them to always say cheese?
We had orange foods for every meal (squash, macaroni & cheese, carrots, etc.), and danced with glow sticks that I saved for the day. And then we started to get ready! I was really disappointed because it ended up being COLD, and the twins are getting over ear infections. I knew Ryan would be set, but Goldilocks' outfit was going to need some tweaking...including a hat...covering the gorgeous, blond locks that inspired the costumes! I was devastated. We ended up changing Allie's outfit completely to have something that went with the leggings. I ended up sort of loving the outfit that emerged (Allie picked most of it)
Let's go!
We were sort of excited this year because it was the first year the twins "got" the idea of trick-or-treating. They were so excited all day that they would get to go to people's houses and say the words and people would just give them candy! One time, a while back, they weren't eating their dinner well and had been cranky, but (for reasons I can't remember) I gave them some candy. Before I gave it to them I said, "You have done nothing to deserve this candy. In fact, your actions deserve the opposite. But I am giving you this candy because I love you. Getting something good when you deserve the opposite is grace. This candy is grace." I had forgotten about that encounter, but all day on Halloween the twins would say, "They will give us candy for nothing. That candy will be grace." And after one of the first houses, Allie held up her candy and said, "This is grace." I thought that was a sweet twist on Halloween - every house a picture of God's grace.
Mama bear with her babies. Sadly, we somehow didn't get a picture with Papa bear! FAIL!
We only hit houses of people we knew, and mostly just people from church. We weren't going to go to the Trunk-or-Treat again this year, but we kept hearing from families that usually went that they weren't going. So, we thought we would drive by. Sure enough, it wasn't busy at all! There were no lines, people - prepared for crowds like last year - gave the twins handfuls of candy. There were firetrucks, and police cars, cups of apple cider, and someone dressed up like a cow - all of their favorite things! We ended up being really glad we went!
Trying to get a picture by the pumpkins. They were so excited, they could barely sit still!
One thing I found interesting was the way their personalities were fully displayed during trick-or-treating. I have felt for a while now that Ryan is truly an introvert while Allie is an extrovert. Am article I read made me feel more confident of that. Halloween solidified that for me. Allie happily marched up to doors, answered all questions, reached in the bowl for candy offered, and chatted for as long as they wanted. Ryan hid. He didn't want to answer questions. He didn't want to reach in to get candy. He didn't want to stick around. He kept saying, "No more candy, Mommy. I want to go home." The Trunk-or-Treat was perfect for him because he didn't feel the same pressure as he did at someones door. Another personality trait that came out? Ryan savors while Allie devours. This frequently happens with special treats. Allie stuffs hers in her mouth and Ryan licks it to death. I found it interesting that Allie reached in and grabbed whatever candy offered, but Ryan carefully chose a sucker every time he had a choice. For Ryan, the best candy is one that forces you to savor!
The best pic of the bunch! Can you tell they are proud of their candy bags?
Overall, they clearly had fun. Tonight we had company for dinner and when the doorbell rang, Allie ran to the door and yelled "Trick-or-Treat!" She then turned to me and said, "Now they will give me candy!" Thankfully, she was understanding when I explained to her that those words only work one night of the year. The giant bag full of candy in the pantry probably helped...
Trick-or-Treating at our first house!
November 2nd, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Papa & Gigi's special beds.
Ryan: Papa & Gigi's special beds.
Confession: before they got their big kid beds we had a rule about what they had to do at bedtime (namely not scream and fight bedtime) to earn their big kid beds. Since they got the beds, they have started to procrastinate more and more at bedtime. And they are good! Tired of the long bedtimes that end in screaming every night, and desperately searching for something to replace big kid beds as incentive, I told the twins about the special beds that Papa & Gigi got for twins for our visit in a few weeks. They were so intrigued by the beds that bedtime was a breeze. And these beds have replaced candy in their minds as the only thing they can think of!
Lucas: My beautiful wife's grace, mercy, hospitality, and garlic bread.
Kim: A fresh start.
Confession: This morning, Lucas and I had a fight. Basically, there is this time in the morning, before my coffee kicks in, where I cannot manage to be rational and tend to be grumpy & quick. It doesn't take much for a conversation to explode into an argument. I had to leave to do grocery shopping. Lucas had to go to work. We left fuming...and then calmed down...and then exchanged some loving texts where we decided to try starting the day over (note: the caffeine had kicked in!). I'm thankful for our fresh start that completely turned my day around.

