Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Aaron's Nose Job

For quite some time now, Aaron has been wanting a nose job.  I thought he was nuts- I mean, really, what was wrong with his old nose?!  Every time he would mention it, I would just laugh and roll my eyes and say with all of our expenses, it was just to expensive to even consider and so I never really took him seriously.

Then one day, much to his luck, his dream fell into place.  For FREE- which meant I couldn't argue- even if I did think the whole thing was a little nutty.

I bet you are dying for pictures!!  Here goes.


(Had you going, didn't I?)

He drives a VW Jetta Wagon.  Which he loves.  However, he always talked about how he wanted to change the nose of the car to a VW Golf nose.  I really don't understand why- just a look he likes.  I thought this sounded silly- why all the work and expense when there was nothing wrong with the current nose?

Well, as his luck would have it- he found (through his internet forums) someone who had a silver Golf that was interested in trading for a Jetta nose!  Go figure, right?  A match made in heaven for sure.  So, one weekend afternoon, this guy with the perfect match came over and they set to work.  It wasn't long before Aaron's car looked like this:

Doesn't look like much of anything, huh?

But, a few hours later, it looked like this...


He is in heaven!  In case you have a hard time seeing the change, here are the two pics side by side:

By the time they finished, it was dark but they wanted to take an after picture of the two cars together so they drove to a well-lighted near by gas station.  Here you can see the Jetta with the Golf nose and the Golf with the Jetta nose.

I may not understand it, but it all worked out- and with not cost except for time and their own labor- and he is a happy boy.  All's well that ends well!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Something Scary in the Air....

Tis the season for little dressing up and having fun!

Our little preschool group was no exception.

Myself and two other moms participate together in a home preschool co-op.    We generally make our own curriculum but we do teach them reading lessons from the book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."  We also do counting activities, art projects, games and lots of play time! We usually do this on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and we take turns hosting it at each of our homes.This week was my turn.  We were going to have a Halloween party yesterday but Ellie was sick.  Thankfully she felt much better today so we had our party today!!  What fun the kids had!  It was a little extra crazy- with about 3 kids more than usual- two kids that I was babysitting for the day and the younger sibling of one of the boys in the group.  But, it was nice to have a big group of kids to really enjoy the fun together.

We first did our reading lesson and then followed that with a fun painting activity!  We painted paper plates to look like pumpkins and then we stuck triangles and circles on it to make the features:
Starting from the left and going around the circle:  Annie, Meghan, Ellie, Hayden, Clark and Ashlyn.
Dominic-  he sat doing this for a long time.  When I asked if he was done, he adamantly said "No! I gotta paint!"

Here was the final result!
I love how creative they all were and each did their own thing!

We then read a fun Halloween book and rolled out cookies to eat later for a snack!

 (I love how I caught this just as one two-year-old was trying to snatch a cookie cutter from the other two-year-old. )

We then put on our costumes just as the mommies came and we did a spider race and then went on a costume parade down our street!

Meghan is a doctor, Ashlyn and Ellie are princesses, Clark and Hayden are Captain America, Annie is Snow white and Dominic is wondering around- not interested in stopping long enough for a picture (I had put him in a m&m costume, but he promptly ripped it off!)

After our walk, they were pretty hungry, so we had lunch and decorated our cookies and then Abbey, (Annie's mom) made these awesome treat bags for us- including coupons for free frosties from Wendy's!!  Thank you Abbey!

In Other Related News:

The boys had "harvest parties" at school today.  I knew it would be interesting because they usually wear costumes and get candy and all of the normal Halloween stuff.  This year, they decided that no unhealthy snacks can be given.  I understand the health reasons as well as in fairness to those with food allergies, but I still just don't see anything wrong with occasional treats.  So, I think it is silly, but I know healthy is always good.  I wondered how parties would be now.  In fact, Jacob's teacher sent home a note that said, "No costumes and no unhealthy treats."  I couldn't help but think "Really?! What's the point?"  Usually he brings home a treat bag full of candy.  Today I had to laugh when I saw his treat bag:

Sure, most of this stuff is healthier then candy but..... well, some of it isn't THAT much better.  And I had to laugh at the random broccoli florets Jacob stuck in there among everything else!  I don't know why I found it so funny, but I did.  And Kenny's class was a little different too.  The teacher was not sure what to do about the "healthy treats only" thing so he left it to the parents.  A grandparent offered to bring in pizza if parents contributed a couple dollars- the principal approved it.  So....cupcakes and candy aren't okay but pizza is? Whatever....  I was happy to contribute. So his class had pizza and watched a movie. 

