Saturday, March 31, 2007

Creativity never stops at our house

Even though math and spelling might have taken a vacation, the creativity and crafts still abound in the house. In fact every time I come downstairs there are more crafts, dances, songs, and games being made up.
Here's a selection over the past few weeks:

E has been enjoying learning the piano with her new teacher, Auntie A.
See the rest in our Picasa Web album by clicking on the picture below:

spring art projects

Bath Buddies

Who needs bath toys when you've got your brother?
Still loving my bath chairs. It's so much easier to bathe two babies at once instead of one at a time.
Isn't that just the sweetest thing you've ever seen? P on the left and JP on the right.
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spring, you silly tease you!!

Where I live, Spring always flirts with us for a few months, slowly courting with us a deep desire of warm weather and anything green. In my city, people often don't feel safe planting anything in their gardens until the last week of May; and even then we are sometimes surprised by a big snowstorm and frost that kills off the delicate new growth.

These pictures were taken last week when we went for a lovely walk along the river with my parents, and my grandma. It was the warmest it had been in months, and we were treated to beautiful sunshine, pussy willows emerging from their winter slumber, and the river, running with it's new spring legs chasing it's blocks of ice away.

My dad brought birdseed along, and the kids enjoyed watching how tame the chickadees were. With enough patience, they would land on your hand and eat the birdseed right off of it. Z was the brave one of the day and patiently waited and waited until the right moment. What fun for a little boy!!

The other beautiful sight that day was two mallard ducks in the creek. E proudly told us about their colors and who was the mommy and who was the daddy. H the toddler spent the first half of the walk sleeping in the stroller, and the second half eating the cookies that grandma sonia always has to offer the grandkids.

I love these opportunities that homeschooling affords us. What a treat to spend a nice day outside with 4 generations in the family together. Fresh air, cookies, nature, family, and sunshine. What else could anyone want? (except maybe a nice quiet nap... but I digress).Good thing we took the time to go out that day, because that evening another snow storm rolled into town and we were back to winter again. Oh spring, don't be such a tease!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Watch out for this girl!!

If you've been following my blog for the last little while, you'll know some of the antics of my little toddler H. (She needs a blog name don't you think?? I've been thinking of using wildflower names, to be orignal, so let's call her Snapdragon. One of my favorite flowers).

Anyways, little Snapdragon is just about to turn 2 years old, and has managed to make her presence in the world very strongly felt in these short 700 odd days. She learned to crawl before she could sit... learned to climb stairs shortly after... and quickly followed suit with walking, running, and of course climbing. You'll remember this, and that, and many,
other exciting moments in our life since she joined our family.

She is the cause of our new bedroom switcheroo too. Remember when she was climbing onto the bunkbeds all the time?? The bunkbed without the ladder up? Well, I decided to put the ladder back up and teach her how to properly go up and down so she wouldn't kill herself trying to get off the bed. Well, shortly thereafter, Z comes into our room in the middle of the night (think something obscene like 4:30 am) and tells us that little Snapdragon had climbed into E's bed. Sure enough she was up there snuggled up to her big sister. Turkey!! This happened one more time, and then daddy decided the bunkbeds had to go. Unfortunately, there was no longer room in their bedroom for 3 beds, so the kids got the master bedroom, the twins got Snapdragons's old room, and mommy and daddy were left with the old kid room. Snuggly tight with our big king size bed, but if it's a bed, and i'm in it, I'm happy!

Anyways, this evening Sean and I were treated to a display of what's to come, I think. While E the big sister, had her back turned during bedtime snack, snapdragon quickly reached across grabbed her sister's bowl, and then sneakily put her own empty bowl in it's place. Another Switcheroo!! She's getting good at this. The scary thing is, E didn't even figure out what had happened. She just wondered why there was no food in her bowl anymore. I gotta keep my eye on that kid.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy!

The man I love just celebrated his birthday.

Our family came over to celebrate with us, and we all enjoyed honoring him.

I'm sure you all know how special he is, but if you don't, let me tell you:

He is supercalifragilisticexpealidocious, and I LOVE him more than even the last piece of the best chocolate cake in the world... and even more than donuts!

