September 22, 2012

The Adventures of OUR Cow

Our letter of the week was H.  I may or may not end up getting to that.  Our favorite activities this week ended up being centered around cows since we had our moms' group cow trip.  While on our weekly library excursion I decided to grab a cow book to read the day of our trip.  The book I happened to grab is called "Adventures of Cow."  The book is really silly and witty.  It is basically a bunch of photographs of a toy cow with captions that tell a funny story.  The twins thought it was hilarious, and as we were reading they mentioned that the cow in the book looked a lot like OUR toy cow.  Suddenly, and idea was born.  I decided to take pictures of our toy cow, let the twins write captions, and we would make our own book.  We took chunks of each day the rest of the week deciding where we would take pictures of our cow.  I picked out the best of the pictures and put them in order in a word document.  Then we scrolled through and the twins added captions.  The captions do not necessarily create a cohesive story, but they're 3, so I'm pleased with the outcome!

And now, the world debut of Ryan and Allie's first book 
The Adventures of OUR Cow
(special edition with editor's notes and deleted pictures)
This is Cow.
Cow visits the piggy (and turtle) banks.
Don't get squashed!
Hello, Cow!  Hello, Bumble!
Hello, elephants!  How are you?
(editor's note: Allie's answer was consistently, "Bad.")
It's Baby Cow!
Cow is looking for his family.
Cow goes for a walk.
Now he's riding.  Don't fall off, Cow!
Cow stops to play on the monkey bars.
Cow meets Allie and Ryan.
Cow is on the tunnel slide.
Ryan pushes him down the slide.
(editor's note: Ryan wanted to add, "...and laughs and laughs," but I thought it made him sound mean, and he wasn't being mean when he laughed, so I left it out.)
Cow is on the swing.
Allie pushes him high.
Allie and Ryan push him on the merry-go-round.
Allie and Ryan cover him with sand.
He puts his feet in the water.  It is cold!
(editor's note: They actually said something along the lines of, "It is cold on his (insert gibberish and something that sounds like "feety, eety, feet," here)."  I asked a dozen times what they were saying, but could never make it out...)
He rides home with Allie and Ryan in their wagon.  Careful!  Don't fall!
He reads a book about dreaming.
He plays the piano
He likes living with Allie and Ryan.

Isn't it brilliant?!  I was a little disappointed because the finished book was without 2 of my favorite pictures:

The first picture I actually put in the document, but must have accidentally deleted at some point (you know, highlighted it accidentally, hit a button, it disappeared and I didn't notice).  The second was in the folder with our cow trip pictures while all the rest were in a folder of preschool pictures, so I forgot.  I might try to sneak them in later.  It isn't like it will throw the story off.

I also think I might create a front and back cover and get it printed up and spiral bound.  I mean, how cool would it be for the twins to have a book they wrote on their bookshelf?!  I already took their author photos in preparation :)

Update: After Sarah's brilliant comment, I put their book together in snapfish.  I love how it turned out!  I think you have to login (or register) to the site, but here it is for anyone interested in a peek!

September 20, 2012


This past week, we had our annual moms' group trip to the local dairy farm to see the cows (note: the moms' group trips do not correlate with our weekly preschool themes...I'm not that coordinated!) This is our 3rd trip there (see the other two here and here), and it is really one of our favorite places.
Saying "Hi" to the cows.

Allie and our friend Q.
There will (most likely) be more about this toy cow later, but Ryan enjoyed introducing it to the cows!
 Showing us how the calves like to suck fingers 
(they have no teeth, so it wasn't dangerous for little fingers to go in their mouths)
 They brought out one calf for the kids to pet.  Allie was the first kid over.
 Ryan snuck a quick pet in just as they were getting ready to put it back.

 After seeing all the cows, they let the kids play in the hay.  Climbing the giant stacks, jumping into the soft piles, and throwing it into the air was probably the highlight of the day.  Unfortunately, my camera battery died (fail), and I only captured the boys hanging out at the highest point.
 Before we left, they gave all of the kids juice, cookies, and coloring books!  This place is seriously the best. I'm so thankful that, if we weren't called to live on a farm (which is just an awesome place for kids to grow and play), we at least live farm adjacent :)

September 19, 2012

Walking for a Cure

During the winter, one of the girls in our church was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  While we are not entirely un-familiar with the way a diagnosis like this changes a life (my sister-friend and her brother have it as well), our close proximity has given us even more perspective on the daily struggles and triumphs that accompany the diagnosis.  Her sister coordinated a team to participate in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, and we enthusiastically joined.  She is literally one of the twins' favorite people.  In fact, she was the only person invited to Bumble's (fictitious) birthday party.
They got shirts, bracelets, balloons, and muffins as well as getting their faces painted - the twins basically thought it was another carnival.

 Our group was the second largest team present.  The twins were the youngest participants on our team, and the oldest were in their eighties.  We had a few that had come from Canada (making our team international) and 2 canines!  We had such a great time together on the walk!
The twins riding in style.
 The twins rode in the wagon for most of the 2.5 mi. walk.  They did get out and walk a little (Allie preferred to run), but it wasn't long before they preferred daddy's shoulders and mommy's arms.  Allie did get down to run with me across the finish line - she was convinced that it was a race...and that we were winning (even though there were hundreds of participants that finished ahead of us).
We were happy to support our dear friend F, and contribute to the cause of finding a cure!
F and Allie - Ryan refused to be in the picture.