In Other, Other Related News:

Jacob had a haunted piano recital today at a near by coffee shop.  The kids were all supposed to dress up, so it was a trial run for the real deal Monday night.

The boys are mummies and the girls are wearing the SAME princess dress they have worn the last two years.  I am not really complaining because I bought the dresses used for $1 each- but it is getting embarrassing because they are really tattered!  The boys costumes are made from a sheet I tore into strips that I bought from the thrift store.  They looked really cool, but by the time we got there, they were (obviously) already falling off so I will need to revise how I wrap them.

As usual, Jacob did a GREAT job playing!!! He is so very talented and I am so proud of him!!

And here is Jacob with his piano teacher with Christine.  He just loves her and she really is great with the kids!  Jacob's talent has just blossomed since she started teaching him.

So, that is just the beginning of a fun busy weekend!  More to come....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Could Time Slow Down Just a LITTLE?!

Two and a half years ago, in January of 2009, I posted about a pretty big change my twin girls got to experience when they went from this......

Monday, October 10, 2011

Camping: Boys Vs. Girls

 Friday night, our church hosted a Father/Son camp out at a near by state park.  Aaron and the boys were all looking forward to it.  There was a lot of excitement as we packed them up to go.  The girls however were a little jealous, so we had our own girls camp out together.  Who do you think had the most fun?

BOYS-  Friday night consisted of a campfire with roasting hot dogs, marshmallows, and poking sticks in the fire and other fun activities:

They slept outside in a tent all night long.  Luckily we are having a bit of an Indian Summer, so the days have been beautiful, but the night did get a bit chilly out there in the woods.  But, Aaron packed the air bed and they had sleeping bags and extra blankets so they stayed warm enough.  In the morning, the woke to a pancake breakfast.  And of course boys will play!

How about some good old fashion sibling rivalry?  Yes, this is Kenny and Jacob:

Soon after, they came home due to other events going on during the day, but had a great time!!!

GIRLS:  As soon as the boys left, we started our own fun!  We ran some errands at a few different stores, which- while not that exciting- did include dinner at Chic-fil-a!!!  I let the girls choose where we went for dinner and they enthusiastically begged for Chic-fil-a so we went there and they got to play in the play area for a while.  When we got home, we had a camp out of our own- in the living room!!!  We have a small tent that I set up in the living room and they put all their bedding and animals in.  We popped some popcorn and put in a movie, which they watched from the tent:
The girls also slept all night in their tent in the living room (I slept on the couch....) and we were in our warm house!

Saturday, we got up and ate a quick breakfast and headed out the door to our favorite apple orchard!  I was looking forward to some fresh picked suncrisp apples, and these did NOT disappoint!  I know I have said it before, but seriously, there is just nothing better than an apple right off the tree.

So, who had the better camp out?  I think it was a draw!  I am feeling especially grateful this weekend for the opportunities Aaron and I both had to spend some real quality time with our beautiful kids!!

 (PS- for the record, I am NOT liking bloggers new posting format- I am having all kinds of trouble getting the pictures and text lined up like I want, so that is the reason for the space between the pictures....)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Life Happens

I can not believe it has been nearly a month since my last post.  But, the title of this post explains exactly why I haven't been around.

Life happens!

Wow- this past month has been wild!  I feel like a few events have completely taken over my life.  Here is what I have been up to that have prevented me from blogging.

1) School starting.  This has really thrown me for a loop this year.  I was simply not ready to send them back.  I had a bad feeling that this year was going to be rough on Kenny and that has proven to be true.  Fifth grade has been really tough on him.
       The Good-  Now that he is in 5th grade, he gets the opportunity to be on safety patrol!  He loves it!  I
           have been excited for him as well.  I knew it would be a good opportunity to have responsibility and
           to feel valued.  He has also just started playing Trombone in the 5th grade band.  It is important to
           me that my kids are exposed to music and experience the wonderful learning opportunities                        involved. Right now he is at 5th grade camp!  Normally, I go with him but Aaron went as a
          chaperone this year.  I am excited that Aaron gets to experience it this year and that he and Kenny
          will get to spend good quality time together.

