Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Toddler Two Step X2

Quinn & Ruby rock.
They are two and a half years old.
They are curious and 
love playing together.  
They are hard workers.
Ever moving and learning.
My days are spent running interference & 
chasing them non-stop. 
Picking up pots and pans (how did these get in the living room?). 
Changing diapers. 
Cooking for them.
Futilely explaining why the fridge needs to stay closed.
Promoting manners.
Saying "Drawing is only for paper."
Studying the ingredients in the crayon removers.
Cleaning crayon marks off the walls.
Supervising Quinn as he cleans crayon marks off the floor.
Slipping on the spot of "clean" floor later.
Paying a teenager to clean crayon marks off the heater.
Noticing that there are pen marks on legs and hands and deciding not to clean them.
Looking for Owl Blanket.
Looking for Monkey Blanket.
Looking for Boo-Boo.
Looking for Camey.
Looking for Monkey.
Swaddling Monkey.
Singing Rock-a-bye Baby to Monkey.
Looking for Mario.
Racing Mario on the kitchen floor.
Rescuing Mario from under the Hoosier Cabinet with a broom handle.
Putting the broom in timeout on the porch after an "accidental" thwack to the head.
Looking for Quinn's shoes.
Looking for my own shoes and 
helping them learn to share.
There are moments in everyday, however, when I find myself simply watching them in amazement, awe and ... yes, exhaustion.
God has blessed us so richly! 
Crazy blessed!
Here is a 34 second video of our lives in a nutshell these days. 
It's cute.
They're cute!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lucky #13

Today we are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary!

To commemorate the occasion we spent Labor Day weekend camping!
Quinn and Ruby did a great job on their first camping trip and
the Starrigavan Creek Cabin was a special treat!
We had an epic hike on Sunday complete with off and on rain as well as toddler 
explorations at {literally} every turn.  Thankfully it was the only thing on the 
agenda and our dear friends, Jim & Carrie, who also have small children, Lars & Lucia,
joined us, and so we were all going at the same pace.  
Well, pretty much.
Quinn was the caboose the entire time as he became easily 
enamored with every toad stool, stick, rock, flower & berry that caught his baby brown eyes.
At the half way mark on our hike, we took a break at Mosquito Cove and Carrie
led the crab catching expedition!  Children young and old squealed with delight as rocks
were turned over and shore crabs scampered about.
It may have taken us 3 hours, but we conquered the Mosquito Cove Trail 
with everyone walking on their own legs the entire way!
(I don't think I will get rid of the kid carriers just yet though!)
We didn't have to go far to have an adventure. 
Walking around the campground led to many investigations from slugs to pinecones.
Our pup, Rosie, was always up for a walk as well.
Although we don't have any pictures to show for it, Jack and Jennifer's gang joined
us at the cabin on the first night and we welcomed them 
(and their pancakes and muddy buddies and extra mattresses)
with open arms! The girls kept the tunes rolling as well.
Our anniversary has been sunny and warm so we've been soaking up the rays on this extra day off.
I hope you enjoy these last two photos, the one on the left of
the dear children God has blessed us with,
the photo on the right taken 13 years ago 
as we said "I do" on my parents' farm.
The sun shined on that day too.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Valentine's Day

 A few photos that we snapped for Valentine's Day this year just had to be shared!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Easter

Our Easter was very sweet this year! How wonderful to celebrate our Risen Savior with family!
The children are blessed BIG TIME to be in a Bible Class at church with a 
dedicated and loving teacher, Mrs Celeste.  
She is unfailingly kind to the children and teaches them about 
God {so big, so strong & so mighty} and 
His creation in such an age appropriate way.  
Quentin and Ruby *LOVE*  Bible Class as well
as their friends that attend with them every week.  
We praise God for our church family.
I also feel fortunate to serve as the teacher-aide in 
the 2 year old class and always learn something myself.
 These Buster Brown shoes that Quinn is sporting on Easter were once his Father's.  Aaaahhh...
Nana gave Ruby her gold cross necklace.
The twins love each other and love {to pat} their Bibles.
We pray that their love of God's Word will continue to grow throughout their lives!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Toddler Two

During this stage in our lives, our days are primarily spent at home.
Our two toddlers enjoy playing with one another and are learning to work as a team.
Sharing & taking turns are lessons we are constantly practicing
Our days are filled with books, "swan dives" off the couch, tools, dolls, 
and occasionally we get to enjoy warm sun streaming in through the window. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Muppets Party