You all would have enjoyed the party we had. E helped plan the games for us, and quickly whipped up her own 'pin the tail on the donkey' game, complete with blindfold, sticky tails, and prizes for the winners. We laughed and laughed, and then laughed some more.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Six months old!!

God be praised, I have lived through the first six months of the twins life!!

I can hardly believe it has gone by so fast. Soon enough they'll be crawling and getting into all sorts of trouble, led by their bigger sister H, so I'll let you know in another 6 months if I'm still alive LOL.

So...what do I have to show for the past 6 months?

  • big dark circles under my eyes, and nearly constant yawning from serious sleep deprivation.... but many hours of precious one on one time with each baby away from all of the noise and chaos of the day.

  • An abundance of baby things strewn throughout the house: 4 highchairs, 2 booster seats, 2 bouncy chairs, 2 baby carseats, 1 crib, 1 toddler bed, 3 bassinets, 2 playpens, 2 mei tais, 2 slings, countless pieces of clothing, oodles of mix and matchless baby socks, diapers galore (dirty and clean)... and the joy of having been blessed with so many generous friends and family who helped us get everything and more.

  • A freezer that is never lonely, due to my frequent 4pm visits looking for an easy dinner... and a new appreciation for Spud (my organic grocery delivery service)

  • Strong arms from carrying two babies, and often two carseats with two babies inside... and a stronger will from forcing myself to get up when they cry in the night, when they cry at dinner time, and when they cry when everyone else is crying.

  • A brand new master bedroom that is so cozy and charming... and a very spacious nursery for the 3 older children complete with walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom (more on this in another post).

There is so much more of course, but for now, i'm off to bed or this post will be sent to the 'drafts' folder like all the other posts I never have time to finish. Happy 6 months babies!! (Peter is in the top picture, JP is in the bottom one)

Monday, March 19, 2007

A grande adventure

Coming soon to a blog near you... the adventures of the sewing duo mommy and her big girl.
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Staying home and lovin it

Thank you Alice for the reminder that I love my life. The crazy, busy, noisy, sleepless, gentle, loving, kissable, huggable, grace-filled moments that make up each day give me so much joy, I can hardly speak of it at times.
To be a mother- to hold a newborn baby in your arms, to comfort a scared child in the night, to watch the lights turn on in a preschooler's head as they begin to discover connections woven through the world around them, seeing things for the first time... this is truly a treasure. How much more wonderful is it to gaze into the eyes of two babies smiling up at me (even if it is in the middle of the night) than to be gazing into the blue glow of a computer screen at work, or into the huge plasma TV that I might have afforded because of the dual income?

When I think of how my very different my life could have been, had I followed the ways of the world and risen the ranks of the corporate ladder, I am filled with such gratitude for the gifts that I have been given instead. In fact, when I think of the blessings I would have missed if we had stopped at our first two children like everyone else, or waited for a few years before we started our family, I am filled with awe. What joy I would have missed by not having my spirited toddler, or my delightful twins. Can you imagine the Blairs without the twins, or our crazy little toddler who climbs bunk beds? They are so much a part of our lives, and have already taught me so much about faith, trusting, selfless love, and generosity.

I often giggle at the secret God knew all this time -- the twins.... and I can only wonder like a small child waiting for Christmas to come what else He has in store for us.
btw, the teddies are a special gift to the twins from their grandma Leslie. She made them herself!


I'm so brilliant at coming up with titles for my blog posts. Maybe I'll get hired by the newspaper. Of course, I'll have to tell them I am FAR too busy to work for them. For one, I have this blog to keep up with.

Today's artwork is brought to us by my 3 1/2 year old boy Z. He is very determined to draw with the pencil gripped in his fist like a drumstick. Maybe daddy has been giving him writing lessons at night while we are sleeping?