     The Bad-  Academically, he is struggling to keep up.  5th grade has been very demanding.  He has a
          hard time focusing and homework takes him most of the evening to do!  Also, I have discovered that
          the school does not have a time set aside for band- the kids get pulled out of class for 30 min a day
          twice a week.  They recommend to take this into consideration when deciding to allow your kids to
           play.  I think this is crazy- music is such a great outlet and kids can learn so much- it shouldn't be
          reserved for those who are "quick" enough to handle it all.  One of Kenny's teachers is looking into
          having one of the class times switched so they don't miss the same class twice. I believe the
         opportunity should be open to all- no matter what their situation. 

     The Ugly-  Maybe because of all of this stress or because he has officially reached the "tween" age,
          he has acted out in ways he never did before.  Yikes-  not liking this tween stuff so far.  What
          happened to my baby boy??  He really is a truly sweet good boy and I am so proud to be his mom-
          he does so much good that makes me so proud and I hate to see him struggle at all.  

2) The Twin Sale!!   This is the huge consignment sale that the twins club I am in does twice a year.  I have not sold for several sales, but decided to sell this time.  It was overwhelming and time consuming to go through all of my stuff and get it organized.  I did make just over $200, though!  And that was just random clothing- mostly priced around $1 and some toys and such.  Thankfully, that is over for now- at least until the spring sale!  I actually got my check in the mail today so me and the kids celebrated (since Aaron and Kenny are at camp) by going to Max and Erma's!! The rest of the money will go toward mattresses we will need for the girls new twin beds! They take up the entire length of their toddler beds. Seriously,  when did this happen?!

3) Julie's Baby Shower!!!  My sister is expecting her first child and we are so excited for her!  Unless something happens sooner, she will have a c-section on November 8th!  We had a shower for her on Saturday and it was beautiful and went so well!  It was a cumulative effort of several people and had a large turn out.  I hope to be able to do a separate post with pictures soon.  (I did not take my camera but my mom did.)

4)  Preschool! We started our preschool group!  Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the girls go to preschool, either at my house or one of the other moms in our group.  This way my girls get the benefits of going to preschool without me having to pay $200+ a month!  We are using the book "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" as our curriculum, along with other learning activities and lots of fun!

5) Other randomness:  So many other things that have sucked up my time:  trying to learn how to be a scout leader (I am now involved with the cub scouts at church), choir babysitting, my band, rec center classes for the girls, keeping up with laundry and gathering winter clothes for kids, cooking food (these people just seem to want to keep eating every few hours....)

I feel like I have not had time to breathe!  So many things I feel have been neglected that I feel I should be doing, such as:

1) cleaning house..... oh my, am I behind.  I dream of a tidy uncluttered living space..... who has time?!  As a "stay-at-home" mom, it would be kind of nice to actually be at home once in a while....

2) blogging- not only have a not had time to do posts, but I haven't read anyone's blogs either.  I miss reading what everyone is up to and hope to have more time to now that some of the above have settled. It also doesn't help that, despite everything being crazy, everything seems mundane too and I just don't feel I have much interesting to write.  Seriously, I am sure my readers are all asleep by now and have not made it this far. 

3) couponing- I have been so overwhelmed with everything that I have not been able to search out the deals and clip coupons.  I really enjoy using coupons and saving money.  Lately (probably because of extreme couponers) the deals have not been as good and I have been strapped for time but I am hoping to recommit to it this month- I have to keep cutting my grocery bill!!

4) sleep- I am lucky to get to bed before 1 am but yet have to keep getting up by 7.  Six hours may be enough for some, but I have always required more sleep and I start to fall apart after extended periods of time with reduced sleep.  I am reaching that point.

Hopefully things will calm now that the boys are getting settled in school, the twin sale and the shower are over and I can get settled into a routine.  Hopefully it also means I will be writing more!