Cliff and the twins had their birthday today!
We've all enjoyed watching the classic old Muppet Show episodes lately,
so we decided to have a party featuring the Muppets,
with special attention given to "KERMIE!"
Cliff has been teaching the kids to make a cheesy smile.
It cracks us up!
Auntie Jenn made a Rainbow Connection Fruit Tray and surprised us with 
vintage sheet music for our mantle display as well!
The balloons were a big hit with the sweeties.
Cliff went to SeaMart to have a bouquet of balloons made and helium filled 
(we ordered the mylar Muppets balloon online)
and after he placed his order and then went on to pick up a few odds and ends,
he came back to pay for the balloons only to find out that
 the kind young man that filled them for us had payed for them.
We didn't even know him.
Isn't that neat?
God blesses us at every turn.
The guests of honor wore kermit collars this year. 
Why not? 
I had a little too much fun turning these 3 thrifted silver platters into a 
tiered cupcake stand during nap time.  
I used hot glue to adhere the platters to the candlesticks. 
It held up well while in place and popped apart easily for clean-up after the party was over.
I made the jumbo sized chocolate cupcakes with creme de menthe frosting at Cliff's request.
Quinn was all about the cake!
We all laughed along with him all evening.
Ruby, on the other hand, kept a pretty tidy tray and we could 
tell that she was uncomfortable as she kept looking around and saying, "a mess."
One time I saw her look at Quinn's tray of cake crumbs and whisper, "a time out."
She has a very dear conscience which is something we are thankful for.
We pray that she will always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in her.

Biscuits and Gravy was Cliff's meal of choice!
Ruby had to take a short break after opening the legos to lay down a drum beat for us.

The candle scared Ruby at first and we all felt for her!
She held her face in her hands and her cheeks turned red.
She is so darling.
We should have practiced ahead of time 
(as was recommended to us!)
but with our small family party, she was really surrounded by loved ones that sympathized.
We ended up lighting the candles multiple times
and she got the hang of it and eventually loved it!
Cousin Jessica had fun reading and playing with the kids.
Quinn blew out his candles and enjoyed it very much.
He did more playing with his cake than eating it.
He was so enthusiastic throughout the evening and is such a joy!
God has so blessed him with a playful heart.
There was always lots of cheering after the candles were blown out!
Uncle Jack made the kids' favorite Green "Smoonies" with his new Vitamix and we all loved them!
No party is complete without chocolate!
In honor of Cliff we had a chocolate dipping station.
Chocolate dipped Bacon was fantastic!
We also made yummy chocolate dipped Earl Gray Tea cookies.
I am so thankful for these three members of my family that all share the same birthday!
And thankful for those who celebrated with us both near and far.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Valentine Bears

We went to the Fortress of the Bear on Valentines Day!

 The Fortress of the Bear is a 10-15 minute drive from our house.  
I really should have taken some photos on the drive out there, 
Silver Bay is on one side and there are sheer rock faces on the other side.
It is breathtaking.
 The Fortress of the Bear accepts abandoned bear cubs and cares for
them until they are suitable for placement in a zoo.
 There were 3 bears in one arena and 2 bears in another.  
Our favorite was named Baloo, which Cliff loved, since the Jungle Book is one of his favorite movies.
 The kids and I were thrilled to see that Baloo could sign "more" and "all done" 
to his Bear Keeper just like we do at home!
 There were 3 teensy bear cubs that we had the unique privilege to see up close! 
We fed them apple wedges through the fence and marveled at the length of their 
claws that were longer than our fingers. 
 They have several other animals on-site including this huge pig, which the 
kids were fascinated by as they kept yelling "PIGGY!!" 
(I think they were scanning the surrounding area for Kermit.)
The turkeys and sled dogs were also beautiful and we got to see several eagles that were hanging around during the feeding of the bears as well!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Frozen Fun

We live a block and a half from a great lake for skating, when the weather is right.
The weather is not often just right, but this week has been perfect.
On Saturday night Joanna & Jessica spent the night and we all 
walked down to the lake and pulled the twins around in a big red bucket we have.
We tied the dog leash to the handles and laughed and ran and ran and twirled
until we had worn ourselves silly.
I had oh so much fun shooting into the bright lights onto the dark lake
catching flare here and there as well as bright contrasty colors.
The moon.
Oh, the moon.
The kids can't get enough of the stars and moon these days.
They are always looking to the heavens.
We had the great fortune recently to have a private showing at a 
traveling planetarium exhibit that was in town last month
that my brother, Jack, was the curator for and ever since then,
the kids pretty much lose it every. time. they see the moon.
I'm catching the fever.
I yelped when I found Orion's belt in one of the photos below!
Cliff's always had the astronomy bug.
He had me bundled up staring into the sky in the back yard with him
on Friday night late after the kids were asleep when he 
had been out walking Rosie and he rushed in to
tell me that the Aurora Borealis putting on a show!
Cliff was tireless the other night running laps with the kids.
We popped corn when we got home which was 
a fun treat as well and is becoming a little tradition.
Its sweet to make traditions with our little family.