Anyways, according to our little artist, this charming picture is of "a caterpillar who ate lots of bees, and then someone thought he was a pretty insect so they drew happy faces on it". I love his descriptions of the artwork that he draws. My all time favorite has to be the mothers day card he gave me last year with some scribbles on it. When I asked him what the picture was, he said very matter-of-factly that it was "a man with his head broke off".
Being the second child in the family, he isn't constantly managed and fretted over like his elder sister. Mommy hasn't been trying to teach him how to read at age 3, worrying why he can't add at age 2, and obsessing over how well he is growing, talking, eating, programming computers etc... In a word, it's quite peacefull watching him grow and mature. I have the benefit of knowing that each difficulty and bump is just a phase, and since he has such a gentle, easy temperment, even the bumps aren't that big.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

plans? who needs 'em

Since I have given up trying to plan my life, I tend to get a little discouraged when each day slips through my fingers like clear water, leaving nothing behind to show any of the work that was tirelessly done all day (except for a pile of soggy diapers that is).

Last night, my wise husband encouraged me to be content with little things, and there find the satisfaction of a job well done. This was truly a novelty to an independant woman like myself who is used to getting many things done all day long,... before the twins and the toddler came along.

I was annoyed and rather deflated that the only visible 'chore' that I had accomplished that day was to bring the laundry down from the bedrooms to the landing by the stairs (only half way to the laundry room). My plans call for mondays to be laundry days. Each piece of dirty clothing in the house is to be lovingly sorted, washed, folded and returned fresh to my families drawers and closets for another week. This is how I measured success in the laundry department, and therefore, since I had only gotten half of the first step done in a whole day, I was dissapointed.

My husband, however, saw it in a much different light. "At least you got it down the stairs!! That's a great accomplishment," he said. "And you had time to go out of the house for a walk by the river with all five kids, have coffe and treats, and do some crafts with the kids. I call that a very succesful day! Tomorrow you can bring the laundry down the next flight of stairs, and maybe even do a load or two. If not, there's always the next day".

Funny, he saw the details of being present to the children as much more important and succesful than getting the laundry done. And today, when I was practicing what he suggested, I found that I agree with him... and because the kids were happy that I was tending to their needs and being present to them, I ended up having more time for laundry.. and even a leisurely hot shower, a blog post, and a visit or two on the phone with some friends.

So looking at the little things in the day and finding satisfaction in who I have given to, here is our list of a day well done:

  • reading religion book over breakfast, taking time for a lingering conversation about honesty and telling the truth
  • reading a story on the couch after breakfast (A life of our Lord for children), and through that, reviewing all of our history we have learned so far, since the first 3 chapters are a quick summary of the old testament.
  • making modelling clay creations with the kids, and enjoying Z's people he was making (such creativity), E's alligator, and H's piles of clay on the floor.
  • letting the kids go outside and play in the snow for 45 min
  • drinking hot chocolate with the kids and reading the last few chapters of Farmer Boy together, laughing at Almanzo's voracious appetite for good food, and crying with joy at the end when his father gives him the best gift ever.
  • listening to E read to me a book about David and Goliath
  • doing 2 loads of laundry, unloading the dishwasher twice, cleaning the kitchen, making beds, changing many diapers, feeding babies numerous times and rocking them for a nap
  • reading my toddler Make Way for Ducklings and putting her down for a nap
And it's only 3:30pm here, so I still have a few hours left in my day to enjoy with the kids. Life is sweet. Unpredictable, and scary at times, but sweet nonetheless.

moving along

Every day gets a little easier... and a little harder.

Easier, because I am surrendering more and more each day to the crazy life I live. I am surrenduring my expectations of what it means to have a good day, surrenduring my plans of just about anything from a shower, to laundry to meals to homeschooling, and surrenduring my life to God who is the only one who can possibly get me through this phase of life I am in. (and make no mistake.. a phase it is. I know only too well that my little twins will grow faster than I can remember their antics and scrapbook and blog them... my toddler will be telling me detailed stories before long, and my six year old will be asking for the car keys. I may be rich in sleep then, but poor in many ways if I do not take the time to treasure these moments now).

Harder... because the babies are on the threshold of independence. They have started to notice they can use their hands for grabbing things, and playing with toys, and I know this only leads to crawling (to get at more toys), and walking to get at higher and farther toys, and running, to beat their twin to the best toys!! And I already imagine that running does not necessarily happen all towards the same object or out the same door... How will I split myself three ways to chase down my littles??

At least Spring is approaching swiftly and with it, more time for the kids to play outside, more sun to brighten my moods, and a fresh breath of air to recharge my sleep deprived mind.