September 17, 2012

Big T, Little t...

This post could also be titled "What We DIDN'T Do This Week..."

It was a bit of a difficult week.  I got hit with a nasty little virus that left me with a really sore throat and some chest congestion.  It always amazes me how something like a sore throat and a little congestion can really drag me down.  And, of course, by the end of the week the twins were showing symptoms of the same.  So, even though our letter was T, and our theme was "Transportation" (a theme I was REALLY excited about, by the way), we didn't have the energy to do a whole lot this week...
Painting with cars - roll their wheels in paint, and see the patterns!

For me, the most difficult part of the week was the inner struggle between perfectionist me (the part of me that always feels like I'm not doing ENOUGH...granted, that part of me is rarely quiet or satisfied...), and realistic me (the part of me that is rationally able to assess the situation and know what is actually vital).  I felt disappointed that we weren't doing all of the cool things I planned, and dissatisfied with the effort I gave.  But I also felt really crummy and knew that I needed to put my energy toward the necessities...and that was okay.  As my friend (a director of a Montessori preschool herself) told me today, "There are no problems in preschool.  Missing a day, or a month, will not matter."  And it wasn't like we did nothing...
A finished masterpiece!
We did watch more tv than I normally allow.  Even the twins didn't have the energy to keep going.  I found some really awesome transportation themed movies at our library.  The Best of All About has a really great transportation themed dvd - and my kids watched each of the different segments several times each.  It was really informative, so I felt comforted that they were getting something!  I also found a sing along transportation dvd.  What I thought were "good finds" that we would watch a time or two ended up being heaven sent blessings!
Car wash!  
Kept them entertained for an hour straight!  And they cleaned their toys!  And my floor got mopped!

We did do our worksheets each day (to practice writing the letter), and we reviewed our memory verse (Trust in the Lord with all your heart).  They took turns "reading" their turtle book (I say "reading" because it mostly used the 2 sight words they have learned - "see" and "the" - along with pictures of the turtle.  Ex. I see the happy turtle - with a picture of a happy turtle).  To summarize: sickness happened, but education and fun happened as well.
And, if nothing else, I'm pretty sure their cars and airplanes enjoyed the bath...

September 15, 2012


As you may remember from last year...or the year before...every year, in September, our church does a community carnival.  They have games, and prizes, and a bounce house, and face painting, and colored hair spray, and food, and a cake walk, and crafts, and a fire truck, and an ambulance, and a fire truck simulator (so you can see what it feels like to drive a fire truck), and more - all for FREE!  Seriously, it's amazing.  I know I go to church there, but I can't figure out why everyone in the surrounding counties doesn't come!  This year the twins REALLY enjoyed all aspects of the carnival!
Coconut Bowling
 I felt like the paparazzi - catching Allie and Nana going around the games together.
 Washer toss (she might be cheating a little...)
 Face painting:
A Butterfly
 Lightning McQueen
 Snacks (and prizes, in the bag)
 The cousins came and joined us for the day!  For those keeping count, we got to spend time with the cousins 3 times in 1 week!  And now we haven't seen them for a week and we miss them...
The paparazzi catches Nana swinging with the girls.
 The one activity I never captured on film (er...on SD card...) was the cake walk.  Our kids (especially Ryan) were desperate to win a cake.  It was the ONLY thing I think they really wanted from the carnival.  We walked round after round, and didn't win.  The cake walk started to get vicious - people would jump in mid-walk and then end would be like musical chairs.  That's how much our ladies' baking is prized!  FINALLY, Allie won...and I told the twins that they won together.  Thankfully, they wanted the same, gummy bear topped cupcakes.  Phew!  We were able to move on to other things.

Another big hit - the ambulance.  They spent a ton of time playing in there!
Taking care of D
 Nana hopped in and got a picture with the kiddos.  I wanted her to lay down on the stretcher and have them all pretend they were trying to save her...but we ended up going for a more traditional pose :)
Such a funny bunch :)
The only thing that got Ryan out of the ambulance was the fire truck.  He climbed right into the driver's seat.  he stayed for a while (and we came back twice).  He told the firefighters that he was going to be like them when he grew up.  They said to come to them first for a job :)  They happened to be the same fire fighters we took cookies to during our fire safety day!
Of course, the day ended with meltdowns and tantrums since they were so excited about the carnival they couldn't fall asleep during naptime...but we will choose to remember all of the fun we had that day!  Seriously, if you are in the area next year, you should come to our amazing carnival!!

P.S. If their hair looks like it's colored in some of the pictures, that is because it was!  It was a fun day, so I let them go all out.  And no, it didn't wash out all the way (and Allie's face paint left her tinted a little purple).  So the pastor's kids showed up to VISITOR'S SUNDAY with their hair and faces slightly tinted.  Oh well, we had fun!