November 01, 2011

Pumpkins and Thankfulness

I know I've said it before, but I love pumpkins. Pumpkins are one of my favorite things about fall. We've kept up a pretty good tradition of going on adventures to get pumpkins with the
twins. We've kept the tradition going of just sort of driving along and picking them up roadside. We've also discovered that the closer you get to Halloween, the cheaper said roadside pumpkins become (they were $1 per pumpkin!). While a hayride at a big place to pick pumpkins from the field would be cool (and a fabulous fall tradition that would be totally up my alley!), I think our budget-friendly tradition will continue! One thing I was especially curious to see was which twin would hate the pumpkins this year. The first year Allie cried and wouldn't go near them. Last year Ryan cried and wouldn't go near them. This year...they both loved them!!!
Ryan running through the pumpkins. He didn't even want to pick one, just run around them!
Allie was especially drawn to their displays of pumpkins. She loved the little pumpkins and thou fun colored/shaped gourds
The kids each picked a pumpkin for themselves and a pumpkin for mommy & daddy (it was cold & starting to rain, so we rushed them a bit...). We waited until the next afternoon to carve them. Wanting to be efficient with our time, Daddy offered to start scooping out the pumpkins to prepare them for carving while I changed the twins into clothes that could get dirty. Wanting them to fully experience the grossest part of pumpkins, I asked him to wait. As a result, we only got 2 of our pumpkins carved before running out of time. Oh, well, the twins got to experience the goop. Turns out, Ryan is not a fan!
Allie had no hesitations about sticking her hands in the pumpkin to pull out the goop!
While Lucas and I carved, we let the twins dictate the look of their pumpkin - face or picture, shape of eyes and noes, smiley face or sad, teeth or no, etc. Sometimes, after we drew the shapes onto the pumpkin, they changed their mind. Thus the weird black lines. Oh, well. They were happy!
They loved looking into their pumpkins!
I have always wanted to make toasted pumpkins seeds, but never have. I loved pumpkin seeds as a kid. This year I decided there was no way I would give up and throw them out. The twins helped me separate the seeds from the bits of pumpkin innards. They LOVED this. Ryan got over his fear of goo, and they ended up splashing around in the pot of seeds with me for about 30 minutes! It was a blast!
We let them dry overnight. The next morning, the twins shook the seeds up in containers with different seasonings (we did 4 different kinds). They had so much fun!
We roasted them in the oven (this picture is pre-roasting), and they came out just in time for our mid-morning snack! The twins really enjoyed eating a snack they made. I was happy to have been so resourceful with our pumpkins. Overall, it was a smashing success!
Also, today is officially the beginning of our 30 Days of Thankfulness. Normally, The beginning of this celebration would warrant its own post, but my laptop is currently out of order, and since I don't know how long it will take me to finish the Halloween posts, let alone be able to start the Thankful posts, I decided to just include them whenever I can! Plus, I'm so excited about this year because the twins can totally participate! Granted, their "thankfuls" might be funny...or strange...but I think it is a great tradition to get them in the habit of doing, and it will be so fun having their daily thankfuls to look back on!
November 1st, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan: Candy (It's been the one thing on his mind ALL day!)
Allie: Glow sticks (we hit up CVS for 50% off treats, and the kiddos got glow sticks & were loving them)
Lucas: My beautiful wife (someone knows how to suck up to their blogging spouse...)
Kim: Coffee. Turns out Halloween (when you trick or treat, which we haven't done in a while) is exhausting. I fell asleep on the couch before 10pm, and still had trouble getting going. An afternoon pot of coffee was necessary to keep more poor family from having to deal with a complete grouch. But a cup of coffee turned my day around, and for that I am grateful!

Feeling lost when I talk about 30 Days of Thankfulness (or wanting to reminisce)? Look back at the previous years HERE and Here.