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.
My boys, like most boys, LOVE Legos. They have a pretty large collection and play with them just about every day. All sorts of creations can be found from houses to monsters to garbage trucks to race cars, all complete with moving and functioning parts. It doesn't matter how often they clean their room, within a few hours- their floor again looks something like this as they dive once again into their Lego world:
(and this is mild- they just cleaned their room yesterday). There never has been any doubt where they get this from. Just this evening, this is how our living room looked:
Aaron has never outgrown his love for Lego's and he recently started his own Lego project. A clock. A fully functioning, gears and all clock. He is not yet finished, but here is his work in progress:
It is hard to see details but the inside is filled with different gears- all Lego- that will work the clock when it is done. The pendulum is of course, all Lego. It will also have a chain with weights and more bits and pieces as well as the hands of course. It really is pretty cool and he is enjoying the project. You would think that since it is Lego and we have so much of it that it would be a cheap project to do, but not so much. He has already had to order many specialty parts from the internet to be able to do it! It is amazing the number of sites (not just Lego) to order specific pieces!
I often joke that I have 5 children- including Aaron who hasn't outgrown his love for toys- especially Legos. But, ultimately, I love it. I love the he can be a kid and get down on the floor to play with the boys and have a way of relating and bonding with them. I think I'm pretty lucky. That is as long as they get them all picked up and I don't step on any of those pieces tomorrow.....
A couple of weeks ago, the boys brought home notices of the upcoming spelling bee for 3-5 grades. Jacob is in 3rd and Kenny in 5th so it involved them both. They had to have permission to participate and they would first have a written test. The top 9 from each grade would go on to the school spelling bee and the winner there would then go on to the district spelling bee.
Both boys grumbled but I signed the paper for both insisting they try. Jacob is an above average speller and I knew he was very likely to get into the school spelling bee. I think he has missed maybe ONE spelling word on a test all year. Kenny....well, the poor kid tries hard. He, unfortunately, got my dad's spelling ability (er...lack thereof). It is naturally hard for him, but he works really hard. Kenny definitely has talents that Jacob doesn't have. I thought it important for both to give it a try.
Jacob was in the top 9 of his grade so he was entered in the spelling bee which was held today! :) We practiced the list they sent home and he did well with it. Some words were on the list and some not. The poor kid was so nervous! He didn't want to get out of bed this morning because he didn't want to do the spelling bee. I encouraged him as best I could- reminding him that winning or losing didn't matter- it was getting up there and trying that was important.
Waiting for the spelling bee, he- and all the kids- were so nervous! You could see all of their legs shaking and moving.
Jacob stood up there and bravely spelled his first word- h a r s h "harsh"- correct! (sorry for the poor picture- I was a ways back and just had my crappy cell of course. I have GOT to get a new camera...) He sat down and went onto round two. He was given the word "doze". Unfortunately he heard (and repeated) the word "dose" but they sound so close that the judges didn't notice the mispronunciation. So he spelled d o s e. And he was out. (Despite it being only the second round, we was not the first eliminated, either!) I could tell as he walked back to sit with his teacher he was broken-hearted and started crying. His teacher comforted him and it was all I could do not to cry- not because I was disappointed in him but because I felt his pain so strongly. I had to hold it in because I didn't want him to think I was upset with him- it is just my heart broke with him because he was so sad. I hugged him tight and told him how proud I was that he got up there and was brave and did it. So many words after that- even much harder ones- he could spell and he knew it so he was sad, but that is life. You win and you lose and that is how it goes.
Just a few minutes later, another girl from Jacob's class, Savannah, was eliminated- she went to sit with the teacher as well so Jacob scooted down and Savannah sat down- also crying due to her elimination. So Mrs. J comforted her. It broke my heart. She ended up with this row of sad kids. It is so hard to be brave and get up there in front of all of those kids and parents and so disappointing when you are out. A few minutes later, another kid joined Mrs. J in her "consolation row". I tried to capture Mrs J with those 3 but Savannah was trying all she could to stay out of the picture. (Mrs J mentioned that most of the 3rd graders in the spelling bee came from HER class!)
After school he told me in the car that he was "purple"- because he was "red"(mad) and "blue"(sad) which makes purple. I again stressed that he did such a great job- because he really did, it was just a mistake and misunderstanding. But, that is how spelling bees work!
In honor of his big day and being so brave, we had his favorite dinner- Spaghetti. Then we had our weekly Family Home Evening and I made these special Valentine's day treats (because tomorrow we have all our normal Tuesday craziness so celebrating tomorrow is out of the question....)
I saw these on the noon news in their Wed food section. They are Raspberry Puff Pies- very easy and very yummy! They were a hit! Now, I won't pretend that this was our best evening ever- because it wasn't. Oh my, we had some grumpy tired kids- but we got through it and enjoyed the good parts of the evening and the yummy treats! All in all, a good day!
I love being a mom to my two boys and twin girls. No matter how crazy it gets, I wouldn't change a thing! I believe that chocolate and peanut butter are two of the worlds most perfect foods! (especially when combined!) I truly believe we could end the war in Iraq simply by having the world leaders sit around the table together with some Reese's cups. You just can't help but feel peace with this kind of perfection there!